Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Space Ark from "When Worlds Collide"

Here are some images of Pegasus Hobbie's 1/350 scale Space Ark from the 1951 movie "When Worlds Collide".

From Wikipedia"

When Worlds Collide is a 1951 science fiction film based on the 1933 novel co-written by Philip Gordon Wylie and Edwin Balmer. The film was shot in Technicolor, directed by Rudolph Maté and was the winner of the 1951 Academy Award for special effects.[1]

Producer George Pal considered making a sequel based on the novel After Worlds Collide, but the box office failure of his 1955 Conquest of Space made it impossible.

Pilot David Randall (Richard Derr) is paid to fly top-secret photographs from South African astronomer Dr. Emery Bronson (Hayden Rorke) to Dr. Cole Hendron (Larry Keating) in America. Hendron, with the assistance of his daughter Joyce (Barbara Rush), confirms their worst fears— Bronson has discovered a star named Bellus and it's on a collision course with Earth.

Hendron warns the delegates of the United Nations that the end of the world is little more than eight months away. He pleads for the construction of spaceships to transport a lucky few to Zyra, a planet in orbit around Bellus that will pass very close to the Earth, in the faint hope that it can sustain life and save the human race from extinction. However, other, equally-distinguished scientists scoff at his claims, and he is not believed. With no help from the United Nations or the United States government, Hendron receives help from wealthy humanitarian friends, who arrange a lease on a former proving ground to construct a spaceship. To finance the construction, Hendron's group is forced to turn to self-centered, wheelchair-bound industrialist Sidney Stanton (John Hoyt). Stanton demands the right to select the passengers, but Hendron insists that he is not qualfied to make those choices and that all his money can buy is a single seat on the ark.

Joyce becomes attracted to Randall and prods her father into finding reasons to keep him around, much to the annoyance of her boyfriend, medical doctor Tony Drake (Peter Hansen). The ship's construction is a race against time. Groups in other nations also begin building ships. Formerly-skeptical scientists admit that Hendron is right and governments prepare for the inevitable. Martial law is declared and residents in coastal regions are moved to inland cities.

Zyra first makes a close approach, its gravitational attraction causing massive earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tidal waves that wreak havoc. Several people are killed at the construction camp, including Dr. Bronson. In the aftermath, Drake and Randall travel by helicopter to provide assistance to survivors. When Randall alights to rescue a little boy, Drake has to resist a strong temptation to strand him.

As the day of doom approaches, the ship is loaded with food, medicine, microfiche copies of books, equipment, and animals. Finally, most of the passengers are selected by lottery, though Hendron reserves seats for a handful of people: himself, Stanton, Joyce, Drake, pilot Dr. George Fry (Alden Chase), the young boy who was rescued, and Randall, for his daughter's sake. When a young man turns in his winning ticket because his girl was not selected, Hendron arranges for both to go. Randall refuses his seat and only pretends to participate in the lottery, believing that he has no useful skills. For Joyce's sake, Drake fabricates a "heart condition" for Fry, making a backup pilot necessary. Randall is the obvious choice.

The cynical Stanton becomes increasingly anxious as time passes. Knowing human nature, he fears what the desperate lottery losers might do. As a precaution, he has stockpiled weapons. Stanton's suspicions prove to be well-founded. His much-abused assistant, Ferris (Frank Cady), tries to get himself included in the crew at gunpoint, only to be shot dead by Stanton. During the final night, the selected passengers and animals are quietly moved to the launch pad to protect them from any more violence.

Shortly before takeoff, many of the lottery losers riot, taking up Stanton's weapons to try to force their way aboard. Hendron stays behind at the last moment, forcibly keeping the crippled Stanton and his wheelchair from boarding, in order to lighten the spaceship. With an effort born of desperation, Stanton stands up and starts walking in a futile attempt to board the ship before it takes off.

