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Nuts and Bolts 16 - Sdkfz 8 (12-ton)

by Andrew Dextras

The Nuts and Bolts series just keeps getting better and better. This 138 page behemoth covers the 18 ton FAMO's 'little' brother and continues the highly successful formula that has won this series so many accolades. As with all NB titles, the first 14 pages cover the development and history of the Sdkfz 8. As always, this includes a nice breakdown of camouflage and markings as well as a table showing the location of surviving examples. Although the NB books began as mostly a large collection of detail photos of surviving examples, the series has evolved into a complete one stop information center on a specific vehicle type. However, if I were to pick my favorite part of the book it would be the next 54 pages of wartime images depicting every possible variation of the 12 tonner. Yes, the 8.8cm equipped ones are in there (19 images!), but also the ones that had a dozer blade mounted on the front end. Of course there's a bunch of images showing it towing a variety of loads. The next 17 pages feature 8 color side profile drawings, 1/35 scale 6 view drawings and some great perspective views of suspension and other details. The next 50 pages feature the sort of thing the NB books have become the top standard for: tons of clear, closeup detail images of preserved examples of the 12-tonner. As always, every part of the vehicle is covered very thoroughly. If you can't superdetail a model with these images, you probably need to find another hobby. So, what we have here is the definitive study of the 12-ton half track. The only available kit out there is the DES model. However, will Tamiya follow up the 18-ton FAMO with the 12-tonner? In either case, this book will appeal to all German armor fans. How is the series going to get better? How does the next volume on the Marder III M sound? Highly recommended.