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sexta-feira, 17 de abril de 2020

Military Parades: Italy

No doubt that in the democratic and western world, the top nation in Military Parades are the Italians. They love a good parade and there's a lot of them recorded in video, since the early years to the actuality, with the importance of Mussolini era and first NATO years ( lucky is that in Romans era there was no cameras because if so, the movies were Anyway, we are talking about people that love this type of things, not by the armed and belic stuff but specially by the show and party side. The italians are very proud of their parades and they love to do them in any ocasion, since it is a way to celebrate something that is something like a secular tradition. Sometimes they exaggerate but we are talking about a country that is famous by their parades (more fame have only nations like Russia, China or North Korea), and that celebrades most of the times with a big or at least a medium parade. And they are different from the others, since italians are the true masters in the uniform and preparation of the show on the streets to the minimum detail. Also Italian material are quite interesting and even so beutiful, since the Folgore Division of WWII times to the Centaur wheels tank, passing by the AMX or the Ariete Mbt. And is a tradition to show military power to the world and to the natives. In times were the extremists are getting strong in Europe and also in Italy, a nation with also a huge problem with migrants and were military, coast guard and policial forces are very important especially to this subject, a good parade looks a great idea (except in covid 19 times, of course). 












terça-feira, 26 de março de 2019

Russia: Talking Militarily (in a breve restospective)

Russia inherited from ancient USSR part of is military force, when in the beggining of the 90's the union of the socialist republics end, and some of is military force was used by the russians, but most of the material was scrapped or keep at the minimum for better days (like the Kirov cruzers). With a lack of money Russia invested in balistic nuclear missiles, submarines and anti-aircraft defenses, areas were they specialized with strong products and with a good investment return tax.  With Putin the reconstruction of Russian Armed forces biggin in high speed, and since second Chechênia war and Georgia conflit, the nation show to the World how different they were from the times of Soviet Union for example in Afghanistan or Iraq. Syria confirmed the good renovation work, with Havoc or Sukoy T50. Basically Russians are much better from the end of the century and there's a plan to keep going the modernization. But is this the correct way to do so? Probably in Air Force and Army yes, but in the Navy there´s some doubts, since some great projects made for example for India and Vietnam have only a few supporters in Kremlin. And Pak-Fa is canceled or in a minor production? Why? Probably money and tecnologic gap are the main problems since India was in the consortium and when they left their support ended. In the Army, Armata give the world one fine example of the russian engineering but there's a nead for much more military equipment, better personal and training.  Kremlin give the money and make the politic decisions, and when democracy or the Crimeia invasion bring sanctions, the need of new investiments bring Russia more dependent from China or Iran, economocally speaking. And when we don´t know how is the gold reserves in the country, how is the oil price fluctuations or if there's a strong limitation of the currencies that are living the nation, it gets hard to do prognostics about the armed forcses modernization. True that Armed Forces reforms keep going but t'ill when?

Militarily speaking, after the end of Soviet Union, Boris Yeltsin gave preference to the nuclear power of Russia, and in the conventional equipment, specially to AA (anti-aircraft) missiles. With a lack of money who was need in other economic areas, Army, Navy and Air Force were put in minimal services, most factories were close or sell to the new capitalism and parts of the industry were now in independent nations who came from the old republics, for example like Ukraine or Azarbejan. Main task was what to do with so much material, soldiers and a massive structure from USSR times, and for me the President make a wrong aproach to the problem, since there was new and a more logic material who that could be put in transe t'ill better days (like it happened with the Slava crusers), to the detriment of other must more difficult and expensive (like the Kirov cruzers).  Only when Putin, an ex KGB coronel came to the presidency a new impulse was given to the armed forces modernization in Russia, with the main reason being a "significant humiliation" that the Russians  think that NATO and west in general, given to the kzars nation in the 90's (specially the iron curtain in NATO). And even when Medvedev was president the renovation keep on going (since Putin was the Prime Minister), with the war in Georgia in the middle and a certain impression that modernization was in the righ tracks. After Crimeia invasion was clear that this Russia is very different from that who fought in Chechenia (first war) at the time of Yaltzin, with Syria only confirming this first good impression.

