Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Here are some better images of MPM models 1/48 scale Heinkel HE 177 A5 Grief. With the German high command's insistence that this four engined bomber be built with only two nacelles caused no end of headaches and "grief" (apt name) and not to mention many deaths. During it's development and production stage this aircraft was continually plagued with over heating engines, engine fires and explosions both on ground and in flight and despite repeated pleas to convert this aircraft to a conventional four engined bomber the Nazis in charge would have none of it. Even Herman Goering at one point told Heinkel to stop bothering him about it. Eventually late in the war Heinkel developed it to the A5 and this version was a safe enough aircraft that it could be flown without to much consternation. Heinkel did develop a conventional four nacelle'd prototype and guess what? It flew beautifully. Why Goering and his cohorts insisted on a two nacelle design is anyone's guess and anyway by the time a workable version came out it's usefulness was pretty much obsolete as Nazi Germany was by then decidedly on a defensive role and there was no need for an offensive heavy bomber though some sorties were flown. The model like the real aircraft caused no end of "grief" (apt name). Though a highly detailed model, parts wouldn't fit right, lots of open seems, Vague instructions at times and the nacelles kept exploding (kidding). So be warned if you are planning on purchasing this model kit it is expensive (around $200 + Cdn) and be prepared for some shoe horning, filling and sanding. However in the end it does produce an impressive display piece.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Here are some images of Jay Moffat's Samurai Warrior, circa 1180 and here in his own words is his description.
The armour is the early O Yoroi ( or Great Armour) style, and was meant to be worn on horseback by mounted archers. The mounted archers were the elite of the samurai in the same way that mounted knights were the elite in Europe. A highly developed skill, the samurai would gallop towards the enemy, fire arrows, then wheel away to regroup and charge again.
The armour was constructed by lacing together a series of overlapping scales (or sane) made of mostly horsehide leather but with some metal plates included over the vital organs. The scales were bound together in rows using flat silk braid, then fastened together vertically to form the plates of the armour. It is this coloured silk braid that gives the armour it's distinctive look. However, unlike European knights, who wore a coat of arms to identify their allegiance to a particular family, the colours on Samurai armour do not represent any particular family or clan. Once the scale plates were finished, they were attached to metal plates at the top of the breast, back and shoulders. These plates were covered by a strip of wood covered with decorative leather, called the kesho no ita or cosmetic plate.
The upper arms were protected by large, flat plates of scales called o sode, or large sleeves. The o sode acted similar to a shield, sliding off the arms when raised to shoot, then falling behind the shoulders. They were held in place with a complex system of cords tied in such a way that they stayed in place yet allowed sufficient freedom to draw the bow or wield the sword.
The helmet bowl (or hachi) was made of overlapping plates. Attached to this was a neck guard (shikoro) of five rows of tapered scales reaching almost to the shoulders and giving the helmet it's deep conical shape. These scales were attached by split rivets, supposedly so the neck guard would tear free if grabbed by an opponent. The four upper rows of scales were extended and bent sharply outwards at right angles, forming the fukigaeshi, the distinctive "wings" found on almost all Samurai helmets. Their purpose was to protect the wearer from arrows shot at short range, the "wings" protecting the face as they turned away from the enemy after firing their arrows.
Under the armour, samurai wore the traditional kimono, tied together at the lower legs. The shin guards did not come into use until the late 12th century. The weapon was the fabled Samurai sword.
The O Yoroi style of armour was very successful for its time. However, as the nature of battle changed, it's shortcomings began to become apparent. First, it was heavy - not so much a consideration when on horseback, but a different story when fighting on foot, as was often the case later in history. It was also extremely hot, and the silk lacing became good homes for lice and fleas. Gradually, the samurai moved to wearing lighter, simpler armour.
The figure is from Andrea miniatures, and is 90mm in height. The figure is basically box stock except for the cords on the back, which were made from wire and tassle ends made from Milliput. The armour is painted to resemble a set worn by a legendary Japanese feudal lord from the period, an illustration of which is included in the Osprey Elite book on the Samurai. The blue and white decorative motif on the chest plate and shoulders is decorative Japanese paper. I found the design on the web, printed it on paper and glued it to the figure.
