June 23, 2016

Farly Mitchell's Quickies & A Somewhat Daily Dose of Useless Tidbits

RP Toolz Punch & Die Trays and Roller Set

RP Toolz have some great new additions to their range of modelling tools and for those who already use their excellent Punch and die sets these dedicated trays are a really worthwhile add on. Moulded in a strong black plastic the tray holds your chosen punch securely but in a raised position which allows the punched out discs or hexagons to drop down into the tray below. This avoids the bunching of the plastic parts in the neck of the punch which happens unless you clear the parts you have made regularly from the neck. Failing to do this can mean the plastic parts are damaged as new parts are made. This tray means you no longer need to keep clearing the neck and makes for a much faster process when producing numerous parts. The tray also conveniently holds the parts that you make ready for you to apply them to the model. These are a great addition which really adds to the smooth operation of the tools.

Also new is a Roller Set with a beautiful anodized finish and a choice of roller sizes from 4mm to 16mm. The idea of this tool is to assist modellers in rolling or curving photo-etched parts to create curves or to roll a complete cylinder. The machined curved troughs are matched to the six graduated roller sizes so that parts can be accurately shaped or the rollers used one against the other to help close your chosen cylinder. I have used a similar tool before with excellent results and if you are working a lot with photo-etched parts or scratchbuilding this is a precision made tool that you will want add to your workbench.

Published by AK Interactive
Softback format, 288 pages

If there is one modeller that has distinguished himself over the last decade, due to his amazing dioramas, it is Aitor Azkue. You'll be sure to remember some of the stunning work they featured in AFV & Air Modeller by this master Spanish modeler. His complexed and extravagant dioramas always draw a crowd at model shows, and for good reason! Often containing both armor and aircraft, Aitor's artistic flair appeals to all. This second edition has been updated and features a nice mix of gallery images of Aitor's most well-known works and step by step lessons in many of his techniques used to create the masterpieces. From the groundwork up, there's every aspect covered from making foliage and trees, converting figures and the vehicles and aircraft (even a U-Boat) and how to plan and compose a scene. With around 1800 images this is a hefty book and a visual feast that will teach any modeler a thing or two. The subjects are WWII German, even if that's not your favourite topic it's pretty irrelevant, this book shows without question that modelling is an art form when taken to this level.

Summer 2016 Issue
Military Images Magazine
In the summer of 1979, Harry Roach realized a dream when he published the first issue of Military Images magazine. He set a broad mission to document the early photographic history of U.S. soldiers and sailors. 

Roach was a pioneer. He started MI at a time when the importance of vernacular photographs of soldiers was just beginning to be understood and appreciated. He collaborated with a number of contributors, who shared his passion for historic military photographs of the citizen soldiers who forged our country. Issue after issue, subscribers glimpsed wonderful photographs and read informative, educational stories.

This was Roach’s legacy. Since he stepped aside as editor and publisher in 2000, MI has continued as the leader in showcasing, interpreting, and preserving military images.

MI's ongoing mission to showcase, interpret and preserve early images of citizen soldiers and sailors in America. Now under the direction of Ronald S. Coddington, Editor & Publisher. The magazine has grown into a spectacular showcase of American military images from the 19th century. Ron is a an active collector of Civil War era cartes de visite, and the author of three books that document the lives of citizen soldiers in blue and gray: Faces of the Civil War, Faces of the Confederacy, and African American Faces of the Civil War. He is a columnist for the Civil War News, and a contributing author to the award-winning New York Times series Disunion. Ron has more than 25 years experience as a journalist at USA TODAY, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the San Jose Mercury News, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

I cannot say enough good things about this publication and the Summer 2016 issue is another stunner with articles including:
At the Battle of Gettysburg, Col. Wheelock Graves Veazey of the 16th Vermont Infantry led a bold counterattack against advancing Confederate troops during Pickett’s Charge. The Vermonters was successful. In 1891, Veazey was recognized with the Medal of Honor for his courage on the battlefield.

Photo Sleuth by Kurt Luther
What is the value of a photo inscription as an identification tool? Author Kurt Luther shares how the post-war writing taped to the back of a tintype helped solve one photo mystery—and introduce another.

Finding My Great-Grandfather by Mark H. Dunkelman It’s the dream of Civil War students with an ancestor who fought for the Blue or Gray—finding an original wartime portrait of their soldier. And when it happened to Mark Dunkelman, whose great-grandfather fought with the 154th New York Infantry, it was one of the most fantastic finds he had ever had in six decades of researching the regiment.

Cardomania! How the Carte de Visite Became the Facebook of the 1860s by Ronald S. Coddington 
The carte de visite format is a blip on the timeline of photographic history, wedged between the beauty of the daguerreotype and the technical improvements later in the 19th century. But during its heyday in the 1860s, cartes de visite affordability, reproducibility and share-ability made it a social media powerhouse.

Jefferson Davis, Political Soldier by John O’Brien
In early 1861, Jefferson Davis served as major general in command of Mississippi’s army. The stint lasted only a few weeks until he was inaugurated president of the Confederate nation. During this brief period, curious Northerners wanted to see a portrait of Davis in uniform. New York photographer Charles Fredricks made it happen with a bit of photo trickery.

Antebellum Warriors
A daguerreotype of a pre-Civil War militiaman wearing chevrons and epaulettes on his uniform seems confusing. Is he a commissioned or non-commissioned officer? The answer may be a surprise.

