TOADMANS TANK PICTURES
CD#22, Toadmans Mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t Sd.Kfz.7 Photo Detail CD. CD-ROM photo reference containing 304 color photographs and introductory text by Chris Hughes.
The mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8-ton Sd.Kfz.7 has been a popular modeling subject over the years, especially since it could usually be paired with the 8.8cm FlaK gun. Several self-propelled gun mounts were seen on the chassis, so manufacturers could always justify the investment. Currently, DML and Trumpeter are neck-and-neck in the competition to produce new-tool kits of the Sd.Kfz.7. This, in turn, has elevated the need for reference material, especially where the detail-oriented modeler is concerned. Two recent books have been devoted to the subject and are well worth getting if the modeler is interested; they have been reviewed here at MLs Time on target, as referenced below.
But, thats not what we are here for today!
The product in question is the most recent effort from that most dangerous of all of natures creatures: an amphibian with a digital camera, a.k.a. Toadman. The Sd.Kfz.7 in question is held in the collection of the late Jacques Littlefield and represents a KMm11 with pressed steel body; it is not the one covered in the two books mentioned above. The body style features welded rods for grab-handles on the side panels between the access points for the seats; others had cut-outs in the panel.
Typically, the CD is broken down into segments including:
Introduction and Acknowledgements.
Exterior Table of Contents.
Engine Compartment Table of Contents.
Chassis Table of Contents.
Crew and Troop Compartment Table of Contents.
Each is separately accessed with a click of the mouse in its turn. There are brief descriptive captions, which for the most part name the items being viewed. Virtually every nook and cranny is delved into in very great detail. It was especially interesting to see the tool, spare tire and ammo box lockers opened up in all their glory. The runners-up for heavy coverage also include the underside of the chassis, the inside areas of the suspension system and the engine compartment. The framework for the canvas foul weather cover is also presented; this is not seen anywhere in any other publications.
The quality of the photography is excellent, with proper composition and exposure being the norm. The photos are easily accessible to the computer user. On my Windows XP-equipped machine, the CD loaded on its own and by double clicking on start, easily opened. Then its just a matter of working through the tables of contents to the specific area of interest, and then working through the images. A nice feature of these CDs is the ability to link directly to an image related to the one that is currently being viewed. One can also double-click My Computer, then single-click on the file icon, and then double-click on File/Open so that all images will open at once to be viewed as thumbnails. This will make it even easier to find a needed detail image.
So, in a nutshell, this CD-ROM has several things going for it: quality photos, layout and image access; it covers a vehicle not seen in other similar references; its an extremely fine bargain. What else could the modeler ask for?
Frank V. De Sisto
The Green One may be reached at: www.toadmanstankpictures.com.
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