Friday, May 31, 2013

Panzer Aces No.41

The JS-2 tank first saw combat in the spring of 1944. JS-2s were assigned to separate heavy tank regiments, which were used to reinforce the most important attack sectors during major offensive operations. Tactically, they were employed as breakthrough tanks. Their role was to support infantry during an assault, using their large guns to destroy bunkers, buildings, dug-in weapons, and other 'soft' targets. They were also capable of taking on any German AFV when the need arose. The JS-2 weighed pretty much the same as a German Panther, and was lighter than the German heavy tanks of the Tiger series. It was slightly lower than both. A major weakness was the two-piece ammunition employed, which slowed the rate of fire considerably. A second glitch was the extremely limited ammunition supply of only 28 rounds. This was the price paid by the small size of the original design.

Panzer Aces No.40

A direct descendant of the famous T-34, this tank has the world record in terms of sheer amount of user countries around the world; being employed in well over 50 countries throughout the planet. This vehicle is still in front line use in many contemporary conflicts (Libya, Syria, etc.). The T-55 has been present in almost all armed conflicts of the second half of the 20th century (Arab-Israeli wars, Vietnam, Iran-Iraq, the Balkans...) The Enigma version of this vehicle and the star of this review, was one of the stars in the Gulf war. This particular version was only employed by commanding armoured vehicles. The T-55 Enigma is a very peculiar version of the T-54/55 family. The Enigma modification basically consists of some additional armouring on the front area of the turret and the sloping area in the front and the sides of the hull or frame, and some metallic extensions on the rear of the turret.

Panzer Aces No.39

In order to include the immense 128mm Pak L76 I gun that Rheinmetall Borsig developed, the frame was widened and became more elongated including one more wheel. Both units were tested in the Russian Front in mid 1942 with some very interesting ballistics results; however shortcomings on its motorization led to the cancelling of this project in favor of the development of the Tiger I. The two "tank destroyers" were part of the 521 schwere Panzerjaeger Abteilung, one of these was destroyed in combat while the remaining "Sturer" was captured in January 1943 and is now exposed in the town of Kubinka. I think that this is a good kit, I m not going to get into measurement details, but I'm going to say that the details are good and that its pieces fit together perfectly. The piece arrangement has been carefully thought out and it allows you to assemble-paint-assemble quite comfortably, which is something quite important when dealing with open vehicles.

Panzer Aces No.38

In order to cut down development and production costs, Ford decided to use frames, motors brakes, etc from the civil machines as much as possible. For the WOT3 30cwt. model the frame of the popular 7V model was used; relocating pedals, steering and adding a V8 85cv gas motor, military wheels and a wooden box for carrying loads. The new and Spartan cabin was developed and stamped by Briggs Motor Bodies, with the bare minimum production tooling, a simple piece designed for easy assembly and repair. The first series was called WOT3A, and series 3B, 3C, 3D and 3E followed. The design was being refined during the conflict. The result was a simple, cheap and trustworthy truck although it didn't have enough horsepower at times. This vehicle was used by the three Armies in innumerable variants and for innumerable purposes.

Panzer Aces No.37

Tracks that are poorly finished can greatly reduce the appearance of a completed model. In fact it is the tracks that I often view first to quickly start forming an understanding of the overall authenticity and level of skill put into the finishing of a completed model. This rather short article is to demonstrate the various techniques that I have put together over the past years to quickly and accurately finish the tracks on an armor model. You will find most of these techniques to be quite simple, employ inexpensive products and are rather enjoyable to apply. It is important to note that earth tones can vary in different locations. This article will show both the mediums and techniques I use to effectively weather track. I strongly recommend that you study photos of the terrain in the theater where your replica is supposed to be in order to accurately mix the various colors for both the dry and wet terrain.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Aviation Classsics Issue 20

By the turn of the 19th century, Ansaldo was largely a railway equipment company with seven lactones employing more than 10,000 people, and was one of the largest heavy engineering concerns in Europe. The expansion into new fields started with the development of shipyards, but it was after 1904, with the acquisition of Ansaldo by the powerful Perrone family, that weapons and metal production were added to the company. These ranged from artillery and large calibre naval guns to battleships, with a rapid expansion caused by the outbreak of the First World War that resulted in the company employing more than 80,000 people in 1918. Attracted by the success of other companies in the field of aviation and the size of the orders for military aircraft, the company directors decided to diversify still further towards the end of 1915. The first aircraft production undertaken by Ansaldo was to build the Sopwith Baby under licence, beginning in 1916. These were the floatplane variant of the Sopwith single seater, and were mostly used as shipborne and coastal reconnaissance and patrol aircraft and trainers by the Italian Navy.

Aeroplane Monthly Summer/2013

Former Empire AirTraining Scheme Boeing PT-27 Kaydet FJ801/N62842 is gradually being assembled by volunteers at the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton. Wingsforthe biplane trainer have been restored by museum members, but as there is insufficient spare covered display space at present to fit them, they may go on show without fabric to show construction.The museum's Luton LA.5 Major, G-APUG, is displayed uncovered, and has proved to be very popular with visitors. All the PT-27 components were generously donated to the museum by Paul Bennett and Bob Sage of Stearman restoration/maintenance specialists Black Barn Aviation, who are based just afew miles to the west of Flixton at the old USAAF B-24 Liberator base at Tibenham Airfield. Back in 2003, Black Barn donated a Fairchild F.24 C8F, N16676, to the museum. The aircraft has been restored in the markings it wore while being flown by Civil Air in the USA during the Second World War.

