ISAF Vehicles Afghanistan 2007
Kabul & Kandahar Area
This book is a fascinating and revealing look at the vehicles used by ISAF forces in Afghanistan. The author is a serving army officer who spent some time in the Kabul and Kandahar regions in 2007. His photos and detailed colours and markings notes form the basis of this new book, which will be invaluable to anyone interested in modern-day conflicts or modellers of modern military vehicles. The author is donating his royalties from this book to two service charities Dick Taylor joined the British Army as a Junior Leader in 1976, and served as a tank crewman and commander in the 3rd, 2nd and 1st Royal Tank Regiments, reaching the rank of Warrant Officer Class One. He has served in many countries worldwide, including in Australia, Canada, USA, Egypt, India, Malaysia and South Africa. He has served operationally in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Bosnia and Croatia, Macedonia, Kuwait and Iraq, as well as in Kosovo where he was awarded the Queens Commendation for Valuable Service. He was commissioned in 2000, and his specialties have included tank gunnery instruction, Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear operations, Psychological Operations, and lately, defence exporting. He has a First Class degree in History, and is currently reading for a Master's degree at Dundee University. He is married with two sons and lives in Blandford, Dorset. Future MMP books from Dick include a 4-part series on British Army vehicle camouflage and markings from 1903-2003, "Warpaint" (Vol 1 due Jan 2008), and a fascinating look at the uniforms and equipment of British AFV crews in WW2, "The Men Inside the Metal" (due Spring 2008). Dicks' combination of active military experience and sound historical knowledge is perhaps unrivalled, and we are delighted to be able to offer his books to military enthusiasts everywhere."
Review By Patrick Keenan - Aurora, IL USA
Review Type Normal Read
Basic Positive Features Color photographs of very high quality and presented in large sizes. Many vehicles not usually photographed and featured in other publications are captured here.
Basic Negative Features If you are seeking very detailed information, this book was not designed for you. The purpose of this book is similar to an encyclopedia in that the information is fairly basic or general in nature.
Overall Rating 4.6 of 5.0
Accuracy of Information Rating 4.5
Editing Of Information/ Text Flow Rating 4.5
Photo and/or Illustration Quality/Selection Rating 5.0
Usefulness as Reference 4.5
Quality of Print Medium Rating 4.5
Recommendation Highly Recommended
Since there are not many reference books available that focus on military vehicles in current service (surprisingly), I was very anxious to get this book for review. I was not disappointed. The author provides almost 200 high-quality color photos of vehicles in service with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) contingent in Afghanistan. Mr. Taylor specifically focuses on the Kabul and Kandahar areas as those were the areas he served in with the British Army.
The true focus of the book is on the photos. Only limited information is provided via text to explain or discuss the photos. The purpose of the book is NOT to give huge amounts of specific detail information. The book is really meant to be a photographic encyclopedia of the ISAF vehicles. For instance, each vehicle covered has a few photos of it provided as well as some basic statistical information like crew number, engine, length, width, etc.
The book is split into 4 parts, with two main sections, and is then subdivided into smaller sections based on specific vehicles or countries. The content of the two main sections is as follows:
Part I: Vehicles LAV III AT105 Saxon Fuchs Landrover Dingo VAB Hagglunds BV206s Mercedes G-Wagen HMMWV SISU Cougar VBL RG31 Mk 3 Nyala Puma Cobra MLV VM90p Hermelin
Part II: Vehicle Camouflage and markingsISAF Markings Belgium Bulgaria Canada Croatia Denmark Finland France Germany Greece Italy Macedonia Netherlands Norway Portugal Romania Turkey UK USA Afghanistan National Security Forces UN
Accuracy of Information
The accuracy of the information provided by the author is very good. When compared to my personal references on the ISAF in general, and on the individual vehicles in specific, Mr. Taylor’s book is very accurate. I did not identify any wrong or misleading information contained in this book. Also, being that the author is a British Army officer who served in the area/theater covered, there is absolutely no reason for me to believe the information is inaccurate. Thusly I don’t think I missed any significant errors either.
Editing of Information/ Text Flow
There is NOT a lot of text information provided in this book. After all, the photos are the primary focus of the book. The textual information is in most cases used to explain or elaborate on the photos and/or provide context. With that being said, the text flow (e.g. the writing ability of the author) and editing of the information that is provided is very good though. The information is also provided in a logical and organized way and wasn’t confusing. The book structure makes sense too in that it is set up in encyclopedia format and is easy to use and very informative.
