When Riich Mode s first announced that they would be releasing a 1:35 scale Universal Carrier Mk.I, it was probably the most exciting and anticipated upcoming re ease for many in the modelling community. As soon as my kit arrived I literally cleared my workbench and immediate y started on this project. The re ease represents the Universal Gun Carrier Mk.I which was used on most fronts throughout WW2 by the Commonwealth (Canadian, British, Australia) and a large number of captured carriers were pushed into German service as we I. Moreover, the Universal Carrier took many forms and, similar to the Churchill Infantry Tank, was converted into many variants to serve a great number of functions and roles with differing armament i.e. MMG (with Vickers), Artillery Tractor, Wireless, Flamethrower and mortar carrier. The history on the development of the Universal Gun Carrier has a ready been we -documented in many excellent books. In summary, the development of the Universal Carrier was borne from many designs which were developed between the wars.
Billed as the fastest bomber in the free world, in the 1960s the Convair B-58 Hustler was always hitting the headlines. It set speed and performance records at a routine pace. As a Strategic Air Command (SAC) navigator, I was weaned on the B-47 Stratojet (see the panel on page 23). On June 17, 1964, our crew flew the last B-47 at Little Rock, Arkansas, to the 'Boneyard' at Davis-Monthan in Arizona. The next phase would be B-52s, or if I was lucky, the B-58. After some wait and worry, the stars aliened and I got selected for the B-58 programme. So, it was back to the 'schoolhouse'. After cruising along at a leisurely 430 knots for around 1,500 hours in the B-47, it was a real adjustment to the Mach 0.91 mission profile of the B-58 with supersonic bomb runs at Mach 1.65. A unit of time is still the same whether on the ground or in the air; but those minutes seemed to fly by a lot faster in the Hustler.
The modern German HDW Type 212A U-Boat, arguably the most advanced non-nuclear submarine in the world, is the subject of the Alexander Engel KG company's newest addition to their range of model kits. To 1:70 scale, the model is a compact 800mm in length and displaces just 4.9kg on the surface, yet offers high performance, operational safety and advanced features such as an X-tail with electronic mixing of the control functions. Its static diving ballast system consists of a single 500ml Engel piston tank. This kit's completeness, manageable size and relative affordability, will I think have many people without experience of model submarines looking at it and wondering if it could provide them with their introduction to the world of three-dimensional movement that exists below the surface of their favourite sailing lake. Please refer to the Engel website: www.engel-modellbau.de for current pricing.
The Space Shuttle orbiter was a partly reusable system to place payloads in low Earth orbit. The components included the orbiter vehicle, a pair of recoverable solid rocket boosters, and an expendable external tank. The Shuttle was launched vertically like a conventional rocket, with the boosters and tank being jettisoned before the vehicle reached orbit. At the conclusion of the mission, the Shuttle fired its orbital manoeuvring system rockets to drop out of orbit and re-enter the atmosphere. The orbiter module was only an "aircraft" for the very last phase of its flight, as the world's heaviest, most expensive "glider", with a minimal low aspect double delta wing, relatively undersized for the fuselage. On re-entry, the orbiter would be flying backwards and inverted, before flipping to a more conventional orientation. At about 40,000ft, at Mach 25 (18,000 m.p.h.), the air density began to affect the vehicle, flying at 40 degrees nose-up, to increase drag and manage heating.
Northrop grumman's X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D) completed its first carrier-based arrested landing when it touched down aboard the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) on 10 July and caught the ship's number three wire with its tailhook. Following its take-off from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, the X-47B flew a 35-minute transit to the carrier, which was operating off the coast of Virginia, and following several precision approaches made an autonomous arrested landing. The aircraft makes its approaches autonomously, without human interference. Following the landing the UCAS-D carried out a catapult launch and then a second arrested landing. During a third approach to the carrier the X-47B self-detected a navigation computer anomaly that caused the air vehicle to transit to an assigned shore-based divert landing site. It recovered safely at the NASA Wallops Island Flight Facility in Chincoteague, Virginia.
Japan entered the 20th century with a clear victory over the Russian fleets at Port Arthur and Tsushima, ending the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. But while Japan had succeeded in becoming an industrial power by the early 20th century, it still was largely an agrarian nation, and its industrial capacity was limited. This meant that Japanese planners had to set priorities on allocating their manufacturing efforts to support the military. As will be seen, Japan's position as a new major naval power favoured the diversion of industrial effort and resource allocation toward the Navy, leaving the Army to settle for what it could obtain from the remainder of the country's military budget. This in turn affected the number and quality of most of Japan's non-naval weapons. In spite of Japan's limitations, her leaders were very much interested in improving her military capabilities and in the decades after WWI, Japan experimented with tank designs, purchasing a number of foreign tanks to study them and develop doctrines for using armour in warfare.
During WWI, the Germans followed the French procedure of using several camouflage colors to paint spots that would somehow disguise the silhouette of their armored vehicles, transport vehicles and artillery pieces. These items usually came out of the factory painted in a greenish grey color which came in either a darker or a lighter tone. Before the material was sent to the front it was painted with reddish brown, sand colored and dark green spots, and in some cases the edges of these spots were painted with black paint along the spots' contours.