Home > Reviews > USA WWII > Project: LVT’s Amtanks & Project: LVT’s Amtracs


Project: LVT’s Amtanks (LVT(A)1, LVT(A)4 and LVT(A)5) [TM-LP008]
Project: LVT’s Amtracs (LVT2 and LVT(A)2) [TM-LP009]

by David Harper

Published by Letterman Publications


I have seen the comment about these two books that they’re simply extended versions of David Harper’s construction articles for Military Miniatures in Review. I have to assume that this was written by someone who hadn’t read all the way through them, because they’re definitely not collections of construction articles with reference material added. Think instead of masses of reference photographs with some kit construction articles added.

LP008 deals with the LVT(A)1, LVT(A)4 and LVT(A)5 and is captioned as Volume One – the layout is a bit obscure but seems to mean volume one of these two books, not volume one of Amtank coverage. In this one first you get 8 pages on building an LVT(A)1 at Peleliu in 1944 – yes, this does seem to be the MMiR article but not everyone has that magazine, and the 8 pages include 3-pages-worth of reference photos and tech manual excerpts. This section is followed by 6 pages of colour photographs of a preserved LVT(A)1 and another 6 pages of wartime photos of LVT(A)1s at Peleliu – excellent reference material.

Then comes the LVT(A)4 building article, of a vehicle at Okinawa in 1945. 12 pages here, with useful ideas on weathering model amphibians and including two pages of wartime colour photos. 7 pages of detail photos of LVT(A)4s follow, and then there are 16 pages of wartime shots of LVT(A)4s at Peleliu and Okinawa, 1 of LVT(A)5s at Okinawa and another 2 pages of LVT(A)1 and 4 at various landings – followed by another 2 pages of wartime colour photographs. Next is a page of colour chips, subject to the vagaries of colour printing but still a handy guide to LVT colours, and finally 3 pages of colour paintings by David Harper, with a bonus one on the back cover as well. The LVT(A)5 wartime photos are rare enough to be worth buying the book for by themselves!

LP009 deals with the LVT2 and LVT(A)2 and is captioned as volume 2 – see above for what I think this means. The layout here is different, with 10 pages first on building an LVT2 at Tarawa in 1943 followed by 6 on building an LVT(A)2 at Saipan in 1944. Again, these are familiar from MMiR though many won’t have the magazine and, again, some useful reference photos are included though not as many as in the other volume’s building sections. Next are 10 pages of detail photos , mostly of LVTs preserved at Camp Pendleton some of which no longer exist.

28 pages of wartime photographs of LVT2s and (A)2s in various landings are followed by a single page with two wartime colour photos – one taken on the beach at Saipan. The same colour chip page follows, and then come 5 of David Harper’s colour plates. Four pages of assorted photos and LVT facts end the book.

What you have in these two books is a guide to building the kits together with the necessary reference material for colours and markings. OK, the Trakz conversion sets feature heavily – would you prefer umpteen pages on how to scratchbuild every single item? OK for advanced modellers, but these two books will be great for everyone else.

This is a handy pair of books for people who don’t want the “super-detailer’s guide” approach but do want to know about the appearance of the real thing. Super-detailers are catered for in the earlier two books of the series that I reviewed before, but will still find these two books very useful for the colours and markings aspect. Some material is common to both of these and the earlier books because the vehicles were similar, not much but just enough to let you work with either of these two as stand-alone references to build the model you want. Recommended.

John Prigent