I managed to get myself a 30 day trial version of 3D Studio Max yesterday and I've moved on to that for illustrating the equipment chapter since there are a great number of decent, free models of weapons and vehicles out there in the .max format (which I can't import into the other packages I use).
I seem to be getting reasonably good at working my way around 3D packages and while I still can't build a model to save my life but that's not the point here, I am an artiste.
Anyway, the point is that thanks to the number and variety of new models 3DSMax allows me to use I figure I should have no problem illustrating the hell out of the equipment chapter. The whole thing is already looking really beautiful and I hope to have a sort of preview PDF up over the weekend. It'll be more of an example of the layout and the text written to date and won't be of much use for proofreading. It'll be perfect for showing off though :)