Tuesday, June 30, 2015

5cm Pak 38

Here are some images of Dragon's 1/6 scale 5cm Pak 38.
As is typical with Dragon instructions, (and this kit is no exception) the instructions as usual are incomplete.
So I had venture forth unto the interweb and find some images of a completed model to reference in order to complete it. It's a nice kit though.

From Wikipedia"
The 5 cm Pak 38 (L/60) (5 cm Panzerabwehrkanone 38 (L/60)) was a German anti-tank gun of 50 mm calibre. It was developed in 1938 by Rheinmetall-Borsig AG as a successor to the 37 mm Pak 36, and was in turn followed by the 75 mm Pak 40.
 After the Spanish Civil War, the German authorities started to think that a new anti-tank gun would be needed, even though the 3.7 cm Pak 36 had proven to be very successful. They asked Rheinmetall-Borsig to produce a new and more capable AT-gun. They first designed the Pak 37 in 1935, but the German authorities didn't approve it because of its low capabilities. Rheinmetall-Borsig were forced to create a new gun under the designation Pak 38, which fitted a new and longer L/60 barrel and was approved for mass production in 1939.

The Pak 38 was first used by the German forces during the Second World War in April 1941. When the Germans faced Soviet tanks in 1941 during Operation Barbarossa, the Pak 38 was one of the few early guns capable of penetrating the 45 mm (1.8 in) armor of the T-34. The gun was also equipped with Panzergranate 40 APCR shots with a hard tungsten core, in an attempt to penetrate the armor of the heavier KV-1 tank. The Pak 38 was also used in the Atlantic Wall because of its range and anti-tank capabilities, which would have been very useful in destroying allied tanks on the shore.
Although it was replaced by more powerful weapons, it remained a potent and useful weapon and remained in service with the Wehrmacht until the end of the war.
The Pak 38 carriage was also used for the 7.5 cm Pak 97/38 and the 7.5 cm Pak 50(f) guns.
Romania imported in March 1943 a number of 110 Pak 38s. They remained in service until 1954, when the 57 mm anti-tank gun M1943 (ZiS-2) replaced them.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sd.Kfz.2 Kleines Kettenkrad

Here are some images of Dragon's 1/6 scale Sd.Kfz.2 Kleines Kettenkrad.
A model this size demands a model engine... it didn't come with one.
Dragon should fire their people who make the instructions as they are terrible, which is typical for Dragon. It's a good thing I had the ESCI 1/9 Kettenkrad for reference.

From Wikipedia"
The SdKfz 2, better known as the Kleines Kettenkraftrad HK 101 or Kettenkrad for short (Ketten = chain/tracks, krad = military abbreviation of the German word Kraftrad, the administrative German term for motorcycle), started its life as a light tractor for airborne troops. The vehicle was designed to be delivered by Junkers Ju 52 aircraft, though not by parachute. The vehicle had the advantage of being the only gun tractor small enough to fit inside the hold of the Ju 52, and was the lightest mass-produced German military vehicle to use the complex Schachtellaufwerk overlapped and interleaved road wheels used on almost all German military half-track vehicles of World War II.
Steering the Kettenkrad was accomplished by turning the handlebars: Up to a certain point, only the front wheel would steer the vehicle. A motion of the handlebars beyond that point would engage the track brakes to help make turns sharper. It was also possible to run the vehicle without the front wheel installed and this was recommended in extreme off-road conditions where speed would be kept low.
The SdKfz 2 was designed and built by the NSU Werke AG at Neckarsulm, Germany. First designed and patented in June 1939, it was first used in the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Later in the war Stoewer from Stettin also produced Kettenkrads under license, accounting for about 10% of the total production.
Most Kettenkrads saw service on the Eastern Front, where they were used to lay communication cables, pull heavy loads and carry soldiers through the deep Russian mud. Later in the war, Kettenkrads were used as runway tugs for aircraft, especially for both the Me 262 jet fighter, and sometimes the Arado Ar 234 jet reconnaissance-bomber. In order to save aviation fuel, A German jet aircraft would be towed to the runway, rather than taxiing under their own power.
The vehicle was also used in the North African theater and on the Western Front.
The Kettenkrad came with a special trailer (Sd.Anh.1) that could be attached to it to improve its cargo capacity.
Being a tracked vehicle, the Kettenkrad could climb up to 24° in sand and even more on hard ground.
Only two significant sub-variations of the Kettenkrad were constructed. Production of the vehicle was stopped in 1944, at which time 8,345 had been built. After the war, production resumed at NSU. Around 550 Kettenkräder were built for agricultural use, with production ending in 1948 (some sources say 1949).

