David Knights' Weblog

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.

December 2, 2019

Book review: German Guided Missiles of World War II

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 6:26 am
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German Guided Missiles of World War II
Fritz-X to Wasserfall and X-4
New Vanguard #276
By Steven J. Zaloga
Osprey Publishing (2019)
ISBN 978-1-4728-3179-8

Review by D.M. Knights

                                                                                                    The German “wonder weapons” of WWII are a particular area of interest for me.  I have built several models of some of these weapons. (V-1, V-2, C-2, Me-163)  I have a fair sized library of books on the subjects.  This latest book is by well-known military writer and historian Steven J. Zaloga.  Mr. Zaloga is most well known for his works regarding armored vehicles.

This book covers German guided bombs (Fritz-X and Hs 293) as well as several anti-aircraft missiles that the Germans developed as the war progressed. Given the slimness of the volume, it is only 48 pages; it doesn’t cover any of the subjects in detail.  Rather, it is a general overview of the subject, touching briefly on a particular weapon, giving a brief development history and, if applicable, its combat use.

It isn’t a bad book.  The photos and illustrations are first rate.  While not intended as a comprehensive study of these weapons, it does an adequate job of covering the weapons systems.  My biggest complaint is in regard to value for the money.  A normal

Osprey volume is 96 pages.  This one is 48 pages.  That makes the book rather pricey for something that takes less than an hour to read, even if you aren’t a speed reader.

If you are new to the subject and looking for a basic primer, this is a good volume, as long as you aren’t bothered by the price.  If you are looking for something more in depth, or are a value shopper, then you’ll want to pass on this one, or wait until you can pick this one up on sale at Amazon or your local hobby shop.

November 29, 2019

Revell Ju-88A-1

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 7:36 pm
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A hole in the 72nd scale modeling world has been an A-1 version of the Ju-88.  This was the most numerous version used in the Battle of Britain.  Now Revell has announced that they are doing one.  Given their excellent A-4 version, I have high hopes.

November 21, 2019

Airfix Me-262 build

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 3:16 pm
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Over on his website, Model Paint Solutions’ John Miller has a beautiful build of the newish Airfix Me-262 in an unusual paint finish.   Having seen this model in person at the Chattanooga IPMS/USA Nationals I can attest to the fact that it looks as good as it does on the website.

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