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Model Tech Manual Amtracs (LVT2 and LVT(A)2) [TM-LP010]
Model Tech Manual Amtanks (LVT(A)1, LVT(A)4 and LVT(A)5) [TM-LP011]

by David Harper, additional material provided by Randy Canova

Published by Letterman Publications

These two Tech Manuals are aimed at modellers and they give us exactly what we want – loads of photos from the original TMs backed up by detail photos of preserved vehicles. They do overlap to a certain extent, so either can be bought without the other if your interest is in Amtracs alone or Amtanks alone.

LP010 takes 30 pages to deal with the unarmoured and armoured LVT2 cargo and personnel Amtracs. First there are small general arrangement drawings of both versions and then come overall vehicle shots, again of both versions. Next are the longitudinal cross-section drawings of the transmission layout, control rods and the transmission tunnel.

After those we’re into the photos with a vengeance. TM shots of every conceivable exterior detail are followed by coverage of the interior – cab, radio outfit, driver’s controls, engine bay and of course the engine. Even the complete on-board tool kit is shown. Photos preserved Amtrac details follow, and to top it off there are shots of the rocket launcher assembly fitted to some Amtracs.

All good stuff, just what you need to detail the Italeri kit though for full plans you’ll have to wait for LP-012 which will feature both these Amtracs.

Turning to LP-011 you get much the same layout and many of the same TM photos – only natural since the Amtanks shared the same chassis and engine. This one has 34 pages and uses the extra space to good effect in showing the bay under the turret and the details of both turret interiors as well as their exteriors, replacing the Amtracs’ cargo bay details. Again, good stuff and just what’s needed to detail the Italeri LVT(1) and forthcoming LVT(A)5, or backdate the latter to an (A)4. Like LP-010, you’ll need LP-012 for its 1/35 plans.

Neither book has any unit allocation or marking details – I assume they’re in LP-008 and 009, which are the building and painting manuals for these vehicles, though my copies haven’t arrived at the time of writing.

As I noted at the beginning, there’s some overlap between these books since they show shared details of the vehicles. This is good, as it lets you choose one of them to build a particular model instead of getting a big, expensive volume that covers all of them. I certainly don’t regret buying both books and am looking forward to getting my hands on the others mentioned above, as well as LP-013, which is listed as coming soon and will cover the LVT4.

John Prigent