Thursday, 30 May 2013

RAF Manston History Museum - Wings & Wheels last Sunday

What a place to chip away at bits of plastic and sniff the 'Poly' and paint. last Sunday was one of the Manston History Museums occasional cockpit open days with a few military vehicles and 2 local modelling societies displaying their skills.
I crammed myself into the cockpit of the museums Canberra B15, WT205 nose always amazed at how cramped and ergonomically dreadful the instrumentation is laid out plus sod all visibility from the cockpit (The Buccaneer was even worse!)
Canberra Cockpit and below the coal hole for the 'Nav' & weapons 'bod' claustrophobic or what!
The real bonus for me was meeting the East Kent Scale Model Society and Shepway Model Society their work was superb and they were a very friendly bunch, I will attend East Kent's meetings in future at Manston which is just down the road from home. I thought it would be worth posting pics of some of their superb work for your delectation and inspiration!
                                      The first set of pictures are East Kent modellers 'creations'
This is a flea sized model of the flying flea garage built kit plane from the 1930's! z scale figures next to it!
German built Daimler armoured car?
Leonardo's 'Tank'
A combine harvester! I believe made from a diecast model stripped re painted and detailed!
A Cromwell
Meteor T7
The East Kent Scale Modellers in front of the museums T33 Shooting Star
Opposite EKSM the Shepway contingent with equally impressive modelling skills
'The serpent & the warrior'
The Saracen (not in opposition to the above Templar!)
very interesting mix of vehicle subjects
Never really understood the appeal of these kind of busts (others I do understand more!) but superbly painted
Model or real vehicle sometimes hard to tell from a picture!
Definitely the real thing the museums superb Jaguar with hatches and cockpit open  for the day
Nice to be able to closely examine the aircraft, this one flew 35 missions in the Iraq war and later flew with 41 Squadron before early retirement in 2005.
Bomb Disposal Landrover
The rare Meteor TT20 painted to represent a NF11 of 85 Squadron
The museum also commemorates its long association with the ATC
A working Merlin was also present used to control nuisance bird populations at key sites in Thanet.
 This Saturday is the Shepway Modelling Societies annual show at Hawkinge at £1 a snip combine it with a visit to the Kent Battle of Britain Museum nearby and a pint in the 'Cat and Custard Pot'  the old pilots pub. Not much of the famous airfield now survives it is now a 'Wimpy' estate !

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Italian WW2 Artillery 'Cannone da 149/40'

This gun and crew were started last year and got put to one side as the 'washed out' effect I was trying to achieve on the crews tunics didn't work out as I wanted (Vallejo paints I struggle with sometimes, it all went a bit green) . However I just wanted to get rid of the massive 'unfinished backlog' so based the crew quickly this morning. The gun will also be based as it needs more solidity and would look more 'grounded'. How it should be built and finished see here ! There is a good write up on the set at Plastic Soldier Review. The Society for Gentleman Gamers has a nice take on the subject as well using the Italeri Gun and crews by Merliton.
This is one in action I cannot find out much about the gun apart from what is on Wikipedia and Plastic Soldier Review but plan to make a second attempt at modelling it in the future once the Desert Campaign project is well underway.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Excellent Model Shop in Ely, Cambridgeshire and Duxford Visit

A long weekend of penury was in the offing last weekend when Hazels Morris Dancing side, Dead Horse Morris were making a weekend of it at Ely in cahoots with the 'Powderkegs' side dancing non stop to the same old Morris tunes. Actually the 'Powderkegs' were excellent and god forbid they dance as a mixed group unlike DHM who have a mens and women's 'team' they therefore put on a better display. Now I wondered if Ely had a model or games shop .....well you would wouldn't you! I checked on the web and lo and behold the 'City Cycle Centre' came up trumps!
Now that is a welcome sign! The shop is a throw back to my childhood where often you would find cycle shops/DIY & Models in one emporium.....the smell of model kit boxes and cycle tyres...aaaah!
A very well stocked model centre - Airfix, Revell, Italeri, Tamiya, Zvezda, Armourfast, Roden etc glues and paints galore
Also a fine selection of wargames goodies....Warlord, Plastic Soldier, 15mm, 20mm & 28mm & the GW expensive stuff that few can afford any more.
More kits you can never have too many pictures of a well stocked model shop can you!
like you can never have to many kits!! I've meant to try 'Plastic Soldiers' kits for some time and they look excellent also picked up some crew for some 1/35th Desert war British Armour.....
On a marker stall near the model shop I paid £2 to purchase someones long forgotten Airfix Romans/Ancient Britons collection contained in a converted 'dogfight doubles box! now if I can get that bit of cardboard off the front & remove the inserts.....!
While I was happily entertained the Morris carried on scaring the locals! Although I did find another tasty real ale on this trip 'Wherry' by the Woodforde's Brewery and I had been such a good boy (Hazel doesn't know about the kits!) that I was allowed to visit the hallowed ground of Duxford on the way home on Sunday.
Harvard in Portuguese colours was flying together with two Tiger Moths and DH Rapide  giving pleasure flights
 As well as all the usual hangers with their superb exhibits, what was of most interest was the 'deposited' London collection in the restoration hanger
Spitfire V and 'Camel' which used to reside hanging from the ceiling of the IWM London currently going through a massive facelift to commemorate 100 years since the beginning of WW1next year
British WW1 Siege Howitzer
Lancaster nose which together with the Halifax cockpit is usually found in London
The gun that the 16 year old Jack Cornwell VC manned at Jutland

25 Pounder
V2 in Kit Form!
French WW1 75mm
Valentine ...good grief we fought German armour in that!!
The Lysander sadly my little camera hasn't got the range/flash to make the most of many of the exhibits in the large hangers where lighting levels are an issue. Anyway a jolly good weekend after all, now for half term week and goodness I need the break after my first term working in a school hopefully finish a few kits off and start those PSC kits.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Dambuster David Maltby Local Hero

Squadron Leader David Maltby DSO DFC is buried in the churchyard of one of the local villages to me at Wickhambreux near Canterbury, Kent. Today I visited his grave as a mark of respect to the entire 617 Dambuster squadron who went on that famous raid 70 years ago. David Maltby's crew delivered the bomb that finally broke the Mohne Dam on the night of 16/17 May 1943 and survived the raid.
Sadly he was lost with his crew returning from an aborted raid in September 1943 just a few months later, probably as a result of a collision with a Mosquito over the sea on the return leg. Only David's body was released by the sea to be buried in the peaceful churchyard of the church where he had been married.
 The village is a calm place only a few miles from the hustle and bustle of 'tourist Canterbury' , the church a place of quiet reflection. David Maltby died when only 23 ( my son is now 23 which brings realisation about the youth of these men especially the 'experienced crews') and in the tribute to the Dambusters on BBC2 Thursday evening with Dan Snow ( see also the Derwant Dam commemoration) I was pleased top see David's son present at the ceremony who had been only 10 weeks old at his death. Also worth watching is this clip from the 24th Dambusters re union
 The beautiful green in front of the church and below the 'Rose at Wickembreux' opposite the church
My father knew Geoff Rice the pilot who hit the sea and lost his bomb on the way to the dams and I was pleased to see a letter in The Aeroplane magazine this month remembering Geoff and one of the talks he gave to an audience in the late 70's recounting the raid. Geoff dad said never completely came to terms with being the only survivor from his crew when they were shot down some months later. These were amazing men who I am sure none of us will forget. See some artwork of the raid here