Here are some images of Jay Moffat's tribute the the centennial anniversary of the Royal Canadian Navy - "Jenny Wren", a Leading Wren from the Woman's Royal Canadian Naval Service and here in his own words is his description.
Due to the serious wartime shortage of sailors for sea billets, the Navy decided to organize a women's division of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) "to release a man to go to sea." On July 31, 1942, the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service was established. The WRCNS, unlike other Allied female units, was not an auxiliary but rather a formed unit of the RCN and its officers held the King's commission. Nicknamed "Jenny Wrens, at peak strength, over 6,000 women were fulfilling the various roles of coders, confidential clerks, messengers, telegraphists, cooks, stewards and some 35 other important duties. The WRCNS was disbanded in 1946. In 1951 a Wren section was reformed in the RCN, initially in the Reserve but becoming full-time regulars by 1955. Wrens continued to serve in the RCN and RCNR (reserve) until unification of the Canadian Forces. Women in the navy were still known as Wrens until the late eighties.
The figure is from Chota Sahib, and has been out of production for about 20 years - I came across this one by chance on Ebay, and managed to get it cheap. But even for a 20 year old figure, it's equal to anything done today. The original figure was a British Wren of the 1970s. However, only a couple of minor changes were needed to backdate it to World War Two, namely adding pocket flaps to the jacket and adding an upper portion to the shoes. The figure is done in artists oils, and painted to represent the Wrens' light blue summer uniform, which was unique to the WRCNS. The black nylons were done using chalk pastels brushed over the paint until the right darkness was achieved.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Here are some images plus a composite of Lindberg's 1/200 scale U.S.S. Explorer.
Here is another kit that was originally issued in the late 1950's only then it was known as the "Multi Staged Transport Rocket".
This is another kit that was of coarse based heavily on Werner Von Braun's design to which of coarse inevitably became the Apollo Staturn 5 rocket.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Here are some images of Lindbergs 1/200 scale Space Base.
First released in 1958 this kit was based heavily on the Von Braun design of that same era and as such has gone through various name changes throughout the decades.
First starting life off as "The U.S. Space Station" in 1958. Followed in the late 1960's as the "Mars Probe Space Station". Then in the 1970's as the "Star Probe" and finally in 2009 as simply the "Space Base".
I often wonder if this model was the inspiration for the Space Station 5 in Kubricks 2001 a space odyssey.
I remember as a child of 8 wanting to get this kit so badly but never having the cash and always drawing pictures of it in grade 3 elementary. Now in late 2010 my dream has come true. Yayyyy!!
Friday, November 26, 2010
Here are some images of Dragon Model's 1/350 scale Los Angeles class submarine.
From Wikipedia "
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Here are some images of Trumpeter's 1/144 scale Japanese/American LCAC Hovercraft.
From Wikipedia "The Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) is a class of air-cushion vehicle (hovercraft) used as landing craft by the United States Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). They transport weapons systems, equipment, cargo and personnel of the assault elements of the Marine Air/Ground Task Force both from ship to shore and across the beach.
Concept design of the present day LCAC began in the early 1970s with the full-scale Amphibious Assault Landing Craft (AALC) test vehicle. During the advanced development stage, two prototypes were built. JEFF A was designed and built by Aerojet General in California, with four rotating ducted propellers. JEFF B was designed and built by Bell Aerospace in New Orleans, Louisiana. JEFF B had two ducted rear propellers similar to the proposed SK-10 which was derived from the previous Bell SK-5 / SR.N5 hovercraft tested in Vietnam. These two craft confirmed the technical feasibility and operational capability that ultimately led to the production of LCAC. JEFF B was selected as the design basis for today’s LCAC.
