Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Colonial One

Here are some images of Mobius Models 1/350 scale Colonial one from Battlestar Galactica the 2004 series.
The one big complaint I have about this kit is that the greebling and detail are too intense, and as a result the model tends to have a lumpy appearance. Looking at screen shot images that model tends to have a smoother look to it. I think that if I ever build this kit again I'll dumb down the detailing next time.

From Wikipedia"
Colonial One is a civilian starship that serves as the headquarters for the President of the Twelve Colonies. It is a small, FTL-capable ship that is dwarfed by the Battlestar Galactica; the ship can easily dock within one of Galactica's flight pods. Colonial One can also land on and take off from a planetary surface.
Prior to the Cylon attack on the Twelve Colonies, Colonial One is a Caprican civilian starliner known as Colonial Heavy 798. The ship had been chartered by the Colonial government to transport then-Secretary of Education Laura Roslin and her staff to the Battlestar Galactica's decommissioning ceremony.
Following the Cylon attack, along with the elimination of most of the government, Laura Roslin becomes the President of the Twelve Colonies. The ship takes on the call sign Colonial One, and is used to coordinate the collection and organisation of the civilian refugee fleet. After leading the 50,000 survivors to rendezvous with Galactica, which survives the attack, Colonial One becomes the residence and de facto "capitol" of the Fleet government. Although the call sign is based on the real-world United States protocol of referring to any Air Force, Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, or civilian aircraft as, respectively, "Air Force One", "Marine One", "Army One", "Navy One", "Coast Guard One" or "Executive One" when the President is aboard, Colonial One retains this moniker throughout the series, irrespective of the President's presence or absence and is never again referred to as Colonial Heavy 798, apart from during a flashback to before the holocaust; likewise, neither Galactica nor any other vessel adopts the name when the President is aboard.
After the discovery and colonization of New Caprica, Colonial One is landed on the planet's surface and serves as the residence and office of Gaius Baltar, who becomes president just prior to the colonisation. As such, it is captured in the Cylon occupation. During the liberation of New Caprica and the evacuation of its human population, Colonial One is recaptured from the Cylons and leaves the planet with Laura Roslin aboard. Gaius Baltar is left behind with the Cylon occupation forces. The ship becomes the seat of legislative authority as well; with Cloud 9, destroyed by the nuclear warhead which Baltar had given to Gina Inviere, the reconstituted Quorum of Twelve hold their meetings at a conference table aboard Colonial One. Most of the Quorum are assassinated aboard the ship by Tom Zarek during his coup d'état; only those absent from the meeting, such as Lee Adama, escape.
Colonial One is ultimately destroyed after finding a new Earth. On Admiral Adama's orders, Galactica and the rest of the fleet are directed into the Sun by Anders.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Ford 427 SOHC

Here are some images of Revell's 1/6 scale Ford 427 SOHC engine.
These are some of the easiest kits to build. All the parts are pre painted and mostly go together with a screwdriver. They take about an hour or so to put together.
Even for more advanced model builders , though a simple kit the detail is wonderful as to be well worth the purchase.

  From Wikipedia"

Ford's 427 V8 was introduced in 1963 as a race-only engine. It was developed for racing. The true displacement of the 427 was actually 425 cubic inches, but Ford called it the 427 because 7 liters (427 cu in) was the maximum displacement allowed by several racing organizations at the time. The stroke was the same as the 390 at 3.78 inches (96.01 mm), but the bore was increased to 4.23 inches (107.44 mm). The block was made of cast iron with an especially thickened deck to withstand higher compression. The cylinders were cast using cloverleaf molds—the corners were thicker all down the wall of each cylinder. Many 427s used a steel crankshaft and all were balanced internally. Most 427s used solid valve lifters with the exception of the 1968 block which was drilled for use with hydraulic lifters.
As an engine designed for racing it had many performance parts available for it, both from the factory and from the aftermarket.

