Reference, Toadman's CD#20, Toadman’s M16 MGMC Photo Detail CD
December 6 2008 at 9:26 AM
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TOADMANS TANK PICTURES
CD#20, Toadmans M16 MGMC Photo Detail CD. Contains an introduction and 389 color photographs.
The digital age has allowed more and more people to deliver more products on Compact Disk for significantly less money than more traditional means. In the case of modelers, this means that photo-detail reference books are increasingly supplemented by CDs at significant savings. A typical CD sells for about 25% of the price of a comparable paper product. In the realm of AFV modeling, the Toadman is the premier source of such digitally-produced reference works.
The latest in the continuing series of Toadmans Tank Pictures is this CD containing photographs of several restored items currently of interest to modelers. Coverage in this instance includes the M16 Multiple Machine Gun Motor Carriage, armed with four M2 .50 cal. machine-guns, the M15A1 Combination Gun Motor carriage, armed with a pair of M2s and a 37mm automatic cannon. Both were issued to US and Allied users as mobile anti-aircraft artillery. The related M55 towed mount for the quad .50s is also covered, making this product quite comprehensive.
Following a brief introduction that includes acknowledgments and a brief reference bibliography, the modeler is directed by the CDs menu to various sections such as:
Multiple Gun Motor Carriage M16
Combination Gun Motor Carriage M15A1
Trailer Mount M55, Multiple Cal. 50 Machine Gun M45
From there, each image is viewed in turn with a mouse-click. Coverage of the M16 is particularly comprehensive since the Toadman had complete access to the vehicle. This is supplemented by several photos of a vehicle held in a private collection in Italy. All major external components are covered in great detail as are the internal bits. The quad mount is given extra attention, as is the engine compartment and drivers cockpit. The subject vehicle is also fairly completely-equipped, so the photos also show details of tools, radio set, stowage lockers, and sometimes their contents; special attention is paid to jerry cans, the stowed water bucket and the large-capacity ammunition cans.
The M55 towed mount is also given extensive coverage and is accompanied by some images from a period Technical Manual. The latter source shows the firing solenoids attached to each M2, something not seen on the preserved examples and also not represented in the available kits. Detail fanatics take note.
Due to restrictions on access, the section on the M15a1 does not have any close-in coverage of the mount or its more obscure details. It is still nevertheless a useful section since it provides overall views of the vehicles layout and other points of interest not often discernable in available archival images. Toadman is always up-front about access in the disclaimer typically seen on the introductory section. Like the rest of us, he wishes access could be all-encompassing, but, it is what it is, as the saying goes.
Throughout, the images are crisp, well-composed and properly exposed. They are logically ordered within their sections, which in turn are also sensibly divided. The photographers are all modelers, so their instincts for showing certain items are usually on the mark. Each image is captioned informatively, if rather briefly. Unlike some more expensive paper publications, there are no orphans without any captions.
Regardless, with interest in the M16 running high with the release of new kits from DML and Trumpeter, this CD is perfectly-timed. It is a quality, affordable product and will be extremely valuable to those modelers who wish to take their replica as far as possible into the realm of super-detailing.
Frank V. De Sisto
For ordering information and more photos visit Toadmans web site at: