Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Nu Class Republic Attack Shuttle

Here are some images of Revell's 1/120 scale Republic Attack Shuttle from Star Wars Episode II "Attack of the Clones".
This is another of Revell's prepainted kits that of course had to be completely repainted.
The only thing I didn't repaint was the stand and the little pilot figures.

From Wookiepedia"
 The Nu-class attack shuttle was a vessel used by the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars
 The Nu-class was a faster, long-range supplementary design to the standard LAAT gunship line, and shared similar design characteristics to the NR2 gully jumper of the Great Galactic War. The class had heavier armor and shielding than most atmospheric craft. However, the LAAT/i remained somewhat competitive with the Nu: while the shuttle could only carry 30 Clone troopers, the LAAT/i could carry that and four speeder bikes in addition. The shuttle also lacked the missile launchers of the LAAT/i. As a result, it wasn't a complete replacement for the affectionately nicknamed "larty". It was designed with fold-down wings, similar to fighters like the V-19 Torrent and later shuttle designs like the Theta-class and Lambda-class. Its boarding hatch was located at the front of the shuttle, in what could be described as the vessel's "chin". It would also appear to have been equipped with some form of tractor beam or holding clamp; as used to carry Anakin Skywalker's escape pod after he had crashed the Defender into the command ship of the separatist blockade over the planet Ryloth.

A shuttle of this kind delivered Ahsoka Tano to Christophsis during a heavy battle there. Commander Cody and Captain Rex flew the Nu-class shuttle Obex as a transport while conducting an inspection tour of Republic outposts staffed with rookie troops. When they landed at the listening post on the Rishi moon, their shuttle was destroyed by Confederacy droid commandos.
Another Nu-class shuttle delivered Nahdar Vebb and a small squad of clone troopers to the third moon of Vassek during the mission to recapture Nute Gunray. After stumbling into General Grievous's castle, Jedi Master Kit Fisto ordered the clones to call in for reinforcements using the shuttle's transceiver, but it was destroyed by MagnaGuards.
A Nu-class shuttle was used on a diplomatic mission by Commander CC-5869, his troops, Jar Jar Binks, and Senator Kharrus, who were en route to Florrum to the Weequay pirates' lair with a bounty of spice on board as a ransom for Dooku. While entering Florrum's atmosphere, they were shot down by the pirates. Kharrus died in the crash along with the two pilots. The shuttle was unable to take off again because it was broken in two.
A Nu-class shuttle was used to transport Anakin Skywalker's escape pod after he destroyed the leading ship blockading Ryloth with the Defender.
At least one escort shuttle fell into the hands of the Imperial splinter faction known as the "hard-liners" stationed on the planetoid RZ7-6113-23. The shuttle was stolen by the bounty hunter Kir Kanos during his escape from the hard-liners' ship storehouse.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Skipjack Class USS Scorpion (SSN-589)

Here are some images of Moebius model's 1/72 scale Skipjack Class Submarine, USS Scorpion (SSN-589).
If there was ever a model that screamed "cold war", this is it.
At over 42 inches the Skipjack is an impressive model and with only around 60 pieces it is a straight forward build with no real difficulties. It is a beautiful kit and well worth the $100+ CDN.
I would recommend for the black colour to mix 4 parts flat black with 1 part navy blue, but that's just me.

From Wikipedia"
The Skipjack class was a class of United States Navy nuclear submarines. This class was named after its lead ship, the USS Skipjack. This new class introduced the teardrop hull and the S5W reactor to U.S. nuclear submarines. The Skipjacks were the fastest U.S. nuclear submarines until the Los Angeles-class submarines.

The Skipjack's design was based on the successful Barbel-class submarines that were based on the USS Albacore design. The design of the Skipjacks was very different from the Skate-class submarines that preceded the Skipjacks. Unlike the Skates, this new design was maximized for underwater speed by shaping the hull like a blimp. This required that the single screw was aft of the rudders and dive planes. This so called "body-of-revolution hull" reduced her surface sea-keeping, but was essential for underwater performance. Skipjack's hull was also a single hull design, where the pressure hull and outer hull are the same for most of the length of the ship.
The bow planes were moved to the massive sail to cut down on flow-induced noise near the bow sonar array. This design feature would be repeated on all U.S. nuclear submarines until the improved Los Angeles-class submarine. The small "turtleback" behind the sail was the exhaust piping of the auxiliary diesel generator.
The Skipjacks also introduced the S5W reactor to U.S. nuclear submarines. The S5W was used on 98 U.S. nuclear submarines and the first British nuclear submarine, HMS Dreadnought.
The George Washington-class submarines were based on the Skipjack design. The hull of Scorpion was laid down twice as the original hull was redesigned to become the first US ballistic missile submarine George Washington. Also, the material for building Scamp was diverted into building Patrick Henry, which delayed her progress.

