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Monday, October 20, 2014

Subaru R-2

Here are some images of Tamiyas's 1/18 scale Subaru R-2 fresh out of its environment.

From Wikipedia"
The Subaru R-2 was a kei car manufactured by Subaru from 1969 to 1972. The R-2 was a full model change of the popular Subaru 360, but with an updated appearance and increased interior space. The R-2 appeared approximately one year before the Honda Life, Daihatsu Fellow Max and Suzuki Fronte kei cars, however, it continued to use the powertrain setup from the Subaru 360, which was the EK33 air-cooled 2-cylinder engine installed in the back, which is the inspiration for the name of the vehicle. It appeared around the same time as the second generation Mitsubishi Minica.
When the car was introduced February 8, 1969, Subaru took 25,000 orders for the car in one month.
In the early 1970s, the Japanese government enacted legislation to reduce emissions, which prompted Subaru and other manufacturers to upgrade engines that were air-cooled and using a two-stroke engine implementation. On October 7, 1971, the Subaru engine was upgraded to a two-stroke water-cooled engine, called the EK34 series engine, but the retrofit was hastily done, and was better achieved with the new 1972 Subaru Rex, which was available with both 2- and 4-doors. A styling upgrade was accomplished on the water-cooled R-2, adding a faux grille to the front of the vehicle that had no function other than a more modern appearance, as well as a corporate identity to the all new compact Subaru Leone.
Subaru continued with a rear engine platform so as to afford more trunk space up front and provide seating for four passengers, whereas competitors offered front engine front wheel drive vehicles to reduce noise intrusion from the engine and offer rear seats that folded down for increased cargo capacity, albeit with fewer passengers. In response to the rising popularity of front wheel drive front engine alternatives, Subaru offered a hatchback bodystyle February 16, 1970.
Performance versions of the R-2 came April 18, 1970, in the form of the R-2 SS with a dual exhaust and an increase in the compression ratio from 3.8 kg·m (37 N·m; 27 lb·ft)at 6,400 RPM to 7.5 kg·m (74 N·m; 54 lb·ft)at 7,000 RPM, and a higher trim level called the R-2 GL October 5. Another contributor to the early cancellation of the R-2 was its handling characteristics, which were found to be not as stable as vehicles that were front engine, front wheel drive.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Challenger 1 MBT

Here are some images of Tamiya's 1/35 scale Challenger 1 MBT. From Wikipedia "
The Challenger was built by the Royal Ordnance Factories (ROF). In 1986 ROF Leeds (and the Challenger production line) was acquired by Vickers Defence Systems (later Alvis Vickers). The Challenger design by the former Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment (MVEE) near Chobham in Surrey originated in an Iranian order for an improved version of the stalwart Chieftain line of tanks in service around the world. These were the Chieftain Mk5(P)- FV4030/1, FV4030/2 Shir (Lion)1 and 4030/3 Shir 2. With the fall of the Shah of Iran and the collapse of the UK MBT80 project, the British Army became the customer and the tank was further developed by MVEE to meet Western European requirements. For a short time the tank was named "Cheviot" before becoming "Challenger", a name reused from a cruisertank of the Second World War.
The most revolutionary aspect of the Challenger 1 design was its Chobham armour which gave protection far superior to any monolithic Rolled Homogeneous Armour (RHA), which was the then standard of tank armour material. This armour has been adopted by others, most notably the American M1 Abrams. Additionally the Hydrogas suspension fitted provided outstanding cross-country performance through the long suspension arm travel and controlled bump and rebound behaviour offered.
Challenger 1 competed in the Canadian Army Trophy Competition in 1987. It scored more direct hits than its competitors, but the poor fire control system and sights caused it to be the slowest firer, and it was placed last in the league tables.
A requirement for a new MBT was issued. Proposals put forward for the new specification included an improved Challenger from Vickers, the American M1 Abrams, the French Leclerc, and the German Leopard 2.
The Vickers Defence Systems design, designated Challenger 2, was eventually selected. This tank was significantly more capable than its predecessor, based on the same basic MVEE-designed hull but with a new turret based on the Vickers Private Venture Mk7 design and improved Chobham armour.
There was also a Challenger Marksman SPAAG version, equipped with the Marksman turret".

