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Graham Boak

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  1. Sadly a production one for the RAF would have been somewhat different: but given the options available, that's just too bad.
  2. The Warpaint on the MiG 3 was written by Nikolay Yakubovich - it does go on to cover the later high-altitude prototypes. It says that work began whilst Polikarpov was away, and he was not impressed to find a new bureau established. It will be interesting to read what is said on the subject in Volume 2 of the Fighter King biography/history. The first volume is superb, but only covers the biplanes. Hopefully the later volume will appear before too long.
  3. Production reasons? No wish to change the jigs for the bomber fuselages? Because a flat windscreen is a little draggier? Supermarine kept trying to get a curved windscreen onto the Spitfire but the AM kept on rejecting it. Not just for the distortion but also the armour-plating, I believe. Well, it makes sense. I don't know why the Admiralty eventually accepted it for the Seafire Mk.47. Strictly speaking, I think, it is the problem with distortion from an angled windscreen that makes the sight less effective. They hadn't yet reached the stage of projecting directly onto the screen as a Head-Up Display.
  4. Re Cerrux Grey for the metal parts: that seem very likely but wasn't universal in the RAF. The Hart/Fury family were polished metal. It could however be that as the Vildebeeste was a torpedo bomber, the Cerrux grey was considered better for the maritime environment. The parked example also shows a difference in tone in the same areas.
  5. Thanks for the correction on the dates of the D.550. I still see the two types as independent designs. It has occurred to me since that although the Soviet engine industry of the period was largely based on the Hispano Suiza V12 and the Wright Cyclone, in single and double row variants, the Mikulin design of the MiG.3 was (as far as I know) entirely original. How much detail technology was shared may be another matter, but the design was not closely derivative. I don't know a good book on Soviet engines in particular (and indeed few directly on anyone else's) but there are some excellent works coming out of Russia on the aircraft. Obviously these are not without useful information on the engines directly concerned.
  6. The death toll is still too large for COVID to be casually dismissed as "endemic". Maybe when it falls to one tenth of the current - and stays there. At the start of the autumn, let alone winter, our hospitals are crowded and other needed operations cannot be carried out. Britain is the COVID hot-spot in Europe: our record is awful compared with that of other nations which have been much more strict in their approach. and continue to be much more strict. Things are not going to get any better as long as this kind of dangerous behaviour is laughed off. It is short-sighted and downright stupid at the time of a pandemic and the price is being paid every day in sicknesses and deaths. Not to mention overwork and strain on the medical profession. Hard and unpleasant facts just seem to bounce off when opposed to ignorance and selfish interests. I'm all right, Jack. 'twas ever the same: until it is someone close who dies.
  7. From the world of politics: "X is his own worst enemy." "Not whilst I'm alive, he isn't." Nothing to do with modelling...
  8. The D.550 was also a later design, with a very different engine. The MiG 1/3 was an extension of the Polikarpov "formula" for fighter design, witness its short-coupled fuselage, with a wing to the same planform as the other new generation of Soviet fighters (and indeed other types) which I see as a response to guidance from TSAGI on such matters. The similarity in basic configuration between Soviet designs of this period is striking, compared to the variation seen within any Western country, Any comparison between the MiG and the Dewoitine can only be a reflection of widespread contemporary knowledge and a concentration on speed to the (partial) exclusion of other factors. The adoption of Western technology is largely restricted to their engines. Soviet structures, armaments and metallurgies (where appropriate!) were home grown. PS The recent Warpaint on the MiG 3 is worth reading, although I think it could have done with a stronger editorial guide over some translation "bumps". I'm sorry I can't find to to credit the Russian author. Another recent book I would strongly recommend is Mikhail Timmin's Air Battles over the Baltic 1941, which has a much wider interest than the title may suggest. It helps to explain the unreadiness of the Soviet Air Force, the poor training of its pilots, and the problems afflicting the MiG.3 in particular. Not to mention problems caused by higher level decisions made without awareness of the true situation. Fascinating insights.
  9. They would however have very much suited the requirements of the PVO, when it came to defending Moscow and other Soviet cities against German bomber raids. Less so the Frontal Aviation, but as the first of the new generation fighters it is hardly surprising that they were thrown immediately into the battle. Their problems were less those of general unsuitability as lack of reliability, poor armament, and poor training from a too-rapidly expanded air force.
  10. The current Airfix matches the Monforton dimensions, taken from Supermarine drawings. I'm not sure to what accuracy. I defy anyone to tell that one finished model is 1mm (or 0.9%) shorter than another, over a total or partial distance. A more interesting question is perhaps the length of the cowling forward of the firewall, where the new Airfix kit is noticeably longer than the older one. I haven't compared the AZ/KP kits to either Airfix, nor been able to obtain a convincing explanation of which is correct - but the same thing happened with Airfix's last Mk.IX, and it was correct. Unlike pretty well every, if not every, earlier kit.
  11. Remarkably poor judgement of those you describe. Look around at the death toll. It isn't going to fall with such careless behaviour. But then, people will gamble at the casino despite knowing that the management always win. However, they are gambling with their own resources and not affecting others.
  12. The main (only?) problem with the shape of the earlier kits was that the span was a little short overall, something common with the Sword kits. This was really only visible by a direct overlay, and not visible to the naked eye.
  13. Does it make sense to make a new Zero? Of course. Piotr Mikolajski Your list dos not include the perfectly acceptable Hasegawa kits, which include most of the variant otherwise omitted. As to whether Eduard would produce all these variants in 1/72, the jury is out on that one. Overall your table is misrepresents the case.
  14. Unambitious there - what about 1/350, 400, 500, 600, 700 and 1250 to place them on our aircraft carriers?
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