Saturday, March 09, 2019

Last week saw positively balmy weather with sunshine and temperatures as high as 17 & 19 C. The past week did not match up to that and I have had a week off filled with gale force winds, rain and lots more rain. Even as I write it is bucketing down outside. I went out yesterday around the Wolds but my trip to various places was a washout with cold blowy weather and little remotely enjoyable about it.

So I have kept myself busy with this build of an old Airfix Blenheim IV circa summer 1940. A small and simple kit with few parts but a pleasure to build and paint with a scratch built cockpit. I also bought these books for background reading and ideas...

I have always had a yen for flying boats since I saw one as a kid at the RAF Hendon museum many years ago and the air sea rescue book will be a pleasure to read. Again, it will provide background information for a couple of planned future builds.

I bought the Airfix Walrus because it has better details and parts compared with the Smer Walrus but I can also use the decals for an Irish airforce Walrus. The detailed plans of the Airfix kit will provide a guide to scratch build parts and upgrade the Smer kit. The latter will be used for practicing my rigging skills before tackling the better kit. I guess I like flying boats because they are ungainly somewhat ugly looking aircraft but, beauty being in the eye of the beholder, I really like them. Given the current weather and my interest in these aircraft I might be one of the few people on the beach taking photographs of the waves in rough seas and rain. Perhaps I am one of those strange obsessive blokes I have previously blogged about! 


Sunday, March 03, 2019

As it is wet, windy and cooler than of late I have spent a productive morning at the modelling bench.

I started on this, an old Airfix 1/72 Blenheim IV and as I have discovered, age and wherever it was stored has caused the fuselage to slightly warp. So a job that will take some extra work to make right, just as I like it. I have also started the following, a departure from my usual kits...

I chose the little Cocker Spaniel to go with the Landrover...

A base coat of acrylic flat earth (It's a Geoid!) and I am considering using dry brushed oils to enhance the effect after a further application of other acrylic colours. The dogs are made from resin and come from Poland but bought from a company over here. I plan a small vignette of a farmers yard with the dog and possibly a couple of old milk churns. Something different from military modelling but a happier and gentler choice.

I popped into town yesterday and the new British Heart Foundation charity shop where I saw and immediately bought a second hand shelf unit. More display shelves for the models and at half the price of the first one I bought as well as being sturdier in build, I could not pass up the opportunity. We cleared out a space for it in the front room and I have set aside stuff I intend to pass on to the local cat charity so they can sell them off for funds. Sadly, it includes my Dobson telescope but the new build houses behind our garden have security lights you can use to guide shipping and aircraft by. The light pollution has put a stop to any star gazing. I had stored it away for the last few years but I will donate it to a good cause and create some space (!) here at home. I have also decided that what's left of my vinyl collection and the cheap turntable can go as well. I have decided to be quite ruthless in clearing out stuff I no longer use. Wandering around town and it is obvious that high street shops are in trouble, with lots of empty units on the market and in the mall as well as closed up empty shops. The big fanfare by local media about the large Primark, Pound store and the BHF charity shop taking up units in the mall cannot disguise the fact that the town centre is dead in places or dying. My family report the same in Colchester and with drunks, aggressive beggars and feral youths roaming the town centre, no wonder people are staying away and buying on-line. I believe the mall is now only 60% occupied which cannot be sustainable. I would prefer to see the mall demolished, the town centre pedestrianised and accessible to public transport, taxis and bicycles and deals offered to smaller retailers, a bigger market and better policing of the area to encourage people back. A public space for music, theatre, food stalls and arts would also help. Let's see what the future brings...


Thursday, February 28, 2019

A break from blogging as the past three weeks at work has been very busy. A couple of needless incidents involving complainants from other agencies has seen me having to deal with them although happily I have the backing of my immediate and senior managers. One response I have taken is that I joined a union to ensure someone has my back particularly for legal matters. I can't go into details but perhaps one day I can...

But I now have eleven days off away from it all and boy, do I need the rest. I hadn't realised how tired I was until yesterday evening when a couple of beers, headphones on and suitable music playing when I sparked out, waking up when the volume suddenly shot up. Aches and pains, tiredness and awareness of the tensions I have been carrying for the past three weeks. The ongoing sinus issues haven't helped and I started on high dose Vitamin C and Vitamin D a week ago to hopefully boost my immune system. Ask three doctors (psychiatrists) for advice on this and I received three different opinions!

