Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Galor Class

Here are some images of AMT's Cardassian Galor Class Starship from Star Trek the Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. From Wikipedia "

The Galor class is a group of starships used by the Cardassian Union. Galor class destroyers have a low profile, are long and narrow and are usually painted in a burnt orange color. The ship has a special raised semicircular 'head' at the front, containing the bridge and command section; this head contains one yellow impulse engine. The navigational deflector dish and forward disruptor cannon occupy the bow; the deflector color may vary from blue to yellow or orange. Two additional impulse engines, various disruptor cannons and two warp engines are embedded in two large fin-shaped extensions to port and starboard. A fork-shaped disruptor beam weapon sits at the far aft protecting the stern. According to the non-canon Deep Space Nine Technical Manual, Starfleet Intelligence believed that 63 new Galor class starships were built in an average year. The Galor class starship is the backbone of the Cardassian fleet, much like the Excelsior class starship is to Starfleet, and formed the basis for the Keldon class starship.

In the episode The Wounded, a single ship proved to be no match for the Galaxy Class Enterprise D, though due to ships the following season being described as "type III", it is unclear what the standard tactical value of the ship is. The presence of subtypes may also help to explain the description of the weapons systems variously as phasers, disruptors, and phase-disruptors.

In reality, the Galor class was designed by Rick Sternbach for Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I.A.R 80

Here is an image of Dave Porter's 1/48 scale I.A.R 80 from LTD models.

It’s a low production, low pressure injection kit that’s requires a lot of work. It has accurate proportions and nicely formed recessed panel lines. It comes with three different options for decals. Dave really likes this aircraft because it has “hot rod“ looks. The I.A.R. 80 was a home grown Romanian fighter designed in the late thirties/early forties. It wasn’t real fast and it didn’t have a lot of punch but it was able to hang in the fight with U.S. P-38’s on several occasions.

This aircraft had the notoriety of facing off against the B-24’s on the Ploesti raid.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bird of Prey

Here are some images of AMT's Klingon Bird of prey. In my view the best of the AMT Star Trek kits. From Wikipedia "

The Bird of Prey is one of the most common Klingon ships seen in the Star Trek franchise. First introduced in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, the Bird of Prey has featured in five of the films and frequently appears in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. Industrial Light & Magic designed and built the Bird of Prey for Star Trek III, assisted by the film's director, Leonard Nimoy. In early drafts of the script, the Bird of Prey was to be a Romulan vessel; although this idea was later dropped, the Bird of Prey maintained its cloaking device as a plot point in the film and the Romulan bird feather patterns on its wings were kept. The Bird of Prey is the first Klingon vessel depicted with a cloaking device; all classes chronologically later in the series would also use a cloaking device. The wings of the Bird of Prey are able to move, lowering to attack, maintaining just above horizontal in flight mode and raising high when the ship lands. However, as the studio model's mechanism for moving the wings broke, in later Star Trek series' episodes the wings are usually fixed in either flight mode or attack mode. This was not rectified until the creation of a CGI model for the vessel. The studio models for the Bird of Prey were sold in the 2006 Christie's auction; the original model sold for US$307,200, while an enlarged wing, used for close-up shots in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, was sold for US$8,400.

Although several variants are seen throughout the franchise, design notes state that the Bird of Prey has two main classes: the B'rel-class and the K'Vort-class. Both classes used the same studio model, differing in sizes in proportion to other starships depending on variant. The B'rel-class is a scout vessel, used for espionage, skirmishes and raids, while the K'Vort-class is a light cruiser. Both classes are armed with disruptor cannons mounted on the tips of the wings and a forward torpedo launcher, although the K'Vort-class possesses an extra two ship-mounted disruptor banks and a second torpedo launcher. Likewise, both classes are equipped with cloaking devices and are capable of impulse and warp speeds. With a crew of only 12 and a length of 160 meters, the B'rel-class is far smaller than the K'Vort-class, which measures 320 meters and possesses a crew of 300+. The interior of the Bird of Prey is similar to that of Douglas Trumbull's submarine-like designs for the K't'inga-class; some Birds of Prey are even shown with periscopes to allow the captain to personally target weapons. Despite relatively light armaments, Birds of Prey are shown to be effective craft; both the USS Enterprise and USS Enterprise-D are destroyed in part due to the activity of a Bird of Prey.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Here are some images of Monograms 1970 issue 1/48 scale SB2C Curtiss Helldiver. SOB raised panel lines and lack of detail in all its glory. From Wikipedia "

The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver was a carrier-based dive bomber aircraft produced for the United States Navy during World War II. It replaced the Douglas SBD Dauntless in US Navy service. Despite its size, the SB2C was much faster than the SBD it replaced. Crew nicknames for the aircraft included the Big-Tailed Beast (or just the derogatory Beast), Two-Cee and Son-of-a-Bitch 2nd Class (after its designation and partly because of its reputation for having difficult handling characteristics). Neither pilots nor aircraft carrier skippers seemed to like it

Although production problems persisted throughout its combat service, it was reported that some pilots soon changed their minds about the potency of the Helldiver.

