Sunday, January 30, 2011

1804 Pen - Y - Darren Re Post

Here are some images of my scratchbuilt 1/9 scale (approx) 1804 Pen-Y- Darren locomotive. Designed by Richard Trevithick this became the worlds first locomotive.
In 1802 Trevithick took out a patent for his high pressure steam engine. To prove his ideas, he built a stationary engine at the Coalbrookdale Company's works in Shropshire in 1802, forcing water to a measured height to measure the work done. The engine ran at forty piston strokes a minute, with an unprecedented boiler pressure of 145 psi.
The Coalbrookdale company built a rail locomotive for him, but little is known about it, including whether or not it actually ran. To date, the only known information about it comes from a drawing preserved at the Science Museum, London, together with a letter written by Trevithick to his friend, Davies Giddy. The design incorporated a single horizontal cylinder enclosed in a return-flue boiler. A flywheel drove the wheels on one side through spur gears, and the axles were mounted directly on the boiler, with no frame.

Basically what I did was I used the 1/38 scale Minicraft model for measurements and multiplied everything by four. The flare on the smoke stack and the wheel hub points were my own embellishments. The materials used were styrene sheet, aluminium and brass tube and roding and an outdoor lamp cover which had the perfect diameter and length for the main boiler.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Beam Engine

Here are some images of Airfix's 1/32 scale Beam Engine.
From Wikipedia"

A beam engine is a type of steam engine where a pivoted overhead beam is used to apply the force from a vertical piston to a vertical connecting rod. This configuration, with the engine directly driving a pump, was first used by Thomas Newcomen around 1705 to remove water from mines in Cornwall. The efficiency of the engines was improved by engineers including James Watt who added a condenser, Jonathan Hornblower and Arthur Woolf who compounded the cylinders, and William McNaught (Glasgow) who devised a method of compounding an existing engine. Beam engines were first used to pump water out of mines or into canals, but could be used to pump water to supplement the flow for a waterwheel powering a mill.

The rotative beam engine is a later design of beam engine where the connecting rod drives a flywheel, by means of a crank (or, historically, by means of a sun and planet gear). These beam engines could be used to directly power the line-shafting in a mill. They also could be used to power steam ships.

The first beam engines were water-powered, and used to pump water from mines. A 'preserved' example may be seen at Wanlockhead, in Scotland.

Beam engines were extensively used to power pumps on the English canal system when it was expanded by means of locks early in the Industrial Revolution, and also to drain water from mines in the same period, and as winding engines.

The first steam-powered beam engine was developed by Thomas Newcomen. The Newcomen steam engine was adopted by many mines in Cornwall and elsewhere, but it was relatively inefficient and consumed a large quantity of fuel. James Watt resolved the main inefficiencies of the Newcomen engine in his Watt steam engine, and these beam engines were used commercially in much larger numbers.

Watt held patents on key aspects of his engine's design, and it was not until these patents expired that others could develop modifications to improve it. The beam engine was considerably improved and enlarged in the tin- and copper-rich areas of south west England, which enabled the draining of the deep mines that existed there. Consequently the Cornish beam engines became world famous, as they remain the most massive beam engines ever constructed.

Stephenson Rocket

Here are some images of Academy's 1/26 scale 1829 Stephenson Rocket.
From Wikipedia"
The Rocket was the most advanced steam engine of its day. It was built for the Rainhill Trials held by the Liverpool & Manchester Railway in 1829 to choose the best and most competent design. It set the standard for a hundred and fifty years of steam locomotive power. Though the Rocket was not the first steam locomotive, Rocket's claim to fame is that it was the first steam locomotive to bring together several innovations to produce the most advanced locomotive of its day, and the template for most steam locomotives since. In fact, the standard steam locomotive design is often called the "Stephensonian" locomotive.

