Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Mustang on Internet Modeler

My Airfix Mustang model has been published on Internet Modeler. Click here to read the article.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Boeing 100th Birthday Party

A few photos from Sunday's version of the Boeing Centennial Event.  The event to celebrate the aviation borg's 100th birthday was more of a fair than an airshow, but a few nice vintage types were on display to accompany the 7-7 family.  Outside of the Boeing B-25, Boeing AT-6, and Boeing P-51D from the Historic Flight Foundation, military types were in short supply.

Addison Pemberton's Boeing Model 40B restoration was clearly the highlight of the display.  It is the oldest Boeing type still flying.

Bob Dempster's recreation of the Seattle Douglas World Cruiser is as impressive as it is ugly.  It will soon be mounted on floats and hopefully attempt to recreate the around the world journey of the original DWCs in 2017.

The Hamilton Metalplane H-47 is the only surviving type manufactured by this forgotten firm which was later absorbed by Boeing.

Sunday featured flybys of famous Boeing types such as the DC-3 and the TA-4 Skyhawk.  Sadly, the laser light show/movie fell flat during the daytime.  I bet it was nice Friday and Saturday night though.

Alaska has painted up a Boeing Centennial 737.  Oh how I wish they had
copied the Dash 80 prototype scheme instead!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Canada's Sea Hornet

TT193 taxis out at Watson Lake while operating with WEE. (Photo courtesy of the Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/RE68-1785.)

While the RCAF had much experience with the de Havilland Mosquito, both in Canada and in Europe, only one de Havilland Hornet was ever operated by the RCAF. DH Sea Hornet F.20 TT193 was taken on strength in late 1948 and operated by Winter Experimental Establishment (WEE) undertaking cold weather trials.

The Sea Hornet during its time with Spartan Air Service. (Photo courtesy of
Joseph J. Scott/Library and Archives Canada/R3883-1-2-E.)

After being struck off by the RCAF in the summer of 1950, it was sold to Spartan Air Service as CF-GUO. Spartan intended to use the Sea Hornet for photo survey work, but decided to standardize on Lockheed P-38s. Later it was traded by Spartan to Kenting Aviation Ltd for a Lightning. The aircraft had an accident in British Columbia in 1952 and was long thought to be scrapped, but parts of the aircraft are still extant in Canada.

Modeler's Note: The Hornet family has been poorly served in plastic. The best bet to build TT193 in 1/72 is the Special Hobby Sea Hornet F. 20 kit. Consisting of short run plastic, resin, and photo etch it has some accuracy issues, but will look like a Hornet when finished. Sadly, it will take some work, and filler, to get a good looking Sea Hornet on the shelf.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Zhuangzi and Modeling

The last few days I have been reading a book entitled "The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life" by Harvard Professor Michael Puett. One section of the book discusses the philosopher Zhuangzi and a few concepts that are ripe to be considered in a modeling context; no matter how foreign Chinese philosophy may be to some modelers. (Outside, of course, of the tenant that any online discussion of Hobby Boss or Trumpeter kits will soon disintegrate into ugliness.) These teachings speak to cultivating our expansiveness and shifting our perspective.

Cultivating expansiveness uses the example of how a trip to the grocery store can seem like a chore unless you are accompanied by a foodie friend who had never visited said store.  The enthusiam of the friend to all the products in the store illustrate just how jaded you have become and force you to look at the trip with a differing lens.  I noticed this recently, when I was showing two new 1/72 AH-1G Cobra kits to a non-modeling friend who flew the Cobra in the U.S. Army.  He had built a 1/32 Revell Cobra in the 70s, but had not seen a plastic kit since.  He was in awe at the detail and the molding technology, things I tend to take for granted - if not outright demand - in the kits I purchase.  It really did open my eyes to the amazing moldings and detail we see in modern day plastic kits; even compared to kits from the 90s.

Shifting perspective is something I often lack in my modeling.  I am guilty of a very narrow modeling focus: I build allied 1/72 scale aircraft.  I have closed off my mind to other scales and subjects.  This was illustrated recently when I was asked to build a 1/48 jet for review.  You would not think that a simple change in scale would affect my modeling so much, but it has helped me understand the stark difference between scales, especially for painting and weathering.  Standard techniques I use in my 1/72 scale cockpits look quite crude in the 1/48 jet.  Weathering and paint technique require a different approach - I don't want a large single coloured jet that is too monotone and lacks any tonality.  So I've had to learn some new things and think in different ways on how to apply the techniques I use. Building the 1/48 jet has been quite instructive, but don't think I'm ready to really shift my perspective and build armor!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

J-47 Powered Train

Did you know that there was a train powered by twin J-47 engines enclosed in a B-36 jet pod? I didn't either. A project of the New York Central Railroad, the train was named the M-497 Black Beetle. During a test run in 1966 from Butler, Indiana to Stryker, Ohio, the train almost reached 200 mph. Sadly, the jet-train concept didn't catch on and the engines were removed and turned into snowblowers.

Someone really needs to use a spare Monogram B-36 pod and scratch build this in 1/72.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Boeing Military Display at the Museum of Flight

In addition to writing about the Hurricane, the other project I enjoyed this spring was the curation of a model display for the Museum of Flight. In exchange for having our meetings at the Museum, the Northwest Scale Modelers are tasked with creating three-month rotating lobby displays. We have two large cases located near the cafe where the exhibits are featured.

My exhibit was a display for the Boeing Centennial (this was the second such exhibit during this celebratory year) focused on Boeing Military aircraft. My intent was to show that Boeing military types have been flown around the world in multiple roles - fighters, transports, tankers, patrol aircraft, missiles, and strategic bombers.

Though I didn't build a model for the display, the other NWSM members created some beautiful models ranging from a 1/144 C-17 to a 1/72 ALCM; from a 1/72 resin Model 83 to a 1/72 B-17G. Thanks guys!

So, if you are at the Museum, check out the display. It runs until September 1, 2016.