Delays marred its production. Built for the USAAF as the A-25 Shrike, by the time it was delivered it was no longer required. Substantial orders by the British Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force were both cancelled due to the poor handling of the aircraft. The Truman Committee investigated Helldiver production and turned in a scathing report, probably the beginning of the end for the Curtiss. However, in spite of its problem, the aircraft was flown through the last two years of the Pacific War with a fine combat record, due to the high training of its crews.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

TBF Avenger

Here are some images of Italeri's 1/48 scale Grumman TBF Avenger. Check out my Trumpeter 1/32 scale TBM Avenger HERE. From Wikipedia " The Grumman TBF Avenger (designated TBM for aircraft manufactured by General Motors) was a torpedo bomber developed initially for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, and eventually used by several air or naval arms around the world. It entered U.S. service in 1942, and first saw action during the Battle of Midway.

Douglas' TBD Devastator, the U.S. Navy's main torpedo bomber introduced in 1935, was obsolete by 1939. Bids were accepted from several companies but Grumman's TBF design was selected as the TBD's replacement. Designed by Leroy Grumman, its first prototype was called the XTBF-1. Although one of the first two prototypes crashed near Brentwood, New York, rapid production continued Grumman's first torpedo bomber was the heaviest single-engine aircraft of World War II, and only the USAAF's P-47 Thunderbolt came close to equalling it in maximum loaded weight among all single-engined fighters, only being some 400 lb (181 kg) lighter than the TBF, by the end of World War II. The Avenger was the first design to feature a new wing-folding mechanism created by Grumman, intended to maximize storage space on an aircraft carrier; the F4F-4 and later models of Wildcat received a similar folding wing and the F6F Hellcat (both designed by Grumman) employed this mechanism as well. The engine used was the Wright R-2600-20 (which produced 1,900 hp/1,417 kW). There were three crew members: pilot, turret gunner and radioman/bombardier/ventral gunner. One .30 caliber machine gun was mounted in the nose, a .50 caliber (12.7 mm) gun was mounted right next to the turret gunner's head in a rear-facing electrically powered turret, and a single .30 caliber hand-fired machine gun mounted ventrally (under the tail), which was used to defend against enemy fighters attacking from below and to the rear. This gun was fired by the radioman/bombardier while standing up and bending over in the belly of the tail section, though he usually sat on a folding bench facing forward to operate the radio and to sight in bombing runs. Later models of the TBF/TBM dispensed with the nose-mounted gun for one .50 caliber gun in each wing per pilots' requests for better forward firepower and increased strafing ability. There was only one set of controls on the aircraft, and no access to the pilot's position from the rest of the aircraft. The radio equipment was massive, especially by today's standards, and filled the whole glass canopy to the rear of the pilot. The radios were accessible for repair through a "tunnel" along the right hand side. Any Avengers that are still flying today usually have an additional rear-mounted seat in place of the radios, which increases crew to four.

The Avenger had a large bomb bay, allowing for one Bliss-Leavitt Mark 13 torpedo, a single 2,000 pound (907 kg) bomb, or up to four 500 pound (227 kg) bombs. The aircraft had overall ruggedness and stability, and pilots say it flew like a truck, for better or worse. With its good radio facilities, docile handling, and long range, the Grumman Avenger also made an ideal command aircraft for Commanders, Air Group (CAGs). With a 30,000 ft (10,000 m) ceiling and a fully-loaded range of 1,000 mi (1,610 km), it was better than any previous American torpedo bomber, and better than its Japanese counterpart, the obsolete Nakajima B5N "Kate". Later Avenger models carried radar equipment for the ASW and AEW roles. Although improvements in new types of aviation radar were soon forthcoming from the engineers at MIT and the electronic industry, the available radars in 1943 were very bulky, because they contained vacuum tube technology. Because of this, radar was at first carried only on the roomy TBF Avengers, but not on the smaller and faster fighters.

