FV 620 Stalwart
Tankograd British Special No. 9027
64 pages plus covers
Another book in Tankograd Publishing’s continuing line of military vehicle monographs, this “British Special” examines the development and operational service of the rather unique high mobility load carrier, the Alvis FV 620 Stalwart. Cousin to both the Saladin and Saracen armoured vehicles and using essentially the same 6-wheeled chassis, the Stalwart nonetheless had a longer service life than it’s stablemates with the last Stalwarts leaving British service in 1993.
As with many of the monographs in this series, this book follows a pretty standard format. The first 11 pages are primarily text (in both German and English) and hold the details of the Stalwart’s genesis, development, manufacture, and service. There is an additional 5 page section at the back of the book detailing the technical description of the Stalwart along with a very nice phantom drawing of the interior and several technical drawings illustrating the intricacies of the Stalwart’s 6x6 drive train. The amount of information provided is well balanced and suitable for a work of this size. While I can’t speak to the German translation, the English text is quite good.
The only real critiques I would level at the text portions of this book are, firstly, that the formatting of the paragraphs does not involve a blank line, making visually finding paragraphs on the page somewhat difficult and making the whole thing a bit more tiring to read. It doesn’t lower the technical value of the work, though. My second critique is that having the development and technical sections having no photographs breaks the link between the descriptions and any clarifying images of the development vehicles. Several technical points are made regarding the evolution of the Stalwart that would have been significantly more useful had there been photographs alongside the relevant text. The photos are in the book, just completely separate from the relevant descriptions. I would ask the book designer/ layout person to reconsider their approach on this matter.
The rest of the book is devoted to overall photographs of Stalwart details and variants, including the several prototypes. The photos are generally ½ or 1/3 of a page and about 60% of them are in colour. Most of the photos are overall shots of vehicles in service. The photography and reproduction are good enough to sort out many details, but from a modelling perspective, the book would have benefitted from a more detailed walk around of one vehicle. If you are looking to identify the variants from a distance, these photos are just what you’ll need, but if building a model, you will likely find that there isn’t quite enough detail information really detail a model. Take note before you buy.
The book itself is in standard A4 size, is 64 pages long and uses glossy paper throughout. The card stock covers show good views of several variants, and, at long last, at least the images on the inside covers are not duplicated within the book. The exterior cover images are duplicated within.
Highly recommended. Tankograd Publishing is again commended for publishing new works on these “classic” and under-represented AFVs.
Many thanks to Tankograd Publishing for the review sample.
Reviewed by Paul Roberts
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