Six LCAC are in use by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. Approval for the sale was given by the United States Government on 8 April 1994. The craft were built by Textron Marine & Land Systems in New Orleans, Louisiana. Purchase of the first craft was included in the FY93 budget, second in FY95, third in FY99 and fifth and sixth in FY00.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Here are some images of Special Hobby's 1/32 scale Bell P 39 D Airacobra. From Wikipedia "The Bell P-39 Airacobra was one of the principal American fighter aircraft in service at the start of World War II. It was the first fighter in history with a tricycle undercarriage and the first to have the engine installed in the center fuselage, behind the pilot. Although its mid-engine placement was innovative, the P-39 design was handicapped by the lack of an efficient turbo-supercharger, limiting it to low-altitude work. The P-39 was used with great success by the Soviet Air Force, who scored the highest number of individual kills attributed to any U.S. fighter type. Other important users were the Free French and co-belligerent Italian air forces. Together with the derivative P-63 Kingcobra, these aircraft became the most successful mass-produced fixed-wing aircraft manufactured by Bell.
- Bell Model 13, production variant based on the P-39C with 245 lb (111 kg) of additional armor, self-sealing fuel tanks. Armament increased to 1 × 37 mm/1.46 mm cannon (30 rounds), 2 × .50 in/12.7 mm (200 rpg) and 4 × wing mounted .30 in/7.62 mm (1,000 rpg) machine guns; 60 Produced.
- Bell Model 14A, production variant fitted with a M1 20 mm (.79 in) M1 cannon. Specifically ordered for delivery under Lend-Lease; 336 produced
- Bell Model 14A-1, production variant with a V-1710-63 (E6) engine (1,325 hp/988 kW) restored the 37 mm (1.46 in) cannon, provisions for a single 145 gal (549 l) drop tank or maximum 500 lb (227 kg) bomb under the fuselage; 158 produced.
- 26 conversions from P-39D-1 to Photo Reconnaissance Configuration; K-24 and K-25 camera in rear fuselage, extra armor for oil coolers
- 11 conversions from P-39D-2 to Photo Reconnaissance Configuration. Same modifications as D-3 aircraft.
In 1945, Italy purchased the 46 surviving P-39s at 1% of their cost but in summer 1946 many accidents occurred, including fatal ones. By 1947, 4 Stormo re-equipped with P-38s, with P-39s sent to training units until the type's retirement in 1951. Only a T9 cannon survives today at Vigna di Valle Museum.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Here are some images of Italeri's 1/35 scale Sd Kfz 10 Demag with a trailer consisting of two Zundapp 750 and one BMW R75 Motorcycles from Italeri and Tamiya.
From Wikipedia "
The Sd.Kfz. 10 (Sonderkraftfahrzeug - special motorized vehicle) was a German half-track that saw very widespread use in World War II. Its main role was as a prime mover for small towed guns such as the 2 cm FlaK 30, the 7.5 cm leIG, or the 3.7 cm PaK 36 anti-tank gun. It could carry eight troops in addition to towing a gun or trailer.
The basic engineering for all the German half-tracks was developed during the Weimar-era by the Reichswehr's Military Automotive Department, but final design and testing was farmed out to commercial firms with the understanding that production would be shared with multiple companies. Demag was chosen to develop the smallest of the German half-tracks and spent the years between 1934 and 1938 perfecting the design through a series of prototypes.
The chassis formed the basis for the Sd.Kfz. 250 light armored personnel carrier. Approximately 14,000 were produced between 1938 and 1945, making it one of the most widely produced German tactical vehicles of the war. It participated in the Invasion of Poland, the Battle of France, the Balkans Campaign and fought on both the Western Front and the Eastern Front, in North Africa and in Italy.
The Sd.Kfz. 10 was unique among German half-track designs as it used a hull rather than a frame. Power was provided by a Maybach 6-cylinder, water-cooled, 3.791 litres (231.3 cu in) NL 38 TRKM gasoline engine of 90 horsepower (91 PS). It had a semi-automatic Maybach Variorex-transmission SRG 102128H (Schaltreglergetriebe 102128H) with seven forward and three reverse gears. The driver selected the desired gear and initiated the shift by depressing the clutch. It could attain 75 km/h (47 mph), but the driver was cautioned not to exceed 65 km/h (40 mph). In 1942 the Luftwaffe limited its vehicles to a non-tactical speed of only 30 km/h (19 mph) to extend the life of the rubber track pads (Gummipolster).
