David Knights' Weblog

April 10, 2013

More whizz bang

Filed under: Technology — dknights @ 12:44 pm
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Bluff or real?

April 9, 2013

Is it just me or is this creepy?

Filed under: Politics,Technology — dknights @ 3:23 pm
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Story here.

April 6, 2013

Magazine review: Scale Aircraft Modelling Vol.34 #12 (Feb. 2013)

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:48 pm
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I haven’t gotten around to reviewing a SAM in a while.  My bad.  This issue has several items of interest for the 72nd modeler.  There is a review of the Meng Ki-98 and the Special Hobby FF-1 in 72nd scale.  Both are excellent, with the Meng build is particularly nice.

In addition there is a build article with history of the new Special Hobby Vautour in Israeli markings.  This article is especially commendable for the history around the aircraft built in the article.  There are several nice non-72nd scale articles and a brief history of the F8F in Indochina.  Unfortunately, this particular article suffers from what appears to be some awkward phrasings that I suspect result from it being translated from another language.

While SAM is still too expensive in my opinion ($13), it is still the commercial magazine I enjoy the most.  Buy it.

April 5, 2013

Book Review: Bomber Pilot, A Memoir of World War II

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:45 pm
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Book Review: Bomber Pilot, A Memoir of World War II
By Philip Ardery
Review by D.M. Knights, IPMS/USA 17656, IPMS/Canada C6091

World War II produced numerous memoirs, from those of famous leaders and generals such as Churchill and Patton, to memoirs of the most common soldier.  The quality of these varies from great to nearly unreadable.  In the former category is this title, Bomber Pilot, by Philip Ardery.

Lt. Col. Ardery’s story has particular interest to me for two reasons.  First, Ardery, who passed away a few years ago, was a lawyer from Kentucky who practiced in Louisville for most of his post-WWII career.  Second, he was a participant in Operation Tidal Wave, the low level raid on the Ploesti refinery complex on August 1st, 1943.

Philip Ardery was an Army reserve infantry officer prior to World War II.  A particularly miserable experience on pre-war maneuvers combined with a fascination with flying convinced the author to transfer to the Army Air Corps to try his hand at flying.  The first part of the book describes Philip Ardery’s experiences in flight training in the period just before the outbreak of World War II.  We think of the American involvement in World War II as coming suddenly as a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.  However, as this book makes clear, the war clouds were on the horizon, and the only question was when, not if, the US would enter WWII.

Ardery completed his pilot training during 1940 and 1941 and in an twist of fate, was married on Dec. 6th, 1941.  He and his new bride heard the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor in Dallas, Texas as the author was taking his new bride back to Paris, Kentucky to meet his family.  Despite the attack, the couple was able to complete their honeymoon and Mr. Ardery spent most of 1942 acting as an instructor teaching other pilots to fly the new B-24 four-engined bomber.

Finally assigned to a combat Bomb Group, the author was promoted to squadron leader.  After arriving in England the Bomb Group was shipped to Africa to participate in the end of the African campaign.  After only a few missions, the Group was assigned to the Ploesti mission.  It is amazing that the squadrons in the group had only a few missions under their belt when they participated in what was one of the most difficult bombing missions of World War II.

The rest of the book describes the author’s experiences thru late 1944 when he was finally rotated home after having flown more than the required number of missions..  While I was most personally interested in the chapter on the Ploesti mission, the rest of the book is fascinating in its own right. I highly recommend this book.

April 4, 2013

The new world of publishing

Filed under: General,Technology — dknights @ 12:28 pm
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A great non-success story of the new publishing environment.


Filed under: General,Technology — dknights @ 11:51 am
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Testing some mobile photo uploading


April 3, 2013

Decal review: Colorful Dauntless SBD-1/2 (72-138)

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:27 pm
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Starfighter sheet 72-138

Starfighter sheet 72-138

Starfighter has just released a small 72nd scale decal sheet with 3 early SBD-1/2 in the classic pre-war “Yellow Wings” markings.  There are two Marine aircraft and one Navy bird. Of course, at the present time, there is no 72nd kit of the SBD-1/2.  However, Starfighter is soon to release a resin conversion for the Hasegawa kit of the SBD-3/4/5 to backdate it to the 1/2 version. The Hasegawa kit has been out of production for some time, however, it is just being re-released.  The timing of these decals and the upcoming resin conversion couldn’t be better.

Starfighter’s decals are of the finest quality.  The registration is spot on and the decals appear very opaque.  Finally, you can’t argue with the $6 price tag.  A definite must-have for 72nd “Yellow Wings” fans.

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