It Probably Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time
It being the software that Google is kind enough to provide, free of charge, to anybody who wants to put a blog on the internet. It is, by and large, a pretty good service considering the price, and it's given us over a hundred blog entries during the course of the past year or so. Like pretty much everything else in life, though, there's a fly in the buttermilk.
When we started this thing a year or so ago it was with a different version of Blogger (that's what they call the software, just in case you couldn't figure that one out for yourself!). We got comfortable with that version of the thing, so it was to be expected that they'd change it, which they did. Then they changed the way they present our photography, and promptly changed it back again to the old way, which lasted for a month or so before the photos changed yet again to the filmstrip presentation that most of us so soundly dislike. Then they changed the editorial format again, to the New, Improved Blogger. We don't think we like it very much (which isn't true---since we're revising this issue as we go along we can honestly say it's actually better than the old one we thought we preferred), which is why you haven't seen a post in a while. We're still whizzed off at The Picture Pirates too, but mostly we're annoyed by yet another unrequested change in the software.
That said, the software is extremely affordable (free, that is) and seems to be working ok; in point of fact we may even grow to like it, although we aren't going to tell that to Google. Once again, thanks for your patience and no; we aren't in the final stages of an untimely demise---far from it. Why, we're in our prime! For those of you who have just joined the site (we're up to 100 members now), a hearty welcome. To everyone, New Guys and Old Timers alike, thanks once again for your patience.
A Zeke By Any Other Name
Let's talk a little personal history for a minute. Our dad was a lifer; career military in the US armed forces. He was at Milne Bay and Port Moresby for a brief period of time. He was a grunt, and he walked over part of the Owen Stanley Mountains in order to take part on the assaults on Lae and Buna. He walked through Lae after it had been rendered relatively helpless, but he fought at Buna with the 32nd Division, slogging through the dismal swampland that characterized the place and fighting dugout by dugout and bunker by bunker until a hard-won victory was achieved. We asked him about it once or twice---what was it like to be there---and we never got an answer, just silence and a faraway look, as if he was back there for a while. It was a horrible place to fight, but it had to be done and the 32nd did it.
There was a Japanese airfield at Buna too, which was captured during the course of the fighting. The once-invincible Tainan Ku had aircraft there, several of which have become modeling icons because they were photographed in considerable detail when those fields were occupied. The remarkable collection of Bobby Rocker includes several images of A6M3 "Zeke 32s", colloquially known as "Hap" or "Hamp" depending on the time period under discussion. We'd like to share those photos with you today. Yes, you've seen most of them before, but probably not in this degree of resolution. Thanks, Bobby!
A special note: We expect folks to do the right-click and save thing with our photography so they can have it for their personal collections. We endorse that, and we encourage it. Please remember, though, if you're going to put them in Flickr or some other photo-sharing site, you need to credit them to Bobby's collection. Yes, they're offical US Army photos, but Bobby Rocker collected them; you didn't. Let's give some credit where credit's due, ya'll!
Those Fighting Furies
As you've probably noticed, we've got a love affair with North American's FJ-3 and -3M Fury. It is, to our way of thinking, the prettiest of the Sabre variants, even if its service in the Fleet was brief. Here, thanks once again to Doug Siegfried of The Tailhook Association, are some tantalizing FJ images for your perusal. Yes, you can save them. No, you can't publish them without giving The Tailhook Association credit for them.
OK, you aren't having a Bad Day or experiencing an internet-induced excursion into a less-than-sane condition; we published the blog by accident last night, well before it was complete and, in point of fact, before it had even gone through a rough edit. There were a couple of substantial mistakes in the captioning of the FJ shots as a result, but thanks to quick e-mails from a couple of our readers (thanks, Rex and Morgo), those glitches are now fixed. We'll get this edition of the blog finished up tonight, but we wanted you to know why you're getting all the revised postings for this one---we never were very bright where 'puters were concerned! Ed.
Is It Really Better Just Because It's New?
You've probably got us figured out by now---iconoclastic is a term that could well apply to our outlook on life, and that outlook is frequently defined in this blog. That said, let's talk for just a minute about the Brand Shiny New Tamiya Il-2 kit (or, more properly, the OLD Accurate Miniatures kit) that all the internet guys are expending all those electrons on.
First things first---we have an abiding interest in things Soviet as applied to The Great Patriotic War, so we'll probably buy the new kit sooner or later and, judging from the sprue shots that have cropped up all over the internet, we'll probably build it as soon as we get it. Still, and we'll maintain this until Hades freezes over if necessary, the old Accurate Miniatures kit isn't bad at all, so you ought not go throwing yours away just yet. (Send them to us if you don't want them!) Here's an example:
So there you have it---the "old" A-M Il-2 is a decent and perfectly adequate kit that's not quite as good as the brand-spanking new Tamiya offering. It's well worth building and can be found on the trade tables at model shows for next to nothing these days. Don't count the old girl out just because she's got a couple of miles on her, ya'll!
Hey Joe, Where You Goin' With That Gun In Your Hand?
In this particular case it's highly doubtful anybody's going out to shoot their old lady, but the guys driving these "Sandys" are going out to do some serious hurt to The Bad Guys. It's possible, just barely possible, that we've run these photos before, but we're too lazy to go back through the files to check so here you go---they're either new to you or they aren't! Either way, we hope you enjoy them!
A final word on these photos; they were taken by G. Merritt and are from our collection and need to be properly credited if they're lifted and run on any site other than this one. You guys need to man up and do the right thing about provenance, ok? OK.
And that's it for today; no Happy Snaps and no Relief Tube, because we've got some other things we need to do. With any luck this will be the last of the abbreviated installments, and will signal the return to some sort of viable schedule. We'll meet again real soon, but until then be good to your neighbor!