Monday, December 23, 2013

The Weathering Magazine Issue 6

70 years ago one of the greatest modeling  events of all time took place, an occurrence where inspiration in all its forms collided as a monumental assemblage of dust, grease, destruction and camouflages. This event continues to provide modelers from all over the world a great source of reference and motivation within our hobby. Of course the significant event is the Second World War, and in particular this summer marks the 70th anniversary of one of the more important episodes of the war; The Battle of Kursk. We will let military and political experts debate the causes of the war and dissect the order of battle because the truth is that within the pages of TWM we don't care too much about the causes of the conflict, we only care about the references, the inspiration and our models. Joking aside, the Second World War has provided us an almost infinite variety of camouflage patterns, colors and dirty effects from all types of terrain. And so it should come as no surprise that we have chosen to pay tribute to all modelers who, like us, feel a special attraction in Operation Citadel, or The Battle of Kursk, with this special edition showcasing ideas and techniques from some of the world finest modelers.

Aeroplane Monthly 02/2014

The New Year of 1943 was to see a change of role once again for the RAF airfield at Aldergrove in Northern Ireland, and during the week commencing January 21 Wg Cdr N.M.S. Russell of No 15 Group visited the station to discuss a proposal to operate Consolidated Liberators from there. This proposal would bring Aldergrove back into the forefront of Coastal Command operations in the Atlantic where the U-boat fleet was crippling Allied convoys. The units moving into Aldergrove would begin to change that. On February 10, Wg Cdr PA. Gilchrist DFC, the commanding officer of No 120 Sqn, and Wg Cdr L.H.C. Auys, the chief technical officer at Ballykelly, arrived at Aldergrove to discuss the move of 120 and 220 Sqns from Ballykelly to Aldergrove. Four days later the main parties of both squadrons arrived from Ballykelly and a Boeing Fortress of No 220 Sqn flew the first sortie from Aldergrove on the 15th landing at Nutts Corner on its return. In February 1943, No 86 Sqn was operating from Thorney Island with the Liberator Mk III. By February 23, the squadron was detaching aircraft to Aldergrove for operations, the Liberators returning to Thorney Island for inspections. The first No 86 Sqn sortie from Aldergrove was an anti-submarine escort flown by Sqn Ldr R.B. Fleming in Liberator Mk Ilia FL931/M.

AFV Modeller Issue 74

Military Engineering vehicles have always been one of my favourite subjects, for one reason, that they combines both the characteristics of armour and engineering vehicles. It couldn't be cooler than to build some heavy steel and complex machinery structures at the same time! The successor to the M3 Lee-based M31 tank recovery vehicle was the M32, The first variant, the M32B1, which was built on the early M4A1 cast hull, is a true beauty, and it is also one of my dream subjects. I believe that most of you have already read dozens of reviews of this stunning kit. So I'm not going to repeat the Basic information "again", just explain some of the most important features that Tasca has brought to us. 5 new sprues are included in the box, they contain the newly tooled subassembly turret, the main boom, the A-frame, interiors, tool boxes and some unique hull fittings. The details are top quality and correctly based on the early M4A1 cast hull and VVSS suspension. The kit contains nearly 400 new parts, including some of the finest details I've ever seen on an plastic model, over 20 more steps on the construction guide, so read the instruction booklet carefully and be patient when building this kit. Thanks to Tasca and their efforts with this complex and ambitious model, I can finally forget my old, inaccurate Italeri M32 and all those annoying resin conversions. It's time to enjoy some serious details and accuracy.

Flypast 02/2014

The Shuttleworth Collection's Westland Lysander IIIA V9367 took off from its Old Warden base on December 3 for a flypast over a new memorial at Tempsford, Bedfordshire, where two special 'ops' units were based during World War Two. The memorial, unveiled on the day by HRH The Prince of Wales, bears the names of 75 women from 13 different nationalities, who worked as saboteurs, wireless operators and couriers with the Special Operations Executive (SOE). The monument was built following a successful campaign led by Tempsford resident Professor Tazi Husain to recognise the achievements and sacrifice of the women involved. The Lysander, painted in the colours of a Tempsford-based 161 Squadron machine, was flown by the collection's chief pilot Roger 'Dodge' Bailey. The aircraft was built in Canada in 1942 and used by the RCAF as a target tug. After the war it entered civilian hands, arriving in the UK in October 1971. Following restoration, it flew again as G-AZWT in December 1979, painted as V9441, a Lysander of No.309 (Polish) Squadron. Grounded in 1986, it was purchased in 1998 by the Shuttleworth Collection and has since been fully restored, repainted and fitted with a long-range dummy fuel tank and ladder to represent V9367 'MA-B' of 161 Squadron.

America In WWII 02/2014

IT WAS A TOUCH JOB, working at the New York Navy Yard—better known as the Brooklyn Navy Yard—during World War II. Twenty-four hours a day. Seven days a week. Workers hardly got a break. Solomon Brodskv, a packer in the yard's vast supply depot, remembered those years. "There were days I felt like a zombie," he recalled. "You work; there was a war. I had my kid brother in the war. So you feel like you're working for him." It was much easier to see what the yard did than to see what was done to the yard to make it all happen. But a tremendous effort had been required to transform the aging facility into the nation's greatest warship manufacturer. Its dramatic facelift symbolized the stunning prewar expansion of American shipbuilding facilities, the necessary first step in the creation of the nation's mighty two-ocean navy. The United States Navy had entered World War II unprepared for a global fight and then was severely weakened by Japan's December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. But it did have a system of shipyards scattered from the Central Pacific to the East Coast. Led by the Brooklyn yard, these facilities raced to produce massive battleships and aircraft carriers capable of ruling a new age of naval warfare. The story of the Brooklyn Navy Yard begins in 1801, when President John Adams established five naval shipyards on the young nation's East Coast. The Brooklyn yard was one of them. Six decades later, early in the Civil War, it made its name when it turned out the Union ironclad Monitor in time to halt a rampage by the Confederacy's Virginia through the otherwise wooden Union navy.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Scale Military Modeller International 01/2014

As with most tanks a lot of the initial work with this kit is taken up in building the running gear, and the great thing about this M48 is that the level of detail that Dragon has put in is just fantastic. Each road wheel takes four parts to complete giving a realistic 'deep' look, and although there is a lot of sanding required on each tyre section to remove the raised mould lines, it is kind of a necessity as the running gear is very exposed on the finished tank. The suspension too is composed of many individual parts to give a detailed finish but fortunately everything locates perfectly so alignment of the wheels is spot-on. The only negative I can offer here is the obvious omission of the searchlight and dust cover, which should really be standard issue on the M48A3. The DS tracks are really easy to fit, and they stick together with plastic cement yet are flexible enough to paint off the tank and fit back on again easily. There really are no pitfalls to report on with this M48, the instructions are clear, the fit of the parts excellent and even/thing is correctly labelled, which is not always the case with Dragon! You can really see the engineering work that the manufacturer has put into the production of this model, even the finely reproduced five-part turret rack slips together easily.

