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British and Commonwealth Armoured Vehicle Stowage Diagrams Part 1

British and Commonwealth Armoured Vehicle Stowage Diagrams Part 1 Book Review

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review March 2005 Title British and Commonwealth Armoured Vehicle Stowage Diagrams Part 1
Author Barry Beldam Publisher Quartermaster's Depot
Published 2005 ISBN 0-9734277-6-0
Format 84 pages, softbound MSRP (CDN) $21.00


Modelers are an inquisitive lot as a whole, and many want to find out how things are mounted and carried on or in vehicles in order to do them up "right." Since shots of vehicles in action or in motor pools rarely show this level of detail (and many combat shots are either fuzzy "in action" ones or of burned out and stripped losses) books like this are handy guides to what goes where and how it installs. Thanks to books like this (and after-market etched brass sets) most modelers, for example, are now fully aware that things do not stick to the outside of a vehicle by "magic" (also defined as model cement) but by a series of straps, lugs, frames, holders, and tie downs.

Barry Beldam has gone through his collection of Commonwealth manuals and extracted the stowage diagrams from each one, cleaned them up or redone them from scratch, and labeled them in common terms (but not slang!) for easy identification. He has then organized them in a nice, neat easy-to-use spiral-bound modeler's aid that is going to be very popular with most Commonwealth vehicle modelers, as well as most US armor modelers as well.

This book, labeled as part 1, covers these subjects with the following level of detail:

  • C15-TA Armoured Truck (6 sheets)
  • Fox Mark I Armoured Car (6 sheets)
  • Lynx Mark II Scout Car (6 sheets)
  • Otter Mark I Light Reconnaissance Car (5 sheets)
  • Ram Kangaroo (3 sheets)
  • Chaffee Mark I (M24) (7 sheets)
  • General Grant Mark I (4 sheets)
  • General Lee Mark I (M3 Medium) (4 sheets)
  • LVT with Sea Serpent (incomplete) (1 sheet)
  • Sherman Mark V (M4A4) (7 sheets)
  • Sherman Mark VC Firefly (7 sheets)
  • Sherman Mark V DD (7 sheets)
  • Sherman Mark V Crab Mark II (incomplete) (2 sheets)
  • Staghound Mark I Armoured Car (M17) (6 sheets)
  • General Stuart Mark V (M3A3 Light) (6 sheets)
  • General Stuart Mark VI (M5A1 Light) (6 sheets)

All of the sheets generally provide front and rear quarter views, and the remaining sheets show internal stowage and parts breakdown. Some like those for the Ram Kangaroo may be a bit disappointing, but modelers should keep in mind that when all you do is take out the turret and eliminate ammunition stowage, there's not a lot left to worry about!

Most of the differences in some of the vehicles have to do more with radio sets and stowage (e.g. British No. 19 sets vice US SCR -508 series). As a result, they are very handy to have if doing up an interior on any of the US vehicles cited.

Some are interesting but may not answer the mail. The two sets on the Grant and Lee are apparently the factory ones, for they show the placement of grouser stowage bins that rarely, if ever, showed up on the service version of the tanks. This isn't uncommon, for most of the factory 1/8 scale blueprints for most of the Sherman family show similar disconnects between where the factory thought things should go and where the units did, and the fact that the factories acquiesced to field desires but never changed the general arrangement blueprints.

Given that, Barry has provided probably the best layout of the interior arrangement of both the M3 Lee and the M3 Grant that I have seen anywhere, and considering when one sees the actual vehicle you really can't see much when inside them, this is very useful for modelers or just anyone trying to see why the Soviets called the Lee the "Communal Grave for Seven!"

The last page of the book notes that this is the first of eight volumes: Part 2 will cover Cruiser Tanks, Part 3 Infantry Tanks, Part 4 ACVs and Humbers, Part 5 Daimler, AEC and Coventry Vehicles, Part 6 SPs and Special Purpose Vehicles, Part 7 Carriers and Airborne Tanks, and Part 8 British Post-War Vehicles. All of them are needed and should find an appreciative audience.

Thanks to Quartermaster's Depot for the review samples.