I will begin this review with three disclosures – I edited the text when the book was at the draft stage, I contributed a number of photographs and John Myszka is a long time friend of mine. That stated and out in the open, rest assured I am a professional journalist (if that is assurance of any kind), and this review is written without fear or favour.
Moving right along, this predominantly full colour pictorial 168 page work is one of the finest and most comprehensive reference works on a Family of Vehicles I have ever had the pleasure to encounter.
The fourth in his “Military Briefs” series, John Myszka has really hit the nail on the head with this offering. The picture quality is not only superb, it is also extensive – covering the development of the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle from the first trials vehicles purchased from the United States Marine Corps and the Canadian Army in the early 1990s right through to the eight wheelers serving in trouble spots to this day.
The book is an eye opener to me ... in as much as I accompanied the 2nd Cavalry Regiment on its first ASLAV Squadron’s maiden exercise deployment – Taipan Watch in the Northern Territory in June 1996 – I took some time out from foreign corresponding to work straight jobs for the next nine years and the next time I encountered the vehicles was in Iraq in 2005, by which time they had evolved into very different beasts.
John has documented this evolution comprehensively and succinctly ... indeed, the Defence Minister who signed off on the ASLAV project, The Honourable Kim Beasley, wrote the foreword, in which he states: “This book contains all the military buff would want to know about the acquisition and equipping of Australia’s ASLAV”, which pretty much sums it up.
As well as the historical imagery there is also extremely detailed “walkaround” photographs of all phases of all hull types complete with informative captions. The icing on the cake are detailed cutaways of all vehicle types supplied by General Motors of Canada – the best I have seen! Myszka has called in all the big guns when it came to the photographs – many of the best and most informative images came from the men who crewed the vehicles in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, and he has also comprehensively research the Australian Defence Force’s photo archive in presenting his stunning array of mostly unpublished pictures.
And as much as the vehicles have been comprehensively covered as never before, Myszka has gone that extra mile to detail the uniforms and equipment worn and used by the crew throughout the era the ASLAV has served in Australia and overseas. There is even an appendix which details the various models available at the time of writing, and their suitability for conversion to ASLAV types. As much as the Trumpeter 1/35 ASLAV is not mentioned, the release of this book is timely indeed for those wanting to super detail what is a very sound kit.
Whether you are a specialist writer, a military vehicle enthusiast or a model builder, as far as reference works go, they don’t get much better than this. Buying this book is a great way of supporting the many “cottage industries” that support our hobby and, as a big bonus, it is also a great read!
Highs: Comprehensive information presented in an easy reading and accessible manner, each of the extensive picture illustration is of the highest quality.Lows: None.Verdict: Without doubt an instant classic ... THE ultimate reference work of the ASLAV!
About Mick Toal (Heatseeker64) FROM: NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA
Journalist and photographer - aka :"scribbler and snapper" - based in Sydney Australia. Been modelling as long as I can remember and it's my great distraction away from work. Regards my career, well every time I think it's slowing down it goes and speeds up again! Check out my blog at: http://heatse...