HUMVEE, LandCraft 6

...American Multi-Purpose Support Truck, from Pen & Sword

Title: HUMVEE, LandCraft 6
Author: Ben Skipper
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978-1-52678-981-5

The latest in the LandCraft series from Pen & Sword is the third in the series from author Ben Skipper, and it covers the High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle, but popularly known simply as the 'Humvee'. In the 1970s/80s, the US military needed to replace an aging fleet of utility vehicles and they came up with the Humvee which began to enter service around 1985. It was not long after that I recall seeing my first ones, in service with the USAF at RAF Mildenhall, when I was also lucky enough to get to drive one on the base. So easy to drive, no ignition key, just turn the switch on the dash, then automatic gearbox and power steering, a pleasure. In this case we get a 64-page soft-cover book with plenty of detail for vehicle enthusiasts and modellers alike.
Starting with an Introduction to set out the background, then the Design & Development story and closer look at particular details of the vehicles. That leads into a section In Service & In Action and then rounding off the story of the real vehicles, Humvee Variants, as it has proved to be not only popular with a number variants, both armoured and unarmoured, but sold rather well on the export market as well. All of these sections are well illustrated with plenty of photos to support the main text. The second half of the book begins with an 8-page section of fine colour artwork to illustrate Camouflage & Markings, then 12-pages of Modellers Showcase, showing 3 well built examples that include kits by Tamiya, Bronco and Academy, all in 1/35. That leaves the final part of the book devoted to Model Products, which give details of a good variety of full kits, conversions and detailing sets/decals which gives a good idea of the variety of wat is on the market. The bulk though is given over to 1/35 scale models and while there is some coverage of 1/72 it does miss out on the fine small scale kits from Dragon, Revell and more recently, T-Model, which is a sad omission as these feature a fine selection of variants. Despite that though, still a lot in here to keep modellers busy for some time.
The Humvee was a Cold War design, and rather like the British Land Rover (covered by Ben in another of the LandCraft books) it struggled in terms of protection when faced by the challenges of more irregular warfare in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan. That has led to the more recent attention towards Mine Protected Patrol vehicles, but that shouldn't detract from the valuable contribution that the Humvee has made to the US military over many years, and how it offers so much variety for modellers. Another helpful addition to the LandCraft series for modellers especially.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for our review copy.

Robin