Thursday, August 30, 2012
Built from Dragon Models 1/48 scale Apollo 11 Command/Service Module.
I couldn't swear to its accuracy as there doesn't seem to be very much information on it.
Still I think it gives a reasonable facsimile.
Marooned is a 1969 American film directed by John Sturges and starring Gregory Peck, Richard Crenna, David Janssen, James Franciscus, and Gene Hackman.
The film was released less than four months after the Apollo 11 moon landing and was tied to the public fascination with the event. It won an Academy Award for Visual Effects.
It was based on the 1964 novel of the same name by Martin Caidin; however, while the original novel was based on the single-pilot Mercury program, the film depicted an Apollo Command/Service Module with three astronauts and a space station resembling Skylab. Caidin acted as technical adviser and updated the novel, incorporating appropriate material from the original version.
Three American astronauts—commander Jim Pruett (Crenna), "Buzz" Lloyd (Hackman), and Clayton "Stoney" Stone (Franciscus)—are the first crew of an experimental space station. While returning to Earth, the main engine on the Apollo spacecraft Ironman One fails. Mission Control determines that Ironman does not have enough backup thruster capability to initiate atmospheric reentry, or to re-dock with the station and wait for rescue. The crew is marooned in orbit.
NASA debates whether a rescue flight can reach the crew before their oxygen runs out in approximately two days. There are no backup launch vehicles or rescue systems available at Kennedy Space Center and NASA director Charles Keith (Peck) opposes using an experimental Air Force X-RV lifting body that would be launched on a Titan IIIC booster; neither the spacecraft nor the booster is man-rated, and there is insufficient time to put a new manned NASA mission together. Even though a booster is already on the way to nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for an already-scheduled Air Force launch, many hundreds of hours of preparation, assembly, and testing would be necessary.
Ted Dougherty (Janssen), the Chief Astronaut, opposes Keith and demands that something be done. The President agrees with Dougherty and tells Keith that failing to try a rescue mission will kill public support for the manned space program. The President tells Keith that money is no factor; "whatever you need, you've got it".
While the astronauts' wives (Lee Grant, Mariette Hartley, and Nancy Kovack) agonize over the fates of their husbands, all normal checklist procedures are bypassed to prepare the X-RV for launch. A hurricane headed for the launch area threatens to cancel the mission. However, the eye of the storm passes over the Cape at the last minute during a launch window, permitting a launch with Dougherty aboard.
There is insufficient oxygen left for all three astronauts to survive until Dougherty arrives. There is possibly enough for two. Pruett and his crew then debate what to do. Stone tries to reason that they can somehow survive. Lloyd offers to leave since he is "using up most of the oxygen anyway", but Pruett overrides him. He orders everyone into their spacesuits then leaves the ship, ostensibly to attempt repairs. When Lloyd realizes what Pruett is really intending, he attempts to go after him. Before he can reach Pruett, the latter sacrifices himself by tearing open his space suit, and his body drifts away into space. With Pruett gone, Stone takes command.
A Soviet spacecraft suddenly appears and its cosmonaut tries to make contact. It can do nothing but deliver oxygen since the Soviet ship is too small to carry additional passengers. Stone and Lloyd, suffering oxygen deprivation, cannot understand the cosmonaut's gestures or obey Keith's orders.
Dougherty arrives and he and the cosmonaut transfer the two surviving and mentally dazed Ironman astronauts into the rescue ship. Both the Soviet ship and the X-RV return to Earth, and the final scene fades out with a view of the abandoned Ironman One adrift in orbit.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
The base was created by me.
Human torpedoes or manned torpedoes are a type of rideable submarine used as secret naval weapons in World War II. The basic design is still in use today; they are a type of diver propulsion vehicle.
The name was commonly used to refer to the weapons that Italy, and later Britain, deployed in the Mediterranean and used to attack ships in enemy harbours. A group of a dozen countries used the human torpedo, from Italy and Great Britain to Argentina and Egypt, and there are some museums and movies dedicated to this naval weapon. The human torpedo concept is used recreationally for sport diving.
The first human torpedo (the Italian Maiale) was electrically propelled, with two crewmen in diving suits riding astride. They steered the torpedo at slow speed to the enemy ship. The detachable warhead was then used as a limpet mine. They then rode the torpedo away.