Thursday, June 25, 2015

North American P 51 D Mustang In RB 51 Red Baron Markings

Here are some better images of Seminar models 1/32 scale North American P 51 D Mustang in RB 51 Red Baron speed racer markings.The real RB 51 has a completely different canopy, contra rotating propellers, etc, etc. This kit is just a P 51 D kit in the RB 51 markings. Probably allowed in order to promote the real RB 51 who knows. Still regardless of the inaccuracies it produces a darn snazzy model.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dassault Mirage III R

Here are some images of Revell's 1/32 scale Dassault Mirage III R. From Wikipedia "The Mirage III is a supersonic fighter aircraft designed in France by Dassault Aviation during the late 1950s, and manufactured both in France and a number of other countries. It was a successful fighter aircraft, being sold to many air forces around the world and remaining in production for over a decade. Some of the world's smaller air forces still fly Mirage IIIs or variants as front-line equipment today.
The Mirage III family grew out of French government studies begun in 1952 that led in early 1953 to a specification for a lightweight, all-weather interceptor capable of climbing to 18,000 m (59,040 ft) in six minutes and able to reach Mach 1.3 in level flight.
Dassault's response to the specification was the Mystère-Delta 550, a diminutive and sleek jet that was to be powered by twin Armstrong Siddeley MD30R Viper afterburning turbojets, each with thrust of 9.61 kN (2,160 lbf). A SEPR liquid-fuel rocket motor was to provide additional burst thrust of 14.7 kN (3,300 lbf). The aircraft had a tailless delta configuration, with a 5% chord (ratio of airfoil thickness to length) and 60 degree sweep.
The tailless delta configuration has a number of limitations. The lack of a horizontal stabilizer meant flaps cannot be used, resulting in a long takeoff run and a high landing speed. The delta wing itself limits maneuverability; and suffers from buffeting at low altitude, due to the large wing area and resulting low wing loading. However, the delta is a simple and pleasing design, easily built and robust, capable of high speed in a straight line, and with plenty of space in the wing for fuel storage.
The first prototype of the Mystere-Delta, without afterburning engine or rocket motor and with an unusually large vertical stabiliser, flew on 25 June 1955. After some redesign, reduction of the fin to more rational size, installation of afterburners and rocket motor, and renaming to Mirage I, in late 1955, the prototype attained Mach 1.3 in level flight without rocket assist, and Mach 1.6 with the rocket.
However, the small size of the Mirage I restricted its armament to a single air-to-air missile, and even before this time it had been prudently decided the aircraft was simply too tiny to carry a useful warload. After trials, the Mirage I prototype was eventually scrapped.
Dassault then considered a somewhat bigger version, the Mirage II, with a pair of Turbomeca Gabizo turbojets, but no aircraft of this configuration was ever built. The Mirage II was bypassed for a much more ambitious design that was 30% heavier than the Mirage I and was powered by the new SNECMA Atar afterburning turbojet with thrust of 43.2 kN (9,700 lbf). The Atar was an axial flow turbojet, derived from the German World War II BMW 003 design.
The new fighter design was named the Mirage III. It incorporated the new area ruling concept, where changes to the cross section of an aircraft were made as gradual as possible, resulting in the famous "wasp waist" configuration of many supersonic fighters. Like the Mirage I, the Mirage III had provision for a SEPR rocket engine.
The prototype Mirage III flew on 17 November 1956, and attained a speed of Mach 1.52 on its seventh flight. The prototype was then fitted with the SEPR rocket engine and with manually-operated intake half-cone shock diffusers, known as souris ("mice"), which were moved forward as speed increased to reduce inlet turbulence. The Mirage III attained a speed of Mach 1.8 in September 1957.
The success of the Mirage III prototype resulted in an order for 10 pre-production Mirage IIIAs. These were almost two meters longer than the Mirage III prototype, had a wing with 17.3% more area, a chord reduced to 4.5%, and an Atar 09B turbojet with afterburning thrust of 58.9 kN (13,230 lbf). The SEPR rocket engine was retained, and the aircraft were fitted with Thomson-CSF Cyrano Ibis air intercept radar, operational avionics, and a drag chute to shorten landing roll.
The first Mirage IIIA flew in May 1958, and eventually was clocked at Mach 2.2, making it the first European aircraft to exceed Mach 2 in level flight. The tenth IIIA was rolled out in December 1959. One was fitted with a Rolls-Royce Avon 67 engine with thrust of 71.1 kN (16,000 lbf) as a test model for Australian evaluation, with the name "Mirage IIIO". This variant flew in February 1961, but the Avon powerplant was not adopted.
A number of reconnaissance variants were built under the general designation of Mirage IIIR. These aircraft had a Mirage IIIE airframe; Mirage IIIC avionics; a camera nose and unsurprisingly no radar; and retained the twin DEFA cannon and external stores capability. The camera nose accommodated up to five OMERA cameras.
The AdA obtained 50 production Mirage IIIRs, not including two prototypes. The Mirage IIIR preceded the Mirage IIIE in operational introduction. The AdA also obtained 20 improved Mirage IIIRD reconnaissance variants, essentially a Mirage IIIR with an extra panoramic camera in the most forward nose position, and the Doppler radar and other avionics from the Mirage IIIE.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Boeing B 17G Flying Fortress

