Saturday, April 30, 2011
Here is a composite image of AMT's 1/537 scale Klingon K't'inga Battle Cruiser flying towards one of Jupiter's Galilean moons Ganymede. Out of all the Klingon ships in the Star Trek Universe This is perhaps my favourite design. Here are some images of the model.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Here are some images of my composites of two of the feature craft from the 1970's program Battlestar Galactica.
First up we have an image of Revell's 1/32 scale Cylon Raider doing a fly past of the moon during a full lunar eclipse. I punched up the red and the shadows a bit to give the craft that sense of foreboding.
Next we have Revell's 1/32 scale Colonial Viper (original release) flying over Neptune's moon Triton. If you look closely you can see a bit of distortion from the exhaust.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Here are some images of MPCs 1/11 scale Speeder Bike from Star Wars. From Wikipedia "Speeder bikes and swoop bikes are small, fast transports that use repulsorlift engines in the fictional Star Wars universe. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi includes a prominent speeder bike chase; speeders and swoops also appear in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars IV: A New Hope, and the Star Wars Expanded Universe's books, comics, and games.
Various concept sketches came from producer George Lucas' call for a "rocket powered scooter" in Return of the Jedi. While Industrial Light & Magic's (ILM) Nilo Rodis-Jamero designed a blocky vehicle with a large engine, Ralph McQuarrie's designs were more fanciful but with less of a sense of the vehicle's power source. The final designs resulted both in full-scale Imperial speeder bikes used by the actors for film against a bluescreen, along with miniatures mounted by articulated puppets. ILM used a steadicam recording at 1 frame per second to record the speeder bikes' path through the forest moon of Endor -- in reality, a California forest.Playing the footage at the standard rate of 24 frames per second caused a blurring effect, what looked like 100MPH actually was shot at 5MPH , which ILM used to simulate the vehicles' high speed.
The BARC speeder in Revenge of the Sith was designed to appear like a predecessor to the speeder bikes in Return of the Jedi. ILM's Doug Chiang designed Darth Maul's (Ray Park) speeder in The Phantom Menace to resemble a scythe, and Chiang's initial designs for the droid army's STAP vehicle resembled the speeder bikes from Return of the Jedi. An all-CGI swoop appearing in A New Hope stems from a design created for Shadows of the Empire, and the swoop also appears briefly in The Phantom Menace.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Here are some images of Pegasus Models 1/18 scale Bell X-1 research aircraft. How can I put this kindly? This model lends itself well to scratch building. You would think a model this size would have more detailing but alas no. To spruce up this model a bit I drilled out the engine exhausts, added seatbelt's and installed wiring coming off the back of the instrument panel just to spruce things up a bit. This kit looks like it was designed intentionally for the toy market as the the plastic is thick and very tough plus note that the movable wheel bay doors and landing gear have very visible hinges and the front spire does not blend well with the front of the aircraft plus it doesn't lend itself well to gluing so CA was necessary but considering the cost, $45 CDN it is well worth the buy if you are willing to put some time and effort into it. I have a book issued by Time/Life called Designers and test Pilots from their Epic of Flight series and a book called Aviation Pioneers from Osprey publications and in these books it showed the Bell X-1 Glamorous Glennis in a more weathered state. So off I went to the interweb to see if any model builders out there had posted a more weathered X-1 to get some ideas and to my surprise there weren't any. All I saw were shiny brand new looking X-1s and I think the reason why is that there isn't very many photographs out there showing a weathered X-1. So here without further ado is my version of a weathered Glamorous Glennis.
From Wikipedia '
The Bell X-1, originally designated XS-1, was a joint NACA-U.S. Army/US Air Force supersonic research project built by Bell Aircraft. It was the first aircraft to exceed the speed of sound in controlled, level flight, and was the first of the so-called X-planes, an American series of experimental aircraft designated for testing of new technologies and usually kept highly secret.
On 16 March 1945, the United States Army Air Forces' Flight Test Division and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) (now NASA) contracted Bell Aircraft to build three XS-1 (for "Experimental, Supersonic", later X-1) aircraft to obtain flight data on conditions in the transonic speed range.