Escort carrier sailors referred to the TBF as the "turkey" because of its size and maneuverability in comparison to the F4F Wildcat fighters in CVE airgroups.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Here are some images of AMT's U.S.S Defiant from Star Trek Deep Space Nine. From Wikipedia "The USS Defiant (NX-74205) is a fictional starship in the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9) and the feature film Star Trek: First Contact. The ship first appears in the DS9 episode "The Search, Part I", after which it plays a significant role throughout the series. The original Defiant is destroyed in the show's seventh season. Starfleet sends a replacement ship, the USS Sao Paulo. Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) then receives special dispensation from the Chief of Starfleet Operations to rename the ship Defiant. In the episode "Defiant", the character Gul Dukat describes the ship as "one of the most heavily armed warships in the Quadrant," while in the film Star Trek: First Contact, William Riker describes her as a "tough little ship."

The Defiant was initially designed by Star Trek: Deep Space Nine art illustrator Jim Martin with contributions from visual effects supervisor Gary Hutzel and modelmaker Tony Meininger. The Defiant's addition to DS9 was intended to solve the problem of cramped runabout sets according to statements by Robert-Hewitt Wolfe. Original designs called for a "beefed-up" runabout-type ship, but this gave way to a full-fledged starship design, initially called Valiant. This name was dropped out of fear that it would conflict with Star Trek: Voyager and its titular starship, also beginning with a "V". For a brief time it was considered to retain Valiant as the name of the class: but dialog in "The Search" and the ship's dedication plaque firmly establish the Defiant as the pathfinder.

The name Valiant would later be given to another Defiant-class ship in the DS9 episode "Valiant". Although not an actual initial design in the real-world, one of the in-universe designs for the Defiant appears, somewhat modified, as the Nova class USS Equinox in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Equinox".

Red II

Here is an image of Dave Porters MPC Incom T-65 X Wing fighter Red II from Star Wars.

Here is the legendary Incom T-65 X-wing fighter from Star Wars. This is a re-pop of the venerable MPC model. Dave built this kit straight from the box. It was finished in Gunze colors and artist oils.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Here are some images of AMTs Vor'cha class Klingon attack cruiser from Star Trek the next Generation. I decided to paint this ship a medium dark grey instead of the called for grey green. I felt it made it too toy like in appearance. From Wikipedia "

The Vor'cha-class attack cruiser is a powerful Klingon vessel that debuted in The Next Generation episode "Reunion". Its combat role is stated to be comparable to that of a heavy cruiser. The Vor'cha-class is the first new Klingon ship design portrayed outside of The Original Series era, and was designed by Rick Sternbach. The studio model for the ship was built by Greg Jein. Sternbach designed the Vor'cha-class to represent the alliance between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire by The Next Generation, and consequent technology exchange and collaboration. Thus, the nacelles of the craft were created to be similar to those on Starfleet vessels, while the color was intentionally placed as a midpoint between the dark green of the Bird of Prey and the light gray of the USS Enterprise-D. Sternbach's original concept sketches for the Vor'cha-class were sold at an auction in 2003 for US$850, while a studio model for the debris of a destroyed Vor'cha-class cruiser was sold on eBay in 2006 for US$1,025.

The design of the Vor'cha-class maintains the typical Klingon configuration with a forward module supported by a thick horizontal neck running aft and spreads out into a larger secondary hull. With a crew of 1,900 and a length of 500 meters, Vor'cha-class vessels are one of largest Klingon ships in the Star Trek universe. They are heavily armed, sporting 18 disruptor cannons as well as three photon torpedo launchers. In addition, the forward section of the cruiser is equipped with a particularly powerful disruptor beam. The ships are equipped with both warp and impulse engines, and make use of cloaking devices. In the Deep Space Nine episode "Return to Grace", the cruiser is stated to have enough firepower to threaten subterranean bases with orbital bombardments. The Vor'cha-class is frequently seen in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine episodes depicting Klingon ships; in its earliest appearances, the class represents the flagship of the Empire, under the command of first Klingon Chancellor K'mpec and later Gowron. Later appearances use the ship as the mainstray vessel in Klingon fleet engagements.


