Thursday, September 30, 2010


Here are some images of Airfix's 1/48 scale English Electric Canberra. From Wikipedia "

The English Electric Canberra is a first-generation jet-powered light bomber manufactured in large numbers through the 1950s. It proved to be highly adaptable, serving in such varied roles for tactical bombing, photographic, electronic, and meteorological reconnaissance. The Canberra remained in service with the Royal Air Force until 23 June 2006, 57 years after its first flight.

The Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other bomber through the 1950s and set a world altitude record of 70,310 ft (21,430m) in 1957.

The Canberra is mostly a metal aircraft, only the forward portion of the fin being of wooden construction and covered with plywood. The fuselage is of semi-monocoque construction with a pressurized nose compartment. Each crew member has a Martin-Baker ejection seat except in the B(I)8 and its export versions where the navigator has to rely on a conventional escape hatch and parachute. The fuselage contains two bomb-bays with conventional clam-shell doors (a rotating door was implemented on the Martin-built B-57 Canberra). The wing is of single-spar construction, the spar passing through the fuselage. Outboard of the engine nacelles the wing has a leading-edge sweep of 4° and trailing-edge sweep of -14°. Controls are conventional with ailerons, four-section flaps, and airbrakes on top and bottom surfaces of the wings.

It was designed for a crew of two under a fighter-style canopy but delays in the development of the intended automatic radar bomb sight resulted in the addition of a bomb aimer's position in the nose. Wingspan and length were almost identical at just under 20 metres, maximum takeoff weight a little under 25 tonnes. Thrust was provided by a pair of 30 kN axial flow Rolls-Royce Avon turbojets.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

HE 111

Here are some images of Monograms 1/48 scale Heinkel HE 111 H . From Wikipedia "

The Heinkel He 111 was a German aircraft designed by Siegfried and Walter Günter in the early 1930s in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Often described as a "Wolf in sheep's clothing", it masqueraded as a transport aircraft, but its purpose was to provide the Luftwaffe with a fast medium bomber.

Perhaps the best-recognised German bomber due to the distinctive "greenhouse" nose of later versions, the Heinkel was the most numerous and the primary Luftwaffe bomber during the early stages of World War II. It fared well until the Battle of Britain, when its weak defensive armament, relatively low speed, and poor manoeuvrability were exposed. Nevertheless, it proved capable of sustaining heavy damage and remaining airborne. As the war progressed, the He 111 was used in a variety of roles on every front in the European Theatre. It was used as a strategic bomber during the Battle of Britain, a torpedo bomber during the Battle of the Atlantic, and a medium bomber and a transport aircraft on the Western, Eastern, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and North African Fronts.

Although constantly upgraded, the Heinkel He 111 became obsolete during the latter part of the war. It was to have been replaced by the Luftwaffe's Bomber B project, but the delays and eventual cancellation of the project forced the Luftwaffe to continue using the He 111 until the end of the war. Manufacture ceased in 1944, at which point, piston-engine bomber production was largely halted in favour of fighter aircraft. With the German bomber force defunct, the He 111 was used for transport and logistics.

The design of the Heinkel endured after the war in the CASA 2.111. Its airframe was produced in Spain under license by Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA. The design differed significantly in powerplant only. The Heinkel's descendant continued in service until 1973, when it was retired.

The first He 111 flew on 24 February 1935, piloted by chief test pilot Gerhard Nitschke, who was ordered not to land at the company's factory airfield at Rostock-Marienehe, as this was considered too short, but at Rechlin. He ignored these orders and landed back at Marienehe. He said that the He 111 performed slow manoeuvres well and that there was no danger of overshooting the runway. Nitschke also praised its high speed "for the period" and "very good-natured flight and landing characteristics", stable during cruising, gradual descent and single-engined flight and having no nose-drop when the undercarriage was operated. However during the second test flight Nitschke revealed there was insufficient longitudinal stability during climb and flight at full power and the aileron controls required an unsatisfactory amount of force.

By the end of 1935, prototypes V2 V4 had been produced under civilian registrations D-ALIX, D-ALES and D-AHAO. D-ALES became the first prototype of the He 111A-1. On 10 January 1936, and received recognition as the "fastest aircraft in the world", as its speed exceeded 402 km/h (250 mph). However, this was incorrect; the fastest aircraft at that time was the Macchi M.C.72, which broke the record in 1934. The design would have achieved a greater total speed had the DB 600 engines of 746 kW (1,000 hp) been added However, German aviation industries lacked power plants with more than 447 kW (600 hp). Heinkel were forced to use the BMW VI glycol-cooled engine.

