by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
In January 1946, the British Army issued a requirement for a new armored car as a replacement for the Daimler Mk II and AEC Mk III armored cars developed during the WWII. Design work on this new vehicle, called the FV601, began with a contract awarded to Alvis Ltd for building vehicle prototype. After a lengthy development period, the type entered British service in 1958, officially known as the FV601 Armoured Car 76 mm Gun (Alvis Saladin Mk.2 6x6). The production continued until 1972 by which time 1.177 vehicles had been built. The Saladin was succeeded in the British Army by the Alvis Scorpion CVR(t).
After an old Tamiya plastic kit and full resin offerings from Accurate Armour which are very hard to find nowadays, Dragon Models released a new model of Saladin Mk.2 under their 1/35 scale Black Label in 2015. However, the kit left a lot to be desired and many modelers turned to finding good references on Saladin in order to add missing detail to their models… Enter Wings & Wheels Publications and their latest photo reference manual: Saladin Mk.2 in Detail.
Title: Saladin Mk.2 in Detail
Publisher: Wings & Wheels Publications
Authors: František Kořán, Kevin Brovne, Jan Moštěk
Format: softcover (22x24 cm)
Color: full color
Retail Price: $25 (€20)
The book displays vehicles from private collections photographed at War & Peace Show, the world's largest military vehicle fair, and in Belgian Royal Army and Military History Museum. At the first glance, the book is very impressive; it is printed on a high-quality paper with large color photos showing the most intricate details of the subject. Consisting of 188 color photos, with captions providing info on various details presented in the photos, the book is organized in 5 chapters:
• History (002-008)
• Walk Around (009-031)
• Engine Details (032-037)
• Turret Walk Around (038-049)
• Interior Details (050-060)
An introductory chapter of the book is, as with all WWP titles, dedicated to History of the subject. The text provides an interesting read on the origins of Saladin and its use in armed conflicts around the world. The book continues with the Walk Around chapter, a detailed photo reference presenting Saladin exterior: front hull with headlights and driver's hatch, right and left side stowage boxes, and rear hull with exhaust. The photos of suspension follow, including details of front, center and rear axle, as well as photos of the Dunlop tires. The engine hatches are also shown and these provide a great link to the next chapter, Engine Details. This chapter is not very long but still gives a nice overview of the Rolls Royce B80 Mk.6A 8-cylinder 170hp petrol engine. The walk around continues with the Turret Walk Around chapter. It displays Saladin turret exterior details: the barrel and the mantlet, smoke grenade dischargers (both British and German type), turret basket, roof hatches and sights. The last chapter covers Interior Details and it provides a really good reference on the driver's compartment, turret interior with 76mm gun breech and roof interior.
Saladin Mk.2 in Detail from WWP is not a big book, but its pages are full of large color photos providing an excellent reference on the vehicle. I particularly like the combination of walk around photos showing the general features of the Saladin with the detailed images of both exterior and interior. Although the book shows Saladin Mk.2s in private collections and military museums, rather than "real" vehicles from different theaters of operations, I still feel it is an amazing photo reference which should be very welcomed by modelers and vehicle enthusiasts alike.