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fiat 3000 mod. 21 Ia Tank

Here are some images of Tauro Model's 1/35 scale Fiat 3000 mod. 21 Ia Tank. From Wikipedia "
The Fiat 3000, whose design was based on that of the French Renault FT-17, was the first tank to be produced in series in Italy. It was to be the standard tank of the emerging Italian armored units in World War I.
Although 1400 units were ordered, with deliveries to begin in May 1919, the end of the war caused the original order to be cancelled and only 100 were delivered. The first Fiat 3000s entered service in 1921 and were officially designated as the carro d'assalto Fiat 3000, Mod. 21. (Fiat 3000 assault tank, Model 21). Tests of the Model 21 revealed that the armament, consisting of two 6.5mm machine guns, was inadequate, and adoption of a 37mm gun as main armament was urged.
The up-gunned version of the 3000, armed with a 37/40 gun, was tested in 1929 and was officially adopted in 1930 with the designation of carro d'assalto Fiat 3000, Mod. 30. The Model 30, in addition to its improved armament, also differed from the Model 21 in that it had an improved engine developing more power, its suspension was improved, the engine compartment had a different silhouette, and external stores were stowed differently. Some Model 30s were also produced with two 6.5mm machine guns as main armament, as on the Model 21, in lieu of the 37mm gun. A limited number of Model 21 vehicles were exported to Albania, Latvia and Abyssinia (Ethiopia) prior to 1930.
The designations of these tanks were changed prior to the outbreak of World War II, in accordance with the identification system that was adopted throughout the war by the Italians. The Model 21 was redesignated the L.5/21, and the Model 30 was redesignated the L.5/30.The Fiat 3000 (Model 21) was first used in action in February 1926 in Libya, and subsequently also saw action against the Ethiopians in 1935. The Italians did not employ any of these tanks in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, however. With Italy's entry into World War II in June 1940, a limited number of Fiat 3000s still in service with the Italian Army were employed operationally on the Greek-Albanian front. They were also among the last Italian tanks to oppose the Allies, as in July 1943, when the Allies landed in Sicily, two Italian tank companies on the island were still equipped with the 3000. One company was dug in and their vehicles were used as fixed fortifications, while the other company was used in a mobile role, with few of the tanks surviving the Allied drive.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Willys MB

