Thursday, April 24, 2014

Scale Aviation Modeller International 05/2014

The F-105 Thunderchief made its initial flight 22 October 1955, exceeding Mach in the process. This aircraft ultimately beat North American's bid with the YF-107A for the USAF interceptor/penetrator allocation. The only major area of concern at the time was whether the Allison J71 turbojet engine would have been powerful enough to support the F-105 airframe and the decision was made to replace the Allison engine with the Pratt & Whitney J57 turbojet, and th is was ultimately replaced with the Pratt & Whitney J75 afterburni ng turbojet, which produced 26,500 pounds of thrust with afterburner. The name of the game here was power and thrust and the need for speed! The F-105D had a gross airframe weight of 52,000 pounds, a maximum speed at sea level of 730 knots, a thrust-to-weight ratio of 0.745, and a wing loading of 9.25 G. These features gave the F-105 an excellent performance in the trans-sonic range and excellent acceleration in the vertical envelope, which made it an excellent penetration nuclear strike aircraft. However, it was was to take on a much different role brought back men that would have either perished during the mission or become POWs. Payload and weapon capacity of the F-105 was considerable at 14,000 pounds. It carried more ordnance than the four-engined bombers of World War II, and for this reason alone the F-105 flew the majority of ground attack sorties during the war for the US Air Force. The airframe was not originally designed for the mud moving role but it did prove successful and even influenced the development of its successor, the Fairchild A-10 Warthog. The F-105 could be considered successful during the Vietnam War as its missions allowed the military and politicians to proceed with their strategy and tactics, and in the end there could have been no American involvement, let alone success, in South Vietnam without the combined efforts of the air assets of the US Armed Forces.

Model Aircraft 05/2014

The quest for supersonic speed wasn't the sole realm of the fighter designer. As engine power and efficiencies rose in the 1950s, bomber designers also began to see their dreams of ever higher speeds and flight become more plausible. Despite this, though, the supersonic bomber remained largely unattainable for all but the Americans and Soviets. That is, of course, with the exception of the Dassault Mirage IV. The Mirage IV is the only supersonic bomber in the world that reached mass production outside of the US and USSR. As a result, it put France in a very elite club of those capable of delivering nuclear weapons at greater than the speed of sound. This was no mean feat, and despite the fact that the early Mirage IV was barely a strategic aircraft, range-wise, it is a testament to the personnel that designed and built it. The early Mirage IVAs were armed with a single AN-11 or AN-22 60-70 kT thermonuclear weapon carried semi-recessed in a ventral 'bay', not unlike the large pod on a B-58 Hustler. However, the Mirage is a smaller aircraft, with only two engines and crew. Despite the impressive feat of engineering that the Mirage IV represents, nationalism seems to have played a part in ensuring that not many models of it were made. Whether it was a case of 'sour grapes' or genuine ignorance of the aircraft's importance, none of the non-French model makers chose to represent the IV in kit form. Other French aircraft, such as the Mirage III and V, F.1 and Super /tendard were kitted by various other companies, but the exclusive IVA remained just that; beyond the reach of most. Of course, the French model kit industry was not about to let their country's achievements go uncelebrated, and Heller issued the Mirage IVA in two sizes: 1/72 and 1/48.

Scale Military Modeller International 05/2014

For the build I used the Academy M2 kit #1335 which provided a good starting point and as with any armoured vehicle the project began with the wheels and hull. Here I filled some holes on the sides and bottom which were originally designed for some motorization pieces. I then switched out the rubber band tracks for a set of AFV Club individual link tracks that give a much better appearance, since the M2's were kept with tighter track tension and this is better achieved with individual link tracks. I then moved onto the upper hull which went together easily, but left several large gaps around some of the pieces. In order to fill in these spaces I used pieces of stretched sprue softened with glue and then simultaneously added some weld beads. The rear door and turret went together nicely but the kits 25mm gun barrel was replaced with an aluminum one from RB Models. The kit antenna mounts were also rebuilt using round plastic stock, copper wire, and a piece of steel wire dipped in CA glue to represent the plastic cap on the end of the antenna. The armoured side skirts were next and I altered these with pieces of bent brass rod along the upper edges, as this is where the crew mounted some of their personal gear. Plus I removed the rear bottom piece of skirt from each side as again this was common practice for M2 crews. The personal gear along the side's skirts came from the Verlinden's 'Bradley Stowage Set' and Tamiya's Modern US Military Equipment Set. Each piece was modified by adding lead foil shoulder straps, or in the case of the rucksacks, filling in the rear of the rucksack with Magic Sculpt and adding canteens, entrenching tools and spare ammunition cases to give them the individualized look. The duffel bags also received lead foil straps on the backs and on the front so that no two bags looked the same.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Airforces Monthly Special - Eurofighter Typhoon