In operation, the Maiale torpedo was carried by another vessel (usually a normal submarine), and launched near the target. Most manned torpedo operations were at night and during the new moon to cut down the risk of being seen.
The idea was successfully applied by the Italian navy (Regia Marina) early in World War II and then copied by the British when they discovered the Italian operations. The official Italian name for their craft was Siluro a Lenta Corsa (SLC or "Slow-running torpedo"), but the Italian operators nicknamed it maiale (Italian for "pig"; plural maiali) because it was difficult to steer. The British copies were named "chariots".
A typical manned torpedo has a propeller and hydroplanes at the rear, side hydroplanes in front, and a control panel and controls for its front rider. It usually has two riders who sit facing forwards. It has navigation aids such as a compass, and nowadays modern aids such as sonar and GPS positioning and modulated ultrasound communications gear. It may have an air (or other breathing gas) supply so its riders do not have to drain their own apparatus while they are riding it. In some the riders' seats are enclosed; in others the seats are open at the sides as in sitting astride a horse. The seat design includes room for the riders' swimfins (if used). There are flotation tanks (typically four: left fore, right fore, left aft, right aft), which can be flooded or blown empty to adjust buoyancy and attitude.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Here are my composite images of Fine Molds 1/72 TIE Fighter and TIE Interceptor from Star Wars.
The TIE Fighter is flying past the moon Tethys while the TIE Interceptor is flying past the moon Mimas.
While both are moons of Saturn they also bare a similarity to the Death Star.
Images of the TIE Fighter can be seen here.
Moon pic NASA.
Images of the Moon Bus siting at Hadley Rille can be seen here.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
This particular aircraft belonged to No. 336Squadron, Royal Hellenic Air Force (Greece). They painted this F 104 G with a special colour scheme as a farewell to the F 104.
A composite image of the same model can be seen here.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Friday, August 24, 2012
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Images of the model can be seen here.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
I decided to put fiber optics into this model as I came across one of those old fiber optic Christmas Trees leaning against the dumpster outside. So I decided to strip it of all its fibery goodness.
I was never one to load up a model with lots of lights. I think it gives it a kind fake look to it. Besides with all those lights it looks too much like... well... a Christmas tree.
I also decided to paint this model in my own dark copper motif as opposed to the red example called out for in the instructions.
Venator-class Star Destroyers, also known as "Republic attack cruisers", appear in Revenge of the Sith and in the Expanded Universe. The ship's design is meant to bridge the appearance of the Acclamator-class transports in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and the Imperial class in the original trilogy. While the ships first appear with a red and grey Republic color scheme, the Venator at the movie's end is gray and white; this lack of color signifies the Empire's rise to power.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
This friendly little devil served with the N0. 19 E.F.T.S Royal Canadian Air Force. Virden Manitoba in 1943.
Images of my other Tiger Moth can be seen here and here.
Sunday, August 5, 2012
The Morgan Plus 8 is a sports car built by British car makers Morgan between 1968 and 2004. Its instant and enduring popularity has been credited with saving the company and keeping the company famous during the 36 years of its manufacture. Among Morgan enthusiasts, it is deeply associated with Peter Morgan, the owner-chairman behind its design.
The development of the Plus 8 was led by Maurice Owen, a race car engineer taken on specifically for the role. The Plus 8 prototype was based on a modified version the chassis of the Plus 4, to which it added the Rover alloy block 215 cu in (3.5 l) V8, purchased from GM-Buick in 1967. Plus 4's Moss gearbox was carried over and the Salisbury 7HA axle was uprated with a limited slip differential. The chassis was developed in stages to accommodate gearbox changes in 1973 and 1976, the body widened in 1976 to accommodate the widened chassis and the wings widened to accommodate larger tyres to handle the increasing power and trend for lower profile and wider tyres. The original 1968 Plus 8 was 57 inches (1,400 mm) wide and the last was 64 inches (1,600 mm) (with an optional "widebody" at 67 inches (1,700 mm)) For several years in the 1960s the Plus Eight was the fastest-accelerating UK production car.
To mark the 35th year of production of its Plus 8, MMC released a commemorative 'Anniversary Edition'.
