This review was originally published on Track-Link in 2014. Note that the book is now unfortunately out of print.
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An Art Book about Armor.
The subject of the present review is not your usual modelling book. It’s not about modelling techniques, nor about AFV technologies. Vlieland Leopards, from Dutch professional photographer Dirk Bruin, is a small picture book dealing with a pretty eerie subject: Leopard 1s used as hard targets for ground and air-to-ground practice shooting on Vlieland, an island from the Wadden island archipelago. The book is the second title to be published by Trackpad Publishing, the same guys who published Dutch Leopard 1, of which I did a review.
Now, if your initial reaction is to consider this topic to be of moderate interest, think again. If you are into Leopard 1, and certainly if you are into modeling wrecks, this book should find its way on your references bookshelves.
Physically, the book is small, a bit larger than postcard format (A5, or 148×210 mm to be exact). It’s a soft cover, full color, 64 pages long album. After a short 2-pager intro, the book is entirely made of full-page pictures of Leopard 1s and assemblages of Cheetahs’ hulls with Leo 1 turrets.
And it is all very interesting.
The pictures are of excellent quality. They’re obviously of a more artistic composition than simple walkarounds. This does not detract from them being quite relevant in terms of certain details. Most of all though, these pictures are absolutely wonderful references for a vast array of weathering effects to be found on armor wrecks. Rust, sand, mud, algae, sea shells and even snow, you have it all. In that regards, modelers should consider this to be a great ref book for pacific wreckage as well. Obviously, the book is also a great source of inspiration for ambitious and creative modelling projects.
None of the pictures are captioned. Initially I though this to be unfortunate, but on second thoughts, it’s not. This book is really about visuals, and there’s plenty of references elsewhere to help you get the most of the details on these pics.
One may also be tempted to think of the book being too short, but with a price below the £10, it’s all relatively reasonable. I would like to see those pictures in a larger format though, so I do wonder if Bruin sells prints, or maybe a deluxe edition with twice as much pictures at some point?
Great little book, very inspiring. Highly recommended.
Disclaimer: Images from Trackpad website. The book has been provided by Trackpad publishing for review purpose.
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