Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Model Tip Time

Tired of destroying brushes to apply Mr Surfacer? Want to avoid pulling out the smelly lacquer thinner.  Disposable eye liner brushes. 100 from Amazon for under $10.

Monday, September 17, 2018

A Kill in the Morning

Title: A Kill in the Morning
Author: Graeme Shimmin
Publisher: Transword Publishers

I don't get to write much about fiction on this blog, but as I have mentioned before I enjoy old English paperbacks. While "A Kill in the Morning" is a reasonably new book...it was published in the U.S. in 2015...it certainly has the tone, and graphic design, of older pulp faction novels.

I was hipped to "A Kill In the Morning" a couple of weeks ago on Twitter. It is set in the 1950s when Germany controls Europe and England tries to keep their Empire afloat. Part 007, part alt-history, it is big silly fun - with the expected femme fatales - and often based...or imagined...on true events and personalities. It includes cameos by Nazi flying saucers, Guy Gibson, the EE Canberra, Fairey Rotodynes, and a supersonic Vulcan development in both civil and bomber guises. I might quibble with a paradox or two at the end, but hey, saying any more would give it all away.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sweet Eloise II

In remembrance of Canadian Warplane Heritage founder Dennis Bradley who passed away last week at 81.

One of the surprise visitors to Flying Heritage's Skyfair  yesterday was the newly restored A-26C Invader 44-34313/N4313. Owned by Mr. Bradley in the early 90s and flown in French markings on behalf of the Canadian Warplane Heritage as C-GHLK, the Invader has been repainted into its Korean War markings as "Sweet Eloise II."

Sunday, June 10, 2018

We Stand on Guard for Thee

On Thursday the “We Stand on Guard for Thee - Aviation in Canada” display was installed at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.  I lucky enough to be the curator of the display which runs for the next three months. Thanks to all my NWSM peeps for your assistance and models. You rock!

Monday, May 21, 2018

AZ 1/72 Bell AH-1G Cobra

This is the AZ AH-1G kit done as a "representative" Cobra for a new Vietnam display at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. A friend flew a AH-1G named "Henchman II" in theatre and he has provide me with tons of period photos of his aircraft. My plan was to build his helo, but sourcing decals in time was a problem.

The AZ kit is an odd mix of nice and not so nice.  The cockpit detail was pretty decent, but the tub didn't fit so well.  On the other hand, the fuselage and sub wing fit was excellent.  The canopy was thick, cloudy, and fit was so-so.  It reminded me of a Matchbox kit, as if their design aesthetic was update to reflect 2010s technology. But next time I'll try the Special Hobby kit...

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Dambuster Tribute

Sitting at the model desk contemplating the Dambuster raid which took place on this evening 75 years ago. The Lanc Project Part 2 will be both a Dambuster tribute and my own personal #RAF100 build. Now to decide which aircraft to model...AJ-F flown by Ken Brown, AJ-T flown by CanAmerican Big Joe, or AJ-N crewed by Canada’s last surviving Dambuster Fred Sutherland?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Slowly Turning Olive

The AZ Cobra rushes to the finish line.  Saturday saw final sanding, canopy masking, and Alclad Grey Primer applied.  After a tad more sanding on Sunday, I pulled out the Gunze Olive Drab acrylic and blasted paint.

I didn't have any masks for the kit, so I did it myself with Aizu masking tape.  Canopy masking is a modeling weakness, but the Aizu tape was a revelation.

Sunday, April 22, 2018


AZ 1/72 AH-1G Cobra for the Museum of Flight’s Vietnam display is starting to emerge.  It needs to be done by May 3, so I better get moving!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

RCAF Earthquakers

The eagle eyed modeler may have noticed in the new Airfix B-25C/D Mitchell that the “Desert Warrior” markings option lists a crew member as Pilot Officer Anthony Arthur Martin (RCAF). Why is there a RCAF crew member in a USAAF Mitchell?

In 1942, after Churchill and FDR’s Second Washington Conference, the 12th Bomb Group was transferred from the U.S. to North Africa and attached to the newly formed 9th Air Force. The 12th BG was tasked with assisting the British Eighth Army in their battle with Rommel's Afrika Korps. As the unit was inexperienced, it was decided to transfer 23 RCAF wireless air gunners to the unit to assist learning British radio procedures and to prevent friendly fire incidents. The Canadians served at two bases - Devesior in the 81st and 82nd Bombardment Squadron and at Ismalia with the 83rd and 434th B.S. Four of the RCAF WAGs were killed during their year with the 12th BG, and two, Alan James Mackie and Anthony Arthur Martin were awarded the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross. F/O Anthony Arthur Martin, from Squamish, British Columbia, was also awarded the American Air Medal and Six Oak Leaf Clusters for his ops with the Earthquakers.

It is assumed that when “Desert Warrior” returned to the United States for a bond tour, that F/O Martin was selected to join the tour due to him being the highest awarded RCAF WAG in the group.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Tamiya 1/72 Mosquito

David Knight has complained that I never posted a photo of the Tamiya Mosquito which I finished in December. I was waiting until I got the model back from the Museum for some glamour shots and a complete article. But to keep Mr. Knights happy, here is a quick iPhone snap of it upon completion before it went into the "Aerial Reconnaissance" display at the Museum of Flight.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

RCAF B-29 Detachment

With the recent announcement of a visit by the Commemorative Air Force’s airworthy Boeing B-29 Superfortress "FiFi" to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in August, it is a good time to remember that the RCAF actually had a "B-29 Detachment" post war. In 1947, the RCAF's B-29 Detachment was created to assist with a joint USAF/USN/RCAF project to study low frequency LORAN (long range navigation) in the arctic.  In cooperation with the 4149th Base Unit, USAF, from Middletown, PA, Canadian and American personal flew over 100 B-29 missions over the north, some lasting almost 17 hours.  Three B-29s were assigned to the unit, which was headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, including B-29Bs s/n 44-84035 (coded BF-035) and a/n 44-84021. In 1948, the Detachment was renamed the RCAF LF LORAN Flight, but the work continued.  On December 29, 1948, B-29 s/n 44-84021 crashed at Fairbanks, Alaska, during a flight for the program.

Modeler's Note:  There are only two options for a B-29 in 1/72; the ancient Airfix kit and the more recent, but still elderly, Academy kit.  It will make a rather large model, so this might be one of those times that considering 1/144 scale is a good idea.  If that is the case, search for the Fujimi kit.