This year is the centenary not just of the outbreak of the First World War, but of the dawn of a new paradigm of war. Previous wars had been limited in two senses. Many - like the Crimean or the Franco-Prussian Wars - had been carefully managed 'cabinet wars', limited in time and space by tightly defined objectives. Others - like the Napoleonic or the American Civil Wars -might have outgrown their origins and taken on a life of their own, but only ever involved a minority of society, mainly younger men enrolled in fighting forces. But 1914 broke the mould. It placed the productive power of the Industrial Revolution at the service of national, imperial, and economic rivalries. It mobilised destructive power unprecedented in history, and sucked entire societies into the vortex of war. It unleashed processes of violent change that none could control. This is our world - a world shaped and reshaped by a century of modern industrialised warfare. 1914 represents the true beginning of modernity. This month we begin our in-depth coverage of the First World War with an analysis of the only terrorist attack that matches 9/11 in historic significance: the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo on 28 June 1914.
About a month or so before the 201 3 US IPMS Nationals, I was taking inventory of all of my 'half started' projects. Looking at the various degrees of completion on several of my projects, I wanted to assess what the 'low hanging fruit' would be if I was to try to complete something new to take to the contest. Among the partially started projects, I came across the 1:48 M1A2 by Gaso.Line. I bought this kit from Wanamaker Hobbies a couple of years earlier and had quickly cleaned up all of the casting blocks and then put it back in the box. Although I had not made much (I mean any) progress on the construction to that point, I thought it could be an easy and fun build and most importantly, it could be finished in time for the show! The kit has a whopping fifty-two parts in resin as well as nice little decal sheet. The instructions consist of two 8.5" x 11" colour copies that have brief history, a parts list (in French), photos of the parts with there part numbers called out, eight photos of a built model with the part numbers and arrows pointing to the appropriate spot on the image and finally, three colour photos of the tank in Iraq as well as a colour profile. Construction started with the lower hull and running gear.
I was quite happy when the Editor asked me to build Re veil's 1:32 Bfl09G-6. When it finally arrived I opened the box immediately and was amazed by the amount of plastic present. And the first impressions were very favourable, although some minor cons caught my eye almost immediately. I will address the most important ones as we go along but one thing has to be said from the start; given the price of the kit - it retails around €20 here in The Netherlands - Revell's efforts have to be recommended. This is possibly one of the nicest G6's around in this scale and it has huge potential for superdetailing. The G-6 is an impressive flying machine. It's easy to see that it is family of the earlier E-series which were swarming the skies over Europe only three years earlier. But the G series hasn't got the fragile looks of the E-series: this '109 was a battle hardened and menacing machine. It was made operational in mid 1942 and soon it became clear that it did have an Achilles heel; the G-series had to perform many different missions and its weight increased substantially. The petite dancer of the earlier days had become a heavy footed giant. Her firing power increased considerably. The G-6 is recognizable because of the two bulges in front of the canopy which give room to MG131 machine guns. Some 12,500 G-6s were built by the end of the war. That bulkiness was something I always wanted to portrait and the Revell kit offered me the opportunity to give my first G-6 a go.
THE MAIDEN flight of the new Textron AirLand Scorpion light attack aircraft prototype, N531TA (c/n 721001), took place on December 12 at McConnell Air Force Base, Wichita, Kansas. Designed as a low-cost strike/ intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, the aircraft got airborne at 1030hrs Central Time and stayed aloft for approximately 1.4 hours. The flight was completed according to plan, with the crew conducting a range of handling manoeuvres during the sortie. The prototype was built in secrecy by Cessna Aircraft in Wichita and is designated the Cessna Model E530 by the company. Textron AirLand noted that the flight marked one of the fastest developments of a US-built tactical jet, progressing from initial design to first flight in less than 24 months. Textron CEO Scott Donnelly said: "When the design phase began less than two years ago, we were confident that we would deliver a uniquely affordable, versatile tactical aircraft by taking advantage of commercial aviation technologies and best practices. Today's flight met all expectations, and keeps us on track towards certification and production."
Beyond the specialised M27 and M27B1 bomb service trucks discussed last month, the US Army Air Corps, renamed the US Army Air Forces on 20 June 1941 and finally the US Air Force on 18 September 1947, used various aviation-specific variants of GMC's CCKW. Among these were high-lift and airfield service trucks. Each of these was engineered to meet the specific needs of the using branch, and both types were developed and produced during WW2, although only the airfield service trucks saw widespread use before hostilities ceased. All variants, however, did see extensive use after WW2, including during the Korea War. The development or adoption of a new weapon or item of military hardware often brings with it the requirement for new support equipment. The Douglas DC-4E, developed in 1938 and adopted by the US Army Air Forces in February 1942 as the C-54 Skymaster, was one such case. The C-54 rested on tricycle landing gear, unlike the tail-dragging C-46 and C-47 that preceded it. While this configuration resulted in a level load bay which made the handling of freight much easier than it had been, it presented a new problem in that the cargo door was considerably higher above runway level.
There was a time when British design was looked at in envy by the rest of the World, was the E-Type Jaguar not proclaimed as the World's most beautiful car by Enzo Ferrari? Not bad for an (almost!) affordable super-car designed in the Midlands by stout gentlemen in brown overalls, smoking pipes. I've often thought of the Gloster Meteor along these lines, such a pure design from the drawing board with it's simple sweeping lines seemingly unspoiled in it's development into the Allies first operational jet powered fighter. I'm afraid though that this is the extent of my knowledge about the subject, basically I just like the shape of it, but because of that thread of interest I found myself volunteering to build the pre-release test-shot kindly sent to us by HK Models. You spend more than ten minutes looking at a kit in the AIR office and the un-written rule is you have to build itl The F.4 may not be everyones most favourite Meteor mark as it's a little restrictive on finishing options, but anyone who is a fan of the aircraft would surely welcome any version as a newly tooled 1:32 injection moulded kit. Our huge sample sprues, three in total, arrived in a plain outer carton with no instructions but we did have decals, nose weight and a clear sprue which made up our minds to do a very out-of-the-box build to give a true impression of the kit which should be widely available as you read this issue.