bookRaupenschlepper Ost "RSO"
Nuts & Bolts Volume 29
Heiner F. Duske, Tony Greenland, Detlev Terlisten
Published by Nuts & Bolts Books
Neumünster, Germany
176 pages A4, glue-bound soft cover

Review by Terry Ashley

This recent volume from Nuts & Bolts is devoted to the Raupenschlepper Ost "RSO" developed to combat the conditions in Russia and is the usual Nuts & Bolts soft cover A4 format with 176 pages that include both English and German text and includes many B&W wartime photos and colour walk around shots of preserved museum vehicles as well as numerous 1:35 plans and colour profile drawings. It should be noted this book only covers the transport and specialised vehicles other than the RSO PaK 40 which was specifically covered in Nuts & Bolts Volume 09.

The first 28 pages are mostly text with a few photos and cover the development history and technical description along with production data including charts showing the production numbers and organizational charts of the different types. Additional text information describes the operation use as well as colour and markings and a short section on modelling the RSO that gives a brief rundown on the various RSO models released over the years.

The next 54 pages include many wartime B&W photos (mostly two or three per page) with the captions in English and German covering all versions of the RSO types with the photos giving a good overall coverage of the types. Most cover the standard cargo RSO’s in both the metal and wood cab types, there is also a few pages covering the unusual snow blower version used to clear snow from roadways.

This section gives a very good overview of the RSO with shots with and without the rear canvas cover as well as showing various camouflage schemes as well as the uniforms of the crews, there is shots of the vehicles as standard cargo carries with the large trailer as well as towing the PaK 40 which was one of its primary functions.

Following this are 15 pages with 1:35 plans and drawings by John L. Rue with plans of the RSO Prototype, RSO/01, RSO/3, RSO/3 Ambulance, the Sonderanhäuger “Ost” Trailer and Gebirgsschlepper “Ost” prototype. The plans are mostly five or four view plans with some additional plans showing the RSO/01 with Snow Shoes.

The next 8 pages have colour profiles of the various vehicles to provide some interesting colour schemes for models, these are a mixture of the standard cargo types with metal or wood cabs shown with and without the canvas tilt covers in place. Most of the colour illustrations have small period photos showing the actual vehicle illustrated.

Following this are 51 pages with restored museum examples that show some good close-up shots of the exteriors of the cab and engine compartment as well as the cargo tray. Others show the engines, suspensions, chassis and track details and the cab interiors for good details for those building any of the models available. This is followed by a short section showing in B&W period photos the prototype of the short two road wheel chassis as well as detailed close-up shots of the track links and snow shoes to add to the detailed walkarounds.

The final 8 pages have models built by Tony Greenland, there are just two models shown with the RSO/01 with canvas tilt cover, the RSO/03 without cover. The images show the models under construction with caption descriptions as well as shots of the completed models that will provide some useful inspiration for RSO builders.

This is another excellent volume in the Nuts & Bolts series covering the basic cargo versions of the RSO series with extensive detailed close-up photos of both the exterior and interiors of the vehicles as well as many excellent wartime period photos showing the many variations in body types as well as paint and equipment finishes.

The book has a good mix of technical and development info as well as wartime photos, museum walk-around photos and extensive 1:35 plan coverage and is just the reference for those building any of the available RSO kits.

Highly recommended

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Thanks to Nuts & Bolts for the review book

Page created May 10, 2013

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