USS Scorpion (SSN-589) was a Skipjack-class nuclear submarine of the United States Navy, and the sixth vessel of the U.S. Navy to carry that name. Scorpion was declared lost on 5 June 1968 with 99 crewmen dying in the incident. The USS Scorpion is one of two nuclear submarines the U.S. Navy has lost, the other being USS Thresher (SSN-593).


In late October 1967, Scorpion started refresher training and weapons system acceptance tests, and was given a new Commanding Officer, Francis Slattery. Following type training out of Norfolk, Virginia, she got underway on 15 February 1968 for a Mediterranean Sea deployment. She operated with the 6th Fleet into May and then headed west for home. Scorpion suffered several mechanical malfunctions including a chronic problem with Freon leakage from refrigeration systems. An electrical fire occurred in an escape trunk when a water leak shorted out a shore power connection.
Upon departing the Mediterranean on 16 May, two men departed Scorpion at Rota, Spain. One man left due to a family emergency, while the other, PO1 Joseph Underwood departed for health reasons. Scorpion was then detailed to observe Soviet naval activities in the Atlantic in the vicinity of the Azores. With this completed, Scorpion prepared to head back to Naval Station Norfolk.
For an unusually long period of time, beginning shortly before midnight on 20 May and ending after midnight 21 May, Scorpion was attempting to send radio traffic to Naval Station Rota in Spain but was only able to reach a Navy communications station in Nea Makri, Greece, which forwarded Scorpion's messages to SUBLANT. Six days later, she was reported overdue at Norfolk. Navy personnel suspected possible failure and launched a search.

The search

US Navy photo 1968 of the bow section of Scorpion, by the crew of bathyscaphe Trieste II
A public search was initiated, but without immediate success and on 5 June, Scorpion and her crew were declared "presumed lost." Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 June. Some recent reports now indicate that a large and secret search was launched three days before Scorpion was expected back from patrol; this combined with other declassified information led many to speculate the US Navy knew of the Scorpion's destruction before the public search was launched.
The public search continued with a team of mathematical consultants led by Dr. John Craven, the Chief Scientist of the U.S. Navy's Special Projects Division. They employed the methods of Bayesian search theory, initially developed during the search for a hydrogen bomb lost off the coast of Palomares, Spain, in January 1966 in the Palomares B-52 crash. At the end of October, the Navy's oceanographic research ship, Mizar, located sections of the hull of Scorpion in more than 3,000 m (9,800 ft) of water about 740 km (400 nmi; 460 mi) southwest of the Azores. This was after the Navy had released sound tapes from its underwater "SOSUS" listening system which contained the sounds of the destruction of Scorpion. Subsequently, the Court of Inquiry was reconvened, and other vessels, including the bathyscaphe Trieste II, were dispatched to the scene, collecting many pictures and other data.
Although Dr. Craven received much credit for locating the wreckage of Scorpion, Gordon Hamilton—an acoustics expert who pioneered the use of hydroacoustics to pinpoint Polaris missile splashdown locations—was instrumental not only in acquiring the acoustic signals that were used in locating the vessel, but also in analyzing those signals to provide a compact "search box" wherein the wreck of Scorpion was finally located. Hamilton had established a listening station in the Canary Islands, which obtained a clear signal of what some scientists believe was the noise of the vessel's pressure hull imploding as she passed below crush depth. A little-known Naval Research Laboratory scientist named Chester "Buck" Buchanan, using a towed camera sled of his own design aboard Mizar, finally located Scorpion after nearly six months of searching. The towed camera sled, which was fabricated by J.L. "Jac" Hamm of Naval Research Laboratory's Engineering Services Division, is currently housed in the U.S. Navy Museum, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC. (Buchanan had located the wrecked hull of Thresher in 1964 using this same technique.)


