David Grummitt is an accomplished historian, author, and scale model builder. With his 2020 work, Stryker Interim Combat Vehicle: The Stryker and LAV III in US and Canadian Service, 1999-2020, he has given the modeling community a comprehensive reference for this vehicle. More than a simple photographic history, this book is tailored to the needs of an armor modeler as it provides many photographs, drawings, kit reviews, and variant details.
Grummitt begins by skillfully telling the story of how the Stryker armored vehicle was conceived and positions its development within the never-ending tension of wheeled and tracked vehicle doctrine, a debate that stretches back to WWI. He helps the reader to see the Stryker as an icon of the tumultuous post-Cold War world, with its changing doctrines and threats. Grummitt describes how the Stryker started its career in 2002 as a flexible infantry and reconnaissance vehicle and how its versatility has since been exploited in a wide range of variants. Over time, Stryker variants were developed to take over the many tasks of the obsolete M113 system and to meet new threats. Grummitt details the features of the Stryker variants: command, communication, medical, and engineering vehicles. In addition, the author documents the upgrading of the Stryker’s armament to meet new threat profiles. Grummitt also gives the reader a bonus as he explains how the Stryker is related to the Piranha and LAV III wheeled vehicles.
Grummitt’s work is organized with the modeler in mind. After describing the history, development, and initial deployment of the Stryker, he inserts a modeling section prior to explaining the details of the many Stryker variants and the vehicle’s service. In his modeling section, Grummitt reviews the Stryker kits available. He provides detailed critiques of the kits, the aftermarket accessory parts, and the stowage options available to the modeler. This section of the book includes 62 photographs of excellent Stryker model builds by noted armor modelers, including Grummitt’s personal work. This section also includes 15 superb illustrations of vehicles from different time periods, configurations, and locations.
Special thanks go to Pen and Sword Books Limited for providing this book for review. This reference work contains 77 clear and colorful photographs of actual Stryker vehicles. They cover a range of training and combat operations. Close-up pictures are provided for specific armaments and modifications. Of special interest to the modeler dedicated to accuracy, the majority of Grummitt’s photographs are dated and their locations given. The Stryker’s flexibility means it can be configured in several ways with many stowage arrangements. Many of these vehicles have baggage and equipment covering up their exteriors. Unlike most reference books, this book takes great care to show these many situations to the modeler with a plethora of photographs of the tops and rears of the vehicles.
Grummitt’s Stryker Interim Combat Vehicle is an excellent reference for anyone interested in modern armored vehicles. It is produced with high quality, with only a handful of minor typographical errors. Grummitt is thorough in his documentation of the various production orders and specifications because his purpose is to help the modeler understand why the vehicle is designed as it is. With its wonderful photographs, artistic figures, and modeling overview, this work is highly recommended and accomplishes what few reference books do. Grummitt’s book will inspire you to build a model of the Stryker combat vehicle.