Scale Aviation Modeller 01/2014

The G4M was conceived as a long range, land-based medium bomber for the Japanese Imperial Navy. Combat radius was the most important requirement since the Japanese fleet was severely weakened by Western Treaties and bombers would have to operate far from land. To achieve fuel efficiency, a very streamlined design was adopted and the airframe structure was built to be as light as possible. Armour protection and self defence guns were kept to a minimum. In order to gain as much range as possible, the G4M was designed to store fuel in the wing cell structure rather than having self-contained fuel tanks in the wings. Again to save weight, these fuel cells did not have self-sealing bladders. The design results were noteworthy as the G4M could achieve a speed of 230kt (420km/hr) and had a range of over 3,700 miles (5,900km). However the bomb load was modest in the range of only 1,8001b (800kg). In comparison to the similar sized He 111 the G4M carried less than half the bomb load more than twice as far with a similar top speed.

Model Aircraft 01/2014

The first military aviation in Switzerland took the form of balloon transport pioneered by Swiss balloonist Eduard Spelterini; however, by 1914 there was still little official support for an air corps. The outbreak of World War I changed opinions drastically and cavalry officer Theodor Real was charged with forming a flying corps. He commandeered three civilian aircraft at Bern airfield and set about training nine pilots at a makeshift airfield close to Wankdorf Stadium, later moving to a permanent home at Dübendorf. Switzerland remained neutral and isolated during the conflict and the air corps confined its activities to training and exercises, reconnaissance and patrol. It was only with the worsening international situation in the 1930s that an effective air force was established at great cost, with more up-to-date aircraft such as the Messerschmitt Bf 109, the Macchi MC.202 and the Morane-Sauliner D.3800 fighters, which were ordered from Germany, Italy and France respectively, although the Moranes were licence-built in Switzerland. Thus the Swiss Air Force as an autonomous military service was created in October 1936.

Tamiya Model Magazine International 01/2014

Gloster's incredible-looking Javelin was perhaps one of the most distinctive shapes to take to the skies during the immediate post-war years. Remembered by many as the 'Flying Flat Iron', the unmistakable shape of the Javelin has been a favourite with modellers, if not model kit manufacturers. Until Airfix released their new 1:48 kit, the Javelin had seen scant attention from the modelling world with only a handful of kits in 1:72 from Frog, Hawk and Heller and in 1:48 from Dynavector and Airwaves (both vac-forms) to whet the appetite, it is therefore a delight to be able to assess a new kit of this famous aircraft and one that is most likely to be the final word on this subject in miniature - the brand-new Air fix kit in 1:48. Let's take a look, shall we? The Javelin was the RAF's first purpose-built interceptor aircraft, major aerodynamic features of the type include its adoption of the then-new delta wing and a large tailplane. Both the aircraft's fuel and guns were housed in the delta wing, while the engines and crew were contained within the fuselage, two of each being deemed necessary for this new aircraft's proposed role. The delta wing and tailplane combination were incorporated by Gloster as a means of ensuring effective manoeuvrability at high speed and for the aircraft to maintain controllability at low landing speeds. In one instance during testing, when both elevators had been torn off by elevator flutter, the Javelin remained controllable in part due to the aerodynamic qualities of the large tailplane used.

Military Illustrated Modeller 01/2014

Germany produced a great number of designs that were stranger than fiction. A handful of these even made it into production. The Messerschmitt Me 163 was a rocket powered interceptor that actually saw nearly a year of operational service before the end of the Second World War. Designed by aerodynamics pioneer Alexander Lippisch and based around the Walter rocket motor, the Me 163 was a stocky little aircraft with swept wings and no horizontal tail planes. The Walter HWK 509 rocket motor weighed only 100 kg but generated 1,700 kg of thrust, resulting in staggering climb performance and a high top speed. The downside was that the C-Stoff and T-Stoff rocket fuel combination was highly explosive and corrosive, and the range of the little interceptor was short. Even so, the Messerschmitt Me 163 B entered Luftwaffe service with a dedicated rocket unit, JG 400, in May 1944, three years after the first flight of the prototype. Despite its inherent risks and limited endurance, the Me 163 was thrilling to fly thanks to its high speed, remarkable rate of climb and positive controls. Between 9 and 16 aerial victories were claimed for the loss of 10 Komets, but the aircraft's short range and rocket fuel shortages limited its impact on the outcome of the war.

Britain At War 01/2014

WELCOME TO this, the first issue of 2014. For some time now organisations around the world have been busy preparing for August 2014, and the count-down to the First World War centenary commemorations is certainly well under way How, though, should we remember that epoch-defining conflict - as a victory for freedom and democracy, or as a tragic and unnecessary waste of human life? Some people today might argue that the war was a terrible mistake. When we read of the appalling conditions the men had to endure and the often suicidal tactics employed by all sides it could be argued that it is scarcely credible that anyone could believe that the war was justifiable. Others might adopt a different stance. At the time, the war with Germany was seen by many as essential, even vital, to Britain's future and to stability in Europe. This was not only in August 1914 when thousands flocked to the recruiting stations thinking that the war would quickly be won, it was a belief that continued to be held by many throughout the conflict.

Air International 01/2014

Work is continuing on the UK Ministry of Defence's (MoD) Tactical Maritime Unmanned Air System (TMUAS). The project was launched in August when AgustaWestland was awarded a £2.3 million contract for a Rotary-Wing Unmanned Air System (RWUAS) Concept Capability Demonstrator (CCD) programme. TMUAS will be a system of systems to operate from a Type 26 Global Combat Ship with a rotary-wing option to be defined by 2015. The RWUAS CCD will be used to develop operational concepts, the impact of training and support for TMUAS, its integration with ship safety management and embarked aviation assets including the AgustaWestland Wildcat and Merlin helicopters. The air vehicle selected by AgustaWestland as its CCD is the PZL-Swidnik Solo, the rotorcraft unmanned air system/optionally piloted helicopter (RUAS/OPH) variant of the SW-4, which will be used for shipboard launch and recovery demonstrations from a Royal Navy Type 23 frigate during 2014. The Solo RUAS/OPH is European Aviation Safety Agency certified and will be flown in a manned configuration with a safety pilot during the CCD phase when required.