All Plus 8s engines were based on the Rover V8 which had been bought by Rover. Morgan was the first of a succession of sports car makers- including the likes of TVR and Marcos- to use the engine, which Rover had only just made available in the P5B saloon.
The Plus 8 development car used a Rover V8 block and the Plus 8 was launched in 1968 using Rover's production engine, itself a re-engineered version of the Buick 215 block (renamed the 3.5 L by Rover) with a compression of 10.5:1 fueled by two SU HS6 carburettors. By 1973, the Rover 3500 saloon was available with a manual 4 speed gearbox and this engine/gearbox configuration was adopted by Morgan although the compression dropped to 9.25:1 with a resulting loss of power. With the adoption of an improved version of the block developed for the Rover SD1 in 1977, compression was increased to 9.35:1 and power increased. After 1981 the engine was fueled by two Stromberg carburettors, .
At the end of 1983, the company offered a EFI version using a Bosch L-Jetronic based system. With the added power (204 bhp (152 kW; 207 PS)) and low weight, the Plus 8 was, according to the magazine road tests of the day, able to best a Porsche up to 90 mph (140 km/h). In 1990, a 3.9 L version of the block was added using the Lucas 14CUX fuel injection system.
In 1996, a 4.6 L version found its way into the car as an option, still using the 14CUX system. From 2000, all Morgan Plus 8s were fueled by the GEMS system used on the Land Rover Discovery II.
Friday, August 3, 2012
Additional wiring done by yours truly.
The Lotus 25 was a racing car designed by Colin Chapman for the 1962 Formula One season. It was a revolutionary design, the first fully stressed monocoque chassis to appear in F1. An early brainchild of Chapman's fertile mind, the original sketches for the car were made on napkins while Chapman discussed his idea while dining out with Lotus chassis designer Mike Costin.
The monocoque made the car more rigid and structurally stronger than typical F1 cars of the period. The 25 was three times stiffer than the interim 21, while the chassis weighed only half as much. As a result, the car was extremely low and narrow (frontal area only 8.0 ft², 0.74m² compared to the normal 9.5 ft², 0.88 m²)It was also envisaged to have a column gear lever, to keep cockpit width to a minimum, although this was only experimental and discarded. To assist this, the driver reclined sharply behind the wheel (an idea seen in the 18, and pioneered over a decade previously by Gustav Baumm at NSU), leading to the nickname 'The Bathtub', while front suspension pieces were moved inboard (as in the 1948 Maserati). The 25 was powered by a 1498cc Coventry Climax FWMV V8, although Reg Parnell Racing in 1964 fitted BRM P56s of similar specification to their second-hand 25s. Such was 25's effect on motor racing, even today's modern F1 cars follow its basic principles.
Some privateers who had been buying Lotus chassis were disgruntled by the fact Chapman refused to provide them 25s. These teams, including Rob Walker Racing, were given Lotus 24s, while the works team had exclusive use of the 25 for Jim Clark and Trevor Taylor. When it first appeared at the Dutch Grand Prix, the futuristic 25 was inspected by John Cooper, who asked Chapman where he had put the chassis in the car.
The car gave Clark his first Grand Prix victory, at Spa, that year. He followed by taking another win in Britain, and again in the USA, which put him in contention for the title, but at the final race, South Africa while leading, a much publicised engine seizure cost him the title to Graham Hill.
Clark gained his revenge the following year, taking his first world championship in the 25, by winning 7 races, Belgium, France, Holland, Britain, Italy, South Africa, and Mexico. Lotus also won its first constructors' championship. In addition, 25s were entered at Indianapolis, where they trialled Lucas electronic ignition for Ford. The 25 was used during the 1964 season, winning a further three races in Clark's hands. At the final race in Mexico, just as in 1962, the Climax engine developed an oil leak and with literally a lap to run Clark coasted to a halt in sight of world championship victory, this time conceding to John Surtees.
Clark went on to take the car's final win at the 1965 French Grand Prix before it was replaced by the Lotus 33. The Lotus 25 won 14 races, took 17 pole positions, and set 13 fastest laps.
In 2008/9 Lotus launched a special edition of the Elise supercharged model in the original Lotus 25 racing colours. This had track standard sports suspension and traction control. A total of 25 of these Lotus Jim Clark Type 25 cars were produced for the RHD market.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
The flower I pulled off the internet.
