August 2007

The rain here in the UK has stopped at last and the Summer (whats left of it) has arrived. Which means less time for modelling. So: in between kitchen tiling, working on the car and working on the garden, an easy "out the box" build was called for, especially given last month's hugely disappointing Wildcat shambles:

Convair XFY-1 Pogo VTOL Fighter, US Navy 1957 (Kopro)

I have only done one KP/Kopro kit before; an old Mig 21 which was crude but fun (ooooh-err missus). I have 2 others from this respected Czech manufacturer in the stash; a Mig 15 and a Mig 19, both of which are accurate but lacking in finesse. This recent release is light years ahead in technology, nicely moulded, well fitting and suitably detailed - oh and cheap too !. Decals were superb; contrary to what others have reported, mine bedded down nicely with a little Decal setting solution. There are a few minor detail errors in the kit and the engraved panel lines are rather deeper than one would wish, but all in all: nice and different!

The Pogo was part of a USN programme to develop a VTOL fighter for use on small "carriers" and merchant ships (a bit like the Royal Navy's Hurricane Catafighters). Although it flew successfully, it was never a practical prospect and the concept was eventually binned as more capable conventional jet fighters rendered it obsolete. Photographs of the Pogo in flight usually show the canopy open; a reflection of the pilot's low confidence in the aircraft and its early ejection seat system. Only one pilot flew it untethered successfully; take off and steady flight were reasonable, but accurate and safe landing was particularly difficult. Operation afloat on merchant ships and small carriers in high sea states would undoubtedly have been a challenge !

Pogo in progress

Vosper Perkasa Patrol Boat (Tamiya)

Unless I get otherwise distracted (!) the intention for the rest of this month is to try and finish this fella! Surprisingly for me, this is not an aeroplane, but the 1/72 Tamiya Vosper Perkasa Patrol Boat. Started in 1998, we moved house later that year and the shelf it was sitting on didn't make it. As a result, it never came back out the box, and has been sitting in the loft unloved since then. The deck is about 90% there, hull about 50%. This is still the most expensive kit I have ever bought, and worth every penny. It is also the only Tamiya kit I have ever purchased and I am impressed with the quality of parts fit and detail. The RN still operated several of these (albeit slightly smaller) in 1981 as FPB Training Boats (they used to attack you during the weekly Thursday War at Portland, usually by creeping up hidden behind a tanker).A "Luxury Yacht" version of this gas turbine powered boat sits in Haslar Marina at Portsmouth. Only one was ever built and it is finished in a beautiful gloss midnight blue; I pass it each time I go yachting and it has fascinated me for years.

 Vosper Perkasa

I have also added some more Real life piccies, mostly of SHARs:

Real Life Pictures

The Dark Side (non-aeroplane models)

What-if and Research Aircraft pages

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