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terça-feira, 14 de novembro de 2017

Military Parades: Portugal

Portugal, one of the most old nations in the world with more than 874 years of history (if we begin with Zamora document between Portugal and Castela, today Spain), have a rich military history with VII centuries in the Navy and a much older Army (was created in the XII century). We had so many wars, most of them with Spain, but also in Asia, Africa and South America.  In the last century, we fight in WWI and Africa Colonies, after that we went to Kosovo, Afghanistan and back to Africa again. And of course there's the domestic missions like SAR and Patrol our Economic Naval Area (or EEZ - Economic Exclusiv Zone). 
But he have a problem with history. Much of the material end in scrapp, or abroad, with one significant part in the top of a air base, waiting recovery. Even in film and video there's not much things recorded, but in military paredes, this is what i have find in youtube:

Dia de Portugal 2017

Dia de Portugal 2016

Dia de Portugal 2015

Dia de Portugal 2013

Dia de Portugal 2012

Dia de Portugal 2010

Desfile Militar 2009

Dia do Exército 2008

O 10 de Junho, 2007, Setúbal

Desfile Militar, Porto 1994

Dia 10 de Junho, 1971 

O 10 de Junho de 1970

Dia 10 de Junho de 1967 

Em Macau, anos 60

No Porto, 1949

quarta-feira, 1 de novembro de 2017

When Royal Navy had two good carriers: Audacious class review in a past and present english navy

Audacious class carriers were the last convencional aircraft carriers class in the Royal Navy. After Ark Royal end in 1980, his substitutes had no catapult, angular deck or stop cables, so only operate helicopters and VTOL/STOL fighters. Why? Much more cheap. The problems: A very limited type of aircraft that can be use (only F35B and Harrier, probably one or another STOLV could be adapted to operate but there are not many). In combat the concept prove to be not so good, and US Navy give to their LHA more size (in hangar and deck fly, from Tarawa to WASP) and Royal Navy done is one aproach; the Queen Elisabeth class with two ships. 
If we see the operation carriers in RN after WWII it is evident that most of them were in use more than three decades and were modified several times, to a angular deck, to jets and in the final state to operate the VTOL planes (see HMS Hermes), so the investment was secure. With PA76 and Malta Class canceled the Ilustrious, Invencible and Ark Royal (VTOL) were only an unleash, but after the insatisfaction due to their size and limited operations, at least the logic was to make a similar projecto to russian Kuznetzov. But instead were made an "hercules" with few options. The reason? If we see the Audacious class and their operations, the only reason is money and a bad planification (pray for F35B to be a good fighter or... ups, no options).  Even so, the fund problems is so big in RN that the carrier fleet and his future is not certain  (there's a chance of HMS Prince of Wales go direct to reserve). And the operations, with Daring class heat problems and without SSM (the RN is studing a way tho have harpoon plus 2018, after they said that were retired), it's unknown. 

Fig. 1 - The 2 new british carriers to Royal Navy. Prince of Wales and Queen Elisabeth are 70 000 tones giants, but without catapults and arrested cables, are less funcional than 36 800 t Audacious Class.  Can operate only VTOL fighters and helicopters. The french carrier Charles de Gaulle is smaller and can operate all types of naval planes.
HMS Eagle introduce the angular deck, a british invention that made operations in the carrier much more easy and secure (but only three years after beein comissioned the change was made). The parking area in front of the supertruture was now secure to park because the planes land in a track, were if they miss the stop cables, only had to climb up again (one of many, like the land system of lights and mirror, etc). Jets were less manobrables in low altitude and speed, so the  size of the carrier to put an angular deck was important (the short ones were used as command ships or helicopters carriers, but in other navy's like Australia, Canada, Brasil Netherland or Brasil, small carriers used the angular deck with jets like the A4 Skyhawk).
Both carriers were big enought for refit after refit, but Ark Royal was the main investiment (even the more old HMS Victorious had a more substancial reconstruction, to be put out of service at same time than Eagle ). The result was that the main fighter was Sea Vixen, with Phantom II only in Ark Royal and used a par of times in is colege class. And when Royal Navy was pushed to finish conventional aircraft carriers, Eagle give the spares to Ark Royal (from 1972 to 1979), to keep some aerial capacity (the Invencible class were in construction).
The three Ivincible class carriers were ASW cruisers with a deck and hangar, that had been adapted to operate Harrier VTOL Fighter, but only 5 (original was only for helicopters), wich give some protection to the helicopters or the fleet, in a sort of missions to be made in North Atlantic, especially to fight soviet submarines and recon planes (main task of defence and surface attack were made by the american fleet carriers), but in more high protection or attack missions to the continent, british used RAF units (wich had also the Harrier in a attack version with FLIR on the nose). 

