David Knights' Weblog

January 6, 2021

SpaceX getting into national defense

Filed under: Technology — dknights @ 11:58 pm
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Well, sort of.  Got to say I am happy about this as SpaceX seems to be one of the few competent companies out there.

November 30, 2020

Finding the win

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:06 am
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I recently completed A-Model’s AS-1 Kennel.  I bought this kit at the Chattanooga Nationals and actually started it sitting in the hotel room at the show.  In retrospect, this might not have been a good idea.

I’ve built an A-Model kit before.  I built their AS-4 Kitchen a number of years ago.  In fact, that model won an award at the IPMS Nats in Norfolk. So, I thought I knew what I was getting into with the AS-1.  What I did not know at the time, and only later learned on Scalemates.com, is that the AS-1 kit isn’t an A-Model kit.  It was the one and only kit of a small manufacturer, the models to which, A-Model acquired.  This meant I wasn’t building an A-Model kit, I was building the one and only kit of a first time manufacturer.

I did not know this.  Thus I failed to look closely at the kit. (BTW, this is a general failing of mine, and I suspect many modelers.  We are so anxious to get started we don’t take our time to closely examine the model.)  If I had, I might have noticed the “poor” panel lines.  They were really bad.  It isn’t anything that couldn’t be fixed if you noticed it an determined to correct it prior to assembly. I did not.

By the time I realized the problems the kit had, I was far into the build.  I was at the priming stage.  I them attempted to correct the worst of the problems at a time way to far into the build.  Also, at this time, I realized that my rescribing skills had atrophied. (Who am I kidding, they suck)  Thus I was left with a model that I knew wasn’t going to be what I wanted.

Listeners to Plastic Model Mojo may note that the progress on the AS-1 stalled for several months.  At this point there was an internal debate in my head about what to do.  I could trash the project.  I couldn’t really go back to the point where I would have rescribed everything before assembly.  So, thanks to encouragement from Scott ” Skippy ” King and Jim “the X-acto ” Bates, I decided to make the best of a bad situation and press on, using the model as a way to learn.

When I build a model, I have two goals. First, I’d like each model I build to be better than the last.  By that standard, the AS-1 failed, rather badly.  Second, on each model I build, I want to try something new. A new technique, a new paint or weathering product, etc.  You get the point.  By that standard, I succeeded.  I used a white undercoat/primer instead of a black one on the theory that, for non-chrome finishes, white is a better base.  I think it worked out.  Also, the AS-1 was my first truly bare metal finish.  While far from perfect, it is now something I have attempted and have a baseline for improving.  Finally, I realize that I suck at scribing and I need to get better.

So, is this the AS-1 a great model? No. Did I do my best job on it? No.  Did I learn new stuff?  Yes. Did I have fun? Yes.  I am going to count that as a win.

November 11, 2020

Rescribing and metal finishes

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:59 pm
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The A Model AS-1 is not a Tamiya-level quality kit. In fact, Scalemates tells us that it was actually another company’s kit that A-Model re-released as part of their line. I love Soviet/Russian stuff and especially their missiles, so when I saw it at the Chattanooga Nats I had to get it.

Among other things this kit has given me a chance to work on my metal finish skills and, because of my ham-handed building and the less than stellar quality of the kit, my rescribing of panel lines.

As far metal finishes go, Dr. Miller of Model Paint Solutions has suggested for non-chrome metallic finishes, white is a better primer than black. I wanted to use this as a chance to test that theory. A you can see below, I think he is correct. Now, when I get the top sprayed with aluminum, I am going to try and create some panel variations. Stay tuned.

White primer (with a few things left to fix)

A pretty smooth Alclad II aluminum finish

September 7, 2020

Buck Rogers

Filed under: Technology — dknights @ 4:24 pm
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August 19, 2020


Filed under: Technology — dknights @ 10:18 am
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The French, or someone, lost a live missile.  It turned up in Florida.  I wonder if we’ll ever learn the back story on how this happened.

August 10, 2020

Just when you think 2020 can’t get worse

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 2:23 pm
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Boy, 2020 just doesn’t give up.  A war in the Taiwan straight is just what we need.

July 28, 2020

Well, this is not good

Filed under: Politics,Technology — dknights @ 8:09 pm
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Just because they are weak and disorganized, doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous.

July 13, 2020

Does this look familiar?

Filed under: Technology — dknights @ 4:17 am
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Japan’s hypersonic missile.  This looks like the one the US is developing. (h/t to Jeff “Inch High” Groves)

June 23, 2020

Takom V-2

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:39 pm
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A very nice build of the Takom V-2 kit.

June 22, 2020


Filed under: Technology — dknights @ 10:32 am
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Story here.  Looks like the latest versions of Russian short range air defense may not be quite as good as advertised.  I suspect this applies to much of Russian military technology.

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