Few people in the UK will know of the kits available under this name. John Harloe is the man behind the venture and you can purchase from his Company 'Cottage Industries', a wide range of American Civil War equipment and figures. The Old Steam Navy banner flies over some of the very best artillery pieces in 1/32nd scale that you can buy, the Confederate submarine Hunley in the same scale and now a series of 1/96th scale ironclads. Unfortunately the nature of our mag prevents us from talking more about these - but check out the website below for more info. Currently there are three artillery pieces in 1/32nd scale kit form and these are: a 10" Rodman Gun on a Seacoast Barbette Carriage, a wonderful 13" Union Seacoast Mortar on a firing platform and an 8" Parrot Rifle, also on a Barbette Carriage. Most of the artillery kits consist of 30+ parts: for example, the 10' Rodman Gun & Carriage kit consists of 37 parts. Most of these as with the other artillery kits, are devoted to the construction of the carriage. In addition, there are 12 artillery shells with this kit and a similar number of munitions are supplied with the other guns. These l/32nd scale kits are all resin-cast with a small number of metal parts usually made from metal rod or in the case of the Hunley a few white metal castings.
The DUKW (or 'Duck' as it was often known) was developed in 1942, during the Second World War, as an amphibious truck capable of carrying cargo direct from vessels moored offshore to storage depots inland, where port facilities were not available or had been damaged. It was designed in 1942 and was based around the mechanical components of the GMC 2.5 ton cargo truck. The vehicle entered service with American forces but was soon supplied to British and Commonwealth units operating in Italy and later, in North-West Europe. The DUKW continued in American service after the end of the Second World War, serving through the Korean War and into the early part of the Vietnam conflict. In British service, the DUKW served largely with RASC transport companies during the war, surviving into the 1960s and the Malayan Emergency. A small number are still operated by the Royal Marines, albeit as general support and liaison vehicles at the Amphibious Trials and Training Unit Royal Marines (ATTURM), near Instow in Devon.
In this particular case, boredom was the incentive for my interest, as there were no novelties on the shelves of my local modelling shop. However, when I opened the box of this kit. I was pleasantly surprised. It was perfect! The tracks were rigid and the box art showed a very attractive camouflage pattern. I thought it would be a perfect way to detoxify myself of the usual models I make and so I started to assemble it as soon as I got home. As I expected, this was one of those models that makes you long for those far off days when all you wanted to do was glue plastic parts together...no photo-etch, resin or airbrushes involved. Just the enjoyment of building a straightforward model with some glue, scissors and sand paper. No headaches, just relax and use your imagination... If the concise manufacturer's instructions are followed, there are no problems assembling the model in next to no time. The only down side was.
The Duxford Museum is a very interesting place for everyone remotely interested in the history of aerial conflict, Air Power and Aviation as a whole. One of the Hangars houses the "Flying Legends", a group of very dedicated people and their airplanes. The planes are mostly aircraft from the Second World War and with great enthusiasm and skill they keep many of these in flying condition. Several times a year they put them on display for the benefit of all Aircraft enthusiasts and interested Spectators. The display is more like a big international family party with small re-enactments going on. The Pilots and Service Personal are dressed for the occasion in uniforms and there are field stations of all sorts on display. Here you can see a GI shaving In the mirror of a Willy's Jeep, there you can see RAF Flight Lieutenant marking a flight plan on a blackboard in front of a tent, with a perfect English moustache and a haircut in exactly 1940 RAF style. Also there were some veterans signing posters in a special tent and I noticed the presence of veterans from all sides, which reminds us all about the reasons under which these machines were constructed. Today thankfully they act more as a link between nations and visitors come from all over the world to see these fantastic men in their flying machines. Luckily the not so fantastic British summer of 2007 behaved itself for the very best backdrop for this Sunday in July.
Due to the surprise in having to confront the excellent Russian T-34, the German Army urgently requested a new tank that could face it. General Guderian summoned an urgent Study for the development of a tank that would return battlefield supremacy to the Germans, and even considered copying the T-34 directly. Nevertheless, this option did not end up being pursued, not only for national pride, but because the advanced German industry found many difficulties in copying the aluminium V-12 engine that was mounted in the T-34. On November 25, 1941, Hitler ordered the Wa Pruf (*) to begin development of the new vehicle. At the end of 1941, the Ministry of German Armament invited Daimler-Benz, MAN, Krupp, and Skoda to develop the project. The specifications were: a weight among 30-35 tons, inclined armour-plating of 40-60 mm, an L/48 gun of 75mm, (later on this was changed to a gun of 70 calibre, although Hitler wanted one of 100 calibre's. Rheinmetall-Borsig took charge of turret design. Daimler-Benz designed the new tank being inspired a lot by the previous VK3001 prototype that was the direct copy of the T-34. They thought about two types of different suspension systems, a more economical one that consisted of two bogies with leaf springs, very similar to that of the Czech T-38, but was finally rejected because it was not sufficiently strong enough for the armour increases that was foreseen. The second suspension was chosen and mounted on the Panthers that we know, and was a collaboration between MAN and Daimler-Benz, the two companies that would manufacture the new tank.