Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Leonardo Da Vinci Catapult

Here are some images of Edu Toys Leonardo Da Vinci Catapult.

This is a simple but great kit.
If you build it straight out of the box without any painting produces a fairly decent example. However if you wish to add a more realistic appearance, a nice black wash and scuffing plus some rusty steel details does the job. Plus this model can toss a marble like no tomorrow. 

From Wikipedia"

Leonardo da Vinci sought to improve the efficiency and range of earlier designs. His design incorporated a large wooden leaf spring as an accumulator to power the catapult. Both ends of the bow are connected by a rope, similar to the design of a bow and arrow. The leaf spring was not used to pull the catapult armature directly, rather the rope was wound around a drum. The catapult armature was attached to this drum which would be turned until enough potential energy was stored in the deformation of the spring. The drum would then be disengaged from the winding mechanism, and the catapult arm would snap around. Though no records exist of this design being built during Leonardo's lifetime, contemporary enthusiasts have reconstructed it.

Monday, December 30, 2013

PLA Aircraft Carrier

Here are some images of Trumpeter's 1/350 scale PLA Aircraft Carrier.

From Wikipedia"
Since the 1970s, the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has expressed interest in operating an aircraft carrier as part of its blue water aspirations, and press reports have frequently quoted senior Chinese military officials as expressing an intention to build aircraft carriers. In 2011, People's Liberation Army Chief of the General Staff Chen Bingde confirmed that China was constructing at least one aircraft carrier. On September 25, 2012, China's first aircraft carrier, Liaoning, was commissioned.
Since 1985, China has acquired four retired aircraft carriers for study, the Australian HMAS Melbourne and the ex-Soviet carriers Minsk, Kiev and Varyag. Reports state that two 50,000–60,000 ton Type 089 aircraft carriers based on the Varyag, are due to be finished by 2015. Sukhoi Su-33s (navalized Flankers) are the aircraft most likely to be flown from these carriers, but China is also developing its own multirole fighter, the Shenyang J-15.
 In 1988, Order 106 finished construction and launched on November 25. In July 1990, Order 106 was named Varyag, to commemorate the sinking in the Russo-Japanese war in 1904-1905 Varyag cruiser.
In July 1999, the tugboat hired by a Macau company to tow the Varyag began its long voyage. Before set sail, in the Varyag beside the name of the new English word "Kingstown" (Kingston, the capital of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines). When the ship reached Turkey in the northern Black Sea, Turkey's government to be hindered, forced command Varyag back to the Black Sea. Then in August, Varyag attempted passage through the strait and again was blocked by the Turkish government. Varyag, stuck in the Black Sea, after drifting for a long time, returned to the original port.
Chinese shipyards have gained some exposure to carrier design with the acquisition of retired hulls such as the Australian HMAS Melbourne acquired in 1985. The carrier was not dismantled for many years and according to some reports she was not completely broken up until 2002.
Through various ventures, China has also purchased the ex-Soviet carriers Minsk and Kiev. These carriers have become floating amusement parks for tourists.
There had been other plans to purchase foreign second-hand carriers in the past. For example a possible deal between China and France for the sale of the Clemenceau fell through in 1997.
The 67,500 ton ex-Soviet aircraft carrier Varyag (Admiral Kuznetsov class), which was only 70% completed and floating in Ukraine, was purchased through a private Macau tourist venture in 1998. Following her troublesome tow to Dalian shipyard, the carrier has undergone a long refit. Varyag had been stripped of any military equipment as well as her propulsion systems prior to being put up for sale. In 2007 there were news reports that she was being fitted out to enter service.
On 10 August 2011, it was announced that the refurbishment of Varyag was complete, and that it was undergoing sea trials.
On December 14, 2011, DigitalGlobe, an American Satellite imaging company, announced that while scouring through pictures taken December 8, they had discovered the retrofitted Varyag undergoing, DigitalGlobe further stated that their images captured the ship in the Yellow Sea where it operated for 5 days.
In September 2012, it was announced that this carrier would be named Liaoning, after Liaoning Province of China. On 23 September 2012, Liaoning was handed over to the People's Liberation Army Navy, but is not yet in active service.
In November 2012, the first landing was successfully conducted on Liaoning with Shenyang J-15.
 Several days after ex-Varyag went on its first-sea-trial in August 2011, ex-Kiev welcomed guests in its new role as a luxury hotel with a £9.6 million ($15.6 million) refit. The owners believe that China's naval ambitions as well as a general curiosity about aircraft carriers will result in public interest.