As you can see, the plane is my current work in progress as I slowly weather and finish off the vehicles. But I am having a lazy day today, listening to podcasts, dealing with bills and pottering around. I'll leave the modelling until tomorrow and just allow myself to chill and do very little. The landcover will be a farmers vehicle and I have ordered some model dogs to display with it, to add more interest to the vignette. I am keen to attempt painting animals as painting is the one skill that makes or breaks a build. Plus I do want to build earlier periods in history as my passion encompasses more than 20th century wars. Roman, early mediaeval ('Dark Ages'),  the Crusades, etc...all hold my interest and I would like to produce builds reflecting that interest. They also tend to be more colourful and occupy less space compared to vehicle and aircraft builds!

The past week or so of extremely warm weather for February (21 C!!) has now ended and it is cooler and foggier today. I am hoping to get out and about, dust off the old camera and explore some of the places I generally fly past on my community visits. But time for another cuppa and just sit back with my feet up.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

The latest kit arrived and as I looked through it Maisie joined me to help out...At least I think that’s what she was doing? Unlike a certain academic who appeared naked on BBC Radio 4 to state her views on Brexit, Maisie is honest in her narcissism and loves the attention. I don’t mind Dr Victoria Bateman going naked and I happen to think she’s attractive and I do love the natural hirsute look. I also get the point about her arguments for feminism, double standards and hypocrisy, particularly in politics and the media. So the eejits slagging her off for her looks and natural beauty are only to be expected and can go sling their hooks.

I am expecting two more kits plus some aftermarket metal parts for the Walrus flying boat in 1/48 scale I bought last year, then I am going to forbear from buying any more kits for the next few months until these are built and displayed.

One of those new kits will be a slight departure for me as they are figures, Japanese Samurai and the challenge will be painting fine and delicate detail in such small figures. I will post them up when they arrive.

I managed to get an hours work completed on the landrover before my coughing, sneezing and streaming nose brought it all to a halt. 

n.b. I have a problem uploading photos to the computer but not to the iPad.They usually share but I have buggered it up some how so today’s blog comes courtesy of the iPad.


Thursday, February 07, 2019

Bleugh! I have had to take today off with the dreaded leurgy.
I have been fighting this cold for three days now but waking up far too early with pain in the right side of my head including earache and a streaming nose, I phoned in sick. I am trying to sweat it out and I am slathered in Vicks and Olbas oil as I have a couple of important visits tomorrow. However, I have no desire to infect patients and work colleagues so I will see how I get on although I did catch this cold from a patient I visited on Monday! My colleague was right though as the last three days have been extremely busy and I have met myself coming forwards to meet demand.

I have ordered some new kits from evil bay over the last couple of weeks and they are now arriving. I set a limit to the amount I will spend and although I will follow many sales, most of them I will not bid on or I delete. It's really to gauge the average cost and interest in various kits but as I tend to focus on the cheaper sales I generally remain in budget.

I have developed an interest in the interwar aircraft, particularly the French, Italian and British bombers and I now have several in my stash for building. These makes tended to be unsuccessful when war broke out and their faults saw them quickly moved to training or less active operational areas.

Like the interwar armour I am fascinated by these aircraft and despite their limited operational use and perception as failures, I do enjoy them. They will keep me occupied over the next few months and when the last one arrives I shall focus more on any books / literature about the history of these aircraft and not buy any more models for a while. With over twenty kits in the stash I shall focus on getting more builds completed. My airbrush is still awaiting delivery of the necessary part but the company is in China and the part is somewhere in transit and I could be waiting another two weeks! Some enamel paints for washes and static grass is also in transit for some planned dioramas.

There is a fellow modeller at work and we have been discussing builds and techniques and I have promised to bring in my iPad with pictures of my completed builds to share with him.