Fig. 2 Audacious class carriers were Eagle (more close) and Ark Royal (far away). 

And when Falklands War beggin, from the old carriers only the rusty Hermes was operational (was the main carrier in South Atlantic because HMS Invencible was much smaller), and in battle several problems were pointed in the new carrier, like the little hangar or the few space in deck to park fighters and helicopters. Their armament was also a problem, especially the lack of a CIWS to destroy missiles like the exocet, but also the Sea Dart system (who sometimes had to rebut computer weapon's, with a lost of time in that restarted who enable the launcher to use de missile). The worst was that there were no AEW, and when the carriers escape with some luck to argentines fighters and exocet missiles (other units like HMS Sheffild had no such luck), the navy see the serious mistake. 
Up to all this, there was only in that time two carriers avaible for South Atlantic, with emergency work in HMS Bulwark (sister ship of Hermes from Centaur class) and an offer from United States to use one of the Iwo Jima class Helicopter Carrier, if necessary. Was no nead, but the price in other Royal Navy and civilian ships, was hight.
Also the plane to sell one of the Ilustrious Class carriers to Australia was cancel, and Royal Navy keep all them for more two decades. Also the plans to end carriers in the fleet or made them like a variation of Ilustrious were canceled, with the CVA1 and 2, being used was a model for the diferent but much bigger CVF. But if Queen Elizabeth is much bigger and complete than Illustious, without an angle deck and stop cables, will be used only by VTOL planes, what is for me a limitation in a 65 000 t carrier, at least if with F35B don´t came also Osprey AEW and CDO/Carrier on board (Lightning VTOL have less fuel than the A and C versions). The rest, is the internal RN budget problem, that we have to see were it takes the fleet, also in the carriers and his air wing.

Fig. 3-  The scrap of Ark Royal  (  )

HMS Ark Royal

Fig. 4 - By his airwing (Wyvern's and Sea Dart), it is a photo of 1955-58.
The comission was in 1955, with Ark Royal been one of the last build carriers in England, besides the design and construction beggin in World War II. After all the carriers from WWII went out of service, Ark Royal was the main one in the 70's, with is partner HMS Eagle, that had a minor refited, even when PA76 were canceled.
In the bigining the carrier operate with a mix of helicopters like the Wirlwind, turbo prop Wyverns and Sea Hawk jets, than in the 60's came the Phantom II and AEW (first Skyraiders and then Gannet). Some changes made to operate the F4 in a carrier much "short" than the americans and with central elevators, but was not a problem use 40 aeroplanes in that ship, even the hangars were much more lower (british continue to make separete hangars in level 1 and 2, after the war, when americans prefere enlarge the main one).
But since the 60's an orgie of cuts and more cuts in the navy budget reduce the fleet and no new carriers were made, so by the early 70's only Ark Royal were in service, with all the ones from WWII put out of order (HMS Hermes was converted to a STOL/VTOL carrier). But in 1979 the last  CATOBAR survivor was discomissioned, and Phantom II, Buccanear and helicopters were to RAF (Gannet was to junk, and latter the navy will miss him badly).
Off course when Falklands war was started in 1982, Eagle and Ark Royal, were missed, specially by the fails of the carriers fleet (AEW was the major problem with Sea King AEW who resolve the problem only entered in service after 1982 war).

Fig.5 - Hangar of HMS Ark Royal with Buccanear, Phantom , Wessex helicopter and a AEW Gannet. Picture taken from elevator (note the two stages hangar). 
Operations in Ark Royal were easy by the 60's and 70's padroms. With F4 or Buccanear, a much larger plane the elevators and two hangar need some technic to operate, like radar radom rotate to left and air brake  open, before get to deck fly.  The use of internal elevators were other of the british pré World War ideas that they never abandon t'ill the Queen Elisabeth class in this century (Eagle was completed with an elevator at the end of the angular deck, but was remove), what gives less space in hangar and enable the use in landing and take off periods.
The carrier operate about 40 planes and helicopters, and in some ocasions the american F4 from Us Navy and Marines were used in total operations from the deck with no problems ( and with US Navy F4 from carrier USS Independence ). Also the british F4 were comum seen in american carriers, except the small ones from Essex class (they operate as ASW submarines or in a atack role with the A4.
Original steam catapults (first ship to have them before launch) were able to launch original 14 000 kg airplanes but the refit of 1967/70 give him a more powerful catapults and heavy jet blast deflectors to operate Phantom an Buccanear Mk2 (amount others upgrades). But is sister ship was not had this type of upgrade so came less powerfull besides being identical and could make almost the same if refit to do so.