ASTEST pilot Peter Weber said during recent celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of his first flight in the jet, "Eurofighter is an amazing story". This special souvenir publication, timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Eurofighters first flight — although if you include the Experimental Aircraft Programme (EAP) technology demonstrator it's closer to a 30th birthday — aims to tell that amazing story, with more detail than has ever been attempted before. One wonders if any aircraft has ever been developed under such public scrutiny. This unique military project, forged from the political will of European nations (and, of course, former enemies) to work together on common defence, has also had to come through the choppy waters of national and international economic constraints and priorities. Its position at the forefront of European defence in the second decade of the 21st century will be a surprise to many who doubted it could last the course. In a bid to provide more valuefor money to British, German, Italian and Spanish taxpayers, the fourth generation jet has transitioned from air defence to multi-role. Industry has transformed Eurofighter by consistent and relentless software updates, Dropsand Phased Enhancements. At the same time there has been continual co-ordination of effort between the four Eurofighter Partner Companies(EPCs)and the six — soon to be seven — air forces operating it.

AIR International 05/2014

The first of 15 Italian Air Force HH-101A CAESAR (AW101 Mk611) helicopters completed its maiden flight at AgustaWestland's manufacturing facility in Yeovil, Somerset, on March 19. Registered with UK military serial number ZR352/,15-01 the first aircraft was presented in full Italian Air Force markings, which included Aeronautica Militare titles and the badge of 15° Stormo 'Stafano Cagna' (Cervia-San Giorgio air base) on the tail. The first two HH-101A aircraft produced (c/n CSAR01 and CSAR02) are scheduled for delivery during the final quarter of 2014, configured for personnel recovery and special forces missions. This latest variant of the multi-mission AVV101 extends the type's operational capability. With a proven track record and offering long-range, large capacity and advanced technology, more than 220 AW101 helicopters have been ordered for a variety of roles which include personnel recovery, special forces operations, SAR, combat SAR, utility, troop transport, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, airborne early warning, mine sweeping and WIP transport. Personal recovery and combat search aid rescue mission-specific systems include three M134 7.62mm Gatling guns are pintle-mounted on the sides of the rear ramp; armoured cockpit seats and ballistic protection for machine gun operators and critical systems; an integrated electronic warfare system offering self-protection against radar, laser and infrared threats (note the nose-mounted electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) turret); and an air-refuelling kit for extended range operations.

Aeroplane Magazine Summer 2014

During the production of this special D-Day70th anniversary issue, I could have had no better inspiration than to fly over the invasion beaches on the coast of Normandy and visit the site of the first action of June 6, 1944, at Pegasus Bridge. That came courtesy of an invite from Rob Wildeboer, the Aviation General Manager at Goodwood, and Conciair Flight Charter Ltd. This was on one of Conciair's Normandy Remembrance Tours, which fly from Goodwood and back in a day and offer a choice of itineraries. It was a special pleasure to meet Madame Ariette Gondrée, who was just four when troops from the British 6th Airborne Division landed by Horsa assault gliders just after midnight on D-Day and captured Pegasus Bridge as it is now known. Next to the bridge was a café run by Madame Gondrée's parents, and they became the first French family to be liberated. The Pegasus Bridge Café Gondrée has been hugely popular with veterans ever since, and as it is remarkable that it is still owned by a member of the family who were liberated on that day 70 years ago. That made it a very thought-provoking place where our group enjoyed some lovely home cooking for lunch. I hope that you enjoy the selection of articles we have put together to mark this important anniversary, and should anyone be interested in going on one of the Conciair tours please see page 41 for more about them.

