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pigsty

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Everything posted by pigsty

  1. One of the best shows down south - IPMS Kent is booked in and we're looking forward to it.
  2. New, by the look of it. And being two years late between 2020 and 2022 is only to be expected - we've all lost two years of our lives, after all. But going for a forty-year-old design instead ... imagine if someone had ordered a new helicopter in 1990 and the best on offer was the Dragonfly. You look at that, and how long the F-16 and the Chinook and the Hercules have been in production, and you start to wonder: are some designs just impossible to improve on? Has progress actually stopped in some areas - for all the best reasons?
  3. The major difference between Essex-class carriers after the SCB-125 programme was whether they got steam or hydraulic catapults. Of your options, Intrepid and Ticonderoga did, while Essex, Hornet and Yorktown didn't. The ones that didn't were fitted with extra sonar instead for their anti-submarine role, although as that was under the bow it probably won't matter for your purposes. Mind you, I'm not sure at 1/700 scale what visual difference there would be between one style of catapult and the other.
  4. Useful advice on the wing - thanks. On the rear fuselage, rather than cough up for a brace, I've been assuming that a couple of spacers made from sprue would do the trick - one in each engine section, maybe a third in the centreline bay. Is that not a goer?
  5. Me too. This is getting confusing: we have kit no.7222 (Australian markings) at $120 from BPK; kit no.7220 (US markings) at £136 from Hannants; and the Air-Graphics job (UK-specific?) using the BPK plastic, assuming that's what "Big Models" means, at £160. Even allowing for shipping and fees, that's quite a wide range of prices for what ought to be not hugely different models. I'm beginning to think it's a good thing I'm not desperate for a Poseidon.
  6. I think that must be Preacher: Ancient History. Those other stories - all of them, in fact - make a lot more sense if you read the whole of Preacher. You won't regret it.
  7. The sneaky somethings have found a way out of the infinite regression problem. The only models you get are the ones on the shelf in the window - the rest is stickers that go behind them. So if matey is standing in front of his small pile of scale model model shops, they aren't actually there ...
  8. You lucky, lucky basket. I work in a different part of the public sector where we issues instructions to front-line staff. We have even more layers of approval than that and armloads of mistakes still get through. And it's not just typos; it's ambiguous, meaningless word salad that leaves people not knowing what they should do or even whether they should do it. Then I take over responsibility for this cobblers as my job, and every week I have to field calls from the front line that amount to What does page 20 mean? And then I try to improve it, and the same umpteen layers of approval won't let me because it's "not how we do things" - in other words it's direct, clear and unambiguous, which they seem to think is the same as rude. I wouldn't mind, but I'm quite sure people have died as a result.
  9. Oh, if only they'd proof-read that article ...
  10. Right, so these rail strikes are affecting the Underground and the Overground. But what about the Wombling Free?
  11. I spent the whole morning inventing a time machine. That's four hours of my life I'm definitely getting back.
  12. I see you also have a downpipe without a gutter round the roof ... The house on the right almost certainly isn't half a semi. It's two and a half bays, which is common for detached houses and very uncommon for semis. Having said that, there's a couple of larger semis not far from me - but they meet at the bay window. Separate bays with a recessed frontage between them is very, very rare. Chimneys obviously shouldn't line up with windows but there's always the option of a canted flue. My house had fireplaces in front and back and the flues lean over in the roof to meet under the single centreline chimney stack. One other possibility is that some of the rooms have kinked walls, so the features line up but don't interfere with one another. Another is fireplaces in odd spots like the corner of the room instead of the middle of the wall. A good source of information is contemporary house plans, which sometimes show some real oddities. The best are the sort that were produced as brochures for speculative developments - loads of designs in one source, and some of them resemble what they actually built. Looking at the side of your house, there's more odd stuff going on. The narrow upper window looks like a stair light - but the stairs would usually be on the opposite side, somewhere behind the front door. The range of windows below it is also unusual, more normally seen in big set-piece places that would feature in House and Garden; and it implies a full-depth room, which isn't impossible but would still be fairly rare, as it also implies another one above it. As for bathrooms, I'd venture the most likely spot is at the back on the right, broadly at the top of the stairs. A lot of houses back then had surprisingly small bathrooms, stacked above surprisingly small kitchens for the plumbing runs, and they're not always immediately obvious. (I've always thought putting the bathroom above the front door is faintly rude. Who wants to hear the contents of the lavvy swishing by as you ring the doorbell?) However ... with all those slightly wobbly features, it's possible they weren't trying to produce a genuine layout, just a skin. That leaves you free to muck about to your heart's content. Can you, for example, move the chimneys, or are they fixed?