Fig. 6- Ark Royal in is final operational stage. The Seacat missiles launchers were never installed longbow and starbow.
One of the four Audacious, Ark Royal was an WWII order (1942), but only launch in 1950 and completed five years later. The 5.5º angled deck and the miror landing system were the most significant innovations, that make the carrier capable of launch and recovered planes at the same time. After comission, the port 110mm guns were removed and 4 years latter all of them were out to improved angle deck operations, but after 1970 even the 4.5 inch guns were retired (the seacat missiles to replace them were never instaled, so from the inicial 70´s to 1979 there was no defensive armament in the carrier).
Seacat was still in service with some RN units in 1982 but were retired in most of them by the late 80's. In fact by that time was Sea Wolf a good short range AA missile, but if needed Stinger or Blowpipe could be used in visual defence. French navy used also the Mistal in a twin repair or the automatic Simbad system, similar to the one with Stinger missiles in service by the US Navy small ships.  
Indian Navy make it a diferent aproach with the AA missile Barak in VLS conteiners, in several ships. like the Ex Hermes, that was used t'ill  last year (a historic society want to make a museum from the ancient carrier). Anyway, the old carrier was much more used than all the others in RN, such has been in service from 1959 (was launch as a CATOBAR carrier, and with the Harrier converted to operate the type), to 1984 with the british and than with India from 1987 to 2017, in a total of 55 years in active service.
Today ESSM is an excelent choise to a AA missile about 50km range, like we can see in the Perry frigates (who had original only the Standard missile, and receive a VLS), or in the ships with Sea Sparrow in the original 8 cannaster laucher, since the upgrade is sensors, missiles and software. So, has we see, even a old Ark Royal could have a letal AA system, if was in service in this days, but also guns like the Phalanx 20mm, Goalkepper 30mm or bofors 40 mm. It as all a question of choise if the main body of the carrier were in good conditions.

Fig.7  - F4K Fg1 Phantom II is launch by longbow catapult.

The lack of investement in RN surface fleet and the constant reduction from for example budget to carriers (the RN see the strategic Polaris missiles go to their nuclear expensive submarines), leaves no sucess to another CATOBAR carrier, and even the problems with minor units like frigates (for exemple Type 21),  or auxiliary ships, leave death and destruction in the Faklands war. One of the reasons was that new VTOL/STOL carriers had no AEW (the Sea King AEW was done after the was, specially because the Falklads bad and tramatic experiênce ). 
Probably HMS Ark Royal, if in 1982 was in service, Agentina had not invade the Falklands. But the few investiment and the service of two minor aircraft carriers (HMS Invencible and HMS Hermes, who was near the end of service), plus the retired of HMS Interpid from South Atlantic waters, leave the "Junta Militar Argentina", to tink that british no reply (military speaking) to the invasion of the almost lost Islands (the original plan was to make a symbolic ocupation an leave Malvinas/Falklands, but the union of the people about this cause make the plan go around). Today, reach in oil, natural gas and also fish, are reasons enought to have the Falklands with a significant military presence (with probably the new carriers to go regular in South Atlantic waters).
The return of a more powerfull classe of carriers (not CATOBAR, but close enought), is the result of the need of Royal Navy by the XX century end and the beggining of first to decades of XXI, assuming that the ancient class were short and with limitations. But even Invencible class and Sea Harrier had a few use in Royal Navy, since the last upgrades, with again the budget and the debit of millions, being the invisible enemy of the fleet. 
Fig.8 - Typical photo from late 70's from HMS Ark Royal.  
True that Ark Royal had limitations, by deck, hangar, catapult (and of course, age), but if we compare to the Clemenceau or Foch french carriers, they used a more powerfull fighter and attack aircraft and had specific AEW (Aeronavale used the ASW Alizé to make some service in this area, but the major function was to fight submarines). Yes, this carriers were not the best example, since ex Foch (now NAE S. Paulo), was put out of service by motor and generator problems (Clemenceau was out since De Gaulle carrier was in service), but the main reason is that there's no money to make the modifications and keep the carrier with Brazilian Navy.
NAE Minas Gerais was in service since 1944, descomissioned only in 2001, were still in very good conditions (the main problem was that is motors only made 25 knots and the deck space /catapults were limited to planes like A4 Skyhawk. Even so, this one upgrade by Embraer, his a good fighter /attack aircraft, with BVR missiles and guide weapons). The "problem" with the speed that was always the main reason for the end of service, it is a strange reason since that for example since "Bahia" or "Garcia de Avila" are not faster (they do about 21/17 knots), and USA planned use their LHA that have similar speed in low or medium danger areas. 

