David Knights' Weblog

January 13, 2020

PZL.37B

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 3:17 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

IBG has release another boxing of this kit and this is one I am interested in since it will help complete the Romanian collection.

January 7, 2020

Potez 25 TOE

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 3:53 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Special Hobby has released the box art for their upcoming Potez 25TOE.  As luck would have it, those are the markings I’d like to do it in, which I believe are an aircraft in French Indochina.

MXY-7 Model 11 Ohka

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:58 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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.

January 6, 2020

Something odd

Filed under: General — dknights @ 5:07 pm
Tags: , , ,

I am currently reading The Gulag Archipelago Vol.1 by Solzhenitsyn.  I’d always wanted to read it and it is a compelling read.  But, I’ve been struck by something.  He was an officer in an artillery battery, who had been cited for bravery on at least one occasion, involved in fighting in the Baltic countries and East Prussia when he was arrested in early 1945.  I know from reading histories of combat on the eastern front in WWII that by 1945 the Russian army was desperate for soldiers.  There are many accounts of units being made up of old men, and woman in all the support roles right behind the front.  Wing Commander Robert Roland Stanford Tuck, in his autobiography, mentions that when he escaped captivity in 1945 and moved east thru the Soviet lines how horrific the Soviet losses were and the poor quality of the soldiers in the units were. Yet, even given this situation, the Soviets were still combing thru their combat units trying to weed out dissenters and “political criminals.” (Keep in mind, Solzhenitsyn’s crime was being obliquely critical of the Soviet government in letters to a fellow officer.  It wasn’t like he was organizing a counterrevolution)  This just struck me as bizarre.  Go read the book.  It is compelling.

January 3, 2020

Movie review: Unknown Soldier (2017)

Filed under: General,Modeling — dknights @ 4:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

Previously I viewed Winter War, a Finnish film that told the story of the Winter war between Finland and the Soviet Union between 1939 and 1940.  I followed that film up with another film from Terry’s Movie Vault; Unknown Soldier.  This movie follows a Finnish machine gun company thru the Continuation War, which is what the Finns call the War Between Finland and the Soviet Union from 1941-1944.  The book is based on a novel of the same name that is considered THE novel of this period in Finnish history.  This is the 3rd film based on the novel to be made in Finland.  When it was made in 2017, it was the most expensive film ever made in Finland.

The money spent shows.  The film has wonderful sets, and the cinematography of the beautiful Finnish countryside is dramatic and wonderful.  The uniforms and props are very detailed and appear to be period correct.  The fact that the film had a big budget (at least big for a Finnish film) shows in the film.  Its look is indistinguishable from any Hollywood release.

Unknown Soldier

While I don’t want to give away the entire plot, the film basically follow this

machine gun company from the start of the Continuation War in 1941 thru their recapture of the land lost in the 1939-40 war and then into the Soviet Union proper and their capture of a Soviet city.  Then the unit digs in, WWI style and spends 2 years holding their ground and beating off Soviet probes.  Finally the Soviets, having gotten the Germans in hand, devote resources to the Finnish front and go on to recapture the territory lost in 1941.  With the Soviet assault, we get to see a T-34/85 and a couple of T-34/76s used in the film and they appeared to be authentic.

The film is well acted with the members of the machine gun company consisting of archetypes; the grizzled veteran, the idealistic young officer, the comedian, and so on.  The characters will be instantly recognizable to any viewer who has seen US war films.  The film is in Finnish and has only subtitles.  There isn’t a dubbed version.  While subtitles don’t both me, they do both some viewers and it can become tiresome reading them over the films entire 3 hour length.  Finally, there are some moments in the movie where you can tell that there is something that is referred to is culturally significant and would be easily understood by a Finnish moviegoer, but is lost on one who doesn’t have the Finnish cultural background.

It is a long movie, but worth watching, especially for the cinematography, scenery and Finnish army equipment details.  4 out of 5 stars.

January 2, 2020

Thankless modeling tasks

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 3:27 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

The thing I hate most in aircraft modeling is masking canopies.  Thankfully, technological development has eliminated that hassle, due to pre-cut canopy masks.  One of the other real pains in the but when modeling is dealing with long thin decals, such as stripes or lines.  Their tendency to fold and kink and misbehave is endlessly frustrating.  However, you can’t always avoid subjects with such markings.  In those cases, my preferred solution is to cut the decal and ally it in sections.  This isn’t ideal as you then have the challenge to matching and mating the sections back together on the model.  However, it is still better than other alternatives.  I am dealing with this challenge on the Ohka.  I started applying the stripes last night.  Hopefully I’ll get the entire stripe on soon.

Decal stripes

December 31, 2019

This is good news

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:52 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The increasingly excellent kit producer Arma has announced a 72nd scale FM-2, promising to fill a much needed space in 72nd scale Wildcats.  Now if we can get them to do an F4F-3.

December 23, 2019

Clearprop Ki-51

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 6:33 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I previously praised Clearprop kitsHere Libor Jekl demonstrates what can be done with the Clearprop Ki-51.  Damn.

December 22, 2019

Clearprop La-5 early

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:25 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Man, Clearprop is killing it.  They are just announcing kits that fill a lot of holes.

December 18, 2019

Podcasts

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 4:33 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: