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Book Review
TM 9-738, Tank Recovery Vehicles M32

by: Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]

Introduction
For the modeller of U.S. AFVs and other vehicles, access to the technical manuals is, for many, an incredibly rich source of reference material. These manuals were produced for every piece of equipment in the U.S. inventory as a source for maintenance and repair of the vehicles and equipment. Logically, these manuals had to be published with every component listed and illustrated. With this quantity of detail, the value for the modeller becomes quickly apparent. This is the third review I have posted on the products of Easy 1 Productions - a company which is gaining an excellent reputation for reproducing many of the technical manuals on CD Rom format along with additional material aimed very clearly at the modeller - and in particular, the 'super-detailer'.


The CD Rom
T042: TM 9-738, Tank Recovery Vehicles M32, M32Ba, M32B2, M32B3, and M32B4, consists of a single CD-Rom. Breaking it down into its content, The first section consists of TM 9-738 which is a reproduction of the 154 page workshop manual. The second, reproduced, section, is ORD 9, SNL G-185/187 which contains 19 scans. the third reproduced manual is a 121 page (post-war) manual from the 'Armoured School on Vehicle Recovery and Field Expedients'. The final section contains a 20-photo 'Walkround' of a preserved example at Fort Knox.


In Depth
I want to do this review a little differently, by emphasizing the 'utility' of this product for the modeller. Once again, i'll be looking at the four parts of the CD Rom with a fifth section dealing with the all-important subject of image quality.

TM 9-738 First published in 1943, this War Department manual consists of four seperate sections: Operating the Vehicle, Maintenance, Armament and a final chapter on Shipment and Storage. Dealing with the operating instructions first, this has some very applicable material for the modeller particularly the photos and, in particular areas such as the attachment of towing chains, tool storage and important details such as the lifting cable in both deployed and stowed positions.The maintenenance section is perhaps of less use although it is a useful source for detail photos of areas such as the vehicle interior. Section four, armament, looks in great detail at the mounting of the 81mm mortar, M1, which is incredibly detailed along with the .50 cal MG and the M39 mount. The final section is of little interest although it does contain a schematic as to how M32s were mounted on rail-cars....

ORD 9, SNL G-185/187 This 19-page section covers components of the vehicle and is particularly valuable related to such items as the boom assembly along with three superbly useful photos of the complete vehicle. Perhaps this is of less 'direct' value to the modeller, but there ARE useful details present.

Vehicle Recovery: This, the penultimate section, will be of particular value to those who wish to portray the vehicle 'in action' although, by the nature and date of the publication (1953), it isn't 'M32 Specific' it does contain some useful illustrations on the arrangement of pulleys and towing cables.

WalkroundemphasisingI'llseparatemaintenance: The last of the CD Rom's 'chapters', contains 20 photos of a well-preserved example at Ft.Knox the photos are very well done and concentrate on the areas that the modeller will be interested in - turret, boom arrangement, rear views etc.

Quality of Reproduction: My comments on the 'Dragon Wagon' disc are equally applicable here. Some of the images could do with a bit of 'cleaning'. They are clear enough, in most cases, but a few do need to be re-scanned or run through a photo-editing program to get the maximum definition and detail. Looking at the quantity of pages in the reproduced manuals, it would be a full-time job doing all of them and something that the average purchaser could easily do themselves. Easy1 Productions is a very small company and it would be unreasonable to expect them to spend so much time on such a repetitive task.


Conclusions
It's an excellent 'package' and in view of the subject, a very attractive one indeed. The fundamental problem will be the source for a model of this vehicle. There is one plastic kit (of doubtful accuracy) available and it is NOT a subject that the 'majors' will be rushing to kit anytime soon.. There are several conversion/update sets available and these will be the only practical option. As this is a project which will require major work, this CD Rom will be a vital starting-point. The problems with packages like these, is that, inevitably, some of the detail will be of little practical use to the modeller. However, the areas which WILL be of value are there and, once again, what better source than the 'official'? Back this up with material showing the vehicle during its service and the utility multiplies considerably. An excellent addition to the reference material of the serious super-detailer and scratch-builder, not for the occasional one.

