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& BOLTS VOL 12,
by Dr Nicholaus Hettler
Reviewed by John Prigent
This is a splendid reference for detailers with loads of detailed closeup photos of the actual restored Famo of the Wheatcroft collection which Tamiya measured and photographed to prepare the kit. Some other photos have been published in magazines, but the N&B team had complete access and took many photos which are given here with excellent captions to tell you exactly what they show.
The colour pages give four complete camouflage schemes together with an excellent selection of known markings for various variants, with the user units, date and place identified wherever possible. The authoritative text describes all the sub-types and the Famo's use by the Wehrmacht, but the differences between the production batches are called out in the photo captions - the ideal solution as it lets you see exactly what's being talked about instead of turning from text to photos and back.
Wartime photos show most variants, though none were found of the 10-tonne crane and the one with an 8.8cm FlaK gun on the back is missing here too. However, the 1/35 plans show both of these as well as the early and late prime mover/recovery versions (including the one with a spade at the back), the artillery tower and both crane bodies.
With this book you'll be able to detail the Tamiya kit to your heart's content, and by the way the text and plans confirm that Tamiya has copied Kevin Wheatcroft's Famo to the extent of giving it the extended and widened chassis used by the SdKfz 9/2 with 10 tonne crane. There's no evidence, Dr Hettler tells us, to show whether this chassis was or was not used for towing vehicles, but if you really want to alter the chassis the plans will show you what to do and the text explains where the real chassis was lengthened. Alteration to later production types becomes possible too, as well as scratch-building the other bodies - though I expect the aftermarket will provide these soon enough if Tamiya doesn't bring out other versions of the kit itself.
Review Copyright © 2000 by John