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Book Review
FENNEK
The Fennek Reconnaissance Vehicle in Modern German Army Service
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]

Introduction

As the German Bundeswehr reconnaissance troops' Luchs reconnaissance vehicle became obsolete it was high time to develop and procure a completely new armoured wheeled reconnaissance vehicle. Delivery of the first Fennek Reconnaissance Vehicle to the Bundeswehr at the German Armour School in Munster on 10 December 2003 can therefore be viewed as a milestone in the procurement of equipment for the Aufklärungstruppe. The first-production-lot vehicles included 178 Reconnaissance Vehicles as well as 24 Engineer Command and Reconnaissance Vehicles. An additional 4 Fennek Artillery Observer Vehicles were ordered as an urgent operational requirement, but later rebuilt. In parallel, the artillery developed two more Joint Fire Support Team (JFST) Fennek versions, of which 20 examples were fielded. Altogether, the Bundeswehr procured 226 Fenneks, some of which have since been destroyed during operations. This publication comprehensively describes the development and technology of the Fennek in all its variants.
The above introduction was written by Tankograd Publishing

Review

This book from Tankograd Publishing is broken down into a number of sections covering variants and aspects of the Fennek. This book follows the usual Tankograd Publishing layout in a book of this type and is a duel language book. The book has German text down the left hand side of the page and English down the ride hand side. Here is how the book is laid out.

Introduction
  • Fennek Reconnaissance Vehicle
  • Reconnaissance Fennek Chassis
  • Reconnaissance Fennek Hull
  • Reconnaissance Fennek Weapons Station
  • Reconnaissance Fennek BAA
  • Reconnaissance Fennek Fighting Compartment
  • Reconnaissance Fennek Engine
  • Reconnaissance Fennek Bow Protector
  • Fennek 1A2
  • Reconnaissance Fennek in Afghanistan
  • Reconnaissance Fennek Miniature Aerial Vehicle Aladin
  • Reconnaissance Fennek Ground Sensor Equipment
  • Deployment of the Reconnaissance Fennek
  • Fennek Artillery Observer Vehicle
  • Fennek Joint Fire Support Team (JSTF)
  • Fennek Engineer Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle
  • Fennek F2

Text
As mentioned earlier this is a duel language book and unusually in my observation the text is spread throughout the book. The text covers fifteen pages which are more than I am accustomed to in this book type; however the information provided is well worth the read. The text starts by talking about how the Fennek came about and where it was to fit between the vehicles already in service, and the defined role it was to perform. This is followed by fairly detailed information on the Fennek, covering everything from the guts of the vehicle, the weapons systems, the interior, and even looks at the Aladin MAV. Something odd I noticed is that I wear glasses specifically to read and I struggled to read the text in the book with my usual glasses, I cannot explain why this was the case but I had to switch to the glasses I use when doing fine work on a model. I do not know if this is an issue that will affect other readers, and I cannot work out if it is due to font, text size, or spacing; I gave the book to my wife who also struggled to read the book with her normal glasses. As such this may be an issue for many who wear glasses to read.

Pictures
There are 144 full colour pictures in this book covering every aspect the Fennek, the detail shots of areas such as the suspension would be difficult if not impossible for most people to get of locate online. If the Fennek is a vehicle that appeals to you as a modeller this book does appear to me at least to provide all of the detail you might need.

Taking a quick look at the book section by section you start with the introduction which takes a quick look at the military requirement that the Fennek was designed to meet and briefly covers the trials it was put through prior to adoption. The text covers two pages and is accompanied by nine pictures of the Fennek; some of these pictures are of the proto-type vehicles. The next section looks at the reconnaissance rile the Fennek was brought in to perform and replacing the Spahpanzer 8x8 Luchs which was obsolete. This section starts with 4 and a half pages of text which looks into many facets of the Fennek both inside and out. This section has 22 reasonably sized pictures of the Fennek from a good number of angles and settings.
There are four pictures of the suspension of the Fennek in the next section, this is titled as the chassis which to my mind is not an accurate description. Two of the pictures do show excellent detail of the wheels fitted to the Fennek. This is followed by 9 detail pictures of various areas of the hull which provides good detail of the vehicle. This is followed by 5 pictures of the weapons station which will be a great help to the detail modellers in the hobby. This section is followed by three short sections that look at the BAA, fighting compartment, and engine. While there are not many pictures you do get a fair look at the fold away telescopic observation device and a nice series of pictures showing the interior of the vehicle. There are a couple of pictures of the engine viewed through the hatch, these pictures may satisfy some but will not I suspect meet the needs of the super detailing modellers.

The next two sections start by looking at the bow protector on the vehicle, with I believe the best picture being one of the bow protector attached to the bottom of the vehicle and then folded down; I feel this provides detail that would be next to impossible to get for most. This is followed by a short walk around of the Fennek 1A2 with some great pictures. The book then looks at the Fennek in Afghanistan which provides some good images for the diorama maker and which could be used for vehicle settings other than just the Fennek. The miniature aerial vehicle Aladin is covered briefly next via a page of text and 3 pictures;2 of the Aladin aircraft can be carried in the Fennek and operated from the vehicle. The ground sensor equipment also gets a short half page of text and a single picture; this could allow for some accurate and unusual diorama settings showing the Fennek under cover while monitoring passing traffic.

The next section is a page of text listed as deployment of the reconnaissance Fennek and which has no pictures; this basically just covers how the vehicles are manned. The next section looks at the Artillery observation variant of the vehicle and starts with a single page of text and supported by 8 pictures. JSFT is the next section covered and is started with a couple pages of text and 30 pictures. The pictures in this section are possibly the best for the super detailers as they provide an overview and also excellent detail shots of areas such as the aerials, various areas of the vehicle, and some excellent interior pictures. This section is followed by the engineer command and reconnaissance vehicle which again starts with a couple of pages of text and is followed by 12 pictures. The most useful of these pictures will again I believe be the interior shots. The book comes to a close with a couple of pictures and a page of text covering the Fennek F2, it is mentioned that there is no decision yet as to whether the F2 will go beyond a prototype vehicle.

Conclusion

The Fennek is a vehicle I had very little knowledge of until reading and reviewing this book; I have to say this vehicle will make for an attractive model that provides a good number of display options. This book will allow for some to produce models with excellent details, and despite only knowing of a 1/72nd scale offering so far I have to believe that a 1/35th scale version can’t be far away. All in all I feel this is an excellent reference title to add to your library at a very reasonable € 14.95.
SUMMARY
Highs: For me the pictures are the star of show covering most areas of the vehicle and including pictures that would be hard to find elsewhere.
Lows: The only low I can come up with is that I would have liked to see a picture of the engine; however I also accept that the area viewable is small.
Verdict: If there is a Fennek in your future snap up a copy of this book.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: Nr. 5043
  Suggested Retail: € 14.95
  PUBLISHED: Jul 07, 2013
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.04%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.19%

Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2019 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.



   

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