David Knights' Weblog

May 13, 2019

Wouldn’t it be funny

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 1:57 pm
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Wouldn’t it be funny if the problems in Venezuela caused problems in Cuba while Cuba tried to prop up Venezuela?  Could be happening.  I will be keeping an eye on this.


January 12, 2019


Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 3:01 pm
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I have spent a fair amount of time lately on the crisis in Venezuela, but we should not forget the other socialist hellhole in the western hemisphere, Cuba.  Here is an article on how folks scrape by there.

March 28, 2018

2018 Modeling #23

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:52 pm
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Date: 3/23/2018

Time 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (1.0 hrs actual modeling time.)

2018 Total time: 26.63 hrs.

Managed to get a little time in at the bench.  March isn’t looking much better than February so far.  Worked on the Trumpeter T-34/85.  Work has slowed to a crawl as I am trying to improve the kit a little.

I have noticed that, in general, when I model solo, I can only get about an hour’s worth of work in before my eyes start to give into the strain and my back starts to hurt. Old age sucks.

March 17, 2018

2018 Modeling #21

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:08 pm
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Date: 3/15/2018

Time 9:00 p.m. to 10:20 p.m. (1.33 hrs.)

2018 Total time: 24.63 hrs.

Finally got back to the bench after 11 days away.  This is what happens to me every year.  As I get further into the year, my bench time gets less and less.  With recent life developments, I don’t see this year being any different.

I did get some building done.  Mainly added some of the grab handles on the T-34/85 and worked a bit on the MXY-7.  Primed the interior and then painted it with Alclad dull aluminum.  The grab handles on the T-34/85 have been very time consuming.  I think they will look much better than the plastic parts, but what a pain.

March 5, 2018

2018 Modeling #19

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 9:46 pm
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Date: 3/1/2018

Time 4:00 p.m. to 5:05 p.m. (1.08 hrs.)

2018 Total time: 22.3 hrs.

The first session of March.  I just wish it was more productive.  I spent all my time drilling holes in the T-34/85 chassis to mount scratchbuilt grab handles.  I then made the handles out of very thin wire. Spent an over an hour and didn’t finish.  This armor stuff has a lot of tedious parts to it.

February 26, 2018

2018 Modeling #16

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:02 am
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Date: 2/24/2018

Time 1:40 p.m. to 2:10 p.m. (.5 hrs.), 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 (.5 hrs), 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (1.0 hrs)

2018 Total time: 18.39 hrs.

Finally got back to the bench after 10 days away.  Sadly, my prediction that February would not be as modeling intensive as January is coming true.  Worked on both the T-33 and the T-34/85.  Both are progressing well.  I suspect that as I predicted, the T-33 will require about 40 hours total to finish.  The T-34/85 won’t take that long.  Pictures with the next update.

February 15, 2018

2018 Modeling #15

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:28 pm
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Date: 2/14/2018

Time 4:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m. (.83 hrs.)

2018 Total time: 16.39 hrs.

Got some time in at the bench.  As I suspected, I haven’t been able to keep up the pace set in January.  I did manage to close up the Platz T-33 fuselage.  I also got some more work done on the T-34/85.  (In the photo below, the chassis is just sitting on the hull.) The tank is coming along nicely.  I don’t think it will take me 40 hours to finish the T-34/85, but I am pretty sure that it will take that many hours to finish the T-33, especially with the finish II’ve chosen.

Moving along

February 11, 2018

2018 Modeling #14

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:57 pm
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Date: 2/9/2018

Time 9:35 p.m. to 10:50 a.m. (1.4 hrs.)

2018 Total time: 15.56 hrs.

Watched the Olympic opening ceremonies and worked on the T-34/85.  Made some progress.  However, given the progress I’ve made in February I don’t have hope that I’ll match my January hours.

February 4, 2018

2018 Modeling #13

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 4:51 pm
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Date: 2/2/2018

Time 7:40 p.m. to 8:50 a.m. (1.17 hrs.)

2018 Total time: 14.16 hrs.

Got in some quality time to start off February.  If I have any hope of finishing some models, I need to keep up the pace.  Did a little work on the Platz T-33.  Got the cockpit and other interior parts in, and am ready to seal up the fuselage.  It should move quickly from there.  More work on the T-34/85. Man, I thought canopy masking was bad.  However, nothing is more mindless that road wheels on tanks.  Not hard, just repetitive and boring.  Here is where the T-34/85 is at.  (I promised more pictures)

T-34 main parts

February 1, 2018

Cuban T-34/85 colors and markings

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:21 pm
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Camouflage and Markings of Cuban T-34/85s of the Bay of Pigs

The Cuban military was in transition when the Bay of Pigs invasion occurred on April 17th, 1961.  Pre-revolutionary Cuba’s military was supplied with a combination of British and American Equipment.  There were Sherman and Cromwell tanks as well as Hawker Sea Fury and Lockheed T-33 aircraft.  Once the revolution happened, much of the trained military personnel fled the country.  Britain and the United States withdrew their support.  Cuba turned to the Soviet Union to re-equip and train the new Cuban military.

As part of Soviet support for the Cuban military, the Soviets supplied the Cuban Army with tanks, trucks, artillery and anti-aircraft guns.  The AFVs supplied were initially T-34/85 tanks and SU-100 SPGs. It is these vehicles that the Cuban army had on hand to combat the invaders.  Unfortunately for the Cuban army troops they had not been fully trained on the equipment and thus the T-34s came out on the short end of combat with the M-41s and bazookas that equipped the counterrevolutionaries.

Interestingly, apparently because the tanks were so new to the island, they carried no markings, either national markings or turret numbers.  There are a number of photos of the Cuban T-34/85s at the time of the combat.  All of them show plain, unmarked vehicles in overall soviet green.  There are later photos of Cuban T-34/85s taken at parades and museums that show them with turret side numbers and small white stars on the front fenders.  This was apparently the normal practice of the Cuban army subsequent to the Bay of Pigs.  Sometimes the tank road wheels also had white trim on them as well. (It is odd that Soviet armored vehicles and lowriders and pimpmobiles all sported the white sidewalls.)

While this information doesn’t provide much for decal manufacturers, it does provide the modeler with an unusual option for a vehicle where the weathering, not the markings can be the focus of the build.

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