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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Space Pod from Lost in Space

Here are some images of Moebius Models 1/24 scale Space Pod from Lost in Space. From Wikipedia "
Lost in Space is a science fiction TV series created and produced by Irwin Allen, filmed by 20th Century Fox Television, and broadcast on CBS. The show ran for three seasons, with 83 episodes airing between September 15, 1965, and March 6, 1968. Their first TV season was filmed in black and white, but the rest of them were filmed in color. In 1998, a Lost in Space movie, based on the TV series, was released. The TV series focused primarily on Jonathan Harris as Dr. Zachary Smith, originally an utterly evil would-be killer who as the first season progressed became a sympathetic anti-hero, providing comic relief to the TV show (and causing most of its problems).

The "Pod" – a small spacecraft first shown in the third and final season and modeled on the Apollo Lunar Module — was used to travel from its bay in the Jupiter 2 to destinations either on land or in space. The Pod apparently had artificial gravity too.

Starfury Sea Witch

Here are some images of Revell's 1'72 scale Starfury Sea Witch from Babylon 5. From Wikipedia "
The Starfury fighter is a fictional vessel used by Earthforce, the military branch of the Earth Alliance, in the science fiction television series Babylon 5. The CGI model was first seen in the opening episode of the first season, "Midnight On The Firing Line" which first aired in the United States in January 1994, and has essentially appeared in every episode thereafter.
It also appears in the later, and short lived, Crusade television series, the special edition (not original) version of the pilot movie, The Gathering, the TV movies In the Beginning, Thirdspace, The River of Souls and A Call to Arms, as well as the The Lost Tales (the first in an anthology series which was to be released on DVD but was aborted due to funding issues). Plus a number of written short stories and novels based in the same fictional universe.

Starfury Omega

Here are some images plus a composite of Revells 1/72 scale Starfury Omega from Babylon 5. From Wikipedia "
Designed once Warner Brothers gave the green light for the television series, the initial design of the Starfury was a collaboration between Steve Burg (a freelance designer on the show) who created a number of possible concepts and Ron Thornton (co-founder of Foundation Imagining) who refined and detailed the Lightwave models. This refining of the potential and final designs was necessary to keep the polygon count as small as possible due to the limited processing power (and memory) of the Amiga computers which were initially used for rendering animation sequences, as large numbers of the vessels would appear in various episodes. Located at the end of each of the four struts or wings, though it is not capable of flying in atmospheres, are two large thrusters, one facing forward and one back. Attached to the housing assembly for these are two additional smaller attitude control thrusters. While creating the design it was envisaged that the engines would work in a similar way to those of the Harrier, in that the output could be sent to any one of the four nozzles. The smaller manoeuvring ones having about 15 to 20% of the thrust of the larger Because of the positioning of these 16 thrusters and the use of computer animation, as opposed to using miniatures and more established animation techniques such as motion control, the Starfury was able to be depicted as an incredibly agile fighter.
Unknown to the producers of the show at the time, it was an intentional homage to, what Thornton and Burg felt was, the excellent and under utilised design ideas seen in the Gunstar from the 1984 movie, The Last Starfighter, which was created by their close friend Ron Cobb.
The design was also ideal for demonstrating to the executive producers of the show an idea which Ron Thornton wished to introduce. Namely, the closer adherence to real physics with regards to how human (not alien) vessels would manoeuvre in space, and that it could be depicted in an interesting and exciting way. One example of how he demonstrated this can be found in the season one episode "Soul Hunter". Before deploying its grappling claw a Starfury pilot carries out a complex set of subtle manoeuvres, with careful attention being made to the firing of the thrusters, to match the rotation of a damaged alien vessel tumbling towards the Babylon 5 space station.
Described as a stealth version of the Starfury by executive producer J. Michael Straczynski, the Black Omega fighters, attached to Psi Corps, first appeared in the season one episode, "Mind War", which was originally aired in the United States in March 1994.
This is a minor variant of the Lightwave computer model as the main differences from the original revolve around the texture map being used. For example, the nozzle heads on the front and rear of the main thrusters appear dark and smooth. On others such as the heavy fighter they appear striated. In fact, they too are also smooth. To create the impression of model detailing, Thornton would use a palette of only 128 colours to draw surface details, such as paneling, onto the texture map rather than build it. Lightwave would then dither the maps, and with the rendering software they looked as good as 24 bit colour images. This is one of the techniques that Foundation Imagining used to keep things like the polygon count to a minimum in order to produce the ground breaking animations with the limited amount of RAM that the Amiga Computers held".

