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Nuts & Bolts 43, FAMO’S Sd. Kfz. 9, 18 ton Zugkraftwagen

ISBN Number:
None
Published:
Thursday, January 23, 2020
Publisher:
Nuts and Bolts GbR
Retail Price:
29.90 Euro
Reviewed By:
Chuck Aleshire

Nuts & Bolts 43

FAMO's Sd. Kfz. 9

18 ton Zugkraftwagen

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This volume 43 in the long running Nuts & Bolts series is a revised and expanded treatment on the famed WWII German FAMO halftrack. The initial volume on the FAMO was first published in the Nuts & Bolts series as volume 12 in 1999, and ran 99 pages long and included 222 photos. This expanded volume 43 is roughly double the length, and nearly double the photos of the first volume 12. This new volume corrects mistakes found in the initial volume, and makes use of additional information and contemporary images not available when volume 12 was published.

The FAMO halftracks were the heaviest of the commonly seen German halftracks, serving as prime movers for the heavy artillery pieces, recovery vehicles for heavy tanks, and more rarely as mobile antiaircraft or antitank vehicles while mounting 8.8cm flak guns. Production of these behemoths began in 1939, with something like 2,500 produced during the war.

Vital Statistics

 Format - Paperbound, portrait format

 Page count - 232 high gloss heavyweight pages

 Size - 8.75" x 11.75"

 Photos - 390 images in total, in color and B/W, vintage and modern

 Tables / Drawings / Diagrams - numerous performance, production and technical data tables, scale drawings, full color paint and markings profiles

 As is the standard for this series of reference books, heavyweight, high gloss paper is used throughout, making photo reproduction very sharp and crisp, and the scale drawings and color renderings of camouflage paint jobs and markings bright and crystal clear.

 NOTE - As with the rest of the series, all text is in both English and German. The pages that are mostly text have two columns side by side, one in English, one in German. Photo captions are side by side, English / German as well. This arrangement works quite well in my opinion.

What's between the Covers?

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Above - the book's table of contents.

With this series of books, you can expect a complete and methodical approach to the subject matter; with a place for everything, and everything in it's place, as can be seen by the table of contents image above. A glance at the table of contents illustrates just how complete and thorough the coverage of the book's  subject is.

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Above - an example of how the Nuts & Bolts team integrate English and German text, tables packed with information, drawings and photos in their works. The Nuts & Bolts team perform this task as well or probably better than anyone in the industry.

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Above - I really like the graphic illustrations that show unit organization and equipment. There are several in this volume.

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The wartime images of the FAMO's show it in a wide variety of interesting activities, in many different configurations and roles, from the factories to the front lines. 

Most of the wartime images contained in this volume are of really good quality, being crisp and clear, in decent lighting conditions. A few are just a bit less than perfect, perhaps a bit dark or grainy, but this are perfectly acceptable given the subject matter, general interest, and the conditions under which these images were made.

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Above - the book includes some very nice coverage of the scarcer variants of the FAMO, including the ones mounting the dreaded FlaK 88's, as well as the workshop units with cranes mounted on them.

NOTE - the images used in this review do not adequately represent the quality of the images used throughout this book. The high quality heavyweight paper used in the book does good justice to the photographs and other images contained in the book.

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Above - additional associated equipment such as the Sd.Ah. 116 trailer seen above aren't neglected by this volume.

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Above - there are page after page of well done 1/35 scale drawings of the FAMO, sure to be of use to modelers.

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Above - many different aspects of several variants of the Famo are shown.

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There are several pages of full color renderings of various wartime FAMOs, complete with small inset photos of the vehicles that the renderings are based upon. Very nice idea!

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There is a wide range of walk-around style images taken of several surviving FAMOs. These images are generally very well composed, crisp and bright, and show detail very well. The photo captions do a nice job of explaining what is pictured.

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Last but not least, the reader is treated several pages of built-up FAMO models, constructed by noted modelers, including Vinnie Brannigan and Tony Greenland. These are some splendidly built models, and are very well photographed.

Conclusions

The team at Nuts & Bolts have refined their process in producing this series of books down to a fine art. In my humble opinion, these volumes are among the very finest, most inclusive one-stop reference works on WWII German vehicles currently available.

The all inclusive, thoroughness of these books almost eliminates the need for further references on the vehicles that are covered by this series. Yes...more usually means better when it comes to quality references, especially pictorial ones, but these books would serve perfectly well as a single source of reference, due to their completeness. 

This volume ( similar to the others in the series ) features a vast amount of well written, informative text and photo captions, a very large array of contemporary wartime photographs of generally high quality, very nice walk-around style images taken of surviving vehicles, a tremendous amount of information presented in table form, terrific full color camouflage renderings, crisp and clear 1/35 scale drawings, and for good measure, some gorgeous built-up models presented as eye candy at the end. You could not ask for anything more from a reference book!

This is a superb reference work on the Sd.Kfz. 9 FAMO.

Highly Recommended ( A Must Have for those interested in the Sd.Kfz. 9 )

Thanks to Nuts & Bolts for the review copy

Reviewed by Chuck Aleshire, AMPS Chicagoland 

AMPS 2nd Vice President, Midwest Region

 

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