From space, the ship's television monitor shows Earth's collision with Bellus. Hendron's sacrifice proves to be crucial, as the fuel runs out too soon and Randall glides the ship to an unpowered rough landing on Zyra. The passengers debark and find the planet to be habitable. Remains of an alien civilization are visible in the distance. David Randall and Joyce Hendron walk hand-in-hand to explore their new home.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Canadair F 86 F Sabre Composite

Here is my composite image of Kinetics 1/32 scale Canadair F 86 F Sabre with the Canadian Golden Hawks Aerobatic team markings flying over the Rockies in winter.

Images of the model can be seen here.

Focke Wulf TA 154 Composite

Here is my composite image of Revell's 1/48 scale Focke Wulf TA 154 (Moskito).

Images of the model can be seen here.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Supermarine Spitfire MK 1 Composite

Here is my composite image of M.P.Cs (Airfix molds) 1/24 scale Supermarine Spitfire MK 1 against a grey sky.
Why always a grey sky you may ask? Well that's the way it is here in sunny Alberta. We get a little bit of sunlight in the the early morning and evening and the rest of the day is overcast.
I think it's because the city of Edmonton sits in a basin or an ancient lake bed so it becomes a natural cloud attractor. If you are ever approaching Edmonton you'll notice that clouds tend to hover over our fair city while the rest of the province remains sunny. But I digress...

From Wikipedia"

In 1936, before the first flight of the prototype, the Air Ministry placed an order for 310 Spitfires. However, in spite of the promises made by the Chairman of Vickers-Armstrongs (the parent company of Supermarine) that the company would be able to deliver Spitfire at a rate of five a week, it soon became clear that this would not happen. In 1936 the Supermarine company employed 500 people and was already engaged in fulfilling orders for 48 Walrus amphibian reconnaissance aircraft and 17 Stranraer patrol flying boats. In addition the small design staff, which would have to draught the blueprints for the production aircraft, was already working at full stretch. Although it was obvious that most of the work would have to be sub-contracted to outside sources, the Vickers-Armstrongs board was reluctant to allow this to happen. When other companies were able to start building Spitfire components there were continual delays because either parts provided to them would not fit, or the blueprints were inadequate; the sub-contractors themselves faced numerous problems building components which in many cases were more advanced and complicated than anything they had faced before.

As a result of these problems the first production Spitfire K9788 was not delivered to the RAF until July 1938 with front line service starting in August 1938. For a time the future of the Spitfire was in serious doubt, with the Air Ministry suggesting that the programme be abandoned and that Supermarine change over to building the Bristol Beaufighter under licence. The managements of Supermarine and Vickers were eventually able to convince the Air Ministry that production would be sorted out and, in 1938, an order was placed with the Morris Motor Company for an additional 1,000 Spitfires to be built at huge new factory which was to be built at Castle Bromwich. This was followed in 1939 by an order for another 200 from Woolston and, only a few months later, another 450. This brought the total to 2,160, making it one of the largest orders in RAF history. Over the next three years a large number of modifications were made, most as a result of wartime experience.

Early in the Spitfire's operational life a major problem became apparent; at altitudes above about 15,000 ft (4,572 m), any condensation could freeze in the guns. Because of this the system of gun heating first fitted to K5054 was introduced on the 61st production Mk I. At the outset of World War II, the flash-hiders on the gun muzzles were removed and the practice of sealing the gun ports with fabric patches was instituted. The patches kept the gun barrels free of dirt and debris and allowed the hot air to heat the guns more efficiently. Early production aircraft were fitted with a ring and bead gunsight, although provision had been made for a reflector sight to be fitted once one had been selected. In July 1938, the Barr and Stroud GM 2 was selected as the standard RAF reflector gunsight and was fitted to the Spitfire from late 1938. These first production Mk Is were able to reach a maximum speed of 362 mph (583 km/h) at 18,500 ft (5,600 m), with a maximum rate of climb of 2,490 ft/min at 10,000 ft (3,000 m). The service ceiling (where the climb rate drops to 100 ft/min) was 31,900 ft (9,700 m).

All Merlin I to III series engines relied on external electric power to start; a well known sight on RAF fighter airfields was the "trolley acc" (trolley accumulator) which was a set of powerful batteries which could be wheeled up to aircraft. The lead from the "Trolley Acc" was plugged into a small recess on the starboard side cowling of the Spitfire. On Supermarine-built aircraft a small brass instruction plate was secured to the side cowling, just beneath the starboard exhausts.