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Klingon D7 Battlecruiser

Here are some images of Polar lights 1/1000 scale Klingon D7 Battlecruiser from "Star Trek The Original series".

From Memory Beta"
The D7-class was the next step in Klingon battle cruiser design, its form being a development of the earlier D4 class. The first prototypes entered service as early as 2151 (ENT episode: "Unexpected")
By the mid 23rd century the class had become the mainstay of the fleet. Following the formation of a Klingon-Romulan alliance in the 2260s, many D7s entered service in the Romulan Star Empire as Stormbird-class cruisers. (TOS episode: "The Enterprise IncidentHere are some images of Polar Lights 1/1000 scale Klingon D& class Battlecruiser.
From Memory Beta"
The D7 class battle cruiser was a type of warship designed and built by the Klingon Empire during the mid 23rd century. Many also entered the service of the Romulan Star Empire following the formation of a Klingon-Romulan alliance in the 2260s. (TOS episodes: "Elaan of Troyius", "The Enterprise Incident", "Day of the Dove") .

Romulan D7 Battlecruiser

Here are some images of Polar Light's 1/1000 scale Romulan D7 Battlecruiser from "Star Trek The Animated Series".
From Wikipedia"
In the original series, at least three starships of the Klingon D-7 class were used by the Romulans. (This came to pass when a fire at NBC's studio warehouse destroyed the only existing Romulan ship model (the 2260s Bird of Prey), necessitating re-use of the surviving Klingon props.) Novels (as well as fans) have speculated that these vessels were given to the Romulans during a brief alliance with the Klingon Empire against the Federation (in exchange for which, the Romulans provided the Klingons with cloaking technology), though this is non-canon and has never been confirmed onscreen. The Romulans refitted the D-7s in their service with cloaking devices and the Federation occasionally referred to Romulan controlled vessels of this class as "battlecruisers."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Subaru R-2

Here are some images of Tamiyas's 1/18 scale Subaru R-2 fresh out of its environment.

From Wikipedia"
The Subaru R-2 was a kei car manufactured by Subaru from 1969 to 1972. The R-2 was a full model change of the popular Subaru 360, but with an updated appearance and increased interior space. The R-2 appeared approximately one year before the Honda Life, Daihatsu Fellow Max and Suzuki Fronte kei cars, however, it continued to use the powertrain setup from the Subaru 360, which was the EK33 air-cooled 2-cylinder engine installed in the back, which is the inspiration for the name of the vehicle. It appeared around the same time as the second generation Mitsubishi Minica.
When the car was introduced February 8, 1969, Subaru took 25,000 orders for the car in one month.
In the early 1970s, the Japanese government enacted legislation to reduce emissions, which prompted Subaru and other manufacturers to upgrade engines that were air-cooled and using a two-stroke engine implementation. On October 7, 1971, the Subaru engine was upgraded to a two-stroke water-cooled engine, called the EK34 series engine, but the retrofit was hastily done, and was better achieved with the new 1972 Subaru Rex, which was available with both 2- and 4-doors. A styling upgrade was accomplished on the water-cooled R-2, adding a faux grille to the front of the vehicle that had no function other than a more modern appearance, as well as a corporate identity to the all new compact Subaru Leone.
Subaru continued with a rear engine platform so as to afford more trunk space up front and provide seating for four passengers, whereas competitors offered front engine front wheel drive vehicles to reduce noise intrusion from the engine and offer rear seats that folded down for increased cargo capacity, albeit with fewer passengers. In response to the rising popularity of front wheel drive front engine alternatives, Subaru offered a hatchback bodystyle February 16, 1970.
Performance versions of the R-2 came April 18, 1970, in the form of the R-2 SS with a dual exhaust and an increase in the compression ratio from 3.8 kg·m (37 N·m; 27 lb·ft)at 6,400 RPM to 7.5 kg·m (74 N·m; 54 lb·ft)at 7,000 RPM, and a higher trim level called the R-2 GL October 5. Another contributor to the early cancellation of the R-2 was its handling characteristics, which were found to be not as stable as vehicles that were front engine, front wheel drive.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Challenger 1 MBT