During the war, test pilot Eric Brown evaluated many Luftwaffe aircraft. Among them was a He 111H-1 of Kampfgeschwader 26 which force landed at the Firth of Forth on 9 February 1940. Brown described his impression of the He 111s unique greenhouse nose:

The overall impression of space within the cockpit area and the great degree of visual sighting afforded by the Plexiglas paneling were regarded as positive factors, with one important provision in relation to weather conditions. Should either bright sunshine or rainstorms be encountered, the pilot's visibility could be dangerously compromised either by glare throwback or lack of good sighting.

Taxiing was easy and was only complicated by rain, when the pilot had to slide back the window panel and look out to establish direction. On take off, Brown reported very little "swing" and the aircraft was well balanced. On landing, Brown noted that approach speed should be above 145 km/h (90 mph) and should be held until touch down. This was to avoid a tendency by the He 111 to drop a wing, especially on the port side.

Porsche 917K

Here is an image of Dave Porter's venerable Porsche 917K endurance race car in 1/24 scale by Heller. This kit was an extremely difficult and taxing build.

It has plenty of parts, but none fit to well. One may expect that considering that the kit is about 35 years old. Dave had to shim body parts and windows to get the proper alignment. The interior and engine compartment are fully wired and plumbed. Dave scratch built many components that were not included in the kit. He also scratch built a wiper assembly and race harness. The kit tires were no good so Dave bought some aftermarket wheels and tires from Fisher Model and Pattern. He than installed wheel weights and valve stems onto them. The car is in the livery of the 1971 Le Mans race with sponsorship from Gulf oil. The Decals are from Fred Cady. To achieve the proper color Dave mixed a combination of Testor’s blue, classic white and purple. After an initial wet sanding the decals went on. Dave then applied 4 coats of clear lacquer and wet sanded the finish between coats moving from a 2000 grit to a 10,000 grit cloth. Finally, the finish was buffed out with Turtle automotive wax.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Here are some images of Tamiya's 1/48 scale Dewoitine D.520. From Wikipedia "

The Dewoitine D.520 was a French fighter aircraft that entered service in early 1940, shortly after the opening of World War II. Unlike the Morane-Saulnier M.S.406, which was at that time the Armée de l'Air's most numerous fighter, the Dewoitine D.520 came close to being a match for the latest German types, such as the Messerschmitt Bf 109. It was slower than the Bf 109E but superior in manoeuvrability. Because of a delayed production cycle, only a small number were available for combat with the Luftwaffe.

The D.520 was designed in response to a 1936 requirement from the Armée de l'Air for a fast, modern fighter with a good climbing speed and an armament centred around a 20 mm cannon. At the time the most powerful V 12 liquid cooled engine available in France was the Hispano-Suiza 12Y, which was less powerful, but lighter, than contemporary engines such as the Rolls-Royce Merlin and Daimler-Benz DB 601. Other fighters were designed to meet the specifications but none of them entered service, or entered service in small numbers and too late to play a significant role during the Battle of France.

The D.520 was a modern fighter type, but was considered more difficult to fly than the older MS.406. An all metal structure was used, except for fabric-covered ailerons and tail surfaces. The wing, even if single-spar, was a solid and rigid unit with a secondary spar and many reinforced parts. The inwardly retracting undercarriage had a wide 2.83 m (9.3 ft) track, and was fitted with wide, low pressure tyres. A self-sealing fuel tank with a capacity of 396 l (87 imp gal) was mounted between the engine and cockpit, along with two wing tanks which, combined, carried another 240 l (53 imp gal), for a total of 636 (131 imp gall); this was considerably more than the contemporary Bf 109E, Spitfire I and early Italian fighters, each with about 400 l (88 imp gal) fuel capacity. The ferry range was from 1,300 km (810 mi) to 1,500 km (930 mi) at 450 km/h (280 mph) which, from June 1940, allowed D.520s to escape to North Africa when France fell. The handling changed according to the amount of fuel carried; using the fuselage tank alone fuel consumption had no appreciable affect on handling because the tank was on the centre of gravity, but, with full wing tanks, directional control was compromised, especially in a dive. The flight controls were well harmonized and the aircraft was easy to control at high speed. The maximum dive speed tested was 830 km/h (520 mph) with no buffeting and excellent stability both in the dive (depending on fuel load) and as a gun platform.

