Monday, July 13, 2020
How do the Italians achieve the "tactical Ferrari" look?
There's something about Italian designers that I can't quite put my finger on, but which shows through in almost everything born in that country. It's an élan, a visual zeitgeist, a style that's very distinctive. One sees it in Ferrari and Lamborghini automobiles, in Piaggio executive aircraft, in Aermacchi jet trainers, and so on.
It's even visible in military vehicles to some extent, despite their excrescences of armor plate, guns, radio aerials and the like. Courtesy of SNAFU, we find the LTATV (Light Tactical All Terrain Vehicle).
Even stopped like that, it looks like it's speeding. It's a visual impression that's in stark contrast to, for example, the Polaris MRZR, used by US Special Forces. The latter is a very good vehicle that's "earned its stripes" the hard way, but compare its optics to the Italian vehicle. The LTATV is the top image, with the MRZR below it.
The LTATV just looks "cooler", to coin a phrase. The MRZR looks "chunkier", more aggressive, but less graceful. (Also, with all due respect to Polaris' marketing department, that MRZR is far too clean! There's no way that's a realistic portrayal of a combat vehicle moving over rough ground!)
I could highlight similar national differences in design. Compare, for example, Soviet or Russian combat aircraft designs to their American counterparts. The former appear more muscular, as if to brute-force their way through encounters; their US equivalents are generally more graceful, with smoother lines. Compare French Mirage and Rafale fighters with their contemporaries from either Russia or the USA, and you'll see another national emphasis; smaller, more "svelte" aircraft, but still very good performers in their own right.
What other contrasts can military veterans offer, where national characteristics show up in how weapons and equipment look? For example, are not "technicals" and improvised VBIED's a very visual reflection of the sort of societies where they're encountered?