Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Grief Re Post

Here are some better images of MPM models 1/48 scale Heinkel HE 177 A5 Grief. With the German high command's insistence that this four engined bomber be built with only two nacelles caused no end of headaches and "grief" (apt name) and not to mention many deaths. During it's development and production stage this aircraft was continually plagued with over heating engines, engine fires and explosions both on ground and in flight and despite repeated pleas to convert this aircraft to a conventional four engined bomber the Nazis in charge would have none of it. Even Herman Goering at one point told Heinkel to stop bothering him about it. Eventually late in the war Heinkel developed it to the A5 and this version was a safe enough aircraft that it could be flown without to much consternation. Heinkel did develop a conventional four nacelle'd prototype and guess what? It flew beautifully. Why Goering and his cohorts insisted on a two nacelle design is anyone's guess and anyway by the time a workable version came out it's usefulness was pretty much obsolete as Nazi Germany was by then decidedly on a defensive role and there was no need for an offensive heavy bomber though some sorties were flown. The model like the real aircraft caused no end of "grief" (apt name). Though a highly detailed model, parts wouldn't fit right, lots of open seems, Vague instructions at times and the nacelles kept exploding (kidding). So be warned if you are planning on purchasing this model kit it is expensive (around $200 + Cdn) and be prepared for some shoe horning, filling and sanding. However in the end it does produce an impressive display piece.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Work of Jay Moffat Pt 6

Here are some images of Jay Moffat's Samurai Warrior, circa 1180 and here in his own words is his description.

The armour is the early O Yoroi ( or Great Armour) style, and was meant to be worn on horseback by mounted archers. The mounted archers were the elite of the samurai in the same way that mounted knights were the elite in Europe. A highly developed skill, the samurai would gallop towards the enemy, fire arrows, then wheel away to regroup and charge again.

The armour was constructed by lacing together a series of overlapping scales (or sane) made of mostly horsehide leather but with some metal plates included over the vital organs. The scales were bound together in rows using flat silk braid, then fastened together vertically to form the plates of the armour. It is this coloured silk braid that gives the armour it's distinctive look. However, unlike European knights, who wore a coat of arms to identify their allegiance to a particular family, the colours on Samurai armour do not represent any particular family or clan. Once the scale plates were finished, they were attached to metal plates at the top of the breast, back and shoulders. These plates were covered by a strip of wood covered with decorative leather, called the kesho no ita or cosmetic plate.

The upper arms were protected by large, flat plates of scales called o sode, or large sleeves. The o sode acted similar to a shield, sliding off the arms when raised to shoot, then falling behind the shoulders. They were held in place with a complex system of cords tied in such a way that they stayed in place yet allowed sufficient freedom to draw the bow or wield the sword.

The helmet bowl (or hachi) was made of overlapping plates. Attached to this was a neck guard (shikoro) of five rows of tapered scales reaching almost to the shoulders and giving the helmet it's deep conical shape. These scales were attached by split rivets, supposedly so the neck guard would tear free if grabbed by an opponent. The four upper rows of scales were extended and bent sharply outwards at right angles, forming the fukigaeshi, the distinctive "wings" found on almost all Samurai helmets. Their purpose was to protect the wearer from arrows shot at short range, the "wings" protecting the face as they turned away from the enemy after firing their arrows.

Under the armour, samurai wore the traditional kimono, tied together at the lower legs. The shin guards did not come into use until the late 12th century. The weapon was the fabled Samurai sword.

The O Yoroi style of armour was very successful for its time. However, as the nature of battle changed, it's shortcomings began to become apparent. First, it was heavy - not so much a consideration when on horseback, but a different story when fighting on foot, as was often the case later in history. It was also extremely hot, and the silk lacing became good homes for lice and fleas. Gradually, the samurai moved to wearing lighter, simpler armour.