Model Airplane International 05/2014

T-50 No.1 or 51 Blue' is one of five development aircraft currently participating in the PAK FA programme, and a total fleet of fifteen development aircraft are planned by the end of 2015. The T-50 is Sukhoi s response to a requirement for a fifth-generation multi-role fighter that will form the core of the future Russian fighter fleet. Whilst a fifth-generation platform would imply stealth design it is clear that some compromises have been made in favour of enhanced manoeuvrability; a good example of this being the leading edge vortex controllers (vorcons) above the engine inlets. It will be interesting to see what blend of stealth and performance the production variant will deliver compared to its stealth centric' counterpart, the F-22 Raptor. Inside the box, the kit itself is very uncomplicated consisting of three grey-coloured styrene sprues and one clear. The kit is dominated by the two fuselage/wing assemblies that come pre-moulded and fit together like a clamshell. I was pleased to note a small photo-etched sprue, which furnishes the cockpit consoles and details for the air data sensors. Eduard now do a nice aftermarket photo-etched set for this kit, which I believe will enhance it greatly. The T-50 reportedly uses a K36D-5 seat and whilst this is new to me, the supplied seat parts looked to be a fair representation of something in the K36DM series, with one exception: scale. The supplied seat if extrapolated to 1:1 would resemble a comfy sofa. It simply isn't realistic.

Model Airplane News 06/2014

Getting into jets is easy if you start with a good-flying model. If you'd like to join the jet set, the HobbyKing Cobra is a great first jet. Here are a few tips to get started. First, let's talk about takeoff. Many of us have become spoiled with our overpowered sport models. We get used to hitting the throttle and taking to the skies in 10 feet. With an electric ducted-fan model, it takes a little more to get in the air. First, make sure to taxi to the end of the runway; having a little extra room can really help. Next, don't stand behind the model. A lot of people like to do this, but the challenge is that you have no perception of speed. I recommend standing about half field so that you have a good idea of the speed of your model when it passes the halfway point on the runway. Finally, don't rush the takeoff. Make sure you have plenty of airspeed and pull back gently until your model becomes airborne. Now let's talk about what to do when you get into the air. You want to make sure not to hold too much elevator or it will rob your plane of airspeed. Make sure to relax the elevator and let the plane fly.

Model Airplane News 05/2014

THE P-47 WAS DEFINITELY THE BIGGEST, heaviest, and most expensive single-engine fighter airplane used during WW II. It had a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine and a huge bomb capacity. Great range was also an attribute and the airplane was able to do major damage to any ground insurgencies. P-47s were also used as escorts and did quite well when employed in air-to-air combat. A bubble top canopy appeared on later versions, which appealed to pilots because it helped with visibility and made it easier to shoot those green planes out of the sky. Hobby People embraces history's dogfights and has brought both the P-47 and Zero to life as park flyers. The P-47 is our subject today, however, and word on the street is that the Zero will soon be reviewed in our pages. The P-47 is available ready to fly (RTF) with a 2.4GHz guidance system or as a receiver-ready (RR) model to which you just need to add your own radio gear and battery. The latter was reviewed as I already have an Airtronics Aquila-6 and a receiver ready to go. A 1650mAh LiPo battery is intended for the P-47, which is on the Hobby People site ( and is very affordable. This is pretty much an "open-the-box-and-fly" model with very few final assembly steps required. Very few parts are included separately and this low parts count is aimed at folks like me who have little time to build and just want to fly.

Classic Military Vehicle 05/2014

Now you'd have every right to ask, and quite justifiably too, why I couldn't write just one article about the Medium Tanks in general, instead of dealing with the Mk I and the Mk II separately. Well apart from the obvious fact that I need to write more articles rather than fewer, there is another reason. You see the two tanks are distinctly different - in the layout of the hull, the transmission systems they used and even the gun they mounted, and since I wanted to make that point I thought it would be better to deal with them individually, starting with the Mk I. It should also help to clarify matters from a reader's point of view. But first I need to say a word or two about Vickers Ltd. No matter what you might read elsewhere, the company did not build tanks during WW1. A number of firms it took over later did, which is the basis for most of the claims, and one of its subsidiaries, Wolseley Motors Ltd. was involved in the Medium D tank programme in 1919, but apart from that, Vickers' first experience of building tanks came with the construction of two experimental medium tanks in 1921 which I covered in a CMV article in May 2012.

