Modelers come in various shapes and sizes... some like to build their models out of the box, while some prefer to do research on the vehicles they are interested in, collecting reference images and technical manuals to upgrade their models with additional details the kit manufacturers might have simplified or completely missed. The idea behind the process is to get the model as close to the real vehicle as possible.
Wings & Wheels Publications has a huge portfolio of photo reference manuals for modelers, covering everything from military tracked and wheeled vehicles to airplanes and helicopters. This review covers one of WWP's latest titles: BTR-152 in Detail (R089).
I got the book at a modeling show directly from the WWP booth. Flipping the pages, I was very impressed… printed on high-quality paper and jam-packed with large and clear images, I immediately realized this is an essential reference publication for all those interested in BTR-152 and its variants.
Here are the facts:
- Title: BTR-152 in Detail – BTR-152, 152V1, 152K1, 152U and Other
- Publisher: Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP)
- Code: R089
- Author: František Kořán
- Format: softcover (22x24 cm)
- Pages: 120
- Color: full color
- Language: English
- ISBN: 978-80-87509-75-3
- Retail Price: $39 (€31)
The book covers BTR-152 and several variants of the vehicle, most photographed in military museums. With over 400 images and technical drawings, the book extensively displays every aspect of the subject inside and out. The book is organized in 10 chapters, color coded on page edges for easy navigation:
- Introduction (002-007)
- Early BTR-152 (008-039)
- Early BTR-152V/V1 (040-041)
- BTR-152V/V1 (042-047)
- Lebanese BTR-152V/V1 (048-049)
- BTR-152K/K1 (050-080)
- BTR-152U (081-099)
- IDF BTR-152 Wrecker (100-105)
- Engine Details (106-111)
- Late BTR-152 Chassis (112-120)
As with all WWP titles, this one starts with an Introduction, which provides short info on the history and development of the vehicle. Although brief, this section delivers a very interesting read. Early BTR-152 chapter deals with the first series of the BTR-152. The 30 pages show all the characteristic features of the early vehicle, not just its exterior but interior as well, with the captions providing all the essential supporting information. A very short, 2-page chapter on Early BTR-152V/V1 displays the vehicle with early tire pressure regulation system, similar to that used on US DUKV amphibious trucks. Next up is the BTR-152V/V1 chapter, dealing with several vehicles featuring a mix of early and mid-series BTR-152s, as well as several IDF captured vehicles, including the popular IDF anti-aircraft BTR-152V1. The following 2 pages cover Lebanese BTR-152V/V1, showing war-time photos from Beirut. BTR-152K/K1 chapter deals with the closed body variant that entered service in 1957 (K variant without central control tire pressure) and 1959 (K1 variant with pressure control). Again, a 30 page long chapter delves into amazing detail, showing the exterior and interior of the vehicle... a perfect reference for anyone building the Trumpeter 1/35 scale model. The peculiar looking command post vehicle, the BTR-152U, comes next. This specialized vehicle features heightened roof and shelter body, as well as a completely redesigned interior with radio equipment and a coal stove (?). IDF BTR-152 Wrecker is devoted to a popular wrecker based on BTR-152V, showing a vehicle painted in SLA color scheme. The chapter on Engine Details shows the engine hatches and the engine compartment with early and late engine, while the Late BTR-152 Chassis displays details characteristic of mid and late vehicles, noting the differences to early vehicle chassis.
Altogether, I was really impressed with the book… the number of images, the exceptional quality of photos, but also the amount of information provided in the captions… if you are interested in post-war Soviet-era military vehicles, this is a book I can wholeheartedly recommend.
BTR-152 in Detail (R089) from WWP is a photo manual for modelers, delivering high-quality images of the subject. Extensive coverage of both the exterior and interior of several BTR-152 vehicle variants, well supplemented with informative captions, provides a first-class reference material essential to anyone building the scale model.