The X-1 was in principle a "bullet with wings", its shape closely resembled the Browning .50-caliber (12.7 mm) machine gun bullet that was known to be stable in supersonic flight. The pattern shape was followed to the point of seating the pilot behind a sloped, framed window inside a confined cockpit in the nose, with no ejection seat. After the aircraft ran into compressibility problems in 1947, it was modified to feature a variable-incidence tailplane. An all-moving tail was developed by the British for the Miles M.52, and first saw actual transonic flight on the Bell X-1 that allowed it to pass through the sound barrier safely.The rocket propulsion system was a four-chamber engine built by Reaction Motors, Inc., one of the first companies to build liquid-propellant rocket engines in America. It burned ethyl alcohol diluted with water and liquid oxygen. The thrust could be changed in 1,500 lbf (6,700 N) increments by firing one or more of the chambers. The fuel and oxygen tanks for the first two X-1 engines were pressurized with nitrogen and the rest with steam-driven turbopumps. The all-important fuel turbopumps, necessary to raise the chamber pressure and thrust, while lightening the engine, were built by Robert Goddard who was under Navy contract to provide jet-assisted takeoff rockets.
Bell Aircraft Chief Test Pilot, Jack Woolams became the first to fly the XS-1, in a glide flight over Pinecastle Army Airfield, in Florida, on 25 January 1946. Woolams would complete nine additional glide flights over Pinecastle before March 1946, when the #1 aircraft was returned to Bell for modifications in anticipation of the powered flight tests, planned for Muroc Army Air Field (now Edwards Air Force Base) in California. Following Woolams' death on 30 August 1946, Chalmers "Slick" Goodlin was the primary Bell Aircraft test pilot of X-1-1 (serial 46-062). He made 26 successful flights in both of the X-1 aircraft from September 1946 until June 1947.
The Army Air Force was unhappy with the cautious pace of flight envelope expansion and Bell Aircraft's flight test contract for aircraft #46-062 was terminated and was taken over by the Army Air Force Flight Test Division on 24 June after months of negotiation. Goodlin had demanded a US$150,000 bonus for breaking the sound barrier. Flight tests of the X-1-2 (serial 46-063) would be conducted by NACA to provide design data for later production high-performance aircraft.
On 14 October 1947, just under a month after the United States Air Force had been created as a separate service, the tests culminated in the first manned supersonic flight, piloted by Air Force Captain Charles "Chuck" Yeager in aircraft #46-062, which he had christened Glamorous Glennis after his wife. The rocket-powered aircraft was launched from the bomb bay of a specially modified B-29 and glided to a landing on a runway. XS-1 flight number 50 is the first one where the X-1 recorded supersonic flight, at Mach 1.06 (361 m/s, 1,299 km/h, 807.2 mph) peak speed.
As a result of the X-1's initial supersonic flight, the National Aeronautics Association voted its 1948 Collier Trophy to be shared by the three main participants in the program. Honored at the White House by President Harry S. Truman were Larry Bell for Bell Aircraft, Captain Yeager for piloting the flights, and John Stack for the NACA contributions.
The research techniques used in the X-1 program became the pattern for all subsequent X-craft projects. The NACA X-1 procedures and personnel also helped lay the foundation of America's space program in the 1960s. The X-1 project defined and solidified the post-war cooperative union between U.S. military needs, industrial capabilities, and research facilities. The flight data collected by the NACA in the X-1 tests then provided a basis for American aviation supremacy in the latter half of the 20th century.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Here are some images of composites featuring craft from the Star Wars universe.
Though the TIE M1 Bizzarro is part of the Star Wars lexicon and has been mentioned and seen in video games the Jedi TIE Fighter is from my own imagination.
First up we have my 1/48 scale kitbash of my TIE M1 Experimental (Bizzarro) flying past Saturn's moon Mimas. I have often wondered if Mimas was the inspiration for the Death Star. This is why I used it in this image. Pictures of the model can be viewed here.
Next we have my 1/32 scale(?) kitbash of a Jedi TIE Fighter cruising towards the planet Mars.
