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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Morane Saulnier Type N (Bullet)

Here are some images of Special Hobby's 1/32 scale Morane Saulnier Type N Bullet.

From Wikipedia"
The Morane-Saulnier N, also known as the Morane-Saulnier Type N, was a French monoplane fighter aircraft of the First World War. Designed and manufactured by Morane-Saulnier, the Type N entered service in April 1915 with the Aéronautique Militaire designated as the MS.5C.1. It also equipped four squadrons of the Royal Flying Corps, in which it was designated the Bullet, and was operated in limited numbers by the 19th Squadron of the Imperial Russian Air Force.

While the Type N was a graceful-looking aircraft and utilised an advanced, aerodynamic design, it was not easy to fly due to its stiff controls (using wing warping instead of ailerons) and high landing speed. The Type N mounted a single unsynchronized forward-firing machine gun (either a .303-in Vickers or 7.9 mm Hotchkiss) which used the deflector wedges, first demonstrated on the Morane-Saulnier Type L, in order to fire through the propeller arc.
A large metal "casserolle" spinner designed to streamline the aircraft caused the engines to overheat because the spinner deflected air away from the engine. In 1915, the spinner was removed from the design and no more overheating problems were found. The removal of the spinner caused very little loss in performance.
The Type N was not particularly successful. Only 49 aircraft were built and it was quickly rendered obsolete by the pace of aircraft development.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

BMW R75 With Sidecar

Here are some images of ESCI's 1/9 scale BMW R75 with sidecar.

From Wikipedia"

 The BMW R75 is a World War II-era motorcycle and sidecar combination produced by the German company BMW.
In the 1930s BMW were producing a number of popular and highly effective motorcycles. In 1938 development of the R75 started in response to a request from the German Army.
Preproduction models of the R75 were powered by a 750 cc side valve engine, which was based on the R71 engine. However it was quickly found necessary to design an all new OHV 750 cc engine for the R75 unit. This OHV engine later proved to be the basis for subsequent post-war twin BMW engines like the R51/3, R67 and R68.
The third side-car wheel was driven with an axle connected to the rear wheel of the motorcycle. These were fitted with a locking differential and selectable road and off-road gear ratios through which all four and reverse gears worked. This made the R75 highly manoeuvrable and capable of negotiating most surfaces. A few other motorcycle manufactures, like FN and Norton, provided an optional drive to sidecars.
The BMW R75 and its rival the Zündapp KS 750 were both widely used by the Wehrmacht in Russia and North Africa, though after a period of evaluation it became clear that the Zündapp was the superior machine. In August 1942 Zündapp and BMW, on the urging of the Army, agreed upon standardization of parts for both machines, with a view of eventually creating a Zündapp-BMW hybrid (designated the BW 43), in which a BMW 286/1 side-car would be grafted onto a Zündapp KS 750 motorcycle. They also agreed that the manufacture of the R75 would cease once production reached 20,200 units, and after that point BMW and Zündapp would only produce the Zündapp-BMW machine, manufacturing 20,000 each year.
Since the target of 20,200 BMW R75's was not reached, it remained in production until the Eisenach factory was so badly damaged by Allied bombing that production ceased in 1944. A further 98 units were assembled by the Soviets in 1946 as reparations.
However the standardisation programme meant that machines that were produced by BMW and Zündapp used 70% of the same components. This simplifies the supply of spare parts for these vehicles, many of which are still in the hands of historic motorcycle enthusiasts. These vehicles are still highly desirable as collector's items because of their complex and durable technology, and are correspondingly expensive. A well-restored R75 can be still used for everyday purposes, on or off-road without problems.
During World War 2 the Soviet Union quietly purchased five units via Swedish intermediaries to study and subsequently build their own version, the M-72, which Stalin approved for production.
In 1954 a small number of modified R75 models were produced at Eisenach (then in Soviet-controlled East Germany) for testing under the designation AWO 700, but were not put into full production.
The success and reliability of the shaft-driven R75 during the war led to the US Army requesting that Harley-Davidson produce a similar shaft-driven cycle for American troops. This led to Harley producing their first ever shaft-driven model, the Harley-Davidson XA, which was a near duplicate of the R75.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Titan IIIC

Here are some images of MPC's 1/100 scale Titan IIIC rocket booster.

