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Camouflage & Markings

Green • 2009
AuthorsMariusz Filipiuk, Przemysław Skulski
IllustratorMariusz Filipiuk
Release date2009-01-15
Cat. No.4105
CategorySold Out CategoryWyprzedana
FormatA4, 80 pages (80 in colour)
Price0.00 PLN Price0.00 GBP
The T-34 was possibly the best medium tank of WW2, and was a major influence on all subsequent tank designs. It served in huge numbers with the Soviet Army and its allies, and was also used by their enemies! This book describes the colours and markings applied to the T-34/76 in service with all major users, including unit and tactical markings, individual names and insignia, and air recognition features. Profusely illustrated with photos and colour profiles, this is essential reading for armour enthusiasts and modellers.
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  • www.amps-armor.org • 2010-02-01

    Reviewed By: Danny Egan


    This book is one of MMP’s "Green Series" of references. The subject is camouflage and markings for T-34s in the Red Army, Polish forces, and other users. It features a brief history of the T-34 (76mm models only), numerous photos and paintings, and brief text. It is a very useful book; we have many technical histories of the T-34 but few guides to camouflage and markings, especially for some of the smaller or less-well-known users.


    The book is roughly a Concord-sized, paper covered book with 80 pages. The text is mostly presented in short sections of a few pages each. Most of the content is the photos and color paintings. The paper, photo reproduction and illustrations are generally very good quality.

    Summary The book opens with a brief intro into the history of the T-34’s development. Although this section is quite thorough and generally (not completely) accurate, I was puzzled why it was included since the technical development history has little to do with camouflage or markings. The one aspect of technology that might have a major influence on markings – the provision of radios or lack thereof – is not even touched upon. The book has almost no information on the organization of Red Army tank units, which after all is what drives any system of markings. It would have been nice to see a chapter on that, particularly since Red Army tank unit organization changed several times during the war.

    There is some very useful information on colors and on the Red Army’s camouflage painting system in general, not limited to T-34s. Here the authors freely admit it is difficult to pin down exact paint colors (as opposed to written specifications for the shade) seventy years later. It was refreshing to read an open acknowledgement that colors cannot be determined from black-and-white photos. I have shelves full of books from authors who simply assert paint colors interpreted from black-and-white photos with no basis at all. Here the authors take some guesses but admit that they are guesses – they don’t claim to *know*.

    The collection of black-and-white photos includes 43 tanks in Red Army service, 2 in Czechoslovakian service, 3 Finnish, 9 German (WW2), 4 Yugoslavian (WW2), 9 Polish LWP, 3 DDR (East Germany, postwar), 1 Hungarian, 3 Italian, and several unknown. Of the 70 or so wartime photos, roughly 30 were new to me. A few are a bit doubtful in the sense that they do not unambiguously show T-34s in, say, German or Italian service. They show German or Italian troops with tanks that may have just been abandoned or knocked out. It is hard to tell with some of the photos. Most of the photos, however, are very useful.

    The accompanying text describes some general conclusions that can be drawn about the markings. There is a chapter each on Soviet, Polish, Czech, German, Finnish, Hungarian, Yugoslavian and Italian usage. The photo count (above) may help give some sense of how long each chapter is. It should not be surprising that non-Soviet T-34 usage among German and Polish forces gets the majority of space since these were the biggest non-Soviet users. Finnish usage is very well documented. Other users are less well-documented either because they had very few tanks or records were not kept or did not survive.

    Each of the national chapters has some brief history and then a description of the markings used. Quality varies quite a bit, with the Polish and Finnish sections probably the best-researched and the Italian one the worst. I don’t think this is the authors’ fault, it simply reflects the amount of information available. The coverage of Polish markings is very detailed, and I almost got the sense that the authors started with the intention of producing a book on Polish markings and instead expanded it to cover all the other users. If you are into Polish LWP T-34s this book might be worth it just for this detailed information. The single photo of the Hungarian T-34 would make an attractive model with its three-color cammo and striped red-green-and-white Hungarian national markings. There are three tanks shown in the Italian section, but frankly only one is unambiguously in Italian service. The other two may be wrecks. It is tough to tell. The Yugoslav section’s information was all new to me and quite interesting.

    One of the better sections of the book covers air recognition markings. The Red Army had a system of air ID markings as early as the mid-1930s, and this book does a good job showing some of the variations used, with the time and places generally cited as well.