But there's some problems in this modernization. First the russian tecnology was limited for example in LPD's so they make a deal with the freanch to buy Mistral class, and also the russains had plans to a  partnership with Italians (Centaur Tank Hunter and Iveco ), but the pression from russian industry was high and only the bussiness with the french was made (late was off by the santions, with DCNS paying good money by the cancelation of the deal), and with Ukraine, of course for a big need of cargo planes (for example Antonov, also a deal that was canceled), and other aviation parts (like aviation motors, that today are not officially produced). With China, the estraged strategy only to sell, first the Su27, then destroyers Sovremenny and last the Tu26, that despite the problems with LPD (Mistral was sold to Egipt after the enbrago to the Russians), and the Type 26 that is a good ship, Russia doesn't have planes to .  What is Putin thinking? Probably that Air Force and Army is more inportant to a continental russia change this "foreign exchange gain".  The In the russian navy, is more importante to the nuclear power made by the submarines that the surface fleet, but is this logic? Whell, i understand, and aprove in Atlantic and Pacific, but not for the other reigions, like Baltic or Black Sea, were a surface fleet have advantage almost in the harbour, with Anti-Aircraft and surface russian missiles range. Also the air coverture is high, since bases in Kalinegrad and Sebastopol (and also Russian air bases in the Black Sea zone), make a coverture in almost all the sea surface and above. So the logic is a strong fleet that can make missions in all the zone, like the Russians have in the Caspian See, and were the importance came across when was the military intervention in Syria (the ships fired cruise missiles). But there´s a need for big an fast in the Kremlin, and with the obligation to do national, this could bring serious trubles to the Russian Armed Forces.  

Also the Landing Ships classes like Ropucha or Aligator's class can operate without limitations in the Black or Baltic Sea, since the fighter bases are in range t'ill Turkey. Probably the main problem is ASW, since there's not a big fleet of helicopters (most of ships carry just one), and the lost of Moskva and Leninegrad helicopter carriers were never compensated, and so most of the hunting for enemy submarines is made by planes (who are also not many, since they still use Beriev Be12). True that helicopters and planes have re-fuel systems but in a war is a much more complicated this type of operation, and the weather have something to say about it. Russia have a interesting aircraft models for ASW or Maritime Patrol, like the Beriev or the Tu195, but in the last 30 years there's a lack of a new type, that could be the Beriev 200 if the military had a military version (the only that exist is the civil one). The same thing with helicopters, since the Ka32 is updated and also the M14, but again there's no new plans for a Mi17 naval version or a Mi6 (Mi38T had only 2 machines to be deliverer in 2019). Besides, the war with Ukraine gives the need not only a strong Coast Guard but also a capable Navy fleet, with of course a significant number of modern sensors, helicopters, planes and vehicles. True that Kiev doesn't have the straight to fo furhter that the actual frontiers but even Russia that could go straight to Nato borders understand that will give a strong reaction from US and their allies, and if Crimeia is in Russians hands, and a divied Ukraine could not get to UE and Nato organizations, all the situation is just fine to Moscow and the rest of the most powerfull group of nations in the world. But the future can't change this balance of power.  

The Army is were the russians have one interesting modernization program. Not only with a strong force of helicopters (for example Mi17 and Mi26 for transportation and Havok and Hokum to atack), but there's significant changes in armoured cars, since MBT (better T72 and of course the T90 and Armata), to troop carrier (like  Ural, BMP3 our T14), or alson recon (Tigr or BTR ). Personal weapons and uniforms are also mutch better, not only with russian material but also american and german, like bullet prove vests and telescopic sights (significant number came from the civil market). Also there's a massive reogarnization from regiments with new ones, fusions betwen old ones and also some of them close permanently. Another subject that we see in the russian army with some modifications his the number of "incidents" that kill or wonded especially among the recruts, much low, what is important to bring more quality in the voluntiers, especially to the elite units.
Logistic and support, had been a problem since the USSR times, but it´s not easy to fix, specially with a lot to do in modernizations, from the factories to the suplay chain, with means of transportation and routes to be improved. But with the seize of continental Russia, it is not easy and we are talking a nation that today still have one significant part of the military industry separete in the old republics of the soviet republic. Besides, with the war with Ukraine one of the principal aviation forneceteurs stop the production what was a problem for Russian Aviation Industry. Also some projects like the An76 is frozen with the prototypes keeping in the hands of the Ukraine, and worst, without new alternatives (in some years the possibility of making cargo planes with India was real, but their Air Force is shopping to US planes like C17). So, the only option his to modernize again the Il 76 and An12, projects from the could war (60/70). 

