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Hamiltonian

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  1. A couple more historically significant structures from the other end of the range. This pillbox now sits next to someone's driveway, but was once part of the Scottish Command Line, guarding a potential road route through the Braes of the Carse, protecting against an envisaged German landing on the east coast trying to push through into the Central Belt. This octagonal structure sits on top of a hill nearby, in open pasture. It's an octagonal brick structure with a blast wall at the entrance. It's full of farm junk, now, but also contains a couple of uprooted and discarded concrete foundations for some sort of supporting structure: The combination suggests that it was a wooden HF/DF station supported by props, like this one at Southwold, though so far I've found no further information. https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205157763 © Imperial War Museum (A 26121).
  2. I live close to the Sidlaw Hills, north of the Tay Estuary, and I've been wandering around up there for a good forty years now. There are a number of well-known historical relics dotted throughout the range, dating as far back as the Iron Age---including the fort on Dunsinane Hill, erroneously associated with Macbeth. But I've also happened on quite a number of more recent installations---some truly hidden, in the sense of being embedded in forest and largely forgotten, and some more easily accessible but just rarely visited and unknown to most people. Here's one in the former category: It's a set of concrete foundations and sawn-off metal girders surrounded by trackless new-growth forest, which I happened upon only because I was making a point of visiting the summit of every named hill in the range. The black metal box in the foreground covers a deep concrete-lined pit, and seems relatively recent, so someone must visit occasionally. I could find no information about this site on-line, and ended up contacting the good people at Canmore, the National Record of the Historic Environment for Scotland. The site was unknown to them, but their military expert believed it to be the reserve transmitter for the Douglas Wood Chain Home Radar station, and created a new entry on their website. The ruins of the Receiving Station sit in an open field nearby; The area is surrounded by anti-aircraft pillboxes, several of which survive on nearby farmland: Some of the original buildings are still in good repair, behind a high metal fence and padlocked gate, and are occasionally used for Boy Scout rallies. My brother, who became a Queen's Scout, can recall carrying his troop's flag into the compound many years ago. Forgive me if I have any of the Scouting technical terms wrong---I was thrown out of the Cubs for cowardice at an early age. (And I'm not joking.)
  3. Fair enough that the original Airfix and Revell Saturn V's were modelled on the SA-500 test articles, rather than an actual launch vehicle--the kits were pushed out at a time when the test articles were the prime reference. But I've never understood why they couldn't at least update the painting instructions for later reissues. On the topic of New Ware, I found their resin and photoetch parts to be excellent when I made my own Revell Saturn V. But I found one small error in the decals. New Ware provides a mix of black and white axis markers for the Instrument Unit--white to go on the black paintwork, and black for the white sector that appeared on the south side of some Instrument Units. The black marker they provide for this location is "-Y", but it should (checking against photographs) actually be "+Y". No biggy since it's easily fixed with a sliver of black decal. (I reported it to New Ware at the time, but never heard back.) The XY axes of the Apollo/Saturn are quite confusing, since they are 180 degrees out of alignment between the launch vehicle and the Apollo stack. I think New Ware perhaps thought the IU coordinates should match the Apollo stack, but they were in fact aligned with reference to the launch vehicle. (I wrote a bit about the complexities of the Apollo-Saturn coordinate axes here, if anyone's wants to know more.)
  4. That's just a lovely thing to make anyone smile. And as I tapped the touchpad on my laptop to move the scrollbar up and down while I looked at the photos, I suddenly realized I was doing it in the pattern TAP / tap-tap / TAP-tap. So YEL- / -low sub- / MAR-ine, over and over again!
  5. Thanks, everyone. The curious thing is that the kit has the fan behind the propeller correctly orientated to drive air into the cowling. The issue with the propeller was drawn to my attention first by the mismatch between the kit propeller blades and the fan blades---only then did I think about which way the propeller needed to rotate for this airframe to be in balance, and a quick check of my reference photographs sent me off looking for an aftermarket replacement.
  6. About the only thing I took away from the movie was a very strong desire for an ornithopter kit! I'm not big into cinematic spectacle, and it seemed as if Villeneuve read a book that consisted largely of dense, nuanced conversations and internal monologues, but then extracted all the scenes of conflict and peril (relatively small and peripheral parts of the book) and made an action movie out of them. I had the same feeling from the forty-odd minutes of Foundation that I managed to watch: How on earth could anyone read that book and make this film? I suppose I'd kind of hoped for something more like the BBC's I, Claudius, in space, but I suspect the market for that sort of thing probably consists of me and one other guy. Sigh. Anyway: I WANT AN ORNITHOPTER.
