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About rickshaw

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  1. stevehnz, we truly thank you for taking one for the team. As soon as you replace something/scratchbuild something, someone will replace a new kit and each of us has to make that sacrifice at one time or another...
  2. Grumman HU-16 Albatross ASW in Australian Coast Guard Service After the Tampa affair, and the declaration of the War on Terrorism, in 2001 Kim Beazley announced that the Australian Labor Party, if in government, would establish an Australian Coast Guard "responsible for conducting Australia's coastal surveillance and meeting Australia's maritime protection needs, including in relation to illegal immigration, drugs, fisheries, and quarantine-related issues". This plan met with criticism. Defence Minister Peter Reith under the Liberal-Coalition Government criticised Beazley for stating that an Australian Coast Guard both will and will not be an "answer to the question of people smuggling". The plan was criticised by the Australian government, on the grounds that it would either be prohibitively expensive or inadequate to the task. Later, the motives for the establishment of an Australian Coast Guard were interpreted by some as "a plan to extend the capabilities of the Australian Federal Police." After the defeat of the Howard Government in the 2003 election, the ALP Government, let by Simon Crean instituted the Australian Coast Guard – a subsidiary organisation, run by the Australian Federal Police and intended to protect Australia's coast line from incursion by illegal people smugglers and drug runners and to rescue wayward seafarers. Equipped initially with mainly cast off equipment from the RAAF and the RAN, the ACG was intended to secure the coastline out to 1,000 km. In this case, we have the HU-16B ASW aircraft, donated by the RAN Fleet Air Arm. Used by the RAN FAA as a close in, coastal ASW and SAR aircraft, the HU-16B performed sterling service for over 20 years. However, they were retired in 1988. After sitting at Nowra's HMAS Albatross air base for ten years, they were identified as surplus to requirements and donated to the Australian Coast Guard. However, their engines were discovered to be rather worn. The ACG hit upon the idea of replacing them with Rolls Royce Dart Turboprops, for commonality with their Fokker F27 Troopship Mk. Iis. After six months of work, the job was done. Zero houred airframe, digitalised avionics and new engines. As part of the deal with the RAN was the agreement that in emergency, the Albatross aircraft could still perform their function as ASW aircraft. So, here we have a HU-16 Albatross, stationed at HMAS Albatross on the New South Wales south coast, performing it's once a year, demonstration of ASW capability. Equipped with Radar and a MAD boom, armed with two acoustic homing torpedos, the aircraft spread fear and trepidation amongst any Indonesian submariners who witnessed their abilities. The Model The model is the venerable 1/72 Monogram HU-16 Albatross model. It has been converted to ASW configuration through the addition of an enlarged radome and an extending MAD boom. The Torpedoes came from an Airfix Shakleton kit, via Zenrat Enterprises. The engines came from a 1/100 Heller Transall. She was painted with a hairy stick and the decals came from the spares box and Speckman Enterprises.
  3. Fokker F27 Troopship Mk.II in Australian Coast Guard Service After the Tampa affair, and the declaration of the War on Terrorism, in 2001 Kim Beazley announced that the Australian Labor Party, if in government, would establish an Australian Coast Guard "responsible for conducting Australia's coastal surveillance and meeting Australia's maritime protection needs, including in relation to illegal immigration, drugs, fisheries, and quarantine-related issues". This plan met with criticism. Defence Minister Peter Reith under the Liberal-Coalition Government criticised Beazley for stating that an Australian Coast Guard both will and will not be an "answer to the question of people smuggling". The plan was criticised by the Australian government, on the grounds that it would either be prohibitively expensive or inadequate to the task. Later, the motives for the establishment of an Australian Coast Guard were interpreted by some as "a plan to extend the capabilities of the Australian Federal Police." After the defeat of the Howard Government in the 2003 election, the ALP Government, let by Simon Crean instituted the Australian Coast Guard – a subsidiary organisation, run by the Australian Federal Police and intended to protect Australia's coast line from incursion by illegal people smugglers and drug runners and to rescue wayward seafarers. Equipped initially with mainly cast off equipment from the RAAF and the RAN, the ACG was intended to secure the coastline out to 1,000 km. In this case, we have a Fokker F27 Troopship Mk.II. The Fokker was originally used by the RAAF as a light, tactical transport and was designed to be common with the civilian F27 Friendship. The RAAF was the launch customer for the Troopship Mk.II which introduced a large ramp at the rear to facilitate tactical loading directly onto the back of a medium truck. By the time of the formation of the ACG, the RAAF were looking for replacements for the elderly Troopships. They were considered perfect for Coast Guard use and were adopted in squadron strength, where they still serve today. The Model The model is a combination of an Esci 1/72 F27 Friendship and a Heller 1/100 Transall. The model was painted with a hairy stick using Tamiya and Vallejo Acylics. The Decals came from the spares box and Kit Speckman Enterprises.
