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Russian Armoured Cars 1930-2000

John Prigent

RUSSIAN ARMORED CARS 1930-2000, by James Kinnear, published by Darlington   Productions, Inc., ISBN 1-892848-05-8, 336 pages, over 560 photos and   drawings plus some 1/35 plans, US$48.95.

Wow!  If you're frustrated by peering at small or fuzzy photos in earlier  books when trying to check details, or just overall accuracy, for a  Soviet/Russian armoured car model this is the book for you!  Jim Kinnear is  resident in Moscow and has obviously been putting his spare time to very good  use.  Here he gives us the complete story of Soviet armoured car development  from 1930 to date, with a brief chapter 1 setting the scene by covering the  WWI and 1920s Soviet use of armoured cars.  Next come the goodies!

Chapter 2 on the light cars up to 1945 covers the D-8, D-12, FAI, FAI-M,   GAZ-TK, BA-20, BA-20M, LB-23, BA-21, LB-62, LB-NATI, BA-64 and BA-64B.  86   pages, packed full of information and BIG photographs - most are reproduced
to half-page size so you can really see what's in the image.  Go back and  have another look at that list - have you even heard of half of them?  Jim  Kinnear has not settled for just the ones we all know about and can find kits  of, he's included the prototypes and projects too as well as ones which did  go into service but aren't well-known.

Chapter 3 takes 60 pages to cover the medium and heavy cars, also up to 1945,  in the same style and again with excellent BIG photos.  Here are the BA-27,  BA-27M, D-13, BA-1, BA-3, BA-5, BA-6, BA-6M, BA-9, BA-10, BA-10M, BA-11 and   BA-11D.  More you don't know?  Get this book to find out about them!   Then  there's chapter 4, with 24 pages covering all the specialised wheeled armour  up to 1945.  Not just halftracks and armoured ambulances but that weird   wheeled SPG the KSP-76 is here too, as well as the BAD amphibious armoured   cars.

The last chapter is 5, of course, and has 130 pages on the BTR-40, the BRDMs  1 and 2 - all of them including the anti-tank and anti-aircraft ones - and  more recent developments from the GAZ factory which haven't found customers  yet.  Like chapters 2 to 4, lots of information and BIG photographs.  Finally  there are tables of data for the several chapters and a real bonus, in the  form of lists of vehicles in museums - one list by type, the other by  location so if you have the chance to travel to see them you know where to  look. 

This really is a book you shouldn't miss if you want to model Soviet armoured  cars.   The photographs include period shots of prototypes, cars on parade  and exercise, and wartime service too, as well as of the few preserved   vehicles.  Very highly recommended!

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