Saturday, 29 June 2013

Manston Air Show Part 1 - Catalina & Mitchell

Last weekend was the Manston Airshow....a proper airshow not some affair with bouncy castles etc along the front at Margate BUT a proper airshow based at the airfield for the first time in 20 years. Now with the demise of the Biggin Hill Airshow this was going to draw the punters enthusiasts and families alike from miles around and so what featured mostly in the press was the 9 mile tailbacks and reports of people actually missing the show due to being stuck in 5 hour queues! I found cycling the best option and singing 'The only way to an airshow is by bike' I sailed through the traffic (had one offer of £100 for the 1981 Claude Butler in blue, no way!)
The star of the show was of course the fantastic Avro Vulcan but today I will start with two of my favorite American twin engined aircraft the 'Cat' and B25. Sadly for the majority of the show goers they missed the Catalina start up and take off as she was a 'static' for the day but we stayed until the show closed and watched her depart, a fantastic sight and the white colour scheme looked good against the cloudy backdrop of the sky.
This PBY is owned by the Catalina Society and is based at Duxford, it was built in Canada as a Canso A amphibian for the RCAF and spent the war from 1943 on anti submarine patrols . Post war it remained in service until 1961 as a freighter and air sea rescue plane. It then became a 'fire bomber' and finally was purchased by Plane Sailing and started displaying at airshows in the UK in 2004. In 2005 it was repainted into its current scheme. It was great seeing it fly and was Hazels aircraft of the show....yup not the Vulcan or Hunter!
The B25 Mitchell is owned by  the Royal Netherlands Historical Flight and joined the SKHV fleet of prop driven aircraft in 2004 after being the flagship of the Duke of Brabants Air Force for a number of years.
The information about this plane on the web site is in Dutch and little information can be gleaned from the airshow guide but wiki gives a good summary of the B25 and its operators including in Dutch Service.
Defensive twin .50's in the tail could they have defended the airplane from an attack from the rear and slightly above? 
A very spirited display was given the pilot really threw this 'crate' around the stormy skies here is a shot    with bomb doors open. Next posting will feature the 'eavy metal' on display.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Matchbox Hanomag 21 st Panzer Division

  Well the Hanomag is finished although I've just noticed an error! Anyway fun build crewed with some Matchbox DAK infantry. I think a Matchbox Wespe next with its palm tree base. The ruined house wall section diorama will be added to the scenery spares box.
I will build some more Hanomags and add extra equipment, this looks too factory fresh so I may 'dust' up the wheels and tracks. I would like to find a cheap source of Jerry cans & general stowage that doesn't cost more than the kit....but might end up just have a go at making some from scratch and casting in resin over the summer break.
This was the later boxing made politically correct by the removal of the swastika flag, gunfire and attacking plane and released by Revell.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Red Arrows, a 'Jolly Little Boat' & a Hanomag!

On Saturday the 'deadsparrows' were based at Manston so that they could perform their wondrous aerobatics at the Folkestone airshow ....well non airshow as it had been cancelled! Theywere paid for and booked so they displayed!
Pilot briefing and refueling of the Hawks in progress
Hawks where the occasional KLM airliner disgorges its passengers
747 being scrapped at Manston its been a landmark for some months, the JCB's preying on it like Velociraptor's  eating  a dead Brontosaurus!
Last weekend I decided that there would be too many 'temptations' at the Broadside Wargames show at Sittingbourne...I need to focus  on my current projects plus the new job is on much reduced pay so with great sadness I decided to not attend (everyone else in 'Blogland' seems to have gone & it seems to be developing into a very nice show). Also I had promised 'High Command' a trip on the recently repaired jolly boat the 'Hazyjoe'. We are members of Fordwich boat club  and have bankside rites to store and launch our 14ft rowing boat which is equipped by a small Mercury outboard. 
We went out on Sunday and the river Stour was quite busy. Basically boats down river come up to the Fordwich Arms and we go downriver to the 'Grove Ferry Inn'!!
In between the 2 watering holes are the Westbere Lakes and Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve. Kingfisher, Terns, Cormorants, Swans, Warblers,Tits, Wagtails etc all spotted on what was a rather cold day to be messing about in a boat.
I was wearing 4 layers of clothing on the 9th June!! The good old British Summer!
Current build a Revell re release of the old Matchbox 'Hanomag' Sd Kfz 251/1. Nice kit with action figure jumping over the side! This one is being built for the Africa Korps  in my desert campaign project. Only one piece was badly molded one of the MG's barrels had not formed properly otherwise it has stood the test of time well.
Hoping to finish this within the next week and find some additional crew from the Matchbox 'DAK' troops.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

