Wednesday, October 30, 2013

M1A1 Abrams

Here are some images of Elite Force (Bluebox Molds) 1/18 scale M1A1 Abrams.
This model started life off as a toy. But with a bit of effort, tearing it apart and giving it a whole new paint job and weathering scheme, one can create quite an impressive model.
If your looking to build large scale models on the cheap then this is the way to go.
After all where else can you build a large scale Abrams for under $60?

From Wikipedia"
The M1 Abrams is an American third-generation main battle tank produced by the United States. It is named after General Creighton Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff and Commander of U.S. military forces in the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1972. Highly mobile, designed for modern armored ground warfare, the M1 is well armed and heavily armored. Notable features include the use of a powerful gas turbine engine (multifuel capable, usually fueled with JP8 jet fuel), the adoption of sophisticated composite armor, and separate ammunition storage in a blow-out compartment for crew safety. Weighing nearly 68 short tons (almost 62 metric tons), it is one of the heaviest main battle tanks in service.
The M1 Abrams entered U.S. service in 1980, replacing the M60 tank. It served for over a decade alongside the improved M60A3, which had entered service in 1978. The M1 remains the principal main battle tank of the United States Army and Marine Corps, and the armies of Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Australia, and Iraq.
Three main versions of the M1 Abrams have been deployed, the M1, M1A1, and M1A2, incorporating improved armament, protection and electronics. These improvements, as well as periodic upgrades to older tanks, have allowed this long-serving vehicle to remain in front-line service. The M1A3 is currently under development.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Balao Class 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.
The Balao-class was a successful design of United States Navy submarine used during World War II, and with 122 units built, the largest class of submarines in the United States Navy. An improvement on the earlier Gato-class, the boats had slight internal differences. The most significant improvement was the use of thicker, higher yield strength steel in the pressure hull skins and frames, which increased their test depth to 400 feet (120 m). Tang actually achieved a depth of 612 ft (187 m) during a test dive, and exceeded that test depth when taking on water in the forward torpedo room while evading a destroyer.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

1886 Daimler Benz - 2

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

Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat - 2

Here are some more images of Trumpeter's 1/32 scale 1/32 scale Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat in pre war markings.

From Wikipedia"

US Navy orders followed as did some (with Wright Cyclone engines) from France; these ended up with the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm after the fall of France and entered service on 8 September 1940. These aircraft, designated by Grumman as G-36A, had a different cowling from other earlier F4Fs and fixed wings, and were intended to be fitted with French armament and avionics following delivery. In British service initially, the aircraft were known as the Martlet I, but not all Martlets would be to exactly the same specifications as US Navy aircraft. All Martlet Is featured the four .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns of the F4F-3 with 450 rpg. The British directly ordered and received a version with the original Twin Wasp, but again with a modified cowling, under the manufacturer designation G-36B. These aircraft were given the designation Martlet II by the British. The first 10 G-36Bs were fitted with non-folding wings and were given the designation Martlet III. These were followed by 30 folding wing aircraft (F4F-3As) which were originally destined for the Hellenic Air Force, which were also designated Martlet IIIs. On paper, the designation changed to Marlet III(A) when the second series of Martlet III was introduced.
Poor design of the armament installation on early F4Fs caused these otherwise reliable machine guns to frequently jam, a problem common to wing-mounted weapons of many US fighters early in the war. It was an F4F-3 flown by Lieutenant Edward O'Hare that in a few minutes shot down five Mitsubishi twin-engine bombers attacking Lexington off Bougainville on 20 February 1942. But contrasting with O'Hare's performance, his wingman was unable to participate because his guns would not function.
A shortage of two-stage superchargers lead to the development of the F4F-3A, which was basically the F4F-3 but with a 1,200 hp (890 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90 radial engine with a more primitive single-stage two-speed supercharger. The F4F-3A, which was capable of 312 mph (502 km/h) at 16,000 ft (4,900 m), was used side by side with the F4F-3, but its poorer performance made it unpopular with US Navy fighter pilots. The F4F-3A would enter service as the Martlet III(B).
At the time of Pearl Harbor, only Enterprise had a fully equipped Wildcat squadron, VF-6 with F4F-3As. Enterprise was then transferring a detachment of VMF-211, also equipped with F4F-3s, to Wake. Saratoga was in San Diego, working up for operations of the F4F-3s of VF-3. 11 F4F-3s of VMF-211 were at the Ewa Marine Air Corps Station on Oahu; nine of these were damaged or destroyed during the Japanese attack. The detachment of VMF-211 on Wake lost seven Wildcats to Japanese attacks on 8 December, but the remaining five put up a fierce defense, making the first bomber kill on 9 December. The destroyer Kisaragi was sunk by the Wildcats, and the Japanese invasion force retreated.
In May 1942, the F4F-3s of VF-2 and VF-42, onboard Yorktown and Lexington, participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea. Lexington and Yorktown fought against the Zuikaku, Shōkaku and the light carrier Shōhō in this battle, in an attempt to halt a Japanese invasion of Port Moresby on Papua. During these battles, it became clear that attacks without fighter escort amounted to suicide, but that the fighter component on the carriers was completely insufficient to provide both fighter cover for the carrier and an escort for an attack force. Most US carriers carried less than 20 fighters.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Here are some more images of Corel Models 1/25 scale Onager Catapult. The Roman Onager was a field and siege catapult and is believed to have been invented sometime in the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D. It is believed the Romans got the idea for this catapult when they had seen a wild Donkey being chased by hunters kicking back at them the stones it had come across on the road. Hence the name Onager which is a type of Donkey. The materials for this model were Walnut, Brass and copper and was a straight forward build.