It would appear that the bow of Scorpion skidded upon impact with the globigerina ooze on the seafloor, digging a sizable trench which created a significant hazard for the Trieste II crews attempting to maneuver close to acquire photographs and assess the wreckage with their own eyes. Much of the operations compartment had disappeared, and most of the debris field was identified as coming from the operations compartment. The sail had been dislodged as the hull of the operations compartment upon which it perched disintegrated, and was lying on its port side. One of Scorpion's running lights was locked in the open position as if it had been on the surface at the time of the mishap, although it may have been left in the open position during the vessel's recent nighttime stop at Rota. One Trieste II pilot who dived on Scorpion said the shock of the implosion may have knocked the light into the open position.
The aft section appeared to have skidded sideways on impact, since it was less hydrodynamically efficient than the bullet-shaped torpedo room, which investigators believed would have developed a greater downward velocity. The aft section of the engine room had telescoped forward into the larger-diameter hull section.


Bow section of the sunken Scorpion containing two nuclear torpedoes on the sea floor. US Navy photo.
At the time of her sinking, there were 99 crewmen aboard Scorpion. The boat contained a treasure-trove of highly sophisticated spy gear and spy manuals, two nuclear-tipped torpedoes, and a nuclear propulsion system. The best available evidence indicates that Scorpion sank in the Atlantic Ocean on 22 May 1968 at approximately 1844Z while in transit across the Atlantic Ocean from Gibraltar to her home port at Norfolk, Virginia.
Several hypotheses about the cause of the loss have been advanced. Some have suggested that hostile action by a Soviet submarine caused Scorpion's loss. Shortly after her sinking, the Navy assembled a Court of Inquiry to investigate the incident and to publish a report about the likely causes for the sinking. The court was presided over by Vice Admiral Bernard Austin who presided over the inquiry into the loss of Thresher. The panel's conclusions, first printed in 1968, were largely classified. At the time, the Navy quoted frequently from a portion of the 1968 report that said no one is likely ever to "conclusively" determine the cause of the loss. The Clinton Administration declassified most of this report in 1993, and it was then that the public first learned that the panel considered that a possible cause was the malfunction of one of Scorpion's own torpedoes. (The panel qualified its opinion saying the evidence it had available could not lead to a conclusive finding about the cause of her sinking.) However, the Court of Inquiry did not reconvene after the 1969 Phase II investigation, and did not take testimony from a group of submarine designers, engineers and physicists who spent nearly a year evaluating the data.

The results of the U.S. Navy's various investigations into the loss of Scorpion are inconclusive. While the Court of Inquiry never endorsed Dr. Craven's torpedo theory regarding the loss of Scorpion, its Findings of Facts released in 1993 carried Craven's torpedo theory at the head of a list of possible causes of Scorpion's loss.
The Navy failed to inform the public that both the U.S. Submarine Force Atlantic and the Commander-in-Chief U.S. Atlantic Fleet opposed Craven's torpedo theory as unfounded and also failed to disclose that a second technical investigation into the loss of Scorpion completed in 1970 actually repudiated claims that a torpedo detonation played a role in the loss of Scorpion. Despite the second technical investigation, the Navy continues to attach strong credence to Craven's view that an explosion destroyed her, as is evidenced by this excerpt from a May 2003 letter from the Navy's Submarine Warfare Division (N77), specifically written by Admiral P.F. Sullivan on behalf of Vice Admiral John J. Grossenbacher (Commander Naval Submarine Forces), the Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Reactors, and others in the US Navy regarding its view of alternative sinking theories:
The first cataclysmic event was of such magnitude that the only possible conclusion is that a cataclysmic event (explosion) occurred resulting in uncontrolled flooding (most likely the forward compartments).
Some erroneously claim Grossenbacher's (and Sullivan's) determination is drawn solely from the inconclusive Findings of Fact, generated by the US Navy's Court of Inquiry into Scorpion sinking. This is untrue, as their letter (see excerpt below) explicitly mentions their review of a secondary study by the Structural Analysis Group in 1970, and a later report by Dr. Robert Ballard, whose investigative team visited the Scorpion wreck in 1985 using the search for Titanic as a cover since the visit was part of a recently declassified mission to visit Scorpion as well as Thresher, another nuclear sub which was lost off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald

Here are some images of Iron Shipwright's 1/350 scale S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald.
That's right, the one from the song.