When I built this model I had no idea what type of story line one could use for this craft. However Ludo over at Studio Cyberlab came up with a pretty good one. "After years of galactic warfare all the raw materials to construct the ships and weapons are exhausted. the only materials left are the war relics that are floating through space. A new era had began, who will scavenge the best left overs and construct the best weapons to win the battle..." Works for me! Pictures of the model can be viewed here.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
For those of you who have been viewing my web page for awhile may notice that from time to time I enjoy doing occasional composites of my models using Photoshop. That is placing photographs of my models into natural or unnatural settings. Well here are some images of my latest examples. I hope you enjoy them.
First up we have an image of Moebius Models 1/160 scale Orion III Space Clipper from 2001 a Space Odyssey. The image represents the Orion in a blast off accent on its way to an orbiting space station.
Next we have an image of my scratch built Unmanned Soviet Space Probe from 2010 Odyssey II (The Year We Make Contact) flying over The moon Europa, a Galilean satellite of Jupiter. Europa moon surface photo taken by NASA. Europa itself courtesy of God.
After that we have an image of Moebius Models 1/128 scale Seaview from the 60's TV series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea in an underwater setting. Underwater composites I find tend to be more difficult than they appear. You have to match the object colour to its surroundings and then one has to add a slight blur to everything.
Finally we have an image of Lindberg's 1/200 scale 1950's concept Space Base Space Station.
I sometimes wonder that if the technology to build Space Stations were around in the 1950's if this is in fact what they would have looked like.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Here are some images of Tamiya's 1/32 scale Supermarine Spitfire MK IX C. This is the aircraft that was flown by wing commander J.E."Johnnie" Johnson for Kenley Wing "The Canadians" at RAF Kenley 1943. Johnnie Johnson became the western Allies top fighter ace of World War Two in the European theater with 34 victories to his credit as well as seven shared victories, three shared probables, ten shared damaged as well as one destroyed on the ground. In 1943 Johnnie Johnson took over Kenley Wing and despite initial objections from those obnoxious and stubborn Canadians were quickly won over by his sheer force of personality. Johnnie Johnson continued to serve with the RAF after the war eventually retiring in 1966 with the rank of Air Vice Marshal. He passed away on January 30th 2001. This kit has got to be the best 1/32 scale Spitfire ever produced, every bit as comparable to Tamiya's 1/32 scale Zero. The detail is amazing right down to the back of the shoulder straps attachment. My only real complaint is the decals lacked elasticity, easily fixed with plenty of Microsol though one should keep an eye out for cracking. Plus at around $150 Cdn can be quite the tidy sum. Oh and one other complaint. Why doesn't the figure look like Johnnie Johnson?
Friday, April 22, 2011
Here are some images of my 1/537 scale kit bash of the Hawker Class Starship the U.S.S. Gambit.
The Hawker Class is every bit as powerful and as well equipped as the Constitution Class Starship only with a crew compliment of 125 persons.
The Hawker Class was created for singular scientific and information gathering missions into hostile areas where heavy defensive capabilities may the necessary to achieve the mission at hand.
|Armaments:||4 twin bank Phaser Emitters|
2 single bank Phaser
2 Photon tubes
|Auxiliary craft:||5-7 shuttlecraft; 2 repair wagons; capsule|
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Here is an image of Dave Porter's 1/35 scale type 87 DAK VW Bug and here in his own words is his description.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Here are some images of Tamiya's 1/48 scale Avro Lancaster Grand Slam Bomber B1 Special.
This aircraft served with 617 squadron No. 5 group, Woodhall Spa, Lincoln (Spring 1945).
- B I Special
- 32 Aircraft were adapted to take first the super-heavy "Tallboy" and then "Grand Slam" bombs. Upgraded engines with paddle-bladed propellers gave more power, and the removal of gun turrets reduced weight and gave smoother lines. For the Tallboy, the bomb-bay doors were bulged; for the Grand Slam, they were removed completely and the area faired over. For some Tallboy raids, the mid upper turret was removed. This modification was retained for the Grand Slam aircraft, and in addition the nose turret was later removed. Two airframes (HK541 and SW244) were modified to carry a dorsal "saddle tank" with 1,200 gal (5,455 L) mounted aft of a modified canopy for increasing range. No. 1577 SD Flight tested the aircraft in India and Australia in 1945 for possible use in the Pacific, but the tank adversely affected handling characteristics when full and an early type of flight refuelling designed in the late 1930s for commercial flying boats was later used instead.