Photograph and/or Illustration Quality and Selection
Like I said before in this review, the photographs are the primary focus of this book. Mushroom and Mr. Taylor really hit this aspect hard by providing almost 200 photos in less than 100 pages. The color and clarity of the photos is top notch. Since this book is a ISAF vehicle encyclopedia, you don’t get a ton of detail photos specifically showing widget X on vehicle Y. Most photos provided are of the type where they give overall views of the vehicles and camouflage/markings described. Most of the photos provided are in an easily viewable/useable size so as to be able to identify a specific vehicle, markings or camouflage. In most photos you can even identify/discern all but the smallest details too.
The selection of photographs provided by the author is excellent in quantity and variation as well. Most (if not all) of the photographs the author provides are from his personal collection, so they are not available anywhere else but in this book. The photographs cover many of the combat vehicles in the Kabul and Kandahar areas of Afghanistan. To be sure not all vehicles are covered, but he does a very admirable job of covering most vehicles nonetheless. Although 41 color illustrations are provided, you should know that probably 90% or so are only color renditions of ISAF country flags. Only a small handful of illustrations are provided of other types of markings. This might sound like a knock on his book, however it is not. Since the photographs provided are of such good quality and quantity, very few illustrations were needed to supplement the book’s photos.
Use as Reference
This book is an excellent reference for modelers as well as vehicle enthusiasts. As stated before in this review, Mr. Taylor’s book provides photos of modern/currently fielded vehicles which are (so far) rarely covered by publishers. High quality photographs and basic supplemental text information is provided on each vehicle highlighted. However, although the text is limited, if you are purchasing this book it is probably for the photos anyway.
However, there are a few minor limitations to the book that you should be aware of. The good news is that all of these “limitations” fall outside of the scope of the book as defined upfront by the author, so it’s not like you’re missing something he promised. First of all, the author himself mentions that the vehicles covered are mostly from the Kabul and Kandahar areas of ISAF operations as that is where he was stationed. Vehicles used outside that Area of Operations are not concentrated upon, so there are some vehicles used by ISAF not covered in this book.
Second, as most of the vehicles used by ISAF are wheeled that is the vehicle type focused upon by the book. Only one tracked vehicle (the Hagglunds BV206s) is covered. Finally, although the author provides many great photos of a large selection of the basic vehicles used by ISAF, the coverage of all variants of each type of vehicle used is not 100% complete. To be fair though, I do agree with the author’s statement that covering every modification/variation would have been next to impossible as there are almost limitless possibilities. However, I would have really welcomed seeing more coverage on the multitude of modified US HMMWV vehicles (even though he does provide more photos of the HMMWV than most WFV’s) as they are one of the most common sites in that theater.
Quality of Medium
This edition is a very sturdy 8” x 11 ½” soft cover book. The construction of the book facilitates fairly frequent use/reading of the book, but probably won’t hold up extraordinarily well with constant use... Obviously, all soft cover books suffer from the fact that they don’t hold up as well as hard cover books. However, in my opinion, this book is sturdier than other soft cover books due to the slightly thicker paper stock used.
This book will be a great addition to your reference library if you are at all interested in modern wheeled fighting vehicles in general or interested in ISAF/NATO vehicles specifically. A multitude of vehicles and their markings/camouflage are covered with the use of a large number of high quality color photographs.
The only limitations of this book are those solely based upon the specific circumstances encountered by the author; most notably location of Operational Theater he was able to cover/ types of vehicle encountered. As these issues were addressed up front by the author himself, I cannot fault him in any way. He gives us everything he promises and then some.
By Ray Mehlberger
Mushroom Model Publications has produced a large number of aircraft related books. Only recently, have they started to also do some on armor subjects. This new book is one of those. It is in a 11 ¾” x 8 ¼” soft-cover format of 96 pages.
The book is a photo album of the International Security and Assistance Force vehicles serving in Afghanistan in 2007, showing the wide range of vehicles used, their color schemes and their markings, both service and theatre-specific.
Dick Taylor is a British Army officer with wide experience in AFV operations, who has served in many parts of the world. On his 2007 second trip to Afghanistan, he took many photos of the ISAF vehicles he saw there, and made detailed notes of the colors and markings. This book is the result.
Many different vehicles are shown, from LandRovers to fully armed and tracked APC’s, in service with 20 different nations, from Belgium to the USA. Basic data for all vehicles is given, and national and ISAF markings are described and illustrated. All photos are in color.
Military enthusiasts will see many fascinating details of the vehicles, not the least “in-theatre” modifications suck as wire cutters fitted on many. It will be an invaluable reference source for military enthusiasts and scale modelers.
Reviewer: Scott Van Aken
As you may recall, Mushroom Models Publications has been doing a few books on military vehicles (as opposed to aircraft) in their green series. These have been, for the most part, large format books as opposed to the regular 'osprey-sized' aircraft publications.
