TOADMANS TANK PICTURES
Toadman's 152mm Gun-Launcher AR/AAV M551 Sheridan Walkaround CD. Compact Disk containing 156 color photographs, introduction and bibliography. Price: $5.99 USD, plus $2.15 USD each shipping (First Class in USA, Air Mail to all other points). Three or more CDs per order are shipped free.
This review covers the final recent release from the Toadman, which provides reference information for the oddest in-service US post-WW2 AFV; the oft-maligned (and poorly represented in kit form) M551 Sheridan Armored Reconnaissance/Airborne Assault Vehicle. The tank used in this CD appears to be of the pre-1972 type used before any modifications were carried out; therefore it does not have the AN/VVG-1 laser rangefinder on the commanders cupola (which would make it an M551A1) and has the original style of turret rim-mounted XM-176 grenade launchers (which were replaced in the late 70s). It appears to be finished in a variation of the 1970s MERDC desert scheme and sports some rather garish artwork on the turret side; the name on the gun tube is a Desert Storm marking not appropriate for this tank type or color scheme. So, this CD is most appropriate as a reference for Sheridan tanks used in Vietnam.
The disk is broken down as follows:
Main Table of Contents.
Introduction and Acknowledgements (with Source list).
Turret exterior TOC, 53 photos.
Hull exterior TOC, 46 photos.
Suspension TOC, 12 photos.
Turret interior TOC, 28 photos.
Hull interior TOC, 17 photos.
Navigation is quite intuitive and requires no deep knowledge of computer operation, which is nice for us old guys who were not brought up with these things. Simply read a title, click, view a photo and click next to keep going. The CD is also set up so it is easy to bounce from one TOC to the next, without having to view the entire section that the user has currently opened. Packaging is in a typical slim jewel case and each CD comes professionally labeled on the case, as well as on the surface of the disk itself. My samples came securely packed in a bubble-wrap envelope and arrived un-damaged from California to NYC in a few days.
This is a handy reference, limited by the fact that this is an early version of the Sheridan and the sad reality that there is not a single decent kit of this very unusual and widely-used tank (Vietnam, Panama, NATO, OPFOR and Desert Storm) anywhere on the market.
Frank V. De Sisto
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