  4. Gloster Javelin in Republic of China Air Force Service In 1945 the Koumintang Government of the Republic of China contracted with Gloster aircraft of the UK to create a single-engined Jet fighter. Being only the fourth country in the world to put into operation a jet powered combat aircraft, the ROCAF was proud of it's achievement. It didn't win the Chinese Civil War though, and in 1948, the KMT Government of Chiang Kai Shek was forced to flee the mainland for the island of Formosa. The Communists, thwarted of their ultimate goal of ruling all of China bided their time on the mainland. The US Navy intervened and prevented them from invading Taiwan, as the island became known. The KMT, leery of becoming too dependent on the United States turned again to Glosters who supplied them with their most advanced product, the Javelin, all-weather fighter. The Model The kit is a Polish repop of the venerable Frog Javelin Mk.9 kit. It required considerable work and I decided to try an alternative method of creating a polished metal surface, using cheap Aluminium foil. It worked reasonably well, I felt. The decals came from the spares box.
  5. Nanching Q-5 “Fantan” strike aircraft The Nanchang Q-5 (Chinese: 强-5; pinyin: Qiang-5; NATO reporting name: Fantan), also known as the A-5 in its export versions, is a Chinese-built jet ground-attack aircraft based on the Soviet MiG-19. Its main role is close air support. The PRC was an enthusiastic user of the MiG-19, which it manufactured locally as the Shenyang J-6 from 1958. In August 1958 the People's Liberation Army requested development of a jet attack aircraft for the air support role. Lu Xiaopeng was appointed chief designer of this project. Lu also designed the J-12 fighter jet.[2] Although based on the MiG-19, the new design, designated Qiangjiji-5 (fifth attack aircraft design), had a longer fuselage, area ruled to reduce transonic drag and accommodate a 4 m (13-ft) long internal weapons bay.[3] The air intakes were moved to the fuselage sides to make space in the nose for a planned target radar (which was never actually fitted). New wings with greater area and reduced sweep were incorporated. The Q-5 shares the J-6's Liming Wopen WP-6 A (Tumansky RD-9) turbojet engines. The redesign cost some high-altitude speed, but the Q-5 is as fast as the MiG-19/J-6 at low level, thanks largely to the area-ruled fuselage. Fixed armament of the Q-5 was reduced to two Type 23-1 23 mm cannon with 100 rounds per gun, mounted in the wing roots. Two pylons under each wing and two pairs of tandem pylons under the engines were provided in addition to the weapons bay. A total of 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) of ordnance could be carried internally, with an additional 1,000 kg externally. On many aircraft the weapons bay is now used primarily for an auxiliary fuel tank. About 1,000 aircraft were produced, 600 of them being the updated Q-5A. A small number, perhaps a few dozen, Q-5As were modified to carry nuclear weapons; these are believed to retain their internal weapons bay. A long-range Q-5I, introduced in 1983, added a fuel tank instead of the internal weapons bay, compensating for that with the provision of two additional underwing pylons. Some of these aircraft serve with the PLA Navy, and have apparently been equipped with radar to guide anti-ship missiles. Subsequent minor upgrades include the Q-5IA, with a new gun/bomb sighting system and avionics, and the Q-5II, with radar warning receiver (RWR). In the 1980s, the aircraft was exported to nations such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and is often known as the A-5 in those nations. Plans for an upgraded Q-5/A-5 with Western equipment and new navigation and attack (nav/attack) systems were largely aborted following the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, but the aircraft continues in service. It is a capable light attack aircraft, although its limited navigation and weapons-delivery systems are inferior to more modern aircraft. In more recent years, the PLAAF has begun to field newer models of the Q-5, that incorporate some of the technology developed during the canceled Q-5M and Q-5K projects. The Q-5 introduces a nose-mounted laser rangefinder, and a laser designator is also likely to be fitted since the aircraft is said to be able to deliver laser-guided bombs.[5] The Q-5A variant is believed to be capable of delivering nuclear munitions. The Q-5D is an upgrade with new avionics, including a HUD and a new navigation system. The Q-5E and Q-5F models are reportedly being worked on, though little is known about them at this time. One of them could potentially be the new two-seater that has been seen in a few photographs, although the two-seater could bear the designation Q-5J. The Model This is one of my few “real world” models. I built it because it was unusual (and I wanted to beat Trumpeter ). I've had this on my radar for a couple of years. I missed several vacuforms before snagging this one on EvilBay. It was primitive but a mixed media kit. The undercarriage was white metal, as was the exhausts. The drop tanks were resin. None were of a very high nature. I lost one of the exhausts to the carpet monster and have a pair of replacement ones coming in the snail mail but I thought, “why not?” I decided to post it up, still missing one exhaust. The other is unpainted. My plan is to replace both. The canopy is also vacuform and came with the kit. It is painted up as an aircraft from the regiment serving on Hainan Island in the South China Sea. Overall, it was a reasonably pleasant kit to build.
