David Knights' Weblog

September 11, 2020

A great website

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:57 pm
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Everything you want to know about Australia at war in WWII.

August 26, 2020

Falling down the rabbit hole

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 2:54 pm
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Talking with Jim Bates the other day, we were discussing the latest Starfighter Decals sheet for the B-25.  This led into a discussion of the new Airfix B-25B kit and which Doolittle Raider each of us wished to model.  One of the crewmen on one of the planes was from Kentucky, and I’ve known this for years because there is a historical marker in Elizabethtown, KY near the courthouse.  I’ve passed that marker a number of times and always thought I’d want to build the aircraft that he crewed.

That crewman, George Larkin, Jr. was a member of crew #10, and flew on aircraft 40-2250.  While this aircraft isn’t one of the more colorful Doolittle Raiders, as it doesn’t have any unique nose art or unique markings, there are several good photos of the aircraft, showing its weathered appearance at the time of the raid.  There are several great websites regarding the Doolittle Raiders with lots of great photos.

Since the DK Decals sheet allows you to do most of the Doolittle Raiders, but not 40-2250, I think I can use the sheet and piece together the tail numbers I need.

Jim, I blame you for this post.

Tsar Bomba

Filed under: Modeling,Technology — dknights @ 11:58 am
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I’ve previously written about the worlds largest man-made explosion, the 50 megaton Tsar Bomba, here, here and here.  Now the  Russians have released footage of the explosion and the preparations leading up to it.  Amazing.

August 19, 2020

A WWII mystery

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 6:30 am
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I don’t think I have ever been aware of this story before.  I have been to the USNAM in Pensacola and have actually seen the gondola of this blimp.  I wonder if anyone makes any of the USN blimps from WWII in 72nd scale.

June 18, 2020

The Mark 14 torpedo

Filed under: Technology — dknights @ 9:20 am
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One of the biggest US failures of WWII.  A great explanation in the video below.  While watching it I can’t help but reflect on how many of our weapons development problems today seem to stem from the same issues from 80 years ago.

April 2, 2020

Ki-78

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 7:38 pm
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Film has been discovered of the Ki-78 in testing and flight.  No such film of the aircraft had existed before this discovery.

March 12, 2020

Movie review: The Trench (1999)

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 4:43 am
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I’d never heard of this film before Dr. Hill lent me the DVD.  Apparently it was an independent film made in 1999.  I don’t think it got a very wide release.  I haven’t been able to find any box office numbers for it.  It is a shame that it didn’t get a wider release.  It is a good film.  Not a great film, but a good one. The story centers on a British Army platoon holding a section of forward trench that will be part of the jumping off point for part of the attack on the Somme.  The film’s goal is to illustrate both the boredom and tension that the troops in the forward trenches were under.

The movie stars Daniel Craig in his pre-Bond career as the platoon sergeant who know what stress his troop are under and what awaits them in the coming battle.  He spends the story trying to both educate the men in the skills that will increase their chances of staying alive, while also trying to maintain order and discipline and keep the boredom from degenerating into insubordination.

I liked the movie.  I think it did a decent job of telling the story in a way to keep the viewer interested while imparting the feel of trench warfare.  The movie is a tight 98 minute long and well worth the time to see it.

March 9, 2020

MXY-7 info

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 5:19 pm
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My last model completion was the Brengun kit of the MXY-7 OhkaHere is a blog post by someone who assisted in the restoration of the one at the IWM. (h/t Jeff “Inch High” Groves)

February 14, 2020

I did not know this

Filed under: General,Technology — dknights @ 10:36 am
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Story here.  I didn’t know that the British dumped the ordinance there.  I would have thought they’d have taken it to a deeper part of the ocean.

February 12, 2020

The Burkina Faso MiG-17

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:12 am
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I am using the Burkina Faso MiG-17 markings from Xtracals sheet X72313 for the Airfix MiG-17 I am building OOB.  One of my many areas of interest is Small Air Forces.  This set of markings gives me a chance to build an aircraft from an air force that I’d otherwise probably not get to do.

The Burkina Faso MiG-17 has an interesting bit of history.  It is the only jet aircraft ever operated by the BFAF. (Libya did lend the BFAF some MiG-21s but they were never owned or operated by the BFAF, were operated by Libyan pilots and never flew operationally.) The BFAF only had the 1 MiG-17, which was apparently either bought from or donated by Algeria. The plane was used operationally in a short lived conflict with neighboring Mali, known as the Agacher Stip War or the Christmas War in 1985.  When no longer operational, the MiG first sat derelict for a while, but now sits as a gate guard at an airport in Burkina Faso.  (It is apparently still there. If you want to see it on Google Earth, click here.)  There are about 4 good photos of the aircraft taken at different times and it always seems to have worn the same scheme and markings.

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