Here are some images of Monogram (Pro Modeller) 1/48 scale B 17G Flying Fortress.

From Wikipedia"
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engine heavy bomber aircraft developed in the 1930s for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC). Competing against Douglas and Martin for a contract to build 200 bombers, the Boeing entry outperformed both competitors and exceeded the Air Corps' expectations. Although Boeing lost the contract because the prototype crashed, the Air Corps was so impressed with Boeing's design that they ordered 13 more B-17s for further evaluation. From its introduction in 1938, the B-17 Flying Fortress evolved through numerous design advances.
The B-17 was primarily employed by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) in the daylight precision strategic bombing campaign of World War II against German industrial and military targets. The United States Eighth Air Force, based at many airfields in southern England, and the Fifteenth Air Force, based in Italy, complemented the RAF Bomber Command's nighttime area bombing in the Combined Bomber Offensive to help secure air superiority over the cities, factories and battlefields of Western Europe in preparation for the invasion of France in 1944. The B-17 also participated to a lesser extent in the War in the Pacific, early in World War II, where it conducted raids against Japanese shipping and airfields.
From its pre-war inception, the USAAC (later, the USAAF) touted the aircraft as a strategic weapon; it was a potent, high-flying, long-range bomber that was able to defend itself, and to return home despite extensive battle damage. Its reputation quickly took on mythic proportions, and widely circulated stories and photos of notable numbers and examples of B-17s surviving battle damage increased its iconic status. With a service ceiling greater than any of its Allied contemporaries, the B-17 established itself as an effective weapons system, dropping more bombs than any other U.S. aircraft in World War II. Of the 1.5 million metric tons of bombs dropped on Germany and its occupied territories by U.S. aircraft, 640,000 tonnes were dropped from B-17s.
As of May 2015, 10 aircraft remain airworthy. None are combat veterans. Additionally a few dozen more in storage or on static display. The oldest is a D Series combat veteran with service in the Pacific and the Caribbean.