The H.S. 12Y-45 engine was an underpowered, older design, with 850 CV (840 hp) at takeoff at 2,400 rpm, or 935 CV (922 hp) emergency power at 2,520 rpm and 1,900 m (6,200 ft). The Hispano engine had some advantages over more modern engines; the weight was only 515 kg (1,140 lb), compared to the 620 kg (1,400 lb) of the Merlin III. Another significant aspect was the provision of an injection system, much the same as the DB.601, that allowed the D.520 to dive without fuel starvation problems. The 12Y-45 and -49s used either 92 or 100 octane fuel. The D.520 had a fire suppression system with a fire extinguisher activated from the cockpit. The engine was started by a simple but effective system, operating with compressed air, a system that made the D.520 essentially a "compressed air fighter". A Viet air compressor charged several air bottles (one with 12 l capacity, as well as another 8 l tank, three smaller 1 l units matched to the weapons). The 12 l air bottle was used for the brakes and later, for the propeller's constant speed adjustment. The small air bottles provided up to 12 seconds at 9,000 meters or 20 seconds pressure at low level, before the Viet air compressor re-charged them.

The pilot had a complete set of cockpit instruments and a 10 l oxygen bottle (with a Munerelle or Gourdou inalating system) behind him. Equipment included a radio set, a reflex aiming system (less effective than the Revi system) and a sliding canopy. Except over the long nose, the pilot's view was good, since the pilot was seated quite high over the forward fuselage, however, no mirrors were fitted.

Production-standard armament consisted of a 20 mm HS.404 moteur-canon, with an ammunition capacity of 60 rounds, firing through the propeller hub, and four belt-fed MAC 1934 M39 7.5 mm (.295 in) machine guns in the wings, each with 675 rounds per gun. The MAC 1934 machine guns had a high rate of fire of 1,200 rounds per minute (rpm) while the effective HS.404 fired at 600 rpm and was able to shoot accurately up to 500 meters; the ammunition capacity meant that the MAC 1934s could be fired for a total of 30 seconds, while the HS. 404 had 10 seconds worth of ammunition. In combat the MS.406 had only two 7.5 mm and was, therefore, at a disadvantage when the HS.404 had used up its ammunition, while a D.520 could continue to fight effectively because it had four fast-firing machine guns (over 80 rounds/sec), with 20+ seconds of ammunition still available.The D.520 had provisions for two BE33 "illuminating bombs" useful for night interception missions, but rarely used. D.520s were not fitted with bombs, as French fighters were primarily defensive aircraft.

The D.520 was designed to be maintained easily with many inspection panels, a rare feature for its time. Re-charging the D.520 ammunition was swift and easy; the machine gun magazines required five minutes each and three minutes for the 20 mm cannon. To fill the machine gun ammunition boxes took 15 minutes, while five minutes were needed to empty the 20 mm box (the cartridges weren't expelled).

Production was optimized with a reduced 7,000 man/hour each, roughly half the time compared to the previous D.510 and MS.406, and far less many other fighters of the time, such as the MC.200/202 (21,000 hours), but around 50% more than a Bf 109E (4,500 hours). The French Air Ministry planned for over 300 aircraft/month and managed to reach this goal, especially in June 1940, but it was too late to affect the tide of battle.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Here are some images of Monogram/ProModeler 1/48 scale North American P 51-B Mustang. This is Topper III, flown by Captain Edward L. Toppins of the 99th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group (Tuskegee Airmen), based in the Mediterranean and Southern European Theatres with the 15th Air Force. From Wikipedia "

The Tuskegee Airmen is the popular name of a group of African American pilots who fought in World War II. Formally, they were the 332nd Fighter Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps.