Rocket used a multi-tubular boiler, which made for much more efficient and effective heat transfer between the exhaust gases and the water. Previous locomotive boilers consisted of a single pipe surrounded by water. Rocket had 25 copper tubes running the length of the boiler to carry the hot exhaust gases from the firebox. This was a significant development, as it greatly increased the amount of steam produced, and subsequent designs used increased numbers of boiler tubes. Rocket also used a blastpipe, feeding the exhaust steam from the cylinders into the base of the chimney so as to induce a partial vacuum and pull air through the fire. Credit for the invention of the blastpipe is disputed between Sir Goldsworthy Gurney and Timothy Hackworth. The blastpipe worked well on the multi-tube boiler of Rocket but on earlier designs with a single pipe through the boiler it created so much suction that it tended to rip the top off the fire and throw burning cinders out of the chimney, vastly increasing the fuel consumption.
A closer view

Rocket had two cylinders set at 35 degrees from the horizontal, with the pistons driving a pair of 4 ft 8 in (1.42 m) diameter wheels. Most previous designs had the cylinders positioned vertically, which gave the engines an uneven swaying motion as they progressed along the track. Subsequently Rocket was modified so that the cylinders were set horizontally, a layout used on nearly all designs that followed. The second pair of wheels was 2 ft 6 in (0.76 m) in diameter, and uncoupled from the driving wheels, giving an 0-2-2 wheel arrangement. The firebox was separate from the boiler and was double thickness, being surrounded with water. Copper pipes led the heated water into the boiler.
A cutaway view of the cylinder and steam valve of the replica Rocket

There have been differences in opinion on who should be given the credit for designing Rocket. George Stephenson had designed several locomotives before but none as advanced as Rocket. At the time that Rocket was being designed and built at the Forth Banks Works, he was living in Liverpool overseeing the building of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. His son Robert had recently returned from a stint working in South America and resumed as managing director of Robert Stephenson and Company. He was in daily charge of designing and constructing the new locomotive. Although he was in frequent contact with his father in Liverpool and probably received advice from him, it is difficult not to give the majority of the credit for the design to Robert. A third person who deserves a significant amount of credit is Henry Booth, the treasurer of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. He is believed to have suggested to Robert Stephenson that a multi-tube boiler should be used.
The opening ceremony of the L&MR, on 15 September 1830, was a considerable event, drawing luminaries from the government and industry, including the Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington. The day started with a procession of eight trains setting out from Liverpool. The parade was led by Northumbrian driven by George Stephenson, and included Phoenix driven by his son Robert, North Star driven by his brother Robert Sr. and Rocket driven by assistant engineer Joseph Locke. The day was marred by the death of William Huskisson, the Member of Parliament for Liverpool, who was struck and killed by Rocket at Parkside.
In 1834, the engine was selected for modifications to test a newly-developed rotary steam engine designed by Lord Dundonald. At a cost of nearly £80, Rocket's cylinders and driving rods were removed and two of the engines were installed directly on its driving axle with a feedwater pump in between. On October 22, of that year, an operational trial was held with disappointing results; one witness observing, that "the engine could not be made to draw a train of empty carriages". Due to inherent design flaws and engineering difficulties associated with their design, Dundonald's engines were simply too feeble for the task.

Friday, January 28, 2011


This is 1/25 scale street modified 1960 Ford Starliner built by Regina modeler Ron Gall. The fit and finish is very nicely done on this piece. Ron did a lot of changes to the kit including the wheels, engine, and the drive train as well as along list of extras. The sky is the limit for creativity when building model cars of this type.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


This is a 1/25 scale 1965 Impala SS built by Regina modeler Larry Draper. This model is fully plumbed and wired under the hood and has a nicely polished exterior.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

U.S.S. Kubrick

Here are some images of my 1/537 scale kitbash Clarke Class U.S.S. Kubrick NCC - 2001 in honor of a great film, a great writer and a great director.
18 months after the christening of the Kubrick she disappeared without a trace while investigating strange signals coming from the beta quadrant. It's whereabouts to this day still remains a total mystery ;).
Interestingly enough the next ship to bare the 2001 designation was the Excelsior Class U.S.S. Proxima.
She too was lost presumably to "unspecified aggressors" though this cannot be substantiated.

The specifications of the Clarke classes only member remains to this day classified.

I built this model using parts from the old AMT Enterprise and Reliant kits. As well as parts from my spares box
The Aztec decaling was downloaded from Starship Modelers web site.