Model Airplane News 08/2013

I first saw the Carbon-Z Splendor BNF Basic from E-flite at the Horizon Hobby booth at the WRAM show. Being an F3A precision aerobatic monoplane, it was hard to miss with its nice, sleek appearance. Designed by world aerobatic champion Quique Somenzini, it is part of the Carbon-Z series. Extremely popular with aerobatic pilots, these molded Z-Foam aircraft are lightweight and very rugged. Many years ago, I cut my pattern teeth with kit-built designs like the Bridi Kaos and Super Kaos, but I had never flown a modern F3A design. After chatting with the Horizon Hobby booth guys, I learned that Quique had an aircraft in mind that could perform all the modern F3A sequences, while still retaining a strong power-to-weight ratio suitable for 3D aerobatics. With a lead-in like that, how could I not want to fly this impressive aerobat?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Classic Aircraft 12/2011

Alex Henshaw Jnr unveiled newly-rebuilt Comper CLA7 Swift G-ACGL, once owned by his late father, at the RAF Museum Cosford on 3 November. The 35th of 41 examples built, the diminutive single-seat racer was the last British-registered Swift produced at Hooton Park, Cheshire and was purchased by Alex Henshaw Snr in June 1933. Flying one of seven Swifts competing at the King's Cup meeting at Hatfield the following month, 19-year-old Henshaw won the Siddeley Challenge Trophy race in 'CGL. After failing to reach Cairo to take part in the Oases Rally in December 1933 he sold the Swift three months later. Unlike most of the type G-ACGL was flown by a succession of owners including Arwork Ltd at Heston and David Lloyd at Castle Bromwich, concluding with Edmund Bradley at Kinver, South Staffordshire in 1939. Its certificate of airworthiness lapsed in March 1940 and it is believed to have been scrapped at Kinver in 1942. During the early 1960s it was reported that some parts survived including G-ACGL's wings and various small components. Ten years later they were acquired by Stan Brennan from Eric Holden, the manager at Castle Bromwich Airfield.

Classic Aircraft 11/2011

WITH THE promise of virtually ideal weather and a new Unlimited Class qualifying speed record of 499.160mph by two-time Unlimited National Champion Steven Hinton, Jr at the controls of Bill Tiger' Destefani's P-51D Mustang Strega, the 48th Annual Reno National Championship Air Races at Stead Field in Nevada on 14-18 September had tremendous potential. However, this year's event came to an abrupt and tragic end at approximately I6.24hrs local on Friday 16 September. Steve Hinton, Sr (himself a two-time Unlimited National Champion) at the controls of the T-33 pace plane proudly led the starting field 'down the chute' with his son and the rest of the Unlimited Gold Class competitors off his right wingtip for the beginning of the day's final event, a Gold Heat Race. Qualifying speeds and finishing orders during preliminary heat races determine the staring order of Sunday's final Unlimited Gold National Championship Race. As expected, Steven Hinton, Jr jumped off to an immediate and commanding lead, with Will Whiteside in P-51 D Mustang Voodoo, Stewart Dawson in F8F-2 Bearcat Rare Bear, Jimmy Leeward in P-51 D Mustang The Galloping Ghost and the rest of the field in tow.

Classic Aircraft 10/2011

As briefly reported last month, Karl Kjarsgaard's organisation HP57 Rescue (Canada) has successfully imported the remains of two Handley Page Hastings transports into Canada. This is an exciting development, as the Hastings' wings are nearly identical to those of the type's sister, the Halifax. The parts recovery makes the recreation of not just one, but hopefully two Handley Page Halifax bombers a distinct possibility. Karl has the pedigree to make this happen, having been the driving force behind the recovery of Halifax NA337 from a Norwegian fjord in 1995 and its subsequent restoration at the National Air Force Museum of Canada in Trenton, Ontario. This story begins a couple of years ago, when Karl spotted an advertisement in a British magazine noting the discovery of Hastings wing parts in a long-dormant scrapyard on Malta. He had already planned to visit the country to pay tribute to a recently deceased friend, Canadian fighter pilot W. C. 'Bud' Cornell, a veteran of the Malta campaign in 1942. Kjarsgaard wanted to see for himself the land from which Connell had flown and fought, and to present a copy of the pilot's logbook to the Malta Aviation Museum.