With USA out of the Nuclear intermediere Missiles agrement signed in 1987, the idea of Russia development new weapons is this area, give's us an ideia that the budget could be again separated with less to the armed forces modernization and more to new missiles development. Since a few years ago Russia is talking about a new Nuclear Stealth Bomber, but when the production of Tu160 is on the move again, probably a new type of plane is not going to be a tomorrow reality (like Tupolev Pak Da). When USA have the B2 and is substitute (B21 Raider) is on the way, China talk about the H20 in 2019 with a possibility that the new bomber go fly by 2020, that's not god for Russia (since both are in Asia and Pacific area).
In the AEW and ELINT bussiness, also the modernization is on the slow mode, with Il20 and Il50 being streight for another upgrade. Basically new projects are in the navy and in missiles, especially the nuclear ones, and even the AA an SUW are upgraded without new equipment being in the fase of project or in pre-production. 
Russia was working with India and Ukraine in several planes, but HAL folowing the PAK-FA problems, and Antonov because of the war, abandon the respective concorcium, só Sukoi and IL are left all alone and the cost are, off course incresing.
And how to invest in new material in a situation of embargo and less money? Probably using the gold reserves that are significant from USSR times, or making new bussiness especially with China (not only arms but also oil, gás and other resources because China needs everything). Some millitary trades are also a good idea, since Russia was excelent fighters, AA missiles and the chinese a fine LPD and some interesting tanks (especially MBT's), and the money spare in development and pre-production is usefull in other areas). 

In conclusing, Russia was made a long way since USRR times, for better. Today the country have less equipment and a more reduced armed forces, but was we see in Georgia and Syria, much more efective and with less casualties. It will be interesting to see more Russia in Peace Missions by the UN, or majoring conflits like Arménia, but for now Kremlin is watching Georgia and Ukraine (amont others), and putting the Baltic states in standing bye (the 3 NATO nations that probably in Putin times were not enter in the Atlantic Alliance). About CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) and is armed force (CSC - Colective Security Council), the second works mutch better (besides only 6 nations rectify the agrement in 1992), with Peace Forces in Tajikistan and Abkhasia but with serious acusations that this ia a way of Russia attemps to maintain is sphere of influence in some of the ex republics of the USSR (
The general panorama in Russian armed forces is that Air Force and Army are in razoable state of modernization, with some fine upgrades and new projects, but navy only have a major investment in Nuclear Submarines and one or another new frigate or corvette. No cruzers, destroyers, lpd's and there's only some talks about a new carrier, what is strange since there's rumors about new russian bases in Venezuela or the re-open of ancient bases in the Artic. So the question is: With what means? If 3 Blackjack bombers go abroad, all the logistic, pilots and maitenance crew will follow. And there's no nead of this means to protect the motherland?
But there´s more. Since the americans have one stealth bomber (and the other is on the way), russians have only plans for their first one or there is something more significant (or is Pack-Da real)?

