by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
Land Rovers have been standard multi-purpose personnel vehicles of the British Army for more than six decades. The Land Rover "Snatch" was first introduced in 1992 to be used in Northern Ireland for patrolling and providing some degree of small arms protection for occupants and a limited level of protection from Improvised Explosive Devices and off-route mines. Officially designated as TUM (Truck Utility Medium) with VPK (Vehicle Protection Kit), the vehicle is more widely known by its informal title - the "Snatch", probably named after snatch troops - soldiers trained to deal with demonstrators by picking out and arresting suspected ringleaders.
(adapted from Wikipedia)
This review covers one of the latest books from Wings & Wheels Publications: Up-armoured Landies in Detail. As with all WWP offerings I have in my collection, the book feels very professional at first glance: printed on high-quality paper, well-structured and presented, and jam-packed with large full color photos. Here are the basics:
Title: Up-armoured Landies in Detail (Snatches of British Private Collections)
Publisher: Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP)
Authors: Aleš Kautský, František Kořán
Format: softcover (22x24 cm)
Color: full color
Retail Price: $33 (€24)
The book consists of 84 pages and displays vehicles from private collections photographed during The War and Peace show, the world's largest military vehicle and militaria collectors fair. The book is organized in 4 chapters:
• History and Development (002-003)
• V8 Petrol Snatches (004-061)
• Diesel Snatches (062-081)
• Sankey Trailer (082-084)
The first chapter, history and development, gives short info on the Snatch by explaining its origins, adding some technical details and designating different vehicle variants. The photo reference manual starts with the V8 Petrol Snatches, a chapter spanning over 58 pages and showing the "original" Snatch-1 equipped with the Rover V8 petrol engine (some of these vehicles were desertised and reclassified as Snatch-1.5). This section displays the complete exterior of the vehicle... bonnet details, windscreen grille, different wheel rim details, front door windows, barracuda camouflage netting, air conditioner details, snorkel details, rear double door with small windows and heavy-duty rear step, roof details, the searchlight and different antenna mounts, and roof top hatch. Several pages full of very detailed photos of V8 3.5l petrol engine are included in this section as well. Early V8 walkaround comes next denoting its exterior peculiarities regarding the later vehicle types. This section also shows early cab interior in detail, both front and rear. Late V8 walkaround follows, again specifying the exterior and interior details. Next up is a 20-page long chapter with Diesel Snatches, upgraded Snatch-2 variants retrofitted with the 300Tdi engine. The walkaround section shows the many differences to early Snatch versions, while the 300Tdi engine section displays one of the greatest 4x4 truck engines ever built. Interior details are shown as well, a completely different front and rear cab to early Snatch variants. The last chapter shows FV2381 Sankey Trailer, a cargo 3/4 ton trailer, standard Land Rover cargo trailer.
Having several different Land Rover models in my stash, I have to admit I'm always looking forward to getting another reference title on this versatile vehicle. Up-armoured Landies from WWP is a great book, featuring over 160 high-resolution, large color photos showing almost every aspect of the Land Rover Snatch and its several variants in detail, inside and out. Although the title deals with Snatches in private collections, rather than "real" vehicles from Northern Ireland or Middle Eastern theaters of operations, I feel it is still an amazing photo book for building and finishing Land Rover models. In fact, some of the vehicles displayed in the book are still unaltered from their "Army days", nicely showing wear and tear. The information supplied on the Snatch is kept short and concise; the intro gives interesting details on the origins of the vehicle and series of its modifications, while the brief captions provide a very informative read, explaining various details presented in the photos.
I remember how impressed I was when I got my first WWP book... It was an absolutely amazing photo reference book featuring tons of high-resolution images and providing everything a most dedicated rivet counter needs to superdetail his model. Now, with over 10 WWP titles in my collection, I know I found my favorite publisher.
Up-armoured Landies (G038) is an exceptional photo book for anyone interested in Land Rover Snatch. With over 160 color detail and full page photos of the highest quality possible, showing detailed views of various different Snatch versions inside and out, it is a perfect reference for all those modeling this particular Land Rover variant.