Here are some images of Tamiya's 1/35 scale Challenger 1 MBT. From Wikipedia "
The Challenger was built by the Royal Ordnance Factories (ROF). In 1986 ROF Leeds (and the Challenger production line) was acquired by Vickers Defence Systems (later Alvis Vickers). The Challenger design by the former Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment (MVEE) near Chobham in Surrey originated in an Iranian order for an improved version of the stalwart Chieftain line of tanks in service around the world. These were the Chieftain Mk5(P)- FV4030/1, FV4030/2 Shir (Lion)1 and 4030/3 Shir 2. With the fall of the Shah of Iran and the collapse of the UK MBT80 project, the British Army became the customer and the tank was further developed by MVEE to meet Western European requirements. For a short time the tank was named "Cheviot" before becoming "Challenger", a name reused from a cruisertank of the Second World War.
The most revolutionary aspect of the Challenger 1 design was its Chobham armour which gave protection far superior to any monolithic Rolled Homogeneous Armour (RHA), which was the then standard of tank armour material. This armour has been adopted by others, most notably the American M1 Abrams. Additionally the Hydrogas suspension fitted provided outstanding cross-country performance through the long suspension arm travel and controlled bump and rebound behaviour offered.
Challenger 1 competed in the Canadian Army Trophy Competition in 1987. It scored more direct hits than its competitors, but the poor fire control system and sights caused it to be the slowest firer, and it was placed last in the league tables.
A requirement for a new MBT was issued. Proposals put forward for the new specification included an improved Challenger from Vickers, the American M1 Abrams, the French Leclerc, and the German Leopard 2.
The Vickers Defence Systems design, designated Challenger 2, was eventually selected. This tank was significantly more capable than its predecessor, based on the same basic MVEE-designed hull but with a new turret based on the Vickers Private Venture Mk7 design and improved Chobham armour.
There was also a Challenger Marksman SPAAG version, equipped with the Marksman turret".

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fiat 3000 mod. 21 Ia Tank

Here are some images of Tauro Model's 1/35 scale Fiat 3000 mod. 21 Ia Tank. From Wikipedia "
The Fiat 3000, whose design was based on that of the French Renault FT-17, was the first tank to be produced in series in Italy. It was to be the standard tank of the emerging Italian armored units in World War I.
Although 1400 units were ordered, with deliveries to begin in May 1919, the end of the war caused the original order to be cancelled and only 100 were delivered. The first Fiat 3000s entered service in 1921 and were officially designated as the carro d'assalto Fiat 3000, Mod. 21. (Fiat 3000 assault tank, Model 21). Tests of the Model 21 revealed that the armament, consisting of two 6.5mm machine guns, was inadequate, and adoption of a 37mm gun as main armament was urged.
The up-gunned version of the 3000, armed with a 37/40 gun, was tested in 1929 and was officially adopted in 1930 with the designation of carro d'assalto Fiat 3000, Mod. 30. The Model 30, in addition to its improved armament, also differed from the Model 21 in that it had an improved engine developing more power, its suspension was improved, the engine compartment had a different silhouette, and external stores were stowed differently. Some Model 30s were also produced with two 6.5mm machine guns as main armament, as on the Model 21, in lieu of the 37mm gun. A limited number of Model 21 vehicles were exported to Albania, Latvia and Abyssinia (Ethiopia) prior to 1930.
The designations of these tanks were changed prior to the outbreak of World War II, in accordance with the identification system that was adopted throughout the war by the Italians. The Model 21 was redesignated the L.5/21, and the Model 30 was redesignated the L.5/30.The Fiat 3000 (Model 21) was first used in action in February 1926 in Libya, and subsequently also saw action against the Ethiopians in 1935. The Italians did not employ any of these tanks in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, however. With Italy's entry into World War II in June 1940, a limited number of Fiat 3000s still in service with the Italian Army were employed operationally on the Greek-Albanian front. They were also among the last Italian tanks to oppose the Allies, as in July 1943, when the Allies landed in Sicily, two Italian tank companies on the island were still equipped with the 3000. One company was dug in and their vehicles were used as fixed fortifications, while the other company was used in a mobile role, with few of the tanks surviving the Allied drive.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Willys MB

