Chris “Toadman” Hughes is well known for his AFV detail photo CDs. His latest CD covers a subject that served with US Forces for just a blink of an eye, the M47 Patton tank. The tank did soldier on in the armies of several foreign nations for decades though. It was never intended to stay in US service for any length of time. It was to be the tank that filled the gap until the M48 Patton was ready for fielding.
This is the first of Toadman’s photo CDs that I have had the privilege to review. At first glance, the CD is professionally done and includes approximately 300 color photographs.
navigating the CD
When placed into a PC computer, the CD uses Internet Explorer to navigate. There is an errata sheet with Mac instructions, but not having that system, I can only assume it is compatible. The CD gives the ability to either browse through the contents of a subsection page by page or to jump straight to a particular photograph such as “The Gunner’s Seat”. The descriptive photograph names are essential when looking for a particular shot. I was able to use Internet Explorer’s print function to make a hard copy of a photo. This feature would be useful to a modeler who does not have a computer near the workbench and needs the photo close at hand while detailing the model.
The CD starts with a table of contents that separates the reference into seven subsections:
- Introduction and Acknowledgements
- 90-mm Gun Tank M47 profiles and table of content
- 90-mm Gun Tank M47 turret exterior table of contents
- 90-mm Gun Tank M47 hull exterior table of contents
- 90-mm Gun Tank M47 suspension table of contents
- 90-mm Gun Tank M47 turret interior table of contents
- 90-mm Gun Tank M47 driver’s compartment table of contents
Not covered is the engine compartment, but since the reference is geared towards model builders, this is not a problem unless you want to scratch build an engine. The breakdown of the subsections is done in a logical manner, taking the reader on a walk around of the tank before climbing inside the turret and finishing with a trip through the driver’s compartment.
The photos are clear and show plenty of detail. There are a few that are out of focus, but are more than adequate to detail a model. Several outdoor museum display tanks are featured as well as one tank with a restored interior.
The only error I noticed in the captions is on photo number 144, The Right Side Taillight Assembly. The caption states, “On the M47, the top lens of the right taillight is not used while the bottom lens is a blackout marker.” The top lens of the right taillight is the blackout drive brake light and illuminates when the brakes are applied with the blackout markers on.
The CD describes itself as a modeler’s reference and not a history of the vehicle. Because of this there is only a brief synopsis on the tank itself.
available model kits
Much like the actual tank’s service, plastic models of the M47 are few and far between. In 1/35 scale, the Italeri M47 Patton tank is the only one. The kit made its debut in the late 80s and has been in and out of production ever since. The kit represents the pinnacle of Italeri tank models and remains arguably one of their best tank kits to date. It has been released by Testors and currently is Revell of Germany kit number 03062.
There is also a 1/32 scale ex-Renwal kit now owned by Revell. This kit was typical of the early days of modeling and includes many over scaled workable features. Not a serious model in this day and age.
With written references of the M47 Patton tank few and far between, this CD is invaluable to fans of the missing link of Patton tanks. At $7.99 with $2.25 shipping, this CD is a reasonably priced addition to any modeler’s reference library. This is a highly recommended item.
My thanks to Toadman for providing the review sample.