Classic Aircraft 09/2011

Well-known warbird pilot Rob Davies escaped uninjured after baling out of P-51D Mustang Big Beautiful Doll on 10 July. His low-level exit from the aircraft followed a midair collision at Duxford's Flying Legends Air Show with the Amicale Jean-Baptiste Salis' AD-4N Skyraider, which was landed safely by its pilot Pierre Fages. The mishap occurred at the very end of the flying display on the show's second day Recoveries following the massed 'balbo' flypast by 27 warbirds were coming to a close, with the final three and four-ship sections running in to break. Big Beautiful Doll, sold by Rob Davies to the Air Fighter Academy at Heringsdorf, Germany, earlier this year, had the Skyraider on its left and Dan Friedkin flying Comanche Fighters' P-51 D February to the right. As the three aircraft approached the western end of the airfield, Rob pulled up and broke left into the circuit. Pierre Fages followed a few seconds later in the Skyraider, seeming to pull rather harder than had the Mustang ahead. The collision occurred moments afterwards, the Skyraider's starboard wing appearing to strike the Mustang aft of its under-fuselage air scoop. Big Beautiful Doll was thrown sideways by the impact, while the Skyraider entered a roll, recovering with considerable loss of height.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Flying Scale Models 06/2013

The maiden flight of the first production B-26, originally known as the Glenn Martin Model 179, took place on 25th November 1940. Powered by twin 1,850 h.p, Pratt and Whitney R-2800 engines (also selected for the P-47 Thunderbolt) the B-26 was of advanced concept, with an almost perfectly streamlined fuselage of circular section and small wings - a configuration that gave a maximum speed of 315 m.p.h. and a landing speed of just over 100 m.p.h. In retrospect, the U.S. Air Corps' acceptance of this latter figure might be queried, but the specification of January 1939 contained no limits in this part of the performance envelope, employing sturdy construction and a tricycle undercarriage. It is more than probable that the Air Corps awarded the contract in the light of known peace-time pilot experience (USA was then not at war) and of Glenn Martin's guarantee of rapid production. Even before the first flight, no less than 1,131 B-26 aircraft had been ordered voff the drawing board'; the first instance of this policy in America. In consequence, there was no XB-26, and the first test flight of No. 40-1361 was in the first production aircraft. After over 100 hours of further testing, four B-26s were handed over to the 22nd Bombardment Group at Langley Field, Virginia, and following elimination of teething troubles including nosewheel collapse, this Air Group was fully equipped as production gained momentum.

Air Modeller Issue 48

The Sukhoi Su-22 is an export version of the Su-17, this in turn was developed from the Su-7 with the intention of improving their performance, and was provided with variable geometry wings which reduced the takeoff and landing distances while doubling its capacity. The first flight of this model was conducted in 1966 and named S-22I or Su-71G by the Soviets and Fitter B by NATO. The aircraft first came to the attention of the Western allies in 1971 and began to appear in the Soviet units within two years and many countries of the Soviet block and numerous Arab countries deployed squadrons equipped with this model. The Fitter has performed in various wars and skirmishes, has saw action in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion. Syria used them during the Yom Kippur war, some were shot down during the Gulf War, but perhaps the most striking was the downing of two Libyan Fitters by two Tomcats from VF-41 Black Aces in 1981 in the Gulf of Sidra incident. The model I have chosen is the latest production version of Su-22m4 with advanced avionics including inertial navigation laser rangefinder, more powerful ability to carry TV guided missiles, containers, ECM and radar warning system SPO-15LE.

Air International 06/2013

The A400M has been a long time coming. Its development challenges have been well documented. But with full European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Type Certification achieved, initial military certification imminent and delivery of the first customer aircraft to the Armee de I'Air (French Air Force) due soon, the A400M is at last becoming a reality. EASA certification was awarded on March 13, concluding an intense certification testing campaign (see Taming the Grizzly, January 2013, p70). The milestone means that military certification is now just weeks away. Damian Allard, A400M Market Development Manager, told AIR International: "It's still on-going. We expect to get military certification sooner rather than later. As soon as we get the certification we'll deliver the aircraft to the French Air Force." AIlard didn't provide a specific timeframe about when the certification might be achieved and MSN7, the first series production aircraft, handed over, only saying that the target is to complete this process in the second quarter.

Flight Journal 08/2013

On 20 February 2013, an F-15SA advanced fighter aircraft destined for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) made a successful first flight out of Boeing's St. Louis, Missouri facility. The flight went as planned, meeting all test objectives to support the on-schedule development of this new version of the F-15 Eagle. The F-15SA flight test program will include three instrumented F-15SAs flying out Boeing facilities in St. Louis and Palmdale, California. Deliveries of the new F-15SA aircraft to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are scheduled to begin in 2015 and conclude by 2019 when the last of 84 F-15SAs is to be delivered. "The successful first flight of the F-1SSA is a tremendous milestone for the program and a testament to the relationship between the USAF, Boeing, and our RSAF partners," said Lt. Gen. C. D. Moore II, commander Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. "The F-15SA will add critical capability to the RSAF and enhance the security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," General Moore added.