Airforces Monthly 01/2014

AS AFM goes to press news is coming through that South Korea is to extend its air defence identification zone (ADIZ) following China's similar move in mid-November (see Headlines). At the heart of these manoeuvrings is a group of islands, called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan, over which territorial claims have been disputed by both sides since the 14th century. The modern-day argument was re-ignited in the early 1970s when oil reserves were found near the islands, and ownership was passed from the US to Japan after the 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement, modifying the treaty signed after the Second World War. China's imposition of its ADIZ, overlapping that of Japan, has been seen by Western nations as a passive-aggressive move, although Chinese authorities insist it is complying with international law. South Korea's decision to also extend its ADIZ - giving notice that the new regulations will be in effect from December 15 - means it now overlaps with the new Chinese zone and the existing Japanese one, creating a multi-dimensional complex of identification requirements and implications for air policing. It took the action claiming that China's new ADIZ is "unacceptable", as the zone also includes airspace over South Korean territory that is disputed by China, this time a submerged rock called Ieodo on which an ocean research station platform has been built.

Aviation News 01/2014

Taking its maiden flight from BAE Systems' factory airfield at Warton, Lancashire, on December 2 was the first Tranche 3 Eurofighter Typhoon, single-seater ZK355, which will be delivered to the RAF. Tranche 3 aircraft incorporate various modifications to enable advanced new capability enhancements to be added in the future. These include E-scan radar, conformal fuel tanks and a high-speed data network. The upgraded aircraft will become a multirole fighter, capable of shifting between air-to-air and air-to-ground attacks without having to stop to reconfigure its weapons. Visibility will be enhanced with the new E-scan radar, which uses more than 1,000 transponders and enables pilots to steer the monitoring beam at the speed of light. Extra electrical power and cooling is also incorporated to cater for the new radar. A €9bn Tranche 3A contract for 112 aircraft for the four European partner nations (Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) was signed in 2009. The RAF will receive 40 of the Tranche 3 Typhoons. Meanwhile the 400th Eurofighter Typhoon was delivered during a ceremony on December 4 at Cassidian's Military Air Systems Centre in Manching, Southern Germany. The jet, 31+06, was handed over to the German Air Force, becoming its 112th Typhoon.

Combat Aircraft Monthly 02/2014

Boeing and SAAB have signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) to develop and manufacture an all-new jet training aircraft to compete for the US Air Force's T-38 Talon replacement requirement, dubbed T-X. Although a formal request for proposals (RFP) has still not been issued, manufacturers are already vying for the lucrative 350-aircraft project. Under the new agreement, formally announced on December 6, Boeing would act as the prime contractor, with Saab as primary partner to cover 'design, development, production, support, sales and marketing', according to the press release. Boeing Military Aircraft President Chris Chadwick commented: 'Boeing and Saab form the foundation for what will be the strongest, most cost-effective industry team. Our comprehensive Family of Systems approach provides a new, purpose-built T-X aircraft supported by innovative training and logistics support to offer total-life-cycle cost benefits to the US Air Force and taxpayers.' Saab President and CEO Hâkan Buskhe said: 'We will invest in development of this completely new aircraft design over the coming years'. Saab says that this agreement has been in planning for a considerable amount of time, and that money is already being spent on the project.

Aviation Archive - Cold War Jets

IN THIS EDITION of the Aeroplane Collectors' Archive, we take a look at some of the most iconic fighter aircraft from the Cold War era. Of course, the era that is now known as the Cold War stretched over a period of decades during which great advances were made in the design and manufacture of military aircraft. When the Cold War began, the world had barely entered the jet age. By the time that it ended, our skies were occupied by complex, digitally-controlled masterpieces of computerized technology that can hardly be compared to the simple fighting machines of the 1950s. In Britain, the dark days of the Cold War saw the Royal Air Force still adjusting to peacetime conditions, after the long, grim years of World War Two. Only seven years had passed since the critical summer of 1940, when Spitfires and Hurricanes had battled the Luftwaffe in the skies over Southern England. In terms of equipment and capability, little had changed in those seven years. The RAF's fighters had soldiered on, sometimes modified, sometimes redesigned quite considerably, but little different to those that had fought in the Battle of Britain. But by 1947 the jet age had dawned and the Gloster Meteor was now coming into service, and the days of the piston-engine, propeller-driven fighter were coming to and end.

Classic Military Vehicle 01/2014

While the Marmon-Herrington Mk IVF reconnaissance car owes little or nothing to the company whose name it bears, there is a kind of twisted logic behind the misnomer. In 1938 the South African government promoted the development of an indigenous armoured car with an order for two experimental types. This was increased to 22 when war broke out in September 1939 and, since South Africa had no automotive industry to speak of, the vehicle relied upon imported components and was based upon a Ford 3-ton truck chassis. It initially emerged as a front-engined 4x2 known as the Mk I Reconnaissance Car SA. Only 113 were manufactured before the Mk II version arrived featuring four-wheel drive using components imported from Marmon-Herrington of Indianapolis. Fewer than 1000 of these were manufactured in 1940/1 before the improved Mk III arrived with a shorter wheelbase but with the same front-engine configuration. The Mk III, of which 2630 were built, served in several theatres, particularly in North Africa as did the Mk II, but these early marks were both lightly armed and armoured; something more capable was needed.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

World War II 01-02/2014

WAR IS NEVER EASY, and sometimes victory requires a lucky break. Think about that moment in March 1945 when the U.S. Army managed to seize a bridge over the Rhine—a major river and an operational obstacle of the first order. No one on the Allied side thought getting across was going to be easy. And then suddenly they did just that! As elements of General John W. Leonard's 9th Armored Division approached the river on March 7, they saw to their astonishment that the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen still stood. Hardly pausing for breath, they rushed toward it. The Germans set off explosives, and eyewitnesses actually saw the bridge lift off its foundations—then settle back down again, intact. Soon the U.S. Army was pushing everything it could across the bridge, establishing a powerful bridgehead on the Rhine's eastern bank, and preparing for a thrust into the heart of Germany. That quickly, a terrain barrier that might have held up the Allies for weeks had been overcome. General Courtney Hodges, commander of the U.S. First Army, wasn't the ebullient type, but he couldn't contain himself: "Brad," he shouted over the phone to his commanding officer, "we've got a bridge!" General Omar Bradley, commander of the U.S. 12th Army Group, responded with one of the war's great comebacks: "Hot dog, Courtney—this will bust him wide open."