Fig.9 -  HMS Ark Royal prepared for launch aircrafts. Essex and Sea King helicopters are used for SAR if the pilot have to enject to the sea. 

Fig. 10 - Ark Royal in the boggining of F4 operations, in late 60's.

Fig. 11 - Line of 5 F4K Fg1 Phantom II in Ark Royal. This was the only carrier of Royal Navy with full capacity of using the Phamtom. 
Fig. 12 - Half of the air wing of HMS Ark Royal in the flyng deck (20 of a total about 40).

Fig.13 - F4K ready to take off. The SAR Essex is in fly at the carrier side for any anormal situation.
Fig- 14 -  Ark Royal near Nimitz. We can see the diference between the two carriers at San Diego Naval Base. 


Fig. 15 - HMS Eagle after recived is angular deck. The Carrier had a little tonelage superior to HMS Ark Royal, but was less used and had minor upgrades. 
HMS Eagle was the second carrier of the class put in service (all the rest were canceled), but always be treated by Royal Navy and British Defence like the "ugly duck", with limitied upgrades and minor investement.
The carrier never used permanetly the F4 Phantom II and had less space to parking and operate is air wing, so Sea Vixen was the main fighter t'ill the end of the aeroplane and carrier in 1972. With the Royal Navy lack of funds to a real Carrier to substitute Eagle and Ark Royal, first one was retired for give pieces and spares to unique ship with planes in service.
It's true that the basic problem was money, but are strange options in the Royal Navy, and it's important that the common defence reader understand options and the budget of them: Was more chip the development of Sea Harrier and the 3 ligh carriers of Invencible class, than one substitute to Ark Royal or to keep him and Eagle with upgrades t'ill Queen Elisabeth?
Lets see: RN have an average ou 30 millions (pounds) by upgrade, and if we are talking about the 2 carriers most likely numbers between 60 milions and 100 millions. A new ship it is much more expensive (new light frigate is about 190 millions, with normal ones and destroyers up to 600 millions), and if we are talking about a carrier the price is much higher.
The same for planes and helicopters, since RN only have the Merlim, but Sea King AEW is in the end of his live. So, they nead to buy the F35B, developed the Merlim AEW and pray for no more cuts in the budget.  

Fig.16 - The Hangar of Eagle configurated to a party, in Malta.

Then there's the planes and helicopters question. Phanton, Buccanear and Gnat were all develloped, but when RN manage the ASW Carrier, there was no Sea Harrier. And after Falklands, Sea King AEW was in service, exactly because the losses of the war.
In Gulf War Buccanear and Phantom were still there, what in means that Eagle less used than Ark Royal was possible to be on service. Not that RAF with the Tornado  or Jaguar could do attack and defense without problems, but RN with a Phantom II was a much more accurate presence than the Royal Marines.
The French used the Crusader in the Clemanceau carriers to the beggin of the XXI century, a fighter with less capacity to make a upgrade then the F4, wich in the land version is in 2017 use by 5 nations like Japan or  South Korea. The Helenic and German Phantoms used the AIM 120 missile what gives BVR capacity to the old fighter, with also attack missions beeing made with guide missiles and bombs like AGM65 or Paveway. Of course the state of the fighter "main body" is the ultimate key to a long service or an extense upgrade, but with 5 195 produce, many still in use (Qf4 was used t'ill 2016),  and a big reserve of spares, probably Phantom in RN was a possible realitty to this days. 
HMS Eagle less used than HMS Ark Royal, probably would make if it the significant upgrades, also Bosnia and again Iraq in the XXI century. A fiction view but a more powerfull one than RN participation with  missiles from submarins and frigates or destroyers in the surface role. And if the new class of carriers named Queen Elizabeth was to much people the raise of Royal Navy with is power to have a powerfull strike group in the sea (like in the 60's and 70's), the problems with budget, F35B and the nead to sell LPD, is a significant punch in the face. 

Fig.17 - Due to the lack of upgrades that HMS Ark Royal had, the principal fighter of Eagle was always Sea Vixen. 


Royal Navy was probably the carrier fleet in WWII that most principal ships lost (the Imperial Japonese Navy had more carriers sunk, but his post war fleet doesn't have them because the constitution from Japan prohibited), but emerge from this war with a major and powerfull carrier fleet.
But from this time to current days, all  was a mess and still his. It is true that people was tired from war, and money was nead in other areas than military, but in 1950 was Korea, in 1956 Suez, in 1960 Burneu, etc, etc. Also the need for nuclear weapons that after the V bombers were put in the submarines, armed with Polaris missiles, and the budget for other ships was year after year little. Principal result is that the carrier fleet had less money and some units were sell to Australia, Canada, Brasil, Argentina, India and Netherlands (most of them were put with angle deck and Argentina for example operate A4 and Super Etendart atack fighters to the 80's). The units that were keep in Royal Navy only one small part had a decent upgrade (Royal Navy only used piston fighters in Korea, bacause of the carriers), and with some exceptions like HMS Victory, the budget was concentrade in the carriers made after the war (most of them projected in WWII or even launch after were put "in limbo", again by budget problems but also tecnical situations).