Britain At War Magazine 05/2014

D-DAY, as is well-known, represented one of the largest military enterprises ever undertaken. So, to mark its seventieth anniversary we decided to investigate some of the reminders of that momentous summer when Britain and her allies stormed the Normandy coast, sending a clear message to the Third Reich that its days were numbered. Our only proviso was that each of the sites or objects had to be located in the United Kingdom or its waters. Firstly, we looked at the remaining evidence of the enormous construction and training programmes which took place in preparation for D-Day. In Scotland we discovered a mock section of Hitler's Atlantic Wall which had been repeatedly assailed by troops that would have to breach the Normandy defences. We found that there were artificial landing craft made of concrete in North Devon from which the troops practised those first few, frightening moments of landing on the enemy's shore. Actual relics from the invasion were scarce, yet there are still ships to be seen that sailed across the Channel in June 1944. These include an infantry landing craft, a lightship that helped guide the assault forces and even a Landing Barge Kitchen which kept the men fed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Airforces Monthly 05/2014

TWO LOCKHEED C-130H-30 Hercules from the Royal Malaysian Air Force (Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia - TUDM) arrived at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Pearce, Western Australia, on March 29 to join the international search effort for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370. Arrival of the RMAF aircraft saw support for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority-led search, dubbed Operation Southern Indian Ocean, increase to seven countries. They were joined by a third TUDM Hercules on April 6. Already involved were a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion, two US Navy P-8A Poseidons, two People's Liberation Army Air Force Il-76s, two Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force P-3C Orions, a Japan Coast Guard Gulfstream V, one Republic of Korea Navy P-3C Orion and a Republic of Korea Air Force C-130H Hercules. The search aircraft were all operating from RAAF Pearce. These were all in addition to the Australian aviation assets involved, which included five RAAF AP-3C Orions and were boosted on March 28by the arrival of a Royal Australian Navy S-70B-2 Seahawk from 816 Squadron. This was flown into RAAF Pearce from HMAS Albatross, Nowra, New South Wales, on March 28 on board an RAAF C-17A. It is supporting the search effort operating from the Anzac-class frigate HMAS Tooiuoomba (FFH 156). Despite extensive searching since the March 8 disappearance of MH370, operated by Boeing 777-2H6ER 9M-MRO, no trace of it or its 239 passengers and crew had been found as AFM went to press.

Tamiya Model Magazine International 05/2014

Produced from the autumn of 1942, the Model 32 Zero fighter followed the Model 21 in being used in the conflict in the Pacific theatre. It featured a Sakae 21 engine fitted with two superchargers, and its calling card was a main wing shortened by 50cm on either side and given a squared-off finish. It was the superior of the Model 21 in terms of top speed, climb rate and roll, and thanks to its appearance even (mistakenly) received a different nickname of 'Hamp'. This new kit joins two others in Tamiya's 1:72 range - the Mitsubishi A6M2b and A6M5 Zeke - to allow the modeller the chance to build a fine little collection of these wonderful aircraft. Though also available in other ranges including Airfix and Hasegawa, these new kits are worth checking out thanks to their astonishing levels of detail, fit, surface features and accuracy. Even from the box as seen here, this new kit is a show-stopper; add detail and it will be breathtaking. But enough of the plaudits, what do we actually have in the box? Supplied in one of Tamiya's excellent boxes decorated by a wonderful painting of our chosen subject, the kit is everything you would expect from this company; well presented, wonderfully moulded, with comprehensive instructions and decals and a level of finesse that screams for you to dig a little deeper and get started. Once removed from their bags, the plastic parts revealed high levels of detail - especially within the cockpit - and surface detail that was easily the best I have seen in a kit in this scale. It is, to all intents and purposes, identical in terms of quality to that found in Tamiya's second-generation 1:48 kit.

Military History Monthly 05/2014

This cold and desolate image shows a British trench, abandoned following a German attack, with mounted German infantry looming menacingly in the background. An inscription on the back of the photograph reads, Die Große Schlacht im Westen. Der Stab einer Infanterie-Division... ueberscreiten einer genommenen engl. Stellung. This translates as 'The Great Battle in the West. The staff of an infantry division... crosses a taken English position'. The trench floor is littered with cigarette papers, matchboxes, and tinned food, all left behind in the rushed withdrawal. Corrugated iron sheets have been thrown together haphazardly to create rude bunkers along the line, inside which we see more empty food packets and further signs of a hasty evacuation. The only dismounted soldier stands directly behind a solitary grave, marked with a white cross. While the ghostly, blurred German soldiers approaching on horseback and those who have just arrived all face the captured trench in preparation for crossing, this man alone faces the German line, perhaps reflecting on the successful advance. Not instantly noticeable, his presence provides a contrast in the image's direction of movement, which comes to a stand-still at him and the little grave.