Here are some images of Italeri's 1/35 scale Willys MB.  From Wikipedia "
The Willys MB US Army Jeep (formally the Truck, 1/4 ton, 4x4), along with the nearly identical Ford GPW, was manufactured from 1941 to 1945. The small four-wheel drive utility vehicles are considered the iconic World War II Jeep, and would inspire many similar Light Utility Vehicles. Over the years, the World War II Jeep later evolved into "CJ" civilian Jeep and has been recognized as a symbol of rugged individualism in twentieth century American History. Its counterpart in the German army was the Volkswagen Kübelwagen, also based on a small automobile, but which used an air-cooled engine and lacked 4 wheel drive.
During World War I there were limited attempts to mechanize military forces. The US Army had already used 4x4 trucks supplied by the Four Wheel Drive Auto Co. (FWD). By the time of World War II, the United States Department of War was still seeking a light, cross-country reconnaissance vehicle.
As tensions were heightening around the world in the late 1930s, the US Army asked American automobile manufacturers to tender suggestions to replace its existing, aging light motor vehicles, mostly motorcycles and sidecars but also some Ford Model T's. This resulted in several prototypes being presented to army officials, such as five Marmon-Herrington 4x4 Fords in 1937, and three Austin roadsters by American Bantam in 1938 (Fowler, 1993). However, the US Army's requirements were not formalized until July 11, 1940, when 135 U.S. automotive manufacturers were approached to submit a design conforming to the army's specifications for a vehicle the World War II training manual TM 9-803 described as "... a general purpose, personnel, or cargo carrier especially adaptable for reconnaissance or command, and designated as 1/4-ton 4x4 Truck."
By now the war was underway in Europe, so the Army's need was urgent and demanding. Bids were to be received by July 22 (after just eleven days). Manufacturers were given 49 days to submit their first prototype and 75 days for completion of 70 test vehicles. The Army's Ordnance Technical Committee specifications were equally demanding: the vehicle would be four-wheel drive, have a crew of three on a wheelbase of no more than 75 (later 80) inches and tracks no more than 47 inches, feature a fold-down windshield, 660 lb payload and be powered by an engine capable of 85 ft·lbf (115 N·m) of torque. The most daunting demand, however, was an empty weight of no more than 1,300 lb (590 kg).
Only three companies entered: American Bantam Car Company, Ford Motor Company and Willys-Overland Motors. Though Willys-Overland was the low bidder, Bantam received the bid, being the only company committing to deliver a pilot model in 49 days and production examples in 75. Under the leadership of designer Karl Probst, Bantam built their first prototype, dubbed the "Blitz Buggy" (and in retrospect "Old Number One"), and delivered it to the Army vehicle test center at Camp Holabird, Maryland on September 23, 1940. This presented Army officials with the first of what would eventually evolve into the World War II US Army Jeeps: the Willys MB and Ford GPW.
Since Bantam did not have the production capacity or fiscal stability to deliver on the scale needed by the War Department, the other two bidders, Ford and Willys, were encouraged to complete their own pilot models for testing. The contract for the new reconnaissance car was to be determined by trials. As testing of the Bantam prototype took place from September 27 to October 16, Ford and Willys technical representatives present at Holabird were given ample opportunity to study the vehicle's performance. Moreover, in order to expedite production, the War Department forwarded the Bantam blueprints to Ford and Willys, claiming the government owned the design. Bantam did not dispute this move due to its precarious financial situation. By November 1940 Ford and Willys each submitted prototypes to compete with the Bantam in the Army's trials. The pilot models, the Willys Quad and the Ford Pygmy, turned out very similar to each other and were joined in testing by Bantam's entry, now evolved into a Mark II called the BRC 60. By then the US and its armed forces were already under such pressure that all three cars were declared acceptable and orders for 1,500 units per company were given for field testing. At this time it was acknowledged the original weight limit (which Bantam had ignored) was unrealistic, and it was raised to 2,160 lb (980 kg).
For these respective pre-production runs, each vehicle received revisions and a new name. Bantam's became the BRC 40, and the company ceased motor vehicle production after the last one was built in December 1941. After losing 240 pounds of weight, Willys' changed the designation to "MA" for "Military" model "A". The Fords went into production as "GP", with "G" for a "Government" type contract and "P" commonly used by Ford to designate any passenger car with a wheelbase of 80 inches.
By July 1941, the War Department desired to standardize and decided to select a single manufacturer to supply them with the next order for another 16,000 vehicles. Willys won the contract mostly due to its more powerful engine (the "Go Devil") which soldiers raved about, and its lower cost and silhouette. Whatever better design features the Bantam and Ford entries had were then incorporated into the Willys car, moving it from an "A" designation to "B", thus the "MB" nomenclature.
By October 1941, it became apparent Willys-Overland could not keep up with production demand and Ford was contracted to produce them as well. The Ford car was then designated GPW, with the "W" referring to the "Willys" licensed design. During World War II, Willys produced 363,000 Jeeps and Ford some 280,000. Approximately 51,000 were exported to the USSR under the Lend-Lease program.
A further 13,000 (roughly) amphibian jeeps were built by Ford under the name GPA (nicknamed 'Seep' for Sea Jeep). Inspired by the larger DUKW, the vehicle was produced too quickly and proved to be too heavy, too unwieldy, and of insufficient freeboard. In spite of participating successfully in the Sicily landings (July 1943) most GPAs were routed to the USSR under the Lend-Lease program. The Soviets were sufficiently pleased with its ability to cross rivers to develop their own version of it after the war.