From Wikipedia"
The Titan IIIC was an expendable launch system used by the United States Air Force from 1965 until 1982. It was the first Titan booster to feature large solid rocket motors and was planned to be used as a launcher for the Dyna-Soar and Manned Orbiting Laboratory, though both programs were cancelled before any astronauts flew. The majority of the launcher's payloads were DoD satellites, namely for military communications and early warning, though one flight was performed by NASA. The Titan IIIC was launched exclusively from Cape Canaveral while its sibling, the Titan IIID, was launched only from Vandenberg AFB.

The Titan rocket family was established in October 1955 when the Air Force awarded the Glenn L. Martin Company (later Martin Marietta and now Lockheed Martin) a contract to build an intercontinental ballistic missile (SM-68). It became known as the Titan I, the nation's first two-stage ICBM, and replaced the Atlas ICBM as the second underground, vertically stored, silo-based ICBM. Both stages of the Titan I used kerosene (RP-1) and liquid oxygen (LOX) as propellants. A subsequent version of the Titan family, the Titan II, was similar to the Titan I, but was much more powerful. Designated as LGM-25C, the Titan II was the largest USAF missile at the time and burned Aerozine 50 and nitrogen tetroxide (NTO) rather than RP-1 and LOX.
The Titan III family consisted of an enhanced Titan II core with or without solid rocket strap-on boosters and an assortment of upper stages. All SRM-equipped Titans (IIIC, IIID, IIIE, 34D, and 4) launched with only the SRMs firing at liftoff, the core stage not activating until SRM jettison at two minutes into launch. The Titan IIIA (an early test variant flown in 1964-65) and IIIB (flown from 1966-87 with various upper stages) had no SRMs. The Titan III launchers provided assured capability and flexibility for launch of large-class payloads.
As the IIIC consisted of mostly proven hardware, launch problems were generally only caused by the upper stages and/or payload. The second flight in October 1965 failed when the Transstage disintegrated in orbit and a flight the following August was lost when the shroud broke up at T+78 seconds, triggering an RSO destruct. The only other total failure was in 1978 when the Titan's second stage malfunctioned and had to be destroyed.
The first Titan IIIC flew on June 18, 1965 and was the most powerful launcher used by the Air Force until it was replaced by the Titan 34D in 1982. The last IIIC was launched in March 1982.

The Titan IIIC weighed about 1,380,000 lb (626,000 kg) at liftoff and consisted of a two-stage Titan core and upper stage called the Titan Transtage, both burning hypergolic liquid fuel, and two large UA1205 solid rocket boosters.
The solid boosters were ignited on the ground and were designated "stage 0". Each booster composed of five segments and was 10 ft (3.0 m) in diameter, 85 ft (26 m) long, and weighed nearly 500,000 lb (230,000 kg). They produced a combined 2,380,000 lbf (10,600 kN) thrust at sea level and burned for approximately 115 seconds. Solid booster jettison occurred at approximately 116 seconds.[3]
About two seconds later, the first core stage ignited. Designated the Titan 3A-1, this stage was powered by two Aerojet LR-87-11 engines that burned about 240,000 lb (110,000 kg) of Aerozine 50 and nitrogen tetroxide (NTO) and produced 526,000 lbf (2,340 kN) thrust over 147 seconds. The Aerozine 50 and NTO were stored in structurally independent tanks to minimize the hazard of the two mixing if a leak should have developed in either tank.
The second core stage, the Titan 3A-2, contained about 55,000 lb (25,000 kg) of propellant and was powered by a single Aerojet LR-91-11, which produced 102,000 lbf (450 kN) for 145 seconds.
The upper stage, the Titan Transtage, also burned Aerozine 50 and NTO. Its two Aerojet AJ-10-138 engines were restartable, allowing flexible orbital operations including orbital trimming, geostationary transfer and insertion, and delivery of multiple payloads to different orbits. This required complex guidance and instrumentation. Transtage contained about 22,000 lb (10,000 kg) of propellant and its engines delivered 16,000 lbf (71 kN).