In addition to the acquisition of retired aircraft carriers of foreign navies, the PLAN has been actively purchasing foreign aircraft carrier designs as well. One such example was its effort to purchase the blueprints for proposed conventional take off/landing ships from Empresa Nacional Bazan of Spain; the 23,000 ton SAC-200 and the 25,000 ton SAC-220 designs. Negotiations started between 1995 – 1996 but it did not result in any purchase. However, the Spanish firm was paid several million US dollars in consulting fees, indicating the probable transfer of some design concepts.
After the Spanish firm had submitted its findings, Russian warship designer Nevskoye Design Bureau completed an aircraft carrier design for China in the late 1990s to meet the Chinese requirement but neither Russia nor China disclosed the price. Neither did the two countries reveal any information on whether China was satisfied with the design or not. In any case, no aircraft carriers based on the design were built, as limited Chinese industrial capabilities in the late-1990s made it impractical for China to start any construction of aircraft carriers.
A complete set of blueprints of a foreign aircraft carrier design was obtained by China when it purchased the decommissioned Soviet aircraft carrier Kiev. Russia insisted on China buying the blueprints as well for a higher price, but neither country has revealed the exact dollar value. However, based on the official information released by the Chinese government on aircraft carriers, all of which dictates conventional design, the V/STOL design does not appear to fit the Chinese requirement.
The complete set of blueprints of a foreign aircraft carrier design obtained by China when it purchased the incomplete Soviet aircraft carrier Varyag is the most recent purchase. Ukraine urged China to increase the original $18 million bid to include additional purchase of the complete set of blueprints of the design, and after negotiations, China agreed to pay another $2 million to purchase the complete set of blueprints. According to the memoir of Chinese embassy staff members who participated in the process, the blueprints reached China before the ship. This conventional design offers more capability.

The first official plan of PLAN aircraft carrier dated back on March 31, 1987 when the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense approved the plan on the aircraft carrier and the next generation nuclear submarine for PLAN submitted by the then commander-in-chief of PLAN, Liu Huaqing. The original plan was to be progressed in stages, with basic research to be completed by the end of the 7th 5-year plan, and development of the platform and aircraft to be completed by the end of the 8th 5-year plan. By 2000, construction was to begin when ordered.
To prepare the commanders needed for the future aircraft carriers, the Central Military Commission approved the program of training jet fighter pilots to be future captains in May 1987, and the Guangzhou Naval Academy (广州舰艇学院) was selected as the site.
However, Liu Huaqing’s plan proved to be too ambitious as the domestic Chinese industry at the time could not meet the goal demanded by the plan. As a result, the plan was drastically scaled back to basic research level and the date for an aircraft carrier entering PLAN service was postponed and eventually put on hold. In the meantime, pilot candidates for warship captain training was also altered, with candidates switched to ship-borne helicopter pilots, because it was considered that naval helicopter pilots with much more ship-borne aviation experience would be better prepared than the land-based jet fighter pilots who lack ship-borne aviation experience.