Of course if Russia only upgrade is material will be a military power nation in the next 20/30 years, but after that?Again, we are talking about a continental armed forces, with a navy that is only capable in Black, Caspian and Baltic Sea, being conditioned in the rest (exept in the Artic, were it is probably the best and more lethal force). So, there's the central question: Army and Air force could win a war without a strong navy? Probably in a particular space and time yes, but with all the logistic by air and land been like WWII but in a much more hard way (no Murmank or Golf convoys to support the war enforcer), is very difficult to do so. 
There are some questions about logistic (some years ago for example, russian aviation had a significant support from Ukraine industry), and the state of preparations of all millitary forces, since there's a huge nation and more reduce armed forces since the USSR. Probably the elite forces are very good and the regular regimets in only normal operacional state, but and the reserves or equipment in store? And the recrut problems? Two questions that are no easy to respond. Since the center of Russia is calm, probably the armed forces in those areas are more reduce and with inferior equipment. The best ones are in the border and areas were are Russia need geopolitical influênce like the Caspian Sea, and probably abroad are some of this elite troops, but in major exercices there are of course changes and there's a need of reserve or second hand forces to make aperance and keep the good form.  About recruting, there's also two points: One is to get young russians to the armed forces, and another is to make a slight number of casualties in the recruting process (what also includes the praxes). And we are talking about a essencial mesure to assure resources for the russian armed forces, that for sure Kremlin knows that have to be based in the confidence and segure of the soldier,  since voluntiers are today a warrentie for best recruts and also a better possibility of a strong armed forces.

And if we talk about confidence, probably the Ukrainian conflit is a good example, since day after day, possible fotos of Russian Forces inside Ukraine get to the mídia. We know that are a lot of fake news  but was we said in Portugal "weres is smoke there's fire", and we have not only probably satellite photos but also some famillies that say theirs sons or unsbands were obrigaded to fight in Ukraine (with some deaths of course). Is not the propose of these lines to know if there is Russian forces in Ukraine, but with all the information hanging around, if is true probably in future will be a lack of cofidence between civilian and military (with also de politicians in the midle) like the one who happen afteer the Krusk acident. And confidence is need for a good recruting process.
Back to material, better military colaboration with China is needed, since with ocidental nations we have only some shy gifts, and the chinese have great ships, planes and tank models. And they buy a lot to Russia, so insted money was positive that they pay with some good material that the Russians don´t produce (a commum production to some types always be positive). The political stuff is done, with the two nations aligned in the security concil of UN and with an achivment that permits military drills in Asia and Pacific.
For now there's no problems between China and Russia, but in the future when the expansion for example in the Pacific and Africa, colide? All is about military equilibrium, and for now China is not superior to Russian, in land and air, only in severeal areas in sea, but the fabrications of armament is much more faster in Xii Ping land that with Putin in Russia. Again, is the stategy in Armed Forces upgrade and the partneship with China the correct aproach? For now, probably yes, but in the future is dificult to say. 

A logic modernization get us to a challenge and Russia is in a way of fast results. That's why Pak-Fa is only in small production (is better to do Su27, 30 and 34 and much cheap), and Pak-Da is only a design in the board (more Blackjack?), also the same in tanks and other ground models (we talk about Armata and is slow production, but BTR is still going since the 60's), with ships being the must hard stuff to Russian militaries. In one side the need to modernize the Kirov and keep one of the Typhoon submarines in service (i know, is for tests but theres not something small and cheaper?), and Kuznetzov in a trail mode from one mission to the docks. There´s no LPD and also the tank naval transportations are getting old and there´s no substitute, with also a few fast boats in service, and i don´t see a new one in years comming.  There´s new submarines, nuclear and diesel ones, rumours about one base in Venezuela, but is possible a detech like in Syria? I guess only with reduce navy units and crew, because there´s importance in artic and also in some areas like Baltic and Black Sea. There´s a nead for easy frigates and corvetes, but no will to do them.
So, the final question is: How to be a superpower if there's a small fleet? He know that Russia is like a continent, but America, Australia or Africa are not easy to reach without a fleet (at least the two first ones). And they have resources like in Venezuela, and USSR experimented the block of Cuba and knows how is not to have a powerfull surface fleet especially againts USA, but also China and for example Japan or Korea who are in great expansion.
And pollitically? Probably the way we are talking about will be made if Putin and Medvedev continue to be elected in Russia, but if they don´t there's no warranty that the armed forces reform will be the one they planed. So, Russia is in the right track but there's a long way to go.  