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ranger From Interstellar

Here are some images of Moebius Models 1/72 scale Ranger from the movie Interstellar.

From Wikipedia"
Interstellar is a 2014 epic science fiction adventure drama film directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Caine. The film features a crew of astronauts who travel through a wormhole in search of a new home for humanity. Brothers Christopher and Jonathan Nolan wrote the screenplay, which has its origins in a script Jonathan developed in 2007. Christopher Nolan produced the film with his wife Emma Thomas through their production company Syncopy and with Lynda Obst through Lynda Obst Productions. Caltech theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, whose work inspired the film, was an executive producer and acted as scientific consultant. Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, and Legendary Pictures co-financed the film.
Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema shot the movie on 35 mm (in anamorphic format) and IMAX 70 mm film. Filming commenced in late 2013 in Alberta, Iceland and Los Angeles. The film utilized extensive practical and miniature effects, while Double Negative created additional digital effects.
Interstellar premiered on October 26, 2014 in Los Angeles. In North America, it was released on film stock, expanding to venues using digital projectors. The film was successful at the box office with a worldwide gross of over $672 million, and received positive reviews from critics, who gave particular praise to the film's scientific accuracy; science fiction themes; musical score; visual effects; and the performances of McConaughey, Hathaway, Chastain, and Mackenzie Foy. It received several awards and nominations. At the 87th Academy Awards the film won the Best Visual Effects award and was also nominated for Best Original Score, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Production Design.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

M4 Sherman Medium Tank

Here are some images of Tamiya's 1/35 scale M4 Sherman Medium Tank.