  13. A perfect example of why these odd formulae based on one thing that don't translate to any other thing in the whole of creation are such a daft idea. In fact, it got worse, and was one of the many reasons the British car industry is now the French, German and Japanese car industry squatting here. Because those made-up horsepower were based only on bore, the only way to make an engine bigger for the same tax bracket was to increase the stroke. Long-stroke engines are less efficient than wide-bore engines; they need taller cylinder blocks with greater balance problems, and they can't run as fast. But that was how you tried to get more performance while squeaking in under the tax thresholds. Candles: I buy mine by burn time. And that leads us to another odd Babylonian leftover, the 24-hour day. But at least it gives a nice round number for the Earth's rotational speed at the Equator: more or less 1000mph. How ever did they know that?
  14. Try saying that to the people who put the Mars Climate Orbiter together. Well, to half of them.
  15. The metric system isn't just based on the size of the Earth. The underlying basis is decimal. Everything else was contrived to use powers of ten: first length (ten million metres is the distance from the equator to the poles); then volume (a litre is ten centimetres cubed); then mass (a kilogramme was the weight of a litre of water). And ten is a fairly obvious basis for calculation, especially before anyone invented writing, because we have ten fingers. It does have its problems: it's true that a third of anything decimal can be tricky. But as I always say: (i) go on then, what's a fifth of a shilling? and (ii) if we learned base 14 to count the pounds in a stone, we could have dropped both concepts without losing a thing, because we don't count in 14s for anything else. Anyway, to return to the subject, the handy thing about 1/72 and 1/48 is that they amount to six and four feet to the inch respectively. That's nice, simple mental arithmetic. A 1/48 kit is also one-and-a-half times the size of a 1/72 kit, which is another handy ratio, and that's why we have 1/32 when it doesn't divide by 12. In a culture that measures in feet and inches these scales make perfect sense. Other cultures don't, which is why 1/50 and 1/75 and 1/100 all appeared. They aren't used any more because they didn't succeed against the imperial scales in the world market, which was still dominated by British and American models. Had they been tried twenty years later, things would probably have been different. As to why we build one or the other: well, it's different for everyone. For me it's presence combined with practicality. Most aircraft come out best in 1/48 for me, because 1/72 is too small and 1/32 too expensive. But if there's no alternative, or if 1/48 would be stupidly large, I'll usually go to another scale. And while 1/35 is a barmy scale for anything, it's so prevalent that you can't avoid it. Looking at Airfix's old kits in 1/32, I do think it's a shame that it didn't get established in that market. But 1/35 is still easily big enough to make for an impressive kit with lots of faithful detail. The funny thing is, while tanks and such are obviously large and heavy, they fit all that into a smaller space than most aircraft, so (for me) armour has to be a scale larger than aviation to have that same presence. Luckily I don't do dioramas.