sábado, 8 de dezembro de 2018

Modelling in Paper: Or a fine art of making great things

I make especially models in plastic, but sometimes i make one or another one in paper, to brake the monotony of the traditional modeling. First a football one and them a baseball stadium to be diferent. At least more 2 football ones and 2 baseball. Yes, i have also a tank to do so that's right in this blog (man, that sounds difficult, so i don´t know when i will make it). And paper is different, so you go to net and prints what you want, exept some models you can't bring from some publications. I remember that my father made some great paper models from daily notebooks, and it is possible that modeling started with mills and stone houses. It´s more easy than plastic? I don´t think so, because i spend many time to disguised the bases and to hide de excess of glue (lol), and when i'm finally done the stadium i just think in gettig back for the plastic. Anyway, it is also an art, and if a stadium is not difficult (i've made two so far), a tank or a ship is, at least for me, it´s much more hard to do, and i have no ideia how some modellers make them so perfect, like it is real. Anyway, lets see the process and final work of my two diferent stadiums (the paper tank is

Fig.1 - A paper tank from "battle of the branches". Only the idea of making several parts give me the creaps.
Modeling in paper was never for me an area with good results, specially in school, but after the aquisition of 3 football stadiums, i make the choice to do them, god or bad, but at least i tried (most of the stadiums in lego or 3d puzle are expensive).

Fig. 2 - "Luz" stadium were Benfica Lissabon plays in the past, was my first paper model.  For me, a fine result since i never build paper models before.  

About 30 years ago the newspaper "A Bola" made editions of 3 stadiums from FCP, SLB and SCP, with a very good price. Only in the last year i build the first one, since paper was not my school. For me the result was interesting, so i continue.

Fig.3 - Top view of the construction. Miss the cabines in the left top.
The "Estádio da Luz" (Light Stadium in inglish) in the model does not exist anymore. Was demolish to give place to the new one, much larger and with better conditions in time of the 2004 European championatship.

Fig. 4 - Structure and walkways put on. Miss the stadium wall.  
Doing the model was not easy since the paper is not, how we say in Portugal, "my beach".  Also the instructions were not very clear so the photographs were a good adiction to the missing directives, and there are a lot in the net.

Fig.5 - Part of the tribune is done, but in the rear is missed the elevators.
The fact that this was a unique stadium was a fine statement to the final result. Since the light towers and the absense of coverture were a good way to identify the "Estadio da Luz" i give special atention tho this item.

Fig. 6 - This is a construction from newspapper " A Bola" and " Telecel", now Vodafone. 
An aerial view of the recint almost completed with trees and publicity put on the base. The adictition of other support material like sphincter balls and cartoon panels give's a better and more realistic persepction tho the exterior area. 

Fig.7 - A image with some trees and publicity put on the stadium.

Not a single piece of glue see in this model. That's the spirit, and all the publicity helped covering the pieces were was used in excess. I don't like paper glue so i used the best one for my that is the UHU stick that we find in any local supermarket.

Fig.8 - Around the Stadium, with the iluminations towers put and the electronic painels.

Was he can se the name of the stadium is one the base.  The fine quality of the model was a nice suprise since all the pieces came together without no problems, so the plans to do more ones was put on my mind.

Fig.9 - Another view of the public ramps.

Most of the trees were reforced with cartoon since they were to fragile to be in the right position (or erected, was i, but for the other ones was no need. Also the lights and presidential tribune was easy to complete. 

Fig.10 - View from the tribune with some publicite

A fine experiênce in the end, without paints and oils, with just the old glue. True that i put much more publicite that i expected but was we can see, there's no principiant mistakes in the maquette, and is the first one in paper.

Fig.11 -  Was not easy to make the protection wall around the stadium and public acess. 
Cheap and true model in any good stadium colection. But was time for a new one, with a more rustic experiênce. I went to the net and print a model not seen in Portugal: A Baseball stadium in paper, just to do. 

Fig.12-  The famous "third ring".

Fig.13  - A close view of the art woek in the old stadium.

Fig.14 - The publicite placars is well seen in this picture.

Fig.15 - The final assembly  in a general view. 

Fig. - 16 -  Another paper stadium, this time the old one from the Chicago Cubs baseball team.
And there it is. Chicago Cubs baseball stadium made from paper from the company Paper Toys, directly from the Net. It was not a easy build since there was differences between the original field and the one from the download, but was made.

