ShipCraft 25, German Destroyers..
...from Seaforth Publishing
Title: ShipCraft 25, German Destroyers
Author: Robert Brown
Publisher: Seaforth Publishing
With this one, the ShipCraft series from Seaforth Publishing has reached no 25 and another fine addition to the series. These books are aimed fairly and squarely at the modeller though they also provide a good concise history of these ships for the naval historian. The German Destroyers were powerful ships though they had their faults, including some poor sailing characteristics.
The first section looks at the design, split into elements such as Hull & Superstructure, Machinery, Main Armament, Fire Control and more. This then moves on to consider problems with the design, split into very similar elements. It is rounded off with a table listing all the different vessels in each type, along with Launch and Commissioning Dates, Builder and the Fate of the ship. This in turn is followed by 3 pages looking at vessel Z39 in particular detail. Plenty of archive photos show a lot of detail, and one showing Z39 with a full deck load of mines is something of an eye catcher.
,Model Products is the next significant section, filling pages 17-27. This gives an excellent survey of the many kits and accessories which are available, in scales of 1/1250, through to 1/700, 1/360 and even 1/250, along with various accessories, particularly etched brass detailing. There was a lot in there I hadn't been aware of before. This leads quite naturally into a Modelmakers' Showcase, which fills pages 28 through to 45, with a collection of very nicely built models in a mix of manufacturer and scale, from a selection of very able ship modellers. Still with the modeller in mind, pages 46-48, 3 pages of helpful colour profiles which illustrate a mix of camouflage schemes you might like to try. Back to details of the real thing next, with a section on Appearance, which goes through camouflage schemes as well as changes that were made over the years, which will help to identify individual ships in archive photos. The book is finished off with 4 pages of line drawings, showing a side and top view of various individual destroyers and a back page with a list of other useful references.
A fine reference with plenty of inspiration for modellers in particular, and a history reference that is very good value for money.
Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.