  6. MiG-22 Flipper

    MiG-22 Flipper To fulfil the needs of the PVO (Protivovozdushnaya Oborona – air defence forces) for a heavy interceptor to carry out automatic interceptions, the MiG bureau had developed a range of large fighter aircraft starting with the swept wing I-3 series (a.k.a. I-380, I-410 and I-420), followed by the I-7 and the I-75. The requirement for supersonic interception speed and the ability to carry the heavy avionic systems dictated the size; in comparison the contemporary MiG-21F (similar in layout), weighed 4,819 kg (10,624 lb) and was 15.76m (51 ft 8-1/2in) long, compared with 12,345 kg (27,215 lb) and 18.14m (59 ft 6in) respectively, for the Ye-150. The MAP (Ministerstvo Aviatsionnoy Promyshlennosti - ministry of aviation industry) ordered the Mikoyan OKB to build prototypes of the new interceptor, to be armed with either K-6, K-7, K-8, K-9, unguided rockets, or an aimable twin cannon installation. Automatic guidance to the interception point was to be provided by Urugan-5 (hurricane-5) integrated weapons systems. Ye-152A The Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-152A was a twin-engined version of the Ye-152, sharing its general layout but utilising two Tumansky R-11 afterburning turbojets mounted side by side in a revised rear fuselage. The change in engine type, necessitated by the extremely poor reliability of the R-15, led to a widened rear fuselage with large ventral fins. The majority of the airframe was identical to the Ye-152, incorporating the extended inlet and fuselage found to be advantageous during testing for the proposed Ye-151 cannon armed variant of the Ye-150. Due to the use of fully developed and reliable R-11 engines the Ye-152A was ready for flight in July 1959 and continued to fly on test duties at the Mikoyan-Gurevich test centre until it crashed in 1965. Armament was to have been two K-9 air-to-air missiles, as part of the Ye-152-9-V weapon system, featuring the TsKB Almaz TsP-1 fire control radar. The Ye-152A was assigned the NATO reporting name Flipper after a flypast during the 1961 Aviation Day display at Tushino and also erroneously labelled as the MiG-23. Uragan-5 Development of the Uragan-5 automatic weapon system was initiated by the Council of Ministers in 1955 to intercept supersonic bombers flying at 10-25,000m ( ft) altitude at 1600–2000 km/hour up to 100–120 km range from the interceptor base, (with sufficient warning). The system relied on ground based radar to guide the interceptor to an intercept with the target and aircraft based radar and weapon aiming systems to complete the mission using the following components: A high resolution ground based radar system, to provide accurate position and height data at a range of 345 km. Active interrogation system (SAZO) Automatic guidance facility Digital control computer Command data link (SPK) Interceptor-fighter with Airborne radar (detection range of 25 km minimum), Autopilot, and Weapon-aiming computer (SRP) Armament options included: 2 x 30mm cannon in a tilting rotatable mount. Unguided rockets. 2x Grushin K-6 air-to-air missiles 2x Toropov K-7 air-to-air missiles 2x Kaliningrad K-8 (R-8) air-to-air missiles 2x Raduga K-9 air-to-air missiles A combination of delays in development of the electronic components, missiles and poor reliability of the Tumansky R-15 engines for the aircraft component led to the Uragan-5 system, fitted to Ye-150 derivatives being cancelled in 1962. Adoption of the Ye-152a The PVO adopted in limited numbers the Ye-152a as the MiG-22. As part of the Mastrovoka campaign against Western Intelligence, the aircraft was given a different identification which Western Intelligence Agencies had erroneously given it (MiG-23). However, the MiG-22 was not a success and was quickly superseded by the Sukhoi Su-15. This however did not prevent the MiG-22 being sold overseas to client states of the Soviet Union. Both the Cuban Air Force and the Indonesian Air Force adopted it. Both felt the need for a fast climbing, heavily armed interceptor which would allow them to protect their island nations. After the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis when Cuba was heavily dependent on the Soviet Union for it's protection against an impeding American attack and invasion, the MiG-22P (Perekhvatchik “Interceptor”) was supplied to the island nation. Armed initially with K9 “AWL” missile which looked impressive, even if it performed badly, the missile was quickly superseded by the much shorter ranged but more reliable K13 Atoll missile. This actually fitted more closely with the Russian's plans for the Cubans, preferring to keep their aircraft on a “short leash” rather than arming it with the longer-ranged K9s. The K9 missiles were however kept for intelligence purposes and nearly all photos of the MiG-22 in Cuban service show it carrying the larger, less reliable missile. In 1965, when the Communist Party of Indonesia overthrew the Sukarno Government and created the Peoples' Democratic Republic of Indonesia (PDRI) under President Untung bin Syamsuri who had lead the Revolution on 30 September 1965. He replaced President Sukarno soon afterwards. The Indonesian Air Force, which had already been largely equipped with Soviet aircraft, adopted the MiG-22PFM (Perekhvatchik Forsirovannyy Modernizirovannyy "Interceptor Uprated Modernised"), an improved version, mounting the K8 Air-to-Air missile, in both Infra-Red and Radar homing versions. This missile was also carried by the Su-15 and Yak-28 Interceptors in Soviet Service. The MiG-22PFM served with the TNI-AU for the next 10 years before it was replaced by Su-15 Flagon interceptor. 17 18 20 21 22 The Kit A Modelvisit 1/72 Ye-152a Flipper model. A most unusual model in that it doesn't have a single locating pin in the entire kit! It uses ledges and channels to locate everything. A little difficult to build but quite interesting. The missiles came from another poster (Chris) and the Decals from Kit. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