Here are some more images of Corel Models 1/25 scale Catapulta. This catapult dates back to the last years of the Roman Empire where construction techniques had made great advancements from the previous Onager catapult. These types of catapults were generally used on Roman Polyreme ships and usually placed at the stern. The maximum throwing distance of these catapults was usually around 350 meters. The materials used for this model were Walnut, Brass and Copper. This was a very easy model to build, no issues.

T-34/76 Model 1943

Here are some images of Trumpeter's 1/16 scale T-34/76  Model 1943 medium tank in winter camouflage.
This kit was just as fun to build as the T-34/85 kit was. Wonderful stuff!

From Wikipedia"
The initial T-34 version had a 76.2 mm gun, and is often called the T-34/76 (originally a World War II German designation). In 1944, a second major version began production, the T-34-85 (or T-34/85), with a larger turret mounting a larger 85 mm gun.
The T-34 had the coil-spring Christie suspension of the BT, using a "slack track" tread system with a rear-mounted drive sprocket and no system of return rollers for the upper run of track, but dispensed with the weighty and ineffective convertible drive. It had well-sloped armour, a relatively powerful engine and wide tracks.
Initial 1940 production tanks were installed with the 10-RT 26E radio set, but this was soon replaced by the 9-RS model (also installed on SU-100). From 1953, T-34-85s were installed with the R-113 Granat ("garnet") radio sets.
The initial T-34/76 suffered from the same two-man turret limitation as other contemporary Soviet tanks; namely, that the tank’s commander was also required to aim and fire the gun while potentially also being a platoon commander and having to coordinate with other tanks. Most contemporary German medium tanks had three man turret crews with work divided between commander, gunner and loader. This problem, which had been recognised before the war, would be corrected with the addition of upgraded turret on the T-34/85 in 1944.
Some tanks also had appliqué armour made of scrap steel of varying thickness welded on to the hull and turret. Tanks thus modified were called s ekranami (Russian: с экранами, "with screens").
The Soviets lost 6, 4, 4 and 1.2 tanks for every German tank lost for the years 1942, 1943, 1944 and 1945 respectively.
By 1942 the most common Soviet main battle tank was the T-34/76. In comparison, the most common German tanks at the time were Panzer III with the 5cm KwK 38 L/42, later the longer 5cm KwK 39 L/60 and Panzer IV most of which were still armed with the short, low muzzle velocity 7.5cm KwK 37 L/24. Some Panzer IV tanks and StuG III assault guns armed with the longer, higher velocity 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/43 (or the longer L/48 guns) had also begun appearing on the Eastern Front by late 1942. This later gun was capable of destroying a T-34 frontally at around 1,000 metres.
By mid-1942, the T-34 had become vulnerable to improved German weapons and remained so throughout the war, but its armour protection was equal or superior to contemporary tanks such as the M4 Sherman or Panzer IV. During 1942, the Soviets lost 6,600 T-34/76 out of a total of 15,100 fully tracked AFVs lost. The overall Soviet tank loss ratio for 1942 was similar to that of 1941, but worse for the T-34/76 - 44% of the tanks lost were T-34/76s. A study based on Soviet field intelligence reports identified the weapon calibres responsible for T-34/76s destroyed between June 1941 and September 1942:
During the winter of 1941–42, the T-34 again dominated German tanks through its ability to move over deep mud or snow without bogging down; German tanks could not move over terrain the T-34 could handle. The Panzer IV used an inferior leaf-spring suspension and narrow track, and tended to sink in deep mud or snow. Improvements to T-34 were made throughout production, with a new 5-speed gearbox in 1942, which increased cross-country top speed to 30.5 km/h as well as many individual minor updates.
By 1943, however the strategic initiative had generally swung in favour of the Soviets. Although in 1943 the Germans were generally on the defensive and in retreat, the Soviets still lost 23,500 fully tracked armoured fighting vehicles including around 14,700 T-34s. a similar (3 to 1) loss ratio to the preceding years.
By 1943, the 76 mm could not penetrate the Panther's hull front armour and was out-ranged by both the Panther's long 75 mm and the Tiger's 88 mm. Even with the introduction of the Soviet 85 mm gun in 1944, the upgraded T-34/85 was still not their equal in firepower, but at least could, in theory, penetrate the armour of both Panthers and Tigers at up to 500 m (550 yd); whereas, the German 88mm and 75mm could still destroy the T-34/85 at 1,500 m (1,600 yd) or more.
The Soviets realised that the 1943 loss/kill ratio was unsustainable. In order to restore the technological balance they reduced T-34/76 production and moved quickly to manufacture the improved and up-gunned the T-34/85 with a new turret and the 85mm M-1944 ZIS-S53 L/51.5 gun.

Friday, October 25, 2013

T-34/85 Model 1944

Here are some images of Trumpeter's 1/16 scale T-34/85 Model 1944 "Factory No.183" tank. Though I do not build very much when it comes to armor this model is easily the most detailed tank model I've seen and built. It has a complete interior right down to the gear box as well as a textured steel surface which in my opinion greatly adds to the realism of the model. Great stuff!
This particular tank served with the 55th guards tank brigade, 7th guards tank corps, Berlin 1945.

From Wikipedia"

