TOADMANS TANK PICTURES
CD#16, Toadmans Half Track Car M2A1 Photo Detail CD, by Chris Toadman Hughes. Photo-reference CD. Price: $7.99 USD, plus $2.15 shipping.
It has been surmised for some time that a new series of kits of US WW2 Half-Tracks, to replace the venerable Tamiya kits, would be welcome by modelers. After many years, the industry has responded with a proposed avalanche of new kits in 1/72nd-scale, 1/35th-scale and 1/16th-scale. DML was first with their current release of a new M2/M2A1 kit.
Publishers of traditional printed-paper reference books are used to relatively long lead-times, but the same cannot be said for those who publish photo reference Compact Disks. With proper timing and a good feel for what the market wants and needs, producers of reference CDs can be Johnny-on-the-spot when it comes to new product. This is certainly the case with Toadmans latest effort.
Typically, I will slide the CD into my computers optical drive and if it doesnt auto-start, I will open up via instructions enclosed in the package. The CD is extremely easy to navigate. It starts with a table of contents, which contains the links to the following sections:
M2A1 Half-Track Exterior.
M2A1 Half-Track Suspension.
M2A1 Half-Track Interior.
Each section contains dozens of photographs, covering nearly every detail that can be seen under normal viewing conditions. An added attraction is that the engine hood doors are depicted open, providing some great images of the engine for those who wish to add details to the one mounted in their model. In addition, since the subject vehicle has all the additions (mine rack, M49 armored ring-mount, folding racks on the rear end and late head-lamps) of a fully-re-built chassis, we get to see all the details we need relevant to any version of the M2A1. Since the subject vehicle is fitted with the roller/bumper, the photographer has also shown the winch-equipped bumper of another Half-Track.
Other detail photos show the various weapons, their mounts and detail variations. The interior of the fighting and driving compartments are quite completely covered, and where possible, locker doors have been opened up to reveal their innards. Seats, floor panels, radio fit and wall panel details are also well-covered. All accessible aspects of the suspension system, drive line and front wheel assemblies are visited, as are the details of the various suspension components.
The photography overall is extremely well-done, with attention to proper exposure being of particular note. Using the cameras strobe is tricky, no matter how user-friendly todays electronic marvels really are. Details are readily visible, everything is in proper focus, and the images are sensibly-composed in order to offer clear views of the subject vehicles various facets. Each image is briefly captioned and where suitable will link to any other related photo.
Excellently-produced, timely and easily-accessed, this very low-cost CD alternative to printed-paper books will become worth its weight in gold, when these new kits hit the streets. Get it while its hot!
Frank V. De Sisto
For ordering information and more photos visit the web site at:
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