Military History Monthly 01/2014

The secret of Trafalgar is obscured by the simplicity of its conception. On 29 September 1805, 15 of his captains dined with Nelson aboard the Victory in celebration of his 47th birthday. Anticipating battle with the combined Franco-Spanish fleet then at anchor in Cadiz harbour, he took the opportunity to explain his plan. Instead of sailing parallel to the enemy fleet in line-ahead formation, such that full broadsides could be fired as soon as possible by as many ships as possible, the British fleet would be formed into two divisions and these would sail directly towards the enemy line, cutting it at right-angles into three segements. That was it. He called it 'the Nelson touch'. The assembled captains were stunned. Some were overcome and shed tears. But all approved: it was new - it was singular -it was simple!' Nelson explained that 'no captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of an enemy'.

Military History Monthly 12/2013

In 1951 Nicholas Monsarrat published his fourth book on the naval war: The Cruel Sea. Monsarrat described it as the story 'of one ocean, two ships, and about one hundred and fifty men,'In a gritty, realistic style, the book conveys the joys and the tragedies, the cruelty and the horror of the Battle of Atlantic. It focuses on the relationship between Captain George Ericson and a reserve officer who becomes his Number One. Keith Lockhart. It tells the story of HMS Compass Rose, a corvette, and HMS Saltash, a frigate, and the crews who sailed them from 1939 to 1945. The book captures the rituals of life at sea. and goes into the heart of the action. At times the description of sailing through rough seas is strong enough to make the reader almost feel seasick. The Cruel Sea is a novel, but it is based very much on Monsarrat's own wartime experiences. He had served on corvettes and on a frigate in the Atlantic for four years, rising through the ranks. He had sailed with crews whose moving human stories are reflected in the characters in The Cruel Sea.

Model Airplane News 02/2014

The Messerschmitt Bf.110 Zerstörer (Destroyer) was the pre-eminent night fighter aircraft for the Luftwaffe during WW II. Powered by twin Daimler-Benz DB 605B 1,450-hp liquid-cooled, V-12 engines, it was originally designed as a fighter-bomber. After the Battle of Britain, however, its role was changed to a primary night fighter and it was nicknamed "Ironsides" by commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Goering. In this role and as a ground support aircraft, it excelled and remained in service throughout the war. The Durafly version of the Bf.110 is made of molded foam and comes as a "Plug and Fly" version that only requires only the addition of your receiver and motor battery. It is highly prefabricated and comes with a speed control, motors, and servos all factory installed. The 110 is incredibly detailed, so in only a few hours, you can have a scale twin-engine warbird that's ready to fly. Total assembly takes about three or four hours, and if you're an intermediate flier, you'll find it's very pilot friendly.

Jets 01-02/2014

Sponsored by the Ministry of Supply (MoS), Avro Tudor 8VXI95 was a dramatic departure from previous versions of its kind. Instead of the familiar Rolls-Royce Merlin piston engines it was powered by four 5,000lb/thrust Rolls-Royce Nene Mk.4 turbojets and, when it first flew on September 6, I948,AV Roe and Company (Avro) entered the jet age. The maiden flight was performed from Woodford airfield in Cheshire by Avro's Chief Test Pilot J H 'Jimmy' Orrell and when VX195 appeared at Farnborough's SBAC Show later that month the aircraft was billed as "the world's first four-engined jet-powered transport." But the reality was far removed. The aircraft would never carry passengers and its pressurised fuselage was actually intended for research into problems of flying large jets at high altitudes and speeds. VXI95 had already led a varied life having originally been the second prototype Tudor I (G-AGST/TT181 ) and then rebuilt as a Mk.4 before being converted again to jet power Much of its jet-powered career was spent at Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) Farnborough undergoing trials, including development of new instruments and evaluation of cabin combustion heaters.

Flight International - December 17, 2013

Boeing and Saab have begun work on developing a new-advanced jet trainer to compete for a pending T-X requirement to replace the US Air Force's venerable Northrop T-38 Talons. Under their joint development agreement - which was announced on 6 December, several months after rumours of a pact had surfaced - Boeing is to act as prime contractor and Saab as primary partner. The collaboration will cover design, development, production, support, sales and marketing activities, they say. "The trainer solution from Boeing and Saab and other potential team members will be a new aircraft, built to meet the needs of the USAF," the partners say, with the Swedish firm stressing that it is not proposing a derivative of its Gripen fighter. likely to be among the air force's largest acquisition programmes in the coming decade, the strategy for T-X is still evolving. The service has previously released proposed requirements for an off-the-shelf aircraft, with the makers of the Alenia Aermacchi M-346, BAE Systems Hawk T2 and Korea Aerospace Industries/Lockheed Martin T-50 expressing interest.

Aviation Week & Space Technology - December 9, 2013

China is on its way to the first controlled lunar landing in almost four decades—a planned touchdown in the poetically named Bay of Rainbows (Sinus Iridium) to unleash a robotic rover called Yutu (see illustration), an equally poetic reference to the jade rabbit the goddess Chang'e took with her when she flew to the Moon. China's Chang'e-3 mission made it out of low Earth orbit Dec. 1 into a translunar trajectory that sets up Yutu for a landing on Dec. 14. Even if the mission does not work out as planned—the Moon's surface is littered wreckage from failed robotic landings—attempting it underscores China's ambitions in space, which have drawn praise from other spacefaring nations. Russian federal space agency Roscosmos posted news of the "flawless" launch on its English-language Facebook page, and the European Space Agency's (ESA) website noted that its ground-based space-tracking network is helping the Chinese, who normally rely on ocean-going tracking vessels for global coverage.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Military Modelling Vol.43 No.13

I've written one or two articles about Young Miniatures offerings in the past and always been complimentary towards them so please forgive me for gushing a bit about this one! It's perhaps not as charismatic as the Hector piece I painted (see MM Vol.42 No.10), which after all is fashioned after an actor in a Hollywood movie. In fact it'll have a bit of work to do to equal the Hector kit in my eyes. In fairness, this being an historical representation, I should look more to the accuracy of the armour and accoutrements, rather than focusing on how photogenic it is. This gives me a problem though, because after all, we'd like our painted pieces to stand out if they're not in the display cabinet - to draw the eye. I'm not sure (at this point, because he's still in bits as I write this) whether that'll be the case. However, the box art promises quite a lot, so I suppose it's a little adventure worth following to see what's at the end. The box art as I've mentioned is competent, not too flashy and "you'll never paint to this standard" flashy, which must encourage the beginner and intermediate modellers. The box art is also lifelike and this makes you want to see if you can paint as well - I think that's a good thing.