In mid-2007, Chinese domestic sources revealed that China had purchased a total of four sets of aircraft carrier landing systems from Russia and this was confirmed by Russian manufacturers. However, experts disagreed on the usage of these systems: while some have claimed that it is a clear evidence of the construction of an aircraft carrier, others claim these systems are used to train pilots for a future ship. In August, 2008, Mr. Huang Qiang (黄强), the speaker of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense announced to the public at a news conference that China had mastered all of the technologies for an aircraft carrier, and would build aircraft carriers in the future when time was deemed right.
There are media reports of a possibility of China building nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, however the U.S. Department of Defense 2011 Chinese military assessment makes no mention of possible nuclear-powered aircraft carrier development. According to the Nippon News Network (NNN), research and development on the planned carriers is being carried out at a military research facility in Wuhan. NNN states that the actual carriers will be constructed at Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai. Kanwa Intelligence Review reports that the second carrier to be constructed will likely be assigned to Qingdao.
According to a February 2011 report in the The Daily Telegraph, the Chinese military has constructed a concrete aircraft carrier flight deck to use for training carrier pilots and carrier operations personnel. The deck was constructed on top of a government building near Wuhan (Wuhan Technical College of Communication campus next to Huangjiahu).
On 7 June 2011, People's Liberation Army Chief of the General Staff Chen Bingde confirmed that China was constructing its own aircraft carrier. He stated he would provide no further details until it was complete. These vessels (at least two are being built) are amphibious assault carriers of 35,000 tonnes displacement, similar to the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.
On July 30, 2011, a senior researcher of the Academy of Military Sciences said China needed at least three aircraft carriers. "If we consider our neighbours, India will have three aircraft carriers by 2014 and Japan will have three carriers by 2014, so I think the number (for China) should not be less than three so we can defend our rights and our maritime interests effectively." General Luo Yuan. In July 2011, a Chinese official announced that two aircraft carriers were being built at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai. On 21 May 2012, Taiwan's intelligence chief Tsai Teh-sheng told the Legislative Yuan that the PLA Navy plans to build two carriers, scheduled to start construction in 2013 and 2015 and launch in 2020 and 2022 respectively. On 24 April 2013 Chinese Rear Admiral Song Xue confirmed that China will build more carriers and these will be larger and will carry more fighter-planes than the Liaoning. In December 2013 China's Central Military Commission told Duowei News it planned to commission two Liaoning-pattern aircraft carriers by 2020, designated as Type 001A. Contracts have been awarded to China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation to build the two carriers. The cost is projected to be US$9 billion. A waist catapult could be fitted to one or both vessels to facilitate airborne early warning aircraft operation and air control. Presently Liaoning combines unassisted ski-jump launched aircraft with helicopters for antisubmarine and air defense operations.
China is also developing a carrier-based fighter aircraft, the Shenyang J-15. On 25 November 2012, it was announced that at least two Shenyang J-15's had successfully landed on Liaoning. The pilot who achieved the first landing was allegedly Dai Mingmeng (戴明盟).The Shenyang J-31 is a fifth generation fighter aircraft being developed by China that may in future be adopted for carrier use.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year!!

Vought A-7-E Corsair II

Here are some more images of Trumpeter Model's 1/32 scale A7-E Corsair II
From Wikipedia"
The Ling-Temco-Vought A-7 Corsair II is a carrier-based subsonic light attack aircraft introduced to replace the United States Navy's A-4 Skyhawk, initially entering service during the Vietnam War. The Corsair was later adopted by the United States Air Force, to include the Air National Guard, to replace the A-1 Skyraider, F-100 Super Sabre and F-105 Thunderchief. The aircraft was also exported to Greece in the 1970s, and Portugal and Thailand in the late 1980s. The A-7 airframe design was based on the successful supersonic F-8 Crusader produced by Chance Vought. It was one of the first combat aircraft to feature a head-up display (HUD), an inertial navigation system (INS), and a turbofan engine.

