David Knights' Weblog

November 19, 2014

Model trains as motive for murder

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 5:14 pm

November 18, 2014

Book Review: Ki-27 Nate Aces

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 9:46 pm
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Ki-27 coverBook Review: Ki-27 Nate Aces
Osprey Aircraft of the Aces #103
By Nicholas Millman
96 pgs, 12 pages of color illustrations
ISBN978 1 84908 662 2
Review by D.M. Knights, IPMS/USA 17656, IPMS/Canada C6091

I’ve reviewed a number of the Osprey Aircraft of the Aces volumes.  As with any book series, there are some volumes that are better and some that aren’t quite as good.  I am happy to report that Ki-27 Nate Aces is one of the former.  While it still has some of the limitations inherent in all the Osprey books, it does better than most volumes of the series in providing the modeler with the maximum amount of information in a limited space.

Much of the success of this book can be attributed to the fact that the author is extremely familiar with his subject.  Mr. Millman is one of the foremost authorities on the World War II Japanese Army Air Force and the Japanese Naval Air Force and particularly their camouflage.  His knowledge shows in this work. It is nice to read a book written by an author who knows his subject so well.

The Ki-27 was the Japanese Army’s main fighter in the run up to WWII.  It was engaged in the war in China in the late 1930s, where it was extremely successful in combat against the fragmented and ill-equipped Chinese Air Forces.  By the time that the Japanese Army came into conflict with the Russian Army in 1939, the Ki-27 was being surpassed by more modern technology.  It still gave a good account of itself in combat, but the writing was on the wall.

However, despite its age, the Ki-27 was still the fighter aircraft in service with almost all of the JAAF fighter squadrons at the end of 1941, when the Japanese attacked the US, UK and Dutch colonies in the Pacific.  The Ki-27 acquitted itself well in these early battles, but was quickly superseded by more modern designs such as the Ki-43. At the end of its life, the Ki-27 wasn’t used as the mount of ace fighter pilots, but was used as a trainer and as a kamikaze aircraft.

After a brief description of the aircraft itself and its development, the author breaks the subsequent chapters into the historical periods and theaters where the Ki-27 was used, starting with the war in China, followed by the Nomonhan Incident and then proceeding to the Malaya, Burma, and the Dutch East Indies campaign. The final chapters cover the defense of the homeland and the latter portions of the China campaign.  In each chapter the author highlights the air battles that occurred and the pilots who flew the Ki-27 in the campaign and their successes.  The best parts of these chapters are the combat descriptions themselves. The author has done an excellent job of locating first person descriptions of the combats from the pilots themselves.

At the heart of every Osprey aircraft book are the color profiles.  They don’t disappoint here.  There are 12 pages of color profiles, including one aircraft with a complete 3 view profile.  I am glad to see the complete 3 view illustration and I hope to see this trend continue. The color reproduction on the profiles is excellent.

In sum, I highly recommend this book.  If you have a special interest in World War II Japanese aircraft, this book will be a joy to read.  If you only have a casual curiosity about the subject, you may find this book an inspiration to delve deeper into World War II Japanese aviation.

November 12, 2014

Things heat up in Asia

Filed under: Politics,Technology — dknights @ 2:23 pm
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China is testing another new aircraft.

There will be four months where the US doesn’t have a carrier around Japan.

The Japanese have built helicopter carriers and now may develop a fixed wing carrier.

November 10, 2014


Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 4:31 pm
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I agree with this idea and hope this is what happens in January 2014

November 6, 2014

Medal of Honor

Filed under: General — dknights @ 4:33 pm
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While I think the general rule of not revisiting old cases to retroactively award the MoH is a good idea, I do think that this one is well deserved.

November 3, 2014

Purely for fun

Filed under: Kentucky,Politics — dknights @ 11:27 am
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Election predictions

GOP picks up 9 Senate seats, 14 House seats.

Special prediction, McConnell crushes Grimes by 9%.

UPDATE: I am a genius.  Once Landreau  loses the LA runoff, the GOP will have picked up 9 Senate seats.  Looks like the will pick up between 15-18 House seats once the close races are called.  In addition, McConnell beat Grimes by a whopping 15%

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