Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pilgrim Observer

Here are some images of MPC/Round 2 models 1/100 scale spacecraft The Pilgrim Observer.

From Old Plastic Model Kits"

There was a time when space research was not aimed at the earth's orbit and moon, but at distant planets in our solar system and eventually beyond. Planning went much further than most people are aware. The main limitation was seen as the chemical rocket motor. It could only be fired once and the specific impulse was limited. To overcome these limitations, the United States embarked on a large program to build the nuclear rocket engine. Unlike the nuclear aircraft engine, this program overcame the technical obstacles placed before it was VERY successful. The effort resulted in numerous test engines up through the Phoebes 5000 MW monster, which is still the world's most powerful reactor. The nuclear engines could run at full power for an hour, then be shut down and restarted up to a dozen times or more. Also, the flow of fuel (liquid hydrogen) could be regulated through turbo-pumps to 'throttle' the engine just as one does a car engine. Crew radiation shielding from the engine was less than requirements for cosmic ray shielding. At one point, a KIWI series reactor (KIWI-TNT) was blown up on purpose to test the environmental impact; it was minimal and clean up went quickly. The final result was to be a space rated engine called NERVA, or Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application. Before the project was terminated, many vehicles were designed for deep space exploration based on these amazing engines.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Catalan Ship

Here are some images of IMAI's 1/50 scale Catalan Ship. This model is actually a 1/1 scale model of a model whose original now lies in the Prins Hendrik Maritime Museum in Rotterdam. These models often built by mariners were usually given to church's as offerings either for pious reasons or to bring the sailor luck. This model kit is a representation of one those models still in existence. Plus this model is one of the earliest known representations of a European merchant sailing vessel of the 15th century.

Thanks to my friend Diego (Check out his most excellent web page when you get the chance) he has been able to locate photographs of the original Catalan ship model from a web site called "Maresme Medieval". The article however is in Catalan so you may have to use Google Translate if you wish to read it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Unter Sea Boot Re Post

Here are some images of Revells 1/72 scale Typ VII C/41 U Boat. Unlike the Typ VII C which was a coastal submarine the Typ VII C/41 was an ocean going submarine with a larger tower and a metal deck as opposed to a wooden one. The model is of the same quality as the earlier released VII C model, in fact the hulls are exactly the same but this model has more equipment.

From Wikipedia"
Type VIIC/41 was a slightly modified version of the VIIC and had the same armament and engines. The difference was a stronger pressure hull giving them a deeper test depth and lighter machinery to compensate for the added steel in the hull, making them slightly lighter than the VIIC. A total of 91 were built; all of them from U-1271 onwards lacked the fittings to handle mines.

Today one Type VIIC/41 still exists: U-995 is on display at Laboe (north of Kiel), the only surviving Type VII in the world.

Monday, March 28, 2011

300 SL

Here are some images of Bburaggo's 1/24 scale Mercedes Benz 300SL.
From Wikipedia"

The Mercedes-Benz 300SL was introduced in 1954 as a two-seat, closed sports car with distinctive gull-wing doors. Later it was offered as an open roadster. It was the fastest production car of its day.

Built by Daimler-Benz AG and internally numbered W198, the fuel-injected road version was based (somewhat loosely) on the company's highly successful competition-only sports car of 1952, the somewhat less powerful carbureted Mercedes-Benz 300SL (W194).

The road model was suggested by Max Hoffman. Being intended for customers in the booming post-war American market it was introduced at the 1954 New York Auto Show, unlike previous models introduced at either the Frankfurt or Geneva shows. In Mercedes-Benz fashion, the "300" referred to the engine's three litre cylinder displacement. The "SL" stood for "Sport Leicht" (Sport Light).

The 300SL was best known for both its distinctive gull wing doors and being the first-ever four-stroke car equipped with a Gasoline direct injection. The gull wing version was available from March 1955 to 1957. Production of the roadster ended in 1963 with the introduction of the 230SL.

New York Mercedes distributor Max Hoffman, Daimler-Benz's official importer in the USA, suggested to DBAG management in Stuttgart that a street version of the 300SL would be a commercial success, especially in America.

The racing W194 300SL was built around a tubular chassis to offset its relatively underpowered carbureted engine. Designed by DBAG's chief developing engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, the metal skeleton saved weight while still providing a high level of strength. Its unique architecture gave birth to the model's distinctive gull wing doors, as part of the chassis passed through what would be the lower half of a standard door. Even with the upward opening doors, the 300SL had an unusually high sill, making entry and exit from the car's cockpit problematic. A steering wheel with a tilt-away column was added to improve driver access.

The 300SL's body was mainly steel, except for the aluminum hood, doors and trunk lid. It could also be ordered with an all-aluminium outer skin at tremendous added cost, saving 80 kg (176 lb).