Both tracks and wheels were used for steering. The steering system was set up so that shallow turns used only the wheels, but brakes would be applied to the tracks the farther the steering wheel was turned. The drive sprocket had the track-saving but more complicated rollers rather than the more common teeth. The rear suspension consisted of five double roadwheels mounted on swing arms sprung by torsion bars. An idler wheel, mounted at the rear of the vehicle, was used to control track tension. The front wheels had transversely-mounted leaf springs and shock absorbers, the only ones on the vehicle, to dampen impacts.
The upper body had a baggage compartment separating the driver's compartment from the crew compartment. Bench seats on the sides of the vehicle, with under-seat storage, could accommodate six men. The windshield could fold forward and was also removable. A convertible canvas top was mounted at the upper part of the rear body. It fastened to the windshield when erected. Four side pieces could be mounted to protect the crew from the weather.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Here are some image's of Tamiya's 1/35 scale SdKfz 173 Jagpanther. From Wikipedia "The Jagdpanther (German: "hunting panther") was a tank destroyer built by Nazi Germany during World War II based on the chassis of the Panther tank. It entered service late in the war (1944) and saw service on the Eastern and Western fronts. Many military historians consider the Jagdpanther to be one of the best tank destroyers of the war due to the combination of the 8.8 cm KwK 43 of the Tiger II and the proven Panther chassis.
A total of 415 Jagdpanthers were produced from January 1944 by three manufacturers. MIAG produced 270 from January 1944 until the end. Maschinenfabrik Niedersachsen-Hannover (MNH) produced 112 from November 1944. Maschinenbau und Bahnbedarf (MBA) produced 37 vehicles from December 1944. They equipped heavy antitank battalions and served mainly on the Eastern Front, although significant numbers were concentrated in the west for the Ardennes Offensive. They were first encountered in the west in very small numbers late in the Battle of Normandy, where the German 654 schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung ("654th Heavy Antitank Battalion") deployed about 12 Jagdpanthers against British units.
Three surviving Jagdpanthers have been restored to running condition. Two German museums Deutsches Panzermuseum at Munster and Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung (WTS) at Koblenz have one running Jagdpanther each. The SDKFZ Foundation in the UK has restored one Jagdpanther to running condition, using two wrecked Jagdpanthers to complete one. The other wreck will also be restored.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Here are some images plus a composite of Italeri's 1/35 scale Typ E. 100 Schnellboot (hurry boat) torpedo boat. Italeri released two 1/35 scale boats last year. The American PT boat was one and the Schnellboot was the other with a limited first release run I was told at around 200 each. So for right now they are not available but I'm sure considering how much time and money was pumped into creating this model I am sure their will be rerelease's for many years to come. The detail on this boat is incredible and a real pleasure to build. Also Italeri has an after market 1/35 scale figure set available that I intend on getting for this craft, and as for the PT boat I'll just have to wait for the next release. But at around $240 CDN it can put a hole in your pocket.
Schnellboot or S-boot ("fast craft") is the designation for Motor Torpedo Boats of the German Navy since 1932. In particular it applies to that type of Boat that saw service during World War II. The Schnellboot was then called an E-boat by the Allies; it is commonly held that the "E" stood for "Enemy" , but it is possible that it stood for "Eilboot" ("hurry boat").
The S-boot was better suited to the open sea and had substantially longer range (approximately 700 nautical miles) than the American PT boat and the British Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB). As a result the Royal Navy developed many later versions of MTBs using the Fairmile 'D' hull design.
As a result of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany's military production was severely curtailed. Small patrol craft, however, were not subject to any strictures. The S-boote can trace their lineage back to a private motor yacht—a 22-ton-displacement, 34-knot craft called Oheka II, which had been built in 1927 for a wealthy financier and patron of the arts, Otto Kahn, by the German shipbuilding company Lürssen.
This design was chosen because the theatre of operations of such boats was expected to be the North Sea, English Channel and the Western Approaches. The requirement for good performance in rough seas dictated the use of a round-bottomed displacement hull rather than the flat-bottomed planing hull that was more usual for small, high-speed boats. Lürssen overcame many of the disadvantages of such a hull and, with the Oheka II, produced a craft that was fast, strong and seaworthy. This attracted the interest of the German Navy, which in 1929 ordered a similar boat but fitted with two torpedo tubes. This became the S-1, and was the basis for all subsequent S-boote.
