This is number 17 in Chris Hughes’ Toadman series of reference CDs for armor model builders. This CD contains 325 photographs of an immaculately restored Sd. Kfz. 222, and features separate chapters on the turret exterior, superstructure exterior, engine compartment, suspension, gun mount and turret, superstructure interior, and 2 cm 10-round magazine used to service the main gun. Each chapter has its own table of contents, allowing the user to quickly jump to the picture(s) of a particular detail. In addition, each image has links back to its chapter index and the main table of contents. A slip of paper inserted in side the CD case warns Mac users that the CD will not auto open. The alternate instructions, directing Mac users to simply double click on the “Title.htm” icon, worked perfectly on my iMac.
The subject vehicle was captured by the British in Tunisia, and now is part of the Jacques Littlefield collection in conjunction with the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation (MVTF). As such, its features are those of an earlier Sd. Kfz. 222; several of the picture captions call out areas in which later model 222s differed.
Simply put, this CD is an amazing reference. As Chris notes in the introduction section, the CD was produced with the model builder in mind. Over the course of multiple visits to the MVTF facility in Portola Valley, California, Chris climbed over, around, and under the vehicle taking close-up photographs of every detail, as well as wider-angled photographs showing the locations of the bits and pieces being detailed. The subject vehicle is a B variant featuring revised shock absorbers and a larger, 3.8 liter, engine. Several of the photograph captions call out differences between this and other variants of the Sd.Kfz. 222, for example that earlier versions had 8mm thick turret armor, whereas this version has 14.5mm thick turret armor. All of the images are crisp, clear, and color-balanced.
The CD also includes a bonus chapter with measurements of various aspects of the turret overlain on photographs of the real thing. This will be particularly useful for anyone trying to correct turret angles, or wondering which of the aftermarket turrets to use. The CD also contains a text file giving a brief overview and history of the Sd. Kfz. 222.
Many years ago, I built a Tamiya Sd. Kfz. 222 pretty much out of the box. Since then, I have collected several resin and photoetch sets with the intention of someday building a superdetailed version. This CD may be the final inspiration required to get that project underway.
Thank you to Chris Hughes of Toadman's Tank Pictures for the review sample.
Chris offers a 20% discount on CDs to AMPS members. This CD is $8.49, plus $2.25 shipping anywhere in the world.