Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Scale Model Review: M151A2 Hardtop with Trailer by Academy

M151A2 Hard Top with Trailer by Academy

I've finally got around building models again this year and I've had this one kicking around the house for awhile. My inspiration was that I drove one just like in the Army back in the 80's. It's a M151A2 with a trailer(M416 I believe). If my memory serves me right I don't remember a lot of these that came with the hardtop. Most I saw had the soft-top version. Most scale models I found were of the soft top so when I found it I snapped it up quick. 

The inspiration. My M151A2 in Germany back during the Reagan years.

I consider this my "first car". I had a civilian license before going in the Army but I had to learn all over Again. It is on one of these I learned to drive a manual transmission and it's a wonder it survived that ordeal. After awhile I loved driving them. powered by a sturdy 4 cylinder engine top speed was about 50 mph on the highway(yes we pushed them). We warned they were prone to roll-overs due to high center of gravity. I also learned later it was due to the 4 wheel independent suspension that made them prone to tip. 

They were excellent for what I call off pavement driving like dirt roads and in the woods. The knobby tires though I didn't work as well on slippery pavement or snow. I actually had a couple spin outs on snowy slick roads so they had their limitations. 

In the past I haven't done very many military models like this. Maybe a battleship or an old World War 2 plane but that was decades ago. I usually stick to cars of the 1/24-1/25 scale genre so to do a 1/35 scale military model was new to me. 


The level of detail impressed me as I went along. I don't think I was expecting a whole lot from such a small kit but the number pieces surprised me. The majority of pieces also fit together quite well. Many models, like the my previous kit a 1/25 scale Impala, had some parts that wouldn't quite fit right and needed work to go together. Excess flash,mold lines and injector marks were minimal. These are imperfections left over from the manufacturing process for those that may be new to scale modelling. 


I had a hard time thinking of any to be honest. I did have some issues with the instructions. The kit gives you an option to build a topless version with an M60 mount. Sometimes it wasn't always clear which parts were for a particular version. There were also some extra parts, actually they're listed in the instructions)which could get mixed up. It happened that I put on the wrong dashboard/windshield part. It was only slight difference in appearance on the inside. It wasn't a big deal but could be for those going for extra mile for accuracy and authenticity. This was to be a sentimental shelf display model and not a show contestant so I was fine with it.

Overall I think it came out very well in the end. I'm not sure I'd recommend this as a first build as it's has many tiny pieces that require tweezers to hold them. I actually lost a tiny piece of the engine that because it fell on my basement floor to never be found. Maybe someone with moderate experience would find this a nice challenge. Have fun with it.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Vaccines: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

One of the few things I despise worse
than Donald Trump, Montreal Canadien fans and pickles(i felt a gag in my
mouth just typing the word) is anti-vaccine people. I may never been
that concerned about it until after I learned my youngest son had
Autism. Even though no actually link between Autism and vaccinations has
ever been found the fear it may happen still exists because of one
debunked study by a quack of a doctor(former doctor actually) many years

drives me bonkers is the lack of common sense and the danger that can
be life threatening. One of the problems is that we as a society seem to
forget how horrific some of these childhood diseases really were. One
of the reasons our ancestors had more children(besides sex being fun and
there was no TV or Internet for distraction) was that many children
died before reaching adulthood. If you think of it you are here reading
this because your ancestor from 200 yars ago had 9 kids and at least one
of the survived long enough to become a great-great-great-great
grandparent of yours.

problem is the Internet. I love the Internet as much as anyone but it
does have it's downfalls. One of which ironically is too much
information with very little to filter it out. False or bad information
is alongside credible and established publications like New England
Journal of Medicine. If you search on any issue you can almost always
find and opposite viewpoint. What many have gotten poor at is filtering
out those that are junk and full of crap. As the old saying goes just
because it's on the Internet doesn't make it true. What is needed is
more education in is the ability to research sources of information and
to evaluate their credibility. That doesn't mean cherry-picking from
sources that just back up your own belief's. 

I like I said earlier I have a young son with Autism who had all all
his shots. If I had to do it all over again I'd still have him get his
vaccinations on schedule. As much as being an Autism parent is a
challenge I would much rather have him around to love and hear his
laughter than watch him being lowered into the ground because I was
afraid him getting a vaccination.