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Book Review of

“M26 Dragon Wagon Walk Around"

Review By Patrick Keenan - Editor

Basic Item Information

Title

M26 Dragon Wagon Car Walk Around (#27025)

Author, Editor and/or Illustrator

By David Doyle

Illustrations by Don Greer

Publisher

Squadron/Signal Publications

ISBN/Stock Number

ISBN 978-0-89747-645-4

Subject

WWII Era/Post War US Tank Transporter

Media

Soft Cover Book (Also Available in Hard Cover)

Number of Pages

80

Number/Type of Photos and/or Illustrations

(226) Color Photographs, (16) Black/White Photos and (2) Color Illustrations (Front & Back Covers).

Text Language

English

Retail Price

$18.95 USD

Reviewer

Patrick Keenan

Review Date

January 5, 2012

Review Summary*

Review Type

Full Read

Basic Positive Features

Large number of high quality color detail photos of the two types of tractors and three types of semi-trailers known as the “Dragon Wagon”.  A great value for the money.

Basic Negative Features

None Noted.

Recommendation

A "Must Have"

* For information regarding the review terms, grading scale, etc. please go to the WarWheels Review FAQ/Key

Photos

         

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Detailed Review

Book Content

This review is of one of the latest reference offerings by Squadron/Signal Productions in their Walk Around Series.  It is called “M26 Dragon Wagon” and it is written by noted military vehicle author David Doyle.  If you’re not familiar with the Walk Around Series of books, these books focus on providing photos of specific vehicles and they are chock full of fine detail photographs that are useful for both modelers and hard-core military vehicle enthusiasts.

Although the book’s title indicates it is about the "M26" (which is technically ONLY the armored tractor), it actually covers all the equipment that makes up what is collectively referred to as the M25 40-ton Tank Transporter Truck Trailer “system”.  Confusion can lie in the fact that in many instances, the M25 tractor/trailer combination is also referred to as the “M26 Dragon Wagon”. But, this book not only focuses on the armored M26 Tractor, but it covers the non-armored “soft-cab” M26A1 Tractor, M15 Tank Recovery Semi-Trailer, M15A1 Trailer and M15A2 Trailer (a post-war improved model) as well. Now, on to the review.

Photograph and/or Illustration Quality and Selection

Squadron/Signal is known throughout the modeling hobby world for the quality and quantity of photographs they provide in their books, specifically in their “Walk Around Series”.  This latest selection is no exception.  Squadron and Mr. Doyle provide 242 photos and 2 illustrations on 80 pages; 226 of those images are in color.  Although there are a few period photos of “in action” vehicles, most of the photos provided are of preserved vehicles.

Even with that large quantity of photos provided, most of them are of sizes that are actually usable.  Sometimes when publishers include a lot of photos in a book, many are unusable as a modeling reference as they are too small to identify many of the specific details.  Squadron has balanced this aspect well.  The quality of the photographs is as usual with Squadron products, outstanding.  The images are of high quality, clear and in vibrant color.  Small details can be readily identified when viewing most of the pictures. 

Also, the selection of photographs provided by Mr. Doyle is exceptional in quantity and variation.  This might be the best feature of this book as it not only contains a decent number of overall shots of each vehicle, but you get tons of fine detail pics of each variant of tractor and trailer covered.

The two (2) color illustrations by Don Greer are located on the front and back covers of the book. They are quite interesting and attractive and show the Dragon Wagon doing what it does best, dragging tanks.

Use as Reference

This book is an exceptional reference for modelers and vehicle enthusiasts as well.  It is a great value for the money considering the relatively low retail price of around $19 USD when taking into account the large number of high quality color photographs provided.  Basic information is provided on the two tractor variants and the three types of semi-trailers, but if you are looking for the end all “tome” on these vehicles, this isn’t the book you want. However, if you are purchasing this book it is probably for the photos.  As I’ve said before in this review, the photographs are what make this book well worth purchasing. 

Editing of Information/ Text Flow

The text flow (e.g. the writing ability of the author) and editing of the information provided is excellent even though there is not a ton of text information. I am not saying there is not enough information in the book to be useful as it more than sufficiently describes and explains the photos in the book.  After all, the photos are the main point of this book. I also found the book easy to read and informative. Lastly, it provides enough basic information so that we can easily identify and differentiate between the different tractors and semi-trailers fielded.

Quality of Print Medium

This soft cover book is “typical” of Squadron/Signal Publication’s format.  If you’ve seen one Squadron book, you’ve seen them all.  Assuming you haven’t ever seen a Squadron book, they come in an 8 ½”x 11” landscape format and the soft cover media is of a decent quality.  The construction of the book facilitates fairly frequent use/reading of the book, but not overt abuse.  Obviously, all soft cover books suffer from the fact that they don’t hold up as well as hard cover books.

Conclusion

Once again, Squadron/Signal scores a touchdown with this latest offering on the M26 Dragon Wagon tank transporter.  The massive number of photos provided in the book is of the usual high quality we’ve come to expect from both the publisher and Mr. Doyle.  Also, throw in the fact that you get a lot for your money in this book, it is a great value.

Recommendation:  “A Must Have”

Thanks to David Doyle for the Review Sample.

 

Copyright: Patrick Keenan - January 5, 2012