I am away now for more tea and a doze in my armchair if this bloody earache allows it. Sadly, the cats won't sit on me as I smell of menthol and they can't stand the stuff but it means I won't be disturbed.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

My week off work has gone far too quickly and I return to the motley tomorrow. Having revalidated and paid my nurse registration fee I could focus on modelling and reading during the week. The weather ensured I stayed indoors apart from short walks out. I have almost completed the latest build, a Panzer IV/70 which has been my slow and careful build over the past several weeks. Just some weathering to do and I plan to add it to a diorama circa spring 1945. The picture above shows my! Mrs C has cottoned on to the slow creep of completed builds to the living room but I shall be looking to add some shelving to display the completed builds. The above unit needs some mirrors and lights to display the builds and I will buy in some cheap to complete this. I have been focused on buying the smaller 1/72 scale aircraft but as the expected new arrivals are all interwar French bombers space isn't really being saved as they are somewhat large! I have put a bid in on evil bay for some Samurai warriors as they won't take up too much space and they are also colourful. German grey, tri-colour armour and muted aircraft camouflage needs some bright splashes of colour amongst them. 

I have nearly ten days off at the end of February / March and my fingers are crossed for reasonable weather so I can get out and about for some walking, preferably out in the local countryside and I will bring my camera with me. I'm looking forward to that as a chat with a friend at work indicates that our jobs will be more difficult when I return.  Staff sickness and an assortment of 'difficulties' means our caseloads will increase and we will be taking on some extra duties in the clinics. I'll be trained in phlebotomy skills as these are required for the proposed changes. As someone who prefers social and psychological approaches in mental health I have avoided acquiring these skills but if it has to done, so be it. I am more concerned about the extra demands on our already limited time and the impact this will have on meeting those demands. Always interesting times...

Speaking of interesting times, I am ignoring the media meltdown over the approaching (Is it or isn't it?) Brexit because we are to be visited by a shortage of food, medicines, an increase in the plague and a 20 foot wide trench being dug between Northern Ireland and Ireland and filled with water and Piranhas.  I can't be bothered with the nonsense being spouted by people who either have a vested interest in maintaining the eu or lack a filter between their overheated brains and ever open mouths. Life will continue and perhaps we can look at how to sort out politics following Brexit. What a choice, an anti-semitic marxist ideologue or an idiot. Time to get some honest people in who want to improve the lives of ordinary people rather than the current lot. For a rich country we seem to have a lot of homelessness, pensioners and disabled struggling to live a decent life and the gap between those those who have and those who don't is increasing. I guess I can dream...


Monday, January 28, 2019

I have a sense of deja vu today as I found another damp note attached to my windscreen with a mobile number attached. Both No.1 son and I had a good look around the car and no damage discernible. After driving 500 miles in four days from Thursday to yesterday, with a two day course in Lincoln (excellent course on CBT approaches to PTSD) and an overnight trip to Colchester with no problems encountered, I have to park outside the house to attract bumpy numpties! I'll think about phoning because I can see no damage to the car.

On my 'pitstop' travelling to Colchester I always make a point of stopping here near Thetford. A brief stop to drink coffee from the flask, stretch my legs and get some rest and exercise. This time I remembered to take a photo of the Stag although I decided to avoid walking on the wet and muddy grass surrounding it. Lots of ramblers and some furtive behaviour from a couple of dodgy looking characters heading into the woods. It beggars belief what they may have been up to! The journey is one I have made many times and this is the first time I noticed anything unusual but I decided to keep my walking out in the open this time round. It brings a new adage to the old song 'If you go down to the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise!' 

The journey itself is only 154 miles but it is mainly A roads, generally single lane and lots of villages with 30 mph speed limits. It is also extremely busy with HGV's, agricultural vehicles and caravans so the journey usually takes four hours although a decent break can see it taking longer. Bless her, my mum thought it was a two hour journey when we discussed it yesterday. It was lovely to catch up with the family and I intend to have a proper break next time with a couple of days in a local hotel so we can go out and about. My brother and brother-in-law plan to attend a beer festival next weekend so I definitely plan to factor that in next time.
After all that driving today has been very low key, writing up the revalidation paperwork which now only needs my supervisor to sign and I can sign it off on-line. I can then enjoy the rest of my break although the weather may have a say in that as snow is predicted this week. An excellent excuse for modelling if ever one was needed!

Some FOOD for THOUGHT as Brexit (Will it won't it happen?!) nears and bankers, politicians, media and assorted 'expert' celebs tell us why we should abandon our silly misinformed behaviour and trust them.