Model Airplane International 06/2013

For years the only option for those wanting to model the H-34 in 1:48 was the very old Revell kit. This was out of production for a long time, but in mid-2012 it was re-issued by Revell (See Issue 94) and it was soon followed by the superb new-tool Wessex by Italeri (See Issue 94). Not long after the word got out about two new kits by Gallery Models, who are they I thought? Expecting them to be reboxings of the Revell kits it was a very pleasant surprise to find that these were in fact brand new toolings. On opening the box it is very obvious from the look of the instructions, the superb packaging and style of moulding that this is a product of Trumpeter. I understand that there has been some debate about the accuracy of the kit as there is a discrepancy between the box art and the kit inside. This is regarding the undercarriage. The box art shows the trailing arm type whereas the kit itself has the A-frame type. On studying the images of the H-34 in my copy of the Vietnam Choppers book it would appear that both versions were used over there so if these things worry you check your references before deciding which decal option you pick. The kit consists of eight sprues of grey-coloured plastic and three of clear, offering around two hundred and twenty grey and sixteen clear parts respectively.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Panzer Aces No.36

Initially the attack was fairly successful mainly because of the numeric superiority displayed by the Polish Army and because the 24th and 30th German Infantry divisions were caught by surprise. However, after two full days of fighting the Polish Army was finally out powered by the German forces while receiving intense aerial attacks both by the German aviation and artillery. On September the 18th the focal point of the Polish resistance finally collapsed and after three days of cleaning out a few resilient spots the battle ended with the destruction of the Pomorze and Poznan Armies. The German Army that attacked Poland on September 1939 had a somewhat experimental approach, and had many undefined areas both on its equipment, tactics and internal organization. For instance, the cooperation between the armored divisions and the standard Infantry was rather wanting. Only a few units were equipped with the latest equipment, and some units were even equipped with vintage material manufactured between WWI and WWII.

Panzer Aces No.35

Since all previous vehicles, such as Sturmhaubitz 42 (Sd.Kfz. I42/2) and Stug 33, were considered only as temporary models ("interim solution"), Albert Speer ordered the development of Sturmpanzer IV. In fact, the Stug 33 can be considered the direct forerunner of Brummbar. During a conference on October 2, 1942, Speer presented the plans of a new Sturmpanzer and on October 14, 1942, designs were shown to Adolf Hitler. Based on these designs, Hitler ordered production of 40 to 60 new vehicles that should be ready by spring 1943. The new Sturmpanzer was to use the Panzerkampfwagen IV chassis and the 150mm StuH 43 L/12 gun (developed into a tank mounted weapon from the sIG 33 by Skoda). At the same time, Hitler also requested that the new design be mounted with a 210mm or 220mm mortar, but this never happened. In February 1943, Skoda produced a wooden prototype of the new Sturmpanzer IV (Sturmpanzer 33). The vehicle was designated Sd.Kfz.166, Sturmpanzer mit 15cm StuH 43.

Panzer Aces No.34

In this battle, German strategists employed for the first time their infiltration tactics using their Sturmtrup-pen; small assault troops which attacked the enemy lines using automatic weapons and grenades. These kinds of assaults were much more effective than the traditional frontal confrontations. The Italians taken by surprise, retreated en masse while the Austro-Hungarian forces continued to Venice. Finally the Italians made a solid defense line around the river Piave - 100km away from the previous defense line-, where they stopped the enemy advance. The catastrophe of Caporetto was of such a great magnitude, that the British and the French had to send troops on a hurry to Italy to avoid the collapse of the battle-front. This collapse would have placed the Central European forces in the valley of the Po River. The war booty was substantial, and the defeat of the Italian Army was one of the worst in WWI. Italy lost a vast amount of military supplies, 300.000 men were captured and 50.000 lost their lives.

Panzer Aces No.30

This vehicle saw active service for a number of years; this means that your paintjob options are many. They range from dark grey to dark yellow, and you can also do all of the "African colors". However I think that the most interesting camouflage schemes for me are those applied on the dark grey base color on the summer of 1942 in Southern Russia. Nobody really knows for certain where those paints came from. It could have been paints RAL 8000 or RAL 8020 from the African theater of operations or paint obtained from the enemy. Once I consulted the reference images, I began painting my miniature Panzer. I consider that the main painting techniques are too well known, and have been better described in other reviews of this magazine and other hobby manuals. That's why I'm not going to go into too much technical detail.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Classic Aircraft 08/2011

B-17G Flying Fortress 44-8S734 Liberty Belle was lost in a fire following a forced landing near Oswego, Illinois on 13 June. The aircraft was on its annual tour 'barnstorming' around the USA, offering rides to enthusiasts and educating the public about WW2 history. The blaze began shortly after take-off on a routine positioning flight between Aurora, Illinois and Indianapolis, Indiana. The crew noticed an acrid smell, but couldn't determine from where it emanated. Cullen Underwood, flying an SNJ-4 in formation with the B-17, informed the bomber's captain John Hess that he could see a fire in the left wing trailing edge behind the inboard engine. The fire had already burned a hole through the wing. Underwood advised Liberty Belles crew to put the Fortress down immediately, rather than make for an airport as initially planned. Hess and his co-pilot, Bud Sittig, rapidly located a suitable cornfield and made a textbook and uneventful wheels-down landing.