  7. S-2GT Turbo-Tracker in RAN Service

    S-2GT Turbo-Tracker in RAN Service In 1967, the Royal Australian Navy received the first of its 18 S-2E Tracker ASW aircraft. In 1976, 13 of these aircraft were written off or damaged in a deliberately lit fire in their hangar at the Nowra Naval Air Base in Australia in an act of sabotage. Those 13 aircraft were replaced with S-2G tracker aircraft purchased from the USN stocks in the United States. In 1980, the decision was taken to replace HMAS Melbourne with a new, larger carrier. In 1983, the decision was taken to update the S-2G to turbine engines, Pratt and Whitney PT-6 engines being chosen, to give the RAN an all turbine fleet, removing the necessity to carry two types of fuel onboard the carrier. This is the kit I'm starting with: This is the S-2G conversion kit, from Uncle Les over at Beyond the Sprues forum: This is the Turbo Firetracker conversion kit to bring it up to a Turbo Tracker: http://imageshack.com/a/img908/3672/rRRdA9.jpg[/img] The build is finished: http://imageshack.com/a/img923/4916/1sRc1F.jpg[/img] The Model As you can see, this was a Hobbycraft S-2 Tracker kit, married to an Uncle Les S-2G conversion kit, plus two new Turboprop engines from Lone Wulf models. The decals came from a set I purchased off of Ebay. Painted with a hairy stick, using Tamiya and Vallejo Acrylic paints.
  8. M551as1 Sheridan Light Tank, Baidoa, Somalia, 1992 As already related, the Royal Australian Armoured Corps operated M41 Walker Bulldog light tanks as an intrim vehicle to fulfill it's needs, under the Pentropic Divisional organisation for a Light Tank. When the Pentropic Organisation was abandoned as being too unwieldy and incompatible with allied forces' organisations, the M41s had already been procured. They were then utilised in Cavalry Squadrons to provide integral, increased firepower. The M41as1 lasted in Australian service until 1978 when they were replaced by M551as1 Sheridans. The performance of the M551 had impressed the RAAC when they had observed it in Vietnam. While the M41 had proved adequate, it was felt in the post-Vietnam environment, something better would be required. A preference for an amphibious capable reconnaissance vehicle was strongly in the mind of the RAAC as they had felt the M41's lack of such a capability had severely limited its ability to operate effectively without considerable support resources. While the 152mm gun/missile launcher was seen as being a way for the RAAC to gain access to the latest anti-armour technology. When the Vietnam War ended, the US Army found itself with a large number of surplus Sheridans and were only too willing to sell them to their antipodean ally. The M551as1 replaced the M41as1 on a one-for-one basis. The tremendous increase in firepower meant for the first time light tanks were now the equal (or superior perhaps) of MBTs. Their long-range ATGWs allowed them to engage MBTs outside the range of the MBT's own guns and the largely flat, open terrain of Australia was ideally suited to such long-range sniping. In exercises, the Cavalry Squadrons often found themselves able to account for enemy MBT forces themselves, without recourse to their supporting MBT units. However, their first test on operations was not in war but a humanitarian relief effort in Somalia. Somalia Flanked by the Gulf of Aden in the north and the Indian Ocean, the east African country of Somalia shares its land borders with Djubouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya. During the nineteenth century Somalia’s land came under the colonial control of Ethiopia, Italy, France, and Britain. In 1960 the Italian and British colonies of Somaliland became independent Somalia. Nine years later Major General Mohamed Siad Barre seized power in a military coup and ruled the country for the next 31 years. Courting the great super power during the Cold War, Siad Barre received Soviet military and economic aid in exchange for allowing them to build military bases. However, in 1977 the Soviets dropped their support of Barre’s military dictatorship in favour of a Marxist government in Ethiopia and during the 1980s the United States instead provided economic and military aid to Somalia. During this time Barre fought both external and internal enemies. In 1978 an attempt to seize traditional Somalia lands in Ethiopia failed while during the 1980s Barre fought a civil war against various clans in the country’s north. These clans were brutally repressed and in one incident in 1988 up to 50,000 people died when the