On 8 August 1934, the U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC) tendered a proposal for a multi-engined bomber to replace the Martin B-10. The Air Corps was looking for a bomber capable of reinforcing the air forces in Hawaii, Panama, and Alaska. Requirements were that it would carry a "useful bombload" at an altitude of 10,000 feet (3 km) for 10 hours with a top speed of at least 200 miles per hour (320 km/h).
They also desired, but did not require, a range of 2,000 miles (3,200 km) and a speed of 250 miles per hour (400 km/h). The competition for the Air Corps contract would be decided by a "fly-off" between Boeing's design, the Douglas DB-1, and the Martin Model 146 at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio.
The prototype B-17, with the Boeing factory designation of Model 299, was designed by a team of engineers led by E. Gifford Emery and Edward Curtis Wells, and was built at Boeing's own expense. It combined features of the experimental Boeing XB-15 bomber with the Boeing 247 transport aircraft. The B-17's armament consisted of up to 4,800 pounds (2,200 kg) of bombs on two racks in the bomb bay behind the cockpit, and initially possessed five 0.30 inches (7.62 mm) machine guns. It was powered by four Pratt & Whitney R-1690 "Hornet" radial engines each producing 750 horsepower (600 kW) at 7,000 feet (2,100 m).
The first flight of the Model 299 was on 28 July 1935 with Boeing chief test-pilot Leslie Tower at the controls. Richard Williams, a reporter for the Seattle Times, coined the name "Flying Fortress" when the Model 299 was rolled out bristling with multiple machine gun installations. The most unusual gun emplacement was the nose installation (see note for description and drawing), which allowed the single machine gun to be fired toward almost any frontal angle that an approaching enemy fighter would take to attack the B-17.
Boeing was quick to see the value of the name and had it trademarked for use. Boeing also claimed in some of the early press releases that Model 299 was the first combat aircraft that could continue its mission if one of its four engines failed. On 20 August 1935, the prototype flew from Seattle to Wright Field in nine hours and three minutes at an average cruising speed of 252 miles per hour (406 km/h), much faster than the competition.
At the fly-off, the four-engine Boeing's performance was superior to those of the twin-engine DB-1 and Model 146. Then-Major General Frank Maxwell Andrews of the GHQ Air Force believed that the long-range capabilities of four-engine large aircraft were more effective than shorter-ranged, twin-engined aircraft, and that the B-17 was better suited to their doctrine. His opinions were shared by the Air Corps procurement officers, and even before the competition had finished they suggested buying 65 B-17s.
Development continued on the Boeing Model 299, and on 30 October 1935, Army Air Corps test-pilot Major Ployer Peter Hill and Boeing employee Les Tower took the Model 299 on a second evaluation flight. The crew forgot to disengage the "gust locks," a system of devices integral to the design that held the bomber's movable control surfaces in place while the aircraft was parked on the ground. After take-off, due to the failure to manually disengage all of the gust locks, the aircraft entered a steep climb, stalled, nosed over, and crashed, killing Hill and Tower (other observers survived with injuries).
The crashed Model 299 could not finish the evaluation and, while the Air Corps was still enthusiastic about the aircraft's potential, Army officials were daunted by the much greater expense per aircraft (Douglas quoted a unit price of $58,200 based on a production order of 220 aircraft, compared with a price of $99,620 from Boeing), and as the competition could not be completed Boeing was legally disqualified from the consideration for the contract. Army Chief of Staff Malin Craig cancelled the order for 65 YB-17s, and ordered 133 of the twin-engine Douglas B-18 Bolo instead.

The loss was not total... but Boeing's hopes for a substantial bomber contract were dashed.
—Peter Bowers, 1976


The most unusual conversion of the B-17G was the JB-17G converted to an engine test bed. The nose section was removed and replaced with a strengthened mount for a fifth engine.