Military Modelling Vol.44 No.5

The Krupp Steyr Waffenträger was one of several parallel projects to produce a self-propelled mount for the powerful 8.8cm PaK 43 anti-tank gun, that could be swiftly manufactured adapting components from existing stock. The Krupp Steyr proposal utilised components from the RSO tractor incorporated into a thinly armoured chassis, with a partially enclosed turret to give the crew protection from shell fragmentation and small arms fire. Only one prototype of the Krupp Steyr Waffenträger was completed and it was sent for technical evaluation at the Hillersleben Proving Ground. Trumpeter's 1:35 scale kit (item 01598) was built straight from the box, apart from adding an electrical conduit made of copper wire for the Notek light, and some fine chain for the stern towing block from Trumpeter's 06624 40cm Chains Set. I constructed the model the same way I would build an aircraft kit. Substantial amounts of painting and weathering of the hull interior and open top turret has to be completed before the hull and turret basket are assembled. There is a lot of work preparing the hull interior for priming and painting. Numerous ejector pin marks have to be filled with modelling putty. I chose to fill all of them, just in case any were visible after the hull and turret had been assembled. To ease production, Trumpeter has moulded the front spaced armour solid. It was a simple task to open up this area, using a drill and a craft knife. A minor problem encountered during construction of the kit was a slight amount of warping on the two suspension arms, parts A4. However, emersion in hot water and some gentle pressure soon corrected the problem.

Aviation News 05/2014

Details of planned structure changes to the US Air Force were revealed on March 10, confirming proposals for some drastic cost-cutting measures that will result from the fiscal year 2015 President's Budget, announced six days earlier. Over the next five years, the USAF plans to remove almost 500 aircraft across the inventories of all three components: the national guard, reserve command and regular air force. Previously reported plans by the USAF to divest entire fleets of aircraft were confirmed. It means both the A-10 Thunderbolt II and U-2 reconnaissance aircraft will completely disappear from the inventory, while the USAF focuses on multi-role aircraft that can deliver a variety of capabilities. "In addition to fleet divestment, we made the tough choice to reduce a number of tactical fighters, command and control, electronic attack and intra-theatre airlift assets so we could rebalance the air force at a size that can be supported by expected funding levels. Without those cuts, we will not be able to start recovering to required readiness levels," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen Mark A Welsh III. Under the FY15 budget, the air force places major emphasis on its modernisation programme, with funding requested for the new Long Range Strike Bomber ($0.9bn), while a total of S11.4bn is requested for the aircraft over the duration of the five-year Future Years Defense Program (FYDP). The tanker recapitalisation programme is also provided for, with a request for S2.4bn to purchase seven KC-46A Pegasus tankers in FY15 and $16.5bn for 69 aircraft over the FYDP.

Aviation Specials - D-Day 6 June 1944

THE PRINCIPAL objective of the Allied forces on D-D ay was to land six Divisions on a fifty-mile stretch of the Normandy coast. From the landing beaches the troops would push inland to occupy a large beachhead encompassing the city of Caen. One of the important factors for the success of this operation was the capture of the bridges that carry the coast road over the Caen Canal and the River Orne, which would enable the rapid expansion of the beachhead and help secure its eastern flank. As the bridges are more than three miles inland they could not be seized by the troops landing on the beaches. The bridges would have to be taken by aerial assault - by the men of the 2nd Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry who would be landed close to the bridges by glider. It was essential that the bridges were captured intact before the defenders had time to detonate the demolition charges that would inevitably have been laid by the Germans. Speed and surprise were therefore absolutely vital. So the assault upon the bridges would have to be conducted at night before the beach landings began. It would be the first ground action of the liberation of Europe.