The early Mk Is were powered by the 1,030 hp (768 kW) Merlin Mk II engine driving an Aero-Products "Watts" 10 ft 8 in (3.3 m) diameter two-blade wooden fixed-pitch propeller, weighing 83 lb (38 kg). From the 78th production airframe, the Aero Products propeller was replaced by a 350 lb (183 kg) de Havilland 9 ft 8 in (2.97 m) diameter, three-bladed, two-position, metal propeller, which greatly improved take-off performance, maximum speed and the service ceiling. From the 175th production aircraft, the Merlin Mk III, with a "universal" propeller shaft able to take a de Havilland or Rotol propeller, was fitted. Following complaints from pilots a new form of "blown" canopy was manufactured and started replacing the original "flat" version in early 1939. This canopy improved headroom and enabled better vision laterally, and to the rear. At the same time the manual hand-pump for operating the undercarriage was replaced by a hydraulic system driven by a pump mounted in the engine bay. Spitfire Is incorporating these modifications were able to achieve a maximum speed of 367 mph (591 km/h) at 18,600 ft (5,700 m), with a maximum rate of climb of 2,150 ft/min at 10,000 ft (3,000 m). The service ceiling was 34,400 ft (10,500 m).

A voltage regulator under a black, cylindrical cover was mounted low on the back of frame 11, directly behind the pilot's seat:starting in the N30xx series this was repositioned higher, appearing low in the rear transparency. From N32xx the regulator was mounted directly behind the pilot's headrest on frame 11. Other changes were made later in 1939 when a simplified design of pitot tube was introduced and the "rod" aerial mast was replaced by a streamlined, tapered design. To improve protection for the pilot and fuel tanks a thick laminated glass bulletproof plate was fitted to the curved, one piece windscreen and a 3 mm thick cover of light alloy, capable of deflecting small calibre rounds, was fitted over the top of the two fuel tanks. From about mid-1940, 73 pounds (33 kg) of armoured steel plating was provided in the form of head and back protection on the seat bulkhead and covering the forward face of the glycol header tank. In addition, the lower petrol tank was fitted with a fire resistant covering called "Linatex", which was later replaced with a layer of self-sealing rubber.

In June 1940 de Havilland began manufacturing a kit to convert their two pitch propeller unit to a constant speed propeller. Although this propeller was a great deal heavier than the earlier types (500 lb (227 kg) compared with 350 lb (183 kg)) it provided another substantial improvement in take-off distance and climb rate. Starting on 24 June de Havilland engineers began fitting all Spitfires with these units and by 16 August every Spitfire and Hurricane had been modified. "Two step" rudder pedals were fitted to all frontline Spitfires; these allowed the pilot to lift his feet and legs higher during combat, improving his "blackout" threshold and allowing him to pull tighter sustained turns. Another modification was the small rear view mirror which was added to the top of the windscreen: an early "shrouded" style was later replaced by a simplified, rectangular, adjustable type.

Starting in September 1940, IFF equipment was installed. This weighed about 40 lb (18 kg) and could be identified by wire aerials strung between the tailplane tips and rear fuselage. Although the added weight and the aerials reduced maximum speed by about two mph (three km/h), it allowed the aircraft to be identified as "friendly" on radar: lack of such equipment was a factor leading to the Battle of Barking Creek.[30] At about the same time new VHF T/R Type 1133 radios started replacing the HF TR9 sets. These had first been fitted to Spitfires of 54 and 66 Squadrons in May 1940, but ensuing production delays meant the bulk of Spitfires and Hurricanes were not fitted for another five months. The pilots enjoyed a much clearer reception which was a big advantage with the adoption of Wing formations throughout the RAF in 1941. The new installation meant that the wire running between the aerial mast and rudder could be removed, as could the triangular "prong" on the mast.

