Roles and ranks in the British Army 1

From the armyjobs website, some information on the structure of the British Army and descriptions of the responsibilities of different ranks. I need to get these straight in my head before diving into Point of Contact. I think there will be a Lance Corporal Lee and Captain Ruaine who shall become important secondary characters as the story unfolds.

Stalingrad 1942 diorama

Stalingrad 1942, originally uploaded by sspz101.

Check out the pictures from an incredibly detailed diorama depicting combat during the siege of Stalingrad.

Anyone want a stealth yacht

The US Navy is giving away its prototype stealth warship. If you want to take advantage of the deal you also have to accept a submesible drydock, which may be harder to store. There are no weapons on the ship, and no mention is made of its current seaworthiness, but it would surely be the perfect conveyance for a reclusive film star or billionaire.

I'm sure I was going to use these in a story one day

HM Revenue and Customs have lost 80 grand’s worth of drugs, and other contraband, from a supposedly secure storage facility.

British troops are being investigated amid fears that weapons confiscated in Iraq may be getting smuggled into the UK.

…searches at UK bases have already uncovered live weapons hidden in the petrol tanks of military vehicles and even in the gun barrels of tanks and artillery pieces. Live ammunition including shells and mortar rounds has also been confiscated.

A tank from a lake

Tanks from the Second World War are still being pulled out of the lakes around St. Petersburg. If I remember my history correctly, the city was resupplied across the frozen lakes during the winter phases of the siege and at times the ice broke. The site refers to it as a “BT” tank. You can get BT5 or BT7 tanks in 1:35th scale from Zvezda, or BT5, BT7 or BT2 from Unimodel in 1:72nd. A salvage operation like this would make for an interesting diorama.

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A bundle of reference links

Whilst going through the archives of Spinneyhead, I’ve found a few posts and links that might be of interest to modellers-

The Russian dog anti tank mine.

In the dynamic flow of a battlefield equipment can get lost or captured. A quick trip through captured and repurposed weaponry-
The world of captured planes
Captured Planes
Captured Allied planes (Warning- cheesey beyond belief music, which is a shame because there are some very useful images here.)
A collection of pieces about captured B-17s
Fleet Air Arm planes captured by the Axis
A gallery of tanks captured by the Germans
Modelling a captured Russian KV-2
Israel made good use of captured T54s and T55s and various other vehicles.
Russian tank museum, including many captured tanks.
Captured First World War tanks.
Ships captured by the German Navy.

Test Beds
I’ve just been to the Museum of Science and Industry and checked out the aviation hall. Interesting stuff-
Avro Lancasters were used as flying test beds for jet engines. Video of the tests is online here.
The Avro 707 isn’t quite a flying wing, but I have a soft spot for the delta wing planes such as this and the Vulcan.
A picture of the Hafner Rotachute (more) hiding away in the corner of a painting has given me ideas for another novel way to land assault troops. The Germans used similar devices for spotting from U-Boats.
But the most affecting plane in the whole display is still the tiny Yokosuka OHKA, a suicide jet that was pretty much a desperate last gasp from the Japanese.

Wing and a Prayer
The Me-163 ‘Komet’ was quite an astounding beast. I alluded to a similar plane when the Wasp squadron visited Dreamland (Chapter Three, blink and you miss it). Flight Journal has a long interview with one of the Komet’s chief test pilots.
It also has to be remembered that the Germans weren’t the only ones experimenting with new and unusual aeroplane designs. The Allies’ first jet plane was the Gloster Whittle, a pre-cursor to the Meteor and test bed for jet engines.
The ‘Hiller-copter’ and Landgraf H-2 were early twin bladed helicopter designs.
America experimented with flying wings in designs such as the XP-56 and XB-35, which I’ve mentioned many times before, but there were also experiments with gliders along the same lines.
The Brits also experimented with flying wings, as well as canard and tandem wing designs.
Even the Swedes got in on the act with the Saab 21A.

And also- Engines of the Red Army

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The Braille Scale Jeep blog

Quite a narrow niche, this one.

Over the next few weeks, I will try to post a detailed comparative review of the following 1/72 scale jeep models.

I might have one of the Cararama Jeeps mentioned, and I’m sure I’ve got the Academy kit. It’s been a while since I built an Airfix Jeep, though.

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A call to arms for US modellers

The upcoming Military Toy Replica Act (pdf) will prohibit military contractors from requiring exorbitant licence fees for the reproduction of their products as models and toys. The amounts being demanded at the moment could keep a large number of subjects never being modelled, equipment that US taxpayers- at least- have already paid to have developed. The arrogance is just stupid.

The Hobby Manufacturers Association is organising the lobbying and wants model-makers to keep the pressure on the House Armed Services Committee.

via Scaleworld

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