Military Illustrated Modeller 05/2014

The Lavochkin La-5 was significant as one of the first Soviet fighters capable of matching its German counterparts. The La-5 was a development of the widely loathed LaGG-3. The LaGG-3 was frequently felt to be more dangerous to its own pilots than to the Luftwaffe. The first LaGG-3s were overweight and underpowered, suffering from poor build quality and slow climb performance. Pilots were also put at risk by its deadly high stall speed. The Messerschmitt Bf 109 F was superior to the LaGG-3 in every aspect of dogfighting except in the horizontal plane, and even then the Bf 109 could simply break off combat and climb to safety. The LaGG was so mistrusted that its pilots dubbed it the "lakirovanny garantirovanny grob ("guaranteed varnished coffin"). Despite these shortcomings, the LaGG-3 showed potential thanks to its heavy armament and robust survivability. Even after being shot to pieces, a LaGG could often still limp away to its home airfield. However, the mating of the massive 41.2 litre M82 radial engine to the LaGG-3 airframe led to a powerful and agile new aircraft - the Lavochkin La-5. It was appropriate that the La-5 entered service at around the time of the battle for Stalingrad and the destruction of von Paulus' 6th Army. The La-5 was a part of a turnaround in the skies that reflected the action on the ground. The Lavochkin bureau continued to improve the La-5 with a 1,560 horsepower fuel-injected engine and lightening of the airframe. This ultimate development was the Lo-5FN. Performance of the La-5FN was equal to the Messerschmitt Bf 109 G and Fw 190 at altitudes lower than 3,000 metres.

Aero Modeller Magazine May/June 2014

Mention the words "Oliver Tiger" to men of a certain age and you'll probably see a far-away look in their eyes, with perhaps a smile and respectful nod. For these engines dominated many competitions over two decades - in tether car racing, then in SMAE Class A and FAI Team racing, followed by SMAE and FAI Combat. Such is their renown, that when Vintage Team Racing was rolled out (and new engines were no longer manufactured) competitors found it difficult to convince others to part with their treasured Oliver Tigers. Asking prices remain high, so various replicas or "clones" have been made to meet the demand. Resumed production by Tom Ridley of genuine Tigers, in association with "Young John" Oliver himself, appears to have still left an opening in this specialised market niche. Even in its heyday, one needed a Tiger specially "tuned" to gain a winning edge. Alberto Parra's 2.5cc T3 Tiger aims to conform to the technical specifications in Vintage Team Racing and Combat. He is aiming for performance similar to other modern "tuned Tigers" which with the benefit of advances in model engine know-how, is at levels appreciably above the norms of yesteryear. As if that was not challenging enough, Alberto has also revealed his new 3.2cc T4 engine specifically for use in BMFA Vintage Combat. Our T3 and T4 test engines come from the very first "proof of concept" batches. Performance and construction detail will likely differ slightly in response to feedback from testers. So keeping that in mind, here's our "sneak preview" report.

Radio Control Model World 05/2014

I have a ways had a soft spot for the Hurricane, almost equally as much as the Spitfire. I'm sure most people like one or the other, but I have the whole Battle of Britain thing going on and love a the aircraft involved. One thing I do get huffy about is cartoon appearance examples that bear little resemblance to the origins., being stretched and formed into a shocking attempt at honouring the original designer's outline. Dynam decided to mode probably the most famous Hurricane eft with WW2 history, R4118. Checking images on the Internet showed a good likeness and accurate markings. The Hurricane is not modelled as often as the Spitfire, so maybe it has not suffered as many insulting attempts at mimicking it as the poor Spitfire, which has taken a beating! Recently there have been a few Hurricane options offered and all have been a reasonable attempt at miniaturisation. This latest offering from Dynam caught my eye while researching the Meteor review, recently completed for this fine publication. It has plenty of detail and a paint finish that matches the modelled prototype quite closely. Those who enjoy weathering have a very good frank canvas to work with here, as the mode s supplied factory fresh, without the wear and dirty marks that come with use.