Two different models of 427 block were produced, the 427 top oiler and 427 side oiler. The top oiler version was the earlier, and delivered oil to the cam and valvetrain first and the crank second. The side oiler block, introduced in 1965, sent oil to the crank first and the cam and valvetrain second. This was similar to the oiling design from the earlier Y-block. The engine was available with low-riser, medium-riser, or high-riser heads, and either single or double four-barrel carburetion on an aluminum manifold matched to each head design. Ford never released an official power rating. Other models were rated at over 400 horsepower (300 kW).
In addition, Ford also produced tunnel-port heads and matching intakes for the FE engine. These lacked the limitations imposed by the other intakes' need to squeeze the intake port between two pushrods by running the pushrods through the intake's ports in brass tunnels.
The 427 FE engine is still a popular engine among Ford enthusiasts, some 40 years after winning Lemans.
The Ford Single Overhead Cam (SOHC) 427 V8 engine, familiarly known as the "Cammer", was released in 1964 to maintain NASCAR dominance and to counter the Chrysler 426 Hemi engine. The Chrysler 426 used an extremely large block casting that dwarfed the earlier 392 Hemi. The Ford 427 block was closer dimensionally to the early Hemis than to the elephantine 426 Hemi: the Ford FE bore spacing was 4.63 in (117.6 mm) compared to the Chrysler 392's bore spacing of 4.5625 in (115.9 mm). The Ford FE's deck height of 10.17 in (258.3 mm) was lower than that of the Chrysler 392 at 10.87 in (276.1 mm). For comparison, the 426 Hemi has a deck height of 10.72 in (272.3 mm) and bore spacing of 4.8 in (121.9 mm); both Chrysler Hemis have decks more than 0.5 in (12.7 mm) taller than the FE.
The engine was based on the high performance 427 side-oiler block, providing race-proven durability. The block and associated parts were largely unchanged, the main difference being use of an idler shaft instead of the camshaft in the block, which necessitated plugging the remaining camshaft bearing oiling holes.
The heads were newly-designed cast iron items with hemispherical combustion chambers and a single overhead camshaft over each head, operating shaft-mounted roller rocker arms. The valvetrain consisted of valves larger than those on Ford wedge head engines, made out of stainless steel and with sodium-filled exhaust valves to prevent the valve heads from burning, and dual valve springs. This design allowed for high volumetric efficiency at high engine speed.
The idler shaft in the block in place of the camshaft was driven by the timing chain and drove the distributor and oil pump in conventional fashion. An additional sprocket on this shaft drove a second timing chain, 6 ft (1.8 m) long, which drove both overhead camshafts. The length of this chain made precision timing of the camshafts an issue to be considered at high rpms.
The engine also had a dual-point distributor with a transistorized ignition amplifier system, running 12 amps of current through a high-output ignition coil.
The engines were essentially hand-built with racing in mind. Combustion chambers were fully machined to reduce variability. Nevertheless, Ford recommended blueprinting the engines before use in racing applications. With a single four-barrel carburetor they were rated at 616 horsepower (459 kW) at 7,000 rpm & 515 lb·ft (698 N·m) of torque @ 3,800 rpm, and while equipped with dual four-barrel carburetors they made 657 horsepower (490 kW) at 7,500 rpm & 575 lb·ft (780 N·m) of torque @ 4,200 rpm. Ford sold them via the parts counter, the single four-barrel model as part C6AE-6007-363S, the dual carburetor model as part C6AE-6007-359J for $2350.00 (as of October, 1968). Weight of the engine was 680 lb (308 kg).
Ford's hopes were cut short, however. Although Ford sold enough to have the design homologated, NASCAR, after protests by Chrysler Corp., effectively legislated the SOHC engine out of competition. This despite having earlier permitted the Chrysler Hemi to be used for years even though it had never been installed in a stock production car. The awaited 1965 SOHC versus Hemi competition at the Daytona 500 season opener never occurred. This was the only engine ever banned from NASCAR. Nevertheless, the SOHC 427 found its niche in drag racing, powering many altered-wheelbase A/FX Mustangs (after NHRA banned it from stock classes), and becoming the basis for a handful of supercharged Top Fuel dragsters, including those of Connie Kalitta, Pete Robinson, and Lou Baney (driven by "Snake" Prudhomme). In 1967 Connie Kalitta's SOHC-powered "Bounty Hunter" won Top Fuel honors at AHRA, NHRA and NASCAR winter meets, becoming the only "triple crown" winner in drag racing history. It was also used in numerous nitro funny cars including those of Jack Chrisman, Dyno Don Nicholson, Eddie Schartman, Kenz & Leslie, and in numerous injected gasoline drag racing vehicles.

