Book Review
Land Rover Defender

by: Henk Meerdink [ HENK ]

The book starts with a history of the Land Rover, and over 4 pages (2 if you take the bi-lingual format into consideration) the initial development and production of the Series I, II, and III are explained, as well as the development and use of the Land Rover 101 (Forward Control) and a look at the use of the 'Civilian' Range Rover, Discovery and Freelander. This is followed by 5 pages of photographs of relevant Land Rovers, including an armoured Series III 'lightweight' and a Spanish version build under license.

The next chapter deals with the Land Rover 90/110/127/130 Defender, and 5 pages (bi-lingual) explain in some detail the technical aspects and various upgrades during the development and production of these types. The FFR (Fitted For Radio), Ambulance, Rapier towing vehicles and Armoured Defender versions are described, and there is a technical specifications list of the 90/110 types. 13 pages of photographs follow the text, with pictures showing all versions in situations ranging from cold snow, to the African Bush, and under slung under a Chinook helicopter.

The third chapter looks in detail at the Land Rover 90/110/130 Defender XD Wolf. This is the improved Land Rover Defender, and the text again list the development, technical specifications, and goes into detail on the specialised subjects like Ambulance and WMIK. Another 13 pages of high quality colour photographs of the various XD Wolf version follow, as before showing the Land Rover in operation across the globe.

The final chapter consists of just one page of text, and 16 pages of photographs of Land Rover Defenders in use with Armies around the globe. This includes the License build versions, as well as locally created modifications, and as such is my favourite chapter.

My first impression when I opened this book was very positive, as the production is as usual top class. Gloss cover, with sharp photographs of subjects that grab your attention (rather than just a 3/4 view of a Land Rover from the factory) and a clear layout. Inside the photographs are just as good, and an attempt to quickly 'thumb through' to check out the contents is not easy, as almost every page has some rare or extraordinary Land Rover to check out.

The text is bi-lingual throughout (German and English) and follows the lay-out of a German language column to the left of the page, and an English one to the right. It takes a little getting used to, but works well overall. Unfortunately the translation is not as good as it should be, with a large number of grammatical anomalies, and a number of spelling mistakes. The errors are subtle, and don't really effect the text to much, but I would have expected better.

All photographs are individually captioned (bi-lingual) giving details of the type of vehicle, and such details as where and when the photo was taken. Where appropriate the captions also point out extraordinary details. The photographs are excellent, and the variation of locations and different levels of equipment are what makes this a valuable addition to the modellers reference library. Now if only the plastic model manufacturers would produce more Land Rover Models.

This book earns its recommendation on the quality and range of the photographs. Not only useful when modelling a Land Rover, it is also a good reference for weathering in general, as the photos range from 'just polished for parade' to 'there is a truck underneath that mud somewhere'. Tankograd books can be ordered directly from their website. If you can get a copy, you will not be disappointed.

  • Soft Cover
  • 64 pages
  • Author: Carl Schulze
  • 122 colour photographs
  • Vehicle development
  • Technical data
  • Bi-lingual

The ubiquitous Land Rover is one of the most widely used and produced vehicles in the world today and is probably the only vehicle which is both a success in its civilian as well as military roll. This new volume in the 'British Special' series from publisher Tankograd deals, as might be expected, with the military version of the Land Rover. As we have come to expect from Tankograd, this publication is cramped full of high quality photographs, as well as a full development history.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: British Special 9004
  Suggested Retail: Euro 14,95
  PUBLISHED: Dec 05, 2006
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing!
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About Henk Meerdink (Henk)

Copyright 2021 text by Henk Meerdink [ HENK ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks for the review. I might just have to hold on to my AA Landrover and trailer. Too bad AA hasn't come out with an aftermarket FFR detail set.
DEC 05, 2006 - 06:46 AM
Jason, I was thinking the same thing yesterday. I just finished the AA Wolf with WMIK, just a few touches to the base. The kit is a pain to build, but well worth the effort. Cheers Henk
DEC 05, 2006 - 09:10 AM
The front cover has a Perentie (looks like mobile workshop) on the front. I wonder if there are many useful photos of the perentie inside?
DEC 05, 2006 - 12:36 PM
Pave-Hawk, unfotunately that is the only photo of the 'Perentie'. The photo inside is over a half page though, so the detail that is there is nice and clear. The caption states that it belongs to the Australian contingent deployed in Iraq. The vehicle was at Camp Smitty in 2006. Something I just realised I did not specifically point out in the review, is that all the pictures are exterior pictures of the complete vehicle, there are no interior or close-up detail shots. Cheers Henk
DEC 05, 2006 - 08:13 PM

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