From Wikipedia"
The SS Edmund Fitzgerald was an American Great Lakes freighter that made headlines after sinking in a Lake Superior storm on November 10, 1975, with the loss of the entire crew of 29. When launched on June 8, 1958, she was the largest boat on North America's Great Lakes, and she remains the largest boat to have sunk there. Nicknamed the "Mighty Fitz", "Fitz", or "Big Fitz", the ship suffered a series of mishaps during her launch: it took three attempts to break the champagne bottle used to christen her, and she collided with a pier when she entered the water.
For seventeen years the Fitzgerald carried taconite iron ore from mines near Duluth, Minnesota, to iron works in Detroit, Toledo, and other Great Lakes ports. As a "workhorse" she set seasonal haul records six times, often beating her own previous record. Her size, record-breaking performance, and "DJ captain" endeared the Fitzgerald to boat watchers. Captain Peter Pulcer was known for piping music day or night over the ship's intercom system while passing through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers (between Lakes Huron and Erie), and entertaining spectators at the Soo Locks (between Lakes Superior and Huron) with a running commentary about the Fitzgerald.
Carrying a full cargo of taconite ore pellets with Captain Ernest M. McSorley in command, the Edmund Fitzgerald embarked on her final voyage from Superior, Wisconsin (near Duluth), on the afternoon of November 9, 1975. En route to a steel mill near Detroit, Michigan, she joined a second freighter, the SS Arthur M. Anderson. By the next day the two ships were caught in the midst of a massive winter storm on Lake Superior, with near hurricane-force winds and waves up to 35 feet (11 m) high. Shortly after 7:10 p.m. the Fitzgerald suddenly sank in Canadian waters 530 feet (160 m) deep, approximately 17 miles (15 nautical miles; 27 kilometers) from the entrance to Whitefish Bay near the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Although the Fitzgerald had reported being in difficulty earlier, no distress signals were sent before she sank. Her crew of 29 all perished, and no bodies were recovered.
Many theories, books, studies and expeditions have examined the cause of the sinking. The Fitzgerald may have fallen victim to the high waves of the storm, suffered structural failure, been swamped with water entering through her cargo hatches or deck, experienced topside damage, or shoaled in a shallow part of Lake Superior. The sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald is one of the best-known disasters in the history of Great Lakes shipping. Gordon Lightfoot made it the subject of his 1976 hit song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald".
Investigations into the sinking led to changes in Great Lakes shipping regulations and practices that included mandatory survival suits, depth finders, positioning systems, increased freeboard, and more frequent inspection of vessels.

