Back in 2008, on the weekend before Hurricane Ike blew through Galveston Island, I took my family for a ride on an old DUKW through the older areas of that historic island. The tour culminated with a brief excursion into a small, very calm pocket of water. A very neat experience and I have since wondered what happened to that DUKW when Ike hit? That is why I was interested in this book published by Wings and Wheels Publications.
WWP publishes this series of books specifically aimed at modelers. Number 51 in the line covers the famous GMC DUKW, one of the Allies' secret weapons initially unveiled in the invasion of Sicily and then widely used in all theaters of the war.
a look inside
The book itself is paperbound and the front and back covers are quite attractive with large photographs of two different restored DUKWs. The book contains 60 pages, but the final page is an advertisement for the Belgian Royal Army and Military History Museum. On those 59 pages of the book dealing with the DUKW, the reader finds 204 (by my count) high quality, large, color photographs of each area of a DUKW that a modeler could possibly be interested in. What is not included? Historical photos of DUKWs in action in World War II.
The book starts with a brief history of the development and use of DUKWs in the European Theater of Operations. This history spans 8 pages, but most of the pages are covered with large photos of two different DUKWs from various angles. The book is then broken down into the following sections/chapters:
(2) Walk Around: 3 pages with 14 photos;
(3) Front Hull Roof Details: 1 page with 5 photos;
(4) Breakwater Details: 1 page with 4 photos;
(5) Headlight Details: 1 page with 6 photos;
(6) .50 Caliber Ring Exterior Details: 1 page with 6 photos;
(7) Exhaust Grill Details: 1 page with 6 photos;
(8) Hull Sidewall Details: 2 pages with 9 photos;
(9) Woven Bumpers: 1 page with 5 photos;
(10) Hull Rear Part Details: 2 pages with 9 photos;
(11) Anchor Details: 1 page with 3 photos;
(12) Winch Details: 1 page with 6 photos;
(13) Screw Details: 1 page with 4 photos;
(14) Front Axle Details: 2 pages with 9 photos;
(15) First Rear Axle Details: 1 page with 4 photos;
(16) Second Rear Axle Details 1 page with 3 photos;
(17) Rear Axle Suspension Details: 2 pages with 8 photos;
(18) Pneumatic System Details: 2 pages with 9 photos;
(19) Engine Compartment Details: 2 pages with 7 photos;
(20) Engine Details/Engine Rest oration: 5 pages with 16 photos;
(21) Interior Details, running 11 pages with 41 photos and covering the following areas: (a) the Driver's Compartment, (b) the .50 Caliber Ring Mount, and (c) the Cargo Body Details;
(22) Hull Structure Details covering 6 pages, 24 photos, and 3 line drawings showing the (a) under the hull floor details, (b) entire pneumatic system, and (c) the water pumps. This section is divided into two parts: (1) Under the Floor Details and (2) Cardans and Tubes.
Who would not be interested in this book: Modelers looking for photographs of DUKWs in action during World War II. Who would be interested in this book? Modelers who want to take an Italeri DUKW and make it as accurate as possible in all details with the caveat that there is no guarantee that the restored vehicles featured in the book are accurate themselves.
Highs: Excellent, high quality, color photographs of all areas of restored DUKWs. Lows: The book does not contain any historic photographs, instead it is limited to photographs of restored vehicles with the potential problem that entails: no certainty as to the authenticity of the restoration. In addition, the captions are short.Verdict: This is an excellent resource for a modeler looking for detailed photographs of all areas of DUKWs, however the modeler must be aware that the accuracy of the restored vehicles is unknown.
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