Top view of a B-17G in flight
Generally considered the definitive B-17 design, all changes made in the B-17F production run were incorporated into the final version. These included a Bendix remotely operated chin turret, an innovation derived from the unsuccessful YB-40 escort version, bringing defensive armament to 13 .50 caliber (half-inch or 12.7 mm) machine guns, and for late production blocks, a revised tail gun position (referred to as the "Cheyenne" configuration after the modification center where it was introduced) in which the guns were mounted in a remotely operated turret. Some 8,680 were built, and dozens were converted for several different uses:

Sunday, June 21, 2015

CZ-2E Chang Zheng (Long March)

Here are some images of Dragon Models 1/48 scale Chang Zheng (Long March) CZ-2E carrier rocket.

 From Wikipedia " 
                                                                                                                                                                                The Long March 2E made its maiden flight on 16 July 1990 and made 7 launches in total. The first failed launch occurred on 21 December 1992, during the launch of the original Optus B2. Windshear caused the payload fairing to implode 45 seconds into flight. Despite this, the rocket continued on to orbit, and deployed what was left of the upper stage and payload into a low Earth orbit The second failure occurred on 25 January 1995, during the launch of Apstar 2. Again, windshear led to the collapse of the payload fairing, however on this occasion, the rocket exploded. Debris fell on a nearby village killing a number of residents.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Typ. E 100 Schnellboot

Here are some more images of Italeri's 1/35 scale Typ. E 100 Schnellboot.

From Wikipedia"