Here are some images of Italeri's 1/35 scale Willys MB.  From Wikipedia "
The Willys MB US Army Jeep (formally the Truck, 1/4 ton, 4x4), along with the nearly identical Ford GPW, was manufactured from 1941 to 1945. The small four-wheel drive utility vehicles are considered the iconic World War II Jeep, and would inspire many similar Light Utility Vehicles. Over the years, the World War II Jeep later evolved into "CJ" civilian Jeep and has been recognized as a symbol of rugged individualism in twentieth century American History. Its counterpart in the German army was the Volkswagen Kübelwagen, also based on a small automobile, but which used an air-cooled engine and lacked 4 wheel drive.
During World War I there were limited attempts to mechanize military forces. The US Army had already used 4x4 trucks supplied by the Four Wheel Drive Auto Co. (FWD). By the time of World War II, the United States Department of War was still seeking a light, cross-country reconnaissance vehicle.
As tensions were heightening around the world in the late 1930s, the US Army asked American automobile manufacturers to tender suggestions to replace its existing, aging light motor vehicles, mostly motorcycles and sidecars but also some Ford Model T's. This resulted in several prototypes being presented to army officials, such as five Marmon-Herrington 4x4 Fords in 1937, and three Austin roadsters by American Bantam in 1938 (Fowler, 1993). However, the US Army's requirements were not formalized until July 11, 1940, when 135 U.S. automotive manufacturers were approached to submit a design conforming to the army's specifications for a vehicle the World War II training manual TM 9-803 described as "... a general purpose, personnel, or cargo carrier especially adaptable for reconnaissance or command, and designated as 1/4-ton 4x4 Truck."
By now the war was underway in Europe, so the Army's need was urgent and demanding. Bids were to be received by July 22 (after just eleven days). Manufacturers were given 49 days to submit their first prototype and 75 days for completion of 70 test vehicles. The Army's Ordnance Technical Committee specifications were equally demanding: the vehicle would be four-wheel drive, have a crew of three on a wheelbase of no more than 75 (later 80) inches and tracks no more than 47 inches, feature a fold-down windshield, 660 lb payload and be powered by an engine capable of 85 ft·lbf (115 N·m) of torque. The most daunting demand, however, was an empty weight of no more than 1,300 lb (590 kg).
Only three companies entered: American Bantam Car Company, Ford Motor Company and Willys-Overland Motors. Though Willys-Overland was the low bidder, Bantam received the bid, being the only company committing to deliver a pilot model in 49 days and production examples in 75. Under the leadership of designer Karl Probst, Bantam built their first prototype, dubbed the "Blitz Buggy" (and in retrospect "Old Number One"), and delivered it to the Army vehicle test center at Camp Holabird, Maryland on September 23, 1940. This presented Army officials with the first of what would eventually evolve into the World War II US Army Jeeps: the Willys MB and Ford GPW.
Since Bantam did not have the production capacity or fiscal stability to deliver on the scale needed by the War Department, the other two bidders, Ford and Willys, were encouraged to complete their own pilot models for testing. The contract for the new reconnaissance car was to be determined by trials. As testing of the Bantam prototype took place from September 27 to October 16, Ford and Willys technical representatives present at Holabird were given ample opportunity to study the vehicle's performance. Moreover, in order to expedite production, the War Department forwarded the Bantam blueprints to Ford and Willys, claiming the government owned the design. Bantam did not dispute this move due to its precarious financial situation. By November 1940 Ford and Willys each submitted prototypes to compete with the Bantam in the Army's trials. The pilot models, the Willys Quad and the Ford Pygmy, turned out very similar to each other and were joined in testing by Bantam's entry, now evolved into a Mark II called the BRC 60. By then the US and its armed forces were already under such pressure that all three cars were declared acceptable and orders for 1,500 units per company were given for field testing. At this time it was acknowledged the original weight limit (which Bantam had ignored) was unrealistic, and it was raised to 2,160 lb (980 kg).
For these respective pre-production runs, each vehicle received revisions and a new name. Bantam's became the BRC 40, and the company ceased motor vehicle production after the last one was built in December 1941. After losing 240 pounds of weight, Willys' changed the designation to "MA" for "Military" model "A". The Fords went into production as "GP", with "G" for a "Government" type contract and "P" commonly used by Ford to designate any passenger car with a wheelbase of 80 inches.
By July 1941, the War Department desired to standardize and decided to select a single manufacturer to supply them with the next order for another 16,000 vehicles. Willys won the contract mostly due to its more powerful engine (the "Go Devil") which soldiers raved about, and its lower cost and silhouette. Whatever better design features the Bantam and Ford entries had were then incorporated into the Willys car, moving it from an "A" designation to "B", thus the "MB" nomenclature.
By October 1941, it became apparent Willys-Overland could not keep up with production demand and Ford was contracted to produce them as well. The Ford car was then designated GPW, with the "W" referring to the "Willys" licensed design. During World War II, Willys produced 363,000 Jeeps and Ford some 280,000. Approximately 51,000 were exported to the USSR under the Lend-Lease program.
A further 13,000 (roughly) amphibian jeeps were built by Ford under the name GPA (nicknamed 'Seep' for Sea Jeep). Inspired by the larger DUKW, the vehicle was produced too quickly and proved to be too heavy, too unwieldy, and of insufficient freeboard. In spite of participating successfully in the Sicily landings (July 1943) most GPAs were routed to the USSR under the Lend-Lease program. The Soviets were sufficiently pleased with its ability to cross rivers to develop their own version of it after the war.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Jeep