From Wikipedia"
The M4 Sherman, officially the Medium Tank, M4, was the primary battle tank used by the United States and the other Western Allies in World War II, and proved to be a reliable and highly mobile workhorse, despite being outmatched by heavier German tanks late in the war. Thousands were distributed to the Allies, including the British Commonwealth and the Soviet Union, in the lend-lease program. The M4 was the second most produced tank of the World War II era, after the Soviet T-34, and its role in its parent nation's victory was comparable to that of the T-34. The tank took its name from the American Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman.
The M4 Sherman evolved from the M3 Medium Tank (a.k.a. Grant and Lee), which had an unusual side-sponson mounted 75 mm gun. It retained much of the previous mechanical design, but added the first American main 75 mm gun mounted on a fully traversing turret, with a gyrostabilizer enabling the crew to fire with reasonable accuracy while the tank was on the move. The designers stressed mechanical reliability, ease of production and maintenance, durability, standardization of parts and ammunition in a limited number of variants, and moderate size and weight. These factors made the M4 superior in some regards to the earlier German light and medium tanks of 1939–41. The M4 went on to be produced in very large numbers. It formed the backbone of most offensives by the Western Allies, starting in late 1942.
When the M4 tank arrived in North Africa in 1942, it was clearly superior to both the German Panzer III medium tank, with its 50 mm gun, and the older versions of the Panzer IV armed with the short barreled 75 mm gun. For this reason, the US Army believed the M4 would be adequate to win the war, and no pressure was exerted for further tank development. Logistical and transport restrictions (roads, ports, bridges, etc.) also would complicate the introduction of a more capable, but heavier tank.
Independent tank destroyer (TD) battalions, including the M36 tank destroyer using vehicles built on the M4 hull and chassis, but with open-topped turrets and more lethal, high-velocity guns, also entered widespread use among American army corps. By 1944, the M4 Sherman and the TD units proved to be outmatched by the 45 ton Panther tank, and wholly inadequate against the 56 ton Tiger I and later 70 ton Tiger II heavy tanks, suffering high casualties against their heavier armor and more powerful 88 mm L/56 and L/71 cannons. Mobility, mechanical reliability and sheer numbers, supported by growing superiority in supporting fighter-bombers and artillery, helped offset these disadvantages strategically.
The relative ease of production allowed huge numbers of the M4 to be produced, and significant investment in tank recovery and repair units paid off with more disabled vehicles being repaired and returned to service. These factors combined to give the Americans numerical superiority in most battles, and allowed many infantry divisions their own M4 and TD assets. By 1944 a typical U.S. infantry division had as semi-permanently attached units an M4 Sherman battalion, a TD battalion, or both. By this stage of the war, German panzer divisions were rarely at full strength, and some U.S. infantry divisions had more fully tracked armored fighting vehicles than the depleted German panzer divisions did, providing a great advantage for the Americans. The Americans also started to introduce the M4A3E8 variant, with horizontal volute spring suspension and an improved high-velocity 76 mm gun previously used only by TDs.
Production of the M4 Sherman was favored by the commander of the armored ground forces, albeit controversially, over the heavier M26 Pershing, which resulted in the latter being deployed too late to play any significant role in the war. In the Pacific Theater, the M4 was used chiefly against Japanese infantry and fortifications; in its rare encounters with much lighter Japanese tanks with weaker armor and guns, the Sherman's superiority was overwhelming. Almost 50,000 vehicles were produced, and its chassis also served as the basis for numerous other armored vehicles such as tank destroyers, tank retrievers, and self-propelled artillery.
The Sherman would finally give way to post-war tanks developed from the M26. Various original and updated versions of the Sherman, with improved weapons and other equipment, would continue to see combat effectively in many later conflicts, including the Korean War, Arab-Israeli Wars, and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 (where it was used by both sides) into the late 20th century.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

T-17 Armored Car Staghound

Here are some more images of Bronco models 1/35 scale T-17 Armored Car Staghound.  From Wikipedia"
The T17 and the T17E1 were two American armored car designs produced during the Second World War. Neither saw service with frontline US forces but the latter was supplied, via the United Kingdom, to British and Commonwealth forces during the war and received the service name Staghound. A number of countries used the Staghound after the war, with some of the vehicles continuing to serve into the 1980s. 

In July 1941, the US Army Ordnance issued specifications for a medium armored car alongside a specification for heavy armored car (which resulted in the T18 Boarhound). Ford Motor Company built a six wheels, all driven (6 x 6) prototype which was designated T17 and Chevrolet a four wheels, all driven (4 x 4) model designated T17E1. At the same time, the British Purchasing Commission was also looking for medium and heavy armored cars for use in the war in North Africa. Had the U.S. adopted this, it would have been called the M6.
Both the T17 and T17E used the same turret which was designed by Rock island Arsenal with British requirements driving some of the design features such as putting at least two crew in the turret and placing the radio in the turret so that it was close to the commander.
The T17 was armed with a 37 mm gun in a rotating turret, a coaxial machine gun and a bow machine gun. Power was from two Hercules JXD engines. In the interests of standardization, these replaced Ford's initial 90 hp engines.
The British gave the name Deerhound to the T17. Production started in October 1942. The US military eventually decided to adopt the lighter M8 Greyhound vehicle instead; as an interim measure T17 production continued until M8 production could be started. These were to be supplied as "International Aid" but US Army tests in early 1943 showed the T17 was lacking compared to the T17E and so Britain turned them down. The 250 units produced were disarmed and given to the United States Army Military Police Corps for use in the States.
The British allocated the name Staghound to the T17E series. British liaison officers had had contact with Macpherson, the Chevrolet engineer in charge of the project and felt they had influenced him sufficiently to produce something that met all their requirements. Accordingly in December the British Purchasing Commission "formally requested" production of 300 vehicles; the US Army authorized production of 2000 in January 1942. The British order was confirmed in March 1942 when the pilot T17E was delivered to the Aberdeen Proving Ground. Testing showed flaws but these were expected to be correctable and a further 1,500 were contracted for. Production started in October 1942. The US Army convened a board to examine the state of the multitude of armored car projects and recommended in December 1942 the cancellation of the larger designs and standardization on a smaller vehicle. This lighter vehicle would appear as the M8 Greyhound vehicle. However the British applied for T17E1 production to be continued for the United Kingdom under Lend-Lease. Approximately 4,000 Staghounds were produced in total.
The Staghound was an innovative design that incorporated some advanced features. It had two rear-facing 6-cylinder engines with automatic transmissions (with 4 forward and 1 reverse gears) feeding through a transfer case to drive both axles. Either two- or four-wheel drive could be selected. Either engine could be shut down while in motion and taken out of the drive train. Additionally, a power steering pump was incorporated that could be switched on or off manually from the driver's instrument panel depending on steering conditions. Steering and suspension components were directly attached to the hull as the structure was rigid enough to dispense with the need for a separate chassis.

