by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
The BTR-60 is the first vehicle in a series of Soviet eight-wheeled armored personnel carriers (APCs). Developed in the late 1950s, the initial BTR-60P was formally adopted for service by the Red Army in 1959. The vehicle featured an open hull, which was soon modified into a fully enclosed form of BTR-60PA. Further upgrades included a machine gun armed turret mounting the 14.5 KPVT and a coaxial 7.62 PKT, giving rise to a final vehicle form, BTR-60PB.
BTR-60 was a revolutionary design for its time as it had a non-standard layout for an APC; the crew compartment was in the front, the troop compartment in the middle and the engine compartment in the rear. This meant that, while the BTR-60 didn't share some of the weaknesses that other APCs had, it had several disadvantages of its own.
Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP) is a well known name in modeling. The company produces high quality photo reference books covering military tracked and wheeled vehicles, artillery, airplanes, helicopters as well as individual weapons. This review covers one of WWP's latest titles: BTR-60 in Detail.
Title: BTR-60 in Detail
Publisher: Wings & Wheels Publications
Author: Frantiek Kořαn
Format: softcover (22x24 cm)
Color: full color
Retail Price: $33 (27)
I got the book at a model show and browsed through it immediately. As with all WWP books I reviewed so far, this too is printed on a high-quality paper, well structured and packed with large full color photos. The book features BTR-60 vehicle variants photographed in army museums and private collections. It consists of over 385 color photos and schematic diagrams, with captions providing info on various details presented in the photos, particularly noting the differences between BTR variants. The book is organized in 11 chapters:
BTR-60PA Walk Around (006-015)
BTR-60PA Engine Details (016-017)
BTR-60PA Interior Details (018-025)
BTR-60PB Walk Around (026-049)
BTR-60PB Engine Details (050-057)
BTR-60PB Interior Details (058-077)
BTR-60PB-PU12 Walk Around (078-081)
BTR-60PB-PU12 Interior Details (082-087)
BTR-60PB-R145BM Walk Around (088-099)
BTR-60PB- R145BM Interior Details (100-117)
The first chapter, Introduction, gives a short history of BTR-60 development, basic technical description and provides technical data on the vehicle. Three chapters covering BTR-60PA follow. The BTR-60PA Walk Around shows the complete hull exterior of this vehicle variant and displays SG-43 MG and its mount in great detail. A short chapter on BTR-60PA Engine Details is next, covering the engine compartment and explaining the slight differences to the PB variant. The BTR-60PA Interior Details chapter starts with several drawings of an older P variant and continues with displaying PA interior: driver's and commander's compartment as well as the rear troop compartment are shown. The next three chapters cover BTR-60PB variant, the first being the BTR-60PB Walk Around. It provides great reference on the exterior of the vehicle: hull, flotation splashguard, front windows and lights, waterjet outlet, troop hatches, turret and KPVT barrel, suspension... you name it, it's there. A comprehensive chapter on BTR-60PB Engine Details follows, and it is a real treat for anyone interested in GAZ-49B engine. The transmission, fuel tanks and radiator details are shown in this chapter as well. Next up is BTR-60PB Interior Details chapter. The images show front section with driver's and commander's compartment, troop compartment, turret interior. The complete interior is covered in great length with the photos providing an amazing reference for those wanting to add some detail to the interior of their models. Perfect! The next two chapters cover BTR-60PB-PU12 variant, the anti-aircraft battery command vehicle. The walk around chapter gives a nice overview of the vehicle exterior and displays the antenna mast, while the interior details chapter covers the specific layout of the telecommunication equipment, radar, etc. The final chapters cover another radio communications/command variant, the BTR-60PB-R145BM. Again, the walk around chapter provides an overview of vehicle's specific features, particularly the telescopic antenna mast and frame antenna details, while the interior details chapter gives a very elaborate reference on the interior peculiarities of this particular BTR-60 variant.
There are number of BTR-60 models in 1/35 scale covering many different vehicle variants. Panzershop makes full resin BTR-60PB and the communications/command variants covered in this book, BTR-60PB-PU12 and BTR-60PB-R145BM. In the last couple of years Trumpeter released many BTR-60 variants in 1/35 scale: BTR-60P, BTR-60PA, BTR-60PB and BTR-60PU. BTR-60P, BTR-60PA and BTR-60PB are also available in 1/72 scale from Ace Model and ICM. If you have any of these model offerings and you are thinking of adding some extra details to it, this book is definitely a must.
BTR-60 in Detail from WWP is a great book. It is 120 pages long and covers two main vehicle variants BTR-60PA and BTR-60PB, as well as two command/communications BTR-60PB subvariants: BTR-60PB-PU12 and BTR-60PB-R145BM. The book consists of 385 color photos and diagrams. The photos are large and clear, and provide a very comprehensive reference of the vehicle, showing both exterior and interior in great detail. The text is kept to a minimum, but it complements the photos well. Altogether, BTR-60 in Detail is a valuable asset for anyone building a BTR-60 model.