Classic Aircraft 07/2011

Following several weeks of preparation work inside the American Air Museum at Duxford, the Imperial War Museum's b-17g Mary Alice has been moved into Hangar 5 for the start of a programme of conservation work scheduled to take up to 16 months. Rather than take down the glass windows and supporting structure at the front of the AAM, museum staff calculated that it would be possible to dismantle the airframe such that it could be removed clinically via the fire doors. Thus, the engines were removed, the wings taken off to the wing roots, the tailplane and rudder removed and the ball turret extracted from the lower fuselage. To support the aircraft once the main undercarriage legs were no longer in place, a castoring wheeled 'undercarriage' was bolted to the main spar, while the tailwheel had a long steering arm attached. Thus stripped down, the remaining fuselage section weighed no more than three tonnes. More importantly, it was sufficiently narrow to be able to pass through the fire escape doors, although the clearances would still be very tight.

Classic Aircraft 06/2011

ROD LEWIS' Curtiss P-40C Tomahawk IIb AK295/ ZK-TWK made its maiden flight on 17 April following restoration by Avspecs Ltd in Ardmore, New Zealand. The engineers at Avspecs, led by company owner Warren Denholm, are world-renowned for the quality of their work, and most especially when it involves the Curtiss Hawk line. Denholm said that the most difficult problem his team encountered during the rebuild arose from the lack of drawings specific to the Tomahawk series. They had to rely upon photographic evidence for some aspects of the restoration. John Lamont, Avspecs' regular test pilot, was at the helm for the first flights. Warren Denholm noted that a few minor snags were experienced with the aircraft's rpm controls and aileron trim, but no significant squawks needed rectifying at the time of writing. The aircraft has a brief, but interesting, military history. Curtiss-Wright built AK295 for service with the RAF but, like many other Tomahawks, it joined the Soviet Air Force instead.

Classic Aircraft 05/2011

After a comprehensive overhaul lasting almost three years, the EADS Heritage Flight's Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10 Werknummer 151591 D-FDME took to the air again at Manching in Bavaria on 5 April, sporting a new look. This unique airworthy example of the G-10 variant, originally converted from a Merlin-powered HAI I 12-MI L Buchon to Daimler-Benz DB605-engined configuration by Hans Dittes, was quite familiar on the British airshow scene for a period starting in the mid-1990s when it was operated by the Duxford-based Old Flying Machine Company while still owned by Dittes. It then passed to the Messerschmitt Stiftung to support its preservation in airworthy condition. Still painted as 'Black 2', the aircraft flew occasionally as part of what became the EADS Heritage Flight fleet, but it suffered a landing mishap on the opening day of the ILA Berlin Air Show in May 2008 when its starboard undercarriage leg gave way.

Aviation News 06/2013

As a result of the cutbacks enforced by sequestration the USAF began standing down active-duty combat units on April 9 to ensure the remaining units supporting worldwide operations can maintain sufficient readiness. Air Combat Command has confirmed that 17 combat squadrons will stand down until October 1 (the end of the fiscal year), either immediately or, in the case of deployed units, as soon as they return home. According to the USAF the cuts must be implemented in order to fly approximately 45,000 fewer training hours than previously scheduled, barring any changes to current levels of funding. The decision to stand down or reduce operations affects about a third of the active-duty combat air forces aircraft - including those assigned to fighter, bomber, aggressor and airborne warning and control squadrons. For example in addition to the list opposite of units stood down, of the six E-3 Sentry squadrons of the 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma only one (though not named) will retain a basic mission capable level.

Military Machines International 06/2013

The largest artillery piece in the UK, 1 of 12 surviving wartime railway howitzers in the world, as featured in the April 2013 issue of MMI, is being moved for exhibition in Holland. The 190-ton breech loading 18-inch howitzer, is being sent to the Dutch Netherlands to form the centerpiece of an exhibition at the Het Spoorwegmuseum (Dutch Railway Museum) in Utrecht. On Monday, 25 March, nearly 70 years after its huge barrel was pointed across the Channel to protect our shores during the dark days of the Second World War, it began its journey from the grounds of the Royal Artillery's headquarters in Wiltshire, where it has sat since 2008. The logistical operation to move such a hulk of metal along some of the busiest roads in the south of England has taken weeks of careful planning. Specialized heavy equipment moving lorries had to be used to transport the rare howitzer. It had to be dismantled into 2 sections before it could be moved, yet the loads were still gargantuan.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Scale Model Addict Issue 02

The basis for this conversion is the combination of the Tamiya newly tooled Matilda MK III/IV, kit number 35300, and Tiger Models kit AR-0199 MK I ("BEF") Matilda backdate set. This is a straightforward conversion with most of the work being just swapping Tamiya parts out for a Tiger Models replacement. The conversion does include a jig to raise the suspension, making the lower hull much easier to convert. My only advice would be to measure twice and cut once when you take this critical step. The jig is cast from resin and can deform! I also had problems with the glacis plate and armoured lockers. As you can see on the photographs the Tiger Models parts have a pronounced "bow" (Pic 1,2). My only other complaint about the Tiger Models kit is that the instructions are only partially step by step, and you have to constantly go back and forth between the Tamiya instructions and the photos of the built up final conversion that is included on a CD ROM with the Tiger Models kit.