The figure is from Andrea miniatures, and is 90mm in height. The figure is basically box stock except for the cords on the back, which were made from wire and tassle ends made from Milliput. The armour is painted to resemble a set worn by a legendary Japanese feudal lord from the period, an illustration of which is included in the Osprey Elite book on the Samurai. The blue and white decorative motif on the chest plate and shoulders is decorative Japanese paper. I found the design on the web, printed it on paper and glued it to the figure.

The Work of Jay Moffat Pt5

Here are some images of Jay Moffat's
tribute the the centennial anniversary of the Royal Canadian Navy - "Jenny Wren", a Leading Wren from the Woman's Royal Canadian Naval Service and here in his own words is his description.
Due to the serious wartime shortage of sailors for sea billets, the Navy decided to organize a women's division of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) "to release a man to go to sea." On July 31, 1942, the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service was established. The WRCNS, unlike other Allied female units, was not an auxiliary but rather a formed unit of the RCN and its officers held the King's commission. Nicknamed "Jenny Wrens, at peak strength, over 6,000 women were fulfilling the various roles of coders, confidential clerks, messengers, telegraphists, cooks, stewards and some 35 other important duties. The WRCNS was disbanded in 1946. In 1951 a Wren section was reformed in the RCN, initially in the Reserve but becoming full-time regulars by 1955. Wrens continued to serve in the RCN and RCNR (reserve) until unification of the Canadian Forces. Women in the navy were still known as Wrens until the late eighties.

The figure is from Chota Sahib, and has been out of production for about 20 years - I came across this one by chance on Ebay, and managed to get it cheap. But even for a 20 year old figure, it's equal to anything done today. The original figure was a British Wren of the 1970s. However, only a couple of minor changes were needed to backdate it to World War Two, namely adding pocket flaps to the jacket and adding an upper portion to the shoes. The figure is done in artists oils, and painted to represent the Wrens' light blue summer uniform, which was unique to the WRCNS. The black nylons were done using chalk pastels brushed over the paint until the right darkness was achieved.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

U.S.S. Explorer

Here are some images plus a composite of Lindberg's 1/200 scale U.S.S. Explorer.
Here is another kit that was originally issued in the late 1950's only then it was known as the "Multi Staged Transport Rocket".
This is another kit that was of coarse based heavily on Werner Von Braun's design to which of coarse inevitably became the Apollo Staturn 5 rocket.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Space Base

Here are some images of Lindbergs 1/200 scale Space Base.
First released in 1958 this kit was based heavily on the Von Braun design of that same era and as such has gone through various name changes throughout the decades.
First starting life off as "The U.S. Space Station" in 1958. Followed in the late 1960's as the "Mars Probe Space Station". Then in the 1970's as the "Star Probe" and finally in 2009 as simply the "Space Base".
I often wonder if this model was the inspiration for the Space Station 5 in Kubricks 2001 a space odyssey.

I remember as a child of 8 wanting to get this kit so badly but never having the cash and always drawing pictures of it in grade 3 elementary. Now in late 2010 my dream has come true. Yayyyy!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Los Angeles Class