This particular one is basically a photo book on the various vehicles that were operating in 2007 during the author's tour of duty with the British Army. It gave him access to a lot of different types and those are included in this book. The actual number and variety is quite extensive, as each of the 20 different nations brought in their own specialty vehicles.
The book it divided into two major sections. One is on the vehicles themselves. There are at least two large images per page with a stats block at the beginning of the part on a specific vehicle. The photo captions provide the bulk of the information. The other section is by nation. This section shows the various types of vehicle used by each country and is listed alphabetically. There are no tanks or SPGs or other heavy weapons of destruction. Instead, these are APCs and light armored cars that would be used for general patrol. All photos are in full color and include shots of several of the unique 'in theater' modifications done to some of these vehicles.
In all, a superb look at the various modes of transport used by the international peace-keeping force in Afghanistan today and one that needs to be on the shelves of any serious military modeler.
Reviewed by Adam O'Brien
Title and Publisher: Mushroom Model Publications
Green Series no. 4103
ISAF VEHICLES AFGHANISTAN 2007 By Dick Taylor
Media and Contents: Soft cover, A4 format, 96 pages all colour
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: Comprehensive look at ISAF vehicles
Disadvantages: No vehicle explored in detail
Recommendation: Highly Recommended
ISAF, the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan was first set up in 2002. In the summer of 2007, the force is in its 10th iteration, or ISAF X. The main ISAF HQ is a large multi-national affair, and is based in the centre of Kabul. Of special note with this book is the fact that the authors fee has been donated to the RTR Benevolent Fund and to BLESMA, the British Ex-Serviceman’s Association.
Now let me cut to the chase. If modern soft-skin & armoured wheeled vehicles is your thing then buy this book. In it you will find a smorgasbord of all the latest wheeled vehicles used by the armed forces of the world. No less the 20 different countries involved with “the coalition of the willing” are represented here with large, sharp and well-composed photographs.
The book’s layout is very simple. First we have an introduction which explains what the ISAF is, and how it operates. Also outlined are troop numbers by country. After this we have 2 main parts. Part 1 outlines the different vehicle types (18 in all), and the second part is a national summary. Basically, who uses what.
From a modelling viewpoint, this book is pure gold. Most of the vehicles outlined have some form of modification applied. We also see a lot of personal touches applied to the vehicles by the different crews. Of special note and interest is the myriad of different style markings applied country by country. The author explains and interprets the markings very well in the text.
Listed below are just a few of the (more unusual) vehicles highlighted in the book as an appetiser…
Of course the book is also full of the better-known machines like Humvee’s, Landrover’s and Cobra’s. There really is a fantastic variety on show.
Most of the pictures were taken on various bases throughout Afghanistan, so what we see are vehicles either about to leave on a mission or patrol, or just returning. This is a good mix as the machines exhibit the relative clean of the base prior to leaving and the nicely weathered appearance on return. All great reference for the modeller.
Mushroom Publications “ISAF Vehicles Afghanistan 2007” is a superb reference work by Dick Taylor. It’s a great book to flick-through and contains modelling inspiration on every page.
Reviewed By: Sean Lynch
The International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan consists of many nations. With a large variety of nations present, a wide variety of vehicles and equipment used can be seen. Additionally, a wide variety of paint schemes and markings can be seen among the vehicles in use. Predominant among nations are armored cars, utility vehicles and trucks. Often the utility vehicles and trucks are up armored.
Dick Taylor, the author, took the photos during his service with the British while in Afghanistan, principally Kabul and Kandahar. The photos in the book are clear and the quality of the binding and pages is good. The point of the book is photos of the various vehicles. As such, there is little text, just a brief descriptions of what subject is about. In other words a lot of great photographs of the vehicles in use in Afghanistan.
The book is divided into two sections. The first examines the types of vehicles in use by various countries in theater. The second section shows examples of the different color schemes and markings used by the various nations vehicles in use in Afghanistan.
This is a very handy reference for modelers to have to get a good feel of the variety of vehicles in use in Afghanistan. The book does a great job laying out the vehicles by type and which countries use them. The second section on the markings and paint is very useful for modelers who want to accurately portray the subjects. There are a lot of vehicles in use, and the author effectively illustrates the vehicles used. Unfortunately, due to the sheer number of vehicles in use, this book is not meant to be, and really couldn't be, a walk around photo book of each vehicle in use. However, it gives a great overview of the vehicles with high quality photographs and good descriptions of the photographs. There are some exotic, almost Road Warrior-ish vehicles in use and this book shows them to you. Now finding a model kit of a lot of these vehicles to model could be an entirely different challenge.
Highly Recommended for those interested in Vehicles in use in Afghanistan.
