M551 Sheridan Tank Walk Around

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Chris Hughes
Other Publication Information
Softcover, 80 pages, 240+ photos, detailed B&W line drawings
Product / Stock #
Provided by: Squadron - Website: Visit Site

When I’m not building in the era of World War 2, I’m doing Vietnam subjects, which made the choice to do this review quite obvious for me. Just about all my modeling buddies are familiar with or have a number of these Squadron/Signal Walk Around books. If you’re one of the few modelers who are not familiar with these titles, you should be - and this latest volume on the M551 Sheridan is no exception.

Presented in their customary landscape format, this 80-page softcover volume on the M551 is just chock-full of approximately 244 clear, close-up color photos of the exterior and interior of this small AFV. An assortment of line drawings accompanies the photos and text, clearly helping to illustrate the engineering and function of various aspects (like the running gear) of the Sheridan. The full-color cover illustrations (both front and back) are done by Don Greer and are up to the usual quality of his work. There is a very short obligatory write-up on the Sheridan at the beginning of the book, but that is typical of these Walk Arounds, as they focus more on photos of the nuts and bolts of the subjects rather than on their histories.

The main photographic example of this Walk Around is the M551 “Death Stalker” housed at the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation (MVTF) in Portola Valley, California. From what I can tell from the photos, due to the presence of the original aluminum tow lugs on the hull of the tank, this is a restored late-production M551 that did not undergo the 1977 Product Improvement Program (PIP). I also did not see any evidence of the laser range finder system that was added to the Sheridan in 1972, so this vehicle appears to be quite representative of those late version M551’s that served in Vietnam – please let me know if this is not the case!

One important thing that needs to be mentioned is that not only are the photos the highlight of these Walk Around books, but in this one the captions are extremely helpful in describing the actual workings of various aspects of the Sheridan (like which way an access panel or vent opens up) - valuable to those of us who do super-detailing and dioramas.

If you like armor and build to detail, or even if you just like being familiar with the minute details of the subjects that you model, or are just plain interested in the Sheridan, this book is highly recommended. At around $18.95 suggested retail, this volume represents good value for the money.

I’d like to thank Squadron/Signal Publications for providing this review sample and IPMS/USA for giving me the opportunity to write this review.


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