KUNSTOFFE: A Collector’s Guide to German World War II Plastics and Their Markings, by W. Darrin Weaver

KUNSTOFFE: A Collector’s Guide to German World War II Plastics and Their Markings, by W. Darrin Weaver (ISBN      9780764329234,  Schiffer Publishing, 4880 Lower Valley Rd., Atglen, PA  19310, phone (610) 593-1777; Web site: www.schifferbooks.com. Hardcover, 6” x 9”, 176 pages, 150-plus images, 2008, $39.95).
   
    Until now, collectors have collectively referred to brown German plastic material as “Bakelite,” not knowing the background or diversity of plastic products utilized by the Wehrmacht. Kunstoffe… is the first comprehensive and easy-to-use reference since World War II covering prominent German wartime  polymer plastics manufacturers and products. Aiming squarely at World War II German militaria, ordnance, and small arms collectors, the author provides a concise account of the constituents and manufacturing processes, markings, codes, trademarks and material identification techniques of wartime Kunststoff products.
   
    The author does not make the attempt to exhaustively catalog all Kunstoff items, but instead discusses the manufacturing process, illustrates the variety of company logos and discusses a variety of common wartime-produced items with an emphasis of items produced specifically for the German military. Collectors will find author Weaver’s appendicies the most useful aspect of the volume. No fewer than eight detail manufacturerer trademarks and logos, company initials and a comprehensive listing of known Kunstoffe manufacturers with the various designation codes used by each.
   
    Kunstoffe: A Collector’s Guide is well written and production values are very good. The photography is bright, clear and consistent. Affordably priced, this will be one of those books collector will want to buy and keep ready for the day when he or she picks up a piece of WWII German “Bakelite.”—John Adams-Graf

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