More than 80% of the vehicle's total production of approximately 1400 units were sold in the US, making the Gull wing the first Mercedes-Benz which sold in bulk outside its home market and confirming the validity of Hoffman's suggestion. The 300SL is credited for changing the company's image in America from a manufacturer of solid, but staid, automobiles to that of a producer of sporty cars.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Here are some images of an old scratch build I did of a 1/24 scale Hubble Space Telescope. Man I must have built this back in those halcyon days of 96. I couldn't to tell you how accurate this model is to the Hubble back then but it is certainly not accurate to the Hubble now. This was built before computers were common place and all you had to go on were scratchy old photographs and chicken scratch drawings. By gar it's bin a wile. This model was basically built from gift wrap, shampoo bottles a makeup mirror, scrap plastic and a soup can. That's right a soup can. A Campbell's soup can. A Campbell's cream of mushroom soup soup can. But I digress.

From Wikipedia"

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a space telescope that was carried into orbit by a space shuttle in 1990. Although not the first space telescope, Hubble is one of the largest and most versatile, and is well-known as both a vital research tool and a public relations boon for astronomy. The HST was built by the United States space agency NASA, with contributions from the European Space Agency, and is operated by the Space Telescope Science Institute. It is named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble. The HST is one of NASA's Great Observatories, along with the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Spitzer Space Telescope.[5]

Space telescopes were proposed as early as 1923. Hubble was funded in the 1970s, with a proposed launch in 1983, but the project was beset by technical delays, budget problems, and the Challenger disaster. When finally launched in 1990, scientists found that the main mirror had been ground incorrectly, severely compromising the telescope's capabilities. However, after a servicing mission in 1993, the telescope was restored to its intended quality. Hubble's orbit outside the distortion of Earth's atmosphere allows it to take extremely sharp images with almost no background light. Hubble's Ultra Deep Field image, for instance, is the most detailed visible-light image ever made of the universe's most distant objects. Many Hubble observations have led to breakthroughs in astrophysics, such as accurately determining the rate of expansion of the universe.

Hubble is the only telescope designed to be serviced in space by astronauts. Four servicing missions were performed from 1993 to 2002, but the fifth was canceled on safety grounds following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. However, after spirited public discussion, NASA administrator Mike Griffin approved one final servicing mission, completed in 2009. The telescope is now expected to function until at least 2014, when its scientific successor, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), is due to be launched.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

U.F.O. (Leif Ericson)

Here are some images of AMT's 1/1500 scale U.F.O (Leif Ericson).

To be young again. Remember this kit? Originally called the Lief Ericson then re released in the mid seventies as the U.F.O. and now happily re released again by A.M.T. as the U.F.O. Yuri Gagarin Originally designed by Matt Jeffries ( the one who designed the T.O.S. Enterprise) for I believe Star trek but it was never used.

From Fantastic Plastic"
Following the success of its first batch of Star Trek model kits, AMT decided to launch its own series of original sci-fi models under the moniker "Strategic Space Command." The galactic cruiser "Leif Ericson" was the first in what AMT hoped would be a whole catalog of proprietary sci-fi kits, and even hired Star Trek Art Director Matt Jeffries to do this premiere design. (Jeffries had a particular affinity for submarine-like conning towers, a feature he incorporated into both the Leif Ericson and the DY-100 sleeper ship "Botany Bay" from the ST:TOS first season episode "Space Seed.")

Unlike Star Trek's ships, the Leif Ericson was not equipped with transporters, instead using an insect-like landing craft to shuttle personnel to and from planetary surfaces. This shuttle was stowed in a large hanger bay situated amidships.

The original Leif Ericson kit came equipped with both clear and chrome parts as well as an internal lighting kit. Unfortunately, the kit was a commercial failure for AMT, one that scuttled the company's plans for any more models in its "Strategic Space Command" line.

The kit was re-released in 1976 as the glow-in-the-dark "Interplanetary UFO Mystery Ship." That kit lacked the clear and chrome pieces from the original Leif Ericson, including the landing craft's chrome landing legs!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Command Module

Here are some images of Revell's 1/32 scale Command Module (after re entry) from the Command/Service Module model kit.
From Wikipedia"

The Command Module was a truncated cone (frustum) measuring 10 feet 7 inches (3.2 m) tall and having a diameter of 12 feet 10 inches (3.9 m) across the base. The forward compartment contained two reaction control engines, the docking tunnel, and the components of the Earth Landing System. The inner pressure vessel housed the crew accommodations, equipment bays, controls and displays, and many spacecraft systems. The last section, the aft compartment, contained 10 reaction control engines and their related propellant tanks, fresh water tanks, and the CSM umbilical cables.


