by: Bill Plunk [ ]
Introduction ToadMan's Tank Pictures produces CD walk-arounds of various vehicles that are specifically aimed at the modeler's interests in regards to detail photos and close-up shots of various features. #17 in the series deals specifically with the German WW2 armored scout car armed with the 2.0cm, the Leichter Panzerspahwagen Sdkfz 222. The CD utilizes the surviving 222 on display as part of Jacques Littlefield's collection in conjunction with the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation (MVTF) to produce the walk-around and is not designed as a historical reference on the 222. The Introduction to the CD issues a disclaimer that the vehicle in question was an example that served in Tunisia and was captured by the British and therefore has features that may not be universal to all 222's.
CD Contents The CD contains 325 high quality photos in a combination of walk-around and close-up details of the 222. The CD is organized as a web-page with sub-pages for the Introduction and Acknowledgments, Turret Exterior, Superstructure Exterior, Engine Compartment, Suspension, Gunmount and Turret Interior, Superstructure Interior, 2cm 10 round Magazine, and Turret Measurements. The CD is designed to run as a "stan-alone" by inserting it into any CD drive on a computer and allowing the auto-run features to activate, making it highly portable. A special disclaimer is included inside the jacket for Mac Users as the auto-run function is not available to them. As an additional plus, it's also possible to save the contents of the CD to a folder on your hard-drive and operate it as you would a normal web page on your PC with full functionality and navigation without having to run from the drive itself if desired/preferred. The menu navigation and descriptions of each section provide a flexible means of locating photos for specific features or details vs. having to navigate each subsection in their entirety to find what you're looking for.
Material The CD sub-sections offer comprehensive photos of many of the fine detail features that will be of interest to modelers looking to add details or features missing from kits on the market today. The photos include descriptions of the features being addressed as well as providing additional information specific to this vehicle where appropriate. Features that are common to the right and left side of the vehicle are cross-linked within the sections to allow easy flipping back and forth to see what features are where and how they differ. All of the sections go into significant detail on their particular areas and the quality of the photographs is very good, especially considering some of the angles required to get the shots in question.
Of special note is the section on Turret Measurements aimed at those who are interested in scratch-building or modifying kit-supplied items to get correct dimensions and angles. The turret is photographed from multiple angles and each section is faithfully laid out with both dimensional and angle measurements. This provides a valuable reference vs. trying to decipher on your own what they ought to be from normal war-time photographs or museum examples. Where appropriate, a tape measure is included in the photos to give a true representation of scale and dimension to provide the most accurate representation possible.
Overall I found the CD very easy to use and is packed full of valuable reference material of a surviving example of a 222 to enable the modeler to go "all-out" in detailing or just tweak some things here and there depending.