Weight increases and aerodynamic changes led to later Spitfire Is having a lower maximum speed than the early production versions. This was more than offset by the improvements in take-off distance and rate of climb brought about by the constant speed propeller units. During the Battle of Britain Spitfire Is equipped with constant-speed propellers had a maximum speed of 353 mph (568 km/h) at 20,000 ft (6,100 m), with a maximum rate of climb of 2,895 ft/min at 10,000 ft (3,000 m).

Although the Merlin III engine of Spitfire Is had a power rating of 1,030 hp (768 kW), supplies of 100 octane fuel from the United States started reaching Britain in early 1940. This meant that an "emergency boost" of +12 pounds per square inch was available for five minutes, with pilots able to call on 1,310 hp (977 kW) at 3,000 rpm at 9,000 feet (2,743 m). This boosted the maximum speed by 25 mph (40 km/h) at sea level and 34 mph (55 km/h) at 10,000 ft (3,000 m) and improved the climbing performance between sea level and full throttle height. The extra boost wasn't damaging as long as the limitations set forth in the pilot's notes were followed. As a precaution if the pilot had resorted to emergency boost, he had to report this on landing and it had to be noted in the engine log book. There was a wire 'gate' fitted, which the pilot had to break to set the engine to emergency power, this acted as an indicator that emergency power had been used and would be replaced by mechanics on the ground. The extra boost was also available for the Merlin XII fitted to the Spitfire II.

Late in 1940, a Martin-Baker designed quick-release mechanism began to be retroactively fitted to all Spitfires. The system employed unlocking pins, actuated by cables operated by the pilot pulling a small, red rubber ball mounted on the canopy arch. When freed, the canopy was taken away by the slipstream. One of the most important modifications to the Spitfire was to replace the machine gun armament with wing mounted Hispano 20 mm cannon. In December 1938, Joseph Smith was instructed to prepare a scheme to equip a Spitfire with a single Hispano mounted under each wing. Smith objected to the idea and designed an installation in which the cannon were mounted on their sides within the wing, with only small external blisters on the upper and lower wing surfaces covering the 60 round drum magazine. The first Spitfire armed with a single Hispano in each wing was L1007 which was posted to Drem in January 1940 for squadron trials. On 13 January, this aircraft, piloted by Plt Off Proudman of 602 Squadron took part in an engagement when a Heinkel He 111 was shot down. Soon after this Supermarine was contracted to convert 30 Spitfires to take the cannon armed wing; 19 Squadron received the first of these in June 1940 and by 16 August, 24 cannon armed Spitfires had been delivered. These were known as the Mk IB: Mk Is armed with eight Brownings were retrospectively called the Mk Ia. With the early cannon installation, jamming was a serious problem. In one engagement, only two of the 12 aircraft had been able to fire off all of their ammunition. Further cannon-armed Spitfires, with improvements to the cannon mounts, were later issued to 92 Squadron, but due to the limited magazine capacity it was eventually decided the best armament mix was two cannon and four machine guns (most of these were later converted to the first Mk VBs).

From November 1940, a decision was taken that Supermarine would start producing light-alloy covered ailerons which would replace the original fabric covered versions. However, seven months after the decision was taken to install them on all marks, Spitfires were still being delivered with the original fabric covered ailerons. From May 1941 metal ailerons were fitted to all Spitfires coming off the production lines.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Millennium Falcon Composite

Here is my composite image of MPC's 1/58 scale Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. Flying over a mountainous terrain.

Images of the model can be seen here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

P-38 Lightning Composite

Here is my composite image of Revell's 1/32 scale Lockheed P-38 J Lightning against yet another cloudy grey sky ;o)

Images of the model can be seen here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Focke Wulf FW 190 A-5 (Butcher Bird) Composite

Here is my composite image of Airfix's 1/24 scale Focke Wulf FW 190 A-5 (Butcher Bird) with its guns blazing against a cloudy blue sky.

Images of the model can be seen here.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Junkers JU 88 A-1 Composite.

Here is my composite image of Revell's 1/32 scale Junkers JU 88 A-1 being pursued by a Revell 1/32 scale Supermarine Spitfire MK1 against a cloudy blue grey sky.

Images of the JU 88 can be seen here.