From May 20 to 28, 1976, the U.S. Navy dived the wreck using its unmanned submersible, CURV-III, and found the Fitzgerald lying in two large pieces in 530 feet (160 m) of water. Navy estimates put the length of the bow section at 276 feet (84 m) and that of the stern section at 253 feet (77 m). The bow section stood upright in the mud, some 170 feet (52 m) from the stern section that lay face down at a 50-degree angle from the bow. The ship's midsection had been reduced to heaps of metal and taconite.
In 1980, during a Lake Superior research dive expedition, marine explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of Jacques Cousteau, sent two divers from the RV Calypso in the first manned submersible dive to the Fitzgerald. The dive was brief, and although the dive team drew no final conclusions, they speculated that the Fitzgerald had broken up on the surface.
The Michigan Sea Grant Program organized a three-day dive to survey the Fitzgerald in 1989. The primary objective was to record 3-D videotape for use in museum educational programs and production of documentaries. The expedition used a towed survey system (TSS Mk1) and a self-propelled, tethered, free swimming remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV). The Mini Rover ROV was equipped with miniature stereoscopic cameras and wide angle lenses in order to produce 3-D images. The towed survey system and the Mini Rover ROV were designed, built and operated by Chris Nicholson of Deep Sea Systems International, Inc. Participants included the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Geographic Society, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society (GLSHS), and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the latter providing the RV Grayling as the support vessel for the ROV. The GLSHS used part of the five hours of video footage produced during the dives in a documentary and the National Geographic Society used a segment in a broadcast. Frederick Stonehouse, who wrote one of the first books on the Fitzgerald wreck, moderated a 1990 panel review of the video that drew no conclusions about the cause of the Fitzgerald's sinking.
Canadian explorer Joseph B. MacInnis organized and led six publicly funded dives to the Fitzgerald over a three-day period in 1994. Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution provided the Edwin A. Link as the support vessel, and their manned submersible, the Celia. The GLSHS paid $10,000 for three of its members to each join a dive and take still pictures. MacInnis concluded that the notes and video obtained during the dives did not provide an explanation why the Fitzgerald sank. The same year, longtime sport diver Fred Shannon formed Deepquest Ltd., and organized a privately funded dive to the wreck of the Fitzgerald, using Delta Oceanographic's submersible Delta. Deepquest Ltd. conducted seven dives and took more than 42 hours of underwater video while Shannon set the record for the longest submersible dive to the Fitzgerald at 211 minutes. Prior to conducting the dives, Shannon studied NOAA navigational charts and found that the international boundary had changed three times before its publication by NOAA in 1976. Shannon determined that based on GPS coordinates from the 1994 Deepquest expedition, "at least one-third of the two acres of immediate wreckage containing the two major portions of the vessel is in U.S. waters because of an error in the position of the U.S.–Canada boundary line shown on official lake charts."
Shannon's group discovered the remains of a crew member wearing a life jacket lying alongside the bow of the ship, indicating that at least one of the crew was aware of the possibility of sinking. The life jacket had deteriorated canvas and "what is thought to be six rectangular cork blocks ... clearly visible." Shannon concluded that "massive and advancing structural failure" caused the Fitzgerald to break apart on the surface and sink.
MacInnis led another series of dives in 1995 to salvage the bell from the Fitzgerald. The Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians backed the expedition by co-signing a loan in the amount of $250,000.Canadian engineer Phil Nuytten's atmospheric diving suit, known as the "Newtsuit", was used to retrieve the bell from the ship, replace it with a replica, and put a beer can in the Fitzgerald's pilothouse. That same year, Terrence Tysall and Mike Zee set multiple records when they used trimix gas to scuba dive to the Fitzgerald. The pair are the only people known to have touched the Fitzgerald wreck. They also set records for the deepest scuba dive on the Great Lakes and the deepest shipwreck dive, and were the first divers to reach the Fitzgerald without the aid of a submersible. It took six minutes to reach the wreck, six minutes to survey it, and three hours to resurface to avoid decompression sickness, also known as "the bends".

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hawker Typhoon

Here are some images of Revell's 1/32 scale Hawker Typhoon Mk 1B.
This aircraft served with the Royal Aircraft Establishment and the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishement in 1941.

From Wikipedia"

The Hawker Typhoon was a British single-seat fighter-bomber, produced by Hawker Aircraft. While the Typhoon was designed to be a medium-high altitude interceptor, and a direct replacement for the Hawker Hurricane, several design problems were encountered, and the Typhoon never completely satisfied this requirement. Other external events in 1940 prolonged the gestation of the Typhoon.
Nicknamed the Tiffy in RAF slang, the Typhoon's service introduction in mid-1941 was also plagued with problems, and for several months the aircraft faced a doubtful future. However, in 1941 the Luftwaffe brought the formidable Focke-Wulf Fw 190 into service: the Typhoon was the only fighter in the RAF inventory capable of catching the Fw 190 at low altitudes and, as a result, secured a new role as a low-altitude interceptor. Through the support of pilots such as Roland Beamont the Typhoon also established itself in roles such as night-time intruder and a long-range fighter. From late 1942 the Typhoon was equipped with bombs; from late 1943 ground attack rockets were added to the Typhoon's armoury. Using these two weapons, the Typhoon became one of the Second World War's most successful ground-attack aircraft.