Here are some images of Dragon Model's 1/350 scale Los Angeles class submarine.
From Wikipedia "
The Los Angeles class, sometimes called the LA class or the 688 class, is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines (SSN) that forms the backbone of the United States submarine fleet. With 45 submarines on active-duty (and 17 retired), this class has more boats than any other nuclear powered submarine class in the world. The class was preceded by the Sturgeon class and followed by the Seawolf and Virginia classes. Except for USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-709), submarines of this class are named after U.S. cities, breaking a long-standing Navy tradition of naming attack submarines after sea creatures.
The final 23 boats in the series, referred to as "688i" boats, are quieter than their predecessors and incorporate a more advanced combat system. These 688i boats are also designed for under-ice operations: their diving planes are on the bow rather than on the sail, and they have reinforced sails.
According to the U.S. government, the top speed of Los Angeles-class submarines is over 25 knots (46 km/h, 29 mph) and the precise speed is classified. Some estimates put the top speed at 30–33 knots. Tom Clancy, in his book Submarine: A Guided Tour Inside a Nuclear Warship, puts the top speed of a Los Angeles class submarine at 37 knots.
Similarly, government sources give the maximum operating depth as 650 feet (200 m), while Patrick Tyler, in his book Running Critical, suggests a maximum operating depth of 950 feet (290 m). Although Tyler cites the 688-class design committee for this figure, the government has not commented on it. The maximum diving depth is 1,475 feet (450 m) according to Jane's Fighting Ships, 2004-2005 Edition, edited by Commodore Stephen Saunders of Royal Navy.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Here are some images of Trumpeter's 1/144 scale Japanese/American LCAC Hovercraft.
From Wikipedia "The Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) is a class of air-cushion vehicle (hovercraft) used as landing craft by the United States Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). They transport weapons systems, equipment, cargo and personnel of the assault elements of the Marine Air/Ground Task Force both from ship to shore and across the beach.
Concept design of the present day LCAC began in the early 1970s with the full-scale Amphibious Assault Landing Craft (AALC) test vehicle. During the advanced development stage, two prototypes were built. JEFF A was designed and built by Aerojet General in California, with four rotating ducted propellers. JEFF B was designed and built by Bell Aerospace in New Orleans, Louisiana. JEFF B had two ducted rear propellers similar to the proposed SK-10 which was derived from the previous Bell SK-5 / SR.N5 hovercraft tested in Vietnam. These two craft confirmed the technical feasibility and operational capability that ultimately led to the production of LCAC. JEFF B was selected as the design basis for today’s LCAC.
Six LCAC are in use by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. Approval for the sale was given by the United States Government on 8 April 1994. The craft were built by Textron Marine & Land Systems in New Orleans, Louisiana. Purchase of the first craft was included in the FY93 budget, second in FY95, third in FY99 and fifth and sixth in FY00.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Here are some images of Special Hobby's 1/32 scale Bell P 39 D Airacobra. From Wikipedia "The Bell P-39 Airacobra was one of the principal American fighter aircraft in service at the start of World War II. It was the first fighter in history with a tricycle undercarriage and the first to have the engine installed in the center fuselage, behind the pilot. Although its mid-engine placement was innovative, the P-39 design was handicapped by the lack of an efficient turbo-supercharger, limiting it to low-altitude work. The P-39 was used with great success by the Soviet Air Force, who scored the highest number of individual kills attributed to any U.S. fighter type. Other important users were the Free French and co-belligerent Italian air forces. Together with the derivative P-63 Kingcobra, these aircraft became the most successful mass-produced fixed-wing aircraft manufactured by Bell.
Bell Model 13, production variant based on the P-39C with 245 lb (111 kg) of additional armor, self-sealing fuel tanks. Armament increased to 1 × 37 mm/1.46 mm cannon (30 rounds), 2 × .50 in/12.7 mm (200 rpg) and 4 × wing mounted .30 in/7.62 mm (1,000 rpg) machine guns; 60 Produced.
Bell Model 14A, production variant fitted with a M1 20 mm (.79 in) M1 cannon. Specifically ordered for delivery under Lend-Lease; 336 produced
Bell Model 14A-1, production variant with a V-1710-63 (E6) engine (1,325 hp/988 kW) restored the 37 mm (1.46 in) cannon, provisions for a single 145 gal (549 l) drop tank or maximum 500 lb (227 kg) bomb under the fuselage; 158 produced.
26 conversions from P-39D-1 to Photo Reconnaissance Configuration; K-24 and K-25 camera in rear fuselage, extra armor for oil coolers
11 conversions from P-39D-2 to Photo Reconnaissance Configuration. Same modifications as D-3 aircraft.

In 1945, Italy purchased the 46 surviving P-39s at 1% of their cost but in summer 1946 many accidents occurred, including fatal ones. By 1947, 4 Stormo re-equipped with P-38s, with P-39s sent to training units until the type's retirement in 1951. Only a T9 cannon survives today at Vigna di Valle Museum.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Here are some images of Italeri's 1/35 scale Sd Kfz 10 Demag with a trailer consisting of two Zundapp 750 and one BMW R75 Motorcycles from Italeri and Tamiya.
From Wikipedia "

The Sd.Kfz. 10 (Sonderkraftfahrzeug - special motorized vehicle) was a German half-track that saw very widespread use in World War II. Its main role was as a prime mover for small towed guns such as the 2 cm FlaK 30, the 7.5 cm leIG, or the 3.7 cm PaK 36 anti-tank gun. It could carry eight troops in addition to towing a gun or trailer.

