Welcome to Scale Modelling -Step-by-Step... whether you are a total novice, returning to the hobby after a long lay-off, or an experienced modeller. I mention the latter because even old-hands can pick up bad or unproductive habits and forget the basics. While flexibility and experimentation form a large part of building scale models, there are some 'standards' that are set in stone and many construction, painting and airbrushing methods are featured here. Primarily though, this instructional publication is aimed at beginners who, if they choose to stick with it, will have entered a wonderful world in which to develop their creativity. Modelling encompasses many disciplines, and for younger people it is perfect for developing manual dexterity and patience. For those interested in history, or who would like to be, the hobby presents a fantastic opportunity to explore research material... not just for inspiration, but also for achieving the best possible accuracy.
With the career of the USA's current electronic attack aircraft, the EA-6B Prowler, nearing its sunset a successor was badly needed. The role is currently being inherited by the new family member of the 'Superbug' series, the EA-18G Growler. This sub-type shares 90% commonality with its counterpart, the combat-proven F/A-18F, which fields a capable self-defence suite as well as the primary mission equipment required to fulfil the electronic attack role. At this time the EA-18G is slated to be the only dedicated electronic warfare aircraft in the future force of the USA. It is also proposed that Growler should be the main source of tactical jamming support for all NATO air forces. Capabilities include Suppression of Enemy Air Defences, stand-off attack and escort jamming, non-traditional electronic attack and time-critical strike support. The Growler has already flown on active service and cut its teeth during Operation Odyssey Dawn, to help enforce a United Nations no-fly zone over Libya in 2011.
A recent email and accompanying photo sent in by Roland Groom referred to an example of the British Army's Warthog all-terrain tracked vehicle undergoing tests at Bovington (shown bottom) with the locally based Armoured Trials & Development Unit. The vehicle had been fitted with a full suite of the relatively new Tarian add-on armour produced by a local Dorset based firm. In laymen's terms the Tarian armour is essentially a hi-tech composite woven rope/cloth-like material with ballistic properties that can be formed into a netting that is arranged around the exterior of the vehicle and acts in the same way as conventional bar armour, which has been widely used in recent years on vehicles serving in Afghanistan for protection against RPGs. The Tarian armour has the advantage of being easier to produce and is substantially lighter than the conventional bar armour, thus increasing the payload ability of the vehicle it is fitted to. Also shown here is a Tarian-equipped Foxhound armoured patrol car, and by way of comparison a Warthog fitted with the conventional bar armour, both photographed at the Defence Vehicle Dynamics show this year.
THE NEWS FROM Seoul that South Korea has probably selected the F-15SE in its FX-III fighter contest comes as a big boost for Boeing. Not only would this secure the future of the F-15 production line at St Louis past 2020. but it also casts doubt over export ambitions for the Lockheed Martin F-35. Boeing executives have subtly pressed customers, including the US Air Force, to realise that their advanced Eagle and Super Hornet offerings both provide viable alternatives to the F-35. The push to include stealthy weapons pods on both types, new large area display cockpits. AESA radars and embedded forward-looking infra-red sensors all offer JSF-like capabilities, albeit in much older core platforms, which are not inherently stealthy. US Air Force pilots have long suggested (off the record) that a Block 60 F-16 on steroids, or new Silent Eagles, would provide capabilities approaching those of the F-35. but with far lower program risks — and. as Korea has seemingly illustrated, at a more acceptable and predictable acquisition cost.