The road to Damascus. Or possibly Kasserine…

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  • david leigh-smith said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Personal conversions can be tricky, sensational, and sometimes brutal. When people have ventured from the familiar and embraced radical change, there have sometimes ensued historical, game changing consequences, or even tragedy. Now stay with me, I promise we’ll get to the modeling part soon.

    Witness Muhammed Ali.

    Saul on the road to Damascus.

    Or the Salem which trials, where the term ‘Conversion Disorder’ took on a defining context.

    Admittedly the conversion from scale model aircraft to armour may, when factored against the historically pivotal examples above, be seen as small potatoes. However, I feel that given a man’s allotted time of ‘three score and ten’ (and no-one is getting younger, especially in scale modeling) taking the time away from Spitfires, Hellcats, and Mosquitoes to build a tank is a BIG THING.

    So rather than Saul becoming Paul, Cassius transitioning to Muhammed, or a bunch of New England villagers becoming…well, dead, I will be contributing a tank (otherwise known as a ‘clunky thing’) to the ‘Kasserine Group Build’. After engaging in some interesting banter with iModelers recently about the relative sanity (or otherwise) of Tankers (and losing), I consider this my willing penance to my brothers in arm(our)s.

    No big planning, I’m just jumping in, here. The diorama will centre on a very well known kit, and I’m just going to let it progress ‘organically’. Knowing iModelers (especially the Tankers) as I have come to do, it’ll take about three seconds for someone to spot the tank, regiment, crews names, and probably the species of camel (we’ll get to that) all involved in the build.

    A very special thanks to Prof. David Thomas from Dr. David Leigh-Smith for creating and organising this terrific group build.

    Construction starts as usual with the cockpit.

    Next is the gluing together of the two camel halves. I’m assuming this is also the traditional tank build sequence.

    And viola, that’s step one completed. So far, so quick, so good.

    What could possibly go wrong…

  • Pedro L. Rocha said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    David, you heretic 🙂 crossover from wings to bolts is not unusual although I know a couple of fellows that did just the opposite move.
    Anyway, good luck with your camels and tigers, but I guess you won’t be needing it cause talent you already have.
    One thing that comes to my mind is how tank people do their wear and tear. You can spot a plane that was painted and weathered by a tank buff, so yes I’m curious to see how yours turns out

  • Louis Gardner said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Welcome to the “dark side” of armor building David !!!! I knew it was only a matter of time before we somewhat (AB) normal “tankers” would talk you into doing something like this……………..

    The tank appears to be (using my highly trained tank gunner’s trained eyes), a Tamiya 1/35th scale “Tiger”. If my “guestimate” is correct, this will be a very welcome addition to the Kasserine Pass GB !!!

    As far as what the species is the Camel, first I must ask you a question …………..before you may pass.

    “What……… is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow ???? 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • david leigh-smith said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    I told you what a learned bunch iModelers are, but even I’m impressed with Pedro – 36 seconds to recognise a tiger (even with the distraction of a camel).
    You are right Pedro, I’m a little worried about making glaring mistakes that’ll make me a laughing stock with our armour brethren. In all honesty, I’m hoping for a little help.

  • Louis Gardner said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Now that you are becoming a fellow tanker David, you will soon realize that all tankers need a little help…….. 🙂

    Just kidding my friend. If I can be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to ask. I will do my very best to steer you in the right direction, no pun intended……………

  • David A. Thomas said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Well, David, welcome to our little sect. I would call it “The Way” but that one was already taken (Acts 9:2). Thrilled to have you build some armor, and the thanks are owed to you. Can’t wait to see your prowess at work!

    The camel is a delightful touch.

  • david leigh-smith said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Well, Louis, my understanding of that question is contingent on assuming the ‘unladen swallow’ is a stripped down Me262, in which case, around 870 km/h – or about 550 mph for you guys across the pond?

    I don’t know, I’m just a bit obsessive about aircraft.

  • David A. Thomas said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    The “unladen swallow” question is entirely contingent on the “African or European” qualifier. But since the Me 262 didn’t see action in the Tunisia Campaign, well…

  • Louis Gardner said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Very good Sir !!!! That is the answer to the question ………………..

    You may pass. There for a second I thought you were going to ask me “What do you mean ??? An African or European Swallow ??”

    You know something silly like that ………………. 🙂

    Good catch gents…………

  • david leigh-smith said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    David, the said dromedary is a key character in the diorama. Just be thankful California Steve talked me down from the ‘1/35 T-Rex meets Tiger Tank’ diorama.

  • David A. Thomas said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Yes, I am grateful indeed for such small favors. Of course, if the T-Rex were being hurled into the Chasm of Doom because it momentarily forgot its favorite color, that might make it interesting…

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Dave excellent analogy into the story. As you may know we do not get to pick our name, Our parents do, now being that we have free will, we have choice as we get older. Like it’s one thing when Jesus tells Saul your name will now be Paul trust me, I won’t say no. In the case of Muhammed Ali, that was his decision that he didn’t like his given name. And he chose to change it. Free will. Just as we decide what path we will follow as we make our journey in life. Me I wanted to play baseball, LA Dodgers, Dodger stadium, played high school ball, I thought I was pretty good. Until I couldn’t hit a college level curve ball. Then I knew baseball was not what I was gifted to do. Oh well, back to modeling. Tanks and camels. You have my curiosity on this project. Looking forward to whats next.

  • david leigh-smith said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Question one, Louis. Rubber rims around the road wheels – how did they wear in the desert? Looking at references (see below) I’m seeing dusty grey – was there any uniformity to this?

  • David A. Thomas said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    OK, I can’t take it anymore…on that Caravaggio that graces the cover of the book about conversion…

    Saul/Paul wasn’t riding a horse in the first place (or a Tiger tank).

    There. I can rest easy now.

  • david leigh-smith said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Wow, Chuck. From modeling to the existential anxieties of free will in the blink of an eye.

    We make our journey in life and we find the more experiences and choices we have, the more difficult life can be. Aircraft or armour; do we let the choice define us or does it matter in the first place. My professional life has been spent trying to solve what makes people tick and I believe it’s all about the journey. Camels or tigers? Baseball or modeling? It doesn’t matter so long as we commit.

    Our values, what we bring to the game, that’s the thing for me, Chuck. Some of those guys who flew with swaztikas on their tails were inspirational human beings while some in roundels were psychopaths. And vice versa. Camels or tigers…

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