After covering the World War 2 German motorcycle BMW R75, Kagero Publishing’s
Photosniper series takes aim at the famous British cold-war tank – Chieftain, the tank which was a real revolution in its time. Armed with the most powerful gun, most effective armour protection and introducing other novelties, Chieftain was the most advanced tank of the late 1960s and 1970s. Here's a look at its details through the (photo) sniper scope.
Publication is released in a typical format of the Photosniper series. Its size is 205x275mm with soft cover. Content is printed on the matt chalk paper. All texts, captions and descriptions are written in English. Thickness of particular titles depends of course on the subject and author but this time we get 72 pages about the title tank.
Content of this series is divided into text, with technical and historical background, and the graphic sections, depicting particular features and characteristics.
Chapters of the book:
- Genesis: from Medium Gun Tank No.2 to Britain's First True Main Battle Tank
- Chieftain: Early Service and Vehicle Description
- Tribulations and Redemption: the 1970s and 1980s
The text is followed by 36 pages of colour photographs taken on scrap yards, gunnery ranges, in action or covering the interior of the tank. In total the whole book contains 17 black and white and 137 colour photographs.
The last section contains colour profiles presenting 20 machines in lots of different and very interesting camouflage patterns, which are not only European. Each profile has a detailed description of the unit, time and place where the tank was serving in the presented configuration of colours, camouflage and markings. Additionally inside the book, we can also find two pages with order of battles of the 4/7th Royal Dragoon Guards in 1970 and 1989 and two pages with 1/55th scale plans of the Chieftain Mk.3/3 and Mk.11/C. The 1/55th scale is a bit odd for scale modellers however the drawings are still quite readable and after appropriate scaling in a graphic program or just on a photocopier they can be used as a reference replicas in the more popular scales.
I especially appreciate a lot of photographs from the gunnery ranges, manoeuvres and ordinary everyday life from the tank units. Many of these may be a great inspiration for those interesting dioramas or for creating an interesting configuration of opened hatches, signal flags or crew additional equipment.
Lot of close-up photographs, as well as those taken during tank maintenance, answers most of the possible questions. It presents a lot of interior compartments or equipment used by particular crew members. Close-up shots reveals details of the armour, antenna masts, wheels, main gun, exhausts, commander cupola, hatches, stowage bins and many more details. These pictures were taken really taken with the snipers precision. There are also some unique photos, as for example that show one of only two ever build Mk.4's Chieftains.
From the modeller point of view the book content answers many common questions we often ask ourselves about such as; how particular things looked or how it was attached. For sure it is a valuable reference bringing us much closer to the history and development of this famous tank, which was so important for the British Armed Forces in particular and whole generation of the modern tanks in general.