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.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
This particular tank served with the 55th guards tank brigade, 7th guards tank corps, Berlin 1945.
I think "CYBOPOB" means "perseverance" but I can't be sure. No doubt someone out there will tell us what it means.
The T-34 was a Soviet medium tank produced from 1940 to 1958. Although its armour and armament were surpassed by later tanks of the era, it has been often credited as the most effective, efficient and influential design of World War II. First produced at the KhPZ factory in Kharkov (Kharkiv, Ukraine), it was the mainstay of Soviet armoured forces throughout World War II, and widely exported afterwards. It was the most-produced tank of the war, and the second most-produced tank of all time, after its successor, the T-54/55 series. In 1996, T-34 variants were still in service in at least 27 countries.
The T-34 was developed from the BT series of fast tanks and was intended to replace both the BT-5 and BT-7 tanks and the T-26 infantry tank in service. At its introduction, it was the tank with the best balanced attributes of firepower, mobility, protection and ruggedness, although its battlefield effectiveness suffered from the unsatisfactory ergonomic layout of its crew compartment, scarcity of radios, and poor tactical employment. The two-man turret-crew arrangement required the commander to aim and fire the gun, an arrangement common to most Soviet tanks of the day; this proved to be inferior to three-man (commander, gunner, and loader) turret crews of German Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks. However according to analysis at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds of a T-34 sent over by the Soviets in 1942, the T-34 had the best optics of any tank so far analyzed there, of either existing tanks or any under development.
The design and construction of the tank were continuously refined during the war to enhance effectiveness and decrease costs, allowing steadily greater numbers of T-34s to be fielded. In early 1944, the improved T-34-85 was introduced, with a more powerful 85 mm gun and a three-man turret design. By the war's end in 1945, the versatile and cost-effective T-34 had replaced many light and heavy tanks in service, and accounted for the majority of Soviet tank production. Its evolutionary development led directly to the T-54/55 series of tanks, built until 1981 and still operational as of 2010 and which itself led to the T-62, T-72 and T-90 tanks which, along with several Chinese tanks based on the T-55, form the backbone of many of the world's armies even today.
The T-34 was the most important weapon fielded by the Red Army in World War II. When first produced in 1940, commentators considered it one of the finest tank designs in the world. Sloping armour increased protection, the V-2 diesel engine used a less flammable fuel, the Christie suspension was fast on rough terrain and wide tracks gave low ground pressure for good mobility in mud and snow. The T-34 continued to give the Soviet Army a critical advantage in the war even after its technological advantages had been equalled and surpassed.
As the war went on, the T-34 gradually lost the innovative design advantages it had at the beginning of the German invasion in 1941. As the war progressed it had become an increasingly easy target for the more powerful 75mm and 88mm armed tanks; weapons could even pierce the turret relatively easily. It should be noted that the turret armour, which was cast, was softer than that of the other parts of the tank and it offered poor resistance even to the 37 mm shells of automatic AA guns.
The 85 mm ZiS gun of the T-34/85 greatly increased firepower over the previous 76.2 mm F-34 cannon on the T-34/76. The length of the 85 mm gun barrel (4.645 meters) made it necessary to be careful not to dig it into the ground on bumpy roads or in combat; A.K. Rodkin commented: "the tank could have dug the ground with it in the smallest ditch. If you fired it after that, the barrel would open up at the end like the petals of a flower."
At the start of the war, T-34s were about four percent of the Soviet tank arsenal, but by the end it comprised at least 55% of tank production (based on figures from; Zheltov 2001 lists even larger numbers). By the time the T-34 had replaced older models and became available in greater numbers, newer German tanks, including the improved Panzer V "Panther", outperformed it. The T-34-85 tank initially cost about 30 percent more to produce than a Model 1943, at 164,000 rubles; by 1945 this had reduced to 142,000 rubles. During the course of the Great Patriotic War the cost of a T-34 tank reduced by almost half, from 270,000 rubles in 1941, while in the meantime its top speed remained about the same, and its main gun's armour-penetration and turret frontal-armour thickness both nearly doubled.
During the last years of the war the Soviets 'improving tactics were still inferior to the Germans', but the Red Army's growing operational and strategic skill and its larger inventory of tanks helped bring the loss ratios down. The T-34/85 in early 1944 did give the Red Army a tank with a better gun and turret, while its armour and mobility were arguably better than German Panzer IV and Sturmgeschütz III it could not match the Panthers armour or the 7.5 cm KwK 42 gun retrofitted to many German AFVs (including the PzIVs). To the Soviet advantage there were far fewer Panthers than T-34s or German AFVs in general.
Comparisons can be drawn between the T-34 and the U.S. M4 Sherman tank. Both tanks were the backbone of the armoured units in their respective armies, and both were upgraded extensively and fitted with more powerful guns. Both were designed for ease of manufacture and maintenance, sacrificing some performance for this goal. Neither were equal to Germany's later tanks, the Panther or the Tiger. The improved T-34-85 remained the standard Soviet medium tank with an uninterrupted production run until the end of the war. The Germans responded to the T-34 by introducing the new powerful and initially failure prone Panther tank, while also improving the firepower of the numerous older Panzer IV tanks and Stug III self-propelled gun. The emphasis on quality during tank production allowed the Soviets to maintain a substantial numerical superiority in tanks throughout the war. Production figures for all Panther types reached no more than 6,557, and for the expensive heavy, Tiger types 2,027. Production figures for the T-34-85 alone reached 22,559 eventually, the T-34 replaced most light, medium, and heavy tanks in Soviet service.By 1944 the Soviets had the absolute strategic initiative, with massive numerical superiority, and in terms of supply distribution and logistics, also operational superiority. They had the luxury of being able to concentrate large armoured forces at any points on the front they desired while still being able to strongly defend everywhere. The Soviets also attained critical air superiority for the first time, albeit not always and not everywhere. However, in 1944 the Soviets lost 23,700 fully tracked AFVs (only 2,200 of which were light tanks): this was the highest number of AFV losses in a single year by any country in history. Of these 58% were T-34s, the majority of those being the new up-gunned and improved T-34/85s. Despite having the operational and strategic advantage and Soviet losses were about 4 tanks for every German tank destroyed.
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.