Fig.17 - The exterior of the recint.
Also the instructions were not easy so i made some improvements from the kit, with plastic and board. The photos are from the old and first stadium, since i'm working in the new one, a little different and much more big than the other. But if this one was interesting, i hope the other will be a blast.  

Fig.- 18 -  Entrace of the stadium. These detail was not in the original model from Paper Toys.

Fig. - 19 -  In this picture we see the lights and the Result Placard 
Fig.20 - Top view from the baseball stadium.

quinta-feira, 27 de setembro de 2018

Military Parades: Germany

For me there' s only one Germany (like today) in time and space. The RDA and the ones from the Kaiser or Hitler, were part of the past from just one nation that see the day light in XIX century, so i make this demonstration with only one country. Being only one the nation with a very strong history were armed forces were present, especially in WW1, WW2 and Cold War, Germany had a very rich and a significant historical number of parades since at least 1910. Of course nazi is polemic era and for many RDA was a different history, but geographic the space and people were the same, so i organized all in Germany post, since the first record of images is only from the start of XX century (RDA had only about 50 years and the Nazis 12 years).
The images speak for himself, and even with the facist regime, there's material and troops with a lot of great means, for example for modeling. Probably the Kaiser times are not also consensual, with wars and polemic situations, but again it's very rich military terms. Racism problems and idiologies are not the worst today for the Germans, as their armed forces face the weight of years of abandon after the end of cold war.  Air Force, Army and Navy have only in service a small fraction of their material, and for example none of their submarine are operational (and probably they wont be in the next pair of years).  Being a NATO nation there's a significant urgency to resolve this question, but the policy of German is much more economical than military. So, lets see the videos and enjoy without ideologic questions (because in this blog men and material are the most important).





1989 (RDA)








segunda-feira, 9 de julho de 2018

Modeling the Stug. IV from Revell

I made the Stug IV from Revell some time ago, but only now i talk about what was one of my best tank models streight from the box. Working almost at 1/72 give me the possibility to mix planes with vehicles, like in a air base scenário or in a crash scene.  So, in display he have de company of a kuwel in a medium base with some trops.
But for this publication i put on a EOL display, solo, with some soldiers from Matchbox, Esci and Airfix (i love old kits). The model was so good that in times i brought another one to do the second version (in the box), but time and money are short so i sold him to a friend (in the meen time, i recieve a lot of models to repear, and there it was a stug III and Jagpanther). 
Talking about the kit, it was a fine experiênce without any problems and were all the pices worked just fine, with a great detail and always the possibility of add new pieces if we want to, or removing shielding in the sides. In the end i like the result and i advise who like to work in 1/72 tanks or attack guns to build this one. Even the price is good, what not always is a important aspect by Revell. But let's talk about in more detail.

For a 1/72 model a lot of pieces and instructions. Several days in montage, and some of the areas like the weels or the main gun, requires some time and attention, even they match just fine. Probably the most dificult piece was the support of the machine gun, who broke some times, but nothing to worry about.

I don´t know why the machine gun never came with bullets or the boxes for them. At this time i resolved the problem making misself the boxes in plastic and the bullets with tape and cobert wire little pieces, but today Roco have all that staff in 1/89 what is fine por using in 1/72 kits. Sometimes i made the hand scracht but for 5 euros it´s much more easy to buy a full hand of acessories.

Stell plates are most important pieces in this model, so one of the reasons i chose this version was that de model have them with camouflage. I cut one of the plates like he was lost in the battle field and although the support is fragile they don't brake. And with the conclusion of this part, assembly was all made, so time to go the painting.  

I used Tamiya and Revell acrylics in my Aztec airbrush and i was very happy with the result. After, and to give the final touch in some parts, i applied enamel paints with a brush.  A final step using dry brush 3 or 4 times in some parts, and finnito . Great the way that paint basically went good to the fist round, with only a minor nead to make some corrections.

After painting came the oils, who give that old and use aspect to the model. First the black and then in the some parts more close the ground, the dust efect with burned siena and umber. In this fase i never used dry pastel, wich is one of the main tecniques for me today (but not in that time, since was new to me, and i prefer a more confortable way to doing so).