    A final chapter shows about 30 photos of tanks preserved in museums, including a few interior shots. Frankly these were not very helpful since they are not in their original paint.

    How was it? I enjoyed the book. It is generally well written and well organized. I didn’t spot any really egregious errors. The production quality is good. Some of the text is very reminiscent of Steve Zaloga’s older books on Soviet markings. My main criticism is that the book includes two chapters that are simply not very useful – one on the technical development history, and one with a collection of modern museum photos. Since museum vehicles are almost always repainted and frequently re-equipped with historically inappropriate features, I can’t see how their photos contribute to the book’s purpose. I would have preferred a chapter on unit organization for each Army. This would have been far more useful in interpreting the markings.

    The photo reproduction is quite good and perhaps one-third of the photos are new in this book. The color paintings are well done. Some are of turrets only, which is sufficient to show the markings but which could have been improved by showing the hull features associated with the turrets. There is some attempt at describing the hull features, but a photo of each would have work a lot better. Now that factory variations in T-34 production are becoming well-known, hull photos are essential for modelers.

    One small nitpick is the usage of the term "T-34/76". This is a German designation not used by the USSR. In the Red Army, the 76mm-armed T-34 was simply known as a "T-34", while 85mm-armed variants were designated as "T-34-85".


    I would recommend this book to two audiences: first, to those who have few or no good references on T-34 paint and markings. It is a very useful, lightweight guide to the basics. Second, to anyone who wants to build a non-Soviet T-34, this is a very helpful guide, especially (but not solely) for Polish tanks.

    For some of us older modelers who have several references on Red Army markings already, this book may not be a great addition to an existing library.

    It breaks little new ground; the sections on air ID markings and Yugoslavian markings are new, but much of the rest is available in older, out-of-print publications. The utility of this book really depends on how much you already know about the subject.

    Bottom line? This is a very good first book on T-34 markings and especially on small-army T-34 markings.

  • Cybermodeler.com • 2010-02-01
    By Ray Mehlberger Mushroom Model Publications is a book company based in Redbourn, Herts, UK. They are in partnership with Stratus based in Sandomierz, Poland, where their books are printed in the English language. The majority of the books they have produced, so far, have been on various aircraft. However, a few have started to appear on armor subjects. This new book is one of them. The book is in 11 5/8” x 8 ¼” page format in soft-cover. It is 80 pages long. The cover art is an enlarged copy of the black and white photo shown on page 61 inside the book. The T-34 has been “colorized”. The scene shows a T-34 from the 1st Tank Regiment, during a march past for the oath taking of 1st Infantry Division i/n Tadeusz Kosciuszko, Sielce on Oka, 15th July 1943. The tank is olive green overall, with a white eagle (minus a crown) on the turret. The rear cover of the book has 3 repeats of color profiles inside the book. This latest Green Series book from Mushroom Model Publications (MMP) covers the colors and markings applied to the T-34/76 tank, the early version of what has been widely considered to be the best medium tank of WW2. It was a major influence on all subsequent tank designs. It served in huge numbers, with 35,000 being produced. Camouflage colors and schemes, unit, tactical and individual markings are described and illustrated, both for the Red Army and the many other operators of this tank. These operators range from Soviet allies, both during and after the war, to the German and other enemy armies (such as Finland, Italy, and pro-German Russian units). There are 26 side profile illustrations, 4 two-views (showing tops and sides), 5 two-views (showing sides and rears), 1 front view only, 14 illustrations of national marks and emblems, 1 side view of a Yugoslavian turret, 2 three-views (showing front, top and sides), tactical markings shown on turrets as side views (11 of these), 3 as two-views (showing side and rear of turret, 1 as a two-view (showing top and sides), 2 showing rear of turret only and 1 two-view showing the side and front of turret. Also, illustrated are individual names and air recognition marks. The book also contains 77 black and white, mostly wartime photos. There are 4 color walk-around photos of a T-34 in the Munster Museum, 1 color shot of one in a museum near Moscow, 3 color shots of one in the Poznan Citadel Museum, 2 at Lesany near Prague, 1 in Victory Park, Poklanna Gora in Moscow, 1 in Kubinka Museum and 4 in Drzonow Museum. Finally, there are 14 color walk-around photos of a T-34 in the Poznan Museum. There is one information chart in the book that shows the production totals for various factories that built the T-34’s. Many of the photos in the book have not previously been published. The walk-around shots include both interior and exterior shots. The book will be an invaluable reference source for military enthusiasts and scale modelers alike. Highly recommended.

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