The command module's inner structure was an aluminum "sandwich" consisting of a welded aluminum inner skin, a thermally bonded honeycomb core, and a thin aluminum "face sheet". The central heat shield consisted of 40 individual panels interspersed with several holes and openings for the reaction control engines and after-compartment equipment access. The central compartment structure consisted of an inner aluminum face sheet with a steel honeycomb core, a glass-phenolic ablative honeycomb heat shield, a layer of q-felt fibrous insulation, a pore seal, a moisture barrier, and a layer of aluminized PET film thermal strips.

The aft heat shield consisted of four brazed honeycomb panels, four spot-welded sheet metal fairings, and a circumferential ring. The fairing segments were attached to the honeycomb panels and ring with conventional fasteners. The steel honeycomb core and outer face sheets were then thermally bonded to the inner skin in a giant autoclave. The aft heat shield is nearly identical to the central, with the exception of the outer alluminized PET film layer.

Earth landing system

The components of the ELS were housed around the forward docking tunnel. The forward compartment was separated from the central by a bulkhead and was divided into four 90-degree wedges. The ELS consists of three main parachutes, three pilot parachutes, two drogue parachute motors, three upright bags, a sea recovery cable, a dye marker, and a swimmer umbilical.

The CM's center of mass was offset a foot or so from the centre of pressure (along the symmetry axis). This provided a rotational moment during re entry, angling the capsule and providing some lift (a lift to drag ratio of about 0.368). The capsule was then steered by rotating the capsule using thrusters; when no steering was required, the capsule was spun slowly, and the lift effects cancelled out. This system greatly reduced the g-force experienced by the astronauts, permitted a reasonable amount of cross range and allowed the capsule to be targeted within a few miles.

At 24,000 feet (7.3 km) the forward heat shield was jettisoned using four pressurized-gas compression springs. The drogue parachutes were then released and slowed the spacecraft to 125 miles per hour (201 km/h). At 10,700 feet (3.3 km) the drogues were jettisoned. The pilot parachutes were deployed, which pulled out the mains. These slowed the CM to 22 miles per hour (35 km/h) for landing. The portion of the CM which made first contact with the water surface was built with crushable ribs to further mitigate the impact. The Apollo CM could safely parachute to an ocean landing with at least two parachutes (as it happened on Apollo 15), as the third parachute acted as a safety precaution.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Here are some images of Lindberg's Dilophosaurus "Spitter" from the movie Jurassic Park.
From Wikipedia"

Dilophosaurus was a theropod dinosaur from the Sinemurian stage of the Early Jurassic Period, about 193 million years ago. The name (pronounced /daɪˌlɒfɵˈsɔrəs/ dy-LOF-o-SAWR-əs or /daɪˌloʊfɵˈsɔrəs/) means "two-crested lizard", from the two crests of the animal (Greek di for "two", lophos "crest", and sauros "lizard"). The first specimens were described in 1954, but it was not until over a decade later that the genus received its current name. Dilophosaurus is one of the earliest known Jurassic theropods and one of the least understood.

The most distinctive characteristic of Dilophosaurus is the pair of rounded crests on its skull, possibly used for display. Studies by Robert Gay show no indication that sexual dimorphism was present in the skeleton of Dilophosaurus, but says nothing about crest variation. The teeth of Dilophosaurus are long, but have a fairly small base and expand basally. Another skull feature was a notch behind the first row of teeth, giving Dilophosaurus an almost crocodile-like appearance, similar to the putatively piscivorous spinosaurid dinosaurs. This "notch" existed by virtue of a weak connection between the premaxillary and maxillary bones of the skull. This conformation led to the early hypothesis that Dilophosaurus scavenged off dead carcasses, with the front teeth being too weak to bring down and hold large prey.

Dilophosaurus was prominently featured both in the 1993 movie Jurassic Park and in the original novel by Michael Crichton. In the film version, Dilophosaurus has a retractable neck frill around its neck (much like a frill-necked lizard), and spits blinding poison, aiming for the eyes to blind and paralyze its prey (much like a spitting cobra). There is no evidence to support either the frill or the venom spitting, which was acknowledged by Crichton as creative license.[ In the film, Steven Spielberg also reduced the size of Dilophosaurus to 3 feet (0.91 m) tall and 5 feet (1.5 m) long in order to avoid confusion with the Velociraptors. Jurassic Park merchandise, including toys and video games (such as Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis and the arcade games The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III), often include Dilophosaurus.

Despite its inaccuracies, the Jurassic Park Dilophosaurus has been taken up by others. Several other video games, such as ParaWorld, Jurassic: The Hunted, and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, feature Dilophosaurus modeled after the representations in Jurassic Park, and The Whitest Kids U'Know sketch "Dinosaur Rap", a music video for Trevor Moore's "Gettin' High With Dinosaurs" features a Dilophosaurus, complete with a short frill. A more accurately restored Dilophosaurus was featured in the documentary When Dinosaurs Roamed America, killing an Anchisaurus and scaring off a pack of Syntarsus (now known as Megapnosaurus).