Jet fighters x carriers was a complicated process and Royal Navy only after Korean War introduce the type (Us Navy used F2 Phanter from the deck of their carriers), and in the conflit fight with piston engines planes like the Fury (shootdown two Mig15) and the Sea Fire. The naval fighters were slow to take the lead but with Vixen and Bucannear the main task of deffending the fleet and atack surface targets was taking care. But with the much more capable F4 Phantom II came the necessary upgrades that only HMS Ark Royal had (but with no AA Guns), with Eagle being strike in the 70's and no Pa76 ( ), the death of naval fighters in RN was in process.
True that Invencible class with Sea Harrier was something, but Falklands said that was far away of being a funcional success, with heavy casualties in the fleet and short space for air wing, in deck and hangar. But the main problem was no AEW, and that situation only after the war was resolved. 
If the limitations of the Invencible class was at sight, the correction was not possible in all the situations, and the need for CIWS Phalanx against missiles, give to the carrier less space on deck. Also with new Harrier Plus the hangar was in the limit and if in there was not much to do, RN made some modifications on deck, in the sky jump area.  Again came the budget cuts, with harriers being scrapt and ships being sold or terminated, before HMS Queen Elisabeth were on service.

                                                                     Fig. 18 -  Harrier Gr mk 1 tested in HMS Eagle. 

With no fighters, and without F35B because of a bunch of problems that make all the process late, and more and more expansive, came more budget problems, with the main reason being the poor plane for the fleet (expensive ships, with less missions that the partners from other navy's or a carrier of 65 000t only for one type or fighter and helicopters, are only a few examples of a Royal Navy without a long range plan). Was Queen Elisabeth still on the fabrication process when governement sources see the F35B problems, and of couse was late to make from the carier a CATOBAR ship (too expensive), so again let's make more cuts. The one to had no SSM missiles with Harpoon being termineted in 2018 was to ridiculous to pass, but ships for sold and scrap, like the LPD and MCM, were no problems for Navy manegement and to politicians. Less F35B for RN and RAF are also possible, but   
So, make sense a fleet with two Carriers but without LPD's to project force (royal marines are in a cuting process also)? For me no, but i'm not british. My vision of a fleet is a 65 000 t CATOBAR carrier, with AEW, fighters and attack planes secure by ASW from at least helicopters. If is too expensive a carrier, we have the LHA like America Class or Juan Carlos, with Harrier fighter´s, helicopters and a force of marines that can go to the beach by a Craft or a Helicopter. Some LPD's with hangar and heavy helicopters, secure by destroyers and frigates that can fight all the enemy's. But Royal Navy had and have another way of thinking.
Like the River Class OPV, United Kingdom was a long tradition in naval construction so one of the main reasons for sell ships after one or two decades in use is to keep jobs, investement and a high number of constructions in a way to have an industry with potencial of getting a high number of orders (much of the times is the own country who makes the orders or give the money to the builder). But not all are good, with for example Type 45 problems (the asw weapon is the helicopter, there's no asw torpedos and motor only with low temperatures), and with a good plane industry, not only british have give up from Harrier but also made a carrier only for the F35 american fighter.
Logic was HMS Ark Royal /Eagle in full service with a CATOBAR substitute in the 90's or at the XXI century. Invencible class a mistake (at least like italian carrier Caio Dullio), and Queen Elizabeth an interrogation. French had Clemenceau by de Gaulle, russia the Kiev by Kuznetzov, but british have two 65 000t monster only to helicopters and a type of fighter. A short view, a internal budget problem and a risk that doesn't make sense, when a CATOBAR or a LHA are more flexible in air wing and mission.  And if two are a money problem, one is better than nothing and a garantie to a more certain existance (the two logic his one in repair and other in use), in a century were a plan with aerial re-fueling is in a metter of hours in the other side of the world. But the decision is made, so let´s see how Royal Navy deal with the carriers, F35 and a budget that is short year after year (in half a century, the future with no carrier, a better Queen Elisabeth or the CATOBAR return wil be decide by the actual class).

Fig.19 - The 3D radar (type 984) is a way to see winch carrier are we talking about, Eagle or Ark Royal (HMS Victorious had also this radar but superstruture was much small  ). 