The Staghound entered service too late for use in the North African Campaign where its combination of armor, range and main armament would have been an advantage in a light forces reconnaissance role. As a result, it first saw operational service in Italy, where many units found its large physical size too restrictive in the narrow roads, and streets of Europe. It saw most service at squadron and regimental headquarter level; an armoured car regiment having three Staghounds with the Regimental HQ and three with each HQ of the four squadrons in the regiment. Conditions for the Staghound improved when the Italian campaign became more mobile in the middle of 1944, and the Staghound was also used in north-west Europe campaign.
After the war, the Staghounds were distributed among smaller NATO countries in Europe and to the Middle East.

 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

1937 Packard Coupe Roadster

Here are some images of Entex's 1/16 scale 1937 Packard Coupe roadster twelve cylinder.

From Wikipedia"
 Packard was an American luxury automobile marque built by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, and later by the Studebaker-Packard Corporation of South Bend, Indiana. The first Packard automobiles were produced in 1899, and the last in 1958.

Entering the 1930s, Packard attempted to beat the stock market crash and subsequent Great Depression by manufacturing ever more opulent and expensive cars than it had prior to October 1929. While the Eight five-seater sedan had been the company's top-seller for years, the Twin Six, designed by Vincent, was introduced for 1932, with prices starting at $3,650 at the factory gate; in 1933, it would be renamed the Packard Twelve, a name it retained for the remainder of its run (through 1939). Also in 1931, Packard pioneered a system it called Ride Control, which made the hydraulic shock absorbers adjustable from within the car. For one year only, 1932, Packard fielded an upper-medium-priced car, the Light Eight, at a base price of $1,750 (about $27,933 in 2014), or $735 ($11,732) less than the standard Eight.
As an independent automaker, Packard did not have the luxury of a larger corporate structure absorbing its losses, as Cadillac did with GM and Lincoln with Ford. However, Packard did have a better cash position than other independent luxury marques. Peerless ceased production in 1932, changing the Cleveland manufacturing plant from producing cars to brewing beer for Carling Black Label Beer. By 1938, Franklin, Marmon, Ruxton, Stearns-Knight, Stutz, Duesenberg, and Pierce-Arrow had all closed.
Packard also had one other advantage that some other luxury automakers did not: a single production line. By maintaining a single line and interchangeability between models, Packard was able to keep its costs down. Packard did not change cars as often as other manufacturers did at the time. Rather than introducing new models annually, Packard began using its own "Series" formula for differentiating its model changeovers in 1923. New model series did not debut on a strictly annual basis, with some series lasting nearly two years, and others lasting as short a time as seven months. In the long run, though, Packard averaged around one new series per year. By 1930, Packard automobiles were considered part of its Seventh Series. By 1942, Packard was in its Twentieth Series. The "Thirteenth Series" was omitted.