In 1962, the United States Navy began preliminary work on VAX (Heavier-than-air, Attack, Experimental), a replacement for the A-4 Skyhawk with greater range and payload. A particular emphasis was placed on accurate delivery of weapons to reduce the cost per target. The requirements were finalized in 1963, announcing the VAL (Heavier-than-air, Attack, Light) competition. Contrary to USAF philosophy, which was to employ only supersonic fighter bombers such as the F-105 Thunderchief and F-100 Super Sabre, the Navy felt that a subsonic design could carry the most payload the farthest distance. Theoretically, a "slow fat duck" could fly nearly as fast as a supersonic one, since carrying dozens of iron bombs also restricted its entry speed, but a fast aircraft with small wings and an afterburner would burn more fuel.
To minimize costs, all proposals had to be based on existing designs. Vought, Douglas Aircraft, Grumman and North American Aviation responded. The Vought proposal was based on the successful F-8 Crusader fighter, having a similar configuration, but shorter and more stubby, with a rounded nose. It was selected as the winner on 11 February 1964, and on 19 March the company received a contract for the initial batch of aircraft, designated A-7. In 1965, the aircraft received the popular name Corsair II, after Vought's highly successful F4U Corsair of World War II. (There was also a Vought O2U Corsair biplane scout and observation aircraft in 1920s.)
Compared to the F-8 fighter, the A-7 had a shorter, broader fuselage. The wing had a longer span, and the unique variable incidence wing of the F-8 was omitted. To achieve the required range, the A-7 was powered by a Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-6 turbofan producing 11,345 lbf (50.5 kN) of thrust, the same innovative combat turbofan produced for the F-111 and early F-14 Tomcats, but without the afterburner needed for supersonic speeds. Turbofans achieve greater efficiency by moving a larger mass of air at a lower velocity.
The aircraft was fitted with an AN/APQ-116 radar, later followed by the AN/APQ-126, which was integrated into the ILAAS digital navigation system. The radar also fed a digital weapons computer which made possible accurate delivery of bombs from a greater stand-off distance, greatly improving survivability compared with faster platforms such as the F-4 Phantom II. It was the first U.S. aircraft to have a modern head-up display, (made by Marconi-Elliott), now a standard instrument, which displayed information such as dive angle, airspeed, altitude, drift and aiming reticle. The integrated navigation system allowed for another innovation – the projected map display system (PMDS) which accurately showed aircraft position on two different map scales.
The A-7 had a fast and smooth development. The YA-7A made its first flight on 27 September 1965, and began to enter Navy squadron service late in 1966. The first Navy A-7 squadrons reached operational status on 1 February 1967, and began combat operations over Vietnam in December of that year.
The A-7's integrated weapons computer provided highly accurate bombing with CEP of 60 ft (20 m) regardless of pilot experience. When Vought technical representatives were available to "tweak" the inertial systems, the CEP was often less than five meters for experienced fleet aviators. The inertial navigation system required a mere 2.5 minutes on the ground for partial (coarse) alignment, a big improvement over 13 minutes required in F-4 Phantom II. For newly manufactured E models, the A-7 required only 11.5 man hours of maintenance per mission resulting in quick turnaround and high number of combat-ready aircraft. However, after several years of exposure to the harsh marine conditions aboard aircraft carriers, the maintenance hours per sortie were often twice this amount.
The A-7 offered a plethora of leading-edge avionics compared to contemporary aircraft. This included data link capabilities that, among other features, provided fully "hands-off" carrier landing capability when used in conjunction with its approach power compensator (APC) or auto throttle. Other notable and highly advanced equipment was a projected map display located just below the radar scope. The map display was slaved to the inertial navigation system and provided a high-resolution map image of the aircraft's position superimposed over TPC/JNC charts. Moreover, when slaved to the all-axis auto pilot, the inertial navigation system could fly the aircraft "hands off" to up to nine individual way points. Typical inertial drift was minimal for newly manufactured models and the inertial measurement system accepted fly over, radar, and TACAN updates.
Naval carrier-capable equivalent of the A-7D; AN/APN-185 navigational radar in earlier A-7D is replaced by AN/APN-190 navigational radar, AN/APQ-126 terrain following radar in earlier A-7D is replaced by AN/APQ-128 terrain following radar; 529 built.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Space Ark from "When Worlds Collide"

Here are some more 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.

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.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Maquis Raider