Here are some images of Tamiya's 1/35 scale WWII Jeep with trailer. From Wikipedia "
Jeep is an automobile marque (and registered trademark) of Chrysler. It is the oldest off-road vehicle (also sport utility vehicle – SUV) brand. It inspired a number of other military Light Utility Vehicles, such as the Land Rover which is the second oldest 4-wheel-drive brand. The original Jeep vehicle that first appeared as the prototype Bantam BRC became the primary light 4-wheel-drive vehicle of the United States Army and Allies during World War II, as well as the postwar period. Many Jeep variants serving similar military and civilian roles have since been created in other nations.
There are many explanations of the origin of the word "jeep," all of which have proven difficult to verify. The most widely held theory is that the military designation of GP begat the term "Jeep" and holds that the vehicle bore the designation "GP" (for "Government Purposes" or "General Purpose"), which was phonetically slurred into the word jeep. However, an alternate view launched by R. Lee Ermey, on his television series Mail Call, disputes this, saying that the vehicle was designed for specific duties, and was never referred to as "General Purpose" and it is highly unlikely that the average jeep-driving GI would have been familiar with this designation. The Ford GPW abbreviation actually meant (G for government use, P to designate its 80-inch (2,000 mm) wheelbase and W to indicate its Willys-Overland designed engine).
Many, including Ermey, suggest that soldiers at the time were so impressed with the new vehicles that they informally named it after Eugene the Jeep, a character in the Popeye cartoons created by E. C. Segar. Eugene the Jeep was Popeye's "jungle pet" and was "small, able to move between dimensions and could solve seemingly impossible problems."
Words of the Fighting Forces by Clinton A. Sanders, a dictionary of military slang, published in 1942, in the library at The Pentagon gives this definition:
Jeep: A four-wheel drive vehicle of one-half- to one-and-one-half-ton capacity for reconnaissance or other army duty. A term applied to the bantam-cars, and occasionally to other motor vehicles (U.S.A.) in the Air Corps, the Link Trainer; in the armored forces, the ½-ton command vehicle. Also referred to as "any small plane, helicopter, or gadget."
This definition is supported by the use of the term "jeep carrier" to refer to the Navy's small escort carriers.
Early in 1941, Willys-Overland demonstrated the vehicle's off-road capability by having it drive up the steps of the United States Capitol, driven by Willy's test driver Irving "Red" Haussman, who had recently heard soldiers at Fort Holabird calling it a "jeep." When asked by syndicated columnist Katherine Hillyer for the Washington Daily News (or by a bystander, according to another account) what it was called, Irving answered, "It's a jeep."
Katherine Hillyer's article was published nationally on February 20, 1941, and included a picture of the vehicle with the caption:
LAWMAKERS TAKE A RIDE- With Senator Meade, of New York, at the wheel, and Representative Thomas, of New Jersey, sitting beside him, one of the Army's new scout cars, known as "jeeps" or "quads", climbs up the Capitol steps in a demonstration yesterday. Soldiers in the rear seat for gunners were unperturbed.
This exposure caused all other jeep references to fade, leaving the 4x4 with the name. The term was also in military slang use to mean vehicles that were untried, or untested. The word certainly existed as slang for several decades before the military vehicle was invented.
In 1950 Willys-Overland Inc. was granted the privilege of owning the name "Jeep" as a registered trademark; however they certainly did not invent the name nor design the original vehicle.

Monday, October 13, 2014

M3 Stuart Light Tank

Here are some images of Tamiya's 1/35 scale M3 Stuart light tank. From Wikipedia "The M3 Stuart, formally Light Tank M3, was an American light tank of World War II. It was used by British and Commonwealth forces prior to the entry of the USA into the war, and thereafter by US and Allied forces until the end of the war. The name General Stuart or Stuart given by the British comes from the American Civil War General J.E.B. Stuart and was used for both the M3 and the derivative M5 Light Tank; in British service it also had the unofficial nickname of Honey (named when a tank driver remarked "She's a honey").To the United States Army the tanks were officially known only as "Light Tank M3" and "Light Tank M5".

Models from Dave Porter

Here are some models brought to us by Dave Porter, and here in his own words are the descriptions.
The first is a 1/48 Airfix Spitfire 21 with an aftermarket resin seat and painted in Polly Scale.
Next is the E-100 heavy tank in 1/35 scale. This a Trumpeter kit I built SOB. I plan on putting it in a diorama.
The P-51 is built by Regina modeler Dave Schmidt. It’s a Hasegawa kit in 1/48.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Klingon K't'inga Class Battle Cruiser