You're Wargames Figures May Win Medals!!

Well I attended the Shepway Military Modelling Societies show at Hawkinge yesterday, as advertised on my last post to see the works of art produced by others, sample the trade stands and get some ideas for modelling projects with particular interest  in anything depicting WW2 Western Desert vehicles/troops/planes.The competition table stretched the length of one side of the hall with some superb creations on it.
The crew of Illustrious were a tad scared with the superb 'Hipper' moored alongside on the competition table!
 The show stopper for me in Aircraft terms this superb Gold medal winning Spitfire, fantastic and not overdone with too much 'pre shading'. however class 13 for Wargames Figures had no entries the whole morning I thought I had better fly the flag for wargamers everywhere and enter so the class remains in future years competitions. I raced back home picked up some figures & the Matchbox Humber all of which have featured on this blog and entered them with minutes of the closing time for entries into 3 classes. I was the only entrant in the wargames section so I made 3 entries (at least it didn't look bare anymore!), my Humber in the small scale armour section and one figure in the below 54mm class.
Now I hoped to get a certificate for bothering to enter in the Wargames section and watched the judging from afar and saw that my little 15mm Minifigs had progressed to the winners table...ah so I was only up against my self and they were the best of my three entries. Prize giving came and to my amazement the above little chaps got a Gold, The WW1 Belgians and my recent Zvezda Napoleonic Artillery got Silver each, my Parliamentarian musketeer a silver and the Humber a Highly Commended Certificate (only a 'built from the box matchbox effort').
The class winners table at the end of the show, the 'flats' were very impressive fantastic painting. Now this shocked me and embarrassed me in a typically British way having to  go in front of some fantastic modellers to collect my awards especially as it was an off the cuff submission......BUT to support local Wargames and modelling clubs we need to participate and get involved. The whole experience boosted my confidence to paint and model and that has flagged in recent years so if you see a local model show support it and remember its not all about 'Salute' and 'Euro Militaire' once a year!
On the North Surrey Club stand were 3 very nice armored vehicles, the Lanchester
'2nd Panzer'
And a  superbly displayed 'Space Marine' fellow 
Its all Greek to me!
A fantasy 'beast' on the competition table
Nicely executed pipe smoking dwarf
 Stunning Lynx
Equally 'yummy' Lightning
A great diorama on Shepway's own stand
A mine clearing vehicle of some kind
A Valentine with a Lewis gun on top of the turret
Smart little Vickers VB
1/76 scale A13 very nice
Cold War Diorama
Anyway enough of my 'Holiday Snaps' but I do find these local shows truly inspirational.
Ramsgate Models & 4 other stall's represented trade including an interesting 2nd hand models and books stall from which I purchased an Airfix Centurion and Gazelle. Sadly not many of the public turned up it being populated by club members including in addition to Shepway ; East Kent, Gravesham, Welling, North Surrey and The British Flat Figure Society.
Brian of 2D figurines was really helpful and explained how you paint 'flats' he let me have one at a much reduced cost to give it a go & that I could contact him if I needed advice on its painting, a stall run by modellers is always the best. See the British Flat Figure Societies forum for more info. Finally most people on the 'blogasphere' are better painters and modellers than me so if you have never entered a local show give it a go! Sadly in a moment of exuberance at having won something for a craft (the first time since 1st prize for baking shortbread at primary school!) I said I would 'dance' with Hazels Morris side today! Blast...I need some Beer!