Fig.20 -  Carrier Eagle in full operations, with Vixen, Bucanear and Wessex helicopter. 

Fig.21 - A great photo with the carrier and is wing, in 1963.

Fig. 22 - A Sea Vixen lives the catapult from  HMS Eagle.

Fig. 23 - The carrier in tthe 70's.  No Phantom in is air wing.

Fig. 25 - HMS Eagle and HMS Ark Royal sail together, probbly in the final 60's.

Fig.26 - A great night shoot from a landing in  HMS Ark Royal.

Fig.27 - Invencible class succed the Audacius. The project was a helicopter carrier, converted to operate with VTOL harrier and Sea Harrier. The "space problem" in hangar and deck were the main critic to this ships, but with Malta and PA76 canceled,, was Royal Navy only choice.

Fig. - 28 - The problem of a shorth hangar, was the main problem in the Invencible class. Were we see the Harrier in the HMS Illustrous, with no more space for anything.

quarta-feira, 20 de setembro de 2017

Directly from... Scracht (the story of an 1/72 Aeroslad made 90% by me, PART 1)

This model was a chalenge because does't exist in the kit market. I don't work with resin so there's Evergren material and a strong need to make something diferent and only mine. I came across one interesting model from Finish, and it was great for the initial experiênce: A early Tervasmaa 8 persons transport motor Aerosled (or Aerosani). 
To do was easy, but the complications were more near the end, and even the base give some problems, so is an advancing, slow but at least is not stopped. Let´s go to the first part.

With some hours in the computer and books, the model choise was the easy, cause i see one to have a chance of make a good joob: The Tervasmaa Aeroslad (or Aerosan).

The first steep is taking the plastic (after the document reserch, of course), and make the shape of it using the hands. Figure at 1/72 make´s more easy to work in the scale, comparing the soldier with the Slad in progress.

Next i made the uper front part. With Revell stick i glue the pieces just fine and in about 30 seconds. If i had put some renforcement in the parts, probably was much more easy, but because it is closed i think was no nead. In a more advanced assemble this will be very important.

Rear part assemble. Again no problem with the cut and execution, what proves that is no nead of being a pro to do a self made model. Just some cut material, glue and some paciente to make the pieces came togheter and at same size.

First part of the box is finally closed. Now is time to make all angles right and perfect with the modelling tools. After that i will go to the missing part with more cut and glue, and finally the main struture is made.

So, back to renforcemente of the main structure. Let´s see how it is in a base and with a scale figure near. Cool, and next came the motor struture, with the bars self made and the motor and propeler that came from an old Airfix kit.

Next came the structure that make the security of the propeller to who goes in the fuselage. I made them from Tamiya spares from japonese 1/720 destroyer, and the result was just fine. But the more dificult part was to came next: the skis.

The piece was easy to make, but is connection to fuselage only with glue came with a great mistake: Any movement broke the small sky, and it was rare the day that i don't re-glue again. Next time probably i will make all in one piece, and with tiny wholes in fuselage, make a more secure montage.

After the exterior came the interior. Slad's were a mix between a car, tank and aeroplane so i made him exacly like them. Simple indicators and a control stick, with the peddals above. For fun i put a machine gun in center, but the original was desarmed.

Base was easy in the first part. But when i put the "snow" the nightmare biggins. Probably the mix between the kitchen material and the base, make the bad reactions. But no problem, with enamel white tte problems were solved.

First the paint and the adition of a Revell figure with modifications with Roco material make the first part end. Next move is re-paint interior and exterior, and make the motor coverture more real. But much more is to came.

sexta-feira, 28 de julho de 2017

Military Parades - Vietnam

Yes, we are talking about Vietnam, since the 50's, with a significant number of military parades, some of them a fine and rare piece of work. Top interesting is the biggining in 1954 after the French and ending in 2016, with the Chinese menace, about South China sea islands what gives a new impulse  to weapons sale to the nations of the area. Vietnam since the end of Vietnam War in 1975 that don't have god relations with China or Cambodja, so today the weapons support came from Russia but also in some small scale from the old enemy USA (not a original situation since ARVN left many weapons, like the F5A fighter, Huey helicopter M48 tank or the PBR ship, that unified Vietnam use for many years). Let's see what a nations that in the past century was half of him at war, as doing.

The 2016 Parade was the last one that we have on youtube. Very interesting, in armed forces that fight Japonese, French, Americans and Chinese (we had also the Cambodja invasion), without a war lost.

About 2015 parade, it is the 40th aniversary of the Vietnam reunification, after the defeted of South Vietnam. The end of war doesn´t mean peace to the country since they figh next Cambodja Khmer Rouge and Chinese.