Only one complete Hawker Typhoon still survives – serial number MN235 – and it is on display at the RAF Museum in Hendon, North London. It was previously on display at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) (Smithsonian Institution) before being presented to the museum in commemoration of the RAF's 50th Anniversary in exchange for a Hawker Hurricane.
Several other partial air frames are extant: Typhoon Ib EJ922 (Private; Ex-Peter Smith Collection), Typhoon Ia JR505 (Brian Barnes Collection), Typhoon Ib JP843 (Roger Marley Collection) and Typhoon Ib RB396 (Fort Veldhuis museum, Netherlands). Unidentified cockpit sections are on display at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, and The Jet Age Museum in Gloucester.
A Hawker Typhoon replica at the Memorial de la Paix at Caen, France, was constructed using some original components.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

U.S.S. Holland (SS-1) and Holland Boat No.1

Here are some images of Iron Shipwrights 1/72 scale U.S.S. Holland (SS-1) and Holland Boat No.1.
Over all this is a nice kit though I had to do some scratch work like the stand, anchor and masts.

From Wikipedia"
John Philip Holland (Irish: Seán Pilib Ó hUallacháin / Ó Maolchalann) (29 February 1840 – 12 August 1914) was an Irish engineer who developed the first submarine to be formally commissioned by the U.S. Navy, and the first Royal Navy submarine, the Holland 1.

Holland emigrated to the United States in 1873. Initially working for an engineering firm, he returned to teaching again for a further six years in St. John’s Catholic School in Paterson, New Jersey. In 1875, his first submarine designs were submitted for consideration by the U.S. Navy, but turned down as unworkable. The Fenians, however, continued to fund Holland's research and development expenses at a level that allowed him to resign from his teaching post. In 1881, Fenian Ram was launched, but soon after, Holland and the Fenians parted company angrily, primarily due to issues of payment within the Fenian organization, and between the Fenians and Holland. The submarine is now preserved at Paterson Museum, New Jersey.

Holland continued to improve his designs and worked on several experimental boats, prior to his successful efforts with a privately built type, launched on 17 May 1897. This was the first submarine having power to run submerged for any considerable distance, and the first to combine electric motors for submerged travel and gasoline engines for use on the surface. She was purchased by the U.S. Navy, on 11 April 1900, after rigorous tests and was commissioned on 12 October 1900 as USS Holland. Six more of her type were ordered and built at the Crescent Shipyard in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The company that emerged from under these developments was called The Electric Boat Company, founded on 7 February 1899. Isaac Leopold Rice became the company's first President with Elihu B. Frost acting as vice president and chief financial officer.
The USS Holland design was also adopted by others, including the Royal Navy in developing the Holland-class submarine. The Imperial Japanese Navy employed a modified version of the basic design for their first five submarines, although these submarines were at least 10 feet longer at about 63 feet. These submarines were also developed at the Fore River Ship and Engine Company in Quincy, MA.
 USS Holland (SS-1) was the United States Navy's first commissioned submarine, named for her Irish-American inventor, John Philip Holland, although not the first submarine of the US Navy, which was the 1862 Alligator. The boat was originally laid down as Holland VI, and launched on 17 May 1897.