Here are some images of AMT's Klingon K't'inga class battle cruiser. From Wikipedia "
An upgrade of the design used for the D7-class vessel, the K't'inga-class battlecruiser was first conceived for use in the pilot episode of Star Trek: Phase II. When Phase II was abandoned, the story of the pilot was adapted for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, where three K't'inga-class battlecruisers are used in the opening scenes. Andrew Probert is credited as the designer of the K't'inga model in its design patent, while the class name was given by Gene Roddenberry in his novelization of The Motion Picture. Although sharing a nearly identical configuration with the D7-class, the primary difference in the K't'inga-class is the level of detail on the hull, enhanced to make the model appear more believable to viewers on screen. The configuration of the vessel's impulse engines also differs from that of the D7-class. The K't'inga model was later revisited for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, in which Industrial Light & Magic enhanced the original studio model with glowing engine nacelles and changed the color from muted gray-greens to light gray with gold accents and maroon paneling. ILM's alterations were meant to "contrast... with the Enterprise-A, which is very smooth and monochromatic and cool, while this Klingon ship is very regal and ostentatious and warm". A CGI version of the ship, with a slightly modified nacelle design, was created for the later seasons of Deep Space Nine; this particular model was erroneously used to represent older Klingon ships in the Voyager episode "Prophecy" and the Enterprise episode "Unexpected". The original studio model for the K't'inga-class battlecruiser was later sold in a 2006 Christie's auction for US$102,000.
The K't'inga-class battlecruiser has similar armaments to the D7-class battlecruiser, with a photon torpedo launcher in the forward module and six disruptor cannons. In addition, the ship possesses an aft torpedo launcher and is capable of firing a powerful disruptor beam from the forward module. The Voyager episode "Flashback" also shows the K't'inga-class using concussion weapons. Unlike the D7-class, the K't'inga-class uses a cloaking device. In The Next Generation episode "The Emissary", these ships are used as sleeper ships, which could travel for decades with its crew in suspended animation. However, the class is equipped with both impulse engines and warp drive. The class is stated to have a crew of 800 and a length of 350 meters. The interior of the battlecruiser was designed by Douglas Trumbull, with the intent of appearing like "an enemy submarine in World War II that's been out at sea for too long". The K't'inga-class is used extensively throughout the Star Trek series, appearing from the films set in 2270s to the closing episodes of Deep Space Nine in 2375, often appearing as a ship of the line in battle scenes.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

De Havilland Mosquito B Mk IV

Here are some images of Revell's 1/32 scale De Havilland Mosquito B Mk IV Bomber.

From Wikipedia"
On 21 June 1941 the Air Ministry ordered that the last 10 Mosquitoes, ordered as photo-reconnaissance aircraft, should be converted to bombers. These 10 aircraft were part of the original 1 March 1940 production order and became the B Mk IV Series 1. W4052 was to be the prototype and flew for the first time on 8 September 1941.
The bomber prototype led to the B Mk IV, of which 273 were built: apart from the 10 Series 1s, all of the rest were built as Series 2s with extended nacelles, revised exhaust manifolds, with integrated flame dampers, and larger tailplanes. Series 2 bombers also differed from the Series 1 in having a larger bomb bay to increase the payload to four 500 lb (230 kg) bombs, instead of the four 250 pounds (110 kg) bombs of Series 1. This was made possible by shortening the tail of the 500 pounds (230 kg) bomb so that these four larger weapons could be carried (or a 2,000 lb (920;kg) total load). The B Mk IV entered service in May 1942 with 105 Squadron.
B Mk IV (modified) of No. 692 Squadron, showing bulged bomb bay doors to accommodate the 4,000lb "Cookie".
In April 1943 it was decided to convert a B Mk IV to carry a 4,000 lb (1,812 kg), thin-cased high explosive bomb (nicknamed "Cookie"). The conversion, including modified bomb bay suspension arrangements, bulged bomb bay doors and fairings, was relatively straightforward, and 54 B.IVs were subsequently modified and distributed to squadrons of RAF Bomber Command's Light Night Striking Force. 27 B Mk IVs were later converted for special operations with the Highball anti-shipping weapon, and were used by 618 Squadron, formed in April 1943 specifically to use this weapon. A B Mk IV, DK290 was initially used as a trials aircraft for the bomb, followed by DZ471,530 and 533. The B Mk IV had a maximum speed of 380 mph (610 km/h), a cruising speed of 265 mph (426 km/h), ceiling of 34,000 ft (10,000 m), a range of 2,040 nmi (3,780 km), and a climb rate of 2,500 ft per minute (762 m).