MMP Books- Single Vehicle No. 01- SU-76M
Author: Przemysław Skulski
Price: $11.95 on Casemate's Website
Paperback, 28 pages with a four-way 1/35 scale plan drawing, over 100 black and white photographs and technical manual drawings, and one color profile
This seems to be a recent series from MMP Books- with subsequent volumes featuring the 7TP, the 7TP Twin Turret, and the Type 95 Ha-Go. The small size and lack of comprehensive text makes this more of a manual than a book per se. That being said, the photos and accompanying captions make this quite an excellent reference for the SU-76M. There are no chapters and just simple headings when a section changes, but that being said- it is all pretty self explanatory. The first page shows the scale drawing mentioned above...
The next eleven pages show the SU-76 in various wartime settings with photos taken from both German and Soviet perspectives. The majority of the images are taken from the RGAKFD- the Russian State Archive of Movie and Photo Documents. A few of the photos are a bit blurred and washed out due to their age, but as my good friend Chuck has said, some blurry photos are better than no photos at all. There are a few examples of schemes with slogans on them that are explained in the captions. Only one is represented by the one color profile. A few provide some great inspiration for a diorama setting and some show the close quarters that those fighting in these SPGs faced.
Combination unditching beams and spare armor
From there we get twelve pages of walk around type photos. The sections include hull and superstructure detail, gun, road wheel and tracks closeups, interior, and engine and transmission. Each section contains close in photos and technical manual drawings for extra details. The photos here are crisp and clear- and in some cases rather small, with six on one page in most instances.
The next section shows surviving SU-76 examples in museums through Eastern Europe and Asia. This is one section where color photos would have been nicer, but the black and white ones are still clear and much larger here. The very last page is a color profile of L57403 (one of the first black and white photos in the history section). This tank was produced by Plant No. 38 in the town of Kirov, in the spring of 1944. The caption includes color information- basically Soviet 4BO paint with the numbers in white.
This is a perfect thin primer on the SU-76 which covers most of what the modeler would need- history, walk-arounds, details a plenty. My only gripe is I would have loved to have seen more color profiles. There were some very cool examples in the history section and they would have made for neat profiles. While the paint schemes aren't all that complicated- pretty much just straight up 4BO, it would nonetheless be a cool addition to have a selection of profiles to gaze through. That being said, this is a compact, concise series on this important Soviet SPG and I look forward to seeing more in the series.
Highly Recommended for anyone interested in the SU-76M and Soviet armor on the Eastern Front.
Thanks goes out to Casemate Publishing for this review sample.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves
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