Images of the MK 1 Spitfire can be seen here.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Heinkel He III P-1 Composite

Here is my composite image of Revell's 1/32 scale Heinkel He 111 P-1 against a blue sky.
These type of composites are more difficult then they first appear.
As in the case of this model the landing gear had to be cut and photoshopped out to give the impression of flight then matched to the background. Often what one does is try to match the colour of the background to the colour of the model as close as possible. this gives a more realistic appearance. This technique is more obvious on many of my other composites.
As for the propeller motion one often sees the blades removed with a bit of blur added on photoshopped pics and I do this from time to time though it is not necessary. If you Google aircraft in flight you will notice that often the propeller blades appear to be motionless with a slight directional blur. This is more difficult to obtain. What I do is select each blade one at a time and then add a motion blur to it in the proper direction. Then moving on to the next blade. When all blades have been motion blurred I then apply the standard blur tool to the edge of the blades to blend them with the background.

Images of the model can be seen here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fokker Eindecker EII Composite

Here is my composite image of Eduard's 1/48 scale Eindecker E II as viewed from underneath against a clear blue sky.

Images of the model can be seen here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

From The Earth To The Moon Composite

Here is my composite image of my scratch built "Space Train" from Jules Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon" orbiting the Earth.

Images of the model can be seen here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Heinkel He 219 Uhu Composite

Here is my composite image of Tamiya's 1/48 scale Heinkel He 219 Uhu against a cloudy grey sky.

Images of the model can be seen here.

Torchship Composite

Here is my composite image of my scratch built model of a Torchship based off of the Clifford Geary cover of Robert .A. Heinlein's "Time for the Stars".

Images of the model can be seen here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Here are some images of my scratch built model of a Torchship based off of the Clifford Geary cover of Robert .A. Heinlein's "Time for the Stars".
Not a difficult model to make by any stretch but in the science fiction world a very important one.
From Wikipedia" Torchship (or torch ship) is a term used by Robert A. Heinlein in several of his science fiction novels and short stories to describe fictional rocket ships that can maintain high accelerations indefinitely, thus reaching speeds that approach the speed of light. The term has subsequently been used by other authors to describe similar kinds of fictional spaceships.

In his 1950 novel Farmer in the Sky, Heinlein describes a "mass-conversion ship" that derives its motive power from the complete conversion of mass to energy. The narrator of the novel, who is traveling to Jupiter in a mass-conversion ship called The Mayflower, describes it as follows:

The Mayflower was shaped like a ball with a cone on one side — top-shaped. The point of the cone was her jet — although Chief Engineer Ortega, who showed us around, called it her "torch".

Later in the novel, Ortega is quoted as saying

"The latest development is the mass-conversion ship, such as the Mayflower, and it may be the final development — a mass-conversion ship is theoretically capable of approaching the speed of light."

The scientific advance that permits this efficient conversion of mass to energy is called the "Kilgore equations".

In later novels and stories, including "Sky Lift" (1953), Time for the Stars (1956), and Double Star (1957), Heinlein refers to mass-conversion ships as "torchships" and to their pilots as "torchship pilots". In Have Space Suit - Will Travel (1958), the protagonists are kidnapped by hostile aliens and taken to Pluto aboard a space ship that accelerates at more than one gravity for days at a time, although the ship is never explicitly referred to as a "torchship".

The "torch" is said to work with any matter as fuel; in Time for the Stars, the ship refuels by landing in water, or in one case liquid ammonia.

The term "torchship" was adopted by a number of other science fiction authors, including

Time for the Stars is a science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein published by Scribner's in 1956 as one of the Heinlein juveniles. The basic plot line is derived from a 1911 thought experiment in special relativity, commonly called the twin paradox, proposed by French physicist Paul Langevin. The story bears many similarities in plot and concepts to Variable Star written by Spider Robinson from an incomplete outline created by Heinlein around the time this book was written, and published in 2006.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Vostok 1

Here are some images of Revell's 1/24 scale Vostok 1 plus some added detail by yours truly.