Here are some more images of Monograms Maquis Raider "Val Jean" from Star Trek Voyager. From Memory Alpha" The Val Jean was a small raider-type craft operated by the Maquis during the early 2370s. The impulse engines of Val Jean were originally built in 2332.
In 2371, while under the command of Chakotay, the Val Jean was pursued by the Cardassian warship Vetar, Gul Evek's flagship. Chakotay ordered the ship into the Badlands to try to escape the Cardassians.
After eluding pursuit, the Val Jean was scanned by a coherent tetryon beam and transported into the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker. Once there, the crew was abducted and subjected to medical tests to determine their biological compatibility with the Caretaker. One of the crew, chief engineer B'Elanna Torres, was removed from the others and sent to the surface of the Ocampa homeworld.
The Maquis raider was a type of light starship originally designed under Federation auspices and later commonly used by the Maquis in their fight against the Cardassians. They came in varying sizes. The smaller variant had a small cockpit with seating for two, and a cargo area in the aft section. The larger version had a separate and much more spacious cockpit which held four stations, and larger crew facilities in the aft sections. These raiders have been in use for a long period of time, some using 39 year-old rebuilt engines.
In late 2370, Ro Laren used one of these ships to mount a staged "raid" against the USS Enterprise-D in order to obtain medical supplies for her Maquis cell. (TNG: "Preemptive Strike")
In 2371, Chakotay's Maquis cell fled Gul Evek's ship in a similar raider, the Val Jean. The raider was no match for the Galor-class vessel and took refuge in the Badlands. While there, it was scanned by a tetryon beam and catapulted to the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker entity. The ship was later destroyed after it rammed and destroyed a Kazon-Ogla vessel in order to protect the USS Voyager. The Maquis were transported aboard Voyager and forced to join the Starfleet crew for the trip home. (VOY: "Caretaker")
In 2372, Kasidy Yates's freighter, the Xhosa, rendezvoused with a Maquis raider inside the Badlands. And in 2373, several ships of this type participated in the Maquis offensives against the USS Malinche, the USS Defiant, and Quatal Prime. (DS9: "For the Cause", "For the Uniform")

In order to recover his missing crew member, Chakotay reluctantly joined forces with Starfleet captain Kathryn Janeway of the USS Voyager, who had been sent to capture him but had instead been pulled into the Delta Quadrant as well. The cooperation proved successful, and both Torres and Voyager crew member Harry Kim were rescued.
Subsequently, both Voyager and the Val Jean were engaged in a dogfight by a small fleet of Kazon-Ogla warships, including a massive Kazon carrier vessel. Because the Kazon vastly outgunned both Voyager and the Val Jean, Chakotay chose to perform a ramming maneuver to destroy the much larger ship and "take some heat off Voyager's tail." The ramming was successful; the carrier was destroyed after colliding with the Caretaker's array, and Chakotay was beamed out of the cockpit in the nick of time.
Following the destruction of their ship, the Maquis crew were accepted as members of the Voyager crew and given temporary Starfleet commissions. Although they came from hostile backgrounds, the two crews would have to work together to survive in the Delta Quadrant and return home to Earth. (VOY: "Caretaker")

Star Trek's Romulan Bird of Prey

Here are some more images of AMT's 1/537 scale Romulan Bird of Prey from the Star Trek TOS episode "Balance of Terror".
The one big inaccuracy I have noticed about this kit is that the front leading edge of the main body section should have an inward angle similar to that of the saucer section on the Enterprise. They have corrected the bussard collectors and added a plasma launcher which was not available in the original kit from the 70's making it more accurate to the original.
I am led to understand that the original Romulan Bird of Prey was destroyed in a fire during the series production. This is perhaps why one sees Klingon D7's in the later Star Trek episode "The Enterprise incident".