Flight International 2013-12-10

Boeing is nothing if not resilient. One month after receiving a black eve when South Korea decided to re-tender its 60-air-craft F-X III competition rather than select the F-15 Silent Eagle, which was the only contender inside Seoul's budget, the US air-framer changed tack, pitching an aircraft it dubs the "Advanced F-15" at October's Seoul air show. That shift may prove to be a winning move, despite South Korea's selection of the Lockheed Martin F-35A to replace its fleet of obsolete McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms. That order will be for 40 of the fifth-generation aircraft for delivery from 2018, with an option for another 20. However, there are still another 20 aircraft to play for, which in today's world of tight defence budgets is a big deal. Believed to be in the frame for this non-stealth part of the package are F-X III losers Eurofighter Typhoon and F-15 - and Boeing's apparent price advantage may well swing the deal for its "Advanced" offering, which lacks the canted tails and conformal weapon bays of the Silent Eagle.

Model Military International 01/2014

The Pz.Kpfw. 35(t) was one of two indigenous light tanks adopted by the German army when Germany occupied Czechoslovakia in 1938/39, the other being the excellent Pz.Kpfw. 38(t). Both these tanks equipped several German Panzer Divisions during the early months of World War Two, and were an important part of the German invasions of Poland in 1939, France and the Low Countries in 1940, and Russia in 1941. The Pz.Kpfw. 35(t) began as a project from Skoda to answer a requirement from the Czech Army for a light cavalry tank. Ceskomoravskâ Kolben-Danék (CKD) offered a small light tank, the P-ll-a, weighing 8.5 tonnes and having a maximum 16mm of armour. Skoda offered a heavier design based on their earlier SU design. It featured 25mm of armour and weighed 10.5 tonnes, and was of riveted construction. Frontal armour was 25mm on the hull and turret; side armour ranged from 15-16mm and rear armour from 15-19mm. The main gun was a 37mm L/40 Skoda A3 design that featured a "pepperpot" muzzle brake and could penetrate 37mm of armour at 100 meters and 31mm at 500 meters, enough to deal with most of the light and light-medium tanks of the mid-1930s. Secondary armament was two 7.92mm light machine guns, one in the driver's front plate and the other in the turret front. The turret-mounted MG could be locked to track with the main gun, or unlocked and aimed independently.

Aviation Week & Space Technology - December 9, 2013

A large, classified unmanned aircraft developed by Northrop Grumman is now flying—and it demonstrates a major advance in combining stealth and aerodynamic efficiency Defense and intelligence officials say the secret unmanned aerial system (UAS), designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, is scheduled to enter production for the U.S. Air Force and could be operational by 2015. Funded through the Air Force's classified budget, the program to build this new UAS, dubbed the RQ-180, was awarded to Northrop Grumman after a competition that included Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The aircraft will conduct the penetrating ISR mission that has been left unaddressed, and under wide debate, since retirement of the Lockheed SR-71 in 1998. Neither the Air Force nor Northrop Grumman would speak about the classified airplane. When queried about the project, Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Cassidy said, "The Air Force does not discuss this program."

BBC History 12/2013

Canadian soldiers coped with life on the front line during the First World War by developing their own 'trench language', new research suggests. In a study published in War in History, Dr Tim Cook from the Canadian War Museum explores letters and other documents written by soldiers during the conflict that reveal that the men swore habitually and used slang terms to refer to objects and events. By comparing these records with those used in earlier studies into the use of language, Cook suggests that the use of slang - referring to German hand grenades as 'potato mashers', for instance - acted as a 'shield', allowing combatants to trivialise death. The use of swearwords, meanwhile, is suggested to have been useful in offering relief from the discipline and stress of warfare. Both forms of expression, Cook argues, were designed to distinguish soldiers from civilians. Swearing became habitual without the customary need to tone down vulgarities in the presence of women and children, and lewd songs acted as an expression of masculinity that forged bonds of camaraderie.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Flight Journal 02/2014

By the time I graduated from high school in Oklahoma during 1940 at the ripe old age of 19, I could see that the United States was going to get dragged into a world war. I had grown up in a farming family during the Great Depression and had felt the terrible hardships it caused us firsthand. The effects of the economic devastation continued to linger throughout our state. Finding a good paying job, or any pay, was like trying to find fertile soil in the ravaged Dust Bowl. I tried to join the Army at Fort Sill and asked about becoming a pilot. A lieutenant with a very sharp tongue shot me down right away. "Sonny boy," he said, "You got to get yourself two years of college first, and then maybe we will talk to you." I was depressed as the red clay soil under my feet but was determined to earn my wings. I moved to Wyoming, found work, and enrolled in the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) and earned a private pilot's license in a 50-horsepower Piper Cub with no brakes and a tail skid. A week later, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and I got the impression from the Army recruiter I visited that if a fellow could see lightning and hear thunder then they would gladly take me!

Combat Aircraft Monthly 01/2014

GEN T. Michael 'Buzz' Moseley, the former US Air Force chief of staff, wasn't shy in pushing to renew his fighter aircraft fleet back in 2007 when he was the boss. Moseley always wanted 381 Raptors, plus 1,763 F-35As as quickly as possible to replace his F-16 fleet. He was, however, sharply criticized for being overly supportive of fighters, and less so of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and unmanned platforms, for example. While the headlines for Moseley's fifth-generation fighters are signature reduction and the ability to operate 24 hours a day in an integrated air defense system, they also offer a high degree of versatility. They can tackle many missions, including those not traditionally associated with 'fighters' — melding data, they can act as stealthy command hubs if required. The problem is that the USAF's drive for an all-stealthy fighter fleet comes at a price. When the F-35A was conceived as an affordable, stealthy, lightweight F-16 replacement, few could have questioned the logic of procuring them on a large scale.