To address the Depression, Packard started producing more affordable cars in the medium-price range. In 1935, the company introduced its first car under $1000, the 120. Sales more than tripled that year and doubled again in 1936. To produce the 120, Packard built and equipped an entirely separate factory. By 1936, Packard's labor force was divided nearly evenly between the high-priced "Senior" lines (Twelve, Super Eight, and Eight) and the medium-priced "Junior" models, although more than 10 times more Juniors were produced than Seniors. This was because the 120 models were built using thoroughly modern mass production techniques, while the Senior Packards used a great deal more hand labor and traditional craftsmanship. Although Packard almost certainly could not have survived the Depression without the highly successful Junior models, they did have the effect of diminishing the Senior models' exclusive image among those few who could still afford an expensive luxury car. The 120 models were more modern in basic design than the Senior models; for example, the 1935 Packard 120 featured independent front suspension and hydraulic brakes, features that would not appear on the Senior Packards until 1937.

Packard was still the premier luxury automobile, even though the majority of cars being built were the 120 and Super Eight model ranges. Hoping to catch still more of the market, Packard decided to issue the Packard 115C in 1937, which was powered by Packard's first six-cylinder engine since the Fifth Series cars in 1928. While the move to introduce the Six, priced at around $1200, was brilliant, for the car arrived just in time for the 1938 recession, it also tagged Packards as something less exclusive than they had been in the public's mind, and in the long run hurt Packard's reputation of building some of America's finest luxury cars. The Six, redesignated 110 in 1940–41, continued for three years after the war, with many serving as taxicabs.
In 1939, Packard introduced Econo-Drive, a kind of overdrive, claimed able to reduce engine speed 27.8%; it could be engaged at any speed over 30 mph (48 km/h). The same year, the company introduced a fifth, transverse shock absorber and made column shift (known as Handishift) available on the 120 and Six.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

1933 Duesenberg Boatail SJ (The Weymann Speedster)

Here are some images of Bandai's 1/16 scale 1933 Duesenberg Boatail SJ (The Weymann Speedster).

From the Entex instructions"
"One of the most impressive Duesenbergs assembled", said road and track of the 1933 Duesenberg Boattail SJ "Weymann Speedster".
This car, one of only 35 SJ's built, is a higher powered version of the 1932 Model J. The SJ is one of the first U.S. production automobiles to incorporate
a supercharger. body was designed by Gordon Buehrig and executed by Weymann American Body Company of Indianapolis, Chassis Serial No. 2537 and Engine serial No. J-508.
The car's 153.5 inch wheelbase qualifies it as one of the largest two seaters built. The single carburated 429 cu. in., duel-overhead cam, straight eight engine is boosted by a centrifugal
engine driven water heated supercharger. This power package produced 320 BHP at 4750 rpm and could propel the Speedster from 0 to 100 MPH in 17 seconds. Top speed in first gear was 85 MPH and a maximum speed of 129 MPH was claimed.
Among the many innovative features is a self contained lubrication system for engine and chassis that is automatically actuated every 75 miles from an odometer signal.
Four wheel vacuum boosted hydraulic brakes of 15 inches in diameter  and 3 inches width provided the stopping performance for this heavy car.
The boattail deck compartment houses the spare tire, tools and has room for considerable luggage. The large fire engine siren and red light mounted in front of the grille were installed at the factory for the cars original owner. Captain George Whittel of Lake Tahoe, California
who was an honorary Fire Marshall. Due to its tremendous crowd appeal the car was hardly ever driven and was sold to the Harrah collection with approximately 1400 miles on the odometer.
It has been shown throughout the United States and is one of the prize displays of the Harrah collection in Reno Nevada.