Chris “toadman” Hughes has become well known for his website featuring photo collections of many types of military vehicles. Several are now being featured in CD volumes that contain complete detailed walk-arounds of the vehicle.
The latest CD, #20, focuses on the M16 MGMC halftrack. As an added bonus, we also get a short walk-around of the M15A1, and pictures of the M55 trailer mount for the Quad 50cal. Perfect timing for the M16 kits out by Dragon and Trumpeter, and now the latest announced release of a M55 by Dragon.
The CD comes in a hard jewel case with a color paper insert featuring a photo of the subject, as well as the title and Chris’s website address. Inside is the table of contents and a small insert with instructions for Mac users. The CD itself has a full color label with all the same information as the case insert.
Once you load the CD into a PC, it automatically starts an interactive page through Internet Explorer (the default web browser on my computer). It does not require web access, but uses the program to run the HTML documents that walk you through the pictures.
A table of contents comes up with hyperlinks to:
--Intro and Acknowledgements
--M16 MGMC photos
--M55 M45 photos
--link to Toadmans Tank Pictures website (web access needed)
Within the Intro and Acknowledgements you get a brief introduction and history, notes about the photos, some additional references, and acknowledgements.
There are a total of 385 photos on the CD, with 10 being for the M15A1 and 22 covering the M55 trailer mount with M45 Quad 50. The rest of the 353 photos are all for the M16, so that should be an indication of how comprehensive this walk-around is for the title vehicle.
At the main table of contents, clicking on any of the 3 subject vehicles will take you into a second contents page. For the M15A1 and M55, there is a list of available photos such as “left side”, where the user will click on the link and be shown the photo of the left side.
Since there is a large number of photos for the M16, clicking on this link takes you to a list of major areas, such as “interior” or “gun mount”, and clicking on that will take you to the list of available photos for that specific region. This set up makes it very easy to find the photos you are looking for.
Further, when you open up a photo, you get the picture, a caption, a “Previous” and “Next”, plus links back to the sections table of contents or the overall vehicle table of contents, much like navigating through a website.
All of the photos are between 900K-1100K resolution, so the images are very sharp and show crisp detail. In addition to the standard overall shots, there are lots of up close detail shots of specific items, such as hinges, panels, running gear, equipment, etc. So there are plenty of photos for the super detailer to pour through. For the M16, you get detail photos of the cab, interior, running gear, engine, exterior, gun and mount. Plus also various equipment such as water cans, decontamination canisters, and others.
This is an excellent CD and the format makes finding the specific pictures needed very easy. If you have an M16 MGMC kit or the upcoming M55 and wish to detail it, this CD is a must have.
Highs: Loads of great detail shots, crisp clear images, great format.Lows: More coverage of the M15A1 would be great.Verdict: Outstanding reference item for the M16, must have!
About Andy Renshaw (skyhawk) FROM: FLORIDA, UNITED STATES
I started modeling around 8 years old when my dad bought me a Monogram 1/48 A-7. We built that together, and after that he turned me loose. Along with armor and figures, I also enjoy building aircraft and trains (model railroading), and tend to cycle between the genres.
Recently married, I have...