Here is an image of Dave Porter's Fujimi 1/72 scale Northrop/Grumman E2 C Hawkeye. This is a very old kit with a lot of fit problems and a lot of raised detail that a modeler has to cope with. It was quite an exercise trying to get a decent result. The Hawkeye’s role is a carrier borne early warning system. It serves as the “eyes and ears” of fleet much like that of the AWACs but with less capability.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

MIG 15 bis

Here are some images of Tamiyas 1/48 scale Mikoyan Gurevich Mig 15 bis. From Wikipedia "The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-15) was a jet fighter developed for the USSR by Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich. The MiG-15 was one of the first successful swept-wing jet fighters, and it achieved fame in the skies over Korea, where early in the war, it outclassed all straight-winged enemy fighters in daylight. The MiG-15 also served as the starting point for development of the more advanced MiG-17 which was still an effective threat to supersonic American fighters over North Vietnam in the 1960s. The MiG-15 is believed to have been one of the most widely produced jet aircraft ever made, with over 12,000 built. Licensed foreign production perhaps raised the total to over 18,000. The MiG-15 is often mentioned along with the North American F-86 Sabre in lists of the best fighter aircraft of the Korean War and in comparison with fighters of other eras.


Here is an image of a 1/48 scale Fujimi Aichi D3A1 Val built by Len Schmidt. The paint is Aeromaster as are the decals. The tail bands and drift markings are painted. The aircraft is representative of Cmdr. Takahashi’s flight that attacked Pearl Harbour from the carrier Shokaku.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Here are some images of Trumpeter's 1/35 scale Panzerjagerwagen. The Panzerjagerwagen with the Panzer IV turret and long 7.5-cm KwK cannon, were an important innovation of the BP 44 armor train type. It was the armored pursuit car that was replaced by the earlier pusher car. That now gave the train an effective means of defense against Russian tanks. In this instance, a program of new construction had been planned in 1944 by the German Army.

J7W1 Shinden

Here are some images of Dave Porter's 1/48scale Shinden.

This is the J7W1 Shinden. It was designed as a fast interceptor with heavy firepower that was intended to curb the onslaught of B-29 raids over the homeland. Only three test flights were completed before the war ended. This kit is in 1/48 scale by Hasegawa. Dave built it straight from the box and he finished it in Tamiya and Gunze acrylics.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Here are some images plus a composite of Revells 1/72 scale Starfury Omega from Babylon 5. From Wikipedia "

Designed once Warner Brothers gave the green light for the television series, the initial design of the Starfury was a collaboration between Steve Burg (a freelance designer on the show) who created a number of possible concepts and Ron Thornton (co-founder of Foundation Imagining) who refined and detailed the Lightwave models. This refining of the potential and final designs was necessary to keep the polygon count as small as possible due to the limited processing power (and memory) of the Amiga computers which were initially used for rendering animation sequences, as large numbers of the vessels would appear in various episodes. Located at the end of each of the four struts or wings, though it is not capable of flying in atmospheres, are two large thrusters, one facing forward and one back. Attached to the housing assembly for these are two additional smaller attitude control thrusters. While creating the design it was envisaged that the engines would work in a similar way to those of the Harrier, in that the output could be sent to any one of the four nozzles. The smaller manoeuvring ones having about 15 to 20% of the thrust of the larger Because of the positioning of these 16 thrusters and the use of computer animation, as opposed to using miniatures and more established animation techniques such as motion control, the Starfury was able to be depicted as an incredibly agile fighter.

Unknown to the producers of the show at the time, it was an intentional homage to, what Thornton and Burg felt was, the excellent and under utilised design ideas seen in the Gunstar from the 1984 movie, The Last Starfighter, which was created by their close friend Ron Cobb.

The design was also ideal for demonstrating to the executive producers of the show an idea which Ron Thornton wished to introduce. Namely, the closer adherence to real physics with regards to how human (not alien) vessels would manoeuvre in space, and that it could be depicted in an interesting and exciting way. One example of how he demonstrated this can be found in the season one episode "Soul Hunter". Before deploying its grappling claw a Starfury pilot carries out a complex set of subtle manoeuvres, with careful attention being made to the firing of the thrusters, to match the rotation of a damaged alien vessel tumbling towards the Babylon 5 space station.

Described as a stealth version of the Starfury by executive producer J. Michael Straczynski, the Black Omega fighters, attached to Psi Corps, first appeared in the season one episode, "Mind War", which was originally aired in the United States in March 1994.

This is a minor variant of the Lightwave computer model as the main differences from the original revolve around the texture map being used. For example, the nozzle heads on the front and rear of the main thrusters appear dark and smooth. On others such as the heavy fighter they appear striated. In fact, they too are also smooth. To create the impression of model detailing, Thornton would use a palette of only 128 colours to draw surface details, such as paneling, onto the texture map rather than build it. Lightwave would then dither the maps, and with the rendering software they looked as good as 24 bit colour images. This is one of the techniques that Foundation Imagining used to keep things like the polygon count to a minimum in order to produce the ground breaking animations with the limited amount of RAM that the Amiga Computers held".