town of Hargeisa was destroyed. As the country slid further into anarchy, Barre’s government was spending five times as much money on the military as it did on health and education. In 1989 the United States withdrew its aid and in October 1990 the main opposition groups in Somalia united to defeat Barre who fled the country in January 1991. Barre’s departure left a power vacuum and Somalia broke down into clan-based militia warfare. This violence coincided with a drought that caused poor harvests and food shortages. In 1992 the international community attempted to provide some relief with an international campaign for aid and the United Nations (UN) authorised an emergency air lift of supplies. However, with no government or working system of law and order, violent gangs dominated the cities and the aid could not be distributed to those in need. In July the first UN personnel were deployed to Somalia as part the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). UNOSOM was initially formed to monitor a ceasefire between the two main militia groups, one led by Ali Mahdi Mohamed and the other by Mohamed Farah Aidid, who were fighting for control of Mogadishu, the Somali capital. In October the Australian government decided to send a thirty-person Movement Control Unit (MCU), drawn from the three services, to Somalia to coordinate transport for the UN mission. The unit was commanded by Major Greg Jackson and troops began arriving in the country from the end of October. UNOSOM was primarily a monitoring group and did not have the resources to establish stability in the country or even protect food distribution. Most of the supplies the aid agencies had flown into Somalia could not be distributed and few ships were able or willing to enter Mogadishu harbour. The food shortage became a famine in which about 300,000 people died. In November the US government announced it would lead a force to Somalia to enable aid agencies to distribute humanitarian relief. The UN Security Council gave the force, the Unified Task Force - Somalia (UNITAF), the mandate to use “all necessary means” to carry out this task. At its peak UNITAF consisted of 37,000 personnel, 21,000 of whom were American and the rest from twenty other countries. The first American troops arrived in Mogadishu on 9 December. Australia contributed an infantry battalion group to UNITAF. The group totalled 990 personnel and was based around 1RAR, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel David Hurley. In addition to troops from 1RAR, the group included the Armoured Personnel Carriers and light tanks of C Squadron, 3rd/4th Cavalry Regiment; a civil and military operations teamed based on 107th Field Battery; engineers from the 17th Field Troop of the 3rd Combat Engineering Regiment; signallers from the 103rd Signals Squadron; Intelligence personnel; the 7th Electronic Warfare Squadron; and a support unit based on the 3rd Brigade Administrative Support Battalion. There was also an Australian headquarters, with public relations and support staff. Colonel William Mellor, Commander Australian Force Somalia, was located in Mogadishu. He was responsible for the safety of the Australian force and dealt directly with the task force’s American commander. The Australians were based in Baidoa Humanitarian Relief Sector, west of Mogadishu. The Australian contingent in Baidoa had four main roles: maintain a secure environment in Baidoa; maintain a presence in the surrounding countryside; protect aid convoys; and assist in the equitable distribution of aid. Tasks were rotated between the four rifle companies every nine days. The troops also gathered intelligence by talking to the locals and used this knowledge to disarm aggressive groups. There were a number of skirmishes with bandits. It was during these skirmishes that the Sheridans fired their guns for the first and last time in anger. Their massive 152mm guns were devastating against the lightly equipped militias and were guaranteed to destroy any building or vehicle which offered resistance. One such was a Technical whose crew decided their 12.7mm DShK HMG was a match for the 152mm gun of Sheridan call sign three-two, "Chauvel" of C Sqn, 3/4 Cav. Rgt. on the road between Baidoa and the airstrip nearby. Three-two was tasked that day with escorting a convoy from the airport, carrying much needed food aid when it encountered several Technicals. When they came under fire, they responded with a 152mm Flechette round at close range against one of the Technicals, completely destroying it. The other Technicals following rapidly retired. The vehicle commander commented drily afterwards. "It did wonders for their constipation..." The Model The model is the Academy M551 "Vietnam" model (as against their "Desert Storm" version). It was essentially done straight out of the box with additional stowage added. Painted in standard Australian vehicle camouflage with weathering and markings added from the spares box. It is covered in the thick, red dust typical of the Somali area. It carries it's vehicle name, "Chauvel" (named after the commander of the Australian Light Horse in Palestine, Sir Harry Chauvel). on each side and it's call-sign on "battle boards" (easily dismounted timber boards) on it's stowage racks on the turret.
