Introduction and acknowledgement
A few weeks ago, I put up a thread asking for link for images of the Panzer 1 and received a PM from Chris Hughes asking for my adress as he had some images on CD he could send me. Last week, a packet arrived with the CD of the Pz1 along with three of 'Toadman's Walkaround series of picture CDs. Therefore the least I can do is to give him some (well-deserved)) publicity..
The CD - Toadman's LVT(4) Walkaround
There is simply nothing more frustrating than to buy a book on a particular subject and to find that the vehicle you are interested in appears as a footnote on page 47 in an image of the size of a postage stamp... Most books are after all, NOT written for modellers and our frequently obsessive demand for images of the smallest most obscure detail. Therefore productions like Toadman's are a boon for the modeller.
The photographs in the CD were taken at Joe Garbarino's World War II U.S. Military Vehicle Museum in San Rafael California.
The images on the CD are split into four seperate categories. These are:
1) LVT(4) Hull exterior
2) LVT(4) Suspension
3) LVT(4) Cargo compartment
3) LVT(4) LVT(4) Driver's compartment
Each one of the four categories splits into a detailed list of the photos in each section which makes accessing a particular detail shot extremely painless. Unlike other CDs of this type, Chris has taken the time to label each photograph with a brief description - again taken from a modeller's perspective. This facet is extremely important as if one is looking for detail of the construction of the tracks (for example) a number of views are immediately available...
Although the subject of this CD is an LVT in a reasonably poor state of restoration, this in itself, is not a bad thing. Although there are components which are in a poor state of repair,the essential details and forms are present - the high-quality of the images is also a major factor here. What does come out very clearly are details like the bolt-mountings and the weld-seams. The latter will be of particular interest to anyone recreating the subject. Nor, in my opinion, is the example portrayed of this LVT, very far from the reality of 'contemporary' vehicles - an amphibious vehicle was suject to far greater damage from its envirnment than a tank for example, with all sort of effects happening due to accelerated corrosion. There are worse sources for a modeller than 'under-restoration' vehicles...
The quality of the images, bearing in mind the limitations in museums (position,access etc.)is truly superb. Chris has done an extraordinary job (and no doubt extremely uncomfortable at some moments) in producing so many high-definition images. There are no less than 125 images on this CD alone - more than enough to keep the most obsessive super-detailer happy for hours...
Conclusions and Availability
As I mentioned before, these are products designed by and with the modeller in mind. All too often we have reference material which is designed for those with a 'passing' interest in a subject. These CDs are for the modeller and alog with a number of useful books on the same subject will rapidly become an indispensible reference source.
Toadman's Tank Pictures
can be obtained directly from the 'Toadman's Website
or can also be purchased from Tiger Model Designs
Finally, I would like to thank Chris 'Toadman' Hughes
for supplying the review sample...
VERY Highly Recommended