  16. The nice thing about model kits is all the free plastic. You can make a very decent spacer from the thickest bit of sprue in the box - the trick is to make it the right size. Measuring the length you need would be ideal, but with the best will in the world, it's impossible to be precise because in most cases you're measuring two separate parts and you know only that they're the wrong size when put together. So what I've generally done is eyeball it: produce one that you know is too long; dry-fit the parts in question and tape them together; fit the spacer as best you can to get an idea of how much too long it is; trim it; and repeat. And the closer you get to the right length the less you take off, so you don't end up too short. But you also want to be wary of unintended consequences. So if you'd end up opening up a gap somewhere else, or skewing an angle on something important, filling and sanding (or even replacement parts) might be the better option. One to watch for especially if you're playing around with a wing root is that you don't change the dihedral angle*, especially on only one side. * or anhedral, since you're building a Nesher
  17. And so will West Kent Scale Model Club.
  18. This may have been covered before, but it's not the sort of thing that shows easily up in a search. Right through to the Pz Kpfw IV, WWII German tanks came out in a logical order. You might get the odd pre-production batch or a small production run with minor variations given sub-designations, but the basics were clear: you start at Ausf A, you follow it with Ausf B, then C, and you just keep going in alphabetical order. One small exception is the Pz Kpfw II Ausf L, but you can sort of see some logic there if it was going to be called the Luchs. But the Panther and the Tiger had no logical order. And I can't find an explanation. Any number of references simply report that the Panther went Pz Kpfw V Ausf D, Ausf A, Ausf G, Ausf F as if it was the most natural thing in the world. And the Tiger - or more accurately the two unrelated Tigers - were the Pz Kpfw VI Ausf E and B, and there might even have been an Ausf H in there somewhere. This makes no sense to me. Does it to anyone else?
  19. Lord yes, that reminds me - all this stuff about suffix plates doesn't apply in Northern Ireland. That part of the country has its own system that never shows the car's age, and the three-letter group always includes an I or a Z. If anyone over there was daft enough to buy a Bug it would have used that style of plate - but not the options in your kit. (And there must have been one or two overseas sales ...)
  20. As well as all those Hawks, Curtiss built three Shrikes, all basically light bombers. And Marcel Dassault went through a phase of wanting to call everything a Mystère. Even the very first Mirage was originally the Mystère-Mirage or similar - and then, of course, while there were all those Mirage fighters, his first executive jet was the Mystère 20.
  21. That's always three letters, 1 2 or 3 numbers, and the suffix letter. And there's only one gap in the plate: it would be FEV 385L. After A, all changes were made once a year except for the E suffix in 1967. A was introduced in February 1963, and B followed on 1 January 1964, but before long car dealers were complaining about everyone not wanting their new cars until just after Christmas so the government decided to make the year start on 1 August. That was done in 1967, so the E suffix ran from 1 January to 31 July, then F started on 1 August 1967 and went to 31 July 1968. The system itself wasn't changed, only the timing, and it stayed like that until the run-up to the new system in 2001, which thankfully is much too late for your Bond Bug. (Incidentally, it makes E-reg cars a relative rarity, and as I'm E-reg myself I can pretend that I'm more valuable than I really am.) As the Bug was built from March 1970 to May 1974 the range of suffix letters is H, J, K, L and M. (I wasn't used; nor were O, Q, U and Z.) The reflective plates (white at the front, yellow at the back) were an option from 1967 and standard from 1 January 1973, so any Bug apart from an M-reg one could have either style, although if it was L-reg it'd be more likely to have the reflective ones. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that the Owners' Club knows every registration ever applied to a Bug (there were less than 2500 of them) and could even tell you what style plates they all used. But of course you can always make up your own, or the plate you'd have wanted yourself. Your next challenge is the lettering. Since the 2001 system came in, number plates are all meant to use one standard style, which was developed from styles that were common in the earlier system. But there was a lot of variation back then, and that's before you think about whether the plate was printed or assembled out of separate letters or just painted. The correct styles have eluded a lot of decal companies, but the ones you've got are pretty close to authentic. Finally, [pedant mode on] it's licence, not license, but in fact cars in the UK have registrations and it's the drivers who hold licences. [pedant mode off]
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