Military Machines International 01/2014

I have been editing Military Machines International for just over thirteen years and while I regularly receive feedback from readers regarding the magazine's content, I was genuinely both shocked and amazed at the amount of correspondence I received regarding the article 'Those Were The Days' in the November issue in which I took a retrospective look back at how the Tank Museum has played a part in my life. If I had known that photos of myself in short trousers and NHS glasses was going to provoke such interest I would have done it earlier, however, it does seem that the national treasure that is the Tank Museum has played a key role in the lives of a great many MMI readers too, and it is the memories of those visits to the museum over the years that generated the real interest. Since it was first founded the museum has evolved into a bigger and better museum fit for the 21st Century, and we can only hope that generations to come continue to enjoy this and other similar museums for many years to come. Next year will see the commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the start of World War One and the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings, and no doubt many museums and historic military vehicles will be involved in those commemorations and I for one hope that our children and grandchildren and even their children will be able to commemorate the sacrifices made on our behalf for many more years to come with the aid of historic vehicle collections such as that housed at the Tank Museum-Ed.

Airfix Model World 01/2014

So, how was it for you? Did you blow your budget or show some financial restraint? Did you find plenty of bargains? Questions like these are all too common when chatting on the telephone or via email to my modelling colleagues at the moment. As I sit here and look at the carrier bags filled with 'stuff' that I purchased at IPMS Scale Model World, I'm asking myself 'will the Christmas break be long enough?' Of course it won't be. There's a modelling project to finish off from last year and a pile of books I'm keen to read. Those are planned for a very, very lazy afternoon shortly after Boxing Day, with a big mug of tea, a comfy chair and a Cold War reconnaissance mission along Russia's border region during the 1950s - all from the comfort of a study on the South Coast of England. This of course will lead to the inevitable inspiration, and diversion, to mull over other potential modelling projects - an early model Lockheed U-2 or an RB-74H Stratojet, or one of my favourite series of aircraft, the RC/EC-135s.

Model Airplane International 12/2013

Initially you might think it's a bit unfair to compare the two kits because the Eduard 1:48 Dora is so much more expensive. This isn't the case in reality, however, because Eduard do a very smart thing indeed by producing the 'Weekend Edition' version for the princely sum of just £12.80! With that in mind, let's look at the newcomer from the Far East. It comes in the HobbyBoss standard small box that is sturdy and covered in some decent art. The sprues inside are very cleanly moulded in light grey plastic, without a hint of flash and only tiny mould lines. The transparent parts are very clear as always, and you get a single tiny etched fret with just four parts on it but no seat belts. The sprue breakdown is typical of mouldings where multiple versions of things are going to be made so look out for more in this family soon. You also get two sprues of weapons and tanks, including the under-wing ETC50 racks for the 50kg bombs. The instruction sheet is brilliantly drawn, as all HobbyBoss sheets have been, and you get two versions on the decal sheet and full colour, four-view painting guides.

Air International 12/2013

The SR-71 Blackbird is an aviation icon. The Mach 3-capable reconnaissance aircraft set speed and altitude records that still stand. During one 1974 flight, a Blackbird flew from New York to London in less than two hours and, in 1976, another travelled from London to Los Angeles in under four. Now, 15 years after the Blackbird's last flight at the end of its five-year reactivation in the 1990s, Lockheed Martin's famous Skunk Works division has revealed that it's working on a successor - the SR-72. This unmanned aircraft will travel at hypersonic speeds, cruising at Mach 6 - six times the speed of sound (around 3,600mph or 5,800km/h), twice as fast as the Blackbird. Artists' impressions reveal a striking platform of sharply swept-back delta wings blended into a hump-backed fuselage. The high-altitude reconnaissance role formerly provided by the Blackbird is now undertaken by unmanned systems and satellites. But the former have speed limitations and the latter are governed by the laws of orbital mechanics. The Blackbird was not similarly encumbered. Its speed and altitude capabilities meant it could fly whenever, wherever - giving the United States a very flexible intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform.

FlyPast 01/2014

Like many successful businessmen, New Zealander John Luff had to wait until later in life to have the time to follow his passion. He is now very probably the newest-rated pilot on the de Havilland Venom. A handful of the twin-boom jet fighters are still flying and Johns is the only example active in the southern hemisphere. The last air force to operate the Venom, the Swiss Flugwaffe, officially retired the type in October 1983 and in June the following year large numbers of them were offered to museums and private owners. Johns Venom had been licence-built in Switzerland in 1956 as reconnaissance-configured FB. 1R J-1630. Acquired by a Swiss-based group and registered as HB-RVA, it took to the air as a civilian in 1988. Although it had not flown for several years, when John inspected it in 2012 it was in good condition. John had it shipped out to New Zealand, much to the surprise of 'Kiwi' warbird fans who spotted the jet arriving at Ardmore, near Auckland. As with most projects, there were some setbacks to be resolved before it could fly. One of the main issues was the undercarriage, which required a total rebuild. Fortunately, the aircraft was in the capable hands of engineer Gerry Gaston who worked on similar RNZAF DH Vampires in the 1960s. Like the Vampire, the Venoms fuselage pod' is made of wood and plywood, in a similar manner to the Mosquito's.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Aeroplane 01/2014

Croye Rothes Pithey came from Scheepersnek, Natal, South Africa, where he was born on August 19, 1895. After his schooling (he also learnt fluent Zulu) he became an accounts clerk for a chartered accountants firm in Johannesburg between February 1916 and May 1917, at which time he enlisted into the Royal Flying Corps in South Africa, signed up by one of the many recruitment officers touring the colonies for would-be aviators. He sailed for England where he began his flying training and after gaining his RFC wings was posted to France, being assigned to 52 Sqn. The squadron was equipped with Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8 two-seat reconnaissance machines, referred to by some First World War airmen as "flying coffins". Like a number of aircraft built by the Royal Aircraft Factory, they were wonderfully stable in the air, and so ideal for crews looking down to observe movements on the ground, from which to take aerial photographs of the terrain or to direct artillery fire. Unhappily, its inherent stability was a liability if German single-seat fighters made hostile moves against them, or even if confronted with an opposing enemy two-seater.

Britain At War 12/2013

DURING THE First World War many countries and communities sought to eradicate all associations with Germany, and Australia was as quick as any other to Anglicize anything that sounded Germanic. Even the popular cake the Jam Berliner was
renamed the Kitchener Bun. It has been reported, however, that campaigners in South Australia are considering reviving the German titles of some locations whose names were changed. The effects of the anti-German sentiments following the outbreak of war in 1914 were often profound. In South Australia, for example, a German-language newspaper, as well as schools and clubs, were closed down. Many residents of German descent were interned or imprisoned. Other “Germans” lost their jobs, leaving their families in financial difficulties. Hermann Robert Homburg, born 1874 in Norwood, a suburb of Adelaide, to a father who had arrived twenty years earlier, was forced to resign in 1915 – and he was the Attorney-General. Homburg wrote of a “campaign of lies and calumnies against me ... because I am not of British lineage”. Germanic place names in Australia became to be seen as offensive and the names of a large number of locations were changed. This was not done on a whim; in South Australia, for example, it was a carefully-considered operation undertaken by a Nomenclature Committee.

