David Knights' Weblog

September 14, 2018

New Mirage III family

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 1:02 am
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Modelsivit looks like they are going to do this.  Glad to see it.


July 11, 2018

French H160

Filed under: Politics,Technology — dknights @ 6:35 pm
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Interesting article on the new French replacement helicopter.  It will be interesting to see if this has any success beyond the French military.

April 24, 2018


Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:36 pm
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I’ve already admitted that I am an SBS fanboy.  I must admit that this aircraft in this boxing looks neat.  I will hopefully check it out at this years Nats.

April 15, 2018


Filed under: Politics,Technology — dknights @ 1:17 pm
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Interesting report on the weapons used in the recent strikes on Syria.  Will see if it deters Assad from using such weapons.


More info here.

March 31, 2018

Super Mystere

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:20 am
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Fans of the 1950s French Air Force and of the Israeli Air Force will be please by this announcement from Special Hobby.

February 16, 2018


Filed under: IPMS,Modeling — dknights @ 12:42 am
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I love SBS kits.  They have now released a French Air Force version of their C.600 kit.  I may pick this one up at the IPMS/USA Nationals in Phoenix.

January 10, 2018

Interesting story

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 11:10 pm
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I ran across this on the internet.  I hadn’t heard this particular story before regarding the French operations in Chad.

October 1, 2017

Government stupidity

Filed under: Technology — dknights @ 10:40 pm
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Nothing else to say but, man this is stupid.

September 14, 2017

Bloch MB-220

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:19 am
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Looks like a new Bloch MB-220.  Will be interested to see it.

April 3, 2017

Book review: First of the Few, 5 June- 9 July 1940

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:30 am
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Book review: First of the Few, 5 June- 9 July 1940
Author: Brian Cull
ISBN 978-1-78155-116-5
256 pgs
Review by D.M. Knights, IPMS/USA 17656, IPMS/Canada C6091

Brian Cull is one of my favorite aviation authors.  I believe I’ve read nearly everything he’s written, so I was looking forward to his new book, First of the Few.  This book covers the RAF operations (including FAA) from June 5th, the end of the Dunkirk (Operation Dynamo) to July 9th, the beginning of the war over the Channel.  This is the time period where the RAF is fighting a retreat, covering the British troops as they evacuate from France.

While covering a time period of a little over a month, it was a hectic month with air operations continuing against the Germans while moving from base to base never knowing exactly when the French were going to capitulate.  The main focus is on the Hurricane squadrons which were part of the BEF and the AASF.  These squadrons had been fighting hard for over a month while constantly moving from base to base as the Germans advanced.  They had been badly decimated but still constituted the only air units which could protect the retreating British troops as they headed for the ports in Normandy and southern France to get out of France before the collapse that was inevitable after Dunkirk.

The stories of individual air combats are compelling and the author has done a good job of reconciling the records of the combatants, so that in many cases we know which pilot shot down another pilot in particular combats.  However, some of the most amazing stories are the pilots who had been wounded in combat and were recovering in France as they desperately made their way seeking any way to get out of the country.  Some pilots made their way, just like ground troops to the ports, while others stole planes from French air bases or civil airports and flew to either the Channel Islands, Britain or Africa.

Also covered in the book are the beginning of the Bomber Command’s strategic operations against both Germany and Italy.  It is amazing to read how small these initial operations were considering how big they became by the end of the war.

In addition to the 256 pages of text, the book has 10 pages of black and white photographs.  In one of the appendixes, the book lists all the Luftwaffe pilots who were released by the French after the armistice.  It includes a number of pilots who went on to become aces, in some cases many times over.

Mr. Cull has a follow-on book scheduled for release later this year.  Titled The Thin Blue Line, it covers the month of the air war over the channel in July and August.  It is unclear if he will continue on and cover the Battle of Britain proper.  I certainly hope he does. List price is $29.95 on Amazon, but shop around and you may find a better deal.

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