In 2013 another military power demonstration in Vietnam, a warning to the constants problems with the border, specially the maritime one.  With Cambodja the main problem is China, but also a significant number of nations, that do not understant and recognise who have sovereignty about this or that island.

Final 80's were a change time in South Asia. So 1988 parade present probably the last patriotic and comunist military power in Vietname. Besides Cambodja, in this time all Indochina were calm with the slow decadence of for exemple Philippines and the rise of China.

When we talk about 1990's, the main idea is the beggining of the end tothe "Could War" (or at least the freezing of the could war). With the dismemberment that it happened in the nations of the communist block, rules about policy or weapons sale, ended up. Ocidental tecnology started to appear in China or Vietnam.

Victory Parade in 1975 after the end of Vietnam war was not only the rise of a regional power, but also the celebration of a major defeted of South Vietnam and United States. Coming soon a pair of wars will prove to the world that Vietnam, was a much better war machine that they think (if Japan, France or USA doesn't know all ready).

Ho Chi Min 20 years parade is a good opportunity to see the ancient city of Saigon, and also a military parade outside the capital Hanoi. Also the Vietnamese comunist party see with te conquest of old South main urban zone a good oportunity to honor the ex Vietnam lider. So, its two in one.

Most interesting parade is this small article is this from ARVN  in 1971/1973, because we are talking about a nation that no longer exist. Without moral and a powerfull lidership, corruption and defeat take place in the South Vietnamise Armed Forces. Superior material and technology were no mach for a veteran and superior army, navy and airforce.

In 1958 is obvious that North Vietnam is prepared for war against the South. Chinese and Russian material and train were a massive support to a force that fight and win japonese and French.  In a blast this part of Asia was a bif of a conflit, that in many situations was more convencional that a guerrilha  war.

Hanoi Victory Parade in 1954 celebrate the defeted french in Dien Bien Phu. The simbolic power should be seen was a warning to what it came, but United Nations and Americans ignore the problem of an Indochina in 4 pieces (South and North Vietnam, Laos and Cambodja). The result was more than 50 years of warm milions of victims and an area that still divided in 3 nations. Border relations are tense, in land and sea. The present for now is peace, but in future there's a run to arms that is at least a sign of preocupation.  

sábado, 3 de junho de 2017

A Turboprop in the Suez Canal...

I always bean a fan of diferent aircrafts like Westland Wyvern first turbo-prop and like an aviation lover and a "just fun" modelist, was a model to my stash. A combat veteran in Suez, a radical turbo-prop, in a Jet time, never was a priority to Royal Navy with the motor being canceled (first the Clyde and then the Eagle), ended with the Pyton engine, who as not good enought. Only 124 planes were done and they were used by 4 squads during only 4 years (specially TF4 later S4). Many acidents and two lost in the Operation Musketeer, but was a pretty aircraft. To bad is a rare and expensive model (the new not the old ones), if not i will get 3 our 4 to make the most significant type's, but i have faith.

Fig. 1- A par of Wyvern's at HMS Eagle deck.
Wyvern begin has a concept for Royal Navy fighter, with eagle radial engine located behind the pilot cockpit, driving a propeler in the nose via a long shaft like Aircobra WWII aircraft, but whit an airframe design that could in future recived a turboprop when available. But the problems beggin in 1947 when the W24 prototype was lost when propeller bearings fail and pilot Peter Garner was kill, before an emergency landing.
Besides all significant problems the aircraft was navalized and biggin weapons trials with prototype number 3, with plane enter in service, with 4 squadrons in Royal Navy (813, 827, 830 and 831 Squadrons of Fleet air Army), that served especially abord HMS Eagle, but with the first carrier tests made abord HMS Illustrious.


Fig.2 - Besides HMS Eagle (seen here), Wivern's made sea trials from HMS Illustrious.
Full operations were made with only S4, more advanced than the original Tf mk2 (a model that introduce injection seat on the type and was never in a operactional squadron), who replace the also equally problematic Firebrand. and in 1954 Wyvern's were embarked abord HMS Albion but was in HMS Eagle that the 830 sqd (831 sqd was also present) see combat with 79 sorties at Operation Musketeer in the Suez Crisis, were two Wivern's were lost to egyptian AA (but the pilots eject in the see and were rescued by SAR helicopters from the carrier).
The missions were ground atack to targets like bridges and roads, using rockets, bombs and also the 20 mm internal guns. But with less than 80 combat missions and with the lost of two S4's, it was obvious that was not the Skyraider.

