US Army HMMWVs in Iraq
by Carl Schulze and Ralph Zwilling,
with scale drawings and color plates by Hubert Cance
Concord Publications 7513, ISBN 962-361-108-0. Price: $ USD. Contains
168 color photos, one fold-out spread of scale line drawings, one specification
chart and four color plates.
The US use of the AM-General HMMWV (High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled
Vehicle) has come to visually typify the war against international terrorism
(particularly in Iraq), much as the “Huey” (UH-1-series utility
helicopter) came to symbolize the United States’ involvement in
Vietnam several decades ago. Open a newspaper and the chances are that
a photo that includes a “Hummer” (or “Humvee”)
will be present if depicting a scene from Iraq.
Another thing that typifies the US armed forces is the ability of troops
in the field to modify their vehicles to meet an enemy threat. Add to
that penchant the use of official vehicle variations with factory-made
upgrades, and you have an extremely interesting and varied modeling subject.
The Hummer fits that specification to a “T”. So, this latest
title in Concord’s Mini-Color Series should be a welcome addition
to the modeler’s reference library.
The authors, who are both competent writers and photographers, begin
with an introduction to the subject which is both concise and fact-filled.
Then, the book is divided into several sections, dealing with the main
official types that are profiled. These sections cover: “The Use
of HMMWVs in US Units”, “HMMWVs with Armor Survivability Kit”,
“M1114 Up-armored HMMWV”, “Avenger”, “US
Special Forces HMMWVs-The Ground Mobility Vehicle”, “HMMWVs
with LRAS 3”, and finally a section devoted to “HMMWV Modifications
Added in Germany”. Each of these sections has a brief text, while
the first section has a specification chart detailing the basic variations,
as well as a very complete listing that describes the official variations.
The photographs in this book are really quite outstanding. The variety
is simply astonishing, especially when one realizes that virtually no
two of these vehicles are alike. Since the photos cover only US Army versions,
they barely scratch the surface of the subject, but what they do show
is that there is ample variety. The various weapons fits, field mods,
factory-produced and unit-level armor packages, sensor, communications,
medical and special equipment fits are mind-boggling. Colors and markings,
as well as details are all easily viewed, due to the overall fine reproduction
of the images. The captions are well done (and usually), amply describe
what is seen in a given photo. There are a few very minor typographic
errors, but they are nothing to worry about.
The book is complimented by a fold-out spread consisting of a set of
1/35-scale five-view line drawing of the M1114 up-armored HMMWV. This
will be helpful to those who are considering modeling a vehicle with these
features using, for instance, a Tamiya kit with the Blast or MiG resin
conversions. The four color profiles depict an M998 with unit-level “Gun
Truck” conversion, an M1036 with ASK (Armor Survivability Kit) and
unit-level armor in the rear bed, also as a Gun Truck. The next plate
shows a NY State National Guard M1114 up-armored HMMWV, while the last
depicts a Ground Mobility Vehicle-Special Forces (GMV-SF) based on an
M1025A2 cargo carrier. Uniquely, all of the plates are grouped on the
page showing an actual photo (or group of photos) of the vehicle that
is drawn. This will clear up any doubt as to where the artist got his
reference. These drawings are all “good to go”.
This is one of the most useful and topical reference books to come along
in recent months, especially for modelers of this ubiquitous US vehicle.
Frank V. De Sisto
Reviewer’s note: Since May of 2005, I have been working on books
for Concord Publications. The reader may wish to take this into consideration.
For my part, I will attempt to maintain an objective viewpoint when writing
Concord Publications are available from retail and mail order shops.
For details see their web site at: www.concordpublications.com.