Sunday, December 31, 2017

Aircraft walkaround vol.87: Dewoitine D520

Subject: Dewoitine D520
Location:Musée d'lair et de l'espace, Le Bourget, Paris, 2015.
Comments:The Dewoitine D.520 was a French fighter aircraft that entered service in early 1940, shortly after the beginning of the Second World War. The D.520 was designed in response to a 1936 requirement from the French Air Force for a fast, modern fighter with a good climbing speed and an armament centred on a 20 mm cannon. At the time the most powerful V 12 liquid-cooled engine available in France was the Hispano-Suiza 12Y, which was less powerful, but lighter than contemporary engines such as the Rolls-Royce Merlin and Daimler-Benz DB 601. Other fighters were designed to meet the specifications but none of them entered service, or entered service in small numbers, too late to play a significant role during the Battle of France. Unlike the Morane-Saulnier M.S.406, which was at that time the most numerous fighter in the French Air Force, the Dewoitine D.520 came close to being a match for the latest German types, such as the Messerschmitt Bf 109. It was slower than the Bf 109E but superior in manoeuvrability. Because of a delayed production cycle, only a small number were available for combat against the Luftwaffe. The D.520 proved to be relatively capable as a dogfighter against the Luftwaffe's inventory, but lacked sufficient numbers to make a difference. Following the armistice, the D.520 continued to be used, being operated by both the Free French Air Force and the Vichy French Air Force. The type was also returned to production during 1942, although it was manufactured at a lower rate than it had been during 1940. Additional examples were operated by the Luftwaffe, Regia Aeronautica, and the Bulgarian Air Force. The D.520 saw combat service in North Africa, Bulgaria, and the Eastern Front, as well as use in France and Germany for training and defense purposes. During the type's later life, it was used as a trainer aircraft. On 3 September 1953, the last D.520s were finally withdrawn from service.(Wikipedia).

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Military aircraft vol.88: Rockwell B-1B Lancer

Rockwell B-1B Lancer
US$50,00 plus shipping
Injected plastic model with waterslide decals (Two Bobs set 72-085 Dakota Backbone).
This kit has been in my workbench for 10 years! It is a record. Several times i tough of giving up this project in favor of the 1/48 scale model. However the first steps went really well, the problem being the final details. The nacelles are a big problem, specially the exhausts. Oddly, the wings have nice recessed panel lines, while the fuselage have raised ones. The fuselage also have the problem of being split in upper and lower halves that leaves you with a seam in the middle of the side panels, much more difficult to work with than the center joint line if the fuselage is split in half. In the end, i had to scribe the panel lines on the fuselage. The kit decals were damaged in a flood, so i got a new set from "Two Bobs" printed by Microscale. When the kit was almost done, i received the news of the Barracuda set to correct several of the problems of the kit, but i tough it was too late. I got the barracuda kit for my 1/48 scale model. The 1/72 B-1B was finished with the parts in the box, painted with Tamiya acrylics and Alclad II metallic colors for the engine exhausts. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Walkaround vol.28: Renault FT17

Subject: Renault FT17
Location: Musée des Blindés, Saumur, France, 2015; Musée de l'Armée, Paris, France, 2015.
Comments: The Renault FT, frequently referred to in post-World War I literature as the FT17 was a French light tank that was among the most revolutionary and influential tank designs in history. The FT was the first production tank to have its armament within a fully rotating turret. The Renault FT's configuration – crew compartment at the front, engine compartment at the back, and main armament in a revolving turret – became and remains the standard tank layout. As such, some historians of armoured warfare have called the Renault FT the world's first modern tank. Over 3,000 Renault FT tanks were manufactured by French industry, most of them during 1918. Another 950 of an almost identical licensed copy of the FT (the M1917) were made in the United States, but not in time to enter combat.