AFV Modeller Issue 76

As far back as 1967 the seed was sown for the development of a replacement for the M113. No longer was an Armoured Personnel Carrier sufficient with the arrival of the Russian BMP-1, an Infantry Fighting Vehicle should not only carry and protect troops, but should be able to engage hard and soft targets and keep pace with tank operations. Finally in 1980 the new IFV was named after the five-star General Omar Bradley and the first production models were delivered in May of the following year with sixty per month produced to replace the M113. Now I'm no expert or engineer, but a few fundamental issues that came to light with the M113 appear unchanged (and were addressed to a degree - think back to the rear mounted fuel cells on late M11 3s), namely internal fuel and ammunition storage. Also the use of aluminium armour hasn't proven the safest defence hence the continued upgrades in external add-on protection, the ultimate being the latest Bradley Urban Survivability Kits (BUSK) depicted by the kit. Also on-board the A3 version is the latest vision and sighting technology with improved safety seating and fire control safety systems. Bradley's M242 25mm 'Bushmaster' chain gun has a duel feed mechanism, ammo choice at the flick of a switch and a rate of two hundred rounds per minute in multiple shot mode means the M2A3 can, and has, successfully engaged enemy tanks.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Euro Modelismo No.246

Tras el desembarco de Normandía, el avance de los aliados no fue precisamente un camino de rosas, siendo frecuentes, debido a la fuerte resistencia alemana, los avances y retrocesos en la línea de frente. Muchos núcleos de población fueron tomados, por uno y otro bando, en distintas ocasiones; Caen fue una de esas ciudades y es allí donde sitúo la historia de esta viñeta. En uno de esos muchos rifirrafes, un soldado de las SS captura la motocicleta vanagloriándose aun más de la situación mientras se fuma un pitillo de genuino tabaco americano. Hasta hace muy poco tiempo buscar una motocicleta en maqueta significaba, en primer lugar, limitarse a unas pocas referencias de apenas un par de fabricantes y en segundo lugar, sumergirse en un ingente trabajo para dejarlas en condiciones. Con la aparición de fotograbados específicos para estos modelo se dio un gran paso adelante, pero ha sido recientemente cuando el mercado nos está ofreciendo magnificas replicas con un altísimo nivel de detalle y fineza, que con un poco de cariño dan como resultado excelentes modelos. El caso de la Harley de este articulo es uno de ellos, el modelo WLA, fue uno de los más reconocidos a lo largo de la IIGM, y entre su equipación militar incluía una funda para el transporte de un subfusil Thompson en el lado derecho de la horquilla frontal, luces de guerra. Ademásm en su parte trasera y con vistas al transporte de diverso material ligero, contaba con una plataforma portaequipajes y unos generosos maletines de cuero.

Combat Aircraft Monthly 05/2014

A S HAD BEEN widely expected, the latest US Air Force budget requests have recommended the complete retirement of the A-10 Thunderbolt II attack and U-2S reconnaissance aircraft. Senior officials daim that retiring the A-10 fleet will save S3.5 billion over five years and accelerates the long-standing modernization plan. The service says it will also mothball nearly 30 airlift aircraft and that 24 strategic airlifters will be re-assigned to the back-up inventory. More than 100 MQ-1 Predators will be retired, while Air Combat Command (ACC)'s MC-12 W fleet will be transferred to Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) and the US Army. More than 50 F-15Cs will be divested, but the remaining 179 aircraft will receive the full suite of offensive and defensive system improvements including advanced electronically scanned array (AESA) radars. Released on March 4. the US Department of Defense's proposed S495.6-billion defense budget for Fiscal Year 2015 provides S90.4 tillion for procurement, including S40 billion for aircraft and related systems. Aligned with the strategies outlined in the US Quadrennial Defense Review, the request reflects a balance betwreen readiness, capacity and capability in both the short and long term, reduces the force structure and streamlines modernization programs. Whereas the Departments of the Army, Navy and Air Force are all making deep cuts to their respective force structures in favor of modernization, those proposed by the Army and the Air Force are the deepest and could result in the retirement of well over 1,000 fixed- and rotary-wing manned and remotely-piloted aircraft. Further procurements may still be included in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget request, which will be submitted at a later date. In addition, the sen-ices are expected to provide a list of un-funded priorities for consideration as part of the approval process.

