Revell 1/72 Junkers F13W: Two Builds – Part 1

So here I have two slightly different editions of the same kit, because I intend to build models of two distinctly different versions of the same airframe—specifically, Junkers Construction Number 650, which went into service as a float-plane in May 1923. (The “W” in “Junkers F13W” stands for Wasser, which is German for “water”, designating … Continue reading Revell 1/72 Junkers F13W: Two Builds – Part 1

Alba: Part 2

In my previous post about this word, I described how the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland, Alba, originated in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European albho-, meaning “white”. In Proto-Celtic, this evolved into another word something like albiyu. This word seems to have meant something like “bright place” or “high place”, and in the later Celtic languages Brittonic and Goidelic (spoken on the islands of Britain and Ireland, respectively) it produced place-names that ended up as Alba, Albion and Albany. Likewise in the Germanic languages, albho- gave rise to a “high place” word that gives us the name of the Alps mountain range.

We Are Stardust

A few months ago I ran into the periodic table above, detailing the cosmological origins of the chemical elements. And it occurred to me that I could quantify Joni Mitchell’s claim that “we are stardust”. How much of the human body is actually produced by the stars? But before I get to that, I should probably explain a little about the various categories indicated by the colours in the chart above.

Eduard 1/48 Westland Lysander (Special Duties In France): Part 4

By the end of my previous post in this build log, I’d managed to get the aeroplane mostly assembled and primed. The next task was an all-over coat of Tamiya gloss black (softened with a little white and blue), ready for decals and weathering. Once that was in place, I was able to add the … Continue reading Eduard 1/48 Westland Lysander (Special Duties In France): Part 4

Two Unique Polar Crossings

In 1968-9, The British Trans-Arctic Expedition, led by Wally Herbert, made the first crossing of the Arctic Ocean, using skis and dog-sleds. The four men set off from Point Barrow, Alaska, on 21 February 1968, and made their next landfall at Vesle Tavleøya, a tiny island in the extreme north of the Svalbard archipelago, on 29 May 1969, after crossing the Geographical North Pole and spending an astonishing 464 days on the Arctic pack-ice.
In 1989-90, the International Trans-Antarctic Expedition, co-led by Will Steger and Jean-Louis Étienne, crossed the long axis of the Antarctic continent, using skis and dog-sleds. The team of six set off from Seal Nunataks, near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, on 27 July 1989, crossed the Geographical South Pole, and reached the Davis Sea coast at the Russian research base of Mirnyy on 3 March 1990, 6048 kilometres and 220 days later.

A discursive blog on various topics of minor interest