This publication is a third larger than the normal stable mates , it has 104 pages crammed with very high quality photographs on average 5 to a page.
The text is in English and is used to highlight various points in the photographs.
It starts with the History of Fort Irwin and how over time it has evolved its role in the Training of the US Armed Forces .
From its conceptual Cold War approach of heavy battle groups facing each other to the new Multi tasked anti terrorist and urban fighting in built up areas.
Each chapter covers a specific part of the training centre and it begins with the Box which shows some of the 12 villages built for close combat training.
The OPFOR and this mainly covers the types of VISMOD Vehicles used by the OPFOR unit. The older Cold War types are being phased out and replaced with more modern ones based on the venerable M113, with some alterations to the Bradley turrets.
The new concept is the introduction of Role Players who inter react with the units under training . This included such diversity as a TV / and Radio station .
Hooah section is actual photos taken under training conditions such as the Bradley , AbramÕs,, StrykerÕs , Humvee, M113 Ambulances and logistical types.
Troops at the NTC , this is factual recording of what the troops do with their standard issue kit and how they modify it for conditions in the field.
To give a couple of examples; knee protectors being worn as ankle guards. The mixing and mismatching of older uniforms and equipment with the very latest issue; proving once more the supply chain is not always up to date.
The last section covers the involvement of the UH-60 Helicopter .
And finally we come to the famous Painted Rocks which are used to display the units who have trained in the centre over the years.
In conclusion , this has to be a modellers dream , it will keep the reader fascinated for many a long hour. It will inspire a great many new models esp those using the vast amount of Modern US kits now on the market.
Scratch builders are going to have ball with all the alterations and conversions contained in the pages.
The information contained in the pages will I am certain inspire the after market decal and photo etch producers.
This book is a must figure sculptors and painters , they have in a single volume original frozen in time ref material and most importantly up-to-date combinations of uniforms and equipment .
I have under the Fair review of copyright included a separate photograph to illustrate this . It was not an easy task with so many high quality to choose from
It is also a very good read and it took me at over 3 hours to fully digest it.
Very highly recommended and will I feel set the standard for more books of a similar style in the future.
I have to award it 10 out of 10 for quality of subject.
A further 10-10 for originality.
Lastly 10-10 for the quality of the photographs and the details they contain.
I would like to thank Franti for the advance copy for review and as always check with your local book dealer for availability and price.
Ian Sadler Review