Model Military International 05/2014

As an ardent isolationist, Henry Ford resisted calls to sell his iconic Model T Fords for use in WWI, although the Allied nations found ways to acquire many of them prior to America's entry into the war. With American participation, Ford opened sales of the Model T to the US Army and foreign governments, and the Model T automobile became one of the most important motor vehicles used in WWI. While best known for its service as an ambulance, the Model T also served as a supply truck, staff car, artillery tractor and in North Africa, it served as an armed patrol car in the Light Car Patrols. Over 130,000 Model T Fords were built for military use, with many others assembled from spare parts. They established an enviable reputation for versatility, usefulness and durability. After the end of the war, the Bolshevik revolution in Russia brought with it a fear of the new communist regime, and for some time, there was little trade between the west and Soviet Russia. As the 1920s progressed, the economic strains that eventually led to the financial collapse of 1929 also led to reduced business for many manufacturers, and as the Soviet Union with its isolated economy was not affected by the troubles in the west, it was seen as a new customer for western companies. Thus, when Russia expressed an interest in western technology in the 1920s, an opportunity presented itself to both sides. The Soviet Union was very interested in creating a national automobile manufacturing industry in Russia, and instituted an ambitious Five-Year Plan to achieve this goal. Russia sent a number of committees abroad to investigate the best ways to create this industrial capacity. They were particularly interested in extensive mass production, as the requirement for new vehicles to meet the needs of the vast Russian countryside was enormous.

Military Machines International 05/2014

Armortek have produced some stunning 1/6 scale all-metal models of tanks over the years, including the likes of the Tiger 1, King Tiger, Panther and more recently, the Centurion, but they have excelled themselves with their latest release, a Mk IV First World War tank! The intention to build the model was announced at last year's Tankfest at the Tank Museum, home to the original full-size Mk IV tank on which the model is based, and the accuracy of this 1/6 scale replica has to be seen to be believed. The Mark IV tank is considered to be the first main battle tank, deployed in nearly every British battle on the Western Front from early in the summer of 1917 to the end of the war. Built on the experience of earlier tanks, it was the first mass production tank with some 1200 being manufactured. The limited edition all-metal kit is being released to mark the Centenary of the First World War, and the attention to detail is more than just skin deep. Images on the Armortek website show the first production model during build up, revealing the wealth of detail that goes into reproducing the running gear and internal structure of this most famous tank, which can be built either as a static model or for radio control.

FlyPast 05/2014

After 43 years of airline service, the Douglas DC-10 retired as a commercial passenger carrying aircraft on the afternoon of February 24. The final flight was carried out by S2-ACR of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, from Birmingham Airport. The last trip carried aviation enthusiasts on a one-hour pleasure flight over the UK's western coast, before landing and being saluted by an arc of water, courtesy of the airport's fire section. Biman's chief executive Kevin Steele said: "We wanted to share this historic last flight with as many people as possible, and I think we have given an aircraft that served us so well a good send-off. We look forward to welcoming passengers onto our new Boeing 777s on our service from Birmingham to New York, which starts in the summer." S2-ACR was the last but one of the 446 DC-10s built and was delivered new to the airline in 1988. It flew back to Dhaka, Bangladesh, on February 25, and landed with around 80,000 flying hours on the airframe - the engines and any useful parts will be sold, and the rest of the well-travelled jetliner will be scrapped. A number of DC-10s still fly with the USAF (as KC-10 Extender tankers), plus three examples serve on with the Dutch military, two with the Bolivian Air Force, and a handful are operated by civilians on military contracts.

Airfix Model World 05/2014

When the A-6 was retired from active service in 1997 it had served for a remarkable 33 years. It was employed in almost all major conflicts and campaigns of its time, from 1965 onwards in Vietnam, in the Persian Gulf, and over Iraq and Bosnia in the 1990s. While its carrier colleague the F-4 would never win a beauty contest (it was soon christened 'Double-Ugly' by one US Navy officer), the A-6 design could easily be considered even more 'pragmatic'. As with most aircraft, the Intruder was subject to modifications and upgrades due to new and different requirements, which finally lead to the A-6E depicted here by Kinetic. The kit plastic was quite thick and heavy, with soft detail and flash that needed to be removed; but ultimately the styrene proved very workable, sanded easily and was responsive to paint and filler. One major issue needed to be considered before the build began...the wing in the kit represented the composite or 'plastic' wing, which was retrofitted to a large number of airframes to prevent fatigue and extend service life. However, after-market decals for these aircraft are rare; one would either have to stick with the decals provided in the kit or search for compatible markings. But Fightertown Decals produces two excellent sheets and no.48059 was used here.