The Volkswagen Beetle, officially called the Volkswagen Type 1 (or informally the Volkswagen Bug), is an economy car produced by the German auto maker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003. With over 21 million manufactured in an air-cooled, rear-engined, rear-wheel drive configuration, the Beetle is the longest-running and most-manufactured car of a single design platform anywhere in the world.
Although designed in the 1930s, the Beetle was only produced in significant numbers from 1945 onwards, when the model was internally designated the Volkswagen Type 1, and marketed simply as the "Volkswagen". Later models were designated VW 1200, 1300, 1500, 1302 or 1303, the former three indicating engine displacement and the latter two being derived from the type number and not indicative of engine capacity. The model became widely known in its home country as the Käfer (German for "beetle") and was later marketed as such in Germany, and as the Volkswagen Beetle in other countries.
In the 1950s, the Beetle was more comfortable and powerful than most European small cars, having been designed for sustained high speed on the Autobahn. It remained a top seller in the U.S., owing much of its success to high build-quality and innovative advertising, ultimately giving rise to variants, including the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia and the Volkswagen Type 2 bus.
Along with cars including the Morris Minor, Fiat 500, Renault 4CV and Dauphine, and Citroën 2CV, the Beetle pioneered the modern continental economy car and later served as the benchmark for the initial two generations of North American compact cars, including the Chevrolet Corvair and Ford Falcon, as well as later subcompact cars such as the Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto.
The Beetle had marked a significant trend led by Volkswagen, Fiat, and Renault whereby the rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout had increased from 2.6 percent of continental Western Europe's car production in 1946 to 26.6 percent in 1956. The 1948 Citroën 2CV and other European models marked a later trend to front-wheel drive in the European small car market, a trend that would come to dominate that market. In 1974, Volkswagen's own front-wheel drive Golf model succeeded the Beetle. In 1994, Volkswagen unveiled the Concept One, a "retro"-themed concept car with a resemblance to the original Beetle, and in 1998 introduced the "New Beetle", built on the Golf platform with styling recalling the original Type 1.
In a 1999 international poll for the world's most influential car of the 20th century, the Type 1 came fourth, after the Ford Model T, the Mini, and the Citroën DS.
By 2002, over 21 million Type 1s had been produced, but by 2003, annual production had dropped to 30,000 from a peak of 1.3 million in 1971. VW announced the end of production in June 2003, citing decreasing demand, and the final original Type 1 VW Beetle (No. 21,529,464) rolled off the production line at Puebla, Mexico, on 30 July 2003 – 65 years after its original launch and unprecedented 58-year production run (counting from 1945, the year VW recognizes as the first year of non-Nazi funded production). This last Beetle, nicknamed El Rey (Spanish for "The King" after a legendary Mexican song by José Alfredo Jiménez) was delivered to the company's museum in Wolfsburg, Germany.
To celebrate the occasion, Volkswagen marketed a final special series of 3,000 Beetles marketed as "Última Edición" (Final Edition) in light blue (Aquarius Blue) or beige (Harvest Moon Beige). Each car included the 1.6 engine, whitewall tires, a CD player with four speakers, chrome bumpers, trim, hub caps and exterior mirrors, a Wolfsburg emblem above the front trunk's handle, chrome glove box badge, body coloured wheels, tinted glass, a rear parcel shelf, and VW Ultima Edicion plaque.A mariachi band serenaded production of the last car. In Mexico, there was also an advertising campaign as a goodbye for the Beetle. For example, in one of the ads was a very small parking space on the street, and many big cars tried to park in it, but could not. After a while, a sign appears in that parking space saying: "Es increíble que un auto tan pequeño deje un vacío tan grande" (It is incredible that a car so small can leave such a large void). Another depicted the rear end of a 1954 Beetle (year in which Volkswagen first established in Mexico) in the left side of the ad, reading "Erase una vez..." (Once upon a time...) and the last 2003 Beetle in the right side, reading "Fin" (The end). There were other ads with the same nostalgic tone. The Volkswagen Sedan will be used as a taxi in Mexico City until 2013. The Mexican government is removing this type of taxi and already made the green colours change into red-gold