Honored Dead, Haunted Survivors introduced by Harold Holzer
They fell in the thousands during three brutal days of carnage in a crossroads community in southeast Pennsylvania. The ground hallowed by their blood—Little Round Top and Culp’s Hill and The Wheatfield—are forever part of our American memory. A small yet significant group of the men who were killed, wounded or captured are remembered here in portraits and personal stories.

Final Harvest: The Last Journey of a Confederate Lieutenant Wounded and Captured at Pickett’s Charge by Charles Joyce 
Lt. John R. Emerson and his comrades in the 26th North Carolina Infantry marched into the hail of fire at Pickett’s Charge and like so many of the regiments were decimated in the assault. For Emerson and so many others who were shot and captured by the enemy, the day marked the beginning of a journey from which many never returned.

A Gallant Son of Orange Falls at Gettysburg by Ronald S. Coddington 
The body of Capt. Isaac Nicoll of the 124th New York Infantry was lined up with other dead after Georgia Confederates took position of part of Houck’s Ridge on the afternoon of July 2. One of the Georgians picked a Bible out of Nicoll’s pocket. The Testament’s journey from its late owner to his father in New York is the stuff of legend.

Return and Retreat at Gettysburg: A Seminarian Is Called to Arms to Defend His College Town by Paul Russinoff
Frederick Klinefelter, like many college students during the war, suspended their studies to enlist in the army. Klinefelter’s circumstances are however unusual, for he had attended Gettysburg College and was a student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary when Gen. Robert E. Lee and his Confederates invaded the North. The young seminarian joined many of his fellow students to repel the invaders, and went down in history as among the first to fight at Gettysburg.

Immortality on Little Round Top, Butchery in Saunders Field by Kevin Canberg
Two officers who served in the 140th New York Infantry, Capt. Henry Belding Hoyt and Lt. Joseph H. Pool, served with distinction in the fighting at Gettysburg. But less than a year later in The Wilderness, they would face some of the toughest fighting of the war. Both men would pay a price in the fighting at Saunders Field, a place where the glory of Gettysburg had no value.

Conspicuous Cadet at New Market: The life and legacy of VMI’s Jonathan E. Woodbridge by Katie O’Halloran Brown
Late on the night of May 10, 1864, the cadets of Virginia Military Institute were called out of bed for orders that directed them to join Confederate forces at Staunton, Va. Despite the late hour, “the air was rent with wild cheering,” as the men broke from ranks, excited at the prospect of finally having a hand in the conflict. Among the cadets was 20-year-old Richmond native Jonathan Edwards Woodbridge. His story is representative of the young men who stepped up when their country called upon them.

At Gettysburg, Life Imitates Art by Ronald S. Coddington 
The story of Amos Humiston of the 154th New York Infantry, found dead on the Gettysburg battlefield clutching an ambrotype of his three children, is one of the war’s most poignant stories. And yet an eerily similar poem written a year before Humiston’s death is forgotten.

Highly Honorable and Strictly Confidential Service by Scott Valentine
Ohio farm boy Smith Stimmel knew when he enlisted in the 7th Independent Company of Ohio Volunteer Cavalry that he was slated for unusual duty. He could not have known that he would soon by a guard at the White House and come to hold the president who lived there in the highest regard.

Uniforms & History by Michael J. McAfee
In “Gettysburg’s Damned Black-Hats and Other Distinctive Fellers, Mike introduces readers to some of the more unique uniforms worn by federals at the time of the Gettysburg Campaign.

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1:35 British Heavy Tank Mk.V Male
Whether or not you have any interest in WW1 armor I do not think that anyone could fail to be impressed by this staggeringly engineered piece of kit design. The big 13.5cm deep box is about twice the depth of the Tamiya Mk.IV to accommodate the 23 separate sprues, photoetched fret, decal sheet and metal chain. The difference in box size is because this kit comes with a completely detailed interior rather than dubious electric motors. It is once you start to assemble the interior that you begin to appreciate the complexity of the engine and powertrain and the impressive job that has been made of replicating it in plastic with an assembly sequence that is no where near as impossibly complex as the finished thing would suggest. even the steering brakes and drive chain assemblies that sit within the sponsons have been reproduced and the running strips around the edges of the rhomboid sides for the tracks are fully detailed. The Driver’s cab and Commander’s cab as well as the rear roof inspection panels can all be modelled with opened hatches with the small vision ports provided with photoetched flaps so that they can be open or closed too. Moving on to the 6pdr. gun sponsons and here again it is a densely detailed replica of the gun mount and the ready round ammunition stowage built into the mount. Doors and ports once again can be open or closed. Tracks are a single piece clip together design (hurrah!) and the kit comes with both an unditching beam and the hexagonal ‘crib’ trench crossing device to mount atop the vehicle if you wish. There is a choice of three different sets of markings on the decal sheet and a coloured guide within the instruction booklet. Detail across the kit is super crisp and I think its great to see the complex interior replicated so skillfully. The potential for cut away display models or disembowelled battlefield wrecks is huge. A simply stunning kit by any standards. 

Check out AFV Modeller Magazine no. 88 where the Editor builds Meng’s Mark V Male in a factory assembly line scenario. This is a spectacular diorama published in full colorful glory in one of my all time favorite modeling magazines. 

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