Chrysler 426 Hemi

Here are some images of Revell's 1/6 scale Chrysler 426 Hemi engine.
These are some of the easiest models to assemble. There is no painting or glue required and they produce a fantastic result.
From Wikipedia'
The Chrysler Hemi engine, known by the trademark Hemi, is a series of V8 engines built by Chrysler with a hemispherical combustion chamber. Three different types of Hemi V8 engines have been built by Chrysler for automobiles: the first (known as the Chrysler FirePower engine) from 1951–1958, the second from 1964–1971, and the third beginning in 2003. Although Chrysler is most identified with the use of Hemi as marketing term, many other auto manufacturers have incorporated similar designs.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Chrysler also used the Hemi name for their Australian-made Hemi-6 engine and applied it to the 4-cylinder Mitsubishi 2.6L engine installed in various North American market vehicles.
The hemispherical head design was revived in 1964. These were the first engines officially designated Hemi, a name Chrysler trademarked. Chrysler Hemi engines of this generation displaced 426 cu in (7.0 L). Just 11,000 Hemi engines were ultimately produced for consumer sale due to their relatively high cost and the sheer size of the engine bay required to fit it in. The 426 Hemi was nicknamed the "elephant engine" at the time, a reference to its heavy weight and large outer dimensions. Its 10.72 in (272.3 mm) deck height and 4.80 in (121.9 mm) bore spacing made it the biggest engine racing in NASCAR at the time.
The 426 Hemi of the 1960s was an engine produced for use in NASCAR, used in a racing version of a Plymouth Belvedere in 1964. It was not initially available to the general buying public. The 426 Hemi was not allowed to compete in NASCAR's 1965 season due to its unavailability in production vehicles sold to the general public. Chrysler introduced the "Street" Hemi in 1966 for its intermediate range of cars and sold the required number of Hemi engines to the public to legimatize its use for NASCAR in 1966.
Although all manufacturers were familiar with multi-valve engines and hemispherical combustion chambers, adding more valves per cylinder, or designing the complex valve train needed for a hemispherical chamber, were expensive ways of improving the high-RPM breathing of production vehicles. By canting the angle of the NASCAR-mandated two valves per cylinder, significantly larger valves could be used. The Chrysler hemi had an oversquare 4.25 in (108.0 mm) bore and 3.75 in (95.3 mm) stroke as did the wedge-chambered big-block Chrysler RB.
The 426 Hemi also was used in NHRA drag racing. Its large casting allowed the engine to be overbored and stroked to displacements unattainable in the other engines of the day. Top-fuel racing organizers limited the bore spacing of engines until very recently, when under pressure from Ford and other manufacturers, the bore spacing allowed was increased to 4.900"—this allows other engines such as the Ford 385 series to begin to compete. However these engines based on the old Chrysler design continue to dominate Top Fuel and Funny Car classes today . In NHRA top fuel racing the engine is equipped with a large Roots type supercharger and short individual exhaust pipes of course and fueled with nitromethane.
The 426 Hemi, in "street Hemi" form, was produced for consumer automobiles from 1965 through 1971. There were many differences between the Hemi and the Wedge-head big-block, including cross-bolted main bearing caps and a different head bolt pattern. There were also many differences between the racing Hemi's and the street Hemi, including but not limited to compression ratio, camshaft, intake manifold, exhaust manifold. Some 1960s NASCAR and NHRA Hemi engines featured magnesium cross-ram intake manifolds and magnesium oil pans in an attempt to reduce the massive weight of the overall engine, along with chain-driven internal dry-sump oil systems. Today, aftermarket blocks, heads, intakes, rods and pistons are usually made of aluminum.
The street Hemi version was rated at 425 bhp (316.9 kW)(Gross) with two Carter AFB carburetors. In actual dynomometer testing, it produced 433.5 horsepower and 472 lb·ft (640 N·m) torque in purely stock form. Interestingly, Chrysler's sales literature published both Gross and Net HP ratings for 1971 (425 Gross HP and 350 Net HP.)
To avoid confusion with earlier (1951–'58) and current Hemi engines, the 426-based Hemi is sometimes called the "2G" or "Gen 2" Hemi.

Cherolet Small Block 350-ci Turbo Fire

Here are some images of Revell's 1/6 scale Chevrolet 350 small Block engine Turbo Fire.
These are some of the easiest models to assemble. There is no painting or glue required and they produce a fantastic result.

