This book is the second of a series on German armor in World War II. These are written specifically for the AFV modeler. The subject of the book is the Tiger I. It is written entirely in Japanese with English subtitles on some of the pictures and illustrations.
The book begins with an illustration of the driving mechanism and part of the transmission. It is taken from the German manual on the Tiger I. These pictures are without English subtitles. Next the book shows us 18 color plates of the Tiger I from the early version to the late version. These illustrate camouflage patterns and markings. These are very good color renderings in fact. The title of each drawing is in English.
After the color plates, there is a short section, once again entirely in Japanese, which appears to discuss the formation of Tiger units. After the Tiger unit part is a small comic book like section covering some of the great Tiger commanders.
There are what appears to be a hundred or so drawings, a la “Achtung Panzer”, that show all the various details of the Tiger I. These drawings have an English title showing what the picture is, but all the call outs are in Japanese. Still they do show different details that some books don’t. At the end of this section is a wonderful 1/35 scale drawing of the Tiger I early version.
After the drawings and sketches is a section with color photos of surviving Tiger’s. They show the detail of these tanks in living color. (Although the color these great beasts were repainted in leaves something to be desired.) I am sure at least one of these is the Bovington Tiger, which I believe is the only Tiger I that still runs. These pictures show a lot of detail of the survivors, and the captions are in English as well.
The last section shows model builds of various Tiger kits. These are some beautiful works of art, but the section is entirely in Japanese which does not allow the non-Japanese speaker to understand what the build entails.
Now, despite the language barrier, those who build Tiger tanks will find the pictures and drawings in the book very helpful. If you are lucky enough, like me, to have a brother whose wife is from Japan then the Japanese writing is not a barrier at all. The book contains a lot of information. As a fan of the Tiger tank I actually recommend it to Tiger modelers who don’t mind the Japanese text.
I want to thank IPMS/USA, and especially Model Art for this review copy.