by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
2016 was an absolutely great year for all AMX-13 French Light Tank fans. Takom released four slightly different 1/35 scale kits of the vehicle: AMX-13/75 (2036), AMX-13/90 (2037), AMX-13/75 SS-11 ATGM (2038) and AMX 13/105 (2062), as well as the AMX-13 Chaffee Turret (2063). Moreover, Tamiya came out with their own 1/35 scale offering: AMX-13 (35349).
With all these models entering the market, a need for detailed references on AMX-13 rapidly grew. Enter Wings & Wheels Publications... One of the latest titles from the company covers the AMX-13 and its variants: AMX-13 Family in Detail (AMX-13 75/90/105 and SS-11 ATGM).
The book arrived safely packed in a hard carboard box, additionally protected by two thin styrofoam sheets. Flipping the pages reveals the standard WWP book format, each page packed with large high quality images showing the vehicle inside and out... a real treat for all those wanting to add some extra details to their models. Here are the basic facts:
Title: AMX-13 Family in Detail (AMX-13 75/90/105 and SS-11 ATGM)
Publisher: Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP)
Authors: Olivier Carneau, Jan Horák and František Kořán
Format: softcover (22x24 cm)
Color: full color
Retail Price: $30 (€24)
The book displays photos of various AMX-13 variants taken in military museums and private collections. Organized in 12 chapters, the book features color coded page edges for easy navigation:
• Introduction (002-017)
• 2A Hull Exterior (018-023)
• 2A Hull Interior (024-025)
• 2B Hull Exterior (026-031)
• 2B Hull Interior (032-035)
• Chassis Details (036-043)
• Early 75mm Turret (044-057)
• 75mm Turret (058-061)
• 90mm Turret (062-069)
• 90mm Turret Interior (070-083)
• Engine Details (084-087)
• Dutch 105mm (088-096)
The first chapter, Introduction, describes the origins of the vehicle, explains the modernization stages and gives some technical details of the AMX-13. The text is accompanied by large walk around photos of different vehicle versions, as well as detailed images of SS-11 ATGM system. The following few chapters cover the details of AMX-13 hull. 2A Hull Exterior shows the particularities of that AMX-13 hull variant, with the 2A Hull Interior displaying the driver's compartment. 2B Hull Exterior comes next, covering the distinct details of that hull variant, while the 2B Hull Interior again shows the driver's compartment. Chassis Details chapter displays 2A and 2B chassis, but also shows 2D hull setup. Road wheels, sprocket, idlers, return rollers and track details... it's all there. The book now turns to covering different AMX-13 turrets, opening with the Early 75mm Turret. This chapter displays Swiss AMX-13 turret details, the differences of the turret exterior to the French vehicles, as well as the turret interior. 75mm Turret chapter follows with rather short depiction of French vehicle turret details. Next up is the 90mm Turret with details of the main gun, smoke dischargers, periscopes, sights and hatches, followed by the extensive coverage of 90mm Turret Interior showing commander's compartment, wireless platform, gunner's compartment, gun breech and ammo automatic loader. Engine Details chapter shows images of the engine block, with several manual drawings as well. The final part of the book displays Dutch 105mm vehicle, as the French Army never adopted the 105mm tanks.
AMX-13 Family in Detail is a very impressive book in just about every possible aspect, from the high-quality paper and clear presentation to the incredible amount of large full color photos showing AMX-13 variants in amazing detail, inside and out. The information about the vehicle is given in a short and concise form; the introduction provides a very interesting read on the origins of the AMX-13, while the brief captions explain various details presented in the photos.
AMX-13 Family in Detail is an amazing reference book. The 96 pages are full of large and clear images, depicting the vehicle exterior and interior in great detail. The accompanying text is kept short and concise, providing explanations of the details shown. Although the book shows AMX-13 vehicles in military museums and private collections, rather than 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.