From Wikipedia"
The Bird of Prey was a variety of Romulan warship in use during the 2260s (not to be confused with the Klingon platform also known as the Bird of Prey). Ships of this class were built as a saucer-shaped primary hull with two nacelles attached by forward-angled pylons. The most distinctive feature, however, was a red and white bird in flight painted onto the bottom of the hull. According to background lore, the original script for the episode "Balance of Terror" called for the Romulans to have a ship that was a copy of the USS Enterprise, which the Romulans had built using Federation technology that they obtained through espionage. However, the producers ultimately decided to have the Romulan ship only vaguely resemble the Enterprise, as evidenced by the saucer-like hull and pylon-mounted cylindrical nacelles.
In the episode "Balance of Terror", one such vessel crossed the Romulan Neutral Zone, destroyed three outpost satellites, and retreated in order to test Federation resolve; however, the Bird of Prey was heavily damaged by the USS Enterprise before it reached Romulan space, forcing its commander to scuttle in order to avoid capture.
Birds of Prey had advanced weapons compared to Starfleet ships of the period, featuring a cloaking device and powerful plasmatorpedo launcher. However, the ships were slower than Federation craft due to a more primitive warp design. This ship also seemed to suffer from an acute fuel shortage in the episode, which implies limited range, and also more of a Federation-style fusion or antimatter-based drive system as opposed to the artificial quantum singularity power sources of the later Romulan ships in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
In "Balance of Terror", when asked for an estimation on the power limitations of the Romulan ship, Scotty responded that "Its power is simple impulse". Because impulse power is commonly associated with sublight speed, this line had, at one time, been interpreted by many including the Star Fleet Battles gaming universe to mean that this type of ship and those before it lacked warp drive and that warp technology was gained from their alliance with the Klingons. This supposition is not supported on screen or in Star Trek: Enterprise episodes involving Romulans. In later editions, the "impulse only" statement was reinterpreted to indicate that the Romulans at this time only lacked tactical warp capability, meaning that they were unable to engage in combat at warp speeds and were required by power limitations to slow to sublight in order to fight.
"Balance of Terror", written by Paul Schneider and directed by Vincent McEveety, is a first-season episode of the original Star Trek series that first aired on December 15, 1966. The episode is a science-fiction version of a submarine film; writer Paul Schneider drew on the films Run Silent, Run Deep and The Enemy Below, casting the Enterprise as a surface vessel and the Romulan vessel as a submarine.
This episode introduces the Romulans. Additionally, Mark Lenard, playing the Romulan commander, makes his first Star Trek appearance. Lenard later played Spock's Vulcan father, Sarek, in several episodes and movies, and appears as the Klingon commander in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. These roles made Lenard the first actor to play characters of three prominent Star Trek races.
On September 16, 2006, "Balance of Terror" became the first digitally remastered Star Trek episode, featuring enhanced and new visual effects, to be broadcast.

Star Trek's Kazon Raider

Here are some more images of Monograms Kazon Raider/Cruiser from Star Trek Voyager. From Wikipedia "The science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager has presented many different Kazon starships of varied size and power, all ships used by the Kazon where originally developed or used by the Trabe, the former masters of the Kazon.
The Kazon raider is a medium-sized starship originally used and developed by the Trabe. The Kazon raider is slightly larger than the Kazon fighter but is still small in size. The raider is technologically inferior to that of the USS Voyager and easily defeated. The ships armaments included merely two forward phaser arrays. They were also known to carry a small complement of shuttles.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

S.L.C. 200 "Maiale" (The Pig)

Here are some better images of Italeri's 1/35 scale S.L.C. 200 "Maiale" (The Pig) manned torpedo.

From Wikipedia"

Human torpedoes or manned torpedoes are a type of rideable submarine used as secret naval weapons in World War II. The basic design is still in use today; they are a type of diver propulsion vehicle.
The name was commonly used to refer to the weapons that Italy, and later Britain, deployed in the Mediterranean and used to attack ships in enemy harbours. A group of a dozen countries used the human torpedo, from Italy and Great Britain to Argentina and Egypt, and there are some museums and movies dedicated to this naval weapon. The human torpedo concept is used recreationally for sport diving.

The first human torpedo (the Italian Maiale) was electrically propelled, with two crewmen in diving suits riding astride. They steered the torpedo at slow speed to the enemy ship. The detachable warhead was then used as a limpet mine. They then rode the torpedo away.
In operation, the Maiale torpedo was carried by another vessel (usually a normal submarine), and launched near the target. Most manned torpedo operations were at night and during the new moon to cut down the risk of being seen.
The idea was successfully applied by the Italian navy (Regia Marina) early in World War II and then copied by the British when they discovered the Italian operations. The official Italian name for their craft was Siluro a Lenta Corsa (SLC or "Slow-running torpedo"), but the Italian operators nicknamed it maiale (Italian for "pig"; plural maiali) because it was difficult to steer. The British copies were named "chariots".
 A typical manned torpedo has a propeller and hydroplanes at the rear, side hydroplanes in front, and a control panel and controls for its front rider. It usually has two riders who sit facing forwards. It has navigation aids such as a compass, and nowadays modern aids such as sonar and GPS positioning and modulated ultrasound communications gear. It may have an air (or other breathing gas) supply so its riders do not have to drain their own apparatus while they are riding it. In some the riders' seats are enclosed; in others the seats are open at the sides as in sitting astride a horse. The seat design includes room for the riders' swimfins (if used). There are flotation tanks (typically four: left fore, right fore, left aft, right aft), which can be flooded or blown empty to adjust buoyancy and attitude.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina

Here are some more images of Monograms 1/48 scale Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina reconnaissance and rescue aircraft. The markings on this aircraft are that of Admiral John McCain. No not the "my friends" John McCain but his old man.

