The M7 Priest is a splendid subject for military modellers. If you’re planning to build this vehicle, plenty of visual cues can be found throughout Pen & Sword’s book in its Images of War series.
The main 1/35 kits of the M7 Priest, by Italeri, Dragon and Academy, offer varying degrees of quality and accuracy, and the same can be said for the 1/72 and 1/76 iterations of this fascinating and characterful World War Two tracked howitzer.
Regardless of the kit or scale, a good reference book always helps to ensure authentic builds. If you have Priest projects on the cards, then it would be wise to invest in Pen & Sword’s Images of War softback, M7 Priest Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives.
With the imagery collated and text written by respected long-time author David Doyle, this 143-page work offers myriad photos, mostly in black and white but also a handful in colour. Initial narrative explains the genesis of the Priest, from the T32 prototypes and how they were transformed into the M7, to the improvements made throughout its career.
However, this section is brief and makes way quickly for the splendid array of captioned photos, which are a boon for modellers. Almost every facet of the M7 is shown here, both from the outside and in the fighting compartment, meaning you can match the nuances of the real machines on whichever kit you are tackling. About the only area not shown is the powerplant bay and engine itself, which would have been welcome.
The Field Use chapter is special for its examination of the Priest on operations. Picture the vehicle wading through surf to negotiate a beach, lumbering along a claustrophobic Sicilian street and speeding along a more open country road on the same island, jam-packed with stowage. Also notable are the images of British/Commonwealth Priests in North Africa, wearing desert camouflage with lateral demarcations.
US vehicles in the so-called Battle of the Bulge appear too, as well as machines employed throughout southern Europe, the Pacific Theatre and even those fighting in the Korean War. There is a huge amount of inspiration here for modellers considering stowage and crew positions, as well as the surrounding terrain and natural features, and other equipment, for dioramas/vignettes. The period content is supported by useful images of restored examples, which provide clear studies of exterior/interior features. At just £14.99, the book represents excellent value and offers plenty for modellers in detail terms. It’s available direct from www.pen-and-sword.co.uk and various book retailers.
Images of War
Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives
By: David Doyle
Format: 247 x 192mm