From Wikipedia"

Vostok 1 (Russian: Восток-1, East 1 or Orient 1) was the first spaceflight in the Vostok program and the first human spaceflight in history. The Vostok 3KA spacecraft was launched on April 12, 1961. The flight took Yuri Gagarin, a cosmonaut from the Soviet Union, into space. The flight marked the first time that a human entered outer space, as well as the first orbital flight of a manned vehicle. Vostok 1 was launched by the Soviet space program, and was designed by Soviet engineers guided by Sergey Korolyov under military supervision of Kerim Kerimov and others.[7]

The spaceflight consisted of a single orbit of the Earth. According to official records, the spaceflight took 108 minutes from launch to landing. As planned, Gagarin landed separately from his spacecraft, having ejected with a parachute 7 km (23,000 ft) above ground. Historian Asif Siddiqi has written that Gagarin was in the spacecraft for 108 minutes after launch, and that he didn't touch ground for another 10 minutes. (The exact duration is useful to prove that Gagarin completed a full 360-degree orbit in inertial space. The longitude of launch to landing spanned a little more than 340 degrees, but the Earth also was rotating underneath him at about 15 degrees per hour while Gagarin was aloft.)

Due to the secrecy surrounding the Soviet space program at the time, many details of the spaceflight only came to light years later, and several details in the original press releases turned out to be false.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lest We Forget

To all soldiers living and passed who fought, fight and protect for our freedom, thank you. You are loved.

From The Earth To The Moon

Here are some images of my scratch built model of the Moon Train from the Jules Verne novel "From the Earth to the Moon". Based off of the 1865 etching.

From Wikipedia"

From the Earth to the Moon (French: De la Terre à la Lune, 1865) is a humorous science fantasy novel by Jules Verne and is one of the earliest entries in that genre. It tells the story of the president of a post-American Civil War gun club in Baltimore, his rival, a Philadelphia maker of armor, and a Frenchman, who build an enormous sky-facing Columbiad space gun and launch themselves in a projectile/spaceship from it to a Moon landing.

The story is also notable in that Verne attempted to do some rough calculations as to the requirements for the cannon and, considering the comparative lack of any data on the subject at the time, some of his figures are surprisingly close to reality. However, his scenario turned out to be impractical for safe manned space travel since a much longer muzzle would have been required to reach escape velocity while limiting acceleration to survivable limits for the passengers.

Influence on popular culture

The novel was adapted as the opera Le voyage dans la lune in 1875, with music by Jacques Offenbach.

In H. G. Wells' 1901 The First Men in the Moon (also relating to the first voyagers to the Moon) the protagonist, Mr. Bedford, mentions Verne's novel to his companion, Professor Cavor, who replies (in a possible dig at Verne) that he does not know what Bedford is referring to. Verne returned the dig later when he pointed out he used guncotton to send his men to the moon, and one could see it any day. "Can Mr. Wells show me some "cavourite"?", he asked archly.

The novel (along with Wells' The First Men in the Moon) inspired the first science fiction film, A Trip to the Moon, made in 1902 by Georges Méliès. In 1958, another film adaptation of this story was released, titled From the Earth to the Moon. It was one of the last films made under the RKO Pictures banner. The story also became the basis for the very loose adaptation Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon (1967), a caper-style British comedy starring Burl Ives and Terry-Thomas. The 1961 Czechoslovak film The Fabulous Baron Munchausen combines characters and plot elements from the Verne novel with those of the stories of Baron Münchhausen and Cyrano de Bergerac.

The novel and its sequel were the inspiration for the computer game Voyage: Inspired by Jules Verne.

In 1889 Verne wrote a second sequel to the novel, The Purchase of the North Pole, which has the gun club members (led by J. T. Maston) plan to use the "Columbiad" to alter the tilt of the earth to enable the mineral wealth of the Arctic region to be put within reach of exploitation.

Among its other homages to classic science fiction, an issue of Planetary involved the Planetary group finding that the Gun Club had been successful in launching the projectile, but that a miscalculation led to a slowly decaying orbit over the decades with the astronauts long dead from lack of air and food.

Barbicane appears in Kevin J. Anderson's novel Captain Nemo: The Fantastic History of a Dark Genius as an Ottoman official whose chief rival, Robur, designs a number of innovative weapons to counteract him, including an attempt to launch a three-man mission to the Moon.

