by: Darren Baker [ ]
The A13 Cruiser tank was an important piece of Armour for the British during the early years of World War Two and saw service in Europe and North Africa. Model Centrum Publishing has released an expanded format offering of a title looking at the British Cruiser Tank A13 Mk 1 and 2, and now has 88 pages for the reader to look over.
This is I believe a re-release of the Armour photo history #4 British Cruiser Tank A13 Mk 1 and 2. There are now 88 pages in the book and these can be broken down into four sections. The first section looks at the history of the British Cruiser Tank A13 Mk 1 and 2. The information and period photographs covers 18 pages of the title, this section will or at least should satisfy the needs of any modeller when it comes to the tanks history. The photographs provided show the early tank designs and even includes shots of the tank in service. It is not I believe the intention of the title to provide in depth coverage of the tanks design, but the period photographs should make this of interest to anyone interested in the A13.
The photo gallery section of the title takes up most of the book and covers 52 pages of the book. The text in this section is restricted to information on the period photographs of the A13, the photographs cover the A13 in North Africa and Europe during the early part of World War Two along with images of captured tanks. Also covered here is the A13 in the UK on manoeuvres and the pre-war period. These black and white photographs are of a very high standard and will prove of interest to the modeller when it comes to dioramas of the A13 regardless of if you are looking for images of the tank at work, rest or play.
The next section of the book provides 1/35th scale drawings of the A13 tank in 4 different variations. Also provided here are a number of line drawings looking at various structures and systems used on the tank, areas such as the oil tank connections, power plant, control panels and areas such as the drivers hood and rear firewall; these area drawings though are not to scale and so act as a guide rather than providing templates.
The last section of the book provides colour plates for the A13 cruiser, in this case offering 6 finishing options when viewed as a modeller. I do like that this section is here due to these options and how it will allow a modeller to accurately paint and depict one of these specific tanks.
I do like this book as a reference, but I cannot help feeling that Model Centrum Publishing has weakened the appeal of the title by not having a dedicated walk around of the A13, I am unsure if there is a Mk 1 or 2 preserved anywhere, but there is an A13 Mk 3 at Bovington Tank Museum that if nothing else could have been used to cover some aspects of the earlier tank. The period photographs do provide a fair reference on aspects of the tank, but are of most use to me as a modeller when it comes to displaying a model in an accurate location and situation. The lack of a walk around does mean that some of the finesse of the tank are not covered in detail.