From Wikipedia"

The Consolidated PBY Catalina was an American flying boat of the 1930s and 1940s produced by Consolidated Aircraft. It was one of the most widely used multi-role aircraft of World War II. PBYs served with every branch of the US military and in the air forces and navies of many other nations. In the United States Army Air Forces and later in the United States Air Force their designation was the OA-10, while Canadian-built PBYs were known as the Canso.
During World War II, PBYs were used in anti-submarine warfare, patrol bombing, convoy escorts, search and rescue missions (especially air-sea rescue), and cargo transport. The PBY was the most successful aircraft of its kind; no other flying boat was produced in greater numbers. The last active military PBYs were not retired from service until the 1980s. Even today, over 70 years after its first flight, the aircraft continues to fly as an airtanker in aerial firefighting operations all over the world.
The initialism of "P.B.Y." was determined in accordance with the U.S. Navy aircraft designation system of 1922; PB representing "Patrol Bomber" and Y being the code used for the aircraft's manufacturer, Consolidated Aircraft.
As American dominance in the Pacific Ocean began to face competition from Japan in the 1930s, the U.S. Navy contracted Consolidated Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft Corporation in October 1933 to build competing prototypes for a patrol flying boat. Naval doctrine of the 1930s and 1940s used flying boats in a wide variety of roles that today are handled by multiple special-purpose aircraft. The US Navy had adopted the Consolidated P2Y and Martin P3M models for this role in 1931, but both aircraft proved to be underpowered and hampered by short ranges and low maximum payloads.
Consolidated and Douglas both delivered single prototypes of their designs, the XP3Y-1 and XP3D-1, respectively. Consolidated's XP3Y-1 was an evolution of the XPY-1 design that had originally competed unsuccessfully for the P3M contract two years earlier and of the XP2Y design that the Navy had authorized for a limited production run. Although the Douglas aircraft was a good design, the Navy opted for Consolidated's because the projected cost was only $90,000 per aircraft.
Consolidated's XP3Y-1 design (company Model 28) was revolutionary in a number of ways. The aircraft had a parasol wing with internal bracing that allowed the wing to be a virtual cantilever, except for two small streamlined struts on each side. Stabilizing floats, retractable in flight to form streamlined wingtips, were another aerodynamic innovation, a feature licensed from the Saunders-Roe company. The two-step hull design was similar to that of the P2Y, but the Model 28 had a cantilever cruciform tail unit instead of a strut-braced twin tail. Cleaner aerodynamics gave the Model 28 better performance than earlier designs.
The prototype was powered by two 825 hp (615 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-54 Twin Wasp engines mounted on the wing’s leading edges. Armament comprised four 0.30 in (7.62 mm) Browning machineguns and up to 2,000 lb (907 kg) of bombs.
The XP3Y-1 had its maiden flight on 28 March 1935, after which it was transferred to the US Navy for service trials. The XP3Y-1 soon proved to have significant performance improvements over current patrol flying boats. The Navy requested further development in order to bring the aircraft into the category of patrol bomber, and in October 1935, the prototype was returned to Consolidated for further work, including installation of 900 hp (671 kW) R-1830-64 engines. For the redesignated XPBY-1, Consolidated introduced redesigned vertical tail surfaces. The XPBY-1 had its maiden flight on 19 May 1936, during which a record non-stop distance flight of 3,443 miles (5,541 km) was achieved.
The XPBY-1 was delivered to VP-11F in October 1936. The second squadron to be equipped was VP-12, which received the first of its aircraft in early 1937. The second production order was placed on 25 July 1936. Over the next three years, the PBY design was gradually developed further and successive models introduced.