S.L.C. 200 "Maiale" (The Pig) Re Post

Here are some better images of Italeri's 1/35 scale S.L.C. 200 "Maiale" (The Pig) manned torpedo. In its day (WW II) because of its stealthy like nature proved to be a successfully destructive device. Pilots would slowly drive up to a docked enemy ship at night, release and then attach the front part of the Maiale (the warhead) to the hull, then they would set the timer and quietly drive away. This is a small but nicely detailed model and at around $30 Cdn is a little costly considering its size but I think because of its detail is worth it. This model comes with two figures but I decided to use only one figure for the display as I think it gives it a more ominous feel. But that's just me.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mustang III

Here are some more images of Trumpeter Models 1/32 scale North American RAF Mustang III.
From Wikipedia"

In April 1942, the RAF's Air Fighting Development Unit (AFDU) tested the Mustang and found its performance inadequate at higher altitudes. As such, it was to be used to replace the Tomahawk in Army Cooperation Command squadrons, but the commanding officer was so impressed with its maneuverability and low-altitude speeds that he invited Ronnie Harker from Rolls-Royce's Flight Test establishment to fly it. Rolls-Royce engineers rapidly realized that equipping the Mustang with a Merlin 61 engine with its two-speed two-stage supercharger would substantially improve performance and started converting five aircraft as the Mustang Mk X. Apart from the engine installation, which utilized custom-built engine bearers designed by Rolls-Royce and a standard 10 ft 9 in (3.28 m) diameter, four-bladed Rotol propeller from a Spitfire Mk IX, the Mustang Mk X was a straightforward adaptation of the Mustang Mk I airframe, keeping the same radiator duct design. The Vice-Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sir Wilfrid R. Freeman, lobbied vociferously for Merlin-powered Mustangs, insisting two of the five experimental Mustang Mk Xs be handed over to Carl Spaatz for trials and evaluation by the U.S. 8th Air Force in Britain. The high-altitude performance improvement was remarkable: the Mustang Mk X (serial number AM208) reached 433 mph (697 km/h) at 22,000 ft (6,700 m), and AL975 tested at an absolute ceiling of 40,600 ft (12,400 m).

Two XP-51B prototypeswere adapted from P-51 airframes; these were a more thorough conversion than the Mustang X, with a tailor-made engine installation and a complete redesign of the radiator duct. The airframe itself was strengthened, with the fuselage and engine mount area receiving more formers because of the greater weight of the Packard V-1650-3, 1,690 lb (770 kg), compared with the Allison V-1710's 1,335 lb (606 kg). The engine cowling was completely redesigned to house the Packard Merlin, which, because of the intercooler radiator mounted on the supercharger casing, was 5 in (130 mm) taller and used an updraught induction system, rather than the downdraught carburetor of the Allison. The new engine drove a four-bladed 11 ft 2 in (3.40 m) diameter Hamilton Standard propeller that featured cuffs of hard molded rubber. To cater for the increased cooling requirements of the Merlin a new fuselage duct was designed. This housed a larger radiator, which incorporated a section for the supercharger coolant, and, forward of this and slightly lower, an oil cooler was housed in a secondary duct which drew air through the main opening and exhausted via a separate exit flap.[

It was decided that the armament of the new P-51B (NA-102) would permanently omit the previously nose-mounted machine guns used on earlier P-51 versions, and only the four wing-mounted .50 in (12.7 mm) M2/AN Browning machine guns (with 350 rpg for the inboard guns and 280 rpg for the outboard) of the P-51A would be used for its gun armament. The bomb rack/external drop tank installation, adapted from the A-36 Apache attack version, would also be used; the racks were rated to be able to carry up to 500 lb (230 kg) of ordnance and were also capable of carrying drop tanks. The weapons were aimed using an N-3B optical gunsight fitted with an A-1 head assembly which allowed it to be used as a gun or bomb sight through varying the angle of the reflector glass. Pilots were also given the option of having ring and bead sights mounted on the top engine cowling formers. This option was discontinued with the later P-51Ds.

The first XP-51B flew on 30 November 1942. Although flight tests confirmed the potential of the new fighter, with the service ceiling being raised by 10,000 feet and the top speed improving by 50 mph at 30,000 ft (9,100 m), it was soon discovered that the radiator duct airflow was breaking up at high speeds, generating a rumble as the exit shutter was closed. Testing at the Ames Aeronautical laboratory led to a redesign of the radiator scoop culminating in a forward slanted upper lip. After sustained lobbying at the highest level, American production was started in early 1943 with the P-51B (NA-102) being manufactured at Inglewood, California, and the P-51C (NA-103) at a new plant in Dallas, Texas, which was in operation by summer 1943. The RAF named these models Mustang Mk III. In performance tests, the P-51B reached 441 mph (709.70 km/h) at 30,000 ft (9,100 m). In addition, the extended range made possible by the use of drop tanks enabled the Merlin-powered Mustang to be introduced as a bomber escort with a combat radius of 750 miles using two 75 gal tanks.

