bookPT-76 Family in detail
Present Vehicle Line #G 020
František Kořán, David Perry, Jan-Willem de Boer
Wings & Wheels Publications.
Published by RAK, Czech Republic.
ISBN 978-80-96416-72-4

144 pages all in colour.

Review by Terry Ashley

Wings & Wheels continue their Modern series this extensive reference on the PT-76 family of vehicles and includes chapters on the PT-76/PT-76B, BTR-50, OT-62 Topas and FROG 3.

The 240mm x 225mm soft cover book has 144 pages entirely in colour with all English text and excellent walk around and close-up detail shots of featured vehicles for those building the Trumpeter PT-76 kits and other available models.

The book starts with 10 pages giving a brief overview of the development history, a short description of the vehicle features and technical data of the PT-76B with the test intermixed with general overall shots of the 5 vehicles covering in the book. The text from here on is confined to the photo captions with all available space taken up by the excellent close-up photos. As with previous Wings & Wheels books most details have more than one photo taken from various angles to give good overall perspective to the detail being shown that is very useful for modellers.

PT-76 Hull Details pages 14-17
Detailed close-up shots of the main hull features including the engine deck access hatches and intakes, water jet covers and intakes, position keeping lights and driver's hatch details to show some of the details of the early PT-76 hull. This is followed by a couple of pages with details of the PT-76B engine deck that highlight the differences between this and the earlier engine deck.

PT-76 Turret Details pages 18-51
This section has 5 pages showing the details of the initial PT-76 turret including shots of the main gun and co-axial MG, Commander's hatch and turret periscopes plus other details and this is followed by 6 pages with similar shots of the PT-76B turret to again highlight the differences that will come in very handy for builders of the Trumpeter kits.

The next 26 pages deal entirely with the turret interiors of the initial PT-76 and the PT-76B with details of the Commander's hatch showing the inner periscopes, 4 pages with extreme close-ups of the Driver's compartment showing the seat, instrument panel, gear levers and numerous shots of the floor mounted gear linkages.

This is followed by 4 pages covering the D56-TM/TS gun with shots of the breech from various angles as well as line drawings from the tech manuals with side and top views of the gun as well as 4 shots of the co-axial SGMT showing the gun, mounting and ammo box.

Next comes 2 pages with shots of the turret 76mm ammo storage boxes followed by 10 pages of turret interior shots including details of the turret ring fittings, turret traverse and gun aiming hand wheels plus the many smaller electrical and junction boxes around the turret walls as well as the radios and crew seats.

PT-76 Engine/Hull interior Details pages 52-57
This sections has close-up shots of the engine inside and outside the vehicle as well as shots of the engine accessories, wiring and plumbing supplemented by tech manual drawings as well as 2 pages with excellent details of the water jet systems for anyone wanting the detail up the basic jet pipes in the Trumpeter kits.

BTR-50PK pages 58-75
This section has a couple of pages of text with history and technical data on the BTR-50 followed by further extreme close-up shots of the hull details showing the engine deck and roof details, forward hull hatches and head light details as well as detailed shots of the wheels and tracks with shots from various angles to show good details, these shots are applicable to the PT-76 suspension as well.

Next comes 4 pages with interior details showing the driver's position showing the periscopes, seat, driver's controls and instrument panels as well as a few hull sidewall details.

OT-62 TOPAS pages 76-87
The OT-62 TOPAS was the basically the BTR-50 modified and built for the Czech Army and this section again has a couple of pages of text history and development data followed by walk arounds showing the hull details that highlight the differences with the base BTR-50.

FROG 3 pages 88-99
Again there are a few pages technical descriptions of the vehicle and launcher types followed by detailed walk arounds of the hull details plus 3 pages with 17 photos of the launcher control details followed by more shots of the 3R8 missile and and launcher details with shots from all angles to cover many of the complicated launcher details.

Captured PT-76B at Latrun Museum pages 100-106
This section has a nice walk around of a captured PT-76B in the Israeli Latrun Museum that has additional hull and turret close-up exterior shots to compliment those shown earlier in the book.

IDF BTR-50PK at Latrun Museum pages 107-123
Another captured vehicle showing an extensive walk around of the hull exterior covering the hull sides, engine deck, forward fighting compartment and head light details to again compliment the BTR-50 shots shown earlier in the book.

There are 7 close-up photos of the roof mounted FN Mag machine gun mounting fitted in IDF use followed by 4 pages of hull interior shots showing additional details. The interior of this vehicle is not in the best condition with much of the equipment missing but the shots show some good structural and troop seat details that should be useful.

IDF OT-62 TOPAS in Latrun and Golani Junction Museums pages 124-133
More good exterior walk around shots of the OT-62 in IDF service with close-up shots of the hull exterior details including the engine deck, hatch and periscope details and some of the IDF modifications for additional equipment and armament.

South Lebanon Army BTR-50 Ambulance pages 134-139
This section has exterior walk around views of an ex IDF BTR-50 modified as a field ambulance with the South Lebanon Army and has more good hull details as well as the modified hull front although some of the exterior fittings are missing the main structures are still in place but the 4 interior shots show the rather dilapidated state of the vehicle and don't offer much in the way of usable detail other than the main structures.

PT-76 Camouflages
Finally there are a few pages with colour side elevation drawings of the PT-67B and BTR-50 in various camouflage schemes including Syrian, IDF, Russian, Egyptian and Iraqi to give a nice overview of the many and varied schemes than can be applied to the PT-76/BTR-50 family. As the shots are just single side views the two with multi-coloured schemes are a little limited and I also there has been a slight printing mix up and some of the schemes are out by about 10% although you would be hard pressed to notice if I hadn't mention it?


This is another superb reference book from Wings & Wheels aimed directly at the modeller with a minimum of text basically just for the photo captions and brief histories with the rest devoted to superb close-up and walk around shots of the PT-76/BTR-50.

The superb close-up detailed shots are extremely clear and show the details very well with just about every part of the vehicles covered in the different sections of the book. The final chapters showing the captured IDF vehicles gives a different perspective to the vehicles shown earlier in the book to offer more appeal.

This book will be an indispensable reference for anyone building the Trumpeter PT-76 kits an any other available kit/conversion as well as anyone just interested in Russian AFVs.

Highly recommended.

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Thanks to František of Wings & Wheels Publications for the review book.

Page created October 13, 2008