And in other news…

I’m still a bit bummed out after yesterday’s crash near Ohakea so nothing too stimulating this morning…

The Information Militia is on the march

Google is threatening to pull the pin from China because of government over-regulation and control – go the Information Militia!! More comment here on Coming Anarchy and Neptunus Lex…where Google stays or goes, the simple fact is that, sooner or later, unless it bombs itself back to the Stone Age or Cultural Revolution, the Chinese Old Guard is going to have to get with the programme and realise that time do indeed change – if they want to be player in the global game, they have to accept that not everything will go their way…of course, not that I particularly care: probably the best thing for China would be a total change of leadership and philosophy.

Teaching Green

I quite like the sustainability posts that Peter puts up on The Strategist and here is an item from paper model publisher, Fiddlers Green, with resources for school projects on wind turbines. Not only are wind turbines cool and green (even if they are white) but kids can get to build a model as part of the project.

New acquisitions

These don’t count under my NY resolution to not purchase any more models until I actually place a completed one on the shelf – not as simple as it sounds as I also need to build a shelf first. I ordered these from Orlik in Poland in October as part of my Christmas shopping plan – one was a gift, the others were ‘just to optimise the postage’. As it happened the package only arrived this week…containing….

There are two pages of plans, both equally cluttered but which seem to make sense if you stare at them long enough. Some of the detail around the turret and undercarriage construction is a little vague but hopefully I will be able to muddle through. I particularly like that this model has (for me) a more traditional frame than the normal monocoque style of paper model construction for aircraft so that it is possible to build up the skeleton and have the option of leaving some areas unskinned to show off interior detail without sacrificing anything in the way of strength. For the hassle of a couple of extra parts, I wish that more designers would do this i.e. allow aircraft construction to be more closer to the structure for the hull of a ship. The parts all look quite nice and logical although the standard RAF green/brown for the upper surfaces is very (too) dark and almost looks black from some angles. Some parts I will replace with other media mainly in the turret like the gun bodies and ammunition belts. The rest all looks good to go as is… (more here…)

I’ve already had a good look through the parts and plans which confirm that this should make a good little build in 1/72 to go with the rest of the fleet but as above, not a build that will kick off til at least mid-year. There don’t appear to be any great mysteries in construction but it would have been nice to have the full range of armament options listed in the history section of the instructions; and it is disappointing that the rockets for rocket launcher are not provided even though they are quite prominent pre-launch; nor is the 7.62mm AA MG provided. Easy enough to fix from the spares box…(more here…)

The plans look pretty straight forward and the only area where I anticipate a little pain so far is at the rear of the fuselage where there are no formers for support – I’m think I might make this area from foam and shape the skin over it in order to get a clean seam top and bottom. The fuselage skin is printed in a silvery ink that provides a nice effect (Orlik also has a metallic paper version available) – I don’t think it will scan and print well so I will have to use the actual parts and just make sure I get it right the first time (there is a first time for everything!!). I was a little disappointed that the gunbay interior for the XP-61E is not provided but the cockpit and gear bays appear to be nicely represented. Alternate fuselage parts and markings are provided to enable either the XP-61E long-range fighter or the F-15 Reporter versions to be assembled. I was inspired to buy this model by Bomarc’s PBJ build but am actually quite glad now that this model doesn’t have quite near the same degree of pain detail…(more here…)

Action in the Birmoverse

John Birmingham reports that the latest draft of After America has gone off to the publishers…

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