Easy 1 Productions is a company that specializes in high quality reproductions of the original WWII era vehicle technical manuals. Their products are available only on Compact Disc (CD) and can be used on any basic personal computer (PC or Mac). Most of their product line centers on US vehicles, but they do have some British vehicle products available as well. Besides scans of the tech manuals, Easy 1 sometimes will provide bonus images, such as photographs of museum vehicles and other tech manuals related to the vehicle covered by the CD. For instance, Easy 1 provides scans of a 67 page training manual on the use of the 37mm anti-tank gun with their M8/M20 manual set.
Easy 1’s products are aimed toward the hard corps modeler and/or vehicle enthusiast. If you need technical or mechanical information and photos, or need info on the fine details of specific vehicles, their products are for you. However, if you want general overviews of the vehicles covered, including background, camouflage and markings information, then you’ll need another product line to help you out. This is not a slam toward Easy 1 as that coverage is outside their concentration, but you should know what you’re getting, and what you’re not.
Also, as Easy 1’s product lines are reproductions of technical manuals, the content is based upon what was in those original manuals. With that being said, some manuals are more useful to us modelers than others. Some have more illustrations or photos and some have less. Therefore, my point is that each CD edition is different and should be judged on its own merits.
the Staghound CD
This manual is chock full of stuff and is one of their best. It consists of three different sub-sets of information. They are:
1) Staghound I Technical Manual (368 pages, with 496 scans and 289 black & white images/illustrations);
2) Staghound III Technical Manual (63 pages, with 65 scans and 11 b/w images/illustrations);
3) Staghound I photographs (112 color photographs of restored museum vehicle)
Accuracy of Information
Being that the information are exact copies of the original vehicle technical manuals produced by the US Government (with assistance from the manufacturer, General Motors) the information is as accurate as any other source available. If you can’t rely on this information, what information CAN you count on?
Photographic/Image Quality and Selection
Obviously since the pages of the technical manuals were scanned from the original printed copies, these images are not going to be perfect or of the highest quality. However, the images are surprisingly clear and easy to use with this Staghound CD. There is no difficulty in discerning details or reading any pages. It looks like Easy 1 got their hands on a nice copy of the original, so we get a nice set of images as well.
In addition, the bonus color photos we get of the museum piece are of good quality. They aren’t the best, but due to the lighting situation at inside the museum there’s not much that could have been done. The photos are definitely usable though.
The image selection of Easy 1 productions rests a lot on the particular technical manual documents. The more images in the original, the more we get from Easy 1. With this specific manual, we get tons of great photos for use.
As for the selection of the added color photos included with this Staghound CD, we get a real treasure trove of images. 112 color photographs are provided of a museum housed Staghound I (no photos of the III). The photographer, Scott Taylor, definitely did a lot of work as most of these photos are detail shots. Yep, we get some overall photographs, but the real bonus is in those details. These will definitely help anyone building the Bronco Staghound I or even the Accurate Armour offering of the kit.
As I said before, each Easy 1 info CD is different. Although you can use this review to assess the general quality of the images in their products, this review cannot be used to specifically rate the quality of the images in their other CD products. However, with that being said, Mr. Powell does well with what he has available and he will not release products that are unusable. Just remember, the quality of the images does rely upon the quality of the original printed source though.
Use as Reference
Being that this informational CD on the Staghound is fairly comprehensive in coverage, specifically where details are concerned, this product is a great resource for modelers or even vehicle enthusiasts. We are given a lot of data, photos, and illustrations which cover every aspect of both the Stag I and III.
The only “negative” issue that this CD (and most other Easy 1 products) has is that there is no vehicle background, markings or camouflage information provided. This is the only nit I have to pick with this CD and I am definitely reaching for things to find wrong by mentioning this point. Being that camo and markings are outside the scope of Mr. Powell’s coverage, it is definitely understandable. I would have liked to see some of this stuff though.
The last thing I must say about this product is that although it is a wonderful reference and resource, most of us can’t take it down to our workbenches to use as we model. That is, unless you have a PC by your workstation, a television with DVD player, or a portable DVD player/monitor (you can use it this way too); and many of us don’t. To put it bluntly, this product isn’t a book and thusly isn’t as flexible as one to use. Otherwise,, you’ll need to print each page you need and bring them to your bench.
Really, this is a small point to make, but my preference is to have my references handy when modeling and I can’t reconcile my SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) with computer media. That is, until I get a PC by my modeling station. Please note that this last point is a personal issue with me, so don’t hold it against Easy 1 or any other manufacturers of similar computer-modeling products. I figured I’d mention it though as many of us treadheads are “old school” and like things the way we like them. We’re anal-retentive I guess….
Easy 1 Productions’ Staghound Informational CD is a must for armored car modelers and enthusiasts. If you need technical or mechanical information and photos, or need info on the other fine details of the Stag I or III, this is definitely for you. You get tons of photos, and will be a great help in modeling the Stag or even if you just want to know more about them. If you want a general overview of the Staghound including background, camouflage and markings information, then you’ll need something else to supplement this product. This reference is really aimed toward the hard corps modeler and/or vehicle enthusiast. Highly Recommended.
Thanks to Mike Powell of Easy 1 Productions for giving me the opportunity to review this CD.
Highs: Tons of detail information directly from the source of the original technical specifications: the vehicle manufacturer via the US Government.Lows: No background, camouflage or markings information provided.Verdict: Easy 1 Productions’ Staghound Informational CD is a must for armored car modelers and enthusiasts. If you need technical or mechanical information and photos, or need info on the other fine details of the Stag I or III, this is definitely for you.
Our Thanks to Easy1 Productions! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.