M88 Recovery Vehicle - ? about boom cable support bracket.

Sorry about the vague title. I have a Roco HO scale M88 recovery vehicle model. Yes, it's not a particularly well detailed model, but
my paint job and weathering turned out actually nice (for me anyway - it's not 1/87 Vehicle Club quality level, I'm afraid).
One glaring omission in the Roco kit (at least the one I have) is the rather large X-shaped bracket that 'lies' close to the top of the boom - the mast support cables from the rear of the vehicle lead into the bottom legs of this bracket, then cables lead out the top legs of the bracket to connectors bolted at the top of the boom - the image of the German Army M88 museum exhibit accompaning the Wiki M88 article - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M88_Recovery_Vehicle - illustrates this well, in a general sense.
While there are a large number of M88 images floating around, I could find no real close-ups of this bracket, and while I can get a rough idea of how to fabricate a bracket like this out of styrene, it would nicer if I could get some more info: 1) It doesn't hurt to ask - any diagrams of this X-bracket on line anywhere? 2) Failing that, any dimensions? I can sort of roughy guess the dimensions using 'photo-analysis', but real numbers are better 3) Somebody had a YouTube video where they assembled a M88 kit fast time, (the one where he labels 20 indivdual actions as Step 1 and so on), and on assembling this bracket there seemed to be pullies (or maybe pin connectors) in each leg of the bracket - is this correct? 4) I see in some prototype images chains from the mast to the bottom legs of this bracket - common? 5) The color of this bracket in dozens of images I have seem seems to vary from black, to the body color of the recovery vehicle - was there any sort of standard?
This may not have any bearing, but the Roco is clearly an older M88 model, not the M88A2 Hercules (nor even the M88A1 it seems, just the original M88) Thanks
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Sir Ray wrote the following:

There are a lot of M88 pics where this 'X' bracket is missing and the bracing cables just go directly to the top of the boom. That one pic with the 'X' may just be one model of the M88. Here's another with the 'X'
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/images/m88a1-extend.jpg
Here's some without. http://www.olive-drab.com/idphoto/id_photos_recovery_m88.php http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/cv/eng/M88.html

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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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willshak wrote the following:

I tried to figure out why that X was there. The only thing I could figure that made some sense was perhaps the boom bracing cables cross at that point for more sideways stability. i.e. the right brace cable goes to the left side of the boom at the top and the left brace cable goes to the right side of the boom. That X may just be to keep the two brace cables from rubbing against each other.

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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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The X is basically there so that the cables can exert even tension on either side of the vehicle. It permits one cable to be run through and then hooked up at the ends to the rear of the hull and to the two brackets on the A frame, which also have a single cable. In person the X bracket has two pulleys to permit that to happen.
I built one in 1/35 in 1984 and got "intimate" with the vehicle then.
Cookie Sewell
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On Jun 2, 5:59 pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I would never have guessed a cable loops from one rear vehicle hull bracket back to the other rear hull bracket, and another cable loops from one side of the boom top to the other side of the boom top. Two cables indeed, but not what I expected - I figured 4 cables, the X- bracket with pins to hold all 4 ends, or, failing that, something along the lines of what willshak suggested. Well, Mr Sewell, since you are the one who's 'initimate', do you remember the size of the X-bracket (I'm guessing 3ft x 2ft wide, which means it's probably anything but that), and if the pulleys are in the body of the bracket, with cable guides (metal blocks with holes drilled in them?) in the legs of the X-bracket? Thanks
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The bracket is about 2/3rds that size from what I recall, but it is basically channels so the cables stay in line when the A-frame is erected. Pulleys can't be seen but are there - more like rollers would be a better way to describe them as they aren't very big.
Cookie Sewell
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I've got an M88A1 gallery here. You'll have to click through the file names to find the photos you need. There is a walk around of an older M88A1 and a brand new rebuilt M88A1. http://www.armorama.com/modules/gallery/albums/album45 /
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That was a pretty useful album, with some really nice close-in shots. At first I thought both vehicles inside (there a third M88 outdoors covered in snow - was that one of the two in the indoor images?) were both used, but upon review I see one is rusted and beat, and the other in better shape. Alas, I did not see any good images of the X-Bracket (also, looks like the pioneer tools were stolen off those M88s :p ) Thanks
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The M88s were used for a H8 (recovery specialist) course I used to run. The beat up one stayed at the range and was often mired to be recovered. The BII was kept locked up in a conex and just signed out when the vehicle went to the range for the course. The new vehicle still had its BII in the big wooden crate and had not been inventoried when the photos of it were taken. There are three different vehicles, but I'm not sure how many photos of the older ones there are. I know I've got shots of one of them with the nose removed and main winch being worked on.
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