Toadman's 105mm H.M.C. M7, M7B1 and M7B2
Photo Detail CD

Walkaround CD#15
Review by Terry Ashley

Chris “Toadman” Hughes's web site ( has some excellent walk around photo series on various vehicles which is well worth a look for anyone wanted detailed vehicle photos and he has also released a series of photo CDs which contain many more detailed images from those on the site.

This photo CD features the H.M.C. M7, M7B1 and M7B2 "Priest" and and follows the format of previous photo CDs.

The CD contains 376 large format .jpg images (mostly 1500 x 1000 pixels, but some larger up to 3000 x 2000 pixels) taken from vehicles at American Society of Military History "Tankland" So. El Monte, California and the Virginia Museum of Military Vehicles (M7), at Ft Knox, Kentucky and Lawrenceville (M7B1) and Camp Roberts, California and the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation(MVTF), Portola Valley, California (M7B2).

There are 194 photos for the M7, just 24 for the M7B1 as this is basically the M7 with updated engine and 158 photos of the M7B2 to give a good overall coverage of the three types.

The photos are broken down into sub categories on the CD for the M7, M7B1 and M7B2 with sub menus for the hull exterior,interior and suspension so you can go directly to the section you want making finding the image you want easier. There

The details of the suspension include extreme close-ups of the drive and idlers wheels from various angles showing different style drive sprockets and idlers as well as the bogies with the M7 showing two different vehicles, one with the early M3 type bogies which will also come in handy for modelling the M3 and the later Sherman VVSS type bogies. There are also shots of the running gear taken form under the vehicle for a different perspective giving additional details.

The exteriors of the various vehicles are covered with a series of close-up walk arounds showing everything from the front hull plate with the lights etc., the early bolted and later cast transmission covers, the sides showing the variations in the weapons pedestal mount to the rear engine deck and rear plate showing well the differences between the early M7 and later M7B2 layouts. Additional photos of the M7B2 show the engine compartment through the open engine access doors giving good details of the visible engine top as well as the louvers inside the bay doors.

The interior is again covered in great detail with good shots of the front compartment showing the instrument panel, seats, gear levers and front transmission with shots from various angles to show the details nicely. The 105mm gun is covered with close-up shots from all sides showing the breech, control wheels and sights to the lower mountings, trailing arms and shield. Moving around the compartment there are shots of the side walls with the ammo storage boxes, the floor and rear engine bulkhead as well as the insides of the pedestal mount and weapons ring details.

Also included on the CD is a brief history of the vehicle and a listing of additional printed reference books for added reference.

The sample images here are reduced in size considerably from those on the CD to give and indication of the details included in the images.


Technical Stuff:
The CDs have an auto run feature when used on a Windows based PC but MAC users will need to manually run the Title.htm file to get things going and the images are presented on a web based interface in your browser so the feel is just like looking at a regular web page with menus to navigate through the pages and images, all quite easy really. You can also use any other image thumbnail program to view the images if this is preferable and of course they can be printed for easier reference as desired.

Another excellent photo coverage of the 'Priest' covering the different versions with large clear images to show the details well with an easy interface to browse the images and will be very useful reference sources and should provide more than enough details to build any of the three types.

Highly recommended

See Toadman’s web page for details of additional Photo CDs available as well as the on site walkarounds.
Thanks to Chris “Toadman” Hughes for the review CD.

Page created November 2, 2006

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