Daily archives: May 1, 2006

Wikipedia's Scale Models entry

Got to love Wikipedia. The only reason I don’t visit it more often is a fear that I’d lose whole days to finding stuff out. Here’s the Scale Model page, with a little history, such as the origin of popular scales.

For aircraft recognition in the Second World War, the RAF selected making models to the scale of “one-sixth inch to the foot” (which was two British lines, a legal division of length which didn’t make it to America, besides being a standard shipyard scale). Although some consumer models were sold pre-war in Britain to this scale, the airmens’ models were pressed out of ground-up old rubber tires. This is of course the still-popular “one-seventy-second size”.

It wasn’t predestined to succeed; there were competitors. The US Navy, in contrast, had metal models made to the proportion 1:432, which is “nine-feet-to-the-quarter-inch”. At this scale, a model six feet away looked as the prototype would at about half a statute mile; and at seven feet, at about half a nautical mile.

After the war, firms that moulded models from polystyrene entered the consumer marketplace, the American firm Revell notably offering a model of the Royal Coach around the time of the 1953 coronation. In the early years, firms offered models of aircraft and ships in “fit-the-box” size. A box that would make an impressive gift was specified, and a mould was crafted to make a model that wouldn’t ludicrously slide around inside. Modellers could not compare models, nor switch parts from one kit to another. It was the British firm Airfix that brought the idea of the constant scale to the marketplace, and they picked the RAF’s scale.

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Heavensent 2.3

Kess had filled two small canvas bags with fine gravel and settled his rifle on them. The wind had picked up, so he clicked the scope offset up two. Squeezing the front bag shifted the target back into view. The autogunner in the far guard tower could strafe the whole assembly area, and had become the first target. There was another tower by the gate, target two, and two guards walking the perimeter. They were closer and presented easier shots.

Lensman had made position and signalled that Kess was gun free. He centred the scope dot on the autogunner’s head, exhaled slowly and began applying pressure to the trigger. Before the last of his breath had gone, he bought the trigger home. The report seemed so loud up close, but there were trees to deaden the sound, and the river would cover it as well. He brought the scope back into line and counted. On the second count, the autogunner’s head disappeared in a haze and his body slumped away.

Kess had ever seen the effect of any bullet on a human body, let alone one of his monstrous one digit shells. He put the disgust aside, fed another round into the breech and brought the second guard tower into view. He clicked the gravity adjust back up a couple and centred on this guard’s chest. Another breath out and the shot was away. He didn’t wait to see the effects of this round, shifting quickly to the nearer of the guards.

Heavensent 2.4
Heavensent 2.2
Heavensent 1.1

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Tim Hall on what annoys him about some exhibition model rail layouts and other layouts that work-

* Layouts that look good but run badly.
* Architecturally impossible structures, especially bridges.
* Obvious anachronisms.
* Layouts where 50% of the locos is one-off depot specials or short-lived prototypes, which would never have been seen together at the same time and place.
* No attempt to run prototypical train formations despite the correct stock being available off the shelf (N gauge layouts seem to be bad offenders at this; how many malformed Virgin Cross-Country locomotive-hauled sets have you seen?)
* Unpainted brass kettles (I’m surprised how often you see this on finescale kettle layouts)

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Jake Berry- the blogging council candidate

As far as I know Jake Berry is the only candidate for Manchester in the upcoming council elections (Thursday, don’t forget to vote) who has a blog. He’s certainly the only one who’s had the nouse to tell blogbound Manchester about it, anyway.

I guess he’s standing in the city centre ward, given the bias to that area in his posts, and he wants to become the lone Conservative voice on the council. Best of luck to him, but I wouldn’t be voting for him if he was standing in Withington. He’s right that there needs to be more variety in our local representatives, but my interpretation of that is a move away from the three main parties to smaller ones.

With only three more days to go I need some more information on who is standing locally. So far there’s only been one ignored leaflet from Labour and nothing else.

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