Troops were painted with enamel from Revell. This old Esci and Fujimi figures are very good to put in the tanks, with some modifications using Hasegawa parts and ajusting the arms with a stileto and plastic glue. Today, some marks make crew from most everything in a number of different poses, like in 1/72 and 1/48.

The base was alredy done and i brought from EOL in Paris, probably one of the best physical stores that i enter. From kits to paints, passing by vacum form and also Rc models, there's a unique diversity that is a gift to all the clients. And the personnel? 5 stars and a special simpathy to the tourists who like to read and speak about military history.

I'm not a fan of ceramics bases, but this one is very good and much of the work is just fine. I remember that the display at the store had several ones, in different size and cenário, but the money was always short, so i brought just one. The curiosity: They were all civillian bases, so i chose one that could be used in a military cenárium. 

In the end a good and detailed model (at least for 1/72 scale), made from a Stug IV series from a "people's company", the Revell (not a specific or hard one model company), with a nice price and completed with international  material from a french super store. Old figures from ancient marks only made my modeling more happy. And salute to all o make this hobby out there. Cheers.

domingo, 24 de junho de 2018

How to modernize a 40mm old Bofors Gun

Since the 40's that Portuguese Navy uses the 40 mm Bofors Gun in their ships, first has a anti-aircraft gun (AA) in Frigates and Corvettes, but in the Colonial War the 40mm caliber started to be used as the main gun in patrol and landing craft ships (the gun substitute the Oerlinkon 20mm). After the war, 40 mm was used in the new OPV from Viana do Castelo class but only for a short time, since was substituted in a par of years for the 30 mm Marlin (3 millions each), operated with remote control from the main bridge. But when Portugal brought from Denmark the ancient SF300 class, the ships came without the main gun, and the solution was only to put a manual 0.50 caliber with two sailors operating the gun, because there's no money for more. Since the Navy has a lot of 40 mm Bofors from for example Cacine class (and others who are not more in service), a cheap way to resolve the problem and at the same time have a good firepower could be modernize the weapon with a kit (or more) that transforms the ancient wepon in a full automatic gun with auto loader and a coverture against the weather. Let´s see how (special atention to the 2 PDF links, who explain all the process in detail).

Fig.1- Bofors 40mm L70 with  a coverture to protect the gun from the weather conditions. This is a upgrade since that the original model his opened.  

F.2 - The 40 mm Bofors is still produce. This is the most modern Mk4 version by BAE Systems.

Fig.3- The auto loader inside the weapon. Old models could receve an auto-loader only a little different from this one.

Fig.4 - The CDU view in the main gun. The weapon can be controlled also from the bridge if the client request to do so. The L70 model could receive a similar system.

Fig.5 - The land model use by Indian Army modernized. We can see the digital console at left. This is a modernizations that could be done in most of the least models of the gun.

Fig. 6 - A Cacine Patrol ship in the bigining of his carrier. The main guns are 2  Bofors 40mm. Today only a few are in service.

Fig.7 - A landing craf in an African river. They were armed also with two 40 mm Bofors Guns.

Fig. 8- Bofors 40mm gun in a portuguese corvete (Baptista de Andrade). Today only two ships from a total of eight are in service.

Fig.9 - A Closer vew of the gun  at a Landin Craft during the Colonial war, somewere in a river. 

Fig.10 - Another Patrol Ship in a African River , during a real fire situation. The problem with this model was that was not auto, so needed a crew of 3 or 4 sailors. 

Fig. 11-  One of the first modernization of the 40 mm bofors was this radar adiction to the main gun.

Fig. 12 - Another modernization was this night system. We can see all the manual stuff still present is this version.

Fig. 13 -  Viana do Castelo OPV were initially armed with a slight modernizations of the bofors 40 mm. All the system was electrified só de crew only had to put the munition and fire the gun.

Fig.14 -  A modernized L70 model in tha brazilian navy. Some navies like the Finland and Norway have modernized the weapon to put in torpedo and patrol boats. Others they prefered to buy the new Mk4 model made by BAE.