From Wikipedia"

The Chevrolet small-block engine is a series of automobile V8 engines built by the Chevrolet Division of General Motors using the same basic small (for a V8) engine block. Retroactively referred to as the "Generation I" small-block, it is distinct from subsequent "Generation II" LT and "Generation III" LS engines. Engineer Ed Cole, who would later become GM President, is credited with leading the design for this engine.
Production of the original small-block began in the fall of 1954 for the 1955 model year with a displacement of 265 cu in (4.3 L), growing incrementally over time until reaching 400 cu in (6.6 L) in 1970. Several intermediate displacements appeared over the years, such as the 283 cu in (4.6 L) that was available with mechanical fuel injection, the 327 cu in (5.4 L) (5.3L), as well as the numerous 350 cu in (5.7 L) versions. Introduced as a performance engine in 1967, the 350 went on to be employed in both high- and low-output variants across the entire Chevrolet product line.
Although all four of Chevrolet's siblings of the period (Buick, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac) designed their own V8s, it was the Chevrolet 350 cu in (5.7 L) small-block that became the GM corporate standard. Over the years, every American General Motors division except Saturn used it and its descendants in their vehicles.
Finally superseded by GM's Generation II LT and Generation III LS V8s in the 1990s and discontinued in 2003, the engine is still made by a GM subsidiary in Mexico as an aftermarket replacement. In all, over 90,000,000 small-blocks have been built in carbureted and fuel injected forms since 1955. In many respects, the later Generation II and Generation III engines still in production today for various vehicles still trace some of their design lineage to the "small block" design concept first laid down by Ed Cole and his team.
The small-block family line was honored as one of the 10 Best Engines of the 20th Century by automotive magazine Ward's AutoWorld.
The Chevrolet 90-Degree V6 engine, which is still in production, is this original small-block (and NOT the newer LS1) but minus cylinders #3 and #6
It was, however, the 350 cu in (5.7 L) series that came to be the best known Chevrolet small block. The engine's oversquare 4.00-inch bore and 3.48-inch stroke (102 mm by 88 mm) are nearly identical to the 436 hp (325 kW) LS3 engine of today, but much has changed. Installed in everything from station wagons to sports cars, in commercial vehicles, and even in boats and (in highly modified form) airplanes, it is by far the most widely used small-block of all-time.
Though not offered in GM vehicles since 2004, the 350 cu in (5.7 L) series is still in production today at General Motors' Toluca, Mexico plant under the company's "Mr Goodwrench" brand, and is also manufactured as an industrial and marine engine by GM Powertrain under the Vortec name.
From 1955–74, the small-block engine was known as the "Turbo-Fire V8".

Friday, April 24, 2015

4-4-0 Steam Locomotive

Here are some images of AMT's 1/25 scale 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive .
I realize these trains were probably a medium dark green in colour but flat black just looks so cool.

From Wikipedia"
The General is a type 4-4-0 steam locomotive that was the subject of the Great Locomotive Chase of the American Civil War. The locomotive is preserved at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, Georgia, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was arguably the first train ever hijacked.

Built in 1855 by Rogers, Ketchum & Grosvenor in Paterson, New Jersey, The General provided freight and passenger service between Atlanta, Georgia, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, before the Civil War on the Western and Atlantic Railroad of the State of Georgia and later, the Western and Atlantic Railroad Company.
During the Civil War on April 12, 1862, The General was commandeered by Northerners led by James J. Andrews at Big Shanty (now Kennesaw, Georgia), and abandoned north of Ringgold, after being pursued by William Allen Fuller and the Texas. Low on water and wood, the General eventually lost steam pressure and speed, and slowed to a halt two miles north of Ringgold, where Andrews and his raiders abandoned the locomotive and tried to flee.
Later, the General narrowly escaped destruction when General John Bell Hood ordered the ordnance depot destroyed as he left Atlanta on September 1, 1864. However, the engine was severely damaged by being run into boxcars of ammunition and the Missouri locomotive. This was done deliberately so as to render the engine unusable for the approaching Union forces.

It had been speculated by some that, after the General had been damaged, the invading Union army restored the engine and operated it. However, many historians believe that the engine was left untouched for the remainder of the war. The Union army had based its repair shops in Nashville, and there is no evidence to suggest the engine was moved there. The United States Military Railroad Service had many new or like-new engines, so they had no need to restore captured ones such as the General. The USMRR had often left the damaged equipment of a captured railroad undisturbed, and its records, having listed the General as "captured and returned," further suggest such was the case of the General.
After the war ended, the General was repaired and continued service on the Western and Atlantic. In the 1870s, the General was completely rebuilt, it had received a new pilot, boiler, and other components. Most notably, its three dome configuration was reduced to two domes, and its Radley-Hunter style balloon stack was replaced with a diamond stack, as the engine had been converted to burn coal. Indeed, the rebuilt engine had little resemblance to its original form.
Before the Civil War, most railways in the south, including the W&A, did not give their engines numbers. Rather, they were simply named, such as the General. When the railroad began numbering engines after the war, the General was the 39th engine to be acquired by the road, and was numbered accordingly. Locomotives came and went as years progressed, and by 1880, a renumbering was necessary. At this time, the General was given the number "3," being the third oldest engine that the railroad had at the time. The engine continues to carry this number today.
In the mid-1880s, the Atlanta and Florida Railroad began construction. During this time, the W&A had a locomotive surplus after buying several more modern engines, so they leased the General to the A&F from 1887 to 1888 to assist in construction.
The locomotive was originally built to the southern states standard rail gauge of 5 ft (1,524 mm). After a change to the northern states gauge was mandated by June 1, 1886, The General was converted to be compatible with the U.S. Standard Gauge of 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm).

