Abrams Squad, The Modern Modelling Magazine, Issue 12 is the latest installment from Pere Pla Maestro and his publishing company PLA Editions. It is a modeling magazine that features modern articles on armor dioramas, building and painting techniques along with some reviews on current armor accessories.
In this 76 page issue we find the following in order:
Commander’s Display Unit, a regular section featuring news and reviews of current armor accessories.
Remote Thermal Sight, a regular section featuring a build only review of Meng’s German MBT Leopard 2A4 (Meng item number TS-016).
A feature article describing a scratch built MAN Patriot missile battery and its German transport.
A feature article describing the building of an Afghanistan diorama that includes two vehicles, a Russian BTR60 and a French Buffalo 6 x 6 MPCV.
A feature article describing the building and painting of Trumpeter’s Soviet T-10M Heavy Tank during Operation Danube, the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Another feature article describing the building of a diorama in the Ukraine featuring the Panda Hobby BMD-1 and seven figures.
An article that provides 25 photographs of HUMVEES in Afghan service.
Turret Basket, a regular section featuring some current modern kits and a brief hint at the magazines next issue.
This is the twelfth issue of Abrams Squad and if you enjoy modern AFV models this publication is a winner. The magazine is printed in Spain and comes printed on thick, glossy paper and the photographs are outstanding. Each issue of the magazine can be purchased in English or Spanish (Castellano). As the magazine has matured I have enjoyed the new style of matching the pictures with the descriptive captions by numbering them, this way you know exactly what the author is referring to if they are describing a certain technique. The magazine covers “modern” subjects; this seems to include anything after WWII. The magazine has a nice balance of building, painting and weathering techniques for each model, all of the materials used are readily available here in the United States. Each volume has a nice balance of feature articles; these may include a diorama or two.
There are usually three to four individual builds of modern AFVs that cover the building and painting style of each individual author. The authors seem to cover the gambit of different countries from Spain to England to Russia. The regular features of the magazine (Commander’s Display Unit and Turret Basket) are brief but give the reader a nice short overview of newer armor accessories out on the current market. The build feature (Remote Thermal Sight) is informative, it goes over a kit build and review, no painting or weathering techniques are included. This feature also usually includes a handful of reference photographs of the subject being built. My only nitpick is each article is very brief, there is no “in depth” description of the actual build but this is offset by the abundance of clear photographs in each article showing the various stages of the project.
In this twelfth issue of Abrams Squad the overall feel is one of a very polished magazine. The articles are well written and easily understood. There is the occasional translation flaw but it is easily overlooked and the content of the articles never suffer. If you are interested in modern subjects and like to see different painting techniques give this magazine a shot, I think you’ll enjoy it. I purchased this copy directly from the PLA Editions via their web site; I have also purchased other issues from Sprue Brothers off of their web site.
Highs: Lots of eye candy for modern AFV modelers.Lows: Each article if fairly brief.Verdict: Money well spent for the great photography of modern models and techniques.
About Jim Bednarz (cpd730) FROM: ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES
I am a detective with a metropolitan police department in Illinois. I have been modelling for about twenty five years, I dabble in armor, aircraft, sci fi and figures. I'm an avid history buff and enjoy time with my family and a good book (with a glass of scotch...with the book).