  7. My understanding, from reading around on this site and others, is that occasionally batches of aircraft prepared for one theatre ended up being shipped to another, and needed to be repainted. @EwenS's "Smiter" link certainly seems to show a whole flight of Mark XIVs with what looks like DFS and tail bands, with the roundels overpainted in some dark shade. Given the date of the photographs, one can see why aircraft intended for the European theatre might be starting to trickle towards South East Asia. And, again given the date, one can see why people might not bother going the whole hog and repainting the entire aircraft with Dark Earth / Dark Green. I'm completely happy with the idea that the wartime production system generally fitted out aircraft for destinations that they subsequently reached. But it's evident that sometimes that didn't happen and that my chosen aircraft is one of those examples---hence my question about whether aircraft intended for the UK would routinely be marked with yellow leading edges before leaving the factory, because if that was the routine, on this occasion someone was going to have to deal with it in South East Asia. I can pick out one aircraft in the "Smiter" gallery that appears to have a normal alternation of pale and dark paint on the leading edge outside of the white SEAC stripe, despite the fact the roundel overpainting of aircraft in another view is noticeably darker than either camouflage colour. So my idea that I might need to simulate an overpainted yellow stripe in my aircraft doesn't seem to be necessarily true (given that I think I have a counterexample). So I'll probably leave well alone. Thanks, everyone.
  8. But it does seem that aircraft were (at least occasionally) turning up in the Southeast Asian theatre in the "wrong" camouflage with the "wrong" roundels, and with a fuselage band. RM908 seems to be an example of this--you can see the aircraft by scrolling down to the first B&W image on this page: http://www.152hyderabad.co.uk/html/old_dairy_2014.html The fact that everything else about the aircraft seems to have been in line with it having been painted for the European Theatre is what prompted my query about the yellow leading edge. Or have I got completely the wrong end of the stick, somewhere?
  9. Thanks. I've no doubt that's true when the entire upper camouflage scheme was redone, in Dark Earth and Dark Green, but I was wondering specifically about those Spitfires (like my chosen subject) in which the original DFS was left largely untouched, except for the roundels being painted out in Dark Green. It would seem odd to overpaint areas that "should be" Ocean Grey in Dark Green (as we often see in the area of the roundels), but to carefully overpaint the leading edges in Ocean Grey and Dark Green, as appropriate. That said, the overpainted roundels in @EwenS pictures are quite a striking contrast with the underlying camouflage, but the leading edges (from what I can make out) don't show the same effect. It was that sort of thing that made me wonder if the yellow leading edges were applied locally, rather than at the production stage.
  10. Thanks for this. I have the equivalent information for "my" Spitfire from Morgan and Shacklady's tome. I'm aiming to build RM908, of 152 Sq. I wrote "late war" because it was built, shipped and arrived in India during the war, but seems to have gone into operation post-war. It's listed only as "ACSEA" in the databases, but photographs exist of it in 152 markings, and there's an old decal set with suitable markings. It started out as part of my project to build a series of aircraft associated with my late father's various postings during and after WWII, and I have this photograph from his album, marked "Tengah, February 1946": But I slightly cocked up the dating on this one--he was at Tengah until 152 disbanded there in March, and this aircraft, from its listed ACSEA date (26/6/46), must have gone to the renumbered 136 Sq. But I've grown to like this particular Spitfire, so I'll build it anyway.
  11. Thanks all. Yes, I knew that yellow leading edges were not used in SEAC, presumably because they were in use by the Japanese as a recognition mark. I was just wondering if they had to be painted out on receipt of aircraft in DFS camouflage, like the large, red-centred roundels. In situations where the Ocean Grey was not repainted, the painted-out roundels lead to noticeable arcs of Dark Green transgressing the Ocean Grey areas of the camo pattern. So I was thinking that the yellow leading edges, if supplied, would produce the same effect--outside the SEAC white stripe, there would presumably be a strip of Dark Green crossing any Ocean Grey that reached the outer leading edge, again interrupting the camo pattern. The photographs from @Troy Smith imply that the aircraft would indeed have arrived complete with yellow stripes, so I need to think about providing a "painted out" look in that area of my model.
  12. I'm just getting my act together to start modelling a late-war SEAC Spit, which sported the factory-supplied Day Fighter Scheme, complete with Sky tail band, with the large roundels painted over in Dark Green and replaced with SEAC roundels. But I wonder what happened to the yellow leading edges, which weren't used in SEAC. Were these supplied as standard with DFS (and then painted over, like the roundels), or were they not part of the standard scheme, but added at point of delivery in the European theatre?
  13. Thanks, everyone. Part of the torque compensation comes from the offset weight of the crew cabin, and part (I think) from the asymmetry of the wings. The balance will be perfect at some combination of cabin weight, power and airspeed, and less-than-perfect otherwise. But that's still better than a conventional single engined aircraft. So in a Bv141 the pilot will need to apply the usual control input to compensate for the reactive roll and adverse yaw, but that will vary with the cabin weight as well as the propeller torque. Or so it seems to me.
  14. First time I've ever made sure to order and receive the paint masks before I dared to order the kit!
  15. On the topic of tomatoes, the cockpit actually featured an array of roman-blind-style sunshades. I considered adding them as internal details, but gave up on the idea because: a) I couldn't find a good reference photograph b) I'm probably too handless to produce a good result c) No-one would be able to see them, anyway
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