Check out the latest episode of Plastic Model Mojo by the Kentucky Law Pirate David and his cohost Engineer Mike. Their first guest is Chris Wallace of Model Airplane Maker.
Friday, August 28, 2020
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Monday, August 17, 2020
On October 19, 1961, the first Boeing CIM-10B BOMARC B interceptor missile was delivered to the RCAF at RCAF Station North Bay, Ontario (operated as 446 "SAM" Squadron). A little over a year later, on December 1, 1962, the second RCAF BOMARC site became operational at RCAF Station La Macaza, Quebec (operating as 447 "SAM" Squadron). It is interesting to note that while the BOMARC was intended as a nuclear armed missile, it wasn't until August 16, 1963, that the USAF and the RCAF announced an agreement to equip Canadian BOMARCs with U.S. nuclear warheads. (This agreement also allowed the Newfie Air Force (aka the USAF F-102 units based in Newfoundland) to store nukes on their bases at Goose Bay and Stephenville.) The BOMARCs have always been controversial in Canadian aviation circles, both for the radioactive payload and what some see as their role in killing the Avro Arrow.
However, this article isn't going to focus on that, but on a rather nice image of a RCAF BOMARC being launched. (Photo courtesy of the RCAF.)
Clearly, this is an RCAF BOMARC...see the RCAF, but that doesn't look like Canada does it?
There is much debate in the historical world if photographs are primary or secondary sources. I fall on the side of primary, but my faith has been shaken over time by bad captions (clearly a secondary source), colourization, and photoshop. But if one was to use this photo as an illustration of a RCAF BOMARC launch, they would be propagating a myth.
No BOMARCs were launched in Canada, but each squadron was allowed to launch a BOMARC a year at Eglin Air Force Base. (Either at Hurlbert Field or, later, Santa Rosa Island.) Most photos show US BOMARCs being tested, but two were withdrawn from their RCAF units, sent to Florida, and "tested to destruction" (aka launched.)
So then is this Florida in the photo? Well it looks more like Florida, than North Bay, but no. The photo is playing a trick on us. After the Canadians got out of the BOMARC business in the early 70s, they returned the missiles to the USAF. So the photo is a US launch of a US BOMARC. No Canadians involved. This launch took place on November 17, 1980, at Vandenberg AFB. It is the Navy launching a former RCAF BOMARC, obviously not repainted, as a target drones to test air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles off Point Mugu.
One more Vandenberg launch, this time in 1972. (Photo courtesy of the USAF)
P.S.: Why have I always listed the missile in question as the BOMARC and not Bomarc? BOMARC is the correct term as the name of the missile was an amalgam of Boeing and Michigan Aeronautical Research Center.
P.P.S.: Did you know the BOMARC was once designated the F-99? In order to get their missiles the USAF had to fight it out with the US Army and tried to drum up the idea that their missiles were "unmanned interceptors." Ok, I guess...whatever...
Modeler's Note: Belcher Bits has a nice resin BOMARC A, BOMARC B, and launcher, available separately. The BOMARC B comes with RCAF decals. The old box scale, but I think close to 1/48, Revell BOMARC was first issued in the late 1950s but was reissued a couple of years ago. I bought one, as it is a kind of fun, if a product of its times, kit. The reissue from 2016 comes with RCAF decals as well.
Sunday, August 16, 2020
Friday, August 7, 2020
Thursday, August 6, 2020
Sunday, August 2, 2020
Sunday, July 26, 2020
The tiny tank is done. My first tank since I was a kid is the Plastic Soldier Company 1/72 M5A1 Stuart in the markings of Canada's Lord Strathcona Horse Regiment. I'm not sure I weathered it enough... Article forthcoming in the near future
Monday, July 20, 2020
Saturday, July 4, 2020
Friday, June 26, 2020
Saturday, June 20, 2020
Monday, May 25, 2020
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Now the problem is do I hope for Miniart to scale down the pigeons to 1/72 or wish for an Airfix 1/32 or 1/35 Beaufort...
Monday, May 4, 2020
In early January...January 4, 2020...to be exact, I finished a model. Remember those days, so, so, long ago? I had high hopes for 2020, and even a delusion of finishing 52 models. So, yea, that didn't happen! COVID-19 took over and now it is May... (And don't even ask, why a model finished in January was not posted in January...) But in honor of "Star Wars Day," why not take look at that model?
The Bandai Star Destroyer comes both in its own boxing and a dual combo with a Death Star. (Which is where my kit originates.) Bandai says it is 1/14,500 scale, so a nice break from my usual 1/72.
Saturday, May 2, 2020
Friday, April 24, 2020
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Thursday, March 26, 2020
Monday, March 23, 2020
Saturday, March 21, 2020
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Held each year at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, this year's installment had approximately 2,172 models on the table contributed by 72 modelers. (The second largest model count in the show's history.) The event is display only, with only one award presented as judged by the Museum Curators. This year's winner was Russ Busy with his B-17F gunner vignette. As is usually the case, I didn't take as many models as I should have, so here is only a small selection of the many amazing models on tables.
|Eric Christianson's 1/32 HK Lancaster|
|The Curator's Choice|
|Russ's B-18 in 1/72|
|A nice 1/72 Harvard|
|Morgan Girling's 1/72 Caribou twin tail design concept|
Saturday, February 1, 2020
Like many of my boondoggles, I blame this one on David M. Knights, Esq. He had mentioned that fellow modeler Mike Baskette was doing a retro build of the recently reissued Airfix 1/76 Bofors 40mm Gun and Tractor. I remember building the kit…in an MPC box..in high school and the discussion reminded me of the, probable apocryphal, story of the Canadian Forces pillaging museums, CFB Baden–Soellingen, and CFB Lahr for Bofors guns to refit Canadian Navy ships during the Gulf War. As much as the idea of building the Airfix kit again was of some interest, I’ve never warmed to 1/76 scale, so I searched out an actual 1/72 Bofors gun. And said search turned up this kit. Quickly ordered, I was impressed with what was in the box when it arrived. I guess it is part of Zvezda’s series of kits for war gamers, but it also looked like a nice model.
So, to return to the story of Bofors guns defending Canada’s German air bases during the Cold War...it is indeed true. They were 40mm Bofors guns, but on what is called a Boffin mount removed from RCN ships. So I can’t use this kit for that, but I did find a nice photo of a Bofors on exercise on the West Coast to keep Vancouver safe from Japanese air attack. That will be my subject, if only I could find a 1/72 dog to add to the vignette!
|City of Vancouver Archives # CVA 1184-629 captioned "Men firing a |
Bofors 40 mm ack-ack anti-aircraft gun at University Point."
Sunday, January 19, 2020
The SAGEM CU-161 Sperwer (Dutch for sparrowhawk) was a small UAV used by the RCAF in Afghanistan. Nicknamed the "flying ski-doo" based upon the resemblance of the sound of the engine to a snowmobile, they entered service with the RCAF in 2003, and were retired in 2009, after flying over 1,300 missions. As the CU-161 was the first Canadian Forces UAV to be used in combat, I wanted to add one to the collection.
Knowing that no plastic or resin kit existed of the type, I was excited to find one listed on Shapeways. Excitement was dulled upon receipt of the item. The general shape and size looked good, but the print was poor and not up to the standard of previous pieces I'd ordered by Shapeways. Ragged edges, and rough surfaces overwhelmed the part. (Maybe I chose the wrong type of material to have the item printed in?) I had no idea how to proceed.
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
More as the build progresses...