David Knights' Weblog

September 17, 2011

Bates starts another one

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:45 pm
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Will he finish it?


November 24, 2010

Book Review: Every Day a Nightmare, American Pursuit Pilots in the Defense of Java 1941-1942 by William H. Bartsch

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 6:55 am
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Every Day a Nightmare

Book Review: Every Day a Nightmare, American Pursuit Pilots in the Defense of Java 1941-1942 by William H. Bartsch

ISBN:978-1-60344-176-6 506 pages MSRP $40.00

Review by D.M. Knights IPMS/USA 17656 IPMS/Canada C6091

 Wow. Just wow. OK, maybe I better back up. I like to shop on Amazon.com. I especially like the feature they have where they will recommend items you might be interested in based on what you have purchased in the past. If it weren’t for that feature, I might never have gotten this book, which is one of the more enjoyable histories I’ve read. I have an interest in early WWII Pacific history and based on what I’ve purchased off of Amazon.com in the past, the website recommended this book. I had never heard of it. It was only published in 2010, so it is fairly new.

As the title implies, the book covers the story of the US pursuit pilots who were shipped to Australia in the early days of the war in the Pacific and who ended up fighting in a futile fight to defend Java from the early Japanese onslaught. The author thoroughly researched this book and much of it comes from the diaries of the pilots involved. In addition, the author utilized the official records to give the sense of the larger picture in the chaotic early days of the war. Many of the photographs come from the private photos of the individuals involved and most are ones that have not been published before.

 At over 500 pages, the book is a little bit intimidating. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to slog thru a 500-page book, but once I read the first few pages I was hooked. The author is a gifted writer, who makes the compelling story come to life. The reader finds himself rooting for the young and inexperienced US pilots, even though you know what the outcome was. You are amazed at the speed at which the US moved men and material half way around the world. You are also stunned by the fact that most of the pilots that were chosen to go to Java were recent flight school graduates many with just a few hours in the P-40s they would fly in combat. Contrast that with the years of experience that the JNAF pilots they flew against had. The result was a foregone conclusion.

I cannot say enough good things about this book. It is the perfect companion to the Shores and Cull two-volume set, Bloody Shambles. It was one of the best books I’ve read in a long while. It was an especially good deal since I received a substantial discount by purchasing it online from Amazon.com. .

April 2, 2010

P-40 is finished

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:31 am
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Previous posts on this project are here, here and here. I had not realized until just now that I started this kit sometime before November 2008. Damn!

In any event it is done now.  I consider it a 50% success.  My goals with each model I build are:

1. Try new things, new products, new techniques with each model

2. Try to make each model better than the last.

In this case, I tried several new things, and learned a lot, and from that view, it was a success.  However, I don’t think that the model is better in any significant sense than the Spitfire I finished in December.

See for yourself.


AVG P-40



Another view AVG P-40

October 14, 2009

P-40 progress

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 6:12 am
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The other day I was able to get a little work done on my P-40.  It is the 72nd scale Trumpy kit.  I used my new Badger R1V Velocity airbrush to put in a mixture of 50% RAF Dark Earth and 50% Flat Gull Gray into the interior of some of the panels.  Here are some photos.  Keep in mind these were shot before I went back over the entire topside with a very thin coat of straight RAF Dark Earth to blend in the shading.

P-40 with panel effect

P-40 with panel effect


More P-40 shading

More P-40 shading

July 15, 2009

P-40 progress

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 6:34 am
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I’ve got the underside color on the Trumpy 72nd P-40.  I used Model Master Sky  Type S with Neutral Gray added.  I preshaded with black.  I hightlighted the control surfaces with pure Model Master Sky Type S.

P-40 underside.

P-40 underside.


Here is a close up showing the preshading coming thru.

P-40 preshading

P-40 preshading

May 27, 2009

P-40 book review

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 9:52 am
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Over on Jim Bates site there is a really nice review of a recent P-40 modeling book.  I love the P-40.  Pop on over and take a look.

January 14, 2009

End of the year lists

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 4:08 pm
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Every December and January you get “end of the year” lists.  Best of this…Worst of that, etc.  If it is good enough for everone else, it is good is enough for me.

Top 10 models I completed in 2008:

#10 thru #2 {blank}

#1 Revell 72nd scale Hawker Hunter

Now, I know what you are saying to yourself.  It is number one because it is the only model you finished in 2008.  While techincally true, that doesn’t keep it from being #1.  As I said in a previous post, it is a great kit.

Ten worst models I finished in 2008. (See list above)

Yep, same reason. Only one model finished.  Pretty sad.  Doesn’t make for much of a list.

Top ten models I’d like to complete in 2009.  Now I know what you are saying to yourself.  You finished one in 08, what makes you think you can finish 10 in 09?  I don’t really.  My eyes are always bigger than my stomach or my building skills.

10. Academy F-8E (The Battle of the Barristers build)

9. Trumpeter Su-15

8. Trumpeter P-40B/C

7. Revell Me-262

6. Trumpeter Hawker Sea Fury

5. DML MiG-17

4. Another Revell Hawker Hunter

3. Hasegawa B-24D

2. Revell He-177

1. Anything. Just finish a model!!!!

My next post will be a list of all the models languishing in half built condition in my model room, or as it is known throughout the land, “The List of Shame”.

November 23, 2008

They call me Mr. Surfacer 1200

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 7:51 pm
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In a previous post, I commented on Mr. Surfacer 1200 in the spray can being one of my favorite modeling tools.  I used it recently to prime my Trumpeter P-40.  Below are a couple of photos that hopefully convey some idea of how nice a finish the Mr. Surfacer lays down. (Please ignore the fact I haven’t cut off the hinge on one side of the P-40 rudder and the seams that still need work).

P-40 primed with Mr. Surfacer 1200

P-40 primed with Mr. Surfacer 1200

Here is a close up to try and show how nice a finish Mr. Surfacer 1200 out of the spray can lays down.
Closeup of primed surface

Closeup of primed surface

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