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Book Review of

“Stryker Interim Armored Vehicle"

Review By Patrick Keenan - Aurora, Illinois USA

Basic Item Information

Title

Stryker Interim Armored Vehicle

Author, Editor and/or Illustrator

By Carl Schulze & Ralph Zwilling

Illustrations by Laurent Lecocq

Publisher

Concord Publications Company -Mini Color Series #7515

ISBN/Stock Number

ISBN 962-361-141-2

Subject

Modern AFV

Media

Soft Cover Book

Number of Pages

56

Number/Type of Photos and/or Illustrations

(153) Color Photographs, (4) Color Illustrations and (10) B/W Illustrations;

Text Language

English

Retail Price

$13.95 USD

Reviewer

Patrick Keenan

Review Date

September 20, 2007

Review Summary*

Review Type

Normal Read

Basic Positive Features

Great value for the money.  A huge number of high quality color photos are included

Basic Negative Features

The author does not provide any information on the subject of vehicle markings.  The only help provided with this topic is via the photographs and captions.

Overall Rating

4.7 of 5.0

Accuracy of Information Rating

4.5

Editing Of Information/ Text Flow Rating

4.5

Photo and/or Illustration Quality/Selection Rating

5.0

Usefulness as Reference

5.0

Quality of Print Medium Rating

4.5

Recommendation

Highly Recommended

* 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

When I was offered the chance to review this book I jumped at the chance knowing Concord Publications’ reputation for including a large number of high quality of photographs in their books.  I was NOT disappointed with this book in that they give us modelers over 150 color photos on just over 55 pages.  They also include a smaller amount of good quality illustrations too.

Although Concord’s bread and butter are their photos they do give a nice amount of basic information about the Stryker Brigade Teams and also about the individual Stryker variants themselves.  The book’s information content is arranged in the following order, with the lion’s share being about each Stryker variant:

·        Stryker Brigade Combat Team – A new type of Force

·        The Stryker Interim Armored Vehicle

·        Stryker Variants

The variants covered are:

·        M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV)

·        M1127 Reconnaissance Vehicle (RV)

·        M1128 Mobile Gun System (MGS)

·        M1129 Mortar Carrier (MC-A & MC-B)

·        M1130 Command Vehicle (CV)

·        M1131 Fire Support Vehicle (FSV) – For duties related to artillery observation.

·        M1132 Engineer Squad Vehicle (ESV) – 3 different versions

·        M1133 Medical Evacuation Vehicle (MEV)

·        M1134 Antitank Guided Missile Vehicle (ATGM)

·        M1135 Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle (NBCRV)

 

Accuracy of Information

The accuracy of the information provided by the authors is very good.  When compared to my personal Stryker references, photographs and with Osprey’s “Stryker Combat Vehicles” book and AMPS’ Boresight “Stryker ICV Special Issue”, Concord’s stacks up well.  I did not identify any wrong or misleading information contained in this book.

 
Editing of Information/ Text Flow

The text flow (e.g. the writing ability of the authors) and editing of the information provided is very good even though there is not a ton of text information.  Now, I am not saying there is not enough information in the book to be useful.  What I am saying is that the amount of text information was more than adequate, yet not exceptional.  I also found the book easy to read, informative and yet it more than sufficiently described and explained the photos in the book.  After all, the photos are the main point of this book.  It also gives enough basic information to us so that we can put all the specific information about the Stryker vehicles in the proper context when compared to the general aspects such as their use of the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams, etc.

 

Photograph and/or Illustration Quality and Selection

Concord is known in the modeling hobby for the quality and quantity of photographs they provide in their books and this selection is no exception.  They provide 153 photos on 56 pages, yet most photos are of sizes that are actually usable.  Sometimes when publishers include too many photos in a book, many are unusable as a modeling reference as they are too small to identify many of the specific details.  Concord has balanced this aspect well.  The quality of the photographs is as usual with Concord products, excellent.  The images are of high quality, clear and in vibrant color.  Small details can be readily identified when viewing many of the pictures. 

Also, the selection of photographs provided by the authors is exceptional in quantity and variation.  Most of the photographs the authors provide are from their personal collections, so they are not available anywhere else but in this book. The photographs cover every imaginable angle of the actual vehicles and we get many nice photos of each Stryker variant, including interior views and many fine details shots.  Plus, the selection of photos provided of operational Stryker combat units is impressive in its number.

The illustrations created by Laurent Lecocq are outstanding as well, even though “only” (4) Color and (10) B/W Illustrations are provided (6 of them are not done by Mr. Lecocq, but courtesy of General Dynamics Land Systems).  The color illustrations are very good, but the black/White ones are more detailed and useable by us modelers, by my opinion.  My favorites are the (4) he provides us in 1/35 scale.
 
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 $14 USD when compared to large number of high quality color photographs provided.  Basic good quality information is provided on the Stryker ICV in general and about the specific variations in particular.  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 worth purchasing. 

All the Stryker variants are covered by photographs and MANY photos of each are provided.  Also, many detail photographs are included, which are very useful for us modelers.  One of the best covered details of the Stryker is the slat armor (also called ‘bird-cage’ armor) configuration.  As all Strykers fielded in Iraq have this armor suite added, this is a very important aspect of the book.

The only ‘negative’ aspect of this book is the lack of vehicle marking information provided.  The author does not provide any information on vehicle markings and how to identify specific units’ markings. The only information provided in the book on markings is via the photographs which show such markings, some with identifying captions.  This is a small ‘negative’ point in my mind, but it would have been nice to have this type of information available.

 

Quality of Medium

This soft cover book is “typical” of Concord Publication’s format.  If you’ve seen one Concord book, you’ve seen them all.  Assuming you haven’t ever seen a Concord book, they come in an 8 ½”x 11”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 probably won’t hold up extraordinarily well with constant use...  Obviously, all soft cover books suffer from the fact that they don’t hold up as well as hard cover books.

 
Conclusion

This book is a great value for the money due to the large number of high quality color photographs. The amount of information provided is good, but not exceptional.  That’s okay as this book is still a must have if you are at all interested in the Stryker in specific, or armored cars, wheeled fighting vehicles, military vehicles used by US forces in Iraq, etc, in general .  This will be a great addition to your reference library.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Concord Publications Company and IPMS/USA for giving me the opportunity to review this book.
 
Copyright: Patrick Keenan - September 20, 2007