Darren Baker takes a look at a new title in the Land Craft book series from Pen and Sword titled “Land Rover Military Versions of the British 4x4”.

The following introduction is as provided by Pen and Sword:

After the Second World War many American military vehicles become surplus stock and soon found their way into the hands of farmers and landowners across Great Britain. The subsequent heavy use and the real possibility of difficulties obtaining spares led Maurice Wilks, the Rover Car Company Chief Engineer, to design and build a replacement. Not only would the new Land Rover fill a gap in Rover’s portfolio, but also bring in much needed post-war money.

Intended as a stop gap, the Land Rover would cease production almost 68 years later, after a production run that had produced over two million vehicles. During that time it would transform how the military saw and used motor transport. From utilitarian General Service truck to cutting-edge weapon’s platform the Land Rover would prove its worth time and again.

This latest Land Craft title looks at the design and development of the Land Rover as well as the military specific variants designed and built, including the famous SAS Pink Panther, the nimble Light Weight and powerful Forward Control gun tractor. The title will also look at those key conversions that took place on standard Land Rovers throughout the duration of its life span.

From the humble beings of the box like Series 1 to the formidable firepower and pace of the WOLF WMIK, the Land Rover was a constantly improved military vehicle. Through numerous trials, lessons learned and operational requirements the Land Rover was a vehicle that grew with the times.

This Land Craft title removes some of the mystique that surrounds the myriad versions and how the Land Rover developed. It also includes the story of the design and development of the exclusively military Light Weight and Forward Control versions. It also charts how the Land Rover became a virtual barometer for the technological and engineering developments that have occurred over the past 70 years.

It demonstrates how the Land Rover’s flexibility to change was its core strength. How the innovation of Rover and military mechanical engineers created a series of unbeatable military trucks.

This section also looks at the smaller, important developments and variations in design which showed how adaptable the Land Rover really was. From specialist signals line layers to first responder fire and rescue vehicles, to the unit-and theatre-led changes, the Land Rover was a vehicle that took all in its stride, proving its versatility.

For the modeler there is nothing more important than the little things and this image-rich section of Land Craft’s Land Rover title delivers the goods. Filled with crisp images, that chart the Land Rovers development, combined with detailed accompanying text, forms an enviable visual guide for the enthusiast and modeler alike.


This offering from Pen and Sword is authored by Ben Skipper; This is the third offering from Ben Skipper in the Land Craft book series.  This is a soft backed book with a good card cover protecting 64 pages of semi gloss paper. The contents of this title are laid out as follows:



Design and Development

Camouflage and Markings

Model Showcase

Modelling Products

The Land Rover in Detail

Land Rover Variants

In Service and in Action


This offering from Pen and Sword looks at the Land Rover Military Versions of the British 4x4. The Land Rover Military Service has performed a great deal of roles and proved itself time and again. For 70years different models and versions have helped the British Military overcome obstacles in their path. The author has done a good job of providing written information on the vehicle and has even given us a look into the back history to the vehicles early beginnings. The book takes us on a tour of a vehicle that has been tuned to every need including a tracked version.

What I think of as the modelling sections of the title starts with the camouflage and markings and this shows a number of Land Rovers from a wide selection of angles and perhaps most importantly from war wagons to life savers. The colours used in these drawing are very good and should please all viewers if they take note of this aspect. The models covered here are basically just builds and while it show a fair amount of added detail it does not explain how to get there, but it does provide a phonograph of the actual vehicle type the model represents The models are as follows:

Defender Perentie -Australian SASR Land Rover Defender Perentie, Afghanistan, Circa 2009 - 1/35thscale - Brian Richardson

Land Rover Series III- Special Air Service, Desert Patrol Vehicle *LRDV) - 1/35th scale, Brian Richardson

Land Rover 109’ LWB -General Service Vehicle, IFOR, Bosnia, 1995-1996 - 1/35th scale -Brian Richardson

Series IIA Field Ambulance, RAMC, 49Brigade, Sennybridge Training Area, Wales, 1995 - 1/35th scale -Ben Skipper

The models and aftermarket offerings are covered quite well here, but I get the impression from his comments about the products that he is being a little too kind about some of them. The aftermarket goodies covered is a big plus as it has been done well. I will add at this point that Accurate Armour have gained a lot of pull for me of late. I will say that the information provided across the modelling section should help to point you in the right direction even if it does not give you all of the answers.


This offering from Pen and Sword as part of their Land Craft book series looking at the Land Rover Military versions of the British 4x4 is a great new addition to the Land Craft series of books, covering a vehicle that has performed so many different roles for the past 70 years means the modeller will have a life time of models to cover. My favourite nit pick with these titles is still present in that cutting the text sections in half with the modelling section tends to throw me off track, but in all other regards its a great introduction to the many Land Rover’s that made it into the British Armed Forces.



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