The General was retired from service in 1891 and stored on a siding in Vinings, GA where it awaited its final fate. Early the next year, E. Warren Clark, a professional photographer, discovered the engine in Vinings, and approached John W. Thomas, president of the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway (which had won the lease on the Western and Atlantic Railroad of the State of Georgia in 1890), with the proposal of restoring the General for exhibition at the upcoming World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Thomas accepted, and the General was soon taken to the NC&StL Ry Shops at West Nashville to be restored. At this time, the engine was given a Radley-Hunter style balloon stack similar to the engine's original, and was reverted to a wood burner. The engine soon encountered problems involved with burning wood, so it was restored back to a coal burner. The engine was given a unique new stack at this time, one that, while designed for coal burning, was styled like the original so as to give the appearance of a wood burner.
While the engine's display in Chicago was costly, and left Warren Clark broke afterward, it had insured the General's preservation. In 1901, the General was placed on display in the Chattanooga Union Depot. There, it remained on display for nearly fifty years, only being removed for short periods for exhibitions. In particular, the engine was taken to Baltimore in 1927 to participate in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's "Fair of the Iron Horse," then in 1933 to Chicago's "Century of Progress" Exhibition, the 1939 New York World's Fair, and finally, the Chicago Railroad Fair in 1948.
In 1959, The Louisville and Nashville Railroad, removed the General from the Chattanooga Union Depot and began to restore the engine to operating condition at its South Louisville Shops, for the American Civil War Centennial. As part of the restoration, the General was given modern air brakes, a modern coupler (only on the tender, the older style coupler on the engine's front pilot remained), and was converted to burn oil. Throughout the 1960s, the engine pulled Louisville and Nashville Combine Car Number 665 as travelled to various places across the eastern US, including the 1964 New York World's Fair under its own power.

In the mid-1960s, the state of Georgia began to express interest in reclaiming the engine. Indeed, many proposals about the General had arisen since the 1930s, while it was still on display at Chattanooga, including plans to have the General be displayed in Underground Atlanta, Kennesaw Mountain, or at Stone Mountain Park, among others, some of which even included removing the Texas from the Cyclorama to be displayed with the engine. While much press coverage was given about these proposals, none of them had ever materialized. Even the city of Paterson, New Jersey, where the locomotive was built, expressed interest, since many engines had been built by Rogers and other firms in the city, but had none to display. Paterson eventually withdrew their proposal and sought other engines to display.
The state of Georgia's interest in the General soon raised tensions with the city of Chattanooga, where the General was displayed. In 1967, the city of Kennesaw, where the engine had been stolen in 1862, requested to have the engine visit and give rides during a fundraiser. The General was on its way there, when it was stopped by a group led by Chattanooga's mayor, Ralph H. Kelley. He believed the engine belonged to the city, and a lawsuit had been filed against the L&N concerning custody of the engine.
Thus began a long legal battle, eventually going to the US Supreme Court. This dispute lasted until 1970, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the railroad. The General was stored in Louisville during this time, only being publicly displayed over a weekend in November 1971, when it was displayed in the city's Union Station alongside the road's newer diesel engine no. 1776.

 After the L&N won the legal dispute concerning the engine's custody in 1970, they brought the engine to Atlanta via Knoxville and Cartersville, bypassing Chattanooga. In February 1972, a ceremony was held in Atlanta where L&N president Kendall formally presented the General to then state governor (and later President of the United States) Jimmy Carter. Afterwards, the engine was moved to Kennesaw where a museum site was prepared. On April 12, 1972, the Big Shanty Museum (later known as the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History) opened, and the General remained on display there since.

 Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives by wheel arrangement, 4-4-0 represents the arrangement of four leading wheels on two axles, usually in a leading bogie, four powered and coupled driving wheels on two axles, and no trailing wheels. Almost every major railroad that operated in North America in the first half of the 19th century owned and operated locomotives of this type. Due to the large number of the type that were produced and used there, the 4-4-0 is most commonly known as the American type, but the type subsequently became popular in the United Kingdom, where large numbers were produced.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Speeder Bike Winterized With Figure

Here are some better images of Hasbro/Kitbash 1/6 scale Speeder Bike from the Star Wars universe.
To paint this model in a winter scheme I had to tear it apart first upon which everything was repainted, weathered and then reassembled.
To create a winterized version I added hand warmers over the grips. Toe warmers on the foot rests, and some greebly bits.
 From Wikipedia"
Speeder bikes and swoop bikes are small, fast transports that use repulsorlift engines in the fictional Star Wars universe. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi includes a prominent speeder bike chase; speeders and swoops also appear in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, and the Star Wars Expanded Universe's books, comics, and games.
Various concept sketches came from producer George Lucas' call for a "rocket-powered scooter" in Return of the Jedi. While Industrial Light & Magic's (ILM) Nilo Rodis-Jamero designed a blocky vehicle with a large engine, Ralph McQuarrie's designs were more fanciful but with less of a sense of the vehicle's power source. The final designs resulted in full-scale Imperial speeder bikes used by the actors for film against a bluescreen, along with miniatures mounted by articulated puppets. ILM used a steadicam recording at 1 frame per second to record the speeder bikes' path through the forest moon of Endor -- in reality, a California forest. Playing the footage at the standard rate of 24 frames per second caused a blurring effect, what looked like 100MPH actually was shot at 5MPH, which ILM used to simulate the vehicles' high speed.
The BARC speeder in Revenge of the Sith was designed to appear like a predecessor to the speeder bikes in Return of the Jedi. ILM's Doug Chiang designed Darth Maul's (Ray Park) speeder in The Phantom Menace to resemble a scythe, and Chiang's initial designs for the droid army's STAP vehicle resembled the speeder bikes from Return of the Jedi. An all-CGI swoop appearing in A New Hope stems from a design created for Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, and the swoop also appears briefly in The Phantom Menace.
Return of the Jedi features a speeder bike chase in which Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) pilot a pair of Imperial speeders to chase down scout troopers who might reveal the Rebel Alliance's presence on Endor. Darth Maul uses his speeder to chase down Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) in The Phantom Menace. A pair of speeder-mounted clone troopers shoot down a speeder-riding Stass Allie when Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) initiates Order 66 in Revenge of the Sith. Film and Expanded Universe depictions of speeder bikes and swoops consistently portray the vehicles as fast and maneuverable: Expanded Universe material describes the speeder bikes in Return of the Jedi as being able to travel 500 kilometers per hour. Speeders and swoops achieve high speed and maneuverability, however, at the expense of size and protection for their riders. "Swoop racing" is described in the Expanded Universe texts and portrayed in LucasArts games as a dangerous, fast-paced competition between skilled pilots.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

HMS Victory Cutaway

Here are some images of Corel's 1/98 scale HMS Victory Cutaway of the main mast section.

From Wikipedia"
HMS Victory is a 104-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, ordered in 1758, laid down in 1759 and launched in 1765. She is best known as Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
She was also Keppel's flagship at Ushant, Howe's flagship at Cape Spartel and Jervis's flagship at Cape St Vincent. After 1824, she served as a harbour ship.
In 1922, she was moved to a dry dock at Portsmouth, England, and preserved as a museum ship. She is the flagship of the First Sea Lord since October 2012 and is the world's oldest naval ship still in commission.