BBC History 11/2013

It is one of the most tantalising and controversial passages in the entire Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. In the same year, says the entry for 1002, “the king gave an order to slay all the Danes that were in England. This was accordingly done on the mass-day of St Brice; because it was told the king, that they would beshrew [curse] him of his life, and afterwards all his council, and then have his kingdom without any resistance.” More than a millennium later, the St Brice’s Day Massacre remains one of the most blood-curdling events in English history. The king in question was Æthelred II, known to generations of children as the Unready – which really meant ‘ill-advised’. For years the king had been struggling to cope with Viking raids on England’s shores. Often Æthelred paid the raiders off and allowed them to settle in the eastern part of his country, known as the Danelaw, where Scandinavian settlers already used Danish language and law. But shortly after the turn of the new century, the king’s patience ran out.

Military History Monthly 11/2013

Why do we remember Waterloo but forget Leipzig? The answer, of course, is that Waterloo was a mainly British battle fought just across the Channel, whereas Leipzig was a battle of Austrians, Prussians, and Russians in the heart of Europe. Both were great defeats for Napoleon and the French Empire. But Waterloo was a relatively small battle against a recently restored Napoleon. Leipzig, on the other hand, was almost certainly the biggest battle ever fought up to that time. Half a million men, representing four Great Powers, struggled for four days to determine the fate of Europe. The total cost was almost 100,000 casualties. Fought 200 years ago this month, Leipzig fully deserves its epithet: it was a true ‘Battle of the Nations’. Julian Spilsbury is our guide to the battle this issue. On a completely different scale, but equally fascinating, is Andy McDonald’s analysis of Gate Pa in 1864, when 250 Maori tribal warriors routed a far larger British army equipped with batteries of modern artillery. The British appear to have learned no lessons from this defeat.

Royal Air Force - The Official Annual Review 2014

The year 2013 marks the 95th Anniversary of the world’s oldest independent air force – the Royal Air Force. Throughout the Service’s proud history we have been at the forefront of world-changing advances in aviation science and technology, and have aspired to develop an innovative mind-set in our airmen and women.  As I look forward I am keen to reinforce this mindset, as people are not only at the heart of our capability, they are also central to the development of our future capabilities and, indeed, critical to defining how we will fight in the future in the defence of the United Kingdom and our interests abroad. The brave airmen of No. 617 Squadron who took part in the historic raids on the Ruhr Valley dams 70 years ago demonstrated vividly the Royal Air Force’s innovation.  While Barnes Wallis’s bouncing bomb exemplified an ingenious solution to a wartime problem, the airmen of No. 617 Sqn still had to develop a way to deliver this innovative weapon with precision effect.  They were, of course, successful, earning ‘The Dambusters’ label in the process, but in addition to raw courage, this daring operation required complex planning, ingenuity and flawless airmanship – all of which involved Royal Air Force personnel pushing the perceived technological boundaries of their equipment.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Scale Military Modeller International 12/2013

The Tiran 5 was a product of the iDF's ability to re-engineer equipment recovered from the battlefield, and during 1967 when they fought battles against their surrounding Arab neighbours in what became known as the 'Six-Day War' many Russian built T-55's were captured. These tanks were later modified with upgraded parts, including the 105mm L5 guns, better diesel engines, additional turret storage and additional machine guns, and these became known as the 'Tiran 5' and were then used in action during the 'Yom Kippur War' of 1973 fighting against their previous owners! They continued to be used well into the 1980s before being retired for training purposes and later sold on to South America and the Lebanese Army where they are still in use today. The Tamiya kit comes in a sand coloured plastic rather the usual green of the original T-55 release, and contains pretty much most of the original sprues plus a couple of additional ones that make up the new parts. So, lets begin. We start with the lower hull by adding the axles and ensuring they are aligned, and we follow this with the front and rear hull plates and details, and some blanking parts are included for the rear hull where the original fuel tank carriers went.

Scale Aviation Modeller International 12/2013

The Saab what? Those of you who have bought this magazine for the Mustang on the cover be of good heart. There is indeed an article in here on the A-36 Apache - Mr Dick Clark's excellent rendition of the Italeri issue of the Accurate Miniatures' tooling, a kit as good today as it was when first released round about the time I gave up photographing the sad remnants of the railway network and took up modelling after a lapse of some twenty years or more. This article is a shameless piece of signposting for our excellent new Datafile release, which I can thoroughly recommend, but is also present here as it is a fine out-of-the-box build of an up-to-the-minute kit release by one of the mainstream names you can expect to see on the High Street shelves - if any such still exist in this day and age. Mr Clark's work also appears in sister magazine Model Aircraft this month, where his Do 17/Defiant/Bf 109 trio make for a cracking read, and I am only disappointed that I couldn't feature it in both titles.

Model Aircraft 12/2013

In 1911, the Greek Government appointed French specialists to form the Hellenic Aviation Service. Six Greek officers were sent to France for training, while four 'Farman' type aircraft were ordered. All of the six graduated from the Farman school in Étampes near Paris, but only four served subsequently in aviation. The first military flight was made on May 13,1912 by Lieutenant Dimitrios Kamberos and in June he flew 'Daedalus', another Farman aircraft that that had been converted to a seaplane, setting a new world average speed record of 68mph and with it the foundations of Greek Naval Aviation. During September of the same year, the Greek Army also fielded its first squadron - the 'Aviators Company'. On October 5, 1912, Kamberos flew the first Greek combat mission, a recce flight over Thessaly on the first day of the Balkan Wars, and during the same day a similar mission was flown by German mercenaries in Ottoman service in the Thrace front against the Bulgarians. The Greek and the Ottoman missions flown during the same day were the first military aviation combat missions in a conventional war. In 1930, the Greek Aviation Ministry was founded, establishing the Air Force as the third branch of the Armed Forces, and eventually the Hellenic Army Air Service and Hellenic Naval Air Service were amalgamated to form the Hellenic Air Force.