  9. M41as1 Light Tank, 3 APC Sqn, Phuoc Tuy, South Vietnam, 1966 The Pentropic organisation was a military organisation used by the Australian Army between 1960 and 1965. It was based on the United States Army's pentomic organisation and involved reorganising most of the Army's combat units into units based on five elements, rather than the previous three or four sub-elements. It was intended to be air portable and designed for Jungle Warfare. The decision to adopt the Pentropic organisation was driven by a desire to modernise the Army and ensure that Australian units were able to integrate with those of the United States Army. While the US Pentomic organisation had been implemented in 1957 to improve the Army's ability to operate during a nuclear war, the Australian organisation was optimised for limited wars in South East Asia in which there was a chance that nuclear weapons might be used. Both structures were designed to facilitate independent operations by the sub-units of divisions. The Australian Pentropic division was intended to be air portable, capable of fighting in a limited war and capable of conducting anti-guerrilla operations. The key element of the Pentropic organisation was the reorganisation of divisions into five combined arms battle groups. These battle groups consisted of an infantry battalion, field artillery regiment, engineer field squadron and other combat and logistic elements, including armoured, aviation and armoured personnel carrier units as required. These battle groups would be commanded by the commanding officer of their infantry battalion and report directly to the headquarters of the division as brigade headquarters were abolished as part of the reorganisation. When the Pentropic organisation was implemented in 1960 the Australian Army was reorganised from three divisions organised on what was called the Tropical establishment (the 1st, 2nd and 3rd divisions) into two Pentropic divisions (the 1st and 3rd).[3] While two of the Army's three regular infantry battalions were expanded into the new large Pentropic battalions, the 30 reserve Citizens Military Force (CMF) battalions were merged into just nine battalions.[4] This excluded the University Regiments and the Papua New Guinea Volunteer Rifles which remained unchanged. There was a similar effect on the other CMF units, with most being merged into new, larger units. The other regular infantry battalion remained on the previous tropical establishment as it formed part of the 28th Commonwealth Brigade in Malaysia.[3] As part of this reorganisation the Army replaced its outdated weapons with more modern weapons, most of which were supplied from the United States. It was believed that these new weapons would further improve the Army's combat power and the ability of sub-units to operate independently. The Pentropic organisation was trialled during exercises in 1962 and 1963. These exercises revealed that the battle groups' command and control arrangements were unsatisfactory, as battalion headquarters were too small to command such large units in combat situations. While the large Pentropic infantry battalions were found to have some operational advantages over the old tropical establishment battalions, the divisions' large number of vehicles resulted in traffic jams when operating in tropical conditions. The experience gained from exercises and changes in Australia's strategic environment led to the decision to move away from the Pentropic organisation in 1964. During the early 1960s a number of small counter-insurgency wars broke out in South East Asia, and the large Pentropic infantry battalions were ill-suited to these sorts of operations. As the US Army had abandoned its pentomic structure in 1962 and the British Army remained on the tropical establishment, the Australian Army was unable to provide forces which were suited for the forms of warfare it was likely to experience or which were organised along the same lines as units from Australia's main allies. In addition, concentrating the Army's limited manpower into a small number of large battalions was found to be undesirable as it reduced the number of deployable units in the Army. As a result of these factors the Australian Government decided to return the Army to the tropical establishment in November 1964 as part of a wide-ranging package of reforms to the Australian military, which included increasing the size of the Army.[3] The Army returned to the tropical establishment in 1965, and many of the CMF battalions were re-established as independent units. However, before that occurred, the wheels had been set in motion to re-equip the Army with new equipment. For the Armoured Corps, two key elements were the acquisition of a new Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and a Light Tank, both had to be able to easily transported by air. Trials were conducted for both. For the APC, the contenders were the British FV432, the French AMX-VTT and the US M113. The M113 was declared the winner and purchased in large numbers. The light tank was more problematic with only two contenders, the French AMX-13 and the US M41. While the M41 Walker Bulldog was out of production, it was decided in the interests of military interoperablity and political considerations that it would be adopted. In addition, the example of the Australian Marines which already operated the M41 gave the possibility of standardisation between the two services. The M41 however, was always seen as an interim vehicle until more advanced types, then in development, became available to Army. While the organisation it was intended for had been abandoned as unweildy, the procurement process had been rushed through and the Light Tank, which had been given priority in order to allow Army to respond to any perceived crises by being able to air lift armour to any trouble spot had resulted in the purchase of 100 M41 tanks. These were to be allocated to the new Reconnaissance Squadron which was to be formed in the Pentropic Division. However, instead they were issued to initially the newly formed 1 Cavalry Regiment (which in 1965 was renamed 2 Cav.Rgt. to avoid confusion with 1 Armd. Rgt.) when that organisation was abandoned. When 3 Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron was deployed to Vietnam, a troop of M41s was dispatched as well, to "beef up" the Squadron's firepower. When that Squadron was reformed into 3 Cavalry Regiment, the M41s troop was dissolved and the vehicles were allocated to the Squadron HQ, where they were often used to support individual troops on operations. The M41 in RAAC service soldiered on until 1978 when it was replaced. M41 Model The model is the AFV-Club M41. It depicts one of the HQ vehicles of B Tp, 3 Cav. Sqn. as deployed to Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam in 1966. These vehicles gave a considerable boost in firepower to the Cavalry Squadron, being used in the HQ of each Troop in the Squadron in a support role. In South Vietnam they were used primarily on Convoy Escort and Base Protection duties but occasionally also took part in sweeps against the Viet Cong where the firepower of their 76mm guns with their canister rounds were particularly appreciated. The modifications were simple, a turret basket with stowage and the substitution of a .30cal MMG for the more normal .50cal HMG. The Australian Armoured Corps having a preference for increased stowage and an appreciation that the role of the tank commander was to command his vehicle, rather than engage in personal firefights. As the war progressed, a need for increased stowage was to see another turret basket added to the other side of the turret and the .30cal replaced by the original .50cal.