During their return journey from the moon, the crew of Apollo 11 made reference to Jules Verne's book during a TV broadcast on July 23. The mission's commander, astronaut Neil Armstrong, said, "A hundred years ago, Jules Verne wrote a book about a voyage to the Moon. His spaceship, Columbia [sic], took off from Florida and landed in the Pacific Ocean after completing a trip to the Moon. It seems appropriate to us to share with you some of the reflections of the crew as the modern-day Columbia completes its rendezvous with the planet Earth and the same Pacific Ocean tomorrow."

In Back to the Future Part III, Clara Clayton asks Emmett Brown if he believes mankind will ever "travel to the moon the way we travel across the country on trains." Being from the future Doc already knows that doesn't happen for another 84 years, but he affirms they will while quoting a passage from From the Earth to the Moon. Clara calls him out on this, and it's from this encounter that the pair discovers their mutual love of Jules Verne novels.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Heinkel He 111 P-1

Here are some images of Revell's 1/32 scale Heinkel He 111 P-1 medium bomber.
This is a beautiful kit. The detail is amazing and the parts fit together very well. Other then a few minor points as regards the instructions this is well worth the money and it's big.

From Wikipedia"

The He 111P incorporated the updated Daimler-Benz DB 601A-1 water cooled engine and featured a newly designed nose section, including an asymmetric Ikaria nose mounting for an MG 15 machine gun that replaced the 'stepped' cockpit with a roomier and aerodynamically favourable glazed "dome" over the front of the aircraft. This new "bullet" smooth glazed nose was first tested out on the He 111 V8 in January 1938. These improvements allowed the aircraft to reach 475 km/h (295 mph) at 5,000 m (16,400 ft) and a cruise speed of 370 km/h (230 mph), although a full bombload reduced this figure to 300 km/h (190 mph). The design was implemented in 1937 because pilot reports indicated problems with visibility. The pilot's seat could actually be elevated, with the pilot's eyes above the level of the upper glazing, complete with a small pivoted windscreen panel, to get the pilot's head above the level of the top of the "glass tunnel" for a better forward view for takeoffs and landings.

One of Heinkel's rivals, Junkers, built 40 He 111Ps at Dessau. On 8 October 1938, the Junkers Central Administration commented:

Two aircraft were able to be inspected on 6th October in Bernburg. Apparent are the externally poor, less carefully designed components at various locations, especially at the junction between the empennage and the rear fuselage. All parts have an impression of being very weak; especially when one is used to taking a long look at Junkers' designs, one cannot dispel a feeling of uncertainty. The visible flexing in the wing must also be very high. The left and right powerplants are interchangeable. Each motor has an exhaust-gas heater on one side, but it is not connected to the fuselage since it is probable that as a result of incorrect air feed, the warm air in the fuselage is not free of carbon monoxide (CO). The fuselage is not subdivided into individual segments, but is attached over its entire length, after completion, to the wing centre section. Outboard of the powerplants, the wings are attached by universal joints. The latter can in no way be satisfactory and have been the cause of several failures.

The new design was powered by the DB 601 Ba engine with 1,175 PS and reduced the length of the aircraft by 1.1 m (3.6 ft). The He 111P's DB601 powerplant exhaust pipes had a second outlet on the top of the engine which pumped hot air back into the aircraft to warm crews. It was designated as P-0, and the first production lines reached their units in Fall 1938. In May 1939, the P-1 and P-2 went into service with improved radio equipment. The P-1 variant was produced with two DB 601Aa powerplants of 1,150 hp (860 kW). The fuel tanks had the added innovation of self-sealing fuel tanks to protect them from enemy fire. The Nose department itself was now fully glazed and the "stepped up" cockpit was dispensed with. The P-1 was powered by a DB 601Aa engine and given a semi-retractable tail wheel to decrease drag. Armament consisted of a MG 15 mounted in the Ikaria A Stand mount in the nose, and a sliding hood for the fuselage's dorsal B-Stand position. Installation of upgraded FuG III radio communication devices were also made and a new ESAC-250/III vertical bomb magazine was added. The overall takeoff weight was now 13,300 kg (29,321 lb).

