David Knights' Weblog

January 9, 2020

We’ve got to get off of this rock

Filed under: Technology — dknights @ 9:39 am
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As regular readers know, spaceflight and exploration is one of the areas where I frequently link to news stories.  I am adamant that we need to get the US back into manned spaceflight and we need to get humanity out into the solar system.  It is stories like this that are one of the reasons why.  Sooner or later we are going to get smacked hard.  It would be better if we weren’t all in one place when that happens. (post in memory of Mike Nofsinger)

January 8, 2020

A-4

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 6:59 pm
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I really like the A-4.  It is a cool little hot rod of an aircraft.  I particularly like it in its aggressor role.  I’ve always wanted to do the aggressor that had a MiG-17 silhouette painted on it.  That means I will need this. 

Podcast news

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 3:32 pm
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The first three episodes of the podcast are out.  Give them a listen. If you have any input or suggestions, email Mike and me at plasticmodelmojo@gmail.com.

 

January 7, 2020

Boeing Starliner

Filed under: Technology — dknights @ 5:40 pm
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NASA has put out a statement on the recent Boeing Starliner uncrewed mission test.  The mission failed to dock with the ISS because it failed to achieve the required orbit.  This statement makes clear that another uncrewed mission might be required by NASA, but it has not been decided yet. (post in memory of Mike Nofsinger)

Potez 25 TOE

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 3:53 pm
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Special Hobby has released the box art for their upcoming Potez 25TOE.  As luck would have it, those are the markings I’d like to do it in, which I believe are an aircraft in French Indochina.

MXY-7 Model 11 Ohka

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:58 am
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I’ve been building the Brengun kit of the MXY-7 Model 11 Ohka.  It is finally finished and I got a few rushed cell phone shots of it last night.  The Ohka was one of Japan’s late war attempts to stem the inevitable tide of the US Pacific fleet.  The Ohka (cherry blossom) went from conception to production to deployment in less than a year.  we know that about 755 Model 11s were made.  It is unclear how many were actually used, though some number went down with the carriers Shinano and Unryu and a number were captured intact on Okinawa.  The Ohkas are known to have sunk 3 ships and severely damaged 3 more.  However, none were carriers or battleships and on the whole the effort and cost expended on these manned rocket powered bombs seems to have been a waste of resources as well as their pilot’s lives.

The Brengun kit is relatively new, having been issued in 2018.  In addition to the basic kit, Brengun makes, a separately sold vac canopy, a photo etch set and canopy masks.  I recommend getting the photo etch (though not all of it is usable) and the canopy masks. (always get the canopy masks)  While not perfect, it was a fun build and I like the way it came out.

SAMs

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 5:50 am
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While I am mostly an aircraft guy, I do have other 72nd scale interests. One of them is missiles and rockets.  Of particular interest to me are SAMs, especially Soviet/Russian/Chinese SAMs.  As such I am very happy to see that Trumpeter has announced for 2020 an SA-4.  This will be a 2020 must purchase.

January 6, 2020

Another decal sheet

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 7:40 pm
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I need another decal sheet like I need a hole in my head.  Yet, I think I’m going to have to pick this one up.  I am a sucker for P-51s in ANG markings and in smaller air forces markings.

Something odd

Filed under: General — dknights @ 5:07 pm
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I am currently reading The Gulag Archipelago Vol.1 by Solzhenitsyn.  I’d always wanted to read it and it is a compelling read.  But, I’ve been struck by something.  He was an officer in an artillery battery, who had been cited for bravery on at least one occasion, involved in fighting in the Baltic countries and East Prussia when he was arrested in early 1945.  I know from reading histories of combat on the eastern front in WWII that by 1945 the Russian army was desperate for soldiers.  There are many accounts of units being made up of old men, and woman in all the support roles right behind the front.  Wing Commander Robert Roland Stanford Tuck, in his autobiography, mentions that when he escaped captivity in 1945 and moved east thru the Soviet lines how horrific the Soviet losses were and the poor quality of the soldiers in the units were. Yet, even given this situation, the Soviets were still combing thru their combat units trying to weed out dissenters and “political criminals.” (Keep in mind, Solzhenitsyn’s crime was being obliquely critical of the Soviet government in letters to a fellow officer.  It wasn’t like he was organizing a counterrevolution)  This just struck me as bizarre.  Go read the book.  It is compelling.

SpaceX, on to Mars

Filed under: Technology — dknights @ 9:44 am
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More space news.  It looks like 2020 could turn out to be a banner year in spaceflight, much like 1961 and 1969.  I’ve waited about 45 years for this to happen.  I am glad to see it finally happening. (post in memory of Mike Nofsinger)

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