  10. M111 Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun The T249 Vigilante was a prototype 37 mm self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) designed as a replacement for the Bofors 40 mm gun and M42 Duster in US Army service. The system consisted of a 37 mm T250 six-barrel Gatling gun mounted on a lengthened M113 armored personnel carrier platform with a radar system. The US Army was quite impressed with the performance of the T249 but however realised that the system had severe limitations in the form it was designed. Treating the T249 as a "proof of concept" the Ordnance Board ordered that a better vehicle be designed to fix the problems encountered. Perhaps the worst was the limited amount of ammunition which was carried onboard the vehicle, barely allowing more than three or four engagements before it had to be replenished. Then there was the problem that the gun had to be reloaded from outside the vehicle, which was clearly unacceptable if it was operating in a Nuclear, Biological or Chemical environment. While the radar was an excellent improvement over the vehicle it was intended to replace, the M42 Duster, which had none, it's range and discrimination was limited and it was felt a more powerful unit would be required. In order to accommodate all those things, a larger, roomier vehicle than the M113 was required. While it was possible to lengthen the M113 chassis, the M113 production was running at full speed, just keeping up with the existing orders for standard vehicles to re-equip the Army. Casting around, the decision was taken to utilise the M109 Self-Propelled Howitzer chassis. This was large and was readily and cheaply available. So, the M109 was adopted. A new belt feed ammunition supply was designed, using "cassettes" which could be easily loaded in and out of the large rear hatch on the vehicle. With a crew of three (Commander, gunner and driver), carrying sufficient ammunition for 10 or more engagements and a substantially more powerful and larger radar, the M111 SPAAG was adopted into US Army service as the M111 SPAAG. The vehicle depicted, is that of the first M111 SPAAG which was presented to the Press on 7 June 1966. It was later deployed to Europe where it made a valuable contribution to deterring Communist aggression from the USSR on the German border. The value of such vehicles were proved when several, supplied to Israel, successfully defended the Dimona nuclear reactor against an unsuccessful Iraqi air attack in 1991. Several MiG-23 aircraft were downed, described as having been "shredded" by the firepower of the 37mm Gattling guns. The Model The model is a venerable Italeri M109 SPG, with suitable modifications. The gun was what held up the build for some time as I attempted to work out some way in which to produce consistent circles and hexagons (and drill them well enough, without splitting) to hold the gun tubes, made from brass tube. The radar aerial is from Shapeways and intended for for a 1/16 scale U-boat. It is a little large but I think looks quite good. The 3d printed material though, proved to be difficult to paint, basically sucking in the paint applied (which was acylic) so I sealed it first with a weak solution of PVA glue which seemed to stop it. The vents are Gundam vents, from HLJ, suggested to me by Gingie. The acquisition radome came from the top of a large, multicolour pen.
  11. V-22 Osprey in RAAF Service

    Thanks. It is rather striking, isn't it? I used it again on my Mirage 4000 build.
  12. Royal Australian Marine Corps V-22 Osprey In 2015 the decision was taken by the Australian Government to form the Royal Australian Marine Corps to serve aboard the new CANBERRA class LHDs. In order to facilitate their amphibious warfare mission, V-22 Ospreys were ordered from their manufacturer Bell Boeing in the United States. Arriving in Australian in 2017, they quickly proved their worth during the West New Guinea intervention of 2020. The Model 1/72 Hobbycraft V-22 Osprey with rotor blades folded and wing swung to the stowed position. Painted with a hairy stick. Decals from the spares box.
  13. V-22 Osprey in RAAF Service

    V-22 Osprey in RAAF Service In 2019, the Australian Government announced that the RAAF was to adopt a squadron of V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. Intended to cover the gap perceived the MH-90 Medium Lift Helicopter and the C-27J Medium Transport Aircraft, the V-22 with it's unique, high-speed vertical lift capability was well suited to the long distances of the Australian mainland. Arriving in 2020, the aircraft were resplendent in their “Goanna” Lizard wrap-around camouflage scheme which was designed to hide the aircraft in the “Top End” of the Australian continent. Used, initially, almost exclusively by the Australian Army's Special Forces – the SASR and Commando Rgt. They allowed small units to slip unobtrusively into and out of the Area of Operations (AO) that each unit covered in the defence of Australia. V-22 Osprey in the RAAF's "Goanna" Lizard wrap-around scheme. http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/5272/1001884x.jpg[/img] The Model The model is a 1/72 Italeri V-22. The camouflage was adopted from that worn experimentally by a single RAAF Caribou in the mid-1980s but was not proceeded with. The decals came from a set I purchased online from EvilBay for the Caribou which included this scheme. It was painted with a hairy stick with Vallejo paints.
