Saturday, May 20, 2017

Air Mobility Command Museum Visit

This month I was in Delaware for business and had some time to visit a bit of the State.  I discovered that beside the Dover Air Force base there was an aviation museum.  This was not a normal aviation museum, but one dedicated to air force transport planes.  The museum has two parts, a WWII hanger with displays and an outdoor exhibit area.  Surprisingly, the museum is free.

I have flown on a C-47 and been inside a B-17, so those planes were old hat for me.  The exhibits inside were good and there was good learning material related to the history of transport planes in the U.S.

The highlight of the museum in my opinion are the planes outside.  My favorite planes there were the KC-97L Stratofreighter, C-130E Hercules, and the C-5A Galaxy.  The Stratofreighter is just a cool looking transport with the many windows up front.  The Hercules I'm interested in because it was used by Canada and in Vietnam.  This was one of two transports that you could walk through.  The Galaxy is just big and is imposing with all the wheels to support the weight.

Inside Hercules


A fun museum to visit.  I did the museum in about 2.5 hours.  I think you can spend more time and take in everything in about 3 hours.

  1. 360° view of some of the planes outside

  1. C-5A engine blades turning in the wind

To see all my photos from the museum, click on this link: More Photos

My reflection in an old Air Force Two plane.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

1:3000 Ship Comparison

I received my 1:3000 ship orders from four different companies:
  • Davco
  • Mick Yarrow Miniatures
  • North Head Miniatures
Before I placed my order, I had only seen NAVWAR miniatures before.  I was pretty much going in blind on the other three companies.  Overall, I like all four companies both for my orders arriving so quick and for quality.  I recommend all four.

Here are some brief comments about each company, in no particular order:
    • You have to order via snail mail using a paper order form, but you can add your credit card info on the form.  Ummm...NAVWAR, we are no longer in the 1980s.  But they do have a web site.
    • This company offers the largest variety of ships for 1:3000.
    • Quality is good.
    • I thought my order would take longer, but came pretty fast (just less than a month).
  • Davco
    • Not the best online listing, but eventually figured it out. They need a better simpler page listing of stock, rather than big blank boxes with no photos.
    • I thought I had not heard of the company before, but discovered I actually bought their port facilities years ago.  I have yet to use them.
    • Quality is good.
  • Mick Yarrow Miniatures
    • Similar packaging to NAVWAR.
    • Quality is good.
    • Offers a good variety of ships that NAVWAR does not have.
  • North Head Miniatures
    • This was my first time buying Shapeways models, and the Frosted Ultra Detail quality is pretty darn good.  The models are as smooth as the metal models and do not need any cleanup.
    • Quality is excellent.
    • I think the only down side maybe is price. I bought from North Head Miniatures for those ships that were unavailable from the other companies.
I did not end up with a large selection of the same class of ship from each company.  Maybe in hindsight, I should have bought the same ship from all the companies and been able to show a better comparison.  I do not see any large scale differences from the companies and even though there are some differences.  I doubt anyone will see the difference on the table.  Heck, historically I think even within some of the merchant classes, they were not identical (except maybe US merchant classes).

Most of the ships I purchased are merchants or small escorts, so potentially the larger warships have a greater variation between companies.

Comparison photos:

Left: NAVWAR, Right: Davco
A/B type merchant
Left: NAVWAR, Right: Davco
Hunt 1 class DD
Left: NAVWAR, Right: Mick Yarrow Miniatures
Liberty class merchant

Left: NAVWAR, Right: Davco
F type merchant

North Head Miniatures
Hog Island class merchant (three still attached)

Next, I'll be painting the ships.  I guess you can say...the fun part.

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