Bit-by-bit the gaps in reference material are getting filled. Capricorn Publications are a Czech publishing house who, within their Army Wheels in Detail Series, are producing a series of books which cover some lesser-known and previously, poorly-covered subjects such as the Challenger A30 or the Studebaker US-6. This the latest from the Publisher, which covers in surprising detail, the well-known British Quad Gun Tractor.
AW 03 - Morris Commercial C8 Quad (Mk.I, Mk, II, Mk.III & Nº5 Body) is a soft-bound, 44 page book covering this widely-used British Gun tractor. The book is written by Petr Brojo and is the 3rd in Capricorn Publication's series. The book contains a mixture of images - B&W from WWII, color from several preserved examples, color-plates which illustrate the variety of camouflage schemes the vehicle carried and several pages of 1/35th scale plans. For those who require it, the book has ISBN 978-80-903945-1-3
The book begins with two pages of notes on the vehicle's development. Following on from this, there are 18 pages devoted to the vehicle in service - through the use of B&W archive photos. The service history, due to the limitations of a book of this size, is detailed but, by necessity, truncated although the author has chosen well in the archive images with a variety of theaters of war represented. Polish, British and the Czech Independent Armoured Brigade are all represented in this section. Not only the 25 Pounder is represented either - several photos show variants towing the 17 pounder and a few (in-training) show an unlikely combination of the Quad with a French 75mm Schneider. The images are of a good size and have many useful details of stowage and markings.
Going from the 'Archive' to the 'Current', the author then begins the presentation of various marks of the vehicle using images of preserved examples. This section begins with the exterior, moves on to the chassis (common on ALL the covered variants) which is presented using color photos along with reproductions of the original manual. The chassis design was extremely complex and various details are highlighted such as the rear winch cable drums.
The next section covers the engine - again color photos and reproductions of the manual serve to cover any area that a super-detailer would need.
Three pages of color photos present the internal arrangements of the crew & driver's compartment.
Penultimately, moving onto close-ups of some of the small external details - lights, front bumper etc. two pages are used to good effect here.
The final section of the book's walk-around covers the ample stowage spaces that the Quad utilized.
Going from details of the vehicle, the publishers then present the last part of the book - Camouflage & Markings followed by five pages of 1/35th scale plans. Once again, the Mk.I, Mk.II, Mk.III and Mk.V are shown with some good, crisp plans. All possible views are shown (four per variant) with the last page showing overhead views. This is a very useful part of the book as there ARE some differences, which for correcting the Tamiya kit are crucially important.
It should be stated that there WERE (inevitably) some small detail differences between the General Motors (Canada) produced Quad and the British-manufactured MORRIS Quad, if you're really determined to be as exact as possible then another source should be used as well.
This point apart, and reflecting the low-cost of this book, what this book represents is extraordinary value for money. There is a lot of information within its 44 pages which should satisfy any project involving the Quad. Those who are into scratchbuilding will find a good starting point to work on the Mark V (until a plastic or resin kit becomes available). Most however, will use this as a means of converting the Tamiya model.
Hopefully, this book will be sufficiently successful to encourage the publishers to go further and publish a FURTHER book covering some of the other variants and, in particular, the Quad used as a prime mover for the 17 Pounder Anti-Tank Gun. Alternatively a book covering nothing more than archive images of the vehicle in-service would also be welcome.
This is my first 'meeting' with the books of Capricorn Publications and I guarantee it WON'T be the last. It's a simple and well-tried format which covers as much information as the modeler needs. Fortunately, the Quad is pretty well-represented in Museums and Private hands, so getting more detail images isn't too difficult. VERY Highly Recommended
Highs: The scale plans, the camouflage schemes and the high-level of detail. Lows: Perhaps the Mark V body would justify a separate volume?Verdict: A superb book which represents impressive value for money.
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About Jim Rae (jimbrae) FROM: PROVINCIA DE LUGO, SPAIN / ESPAñA
Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...