In December 1758, the commissioner of Chatham Dockyard was instructed to prepare a dry dock for the construction of a new first-rate ship. This was an unusual occurrence at the time, as the Royal Navy preferred smaller and more manoeuvrable ships, and it was unusual for more than two to be in commission simultaneously; during the whole of the 18th century, only ten were constructed. Then Prime Minister Pitt the Elder placed the order for Victory on 13 December 1758, along with 11 other ships.
The outline plans were based on HMS Royal George which had been launched at Woolwich Dockyard in 1756, and the naval architect chosen to design the ship was Sir Thomas Slade who, at the time, was the appointed Surveyor of the Navy. She was designed to carry at least 100 guns and was established with that number of guns; in practice, her armament varied from 104 to 106 guns and carronades. In January 1808, the Victory was reduced to a 98-gun second rate, but was reclassed as a 104-gun first rate in February 1817.
The keel was laid on 23 July 1759 in the Old Single Dock (since renamed No. 2 Dock and now Victory Dock), and the name was finally chosen in October 1760. In 1759, the Seven Years' War was going well for Britain; land victories had been won at Quebec and Minden and naval battles had been won at Lagos and Quiberon Bay. It was the Annus Mirabilis, or Year of Victories, and the ship's name may have been chosen to commemorate it or it may have been chosen simply because out of the seven names shortlisted, Victory was the only one not in use. There were some doubts whether this was a suitable name since the previous first-rate Victory had been lost with all on board in 1744.
Once the frame had been built, it was normal to cover the ship up and leave it for several months to season but the end of the Seven Years' War meant that she remained in this condition for nearly three years, which helped her subsequent longevity. Work restarted in autumn 1763 and she was finally launched on 7 May 1765, having cost £63,176 and 3 shillings, the equivalent of £7.53 million today. Around 6000 trees were used in her construction, of which 90% were oak and the remainder elm, pine and fir, together with a small quantity of Lignum Vitae.
On the day of the launch, shipwright Hartly Larkin, designated "foreman afloat" for the event, suddenly realised that the ship might not fit though the dockyard gates. Measurements at first light confirmed his fears: the gates were at least 9½ inches too narrow. He told the dreadful news to his superior, master shipwright John Allin, who considered abandoning the launch. Larkin asked for the assistance of every available shipwright, and they hewed away enough wood from the gates with their adzes for the ship to pass safely through. Larkin petitioned the Navy for some reward for his decisive action, "he having a large family": but, he was denied. He retired on a small pension in 1779, and died in 1803.
Because there was no immediate use for her, she was placed in ordinary—in reserve, roofed over, dismasted and placed under general maintenance—moored in the River Medway for 13 years until France joined the American War of Independence. She was commissioned in March 1778 under Captain John Lindsay but he was transferred to HMS Prince George in May 1778 when Admiral the Honourable Augustus Keppel decided to raise his flag in her, and appoint Rear Admiral John Campbell (1st Captain) and Captain Jonathan Faulknor (2nd Captain).
The Victory was armed with smooth bore, cast iron cannon. Initially she carried thirty 42-pounders (19 kg) on her lower deck, twenty-eight 24-pounders (11 kg) on her middle deck, and thirty 12-pounders (5 kg) on her upper deck, together with twelve 6-pounders on her quarterdeck and forecastle. In May 1778, the 42-pounders were replaced by 32-pounders (15 kg), but the 42-pounders were reinstated in April 1779; eventually, in 1803, the 42-pounders were permanently replaced by 32-pounders. In 1782, all the 6-pounders were replaced by 12-pounders. Later, she also carried two carronade guns, firing 68-lb (31 kg) round shot.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Type II Phaser

Here are some images of a 1/1 scale Type II Phaser from Star Trek the original series.

This is an old resin kit I bought back in the late 80's. I can't remember who the kit manufacturer is anymore though.
Nowadays there are far better examples of the type II phaser out there, but 26 years ago this was it unless you were willing to pay an exorbitant sum.
Recently I decided to paint it a rust color and put ISS Empire markings on it just to see what it would look like.
I replaced the old resin tip with an acrylic one. Yes there is a way to sand an shape acrylic and bring back its clarity.

Monday, April 13, 2015

1904 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Runabout

Here are some images of Aurora's 1/16 scale 1904 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Runabout.

From Wikipedia"
The gasoline powered Curved Dash Oldsmobile is credited as being the first mass-produced automobile, meaning that it was built on an assembly line using interchangeable parts. It was introduced by the Oldsmobile company in 1901 and produced through 1907. 425 examples were produced the first year, 2,500 in 1902, with over 19,000 built in all.
It was a runabout model, could seat two passengers, and sold for US$650. While competitive, due to high volume, and below the Ford US$850 "Doctor's Car", Western in 1905 produced the Gale Model A roadster at US$500, the Black went as low as $375, and the Success hit the amazingly low US$250.
The flat-mounted water-cooled single-cylinder engine, situated at the center of the car, produced 5 hp (3.7 kW), relying on a brass gravity feed carburetor. The transmission was a semi-automatic design with two forward speeds and one reverse. The low-speed forward and reverse gear system are a planetary type (epicyclic). The car weighed 850 lb (390 kg) and used Concord springs. It had a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h).
The car’s success was partially by accident — in 1901 a fire destroyed a number of other models before they were approved for production, leaving the Curved Dash the only one intact.

Friday, April 10, 2015

1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Maharaja

Here are some images of Minicraft's 1/16 scale 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Maharaja.

From Wikipedia"
Mercedes-Benz 540K (type W24) is a car which was fabricated by the German firm Mercedes-Benz from 1935 to 1940.

