Nuts & Bolts Vol.33 le FH18, le FH18 in Wespe and Hummel-Wespe

Nuts & Bolts Vol.33 le FH18, le FH18 in Wespe and Hummel-Wespe

It was more than 18 years since we published Nuts & Bolts Vol. 02 on the „Wespe“. It contained a short summary of the vehicle and brief descriptions to accompany the surviving vehicle photographs in museums and collections. Since then Nuts & Bolts has constantly evolved and improved. Historic photos, tables of organization and equipment, informations about the delivery of the vehicles to the units and the vehicle’s use in active service have been added. Every issue has these features together with 2D & 3D scale drawings, camouflage plates and a model section to complete what we believe is the most comprehensive study of each represented vehicle. Historically the “Wespe” is an important addition to the German Army equipment and therefore we think it is appropriate to offer to our readers a totally new issue with all these additional features on the “Wespe”. Additionally, the 10.5 cm leichte Feldhaubitze 18M, which armed the “Wespe” and the „Hummel-Wespe“ have also been included in considerable detail.

Book details:

  • by Joachim Baschin, Martin Block, Heinz Tippmann
  • published on November 15, 2014
  • soft cover
  • german & english texts
  • 184 pages
  • 353 photos (198 historic, 40 model, 115 modern)
  • 40 blueprints
  • 13 camouflage schemes, tactical markings, table of organsisation (KStN)
  • only 29.90€
  • Available from Nuts & Bolts website.

The book follows the same format as usual. The texts are in English and German with the English texts on the left of the page and the German on the right. All images and photographs have captions in both languages. The English translation is excellent. Now, let’s take a look inside the book to see what we get.

There is a table of contents which lists all the various sections of the book, as below.

  • le. FH18 Historical and development p2
  • le. FH18 Production & Camouflage p5
  • Wespe development p9
  • Wespe production p14
  • Wespe Organisation & Structure p16
  • History of units p18
  • Hummel-Wespe p45
  • Wespe Camouflage p46
  • Models p47
  • Bibliography p49
  • le. FH18 Contemporary photograpsh p50
  • Wespe Contemporary photographs p69
  • Scale drawings p117
  • Colour Profiles p130
  • Preserved Vehicles and components p137
  • Modelling p174

This book this book covers the le F.H.18 used both as a horse or vehicle drawn howitzer and in the Wespe. It starts off with a detailed description of the development of the artillery piece, its construction and variants. The gun was introduced in 1935 and by the end of the wall some 11,795 had been producerd. The gun was also used by various post-war armies. Since the gun was introduced prewar the camouflage and markings varied considerably through its lifetime from three colour prewar camouflage schemes wartime to grey and dark yellow.

Production of the self-propelled artillery design started in early 1943 mounting the le F.H.18. The small differences in the various production runs are mentioned in the book so you can easily spot them in photographs of the real vehicle. The ammunition carrier version of the Wespe is also mentioned. Next there is a discussion of the various vehicles and organisation in a self-propelled artillery battery.

The next section of the book goes through the delivery of the Wespe and le F.H.18 to various artillery units and goes into quite a lot of detail about when each unit received their weapons and what their  strengths were at various times during the war, right up to the final days of the war. There are 2 very handy tables that shows the strength of various units in various months for the Wespe and the le F.H.18.

There is a short discussion of the “Hummel-Wespe”. This is basically the artillery piece from the Wespe mounted in Hummel vehicles there were no 15cm  artillery pieces for. Camouflage and markings for the Wespe is also covered although it is pretty simple as they were all delivered in dark yellow.

After a quick discussion of surviving vehicles in museums and private collections there is a short article on the models of the Wespe and le F.H.18 available along with a table detailing all the models and accessories currently available when the book was published in 2014. The bibliography shows that 61 different sources of information used in pulling together the information in this book.

Next we move on to what for modellers is the most interesting and inspirational part of these books, the photographs. We start with 59 photographs of various types of the howitzer followed by 124 photographs of the Wespe. For both weapons we start with the very early versions and work through to the very end of the war. The captions are informative and clear and point out interesting parts in the photograph to give you a thorough understanding of weapons.

Then we move on to the 1/35 scale drawings which covers both the howitzer its limber and the Wespe  showing the differences from the first prototype through to the final production. It then shows 12 colour profiles of Wespes each one based off a photograph shown in the black-and-white photographs section of the book.

Next we have photographs of preserved vehicles in museums and private collections and for this they visited 14 different sites. These colour photographs show lots of detail including representative weathering as some of these vehicles are stored outside. Several of the colour photographs are labelled and the parts named. A lot of fine detail shown in these photographs isn’t normally visible in anything except a manual. This section contains 115 modern colour photographs

The final section of the book shows a couple of builds of models. It shows a completed le F.H.18 by Tony Green and goes through a step-by-step build of a Wespe with several photographs and a lot of good description.

Conclusion
This volume is up to the usual high standards of this series. If you’re building a model of the le. FH 18 or a Wespe then this is the only reference volume you need.

I bought my copy from the Nuts & Bolts website.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International
Scifiantasy

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