  14. A-26 Invader in RAAF Service

    A-26 Invader in RAAF service The Douglas A-26 Invader (designated B-26 between 1948 and 1965) is a twin-engined light bomber and ground attack aircraft. Built by Douglas Aircraft Company during World War II, the Invader also saw service during several major Cold War conflicts. A limited number of highly modified United States Air Force aircraft served in Southeast Asia until 1969. It was a fast aircraft capable of carrying a large bomb load. A range of guns could be fitted to produce a formidable ground-attack aircraft. A re-designation of the type from A-26 to B-26 led to confusion with the Martin B-26 Marauder, which first flew in November 1940, some 20 months before the Douglas design's maiden flight. Although both types were powered by the widely used Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp eighteen-cylinder, double-row radial engine, they were completely different and separate designs — the Martin bomber originated in 1939, with more than twice as many Marauders (nearly 5,300) produced in comparison to the Douglas design. USAAF service The Pacific The Douglas company began delivering the production model A-26B to the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) in August 1943 with the new bomber first seeing action with the Fifth Air Force in the Southwest Pacific theatre on 23 June 1944, when Japanese-held islands near Manokwari were attacked. The pilots in the 3rd Bomb Group's 13th Squadron, "The Grim Reapers", who received the first four A-26s for evaluation, found the view from the cockpit to be restricted by the engines and thus inadequate for low-level attack. General George Kenney, commander of the Far East Air Forces stated that, "We do not want the A-26 under any circumstances as a replacement for anything." Until changes could be made, the 3d Bomb Group requested additional Douglas A-20 Havocs, although both types were used in composite flights. The 319th Bomb Group worked up on the A-26 in March 1945, joining the initial 3rd BG, with the 319th flying until 12 August 1945. The A-26 operations wound down in mid-August 1945 with only a few dozen missions flown. Several of the A-20 and B-25 AAF units in the Pacific received the A-26 for trials, in limited quantities. Europe Douglas needed better results from the Invader's second combat test, so A-26s began arriving in Europe in late September 1944 for assignment to the Ninth Air Force. The initial deployment involved 18 aircraft and crews assigned to the 553d Squadron of the 386th Bomb Group. This unit flew its first mission on 6 September 1944. No aircraft were lost on the eight test missions, and the Ninth Air Force announced that it was happy to replace all of its A-20s and B-26s with the A-26 Invader. The first group to fully convert to the A-26B was 416th Bombardment Group with which it entered combat on 17 November, and the 409th Bombardment Group, whose A-26s became operational in late November.[16] Due to a shortage of A-26C variants, the groups flew a combined A-20/A-26 unit until deliveries of the glass-nose version caught up. Besides bombing and strafing, tactical reconnaissance and night interdiction missions were undertaken successfully. In contrast to the Pacific-based units, the A-26 was well received by pilots and crew alike, and by 1945, the 9th AF had flown 11,567 missions, dropping 18,054 tons of bombs, recording seven confirmed kills while losing 67 aircraft. In Italy the Twelfth Air Force's 47th Bomb Group also received the A-26, starting in January 1945. They were used against German transport links, but also for direct support and interdiction against tanks and troop concentrations in the Po valley in the final campaigns in Italy. RAAF service Because of the USAAF's Pacific air force rejection, many A-26s were left in aircraft parks in Australia after being delivered. The RAAF discovered them, just at the time it was having considerable problems with the manufacture of the Mosquito. The de Havilland aircraft, made of wood faired badly before the elements in the Tropics. The glues used to bind it together started failing and aircraft were falling apart, literally rotting before their pilots' eyes. The A-26's performance was nearly as good as the Mosquito's and made of metal, did not suffer the same problems. So, early in 1945, the RAAF requested access to several Invaders for trials purposes. The RAAF's pilots were initially reluctant, after hearing the bad stories of the USAAF's experience with the aircraft in action against the Japanese. However, once they had tried it, they became enthusiastic. The RAAF adopted the Invader as a replacement to the Mosquito. It was durable and it was fast and manoeuvrable and carried an excellent war load. Used as a night time intruder, the squadrons that adopted the aircraft found it an excellent mount. At war's end, Australia found itself with a considerable surplus resulted from it's positive Lend-Lease ratio caused by it's supply of large quantities of grain and other agricultural products. After negotiations with the US Government it found itself heir to a large quantity of surplus US war materiale'. This included several thousand of the latest USAAF aircraft, including a large quantity of A-26 Invaders. Sufficient to keep several squadrons supplied with aircraft for some time to come. The A-26 lasted in RAAF service until the end of the 1950s, when the last were finally retired, replaced by Canberra jet bombers. The A-26 served not only in the closing stages of the Pacific War but also in the Occupation of Japan and the Korean War. It's extended range allowed it to loiter for long periods over North Korea, interdicting the Communists' logistics effort. One was shot down in the early days of the war by a MiG-15 fighter. However, after they were switched to night time attacks only, all possible involvement with Communist fighters ended. The Model The model is the venerable 1/72 Airfix kit, hand painted in deep foliage green. It has had it's gun turrets removed to save weight and because there was little likelihood of them being much use against any intercepting fighters at night. It was brush painted and the markings are from an old ESCI Mosquito decal set, depicting a fighter from 1 Squadron RAAF.
  15. 1/72nd Nanchang Q-5 from Trumpeter

    Centre of Gravity guides, showing were the main spar runs along the wing?