The T-34 was a Soviet medium tank produced from 1940 to 1958. Although its armour and armament were surpassed by later tanks of the era, it has been often credited as the most effective, efficient and influential design of World War II. First produced at the KhPZ factory in Kharkov (Kharkiv, Ukraine), it was the mainstay of Soviet armoured forces throughout World War II, and widely exported afterwards. It was the most-produced tank of the war, and the second most-produced tank of all time, after its successor, the T-54/55 series. In 1996, T-34 variants were still in service in at least 27 countries.
The T-34 was developed from the BT series of fast tanks and was intended to replace both the BT-5 and BT-7 tanks and the T-26 infantry tank in service. At its introduction, it was the tank with the best balanced attributes of firepower, mobility, protection and ruggedness, although its battlefield effectiveness suffered from the unsatisfactory ergonomic layout of its crew compartment, scarcity of radios, and poor tactical employment. The two-man turret-crew arrangement required the commander to aim and fire the gun, an arrangement common to most Soviet tanks of the day; this proved to be inferior to three-man (commander, gunner, and loader) turret crews of German Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks. However according to analysis at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds of a T-34 sent over by the Soviets in 1942, the T-34 had the best optics of any tank so far analyzed there, of either existing tanks or any under development.
The design and construction of the tank were continuously refined during the war to enhance effectiveness and decrease costs, allowing steadily greater numbers of T-34s to be fielded. In early 1944, the improved T-34-85 was introduced, with a more powerful 85 mm gun and a three-man turret design. By the war's end in 1945, the versatile and cost-effective T-34 had replaced many light and heavy tanks in service, and accounted for the majority of Soviet tank production. Its evolutionary development led directly to the T-54/55 series of tanks, built until 1981 and still operational as of 2010 and which itself led to the T-62, T-72 and T-90 tanks which, along with several Chinese tanks based on the T-55, form the backbone of many of the world's armies even today.
The T-34 was the most important weapon fielded by the Red Army in World War II. When first produced in 1940, commentators considered it one of the finest tank designs in the world. Sloping armour increased protection, the V-2 diesel engine used a less flammable fuel, the Christie suspension was fast on rough terrain and wide tracks gave low ground pressure for good mobility in mud and snow. The T-34 continued to give the Soviet Army a critical advantage in the war even after its technological advantages had been equalled and surpassed.
As the war went on, the T-34 gradually lost the innovative design advantages it had at the beginning of the German invasion in 1941. As the war progressed it had become an increasingly easy target for the more powerful 75mm and 88mm armed tanks; weapons could even pierce the turret relatively easily. It should be noted that the turret armour, which was cast, was softer than that of the other parts of the tank and it offered poor resistance even to the 37 mm shells of automatic AA guns.
The 85 mm ZiS gun of the T-34/85 greatly increased firepower over the previous 76.2 mm F-34 cannon on the T-34/76. The length of the 85 mm gun barrel (4.645 meters) made it necessary to be careful not to dig it into the ground on bumpy roads or in combat; A.K. Rodkin commented: "the tank could have dug the ground with it in the smallest ditch. If you fired it after that, the barrel would open up at the end like the petals of a flower."
