Aetheric Mechanics

SCUD, originally uploaded by warrenellis.

WArren Ellis has posted a set of reference images used in his upcoming Aetheric Mechanics graphic novel. They loo like prime materials for Luft ’46 subjects.

Soyuz on the train

io9 has pictures of a Soyuz rocket being hauled across the desert to its launch site by a diesel train. It might be hard to scale match a model of the rocket (or even find one, I couldn’t get a match for “Soyuz” at Hannants) and a Russian train, but think of the diorama possibilities.

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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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Belly tank racer

L1090971.JPG, originally uploaded by COOP666.

I’d like to make a model of one of these some day. It’s a dry lake racer with a body fashioned from an aeroplane droop tank. Coop was out at a meet at El Mirage yesterday and has a set of photos on Flickr of the hot rods, motor bikes and people who were there.