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Book Review of

“M3A1 Scout Car Walk Around"

Review By Patrick Keenan - Aurora, Illinois USA

Basic Item Information

Title

M3A1 Scout Car Walk Around

Author, Editor and/or Illustrator

By David Doyle

Illustrations by Don Greer, Matheu Spraggins & Melinda Turnage

Publisher

Squadron/Signal Publications (Walk Around Series #5720)

ISBN/Stock Number

ISBN 978-0-89747-614-0

Subject

WWII Era US Scout Car

Media

Soft Cover Book

Number of Pages

80

Number/Type of Photos and/or Illustrations

(221) Color Photographs, (5) Black/White Photos, (6) Color Illustrations (Including Front & Back Covers) and (11) B/W Illustrations

Text Language

English

Retail Price

$18.95 USD

Reviewer

Patrick Keenan

Review Date

June 8, 2010

Review Summary*

Review Type

Full Read

Basic Positive Features

Chock Full O’ High Quality Color Detail Photos provided of the ubiquitous scout car;  Great value for the money

Basic Negative Features

I had to stretch to come up with something.  So, I guess I’ll say the lack of scale listed for the black and white vehicle line drawings.

Recommendation

A "Must Have"

* For information regarding the review terms, grading scale, etc. please go to the WarWheels Review FAQ/Key

Photos

         

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Detailed Review

Book Content

This review is of the latest reference offering by Squadron/Signal Productions in their Walk Around (Color Series).  It is called “M3A1 Scout Car Walk Around" and it is authored by David Doyle.  If you’re not familiar with the Walk Around Series of books, these books focus on providing photos of specific vehicles and they are chock full of fine detail photographs that are useful for modelers and hard-core military vehicle enthusiasts.  This latest installment by Mr. Doyle focuses on both the early and late versions of M3A1 Scout Car (AKA the "White" Scout Car).  On to the review.

Accuracy of Information

The accuracy of the information provided by the author is excellent.  When compared to my personal references on the M3A1 Scout Cars, Mr. Doyle’s book is very accurate.  I did not identify any wrong or misleading information contained in this book.  Although the majority of photos are of rebuilt vehicles, they look to be accurate representations of the original WWII era vehicles.

The main sources I used to check the accuracy of the book included the information on my website, WarWheels.Net, the CD-ROM "M3A1 Scout Car Photo Detail CD (#23)" by Toadman's Tank Pictures and the books  "Armored Car- A History of American Wheeled Combat Vehicles" by R.J. Hunnicutt and “US Military Wheeled Vehicles” by Fred Crismon.

Editing of Information/ Text Flow

The text flow (e.g. the writing ability of the author) and editing of the information provided is very good even though there is not a ton of text information. I am not saying there is not enough information in the book to be useful as it more than sufficiently describes and explains the photos in the book.  After all, the photos are the main point of this book. I also found the book easy to read and informative. Lastly, it provides enough basic information so that we can easily identify and differentiate between the early and late versions of the M3A1 Scout Car.

Photograph and/or Illustration Quality and Selection

Squadron/Signal is known in the modeling hobby for the quality and quantity of photographs they provide in their books, specifically in their “Walk Around Series”.  This latest selection is no exception.  Squadron and Mr. Doyle provide 226 photos and 17 illustrations on 80 pages; of which 221 of those images are in color.  Although there are a few WWII era photos, most of the photos provided are of preserved vehicles.  As providing in action photos is not the stated purpose of their “walk around” series of books, this shouldn’t be seen as a negative point.  I just want to make sure you know what is and what is not present in this book.

Even with that stunning quantity of photos provided, most of them are of sizes that are actually usable.  Sometimes when publishers include a lot of photos in a book, many are unusable as a modeling reference as they are too small to identify many of the specific details.  Squadron has balanced this aspect well.  The quality of the photographs is as usual with Squadron products, outstanding.  The images are of high quality, clear and in vibrant color.  Small details can be readily identified when viewing most of the pictures. 

Also, the selection of photographs provided by Mr. Doyle is exceptional in quantity and variation.  This might be the best feature of this book as it not only contains a decent number of overall shots of each vehicle, but you get tons of fine detail pics of each of both the early and late versions of the M3A1 scout car.

Two (2) color illustrations by Don Greer are located on the front and back covers of the book. They are quite interesting and attractive and show the "White" Scout Cars’ special character.  Also, (4) additional color illustrations are sprinkled throughout the book showing vehicles from specific units and theaters.  The (11) black and white illustrations created by Matheu Spraggins and Melinda Turnage are very nice as well.  They provide (6) drawings of different tread and wheel patterns seen on the scout car as well as (5) images as vehicle line drawings of a late version M3A1 scout car.  Although there is no scale given for the vehicle line drawings, they appear to be 1/48 by my guess. It would have been useful had the scale been listed, although it wasn't necessary.

Use as Reference

This book is an exceptional reference for modelers and vehicle enthusiasts as well.  It is a great value for the money considering the relatively low retail price of around $19 USD especially considering the large number of high quality color photographs provided.  Basic information is provided about the "White" scout car, but if you are looking for the end all “tome” on these vehicles, this isn’t the book you want. However, if you are purchasing this book it is probably for the photos.  As I’ve said before in this review, the photographs are what make this book well worth purchasing.  Both the late and early versions of the M3A1 scout cars are covered relatively equally, but the early "White" has a few more photos of it provided.

Quality of Print Medium

This soft cover book is “typical” of Squadron/Signal Publication’s format.  If you’ve seen one Squadron book, you’ve seen them all.  Assuming you haven’t ever seen a Squadron book, they come in an 8 ½”x 11” landscape format and the soft cover media is of a decent quality.  The construction of the book facilitates fairly frequent use/reading of the book, but not overt abuse.  Obviously, all soft cover books suffer from the fact that they don’t hold up as well as hard cover books.

Conclusion

Once again, Squadron/Signal and David Doyle provide us with a great reference with this latest offering on the M3A1 scout car.  The massive number of photos provided in the book are also of the usual high quality we’ve come to expect from both the publisher and Mr. Doyle; especially considering the relatively low retail price of the book.  If you're at all interested in the "White" Scout Car, this book is definitely for you.

Recommendation:  “A Must Have”

Thanks to David Doyle for the Review Sample.

Copyright: Patrick Keenan - June 8, 2010