Developed shortly after World War II and based on the GAZ-63 utility vehicle, the BTR-40 was a lightweight, four-wheeled armored vehicle and one of the first mass produced armored personnel carriers. While not a total success with the Red Army, the BTR-40 went on to see extensive service in the hands of Soviet-allied nations and satellite states.
As for modeling, there is a single option for those interested in building a BTR-40 in 1/35 scale: Trumpeter. The kit, released back in 2011, is in dire need of upgrading and, although there are some aftermarket options which could help, the quality references are a must. Luckily, WWP recently published a photo reference manual for modelers for all those wanting to add extra details to their models: BTR-40 in Detail.
The book follows the standard WWP layout. Here are the basics:
Title: BTR-40in Detail, Soviet and IDF BTR-40 Variants
Publisher: Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP)
Authors: Jan Willem de Boer, Chris Hughes, František Kořán
Format: softcover (22x24 cm)
Color: full color
Retail Price: $30 (€24)
Printed on high-quality paper, the book consists of 60 pages and features over 220 photos of BTR-40 photographed in military museums and private collections. The book is organized in three chapters:
• History (002-003)
• IDF BTR-40 (004-041)
• Soviet BTR-40 (042-060)
The first, very short chapter is dedicated to History of the BTR-40, covering the development of the vehicle and its use. The next chapter shows IDF BTR-40 vehicles. Interestingly, Israel became one of the biggest users of BTR-40 after the victorious 6-day war in 1967. The vehicles were both used in the IDF and in the border police, first in their original state, later modified. The photos cover several ex-Israeli vehicles, both exterior and interior, specifically addressing the modifications made by the IDF. Of specific interest is the wireless equipment and US WWII produced Dodge T-214 engine. Soviet BTR-40 chapter follows, showing the original Soviet vehicle with a few modifications for Eastern Germany army. Again, both the vehicle exterior and interior are covered in great detail. GaZ-40 engine and winch drum are also shown.
This book is designated as a "photo manual for modelers", and it really provides a great resource for all those interested in modeling the Trumpeter's 1/35 scale kit. The kit craves for some super-detailing and, with over 220 photos, this book is designed for this particular task. The images are large and clear, showing all the details of the vehicle, inside and out. Most of the details are depicted from different angles to display the vehicle as best as possible. The information supplied on the BTR-40 is kept short and concise; the intro gives interesting details on the origins of the vehicle, while the brief captions provide a very informative read, explaining various details presented in the photos.
It really is a no-brainer... If you are modeling the BTR-40, this is the reference photo book you need for going an extra mile with the kit. The book covers the vehicle in great detail, featuring incredible amount of large full color photos of the vehicle, with the text kept to a minimum, but still providing a very interesting read.