The P-2, like the later P-4, was given stronger armour and two MG 15 machine guns in "waist" mounts on either side of the fuselage and two external bomb racks. Radio communications consisted of FuG IIIaU radios and the DB601 A-1 replaced the 601Aa powerplants. The Lotfernrohr 7 bombsights, which became the standard bombsight for German bombers, were also fitted to the P-2. The P-2 was also given "field equipment sets", to upgrade the weak defensive armament to four or five MG 15 machine guns. The P-2 had its bomb capacity raised to 4 ESA-250/IX vertical magazines. The P-2 thus had an empty weight of 6,202 kg (13,272 lb), a loaded weight increased to 12,570 kg (27,712 lb) and a maximum range of 2,100 km (1,305 mi).

The P-3 was powered with the same DB601A-1 engines. The aircraft was also designed to take off with a land catapult (KL-12). A towing hook was added to the fuselage under the cockpit for the cable. Just eight examples were produced, all without bomb equipment. The P-4 contained many changes from the P-2 and P-3. The jettisonable loads were capable of considerable variation. Two external SC 1800 kg (3,960 lb) bombs; two LMA air-dropped anti-shipping mines; one SC 1,800 kg plus four SC 250 kg; or one SC 2,500 kg external bomb could be carried on a ETC Rüstsatz rack. Depending on the load variation, a 835 L fuel and 120 L oil tank could be added in place of the internal bomb bay. The armament consisted of three defensive MG 15 machine guns. But these were not sufficient, so a further six MG 15s and one MG 17 machine gun was added. The radio communications were standard FuG X(10), Peil G V direction finding and FuBI radio devices. Because of the increase in defensive firepower, the crew numbers increased from four to five. The empty weight of the P-4 increased to 6,775 kg (14,936 lb), and the full takeoff weight increased to 13,500 kg (29,762 lb) owing to the mentioned alterations. The P-5 was powered by the DB601A. The variant was mostly used as a trainer and at least 24 production variants were produced before production ceased. The P-5 was alleged to have been fitted with PVC bomb racks, which cannot be confirmed. The P-5 was fitted with meteorological equipment, and was used in Luftwaffe weather units. Many of the He 111 Ps served during the Polish Campaign. With the Junkers Ju 88 experiencing technical difficulties, the He 111 and the Do 17 formed the backbone of the Kampfwaffe. On 1 September 1939, Luftwaffe records indicate the Heinkel strength at 705 (along with 533 Dorniers).

The P-6 variant was the last production model of the He 111 P series. In 1940, the RLM abandoned further production of the P series in favour of the H versions, mostly because the P-series' Daimler-Benz engines were sorely needed for Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Bf 110 fighter production. The remaining P-6s were redesignated P-6/R2s and used as heavy glider tugs. The most notable difference with previous variants was the upgraded DB 601N powerplants.

The P-7 variant's history is unclear. German archives do not produce any reliable information for this variant, if it existed. The P-8 was said to have been similar to the H-5 fitted with dual controls. Its existence cannot be established. The P-9 was produced as an export variant for the Hungarian Air Force. Due to the lack of DB 601E engines, the line was terminated in Summer 1940.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Junkers JU 52 Repost

Here are some images of Monogram's 1/48 scale Junkers JU 52 transport. Manufactured from 1932 to 1945. It saw both civilian and military service during the 1930s and 1940s. In a civilian role, it flew with over 12 air carriers including Swissair and Luftansa as an airliner and freight hauler. In a military role, it flew with the Luftwaffe as a troop and cargo transport and briefly as a medium bomber. The Ju 52 continued in postwar service with military and civilian air fleets well into the 1980s. This is an excellent model in every way. Incredible detail and it assembled without any hitches. This kit is still around and one can get it for around $50 Cdn.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lunar Approach Composite

Here is my composite image of Dragon Model's 1/72 scale Apollo 11"Lunar Approach" North American CSM "Columbia" + Grumman LM "Eagle" approaching the "Sea of Tranquillity" on the Moon just before turn around.

Images of the model can be seen here.