Saturday, March 30, 2019

Well, my weekend has got off to a wonderful start as I have a head cold! I thought it was hay fever when I woke up but as the day has worn on and I have taken to my armchair full of cold remedies and smelling of Olbas oil I can only think 'What...again?"

So a couple of hours of modelling with various felines popping in and out after shopping for the cold remedies and Man-sized tissues plus a bottle of Spanish brandy for medicinal purposes later this evening. To be honest, I suspect I will have an early night and hopefully sleep through this, perhaps sweat it out. The garden will have to wait another week although the grass is approaching the cover necessary for any surviving Japanese snipers to hide in.


Friday, March 29, 2019

Phew! The weekend is here and I can relax...

Today with the sun beaming down (18C at one point) and wearing shades, shirt sleeves and having to use the car air con at one point, it finally feels like Spring!  *Checks weather forecast* Single figures predicted for Sunday...It's still Spring though.

Time for a takeaway, some beer and music (Genesis) this evening as I make the most of the illusory freedom for the next sixty odd hours before it all begins again. We have this happening next week and as per usual The Peter Principals are spinning in all directions and we are having to duck down whilst shouting "Incoming!". I have blogged previously about how 'progress' is measured in the NHS by doing things. Whether that be by making noise, creating paperwork or measuring things, it is activity which equals progress. The fact that pissing up against a wall is a measurable activity doesn't necessarily mean we have to spend money and throw resources at it. But I am free for now and I intend to enjoy these few hours of being responsible for myself and the cats with no phones to answer or various demands needing to be met yesterday. Plumbing repairs need my attention and the garden will be calling me. I hope you all have a sunny and relaxed weekend.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Blimey! Two weeks absence from blogging but it has been a busy two weeks at work as more staff have left the team and this coming week we will be a skeleton crew. So each evening has seen me doing little other than watching TV, reading and retiring early to bed. I'm getting old and tired!

Weekends have been spent shopping, some walking, attending to necessary chores and modelling. Hence a couple of the recent completed builds and my current work in progress.

The latter is a Junkers Ju 86 which I plan to complete in South African air force colours for 1939 - 40.  An interesting plane that saw service as a civil airliner and bomber but obsolete by 1939. Yes, another one of those interwar ugly aircraft that I have taken a liking to.

Can you imagine being the poor sod in the lower cupola open to the elements several thousand feet up in the air.

The four tiny aircrew painted up ready to go inside prior to being glued and closed up.

But now the better weather has arrived as well as more daylight so hopefully I can spend more time outside, particularly sorting out the garden. For the raised bed I am considering lettuce and one tomato plant with a chilli plant in one of the tubs. I will go for more flowers this year with an emphasis again on attracting bees and butterflies. The fallen wall and the back gate need to be replaced and a spiky burglar unfriendly plant place in the corner. There will need to be a balance between enjoying more activities outdoors and modelling indoors. Having said that I have ordered another kit, one I have been after for the past year, a Vickers Gunbus FB 5 which is apparently another fiddly build liable to turn the air blue.

So if we have wonderful summer with lots of sunshine or a wet wash out, I shall be happy with either one as I hope to be prepared for both. My fingers are crossed for a decent summer with sunshine. 


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...