The range would be further increased with the introduction of an 85 gal (322 l) self-sealing fuel tank aft of the pilot's seat, starting with the P-51B-5-NA series. When this tank was full, the center of gravity of the Mustang was moved dangerously close to the aft limit. As a result, maneuvers were restricted until the tank was down to about 25 U.S. gal (95 l) and the external tanks had been dropped. Problems with high-speed "porpoising" of the P-51Bs and P-51Cs with the fuselage tanks would lead to the replacement of the fabric-covered elevators with metal-covered surfaces and a reduction of the tailplane incidence. With the fuselage and wing tanks, plus two 75 gal drop tanks, the combat radius was now 880 miles.

Despite these modifications, the P-51Bs and P-51Cs, and the newer P-51Ds and P-51Ks, experienced low-speed handling problems that could result in an involuntary "snap-roll" under certain conditions of air speed, angle of attack, gross weight, and center of gravity. Several crash reports tell of P-51Bs and P-51Cs crashing because horizontal stabilizers were torn off during maneuvering. As a result of these problems, a modification kit consisting of a dorsal fin was manufactured. One report stated:

"Unless a dorsal fin is installed on the P-51B, P-51C and P-51D airplanes, a snap roll may result when attempting a slow roll. The horizontal stabilizer will not withstand the effects of a snap roll. To prevent recurrence, the stabilizer should be reinforced in accordance with T.O. 01-60J-18 dated 8 April 1944 and a dorsal fin should be installed. Dorsal fin kits are being made available to overseas activities"

The dorsal fin kits became available in August 1944, and were fitted to P-51Bs and P-51Cs, and to P-51Ds and P-51Ks. Also incorporated was a change to the rudder trim tabs, which would help prevent the pilot over-controlling the aircraft and creating heavy loads on the tail unit.

One of the few remaining complaints with the Merlin-powered aircraft was a poor rearward view. The canopy structure, which was the same as the Allison-engined Mustangs, was made up of flat, framed panels; the pilot gained access, or exited the cockpit by lowering the port side panel and raising the top panel to the right. The canopy could not be opened in flight and tall pilots especially, were hampered by limited headroom. In order to at least partially improve the view from the Mustang, the British had field-modified some Mustangs with clear, sliding canopies called Malcolm hoods (designed by Robert Malcolm). The new structure was a frameless plexiglas moulding which ballooned outwards at the top and sides, increasing the headroom and allowing increased visibility to the sides and rear. Because the new structure slid backwards on runners it could be slid open in flight. The aerial mast behind the canopy was replaced by a "whip" aerial which was mounted further aft and offset to the right. Most British Mk IIIs were equipped with Malcolm hoods. Several American service groups "acquired" the necessary conversion kits and some American P-51B/P-51Cs appeared with the new canopy, although the majority continued to use the original framed canopies.

P-51Bs and P-51Cs started to arrive in England in August and October 1943. The P-51B/P-51C versions were sent to 15 fighter groups that were part of the 8th and 9th Air Forces in England and the 12th and 15th in Italy (the southern part of Italy was under Allied control by late 1943). Other deployments included the China Burma India Theater (CBI).

Allied strategists quickly exploited the long-range fighter as a bomber escort. It was largely due to the P-51 that daylight bombing raids deep into German territory became possible without prohibitive bomber losses in late 1943.