The basic engineering for all the German half-tracks was developed during the Weimar-era by the Reichswehr's Military Automotive Department, but final design and testing was farmed out to commercial firms with the understanding that production would be shared with multiple companies. Demag was chosen to develop the smallest of the German half-tracks and spent the years between 1934 and 1938 perfecting the design through a series of prototypes.

The chassis formed the basis for the Sd.Kfz. 250 light armored personnel carrier. Approximately 14,000 were produced between 1938 and 1945, making it one of the most widely produced German tactical vehicles of the war. It participated in the Invasion of Poland, the Battle of France, the Balkans Campaign and fought on both the Western Front and the Eastern Front, in North Africa and in Italy.

The Sd.Kfz. 10 was unique among German half-track designs as it used a hull rather than a frame. Power was provided by a Maybach 6-cylinder, water-cooled, 3.791 litres (231.3 cu in) NL 38 TRKM gasoline engine of 90 horsepower (91 PS). It had a semi-automatic Maybach Variorex-transmission SRG 102128H (Schaltreglergetriebe 102128H) with seven forward and three reverse gears. The driver selected the desired gear and initiated the shift by depressing the clutch. It could attain 75 km/h (47 mph), but the driver was cautioned not to exceed 65 km/h (40 mph). In 1942 the Luftwaffe limited its vehicles to a non-tactical speed of only 30 km/h (19 mph) to extend the life of the rubber track pads (Gummipolster).

Both tracks and wheels were used for steering. The steering system was set up so that shallow turns used only the wheels, but brakes would be applied to the tracks the farther the steering wheel was turned. The drive sprocket had the track-saving but more complicated rollers rather than the more common teeth. The rear suspension consisted of five double roadwheels mounted on swing arms sprung by torsion bars. An idler wheel, mounted at the rear of the vehicle, was used to control track tension. The front wheels had transversely-mounted leaf springs and shock absorbers, the only ones on the vehicle, to dampen impacts.

The upper body had a baggage compartment separating the driver's compartment from the crew compartment. Bench seats on the sides of the vehicle, with under-seat storage, could accommodate six men. The windshield could fold forward and was also removable. A convertible canvas top was mounted at the upper part of the rear body. It fastened to the windshield when erected. Four side pieces could be mounted to protect the crew from the weather.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Here are some image's of Tamiya's 1/35 scale SdKfz 173 Jagpanther. From Wikipedia "The Jagdpanther (German: "hunting panther") was a tank destroyer built by Nazi Germany during World War II based on the chassis of the Panther tank. It entered service late in the war (1944) and saw service on the Eastern and Western fronts. Many military historians consider the Jagdpanther to be one of the best tank destroyers of the war due to the combination of the 8.8 cm KwK 43 of the Tiger II and the proven Panther chassis.

A total of 415 Jagdpanthers were produced from January 1944 by three manufacturers. MIAG produced 270 from January 1944 until the end. Maschinenfabrik Niedersachsen-Hannover (MNH) produced 112 from November 1944. Maschinenbau und Bahnbedarf (MBA) produced 37 vehicles from December 1944. They equipped heavy antitank battalions and served mainly on the Eastern Front, although significant numbers were concentrated in the west for the Ardennes Offensive. They were first encountered in the west in very small numbers late in the Battle of Normandy, where the German 654 schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung ("654th Heavy Antitank Battalion") deployed about 12 Jagdpanthers against British units.