My thanks to Mike Powell of Easy One Productions for this and the other review samples. To purchase this or any of the other Cd's from the company, their website can be seen: HERE

SUMMARY
Once again, reference material which is clearly aimed at those who need information from 'source'. With the sheer volume of information and images contained on this disk, it would be difficult to contemplate the cost (and weight) of these manuals produced in 'conventional' print form. An excellent and detailed resource contained within one CD Rom....
  DETAIL:100%
  WALKROUND SECTION:90%
  APPLICATION FOR MODELLERS:90%
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: T042
  Suggested Retail: $20
  PUBLISHED: Nov 18, 2006
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.06%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.60%

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.

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About Jim Rae (jimbrae)
FROM: PROVINCIA DE LUGO, SPAIN / ESPAņA

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...

Copyright Đ2019 text by Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

This is great news Jim. I have been wanting to do one of these for some time, but lacked any reference material(except the Ampersand "Modelling Recovery Vehicles" issue. One question: Does it have any pictures of the boom being deployed? ie... the cable hooked up between the sprocket and the boom, etc...
NOV 20, 2006 - 09:57 PM
I would like to suggest to all comic book readers to buy this book . Why ? Itīs easy . Will Eisner - the Spirit fatherīs - colaborate in it. Will eisner made a serie of comic books to help the US ARMY in the vehicles maintenance for rookies. Because the armey realised that a comic was a suitable way to teach how to manage them
NOV 20, 2006 - 10:03 PM
NOV 20, 2006 - 10:24 PM
On the drive sprocket there was an attachment like a pulley, a steel cable was attached to it and to one of the three bolt holes on the boom. The holes determined how high the boom would be. The M32 was moved forward and the cable wrapped around the pully and the boom was raised. Cables from the back of the vehicle held it in position. There were some ground spades that went in from of the track under the sprocket if the M32 was pulling another vehicle out of mud or a ditch. Worked like the large spade on the Bergepanthers and FAMOs.
NOV 21, 2006 - 05:23 AM
Hi Jim: There weren't any ground spades on the M32. You're referring to the chock blocks that ensured the M32 wouldn't shift backwards or forward if hoisting or winching something particularly heavy. THere was also a set of plates that could be mounted to the forward face of the VVS to ensure that the VVS unit would only compress to a set amount. The Tech manual shows various configurations of loads and what support was needed for different types of jobs. HTH Roy
NOV 21, 2006 - 09:32 AM
An excellent CD reference. I picked up this one and a few others at the AMPS Nats this year. It goes a long way to answering the question: "What does the inside of that thing look like? Answer: The Italeri kit is WAY over-simplified. Get a new cast hull from the Dragon early M4A1 kit or Formations, and be prepared to do a lot of scratch-building interior. The Italeri exterior parts and accessories are not terrible, and with this reference and some scratch-building skills, you can tweak and detail them.
NOV 21, 2006 - 10:02 AM
Quite honestly, back this up with contemporary images of the vehicle in action and you'll have a resource that's second to none. It would also be remiss, not to spare a moment to consider the debt we owe the editors of these manuals - little could they imagine that 60+ years later, a different generation would be poring over them with considerably more enthusiasm than the vehicle crews themselves... :-)
NOV 21, 2006 - 12:52 PM
The choke blocks I saw in the operator's manual looked a little bit beefier that the chock blocks most people see in the motor pool. The common chock block made from wood does not really compare with the ones made for the M32. I think they bolted to the track if I remember the picture.
NOV 22, 2006 - 07:50 AM
   

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Photos
Click image to enlarge
  • cover
  • m32-1
  • m32-3
  • m32-2
  • m32-7
  • m32-4
  • m32-6
  • m32-5
  • m32-8