Known officially as the Bomb, Medium Capacity, 22,000 lb, it was a scaled up version of the Tallboy bomb and closer to the original size that the bombs' inventor, Barnes Wallis, had envisioned when he first developed his earthquake bomb idea.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Here are some better images of Conctructo's 1/60 scale H.M.C. Endeavour Captain James Cook commanding. James Cooks middle name was not known. The Endeavour was a bark made of English oak with a reinforced structure. It was prepared to accommodate a group of astronomers and scientists accompanying the expedition for the main purpose of observing the transit of Venus across the sun, an event due to happen in June 1769 and which was supposed to be visible from the island of Tahiti. The woods used for this model were Ayous, Ramin, Boxwood, Mukaly, Sapelly and Manzonia. I have always found that working with Sapelly wood to be difficult in one respect, it has a tendency to slightly change colour when you sand it. So one has to be careful.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Here are some images of Dragon Models (former Aurora/ESCI molds) 1/9 scale Sd.Kfz.2 Kleines Kettenkraftrad HK 101 with Gebirgsjager. Whatever the hell that means. This in my not so humble opinion is the ultimate motorbike. I often see this model done in Africa corps yellow, panzer grey or the dark yellow/red brown/dark green colour scheme. So I decided to do mine in winter camouflage. The winter scheme is more complicated then at first may appear. First I painted it in the three tone colour scheme, then I apply decals, then I applied heavily thinned white paint to give it a white wash appearance and finally weathering. If you come across any of the old 1/9 scale Aurora/ESCI motorcycle model kits or their re release counterparts by all means buy them as they are beautifully detailed and an absolute joy to build and in my opinion one of the best kit series ever produced.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Here are some images of Trumpeter Models 1/24 scale Mitsubishi A6M2b Type 21 Zero. This is the second best Zero model kit on the Market. The 1/32 Tamiya kit being slightly more detailed. A word of warning when building any Trumpeter kit and that is to always check the color schemes for they are often incorrect. I don't know why this is perhaps a hiring firing program in that particular department is in order. Plus while you're at it keep an eye on any decals containing type. Just a precaution. Other then that any Trumpeter kit is always well worth the purchase due to their high detail and good fit.
While the Navy was testing the first two prototypes, they suggested that the third be fitted with the 700 kW (940 hp) Nakajima Sakae 12 engine instead. Mitsubishi had its own engine of this class in the form of the Kinsei, so they were somewhat reluctant to use the Sakae. Nevertheless when the first A6M2 was completed in January 1940, the Sakae's extra power pushed the performance of the plane well past the original specifications.
The new version was so promising that the Navy had 15 built and shipped to China before they had completed testing. They arrived in Manchuria in July 1940, and first saw combat over Chungking in August. There they proved to be completely untouchable by the Polikarpov I-16s and I-153s that had been such a problem for the A5Ms currently in service. In one encounter, 13 Zeros shot down 27 I-15s and I-16s in under three minutes without loss. After hearing of these reports the Navy immediately ordered the plane into production as the Type 0 Carrier Fighter, Model 11. Reports of the Zero's performance filtered back to the US slowly. There they were dismissed by most military officials, who felt it was impossible for the Japanese to build such an aircraft.
After the delivery of only 65 planes by November 1940, a further change was worked into the production lines, which introduced folding wingtips to allow them to fit on aircraft carriers. The resulting Model 21 would become one of the most produced versions early in the war. When the lines switched to updated models, 740 Model 21s had been completed by Mitsubishi, and another 800 by Nakajima. Two other versions of the Model 21 were built in small numbers, the Nakajima-built A6M2-N "Rufe" floatplane (based on the Model 11 with a slightly modified tail), and the A6M2-K two-seat trainer of which a total of 508 were built by Hitachi and the Sasebo Naval Air Arsenal.