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American military aviators in the United States armed forces. During World War II, African Americans in many U.S. states still were subject to Jim Crow laws. The American military was racially segregated, as was much of the federal government. The Tuskegee Airmen were subject to racial discrimination, both within and outside the army. Despite these adversities, they flew with distinction. They were particularly successful in their missions as bomber escorts in Europe.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Spitfire MK VII

Here are some images of Hasegawa's 1/48 scale Supermarine Spitfire MK VII. From History of War "

One intriguing feature of the Spitfire story is that the two most important versions introduced during the war, the Mk V and the Mk IX, were both seen as interim designs, produced to fill a gap while more heavily modified and theoretically more advanced versions entered production. The Mk VII (pressurized) and Mk VIII (unpressurized) Spitfires were intended to replace the Mk V.

The Mk VII used the closely related Merlin 61 (1,300hp at 23,000ft), 64 (1,450hp at 21,000ft) and 71 (1,700hp at 18,000) engines as they appeared. The Merlin 61 was the first two-speed two-stage supercharged engine used in the Spitfire – the two stage supercharger improved performance at high altitude. The new engines required a new cooling system, one result of which was that the Mk VII had an air scoop on each wing, giving it a more symmetrical appearance than earlier Spitfires. The length of the fuselage was increased to 31ft 3.5in in early model to accommodate the larger engine. The fuselage also had to be strengthened.

The Mk VII used the “c” type universal wings, capable of carrying either eight machine guns, four cannon or two cannon and four machine guns depending on the situation, but with the extended wing tips used on the Mk VI.

The Mk VII was a pressurized fighter. It had a more advanced pressurization system than the Mk VI, using a sliding cockpit canopy, which was more popular than the locked cockpit on the Mk VI. The best high altitude version of the Mk VII was powered by the Merlin 71, and could reach 416mph at 44,000 ft.

The Mk VII remained in production from August 1942 until early in 1944, although only 140 aircraft were produced in that time. The Mk VII was a little more successful than the earlier Mk VI, but the “interim” Mk IX turned out to be capable of operating high altitude itself, and the Mk VII soon lost its special status as a high altitude fighter, although it remained in use throughout the war.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bf 110 G4

Here are some images of Monogram/ProModeler's 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Bf-110-G4 Night Fighter. From Wikipedia "

The Messerschmitt Bf 110, often (erroneously) called Me 110, was a twin-engine heavy fighter (Zerstörer - German for "Destroyer") in the service of the Luftwaffe during World War II. Hermann Göring was a proponent of the Bf 110, and nicknamed it his Eisenseiten ("Ironsides"). Development work on an improved type to replace the Bf 110, the Messerschmitt Me 210 began before the war started, but its teething troubles resulted in the Bf 110 soldiering on until the end of the war in various roles, alongside its replacements, the Me 210 and the Me 410.

The Bf 110 served with success in the early campaigns, the Polish, Norwegian and Battle of France. The Bf 110's lack of agility in the air was its primary weakness. This flaw was exposed during the Battle of Britain, when some Bf 110-equipped units were withdrawn from the battle after very heavy losses and redeployed as night fighters, a role to which the aircraft was well suited. The Bf 110 enjoyed a successful period following the Battle of Britain as an air superiority fighter and strike aircraft in other theatres. During the Balkans Campaign, North African Campaign and on the Eastern Front, it rendered valuable ground support to the German Army as a potent fighter-bomber (Jagdbomber-Jabo). Later in the war, it was developed into a formidable night fighter, becoming the major night-fighting aircraft of the Luftwaffe. Most of the German night fighter aces flew the Bf 110 at some point during their combat careers, and the top night fighter ace of all time, Major Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, flew it exclusively and claimed 121 victories in 164 combat missions.

The G-4 was a three-crew night fighter, FuG 202/220 Lichtenstein radar, optional Schräge Musik, usually mounted midway down the cockpit with the cannon muzzles barely protruding above the canopy glazing.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Here are some images of Eduard's 1/48 scale Yakovlev Yak-3. From Wikipedia "The Yakovlev Yak-3 (Russian language: Як-3) was a World War II Soviet fighter aircraft. Robust and easy to maintain, was much liked by pilots and ground crew alike. It was one of the smallest and lightest major combat fighters fielded by any combatant during the war, and its high power-to-weight ratio gave it excellent performance. It proved a formidable dogfighter. Marcel Albert, the official top-scoring World War II French ace that flew the Yak in USSR with the Normandie-Niémen Group, regarded it a superior aircraft to the P-51D Mustang and to the Supermarine Spitfire. After the war ended, it flew with the Czech and Polish Air Forces.