Scale Model Addict Issue 01

The Italian CV3/35 Lanciafiamme Tankette was the first Bronco kit I have had the pleasure of building. Since then, I've built a couple more and can say that in what seems like a fairly short time, Bronco has not only come from 'no-where' but quickly moved to the front of the pack as far as quality, super detailed kits for the builder who enjoys that type of modeling. There is even some rumbling on the forums about 'over engineering', and that perhaps Bronco is putting this stunning level of detail into a kit 'simply because they can'. Whether or not this is true aside, their kits are currently on the top in my opinion when it comes to detail and accuracy. If that is the type of model kit you seek, then this is the manufacturer you should look into. To make things even 'better'. Bronco have worked tirelessly at producing kits that have been on modelers want list for a very long time.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Classic Aircraft 04/2011

The collings foundation made a major addition to its collection recently with the acquisition of an F-100F Super Sabre, 56-3844. The fighter is a former Royal Danish Air Force example, and served its post-military career as a drone with Flight Systems, Inc before becoming a warbird in the late 1990s. Collings acquired the 4Hun' through a significant donation from Frank and Bruce Dworak and their families. The F-100, one of only two currently airworthy, flew in early February from its previous home in El Paso to Midland, Texas. There, Evolution Aerostyling is already hard at work repainting the aircraft which, until very recently, had worn a very attractive USAF Thunderbirds scheme. The new markings will represent an F-100F flown by Medal of Honor recipient Col George 'Bud' Day during the Vietnam War (see below). The Collings Foundation will base its 'Hun' at Ellington Field near Houston and begin transitioning some of its pilots onto the Super Sabre once the repainting is complete. The Foundation will campaign it at airshows across the country, and hopes to certify the F-100 for its Flight Training Program, where members of the public can get instruction and flight time in the fighter.

Classic Aircraft 03/2011

The second civilian-owned MiG-29 to fly in the USA, a two-seat MiG-29UB trainer appropriately registered N29UB, took to the air at Arlington Municipal Airport in Virginia on 23 January. However, this example, owned by John Sessions' Historic Flight Foundation, will be the first private 'Fulcrum' on the North American airshow circuit. This MiG-29UB (Bort 64 red, c/n 50903014896) passed to the Ukrainian Air Force upon the collapse of the USSR, and served latterly with 642 IAP at Martynovka. It had only notched up 510 flight hours by the time it was retired, demilitarised and offered for sale.The Historic Flight Foundation heard about the aircraft through Tim Morgan of Morgan Aircraft Restorations, and a deal was brokered to bring it to the US. This, though, proved problematic.The shipping company split the aircraft into two consignments to deter hijackers, with the crates containing the wing and engines going across the Atlantic while the fuselage took the Pacific route. At Hong Kong, the fuselage was off-loaded to change ships, but the shipper had not obtained a local import licence, and on 4 April 2006 it was seized as military contraband.

Classic Aircraft 02/2011

The US Airways Airbus A320 that famously ditched on the Hudson River in New York on 15 January 2009 looks set to become a star exhibit at the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina. Having made a safe water landing in the hands of Capt Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger following a multiple birdstrike on climb-out from New York's LaGuardia airport, all 150 passengers and five crew members were rescued successfully from the aircraft, A320-2I4 N l06US.The largely intact airframe was then moved to a location in New Jersey for examination by accident investigators. US Airways Flight 1549 was operating from LaGuardia to Charlotte, making the Carolinas Aviation Museum a most appropriate location for the Airbus.The museum's president Shawn Dorsch told Aircraft that plans are being formulated for the A320's display, which will focus on how all the systems, procedures and training that go into modern commercial operations contribute to their safety. Airbus and US Airways have both been extremely supportive. More on this story in future issues.

Classsic Aircraft 01/2011

B-17G Flying Fortress 44-8543/N3701G Chuckie made its first flight in nearly three years on 5 December. Ray Fowler, regular lead pilot for B-17G Liberty Belle, had the honour of performing the test flight. It performed beautifully, without any significant issues to remedy according to those present. This wouldn't have been possible without the dedicated efforts of crew chief Bill Gorin and his volunteers, who have worked diligently over the past couple of years.This included such arduous tasks as performing the spar and propeller Airworthiness Directives and replacing the port main undercarriage. Built under licence by Lockheed Vega in late 1944, 44-8543 received modifications to house an H2X navigation radar, located in a retractable dome where the ball turret would normally be stowed. H2X was used by the Army Air Force on so-called 'Pathfinder' sorties to guide bombing missions accurately over enemy territory in poor weather.

Cold War Aircraft Modeller Issue 2

Over the last year or so it seems that the modelling world has finally woken up to the fact that the Lynx helicopter in its many incarnations, can form the basis of a very interesting collection of models. There are so many variants, colour schemes and details, it makes you wonder why this attractive military aircraft hasn't been more popular! Though the Lynx has appeared in a number of different ranges - Frog, Matchbox, Airfix, HobbyBoss, Accurate Armour, Belcher - it has taken until recently for the mainstream manufacturers to grasp the mettle and produce kits in larger scales; first, Airfix released their superlative 1/48 kit and now Revell, noted for their ability to produce large kits at cut-prices, have released two new Lynx kits in 1/32 - a German Mk.88 and now, to the delight of the British public, a Royal Navy HAS.3. Let's take a look at the HAS.3 in more detail...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Model Military International Issue 86

