David Knights' Weblog

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.

February 1, 2020

American Battlefield Trust

Filed under: General — dknights @ 6:36 am
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These folks do great work preserving American Battlefields and in teaching history.  Here is a 4 minute video on combat in the Revolutionary War.

January 30, 2020

The amazing stuff you find on YouTube

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 3:38 pm
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Was doing some research and found the video below.  It is from a French officer’s home movies that he took while participating in the 1940 Battle for Norway.  Freaking amazing!

January 29, 2020

Even fewer of The Few

Filed under: General,Modeling — dknights @ 11:13 am
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With this death, there are only two living pilots who flew combat in the Battle of Britain.  May he rest in peace and may his memory be a blessing.

January 24, 2020

The Chinese Communist Party is not our friend

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 9:42 am
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Given the more normalized relations with China since Nixon’s visit in the early 70s, I think we’ve become numb to the danger the CCP poses. We defeated Soviet communism in the 90s and 30 years later we have a society where the young don’t know what communism is or the continuing horrors it represents.  These are the people Orwell was warning us about.  Story here.

January 7, 2020

MXY-7 Model 11 Ohka

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:58 am
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I’ve been building the Brengun kit of the MXY-7 Model 11 Ohka.  It is finally finished and I got a few rushed cell phone shots of it last night.  The Ohka was one of Japan’s late war attempts to stem the inevitable tide of the US Pacific fleet.  The Ohka (cherry blossom) went from conception to production to deployment in less than a year.  we know that about 755 Model 11s were made.  It is unclear how many were actually used, though some number went down with the carriers Shinano and Unryu and a number were captured intact on Okinawa.  The Ohkas are known to have sunk 3 ships and severely damaged 3 more.  However, none were carriers or battleships and on the whole the effort and cost expended on these manned rocket powered bombs seems to have been a waste of resources as well as their pilot’s lives.

The Brengun kit is relatively new, having been issued in 2018.  In addition to the basic kit, Brengun makes, a separately sold vac canopy, a photo etch set and canopy masks.  I recommend getting the photo etch (though not all of it is usable) and the canopy masks. (always get the canopy masks)  While not perfect, it was a fun build and I like the way it came out.

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