David Knights' Weblog

March 18, 2020

Intelligence gathering

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 12:22 pm
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It is a dirty job.  A great read.

March 9, 2020

No one remembers the Cold War

Filed under: Politics,Technology — dknights @ 2:11 pm
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This is a cool story. Sadly, the young don’t have any knowledge of the aspects of the Cold War, such as this.

February 24, 2020

I swear at this point they are just making stuff up

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 3:06 pm
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Here.  Well not completely making it up, but are down to doodles on beer napkins.

February 15, 2020

Revell Ju-88 A-1

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 6:00 am
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Here we have some of the first images of Revell’s new Battle of Britain variant of the Ju-88 A-1 slated for release this year. Looks promising.

February 13, 2020

Movie review: T-34 (2018)

Filed under: General,Modeling — dknights @ 6:57 am
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T-34 is a Russian war movie about a Russian tank commander and his crew who put up a valiant defense in front of Moscow in December 1941. After defeating a number of German PzIIIs, their tank is knocked out and captured. In late 1944 the tank commander is pulled from the POW camp along with other tank crew members and forced to operate a captured T-34 in training against German tanks at a tank training center in eastern Germany.  Unbeknownst to the Germans, the Russians locate several tank main gun shells in the Russian tank and use those to escape, in the process taking with them the female Russian prisoner who is a translator for the German guards who helps them in their escape.

Putting aside the slightly silly story, this movie is good.  Really very enjoyable and not just for the Russian and German military equipment.  It is a classic action/war movie and could easily have been made in Hollywood instead of in Russian.  Much of the equipment is actual period equipment, or very realistic mock ups. (Much better than M-48s as Tiger tanks in Battle of the Bulge.)  The acting is very good and equivalent to most B-list actors out of Hollywood.  I watched a dubbed version and it was entertaining to see how the dubbed dialogue differed from the subtitles which were more direct translations of the Russian dialogue.

According to Wikipedia, this is the second highest grossing Russian film of all time. In additional to being available on DVD, it is also available for streaming on Amazon Prime.  It is well worth watching. 4 out of 5 stars.

February 12, 2020

Special Hobby

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 4:32 pm
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Special Hobby showed test shots of several of their upcoming kits at the recent trade show in Germany.  Take a look here.

January 31, 2020

Spielwarenmesse Nürnberg 2020

Filed under: IPMS,Modeling — dknights @ 5:02 pm
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Thanks to the German chapter of IPMS, here you will find all the new items announced at this year’s Nurnberg hobby trade show.

January 2, 2020

Germany gives up

Filed under: Politics,Technology — dknights @ 10:20 am
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Apparently Germany has given up the idea of even having a functioning military. Report here.  I know that many of these non-ready assets are actually functional in an emergency (being “down” because of a non-essential system failure) but Germany has been free-riding in NATO forever in order to prop up its welfare state and now seems to have given up altogether.  While I am on record that Russia is in many respects a paper tiger, that doesn’t mean that a country the size and importance of Germany shouldn’t have a functioning military.

December 18, 2019

Podcasts

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 4:33 pm
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I listen to a lot of podcasts. (more news on that front soon).  One of the ones I really enjoy is We Have Ways a podcast by a historian and a comedian about WWII.  Was listening to it the other day and there was a discussion about Germany’s failed attempt to field a 4 engine strategic bomber.  One of them mentioned that the French had developed a 4 engine bomber that was really good that flew just around the time that France surrendered and that the Germans captured it and used it as a transport, but never sought to develop it.  It was faster than the B-17 (though more lightly armed) and had a bigger bomb load.  I’d never heard of such a thing.  A bit of Goggling, and here you are, the Bloch MB.162There is even a vacuum-form kit of it.

December 16, 2019

RS Do-22

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 5:17 pm
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RS has announced a Do-22.  This is good news for folks trying to fill their collection of Finnish, Greek or Yugoslav WWII aircraft.

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