FV 430 Series...

 

...from Pen and Sword

 

Title: FV 430 Series

Author: Rob Griffin

Publisher: Pen and Sword

ISBN: 978-1-52674-289-6

This new addition to the Images of War series from author Rob Griffin is one of the most welcome to date. Rob has written a number of books on the topic of British Army vehicles of the Cold War era. While maybe not as glamorous as a tank, the basic APC as represented by the FV 432 series is a gem, I think. Perhaps the best demonstration of that is that it is still in service to this day.  As you will see if you go through this book, many are now derelict wrecks, some as range targets, and many have been sold into private ownership. Some are used by companies who allow members of the public a chance to drive a fully tracked vehicle, an opportunity I for one have taken up in the past. One pictured in the book has been lengthened and painted glossy white, with side windows, and turned into a party Limousine while another has had the back superstructure changed, with glass side panels, to serve as a hearse.

We are presented with a large number of images showing the FV432 series in service over many years. The large number of variants are all covered, both in text and in the photos, which in turn all have useful and well informed captions. The 432 has also been able to undergo modernisation, with additional armour fittings, to create the 'Bulldog', with a yoke for the driver rather than the two sticks, new remote weapons stations and altogether a more survivable troop carrier for modern combat against insurgents. The text which accompanies the photos tells the story of the FV 430 series, and details the many variants, such as Green Archer mortar location radar, , FV434 Recovery, FV432/30 with Rarden gun turret, FV438 with Swingfire and many others, including the Abbott 105mm SPG.

Over 200 pages in a softcover book, divided across 5 chapters, Development: Description: Trials & Service: Variants: and Growing Old Gracefully! Some may already know that the FV432 formed the basis of a number of film and TV conversions. I am familiar with Pz III and Stug III replicas but in the book we see a couple more turned into very convincing Japanese Chi-Ha lookalikes. This is sure to prove popular with military vehicle enthusiasts, some of whom may now own their own, and ex-servicemen who used to work on them. With some excellent models on the market from Takom in 1/35, and conversions sets by Accurate Armour, I am certain this be a popular reference among modellers. Excellent.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.

Robin