Modelar 1/2008 - Czech magazine 2010-06-27
CyberModeler.com 2nd review 2010-06-27
By Ray Mehlberger
Date of Review April 2010
Mushroom Model Publications (MMP) is based in the UK. They have their books printed in Poland by Stratus in the English language. MMP now has a U.S. distributor for their books, located in Pennsylvania by the name of Casemate.
This book was first published in 2007, and is about what vehicles were used in Afghanistan back then by the ISAF (Internation Security Assistance Force). It is virtual picture album of those vehicles.
The ISAF in Afghnistan was set up in 2002 and in the summer of 2007 was in it’s tenth iteration, or ISAF X. It is often described as a “Coalition of the Willing”. At that time, although this flucuated, around 17,000 troops – the U.S. had nearly 15,000, whilst the UK was the second largest contingent with over 7,000. Others contributing significant numbers (over 1,000) were: Germany (nearly 3,000), Italy (around 2,500), Canada (2,000+), as well as the Netherlands, Poland and Turkey. Amongst the smallest contributing nations were Iceland with 10, Ireland with 7, and the smallest of all, the Ukraine with a single soldier.
This photo-record contains nearly 200 color photos, and the intention of the book is to focus primarily on these photos. However, explanatory notes and captions are included where these will be helpful.
In the first part of the book you will find some of the types of vehicles (18) used in Afghanistan in 2007, mainly in the Kabul and Kandahar area. In the second section of the book, it concentrates on the schemes and markings noted. A huge number and variety of vehicles was to be found around the country then, and this photo-book cannot hope to show all of them in all their various configurations. One reason for this was the extensive up-armouring that was an ongoing feature of the fleets. In some instances, this up-armouring used traditional steel armour plate, but increasing use was being made of other materials too. For obvious reasons, wheeled vehicles far outnumbered tracked AFV’s. However, normal trucks and lorries were increasingly being armed and armoured, as the traditional “rear areas” were no longer clearly defined, and logistic troops often found themselves attacked whilst on convoy duties. Many countries supplied protection enhancement kits designed to be fitted onto such vehicles in this theatre, and which could also be moved between vehicles as required, for example – if the fleets were rotated for maintenance reasons.
For those interested in the camouflage and markings of these vehicles, it will be seen in the second part of the book that many of them remained in the European schemes. As a general rule, tactical vehicles employed in the rural areas for operations were in various sand-colored schemes, but urban vehicles were often left in the plain green or normal European camouflage colors.
The author’s fee for this book has been donated to British servicemen’s benevolent funds.
He is a serving army officer, who spent some time in the Kabul and Kandahar regions in 2007. His photos and detailed colors and marking notes form the basis of this new book, which will be invaluable to anyone interested in modern-day conflicts, or modelers of modern military vehicles.
The book is 96 pages long. It is soft-cover and is in 8 ¼” x 11 ¾” page format (close to letter stationary size).
Vehicles pictured are:
Canadian LAV III’s (7 photos)
British AT105 Saxon’s (3 photos)
The German Fuchs (Fox) (6 photos)
British Landrover (also used by other countries in the ISAF) (6 photos)
German Dingo’s 95 photos)
French VAB’s (a 4 x 4 version of the Panhard VAB, standing for Vehicule de l’Avant Blinde, or Forward Area Armoured Vehicle) (3 photos)
Italian BV 206S (a tracked vehicle used by the Italian Army’s Alpine troops (2 photos)
The Mercedes G-Wagen (pictured in the marks fo various countries) (6 photos)
The HMMWV “Hummer” (used, naturally, by the U.S., but others too) (10 photos)
The Finish SISU (similar in many respects to the Fuchs) (2 photos)
Cougars (a U.S. armoured troop carrier) (3 photos)
Panhard VBL French light armoured vehicle (used by France and other countries) (5 photos)
The RG31 Mk.3 Nyala of Canada (3 photos)
The Italian Puma (3 photos)
The Turkish Cobra (4 photos)
The Italian MLV (2 photos)
The Italian VM90P (3 photos)
The Macedonian Hermelin (3 photos)
Several insignia’s and markings are shown in the second section of the book with the color and camouflage schemes, along with 22 photos showing these. There are 2 photos showing colors and markings on Bulgarian vehicles, 4 for Canada, 2 for Croatia, 4 for Denmark, 2 for Finland, 4 for France, 6 for Germany, 1 for Greece, 3 for Italy, 4 for Macedonia (FYROM), 2 for The Netherlands, 2 for Norway, 4 for Portugal, 3 for Romania, 4 for Turkey, 3 for the UK, 8 for the U.S., 1 for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), 2 for the UN and one shot of a civilian vehicle.
Tamiya Model Magazine nr 150 2010-06-27
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