The work was done at (Ret.) Navy Lieutenant Lewis Nixon's Crescent Shipyard of Elizabeth, New Jersey for John Holland's company, then known as the Holland Torpedo Boat Company. The craft was built under the supervision of John Holland, who designed the vessel and her details. The keel to this craft was laid at Nixon's Crescent Shipyard with both men present. The two men worked together using many of John Holland's proven concepts and patents to make the submarine a reality, each man complementing the other's contributions to the development of the modern submarine.
Holland VI included many features that submarines of the early 20th century would exhibit, albeit in later, more advanced forms. She had both an internal combustion engine for running on the surface, and an electric motor for submerged operation. She had a reloadable torpedo tube and a deck gun (a pneumatic dynamite gun). There was a conning tower from which the boat and her weapons could be directed. Finally, she had all the necessary ballast and trim tanks to make precise changes in depth and attitude underwater.
Holland VI eventually proved her validity and worthiness as a warship and was ultimately purchased by the U.S. government for the sum of $150,000 on 11 April 1900. She was considered to be the first truly successful craft of her type. The United States Government soon ordered more submarines from Holland's company, which were to be known as the Plunger class. These became America's first fleet of underwater naval vessels.
Holland VI was modified after her christening, and was renamed USS Holland (SS-1) when she was commissioned by the US Navy on 12 October 1900, at Newport, Rhode Island, with Lieutenant Harry H. Caldwell in command.
Holland was the first commissioned submarine in the US Navy and is the first of the unbroken line of submarines in the Navy. She was the third submarine to be owned by the Navy, however. (The first submarine was Propeller (also known as Alligator) and the second was Intelligent Whale.)
On 16 October 1900, in order to be kept serviceable throughout the winter, Holland left Newport under tow of the tug Leyden for Annapolis, Maryland, where she was used to train midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy, as well as officers and enlisted men ordered there to receive training vital in preparing for the operation of other submarines being built for the Fleet.[citation needed]
Holland proved valuable for experimental purposes in collecting data for submarines under construction or contemplation. Her 166 mi (267 km) surface run, from Annapolis to Norfolk, Virginia from 8–10 January 1901, provided useful data on her performance underway over an extended period.
Holland, along with six other Holland-type submarines, was based in New Suffolk, New York on the North Fork of Long Island from 1899–1905, prompting the hamlet to claim to be the First Submarine Base in the United States.
Except for the period from 15 June to 1 October, which was passed training cadets at the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island, Holland remained at Annapolis as a training submarine until 17 July 1905.[contradiction]
Holland finished her career at Norfolk, Virginia. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 21 November 1910. This revolutionary submarine was sold as scrap to Henry A. Hitner & Sons, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 18 June 1913 for $100. Her purchaser was required to put up $5,000 bond as assurance that the submarine would be broken up and not used as a ship.
The success of the submarine was instrumental in the founding of the Electric Boat Company, now known as the General Dynamics Electric Boat, a division of General Dynamics Corporation. This company, therefore, can trace its origins to the formation of John Philip Holland's original company and the revolutionary submarines that were developed at this shipyard.

Holland Boat No. I was a prototype submarine designed and operated by John Philip Holland.
Work on the vessel began at the Albany Iron Works in New York City, moving to Paterson, New Jersey, in early 1878. The boat was launched on 22 May 1878. It was 14 feet long, weighed 2.25 tons, and was powered by a 4-horsepower Brayton petroleum engine driving a single screw. The boat was operated by Holland himself.
After several tests, on 6 June Holland conducted his first proper trial. The boat ran on the surface at approximately 3.5 knots, then submerged to a depth of 12 feet, before eventually surfacing. However, problems with the engine, meant that Holland eventually connected the engine, by a flexible hose, to a steam engine in an accompanying launch and powered the boat externally. In a second trial, Holland remained submerged for an hour. Holland eventually stripped the boat of usable equipment and scuttled it in the Passaic River.
These trails impressed Holland's backers, the Fenian Brotherhood who on the strength of this success financed the Holland Boat No. II, which became known as the Fenian Ram.
The vessel was recovered in 1927 and is now on display at the Paterson Museum in New Jersey.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Work Of Francis Chin

Here are some images of Francis Chin's amazing work of ESCI's 1/9scale SdKfz 2 Kettenkrad. The figure is from ESCI as well. Much of the extra details were scratch built by Francis as well.
Photos by yours truley.

From Wikipedia"

The SdKfz 2, better known as the Kleines Kettenkraftrad HK 101 or Kettenkrad for short (Ketten = tracks, krad = military abbreviation of the German word Kraftrad, the administrative German term for motorcycle), started its life as a light tractor for airborne troops. The vehicle was designed to be delivered by Junkers Ju 52 aircraft, though not by parachute. The vehicle had the advantage of being the only gun tractor small enough to fit inside the hold of the Ju 52.
Steering the Kettenkrad was accomplished by turning the handlebars: if little movement was used then the wheel would steer the vehicle, however if they were turned further they would engage the track brakes to help make turns sharper. It was also possible to run the vehicle without the front wheel installed and this was recommended in extreme off-road conditions where speed would be kept low.
The SdKfz 2 was designed and built by the NSU Werke AG at Neckarsulm, Germany. First designed and patented in June 1939, it was first used in the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Later in the war Stoewer from Stettin also produced Kettenkrads under license, accounting for about 10% of the total production.
Most Kettenkrads saw service on the Eastern Front, where they were used to lay communication cables, pull heavy loads and carry soldiers through the deep Russian mud. Later in the war, Kettenkrads were used as runway tugs for aircraft, especially for the Me 262 jet fighters. In order to save aviation fuel, the aircraft would be towed to the runway, rather than taxiing under their own power.
The vehicle was also used in the North African theater and on the Western Front.
The Kettenkrad came with a special trailer (Sd.Anh.1) that could be attached to it to improve its cargo capacity.
Being a tracked vehicle the Kettenkrad could climb up to 24° in sand and even more in hard ground, as long as the driver had courage for it.
Only two significant sub-variations of the Kettenkrad were constructed, and production of the vehicle was stopped in 1944, at which time 8,345 had been constructed. After the war the production at NSU went on until 1949 for agricultural use. Around 550 Kettenkrads were built postwar until 1948 (Some sources say 1949).