Schnellboot or S-boot ("fast craft") is the designation for Motor Torpedo Boats of the German Navy since 1932. In particular it applies to that type of Boat that saw service during World War II. The Schnellboot was then called an E-boat by the Allies; it is commonly held that the "E" stood for "Enemy" , but it is possible that it stood for "Eilboot" ("hurry boat").
The S-boot was better suited to the open sea and had substantially longer range (approximately 700 nautical miles) than the American PT boat and the British Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB). As a result the Royal Navy developed many later versions of MTBs using the Fairmile 'D' hull design.
As a result of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany's military production was severely curtailed. Small patrol craft, however, were not subject to any strictures. The S-boote can trace their lineage back to a private motor yacht—a 22-ton-displacement, 34-knot craft called Oheka II, which had been built in 1927 for a wealthy financier and patron of the arts, Otto Kahn, by the German shipbuilding company Lürssen.
This design was chosen because the theatre of operations of such boats was expected to be the North Sea, English Channel and the Western Approaches. The requirement for good performance in rough seas dictated the use of a round-bottomed displacement hull rather than the flat-bottomed planing hull that was more usual for small, high-speed boats. Lürssen overcame many of the disadvantages of such a hull and, with the Oheka II, produced a craft that was fast, strong and seaworthy. This attracted the interest of the German Navy, which in 1929 ordered a similar boat but fitted with two torpedo tubes. This became the S-1, and was the basis for all subsequent S-boote.
After experimenting with the S-1 the Germans made several improvements to the design. Small rudders added on either side of the main rudder could be angled outboard to 30 degrees, creating at high speed what's known as the Lürssen Effect. This drew in an "air pocket slightly behind the three propellers, increasing their efficiency, reducing the stern wave and keeping the boat at a nearly horizontal attitude". This was an important innovation as the horizontal attitude lifted the stern somewhat, allowing even greater speed, and the reduced stern wave made S-boats harder to see, especially at night.
S-boote were often used to patrol the Baltic Sea and the English Channel in order to intercept shipping heading for the English ports in the south and east. As such, they were up against Royal Navy and Commonwealth (particularly Royal Canadian Navy contingents leading up to D-Day), Motor Gun Boats (MGBs), Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs), Motor Launches, frigates and destroyers. They were also transferred in small numbers to the Mediterranean, and the Black Sea by river and land transport. Some small S-Boote were built as longboats for auxiliary cruisers.
Crew members could earn an award particular to their work—Das Schnellbootkriegsabzeichen—denoted by a badge depicting an S-boot passing through a wreath. The criteria were good conduct, distinction in action, and participating in at least twelve enemy actions. It was also awarded for particularly successful missions, displays of leadership or being killed in action. It could be awarded under special circumstances, such as when another decoration was not suitable.
Schnellboots of the 9th flotilla were the first naval units to respond to the invasion fleet of Operation Overlord. They left Cherbourg harbour at 5am on 6 June 1944. On finding themselves confronted by the entire invasion fleet, they fired their torpedoes at maximum range and returned to Cherbourg.
During World War II the S-boote sank 101 merchant ships totalling 214,728 tons. In addition, they sank 12 destroyers, 11 minesweepers, eight landing ships, six MTBs, a torpedo boat, a minelayer, one submarine and a number of small merchant craft. They also damaged two cruisers, five destroyers, three landing ships, a repair ship, a naval tug and numerous merchant vessels. Sea mines laid by the 'S-boote' were responsible for the loss of 37 merchant ships totalling 148,535 tons, a destroyer, two minesweepers and four landing ships.
In recognition of their service, the members of Schnellboot crews were awarded the Knight's Cross on 23 occasions, and the German Cross in Gold on 112 occasions.
At the end of the war about 34 S-boats were surrendered to the British. Three boats, S-130 (renamed P5230), S-208 (P5208) and S-212 (P5212) were retained for trials.
Between 1949 and 1956, Operation Jungle, a joint operation of MI6, the CIA, and the Gehlen Organization to insert agents into the Baltic states and Poland by sea, was established. Royal Navy Commander Anthony Courtney was struck by the potential capabilities of former E-boat hulls, and John Harvey-Jones of the Naval Intelligence Division was put in charge of the project. He discovered that the Royal Navy still had two E-boats, P5230 and P5208, and had them sent to Portsmouth, where one of them, P5230 (S130), was modified to reduce its weight and increase its power with the installation of three Napier Deltic engines of 3000hp. In the interests of deniability, a former German E-boat captain, Helmut Klose, and a German crew were recruited to man the E-boat. They operated under the cover of the British Control Commission's Fishery Protection Service, which was responsible for preventing Soviet navy vessels from interfering with German fishing boats and for destroying stray mines.
The Kriegsmarine supplied the Spanish Navy with six S-boats during the Second World War. Another six were built in Spain with some assistance from Lürssen. The German-built boats were discarded in the 1960s, while some of the Spanish-built ones served until the early 1970s.
The only surviving S-boat is the S-130. Built as hull No.1030 at the Schlichting boatyard in Travemünde, S-130 was commissioned on October 21, 1943 and took an active part in the war, participating in the Exercise Tiger attack and attacks on the D-day invasion fleet. Post World War 2, she was taken on by the Royal Navy, who used the ship during the Cold War to annoy the Soviet navy and land spies behind the Iron Curtain.
For some time, this vessel was privately owned but in the care of the British Military Powerboat Trust in Southampton, England. Due to the financial burden, S-97 was scrapped and the BMPT made at least one unsuccessful attempt to sell S-130 on eBay.
Now a virtual shell, S-130 was bought for £1 and is set to undergo a £3,000,000 restoration at the Southdown yard in Cornwall, England.

Friday, June 19, 2015

New York Harbor Fire Boat "Fire Fighter"

Here are some images of Revell's 1/72 scale New York harbor fire boat "Fire Fighter".
I decided to give the hull of the boat a darkened sooty appearance as well... it fights fires.
I must have built this model over 21 years ago. I'm surprised it's still holding up.

From Wikipedia"

Fire Fighter, also known as Firefighter, is a fireboat serving the New York City Fire Department. She was an active fireboat serving as Marine Company 9 until being retired in 2010. She was the most powerful diesel-electric fireboat when built in 1938. She has fought more than 50 fires, including upon the SS Normandie in 1942.
Other well-known fires she participated in include the SS El Estero in 1943, and the fire following the collision of Esso Brussels and SS Sea Witch in 1973. On September 11, 2001, Fire Fighter, along with the rest of the FDNY Marine units were in active service pumping water from the Hudson River into Ground Zero when the water mains failed.
The boat, as Firefighter, was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1989.
Fire Fighter was retired in 2010 and replaced in frontline service by the fireboat Fire Fighter II. She is presently held in inactive reserve and is slated for donation to a preservation group.