Sorry for the delay in posting. School starts and trips accrue in September. To get back into it and take a break from “The Rotten Egg” and my exciting internship today we’ve got Rich Rossi’s color rendering of a vehicle concept, the Towed Artillery Missile System, which I’ll call the TAMS for short. In all honesty I don’t know anything about it, so we’ll play the reasonable assumption game.
Drawn in ’84, it would have been pitched for ’86 or ’87. But often concepts would get shot down, only to resurface later, or inspire a later idea. In 1988 a different vehicle showed up, the similarly monikered RPV, or Remote Pilot Vehicle — boy did the names not flow for these two.
I don’t wish to draw a straight line between them, that one inspired the other, but it’s safe to say they both filled a specific price point, play pattern, and concept. But notably the TAMS seats no driver and carries no figure, even by precarious foot peg. And to further differentiate it from the RPV, by ’88 scale, detailing, and concepts were getting exaggerated and moving away from strict military realism. The structure of the TAMS more resembles the detailing on earlier vehicles like the FLAK and the ASP, shown here.
There’s a stronger sense of parts and bolts and hardware, whereas the late ’80s styling smoothed out edges and surfaces. Since these catalog scans aren’t too enlightening, here are links to much nicer photos of each, from the fine folks at yojoe: the FLAK, the ASP, and the RPV.
One thing’s for sure — Real American Hero had no shortage of small artillery accessories. These were great for populating a small-scale battlefield with variety, even if they weren’t as much fun as “regular” vehicles like Jeeps and tanks, or as story-driving as a headquarters playset.