Lighter and smaller than Yak-9 but powered by the same engine, the Yak-3 was a forgiving, easy-to-handle aircraft loved by both rookie and veteran pilots and ground crew as well. It was a robust, easy to maintain and a highly successful dogfighter. It was used mostly as a tactical fighter, flying low over battlefields and engaging in dogfights below 13,000 ft.

On 17 July 1944, eight Yaks attacked a formation of 60 German aircraft, including escorting fighters. In the ensuing dogfight, the Luftwaffe lost three Junkers Ju 87s and four Bf 109Gs, for no losses to the Yaks. Consequently, the Luftwaffe issued an order to "avoid combat with Yak fighters without an oil cooler under the nose and with an inclined aerial mast below 5000 m". In fact, most of the Yak-3s had no mast, the aerial wire running from canopy to fin.

But unresolved wartime problems included plywood surfaces coming unstuck when the aircraft was pulled out of a high-speed dive.

Other drawbacks of the aircraft were short range, and poor engine reliability. The pneumatic system for actuating landing gear, flaps and brakes, typical for all Yakovlev fighters of the time, was problematic. Though less reliable than hydraulic or electrical alternatives, the pneumatic system was preferred due to significant weight savings.

In 1944, the Normandie-Niemen Group re-equipped with the Yak-3, scoring with it the last 99 of their 273 air victories against the Luftwaffe.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Here are some images of AMT's D-7 Klingon Battle Cruiser from Star Trek TOS. From Wikipedia "

The D7-class battlecruiser is the first Klingon starship observed in the Star Trek franchise. The vessel was designed by Matt Jefferies to be distinctive and quickly recognised by viewers. As Jefferies wanted the D7-class to appear "threatening, even vicious", the design was modelled on a manta ray in both basic shape and color. The spread-wing primary hull, long neck and bulbous command module configuation of the D7-class became the basic blueprint for Klingon vessels in the later television series. Jefferies' original model for the D7-class now resides in the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, along with the original studio model for USS Enterprise.

The D7-class model was originally produced for The Original Series episode "Elaan of Troyius"; however, as the episodes were not aired in their production order, the vessel first appeared in "The Enterprise Incident". It is shown to be armed with several disruptor banks that fire in pulses, as well as with a torpedo launcher in the forward module. In one episode of The Animated Series, "More Tribbles, More Troubles", a D7-class battlecruiser is equipped with an experimental stasis weapon, capable of paralyzing target vessels. The vessel possesses both impulse engines and warp drive, allowing for faster-than-light travel. While Klingon vessels in the television series set after The Original Series possess cloaking devices, the Klingon D7-class does not at first. This is changed after "The Enterprise Incident", several D7-class battlecruisers are shown under Romulan control as the result of a technology exchange between the Romulans and the Klingons; these vessels do utilize a cloaking device.

The appearance of the D7-class has been revisited several times in the Star Trek series; an entirely new studio model was created by Greg Jein for the Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations". With an overall green hue, this model had a significantly more detailed hull in comparison to the bland gray of the original. A D7-class ship also appears in the Voyager episode "Prophecy"; however, as a CGI model of Jein's model was not available, the ship was instead portrayed with a CGI model of the K't'inga-class battlecruiser. The D7-class was again revisited for the remastered version of The Original Series, in which Michael Okuda created a new CGI D7-class model, with improved hull detail and Romulan bird markings for the D7-class vessels in "The Enterprise Incident". This remastered D7-class was digitally inserted into episodes earlier than their original appearances.


Here is an image of Dave Porter's Tamiya 1/35 Tiger painted in a winter scheme. This is a very old kit from the mid seventies. Its detail is quite a bit less than Tamiya’s newest renditions of the famous Panzer but is very nice nonetheless. This Tiger represents a unit that served in Russia during late 1943 until the end of the war.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

1886 Daimler Benz

Here are some images of Minicraft's 1/16 scale 1886 Daimler Benz Motor Coach.The 1886 Daimler Benz was a converted horse drawn carriage and was powered by a single cylinder water cooled engine that produced 1.5 horsepower.The output was transferred to the pinion driven rear wheels by a system of belts and cogs. To steer the car the entire front axle and wheel assembly was turned by the steering handle. Needless to say, the steel rimmed wooden wheels that were mounted on leaf springs did not provide a very smooth ride considering the roads of the day.