This is the second book in the MMP Stratus “Military Collections of the World” series. It begins with a short, 9 page illustrated history of the Aberdeen Proving Ground and the Museum, and the rest of the book is dedicated to a photo documentation of the museum’s exhibits.
The first 9 pages show the Museum’s inside exhibits, uniforms, small arms, small artillery pieces and one or two smaller vehicles, and the rest of the book shows the portion of the collection stored outside. There are at least two views of each vehicle or field piece, and some commentary, in English, about the vehicle displayed.
Often the exhibit’s provenance is given, and some comments about its condition. I found the book engrossing as I had no idea that Aberdeen’s collection was so varied. The photos are of good quality, and will be of use to the modeler, though they do not provide the level of coverage which the super-detailers amongst us crave.
Some of the exhibits are war booty, captured and returned to the US for testing and evaluation, the latest as recently as Iraq. Many were modified during the test and evaluation phase, and the text is very helpful in highlighting which features on the vehicles were standard production and which were added/modified during the evaluation process.
Other exhibits are prototypes or test beds for vehicles never put into general production, or at most very limited production, and it is these vehicles which I found most fascinating, as they are in keeping with Aberdeen’s real purpose. The French 194-mm gun on a tracked chassis is calling to me to begin a scratch-building project, and I’m looking to find a few more views of the Panzer IV G with the experimental Thoma transmission…
This book was a thoroughly good read and provided real inspiration to me to add a few building projects to my list of to-dos.
My thanks to Mushroom Model Publications for providing IPMS/USA this copy for review. For more information, please visit their web sites.