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You look up at the sky one night and...

Here is a composite image of the Orion Space Plane approaching Space Station Five.
In 1968 we all thought and hoped that this is what the future would look like.

Were we sadly mistaken. Instead in 2001 we were thrust into a war on terrorism whose enemies couldn't have given tinkered cuss on mans accomplishments in space.

However that being said I think the main reason we never saw the future as portrayed in 2001 a space odyssey was mainly because of apathy and disinterest from the peoples of the free world.
That's right you and I.

I think the character Dr. James Kelloway (Hal Holbrook) from the movie Capricorn One summed it up best when he said
"You know, when Apollo 17 landed on the Moon, people were calling up the networks and bitching because reruns of I Love Lucy were cancelled. Reruns, for Christ's sake! I could understand if it was the new Lucy show. After all, what's a walk on the Moon? But reruns! Oh, geez! And then suddenly everybody started talking about how much everything cost. Was it really worth twenty billion to go to another planet? What about cancer? What about the slums? How much does it cost? How much does any dream cost, for Christ's sake? Since when is there an accountant for ideas?"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

U.S.S. Lionfish

Here are some images of Revell's 1/180 scale submarine the U.S.S. Lionfish.
From Wikipedia"
USS Lionfish (SS-298), a Balao-class submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy named for the lionfish, a scorpaenid fish found in the West Indies and the tropical Pacific.
Lionfish was laid down on 15 December 1942; launched on 7 November 1943, sponsored by Mrs. Harold C. Train; and commissioned on 1 November 1944. Her first captain was Lieutenant Commander Edward D. Spruance, son of World War II admiral Raymond Spruance.
After completing her shakedown cruise off New England, she began her first war patrol in Japanese waters on 1 April 1945. Ten days later, she avoided two torpedoes fired by a Japanese submarine. On 1 May Lionfish destroyed a Japanese schooner with her deck guns. After a rendezvous with the submarine USS Ray, she transported B-29 survivors to Saipan and then made her way to Midway Island for replenishment.
On 2 June she started her second war patrol, and on 10 July fired torpedoes at a surfaced Japanese submarine, after which Lionfish's crew heard explosions and observed smoke through their periscope {The Submarine I 162 was undamaged}. She subsequently fired on two more Japanese submarines. Lionfish ended her second and last war patrol performing lifeguard duty (the rescue of downed fliers) off the coast of Japan. When World War II ended on 15 August she headed for San Francisco and was decommissioned at Mare Island Navy Yard on 16 January 1946.
Lionfish was recommissioned on 31 January 1951, and headed for the East Coast for training cruises. After participating in NATO exercises and a Mediterranean cruise, she returned to the East Coast and was decommissioned at the Boston Navy Yard on 15 December 1953.
In 1960, the submarine was recommissioned a second time, this time serving as a reserve training submarine at Providence, Rhode Island. In 1971, she was stricken from the Navy Register. In 1973, she began permanent display as a memorial at Battleship Cove, where she is one of the museum’s most popular exhibits.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Romulan D7

Here are some images of Polar Light's 1/1000 scale Romulan D7 Battlecruiser.
From Wikipedia"
In the original series, at least three starships of the Klingon D-7 class were used by the Romulans. (This came to pass when a fire at NBC's studio warehouse destroyed the only existing Romulan ship model (the 2260s Bird of Prey), necessitating re-use of the surviving Klingon props.) Novels (as well as fans) have speculated that these vessels were given to the Romulans during a brief alliance with the Klingon Empire against the Federation (in exchange for which, the Romulans provided the Klingons with cloaking technology), though this is non-canon and has never been confirmed onscreen. The Romulans refitted the D-7s in their service with cloaking devices and the Federation occasionally referred to Romulan controlled vessels of this class as "battlecruisers."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Klingon D7 Battlecruiser

Here are some images plus a composite of Polar Lights 1/1000 scale Klingon D7 Battlecruiser.

From Memory Beta"

The D7-class was the next step in Klingon battle cruiser design, its form being a development of the earlier D4 class. The first prototypes entered service as early as 2151 (ENT episode: "Unexpected")

By the mid 23rd century the class had become the mainstay of the fleet. Following the formation of a Klingon-Romulan alliance in the 2260s, many D7s entered service in the Romulan Star Empire as Stormbird-class cruisers. (TOS episode: "The Enterprise IncidentHere are some images of Polar Lights 1/1000 scale Klingon D& class Battlecruiser.
From Memory Beta"
The D7 class battle cruiser was a type of warship designed and built by the Klingon Empire during the mid 23rd century. Many also entered the service of the Romulan Star Empire following the formation of a Klingon-Romulan alliance in the 2260s. (TOS episodes: "Elaan of Troyius", "The Enterprise Incident", "Day of the Dove") .