LandCraft 3, Bren Gun Carrier...

 

...Britain's Universal War Machine, from Pen and Sword

 

Title: LandCraft 3, Bren Gun Carrier

Author: Robert Jackson

Publisher: Pen and Sword Books

ISBN: 978-1-52674-643-6

 

Number 3 in the LandCraft series is now available, and the subject this time is the Bren Gun Carrier, or the later version, the Universal Carrier. It follows the standard pattern for the series and is a good basic resource for vehicle enthusiasts and, especially, modellers.

Following the initial introduction, it moves on to the Design and Development story. A series of vehicles which served from 1934 through to 1960, some 113,000 of the many variations were built, both in the UK and abroad. Fairly naturally, that in turn leads to the Variants before moving on to the Details of the Universal Carrier, which is done by using some large, computer generated images which have the various features annotated. It goes on to the Carrier In Service & In Action though this is split by the model focussed elements of the book.  These begin with 8-pages of Camouflage & Markings, which uses some useful artwork showing multiple views off assorted carriers. The Modellers Showcase is next, which shows us 4 fine builds. A 1/72 IBG Royal Artillery Observation Post built by Tim Neate: then 3 1/35 builds, a Bronco Models Lloyd Carrier with the Riich Models 6pounder, a Riich Models Universal Carrier with a German 2.8cm s.PZ.B.41 and finally, the Resicast T16 Carrier. After this there is a rather good survey of available Carrier models, including the early kits by Airfix (1/76) and Tamiya (1/35) as well as others by Riich Models, International Models Asia and Resicast in 1/35 along with smaller scale kits by IBG, Plastic Soldier Company and Milicast.

Then it is back to the In Service and In Action story, covering NW Europe, Russia, North Africa, Greece and the Far East.  Throughout these sections on the real thing, there are plenty of good clear photos, showing archive images as well as some preserved Carriers. The final couple of pages in this 64-page softcover book look at the variety of other Tankette designs that were produced in other countries at around the same time as the Carriers. There are other books with even more detail on the Carrier series but they are also much more expensive.  For a modeller looking for a basic grounding and some modelling hints on what is available, then this one does that at a good value for money price.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this copy.

Robin