At the start of the war, T-34s were about four percent of the Soviet tank arsenal, but by the end it comprised at least 55% of tank production (based on figures from; Zheltov 2001 lists even larger numbers). By the time the T-34 had replaced older models and became available in greater numbers, newer German tanks, including the improved Panzer V "Panther", outperformed it. The T-34-85 tank initially cost about 30 percent more to produce than a Model 1943, at 164,000 rubles; by 1945 this had reduced to 142,000 rubles. During the course of the Great Patriotic War the cost of a T-34 tank reduced by almost half, from 270,000 rubles in 1941, while in the meantime its top speed remained about the same, and its main gun's armour-penetration and turret frontal-armour thickness both nearly doubled.
During the last years of the war the Soviets 'improving tactics were still inferior to the Germans', but the Red Army's growing operational and strategic skill and its larger inventory of tanks helped bring the loss ratios down. The T-34/85 in early 1944 did give the Red Army a tank with a better gun and turret, while its armour and mobility were arguably better than German Panzer IV and Sturmgeschütz III it could not match the Panthers armour or the 7.5 cm KwK 42 gun retrofitted to many German AFVs (including the PzIVs). To the Soviet advantage there were far fewer Panthers than T-34s or German AFVs in general.
Comparisons can be drawn between the T-34 and the U.S. M4 Sherman tank. Both tanks were the backbone of the armoured units in their respective armies, and both were upgraded extensively and fitted with more powerful guns. Both were designed for ease of manufacture and maintenance, sacrificing some performance for this goal. Neither were equal to Germany's later tanks, the Panther or the Tiger. The improved T-34-85 remained the standard Soviet medium tank with an uninterrupted production run until the end of the war. The Germans responded to the T-34 by introducing the new powerful and initially failure prone Panther tank, while also improving the firepower of the numerous older Panzer IV tanks and Stug III self-propelled gun. The emphasis on quality during tank production allowed the Soviets to maintain a substantial numerical superiority in tanks throughout the war. Production figures for all Panther types reached no more than 6,557, and for the expensive heavy, Tiger types 2,027. Production figures for the T-34-85 alone reached 22,559 eventually, the T-34 replaced most light, medium, and heavy tanks in Soviet service.
By 1944 the Soviets had the absolute strategic initiative, with massive numerical superiority, and in terms of supply distribution and logistics, also operational superiority. They had the luxury of being able to concentrate large armoured forces at any points on the front they desired while still being able to strongly defend everywhere. The Soviets also attained critical air superiority for the first time, albeit not always and not everywhere. However, in 1944 the Soviets lost 23,700 fully tracked AFVs (only 2,200 of which were light tanks): this was the highest number of AFV losses in a single year by any country in history. Of these 58% were T-34s, the majority of those being the new up-gunned and improved T-34/85s. Despite having the operational and strategic advantage and Soviet losses were about 4 tanks for every German tank destroyed.

