Book Reviews

Summer is a busy time here in the Rockies, we haven’t had much time to work on RC tanks, but as modelers we still enjoy reading about history.  One of our favorite sources of historical reference photos is the series of books called IMAGES OF WAR, published by Pen & Sword over in the UK.  Our little group has several of their books.

The latest book added to our reference library is;

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This book reveals a collection of photographs taken by a professional photographer, Walter Grimm, who was inducted into the German army in 1940.   It shows in vivid detail, his experiences as a Landser (foot soldier) from basic training in Germany, through summers and winters fighting in Ukraine, then finishing with a chapter about the honored and the fallen.  The author’s caption for each photo, often explaining details of the equipment or vehicles shown, is a rich treasure trove of information, both for the historian as well as the scale modeler.  

After years of reading and researching WWII, I was delighted to lose track of the new things I was learning, about half way through this book.  Photo after photo of men working with trucks and equipment showed many details of things I had never seen, new details of things I did know about but never understood, and some things I had never imagined.

 I think the best part of this book, is how the photographer’s and the author’s work have combined into something greater than the words or pictures themselves.  Their work has combined into a snapshot of history that pulls the reader into the German Army, into WWII, into the daily lives of those men, the men who made our history.

 I’ve picked a few pictures from the collection that struck me as showing a deeply human side, to a very inhumane time and place.   I’ve hallmarked the photos out of respect for the author and photographer, and used them here with the permission of the publisher. 

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Basic training – gas mask

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A Ford truck in the German Army…     ”they used 100 different trucks, 53 types of car, and 150 models of motorcycles” pg. 33

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 Till I read this book, I never would have believed the German’s used camels in Ukraine in WWII.

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The real guys who made history!  Them and millions like them.  

 

Pages and pages of high quality photos, accompanied by maps and text, make this book a treasure for any library.

 

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ABRAMS MOVIE

The new Abrams Ouray Troop acquired has worked out well.  We took it to Arizona to the the DAK event and it made three “kills” in its first engagement,  ran well, and the only thing damaged was the exhaust deflector.  We are not counting the “kills” from this engagement because they were my 10 year old son knocking out loaner tanks driven by kids from the public, not other “tankers”.  This Abrams is named “TROUBLE” after my old dog.

 

Here is a short movie of the Abrams to demonstrate the sound.  Enjoy.

Here is another movie…

 

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DAK demo at Falcon Field 3-26-2016

The Western Slope Division once again went to Arizona to enjoy some fun in the sun with the great folks at Desert Armor Korps.  This year the event was held at Falcon Field Airport during an air show by the Commemorative Air Force and a military vehicle show.  We got to battle our RC tanks among real jeeps and trucks, near a fully functional Hellcat, while a B-17 and  Huey Cobra buzzed us.  Russian Yak fighters did a couple passes overhead too, as a Mig parked nearby watched over our stuff.

The WSD took 10 folding portable buildings to the event, allowing us to quickly deploy a “Potemkin Village” on the tarmac for visiting people to drive loaner tanks around in.

You can check out more pictures at the DAK website here:

http://www.desertarmor.com/DAK_Events_2016-2020/DAK_CAF_DEMO_MAR_26,_2016.html

 

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12-26-2015 UPDATE:

The Western Slope Division has acquired two more modern tanks, a Tamiya Leopard 2A6, and a Heng Long Abrams M1A2.  This doubles our modern firepower, both Troops of the Western Slope Division now have an Abrams and a Leopard.   Both of the tanks acquired need a bit of work to be brought up to the standard of performance we at the Western Slope Division require.

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Trip to DAK in Arizona on 3-28-2015

Check out our DAK page for pictures of our trip to Arizona to battle with the DAK crew!

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Thanks to all the DAK folks, we had a great time!

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M1A2 Abrams

The Western Slope Division has acquired a new Abrams M1A2 manufactured by Heng Long.  This is our second Abrams, we already have a Hobby Engine version that is upgraded for IR battle.  This Abrams will also be upgraded to be IR battle capable.   These are the first pictures after the unboxing, many parts still need to be put on the tank.  IMG_2004 IMG_2005

All the accessories are on it now.  Some running outside showed that it is slow for a modern tank.  All the functions worked properly.

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IR target tank

This stug is the electronics donor for the Mato M4A1 (76 mm) conversion.

It has the Heng Long wires and electronics removed and a target circuit from Tank Hobby installed in it’s place.   The IR receiver is mounted so you shoot through the drivers vision slot.  The Stock HL smoker is still in place with red LEDs hooked up to it so they light up the fighting compartment through the hatches.  It also still has the stock HL speaker.  The road wheels and swing arms on this new stug were used to re-fit the old stug, #21 (see update of HL stug post below) and then it’s worn out wheels were installed on this target tank without springs to simulate a burned up vehicle.

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When you fire an IR shot at this tank, the red LEDs and the smoker come on for 10 sec. while the speaker plays an explosion sound.  At present the smoker puts the smoke out the back with the stock mounting.  The plan is to re-plumb the smoker to send the smoke out the hatches and have flashing red and orange LEDs and the smoker stay on after a few hits so it makes smoke during the rest of the tank battle to mimic a burning tank.

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