With the end of hostilities in the Second World War, the US Army had a huge inventory of M24sr some 3833 examples, and requirements from many Allied nations (and some former enemies) for tanks to re-equip armoured units reforming after the war. There were also plans to distribute a large number of M24s to National Guard units across the country. Some deficiencies and problems had been identified during the war and most M24s were modified to improve their capabilities. The wartime T72 steel tracks were replaced with a new T85E1 rubber chevron track very similar to the T49 tracks on many M4 Shermans, the aft-mounted turret .50 M2HB machine gun was relocated to the forward turret roof, and the 2 inch smoke mortar was eliminated and its place used to mount a second antenna for extra radio equipment. Early tanks were also fitted with the mounts for the wading pontoons that were on the later M24s. Not all modifications appeared on every M24, but most of the post-war tanks did have most of them.

Scale Aviation Modeller 05/2013

Nobody will doubt that airflow was the same on both sides of the iron curtain. The same phenomenon has happened many times - for instance in the late forties when piston-driven fighters were on the eclipse whilst at the same team reaching the pinnacle of design, soon to be replaced by jets. New airfoils and bigger and stronger engines continued to dictate design features. So, to counter increased torque and decreased forward visibility on a taildragger, designers at Grumman, Boeing and Hawker, to name but a few, seem to have come to the same solutions.  Increase the tail section area for better stability, widen the undercarriage track to improve handling and raise the pilot for better visibility. These common conclusions resulted in elegant and powerful machines like the F8F, the Boeing XF8B-1 and the Sea Fury. Vickers-Supermarine was no exception to this trend, by now making a last effort to breathe further life into the venerable Spitfire design.

Model Aircraft 05/2013

The South African Air Force was established on 1 February 1920 and has seen action during World War II and the Korean War. From 1966 the SAAF was involved in initially a low intensity conflict, colloquially termed as 'The Border War' in Angola (now Namibia) and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). As the war progressed, the intensity of air operations increased until the late 1980s, when the SAAF was required to fly fighter missions against Angolan aircraft in order to maintain tactical air superiority. When the conflict ended in 1990 the SAAF reduced its aircraft numbers dramatically due to economic pressures, as well as the cessation of hostilities with other neighboring states. Today the SAAF has a limited air combat capability, albeit with fourth generation aircraft, and has been structured towards regional peace-keeping, disaster relief and maritime patrol operations.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Airfix Model World 06/2013

One of the lesser-known Luftwaffe units that flew later Fw 190 models in combat was JG 5. It was based throughout its existence in Norway and Finland, and fought the Russians on one side and the RAF over the North Sea on the other; JG 5 was effectively an air force within an air force. Formed in early 1942, partly from the re-numbering of elements of the already-existing JG 77, JG 5 was subordinate to the Norwegian-based Luftflotte 5 (Air Fleet 5), which controlled Luftwaffe air operations in the Scandinavian area until reorganised later in 1944. Appropriately named the'Eismeer' (ice sea) Geschwader, JG 5 flew a mixed bag of aircraft types.These were principally different marks of the Messerschmitt Bf 109, but JG 5 also featured a twin-engined element with Bf 110 heavy fighters.The Fw 190, initially in A-2 and A-3 fighter versions, started to reach JG 5 in 1942 but a small unit of fighter-bomber Fw 190s was also assigned. It was later in 1944 that the Fw 190A-8 was used by JG 5, but operational necessity resulted in elements of JG 5 being re-assigned to other war fronts where their presence was more pressingly needed. Nevertheless the Fw 190A-8 gave a good account of itself with JG 5 in this difficult and cold operational environment, where it was used as a day fighter at lower level, mainly against the RAF.

Combat Aircraft Monthly 06/2013

THE RAF FORMALLY announced on 12 April that No 17 Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES) is to become the UK's F-35 Lightning II Operational Evaluation Unit (OEU). The squadron's current role as the Typhoon OEU is to end, with No 41 TES becoming a joint Typhoon/Tornado GR4 squadron. The first Typhoon in No 41 TES markings was due to be rolled out as we went to press. It was also rumoured that at least two Hawk T2s will be assigned to the unit at RAF Coningsby. No 17 TES will now transfer to Edwards AFB, California, and become the lead UK F-35 unit, tasked with operational evaluation. Meanwhile, BAE Systems is stepping up Typhoon trials activity. New night vision goggles (NVGs) are being tested at the company's airfield at Warton, Lancashire. The new FENN NG2000Ti NVGs are attached to the latest Helmet-Mounted Symbology System (HMSS). BAE Systems is also assessing the aerodynamic characteristics of carrying the Boeing Harpoon anti-ship missile on the Typhoon. Testing is under way at the company's high-speed wind tunnel to de-risk the clearance process for such weapons to be integrated onto the type.