A number of the P-51B and P-51C aircraft were fitted for photo reconnaissance and designated F-6C.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Here are some images of AMT's 1/72 scale Danube Class Runabout in Vulcan markings.
From Memory Beta"

The Danube-class grew out of a series of studies by the Advanced Starship Design Bureau which began in 2363 to create a small versatile vessel for use in a wide range of missions. The final design for the Danube-class conducted flight tests which were so successful the class went into immediate production, with the first ships of the class entering service in 2368. The first batch of Danube-class ships were assigned as support craft to Deep Space 9 where they, and later replacements, served with distinction for many notable missions. (ST reference: Starship Spotter)

The Utopia Planitia Yards served as the primary Danube-class construction facility with three other sites set up to continue production of the class and spare parts for existing vessels after the first production run at Utopia Planitia. By the late 2370s the Advanced Starship Design Bureau was developing successors for the class while Starfleet continued to build more of this very successful class. (ST reference: Starship Spotter; DS9 reference: Technical Manual)

The Danube-class was designed as a multi-use vessel with potential missions including scientific research, personnel and supply transfer, a base of operations for missions from orbit or landed and as a support craft for larger vessels on other missions. (ST reference: Starship Spotter)

To achieve this versatility the Danube-class featured a modular design with the aft section being swappable for mission specific modules, such as a more spacious passenger module to accommodate a larger crew or passengers or modules containing specialised scientific equipment. These exchangeable components consisted of the aft-most living compartment or cargo section and the central multimission module pack. The central section could be configured with either one larger mono-load section, or combinations of half-load modules and up to four quarter-load modules. (ST reference: Starship Spotter; DS9 reference: Technical Manual)

The exterior of the vessel could also be altered to best fit a mission with strap on equipment pods including specialized communications equipment, sensors or weapons. (ST reference: Starship Spotter)

The class' cockpit also functioned as an independent module which could be detached in the case of emergencies and continue in space flight or make an emergency planetary landing.

The Danube-class' armaments as standard consisted of six phaser strips. Additionally extendable microtorpedo launcher modules could be fitted under the cockpit to fire microtorpedoes. Up to four standard photon or quantum torpedoes could also be fired from the optional multirole module. (DS9 reference: Technical Manual; DS9 episode: "Past Prologue", et al.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Here are some images of Monogram's 1/677 scale Intrepid Class U.S.S. Bellerophon (Voyager kit).
From Memory Beta"

The USS Bellerophon (NCC-74705) was a Federation Intrepid-class explorer in service to Starfleet in the late 24th century. (DS9 episode: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges", ST roleplay module: Starships). It was commanded by Captain Adams.

The Bellerophon travelled to Deep Space 9 in 2371 to assist Benjamin Sisko and his crew. (DS9 novel: The Laertian Gamble)

In 2375, the Bellerophon transported Federation delegates to Romulus for a conference on the Dominion War. (DS9 episode: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges", ST roleplay module: Starships)

In January or February of 2379, Admiral William Ross considered sending the Bellerophon to the Romulan border. (ST novel: Articles of the Federation)

The Intrepid-class was introduced in the early 2370s and was Starfleet's answer to their growing need for a versatile and quick class of starships which were capable of excellent maneuvering at both impulse and warp speed. With their variable geometry warp nacelles, the Intrepid's had a greater control of their warp field, with the added bonus of not damaging the subspace layer. (TNG video game: Armada II manual)

As well as being designed to be quick and maneuverable in combat, the Intrepid's were primarily designed to perform exploration, survey, and courier missions. The Intrepid's advanced sensors made them an excellent exploratory vessel. (ST reference: Starship Spotter)

The Intrepid-class was also one of the first Federation starship classes to be equipped to make a routine planetfall and be able to take off again with ease. (ST reference: Starship Spotter; VOY episodes: "The 37's", "Tattoo", "Basics")

The Intrepid's were also equipped with some of the most advanced computer systems of the time, with bio-neural circuitry replacing most of the isolinear circuitry that had been prevalent on previous starship classes. The bio-neural circuitry sped up the computer's data functions and improved overall performance. (VOY episode: "Caretaker"; ST reference: Starship Spotter)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A post-apocalyptic/futuristic scene.

Here are some images of Dave Porter's post apocalyptic/futuristic diorama and here in his own words is his description.

This is a post-apocalyptic/futuristic scene that I built using an amalgam of models from the Japanimation TV shows “Orguss” and “Votoms” with 25mm “Battletech” figures thrown in for good measure. The smaller robots and some soldiers are hiding in the ruins and are just about to capture the crew of the large mech. The ruins are built from electronic component packing material, parts from the spares box, and burned out electronics parts. I made this piece twenty years ago and I remember it being a lot of fun to put together.