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Land Craft 7: Land Rover (Paperback)

Military Versions of the British 4x4

Colour Books Military > Modelling Photographic Books Transport

By Ben Skipper
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Land Craft
Pages: 64
Illustrations: 200 colour & black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526789730
Published: 8th January 2021



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After the Second World War many American military vehicles become surplus stock and soon found their way into the hands of farmers and land owners across Great Britain. The subsequent heavy use and the real possibility of difficulties obtaining spares led Maurice Wilks, the Rover Car Company Chief Engineer, to design and build a replacement. Not only would the new Land Rover fill a gap in Rover’s portfolio, but also bring in much needed post-war money.

Intended as a stop gap, the Land Rover would cease production almost 68 years later, after a production run that had produced over two million vehicles. During that time it would transform how the military saw and used motor transport. From utilitarian General Service truck to cutting-edge weapon’s platform the Land Rover would prove its worth time and again.

This latest LandCraft title looks at the design and development of the Land Rover as well as the military specific variants designed and built, including the famous SAS Pink Panther, the nimble Light Weight and powerful Forward Control gun tractor. The title will also look at those key conversions that took place on standard Land Rovers throughout the duration of its life span.

From the humble beings of the box like Series 1 to the formidable firepower and pace of the WOLF WMIK, the Land Rover was a constantly improved military vehicle. Through numerous trials, lessons learned and operational requirements the Land Rover was a vehicle that grew with the times.

This LandCraft title removes some of the mystique that surrounds the myriad versions and how the Land Rover developed. It also includes the story of the design and development of the exclusively military Light Weight and Forward Control versions. It also charts how the Land Rover became a virtual barometer for the technological and engineering developments that have occurred over the past 70 years.

It demonstrates how the Land Rover’s flexibility to change was its core strength. How the innovation of Rover and military mechanical engineers created a series of unbeatable military trucks.

This section also looks at the smaller, important developments and variations in design which showed how adaptable the Land Rover really was. From specialist signals line layers to first responder fire and rescue vehicles, to the unit- and theatre-led changes, the Land Rover was a vehicle that took all in its stride, proving its versatility.

For the modeller there is nothing more important than the little things and this image-rich section of LandCraft’s Land Rover title delivers the goods. Filled with crisp images, that chart the Land Rovers development, combined with detailed accompanying text, forms an enviable visual guide for the enthusiast and modeller alike.

As with all of Ben Skipper’s model-centric publications, this is aimed perfectly at the modeller. The builds, by Brian Richardson and Ben Skipper, are brilliantly inspirational.

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Vintage Airfix

The author gives a comprehensive guide to this British Army vehicle that will have pride of place on the book shelves of military historians and model makers interested in the iconic Land Rover.

Miniature Armoured Fighting Vehicles Association

Quality military documentation that will delight vehicle modelers, historians and military researchers.

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Miniaturas JM

Overall a particularly useful resource to modellers who are interested in this widespread vehicle for their military trains, or for those who also enjoy military modelling.

Diesel and Electric Modellers United, Issue 96

"Be you a hobbyist or military vehicle enthusiast, there's an abundance of information here, quite an impressively comprehensive reportage on the topic altogether."

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War Wheels

A welcome addition to the very popular Land Craft Series. Aimed at model makers, this series has become popular with a much wider readership, due to the excellent text describing the subject vehicle and its deployment, including unit structures. – Very Highly Recommended

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"All in all this is a great, compact reference work for modelers heading off on a Land Rover safari. It’s not overwhelming, provides good recommendations and fair assessments of products while presenting fantastic reference material to help the modeler get motivated and also providing enough up close detail to be helpful."

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Highly Recommended!

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The Armor Modeling and Preservation Society

"Like all models in all the Craft booklets, the model craftsmanship is killer good."

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The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

The Land Rover, in its various incarnations and its 70-year development, has become a British icon around the world. Today in many theaters (such as in Afghanistan) given the threat of IED it has been replaced by more resistant vehicles, but nevertheless in thousands of specimens it is still present in armies and law enforcement and rescue forces all over the world, a testament to goodness of Wilkes' original drawing. Ben Skipper's book is the usual fantastic volume of the "LandCraft" series that will delight enthusiasts, historians, and model makers.

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On The Old Barbed Wire

I have ridden in Land Rovers many times, and driven one once, on private land at the back of the Stevenage Central Library back in 1969. I remember saying that I wanted one, and on my 17th birthday, my Dad bought me one - a 1/48th scale model of one which sat on my bedroom window for many years. Superb vehicles, superbly described in their military versions by Ben Skipper...

Books Monthly

Video review on Scale Modelling Now

Scale Modelling Now

​Highly recommended.

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AMPS Indianapolis

Review by Major Gerry Bartlett

Well done Ben Skipper, this is a fascinating book with many wonderful pictures of Land Rovers for addicts like me.

Scratchings, March 2021

This offering from Pen and Sword as part of their Land Craft book series looking at the Land Rover Military versions of the British 4x4 is a great new addition to the Land Craft series of books, covering a vehicle that has performed so many different roles for the past 70 years means the modeller will have a life time of models to cover.

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All together a good reference to a vehicle which has been so well known, especially in British military services for over 70 years. Modellers and Land Rover enthusiasts should like this one, and so good to see it added to the LandCraft series with what I think is author Ben Skipper's first book.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

About Ben Skipper

Ben Skipper is a freelance writer with over 100 articles on art, military and field sports subjects. He’s a member of the Society of Authors, the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists and the NUJ as well as being an Honorary Member of the Pen and Sword Club (military journalists and writers).

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