Three surviving Jagdpanthers have been restored to running condition. Two German museums Deutsches Panzermuseum at Munster and Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung (WTS) at Koblenz have one running Jagdpanther each. The SDKFZ Foundation in the UK has restored one Jagdpanther to running condition, using two wrecked Jagdpanthers to complete one. The other wreck will also be restored.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Here are some images of Italeri's 1/35 scale Oshkosh M-978 fuel truck. From the instructions " The fuel truck M-978 developed by the Oshkosh Truck Corp. for the U.S. armed forces is part of the HEMTT (Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck) program. The M-978 guarantees the fuel supply for advancing tank troops and helicopters operating within the combat zone, due to its proven cross- country capabilities. This truck is equipped with a 12 litre, 445 HP Diesel engine, driving all 4 axles through a 4 - speed automatic transmission. Technical details: Length: 10,17 m; Width: 2,43 m; Height: 2,84 m; Weight: 28.000 kg; Max. speed: 88 km/h; Range: 480 km; Capacity: 9.500 liters".

Friday, November 19, 2010


Here are some images of another 1/35 scale Sd. Kfz. 166 Sturmpanzer 43 from Tamiya. From Wikipedia "

The Sturmpanzer IV was a development of the Panzer IV tank designed to provide direct infantry fire support, especially in urban areas. The result was the Sturmpanzer IV, which used a Panzer IV chassis with the upper hull and turret replaced by a new casemate-style armored superstructure housing a new gun, the 15 centimetres (5.9 in) Sturmhaubitze (StuH) 43 L/12 developed by Skoda. It fired the same shells as the 15 cm sIG 33 heavy infantry gun. Thirty-eight rounds, with separate propellant cartridges, could be carried. It used the Sfl.Zf. 1a sight. A MG 34 machine gun was carried that could be fastened to the open gunner's hatch, much like the arrangement on the Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. G. Early vehicles carried a MP 40 sub-machine gun inside, which could be fired through firing ports in the side of the superstructure.

The driver's station projected forward from the sloped frontal armor plate and used the Tiger I's Fahrersehklappe 80 driver's sight. The fighting compartment was (badly) ventilated by natural convection, exiting out the rear of the superstructure through two armored covers. Sideskirts were fitted on all vehicles.

Early vehicles were too heavy for the chassis, which lead to frequent breakdowns of the suspension and transmission. Efforts were made to ameliorate this from the second series onwards, with some success.

In October 1943 it was decided that the StuH 43 gun needed to be redesigned to reduce its weight. A new version, some 800 kilograms (1,800 lb) lighter than the StuH 43, was built as the StuH 43/1. Some of the weight was saved by reducing the armor on the gun mount itself. This gun was used from the third production series onwards.

Zimmerit coating was applied to all vehicles until September 1944.

1st Series

Production of the first series of 60 vehicles began in April 1943. Fifty-two of these were built using new Panzer IV Ausf. G chassis and the remaining 8 from rebuilt Ausf. E and F chassis. Survivors, about half, were rebuilt beginning in December 1943; they were mostly rebuilt to 2nd series standards.

2nd Series

Production restarted in December 1943 of another 60 vehicles, using only new Ausf. H chassis, and continued until March 1944. The Stupa's baptism in combat at the Battle of Kursk proved that the driver's compartment was too lightly armored and it was reinforced. The gunner's hatch was removed and a ventilator fan was fitted, much to the relief of the crew. Internally-sprung, steel-rimmed road wheels replaced the front two rubber-rimmed road wheels in an effort to reduce the stress on the forward suspension that was only partially successful.

3rd Series

Production of the 3rd series ran from March to June 1944 with few changes from the second series. The Fahrersehklappe 80 was replaced by periscopes and the lighter StuH 43/1 was used.

4th series

The superstructure was redesigned in early 1944 for the fourth series, which used the chassis and HL120TRM112 engine of the Ausf. J, and was in production between June 1944 and March 1945. It featured a redesigned gun collar, as well as a general reduction in height of the superstructure. This redesign also introduced a ball mount in the front superstructure for a MG 34 machine gun with 600 rounds. The vehicle commander's position was modified to use the hatch of the Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. G, which could mount a machine gun for anti-aircraft defense.