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Nuts and Bolts Volume 31

I just recently received Nuts and Bolts Volume: 31 "Marder II" (Sd.Kfz. 131) - Panzerjäger II für 7,5 cm Pak 40/2. And again they have surpassed my expectations and seem even better than ever before.

From Nuts and Bolts we have a definitive work on a very interesting Panzerjaeger.


Now a number of years ago a good friend of mine told me if I wanted the best reference for a vehicle I was then working on, Nuts and Bolts was it. I hadn't heard of them before, but then again I hadn't heard of Aber either. I got the book and the Aber and haven't missed a volume since. Quite frankly these books are the best around in my opinion. I just wish there was an aircraft reference as good as these.
Lets get the facts out of the way first. Using info from the publisher the book is

German & English texts
176 pages (1778 if you count the inside covers)
365 photos (190 historic, 20 model, 155 modern)
32 blueprints
14 camouflage schemes, tactical markings, table of organization (KStN)
In those pages you get the history of the vehicle with many period pictures. These are great for modeling your kit, selecting a scene for a vignette or diorama, seeing those small details that will make your build more interesting.

To back up the period pics are pictures from museums and private collections. These are great for installing those extras we all seem to like to add on. Descriptions of the part assist in making sense of what you are seeing.

There are some great technical descriptions of the vehicle and even attached equipment. Also included are various drawings of the vehicle types and how equipment attaches. I know I cant be the only one who builds a model or sees a picture and wonders how exactly something operated. The running gear is well drawn and one can see how it does what it does. Even something so mundane as the vision blocks and telescopic sight make more sense when you can see all the parts.

Speaking of drawings there are some sub variants I never new of that look like they may be fairly easy to convert over. I know one of our Masters Tony the SPG guru would be very interested to see the 5cm versions of this tank hunter.
In the tables of organization I think we have a great resource as modelers in that we could make a scene and know what vehicles would have been present. It gives more validity to our creations.
Now I know colour plates are subjective, but they do help visualize a camouflage scheme that may not be so easy to see by the untrained eye in a period pic. I think they also grab you attention and help you decide what you want to do. We are presented with 14 fantastic plates in the volume. From the early Dark Grey to Dessert schemes, to camouflage for every theater. White wash to multicolour there is something for all tastes. As a bonus there is a plate for the ammunition which will be very handy.

Finally to round out this great resource we have a couple of models built up. The first by Tony Greenland who has inspired me for many years. Again he is joined by Vinnie Branigan with another very nice model displaying some fine PE work.

In summary this is another excellent body of work by the Nuts and Bolts Team. I cant say enough about these guys. I buy mine direct from the source http://www.nuts-bolts.de/ and consider the 28.9 € or at today's rate $39.61 U.S very reasonable for the amount of information you receive. I know I have been concentrating on modeling a lot in this review, but this is a great book for the military historian as well. I very highly recommend it.
I was very fortunate to receive this copy from the Nuts and Bolts team and thank them very much. Be assured though that I would buy this in a heart beat and heap the same praise on it.
James Knaus
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