Military Illustrated Modeller 12/2013

The Tiger ll's first experience of combat was with the s.H.Pz.Abt. 503 (503rd Heavy Panzer Battalion) 1st Company, during the Battle of Normandy. The King Tigers of the '503 were up against Canadian forces during 'Operation Atlantic', which ran in conjunction with the British 'Operation Goodwood' of July 18th 1944. This sequence of well known photos shows an abandoned Tiger II (Porsche turret) of s.H.Pz. Abt. 503 and the Bergepanther that was towing it, after having broken down on the N816 Trun road (D916 today) near Vimoutiers. In the two very similar images it is being passed by a column of Canadian vehicles that includes a Universal Carrier, Staghound armoured car, Jeeps, trucks and a military motorcycle, possibly a Triumph 3HW. The tank is zimmerited and would have been painted in the standard three-colour camouflage of Dark-Yellow, Olive-Green and Red-Brown. The ladder on the side that distinguishes this particular vehicle might have been used for observation or simply for the crew to climb their Tiger's imposing hull in order to get aboard. The scene is ideal for dioramas as all the vehicles are available in 1:35 kit-form and any combination could be used to recreate the Canadian column and abandoned German AFVs.

Tamiya Model Magazine International 12/2013

A couple of years ago I was approached by a friend who mentioned that he had pitched my name to a guy interested in having a 1:24 Hurricane built up. 1:24? "Good lord" I thought. "Didn't my friend remember that I'm a 1:48 guy?" What did people do with 1:24 scale models? I imagined my cat sitting in the cockpit. My friend put me in contact with Jim, a Continental Airlines pilot. He explained that he had recently acquired the skeletal remains of Hawker Hurricane shot down in May of 1940 just off the coast of Dunkirk and was wondering if I could recreate the aircraft in a model. Jim had done quite a bit of research on the aircraft and even made a trip to England to speak with surviving family members and friends of the pilot, an early Battle of Britain ace, RHA 'Dickey' Lee. Richard Hugh Anthony Lee was born in London in 1917 and was educated at the famous Charterhouse School. He joined RAF Cranwell as a Flight Cadet in September 1935, graduating in July 1937. He survived the shoot down in P3311, only to be killed a short time later in another Hurricane while chasing several Bf'109s out to sea off the coast of England, northeast of Marston. Lee, who was only twenty-three at the time of his death, was one the leading scorers for No.56 squadron.

Airforces Monthly 12/2013

US GOVERNMENT officials confirmed that Israeli Air Force (IAF) aircraft carried out an air strike on the night of October 30/31 on the Syrian port city of Latakia. The target was a shipment of Russian S-125 (SA-3 Goa) surface-to-air missiles. Unconfirmed reports suggest that up to four aircraft undertook the raid. The weapons were reported to be en route to the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group. Syrian rebels reported loud explosions, apparently from inside an air defence facility in the Snubar Jableh area of Latakia. Israeli aircraft have carried out several air strikes on Syria this year. In the first attack, on January 30, it is believed the target was a shipment of SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles in trucks next to the Jamraya Scientific Research Center in Damascus. Later, on the night of May 2/3, IAF fighters struck a shipment of weapons apparently destined for Hezbollah and reported to have been conventional surface-to-surface guided tactical ballistic missiles, possibly Iranian Fateh-110s, which were stored at Damascus Airport. Some reports suggest that IAF aircraft may have used stand-off weapons for the attack, remaining outside Syrian airspace and firing whilst still over Lebanon.

Classic Military Vehicles 12/2013

It is perhaps odd to think that, until 2013, it has been at least a couple of decades since there has been a running example of the A27M Cromwell in the UK. Whether with hindsight we would judge the Cromwell to have been a 'good' tank (whatever that means) when compared to its contemporaries is debatable, but it was historically important in a vehicle sense if only because it first went into action in Normandy in June 1944 with the Desert Rats, the 7th Armoured Division, and went on to become the most numerically significant British cruiser tank of WW2. Nevertheless, for too many years and despite there being examples in museums and overseas, we haven't had the opportunity to see or hear a Cromwell at full tilt in the country of its birth... until now. For at the inaugural War and Peace Revival last July, Rick Wedlock's Cromwell, the result of some three years of restoration work, made its public debut. The project started back in 2010 when Rick heard of a Centaur being offered for sale by dealer Ian Galliers. 'I thought I must have it,' recalls Rick, 'so took the morning off work and drove down to Shrewsbury to see it.

Air Modeller Issue 51

When first announced I greeted the new 1:32 release from Tamiya with indifference as I was hoping for a Merlin engined aircraft, a Hurricane maybe, or perhaps even a Mosquito! On the other hand, I had thought that they may have tackled a 109; now that would be cool! The birdcage Corsair, as a modelling subject in this large scale didn't really enthuse me, that may have been due to the fact I still remember my efforts with Trumpeter's F4U-1A offering trying to shoe horn in a resin cockpit, correcting the exhaust layout and then tackling the 5mm gap at the trailing edge caused by a resin wheel bay set! When David offered me the chance to build this model for the magazine I had second thoughts. The more I pondered the more I got enthusiastic about the possibility; I did a bit of research and found some really heavily weathered land based USMC aircraft. Weathering is my passion and the more I looked, the greater the inspiration built up and the more enthusiastic I felt about the project. So a quick email to David and a plain white box winged its way down the A1. I say plain box as this was a pre production sample, complete with huge photocopied instructions! Just as I was about to start, Roy Sutherland of Barracuda Studios very kindly offered to send some of his resin and decal upgrades for the kit. I'll be showcasing those as I go so stay tuned.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Military Modelling Vol.43 No.12, 2013

 Many methods can be employed to depict peeling paintwork, and I use a perhaps lesser-known, but simple technique that gives a realistic appearance to any kind of derelict wooden surface. I used a resin moulding of wooden planks for an example to demonstrate this method, but it works equally well with plastic or real wood. This particular item is part of an industrial building set in the background of a small-scale feature. As usual the work is presented as a step-by-step guide so you can clearly see the process. I've included some photos of other miniature buildings and painted signs I've treated using the same methods highlighted here. Photo 1. I made this façade in 1:48 scale years  ago, when I first tested this method not only on the 'wooden' surfaces, but also with the painted-on café sign on the cement rendered wall. Photo 2. Old wooden planked doors like these are perfect reference subjects when trying out this technique in miniature. Photo 3. The work begins by choosing the right colours to simulate shades of bleached and worn wood as the general 'basic' tones. In reality this is not 'a shade', but several colours mixed together thus revealing plenty of variation. To imitate this aspect I used Humbrol matt enamels: Camouflage Grey 28, Light Grey 64, Chocolate 98, US Light Earth 119 and Light Grey 147.