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hawker Hurricane Mk 1

Here are some images of Airfix's 1/24 scale Hawker Hurricane Mk 1.  This aircraft was flown by Flt. Lt. Ian Gleed, 87 squadron based at Exeter, August 1940.

From Wikipedia'
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd for the Royal Air Force (RAF). Although largely overshadowed by the Supermarine Spitfire, the aircraft became renowned during the Battle of Britain, accounting for 60% of the RAF's air victories in the battle, and served in all the major theatres of the Second World War.
The 1930s design evolved through several versions and adaptations, resulting in a series of aircraft which acted as interceptor-fighters, fighter-bombers (also called "Hurribombers"), and ground support aircraft. Further versions known as the Sea Hurricane had modifications which enabled operation from ships. Some were converted as catapult-launched convoy escorts, known as "Hurricats". More than 14,000 Hurricanes were built by the end of 1944 (including about 1,200 converted to Sea Hurricanes and some 1,400 built in Canada by Canadian Car and Foundry).

 Hurricane Mk I
First production version, with fabric-covered wings, a wooden two-bladed, fixed-pitch propeller, powered by the 1,030 hp (768 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin Mk II or III engines and armed with eight .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns. Produced between 1937 and 1939.
Hurricane Mk I (revised)
A revised Hurricane Mk I series built with a de Havilland or Rotol constant speed metal propeller, metal-covered wings, armour and other improvements. In 1939, the RAF had taken on about 500 of this later design to form the backbone of the fighter squadrons.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Subaru R-2

Here are some images of Tamiyas's 1/18 scale Subaru R-2 fresh out of its environment.

From Wikipedia"
The Subaru R-2 was a kei car manufactured by Subaru from 1969 to 1972. The R-2 was a full model change of the popular Subaru 360, but with an updated appearance and increased interior space. The R-2 appeared approximately one year before the Honda Life, Daihatsu Fellow Max and Suzuki Fronte kei cars, however, it continued to use the powertrain setup from the Subaru 360, which was the EK33 air-cooled 2-cylinder engine installed in the back, which is the inspiration for the name of the vehicle. It appeared around the same time as the second generation Mitsubishi Minica.
When the car was introduced February 8, 1969, Subaru took 25,000 orders for the car in one month.
In the early 1970s, the Japanese government enacted legislation to reduce emissions, which prompted Subaru and other manufacturers to upgrade engines that were air-cooled and using a two-stroke engine implementation. On October 7, 1971, the Subaru engine was upgraded to a two-stroke water-cooled engine, called the EK34 series engine, but the retrofit was hastily done, and was better achieved with the new 1972 Subaru Rex, which was available with both 2- and 4-doors. A styling upgrade was accomplished on the water-cooled R-2, adding a faux grille to the front of the vehicle that had no function other than a more modern appearance, as well as a corporate identity to the all new compact Subaru Leone.
Subaru continued with a rear engine platform so as to afford more trunk space up front and provide seating for four passengers, whereas competitors offered front engine front wheel drive vehicles to reduce noise intrusion from the engine and offer rear seats that folded down for increased cargo capacity, albeit with fewer passengers. In response to the rising popularity of front wheel drive front engine alternatives, Subaru offered a hatchback bodystyle February 16, 1970.
Performance versions of the R-2 came April 18, 1970, in the form of the R-2 SS with a dual exhaust and an increase in the compression ratio from 3.8 kg·m (37 N·m; 27 lb·ft)at 6,400 RPM to 7.5 kg·m (74 N·m; 54 lb·ft)at 7,000 RPM, and a higher trim level called the R-2 GL October 5. Another contributor to the early cancellation of the R-2 was its handling characteristics, which were found to be not as stable as vehicles that were front engine, front wheel drive.