Morgan Plus 8 Roadster

Here are some more images of LS Models 1/16 scale Morgan Plus 8 Roadster.

From Wikipedia"

 The Morgan Plus 8 is a sports car built by British car makers Morgan between 1968 and 2004. Its instant and enduring popularity has been credited with saving the company and keeping the company famous during the 36 years of its manufacture. Among Morgan enthusiasts, it is deeply associated with Peter Morgan, the owner-chairman behind its design.
The development of the Plus 8 was led by Maurice Owen, a race car engineer taken on specifically for the role. The Plus 8 prototype was based on a modified version the chassis of the Plus 4, to which it added the Rover alloy block 215 cu in (3.5 l) V8, purchased from GM-Buick in 1967. Plus 4's Moss gearbox was carried over and the Salisbury 7HA axle was uprated with a limited slip differential. The chassis was developed in stages to accommodate gearbox changes in 1973 and 1976, the body widened in 1976 to accommodate the widened chassis and the wings widened to accommodate larger tyres to handle the increasing power and trend for lower profile and wider tyres. The original 1968 Plus 8 was 57 inches (1,400 mm) wide and the last was 64 inches (1,600 mm) (with an optional "widebody" at 67 inches (1,700 mm)) For several years in the 1960s the Plus Eight was the fastest-accelerating UK production car.
To mark the 35th year of production of its Plus 8, MMC released a commemorative 'Anniversary Edition'.
All Plus 8s engines were based on the Rover V8 which had been bought by Rover. Morgan was the first of a succession of sports car makers- including the likes of TVR and Marcos- to use the engine, which Rover had only just made available in the P5B saloon.
The Plus 8 development car used a Rover V8 block and the Plus 8 was launched in 1968 using Rover's production engine, itself a re-engineered version of the Buick 215 block (renamed the 3.5 L by Rover) with a compression of 10.5:1 fueled by two SU HS6 carburettors. By 1973, the Rover 3500 saloon was available with a manual 4 speed gearbox and this engine/gearbox configuration was adopted by Morgan although the compression dropped to 9.25:1 with a resulting loss of power. With the adoption of an improved version of the block developed for the Rover SD1 in 1977, compression was increased to 9.35:1 and power increased. After 1981 the engine was fueled by two Stromberg carburettors, .
At the end of 1983, the company offered a EFI version using a Bosch L-Jetronic based system. With the added power (204 bhp (152 kW; 207 PS)) and low weight, the Plus 8 was, according to the magazine road tests of the day, able to best a Porsche up to 90 mph (140 km/h). In 1990, a 3.9 L version of the block was added using the Lucas 14CUX fuel injection system.
In 1996, a 4.6 L version found its way into the car as an option, still using the 14CUX system. From 2000, all Morgan Plus 8s were fueled by the GEMS system used on the Land Rover Discovery II.