Flypast Magazine 06/2013

North Weald's Hangar 11 Collection has been working hard on its fighters over the winter. As reported in the February issue, P-40 Warhawk G-KITT is being prepared for a new colour scheme, with paint-stripping continuing at a rapid pace. The cockpit is also receiving some TLC, with the team removing modern radios and nonstandard alterations. Collection owner Peter Teichman told FlyPast: "We scoured the world for a genuine replacement top instrument panel, and were delighted to source one some 12,000 miles away in an Australian museum. The panel is just as it was when removed from a wartime P-40 in '0z', complete with all gauges, clocks and instruments. It will be fitted to the P-40 before she flies to have her new paint applied." Away from the hangar, work on Spitfire IX PT879, a survivor from a Russian unit, started last year. Restoration work has progressed at a significant pace, with the fuselage coming along nicely at Isle of Wight-based Airframe Assemblies. The Hangar 11 team has supplied around 650 components from the original fuselage alone for re-use in the project.

Model Airplane International 05/2013

Sold as a UH.5 (shouldn't that be HU.5?) the various schemes for Fleet Air Arm and Royal Air Force included will allow the modeller to build the kit as HU.5 and HAR.2 variants. When I heard the news of this release I was eager to see what it was like as the last new-tool Italeri helicopter kit I had built (OH-58 Kiowa Scout) had proved a big disappointment. I can safely say that this kit is a huge improvement on their last one. On opening the box you will find five sprues of well detailed, crisply moulded parts. In total 117 grey-coloured and 7 clear with a photo-etched brass fret containing another 11 parts. Also you will find in the box a sheet of plastic mesh which is to be used to make the debris screen for the large intake on the nose cowling. The instructions are in Italeri's usual style with fairly good colour call-outs throughout. The decal sheet is very nice with excellent register and good colour, printed by Cartograf I suspect. Colour schemes for four aircraft are included, one Royal Air Force and three Fleet Air Arm. All in all a nice looking package but how would it go together? Let's find out.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Aeroplane Magazine 06/2013

The much-missed former Fighter Collection North American P-51C Mustang43-25147 Princess Elizabeth is being shipped back to Duxford from its home with the Friedkin Family Warbirds at their ranch near Houston, Texas. The Mustang was operated by The Fighter Collection from Duxford between 1997-2006, and is the only C model to have flown in Britain since the end of the war. The fighter will be one of the stars of the Remembering the Mighty Eighth Spring Air Show at Duxford on May 26, which will celebrate the 70th anniversary of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visiting the Cambridgeshire base to welcome the 78th Fighter Group of the USAAF's 8th Air Force to British shores. The P-51C will be flown in a first-ever, four-ship display by the Eagle Squadron, alongside a Mk I Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane and Republic P-47G Thunderbolt.

Aero Modeller No.921

Davis Diesel Development introduced their head for converting Cox TD and Medallion .049’s in late 1976 and is still available. Cox International also sells an almost identical head of this type. They has a loosely fitted contra-piston and compression adjusting screw with a coil spring for retaining the desired compression setting. To seal against leaks, the system uses a disc punched from thin fluorocarbon plastic sheet between the head and cylinder. Compression is adjusted in the usual way, as the disc conforms to the slight changes in combustion chamber volume. This arrangement always backs off when desired – no sticking contra-piston here. However, the plastic disc will fail if the engine runs too hot and must then be replaced. An alternative diesel head uses a rubber O-ring fitted to a groove in the aluminium contra-piston to make a gas tight seal.

Aero Modeller No.920

It is often said, that our teenage years, represent the most formative times of our lives. We take on board many such things, that stay with us, forever, into our dotage. From the aeromodelling standpoint, that is certainly true of me. I built, and flew, model aeroplanes from an early age, but it was not until I was in my late teens, at the tail end of the 1950’s, that I discovered control line. I was fortunate enough, back then, to fly with an enthusiastic group of young guys on the Three Kings Piece, in South London, later to spawn the Three Kings Model Club, which, at the time, was one of the definitive C/L clubs in the country. One of my mentors was H.C. Queck, whose profile scale, WWII, warbird-based, stunters featured as plans in AeroModeller, back then, and whose designs are still valid, today. Oddly, mine always came out looking like Hurricanes, but Quecky left an indelible mark on my thinking, which I have re-visited on several occasions, since, witness my variety of “designs”, published in AeroModeller, and elsewhere, since.

Aero Modeller No.919

The Douglas A-26 “Invader” was one of the worlds most widely recognised and respected aircraft of World War II attack bomber types. The A-26 was an unusual design for an attack bomber of the early 1940s period and was originally designed as a single-pilot aircraft very similar to the RAF’s de Havilland Mosquito. One of the major advancements engineered into the Invader
was making use of the then-new NACA 65-215 laminar flow airfoil.The Douglas XA-26 prototype first flew on 10 July 1942 at Mines Field, El Segundo, California with test pilot Benny Howard (of 1930s air racing fame and founder of the Howard Aircraft Company) at the controls. Initial flight tests revealed excellent performance and handling. The A-26 was produced in many different variants and proved to be quite versatile for many different combat roles. The Model A-26B was first pressed into service in August 1943 with the new bomber first seeing action with the Fifth Air Force in the Southwest Pacific Theater on 23 June 1944 where it quickly racked up an impressive combat record. The A-26 began arriving in Europe in late September 1944 for assignment to the Ninth Air Force and flew its first mission on September 6.