Fig.3 - A par of Wivern's heat the engines. At bottom a AD1-Skyraider.
The Jet era and the constant engine problems of the Wyver's, made the Royal Navy only use them in the 50's, and for only few time. When an aircraft doesn't have the engine for what was original planned the results  never are good, and S4 had a radical operation system, with first turboprop build in serie with also the double propeler, made him to advanced to is time. Lack of investment to resolve the problems or to advance to the W34 Jet Wyvern, made the plane die. Constant accidents and about 13 casualties finish in less then half decade with the operation of about 100 of this fighter-bomber's. In a conflit like Bouneu, Wyvern S4 with most of the problems fixed, may had been important in  atack role,  but in the 60's all of them were junk.  Only one is today at the museum.    

Fig.4 - One of the critical moments for Westland Wivern was when he was in the catapult ready to be lauch. Engine problems and overheating sometimes make the aircraft caught on fire.
So, Westland Wyvern is an interesting subject to modeling, by so many reasons since combat experiênce, to inovation or by is shoort time in active service. And there are some interesting Wyvern models in my election scale,  from the more recent Trumpeter (also in 1/48 scale) to the old and vintage Frog 1/72 model, with Hasegawa in the midle (a re-launch from the old Frog one).
Best option to the ones like me that work almost in 1/72 is fine Trumpeter, but i'm a fan of vintage kits, so the one from Frog or Hasegawa, is a total blast. Experts have the Chezmaster resin models, with more options like the TF 1, since the others have the S4, early and late. 

Fig.5 - Another sucess lauch from HMS Eagle.
Frog kit is in a low price (about 5 euros), so for who like a good challenge is the right choice, and with 3 our 4, we can make most of the basic versions, like TF2 or W36 jet Wyvern. I think i have only one, and indecision is the main reason for being in the box, because there's a portuguese "what if" concept (the american is also very nice), but is much more cool to do the war veteran from Suez Canal air strikes or the lost ones to the AA from Egipt ground forces.
Like the Me 109 from  WWII that i have about 5 to make and 2 done, it's easy to pick a version, but with only one, the best option is to buy more, at least to do S4 of the Royal Navy and the A2D (american version of Wyvern), from Portuguese Air Force.   
Fig.6 - A Great painting from Wivern (credits to Chris French), were we can  se the great design and lovely lines of the aircraft. But was a prop in a jet time.
Probably the AD2 will have rockets pod, gun pods and 250 kg or 500kg geral use bombs, but napalm is also a choise, for a supposed atack plane of the Colonial African Conflit in the 60's and part of the 70's. A green and gray camouflage (in late war years, most of the planes are antiradiation green)  in a jungle cenario,  will be exelent in a dirty track of the Portuguese Guinea.
Tf Mk2 or W36 seems also easy to make, from Frog or Hasegawa kit (Trumpeter is to do the english version, not to play around), and with a ground atack configuration or in the last case, air-to-air fight, could also be very cool. Again, let's see what Ebay, modeling sides or one or two stores have to offer, and at a nice and fair price. Maybe future will bring sun after all.  

Fig. 7 - Another critical moment was to land the Wyvern. The first injection submerged was made on the Wyvern who fall down in the sea from a carrier when was landing.

Fig.8 - Wyvern TFmk2 at a land base armed with 250kg bombs, besides. the four 20mm hispano -suiza guns.
Fig.9 - Another typical amament cargo was rockets.
Fig.10 - Heavy anti-ship cargo, with rockets and a torpedo under the fuselage.

Fig-11 - Another crash acident wiht a S4 . The pilot was intact.

Fig. 12 - Concept, prototype, TF2 and jet Wyvern

Fig.13 - The diferent Wyvern's t'll T.Mk 3
Fig.14 - Conceptional jet Yvern by Stephane Beaumort made in 2011. Original one only in design.
Fig.15  - S4 full armed to make another atack in the Operation Musketeer.
Fig.16 - T3 variant.
Fig. 17 - Wyvern's prototype.

Fig-18 - T3 and the final and operacional S4

Fig 19 - Wyvern S4  radical concept. The first operacional and serial turboprop aircraft, with contra- rotating propeller pay a high price for being a new model.

Fig.20 - Cockpit of a Wyvern.

Fig. 21 - Attack on a Bridge at Gamil, in the Suez Crisis.

Fig. 22 - Trumpeter kit of the Wyvern S4.

Fig.23 - My favourite, the old Frog kit.

Fig.24 - Czech Master  Wyver TF1. A resin kit for experts.
Fig. 25 - The old Frog kit edit were by Hasegawa.

Fig.26 - Photo Eads for the Wyvern S4 cockpit.

Fig.27 - A nice "What if" was make the Wyvern in Portuguese colours.
Fig. 28 - The S4 version my Chez Master in resin.