After experimenting with the S-1 the Germans made several improvements to the design. Small rudders added on either side of the main rudder could be angled outboard to 30 degrees, creating at high speed what's known as the Lürssen Effect. This drew in an "air pocket slightly behind the three propellers, increasing their efficiency, reducing the stern wave and keeping the boat at a nearly horizontal attitude". This was an important innovation as the horizontal attitude lifted the stern somewhat, allowing even greater speed, and the reduced stern wave made S-boats harder to see, especially at night.
S-boote were often used to patrol the Baltic Sea and the English Channel in order to intercept shipping heading for the English ports in the south and east. As such, they were up against Royal Navy and Commonwealth (particularly Royal Canadian Navy contingents leading up to D-Day), Motor Gun Boats (MGBs), Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs), Motor Launches, frigates and destroyers. They were also transferred in small numbers to the Mediterranean, and the Black Sea by river and land transport. Some small S-Boote were built as longboats for auxiliary cruisers.
Crew members could earn an award particular to their work—Das Schnellbootkriegsabzeichen—denoted by a badge depicting an S-boot passing through a wreath. The criteria were good conduct, distinction in action, and participating in at least twelve enemy actions. It was also awarded for particularly successful missions, displays of leadership or being killed in action. It could be awarded under special circumstances, such as when another decoration was not suitable.
Schnellboots of the 9th flotilla were the first naval units to respond to the invasion fleet of Operation Overlord. They left Cherbourg harbour at 5am on 6 June 1944. On finding themselves confronted by the entire invasion fleet, they fired their torpedoes at maximum range and returned to Cherbourg.
During World War II the S-boote sank 101 merchant ships totalling 214,728 tons. In addition, they sank 12 destroyers, 11 minesweepers, eight landing ships, six MTBs, a torpedo boat, a minelayer, one submarine and a number of small merchant craft. They also damaged two cruisers, five destroyers, three landing ships, a repair ship, a naval tug and numerous merchant vessels. Sea mines laid by the 'S-boote' were responsible for the loss of 37 merchant ships totalling 148,535 tons, a destroyer, two minesweepers and four landing ships.
At the end of the war about 34 S-boats were surrendered to the British. Three boats, S-130 (renamed P5230), S-208 (P5208) and S-212 (P5212) were retained for trials.
Between 1949 and 1956, Operation Jungle, a joint operation of MI6, the CIA, and the Gehlen Organization to insert agents into the Baltic states and Poland by sea, was established. Royal Navy Commander Anthony Courtney was struck by the potential capabilities of former E-boat hulls, and John Harvey-Jones of the Naval Intelligence Division was put in charge of the project. He discovered that the Royal Navy still had two E-boats, P5230 and P5208, and had them sent to Portsmouth, where one of them, P5230 (S130), was modified to reduce its weight and increase its power with the installation of three Napier Deltic engines of 3000hp. In the interests of deniability, a former German E-boat captain, Helmut Klose, and a German crew were recruited to man the E-boat. They operated under the cover of the British Control Commission's Fishery Protection Service, which was responsible for preventing Soviet navy vessels from interfering with German fishing boats and for destroying stray mines.
The Kriegsmarine supplied the Spanish Navy with six S-boats during the Second World War. Another six were built in Spain with some assistance from Lürssen. The German-built boats were discarded in the 1960s, while some of the Spanish-built ones served until the early 1970s.
The only surviving S-boat is the S-130. Built as hull No.1030 at the Schlichting boatyard in Travemünde, S-130 was commissioned on October 21, 1943 and took an active part in the war, participating in the Exercise Tiger attack and attacks on the D-day invasion fleet. Post World War 2, she was taken on by the Royal Navy, who used the ship during the Cold War to annoy the Soviet navy and land spies behind the Iron Curtain.
For some time, this vessel was privately owned but in the care of the British Military Powerboat Trust in Southampton, England. Due to the financial burden, S-97 was scrapped and the BMPT made at least one unsuccessful attempt to sell S-130 on eBay.