Introduced at the 1936 Paris Motor Show, the Friedrich Geiger designed car was a development to the 500K, itself a development of the SSK. Available as a two seater cabriolet, four seater coupé or seven seater limousine with armoured sides and armoured glass, it was one of the largest cars of the time.
The straight-8 cylinder engine of the 500K was increased to 5,401 cubic centimetres (329.6 cu in), which aspirated by twin pressurized updraft carburetors, developed a natural 115 hp (86 kW). However, there was an attached Roots supercharger which could either be engaged manually for short periods, or automatically when the accelerator was pushed fully to the floor. This increased power to 180 hp (130 kW), creating a top speed of 170 kilometres per hour (110 mph).
Power was sent to the rear wheels through a four-speed or optional five speed manual gearbox that featured synchromesh on the top three gears. Vacuum-assisted hydraulic brakes kept the car under the driver's control.
The 540K had the same chassis layout at the 500K, but was significantly lightened by replacing the girder-like frame of the 500K with oval-section tubes - an influence of the Silver Arrows racing campaign.
To meet individual wishes of customers, three chassis variants were available as for the 500K: two long versions with a 3,290 mm (130 in) wheelbase, differing in terms of powertrain and bodywork layout; and a short version with 2,980 mm (117 in). The long variant, termed the normal chassis with the radiator directly above the front axle, served as the backbone for the four-seater cabriolets 'B' (with four side windows) and 'C' (with two side windows), and for touring cars and sedans. The shorter chassis was for the two-seater cabriolet 'A,' set up on a chassis on which radiator, engine, cockpit and all rearward modules were moved 185 mm (7.3 in) back from the front axle.
The Sindelfingen factory employed 1,500 people to create the 540K, and allowed a great deal of owner customisation, meaning only 70 chassis were ever bodied by independent builders. Owners included Jack Warner of Warner Brothers film studios.
With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the proposed further boring-out of the engine to 5,800 cubic centimetres (5.8 l) for a 580K was aborted, probably after only one such car was made. Chassis production ceased in 1940, with the final 2 being completed that year, and earlier chassis were still being bodied at a steady rate during 1940, with smaller numbers being completed in the 1941–1943 period. Regular replacement bodies were ordered in 1944 for a few cars.

On top of the normal and roadster cars, 12 special cars were developed on an extended chassis length with a 3,880 mm (153 in) wheelbase. All of these cars were developed for the Nazi hierarchy, as six seater convertible saloons. To allow for armour plate, these cars had developed De Dion rear suspension. Due to their higher weight, their maximum speed was 140 km/h (87 mph).
After the assassination attempt on Reinhard Heydrich in Prague at the end of May 1942, the Reich Chancellery would only use armoured cars for ministers and leaders of friendly powers. Beside 20 large Mercedes-Benz 770s, in 1942 they ordered an additional 20 540Ks developed as two door armoured saloons. These were delivered during 1942 and 1943. A further order for 17 armored saloons was placed in late 1943, and these were delivered in April 1944. One of these cars was given as a gift from Adolf Hitler to Ante Pavelić, leader of the Independent State of Croatia. After the war this car was captured and used first by Ivan Krajacic, and then by Josip Broz Tito.

In 1936, Mercedes-Benz launched the 540K special, designated 540Ks. Based on the shorter 2,980 mm (117 in) wheelbase chassis, its body was carefully crafted. Its price tag of 28,000 Reichsmarks, some RM6,000 above the price of standard models, meant only 32 were ever built.
In 1937, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring ordered a 540Ks, in his favorite color of sky blue with his family crest on both doors. It included armor plated sides and bulletproof glass. Nicknamed the Blue Goose, Goering was often photographed in the car.
On May 4, 1945, the US Army, C Company, 326th Engineers, 101st Airborne Division 'Screaming Eagles' entered Berchtesgaden, and on finding the car took possession. Major General Maxwell Taylor used the car as his command vehicle in West Germany until it was commissioned by the US Treasury. Shipped to Washington, D.C., it successfully toured the United States in a victory bond tour. In 1956 the car was auctioned off by the US Army at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, sold to Jacques Tunick of Greenwich, Connecticut, with a high bid of $2167.
In 1958, he sold it to the private collection of veterinarian Dr George Bitgood, Jr, who had it repainted into black and the chrome re plated. Kept private, Bitgood only displayed it once at the 1973 county fair in Durham, Connecticut. After Dr Bitgood's death, Blue Goose was shown by his family at the 101st Airborne Reunion at Fort Campbell, Kentucky in June, 2002. The car was then sold to Carnlough International Limited of Guernsey, on the agreement that she be restored to her "as found" at Berchtesgaden condition.