Sunday, January 17, 2021

 Somewhat battered and tired this weekend from a busy week at work so my focus this weekend is modelling, listening to music and podcasts. I cancelled the sky sports package as soulless empty football stadiums and little else of interest finally prompted me to do this. It took me thirty minutes as the virgin media website doesn't provide any option to do this and the lengthy phone call I suspect is deliberately designed to make it difficult for customers to make changes that result in paying out less money! But it's done and it is one unnecessary thing to pay out for. I would like to get rid of the TV, cancel the TV licence and use the computer for anything on-line I choose to watch. Sue doesn't want to get rid of the TV so that will have to stay.

The Lightning will be a build depicting an aircraft from 11 RAF Squadron based at Binbrook during the seventies / eighties. Binbrook is just down the road from us and is no longer an airforce base having been converted to an industrial estate. There is one Lightning there which is being restored by this group of enthusiasts although there is another group based in Leicester also restoring a Lightning.

I also have the Dornier Do G flying boat on the table and I will work slowly on that build as my focus will be on the Cold War group build.

Quick progress so far in the past twenty four hours until a small piece of the fuselage snapped off! My clumsiness as I dry fitted the wings and the broken piece just would not fit back. I have thin plasticard that I can cut and shape to fit but could I find it...So a small shaped piece from my spares box and sprue goo brushed on to melt it into place. Once set I will carefully sand it down and then re-scribe the panel lines. Gaps filled with sprue goo and the seams of the fuselage halves also filled with the same and sanded back until the seams have gone.

Another reason is the photograph below (Courtesy Neville Sissons) of Squadron Leader George Butler DSO DFC who was with 11 Squadron in Burma and was a local man in Grimsby and Laceby. I am thinking of a future build of the Hurricane below and displaying this alongside the Lightning. His mother was Norwegian hence the badge on the Hurricane.

I hope all is well with you folks during these trying times and I intend to quietly enjoy the remainder of a delightfully lazy Sunday.


Saturday, January 09, 2021

 The first week of 2021 done and it was somewhat surreal at work. The lockdown is once again seeing a reduction in seeing people as we have to phone them instead, saving any face to face contact for urgent / crisis presentations. Happily, our interim manager has suggested we make the decisions based on clinical need and risk so we can still see many people but not all. Caseloads have increased and we are very busy with demands for the service increasing. We have no idea what the future holds apart from more work with fewer resources. At least we have jobs and are in demand for the time being.

Vaccines are also being rolled out for the community teams and by Monday I should think three of my colleagues and the older adults team will have had their vaccines. The rest of us are waiting as all slots had been taken but I am more than happy to wait and ensure that if I have to have the vaccine, it will be the Astra Zeneca Oxford one.  We'll see how that pans out but as I have a couple of allergies and a history of asthma which certainly means I won't have the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. What isn't explained is why once vaccinated we have to continue wearing masks. We don't wear them before or after flu jabs and the flu kills people, especially the elderly / those with serious health problems. I know there is a second vaccine jab which will be administered twelve weeks later contrary to the advice of the vaccine companies. I'm aware that the vaccines might not provide protection against infection but the same applies to the flu jab. I guess it is up to individuals to choose whether to vaccinate or not.

I have joined a Cold War model group build on fb and I have had to order another kit as I have no kits in that era. I wasn't going to bother but surprisingly Sue encouraged me to search for and buy a kit.  There is a   BAC Lightning F3 aircraft model winging its way to me. In the meantime I have continued with the Dornier Do G flying boat that I had started but put aside some weeks ago before building the Stuart Honey.

This will be built out of the box and will be an on-going build alongside the group build of the Lightning. Hopefully I can use the table for modelling as the cats have taken a liking to sleeping on it and take a keen interest in the modelling process. Not a good idea as glues, paints, small plastic or metal pieces and cats don't mix well.

In other news but related to my comment about work above, Sue and I went for a long walk through town today. I had to post a test sample to the bowel cancer centre and yes, I have reached that magic age where you are requested to literally post shit! So we combined that with the walk and how depressing. Empty shops and pubs boarded up and closed for good. The local mall empty and as a generally soulless place at the best of times, it even lacked that ambience. Poundland was open and I guess that might be a good indication of the future post virus / media panic. Beggars sitting in shop doorways, social distancing signs and footprints / arrows everywhere. Unless I have to, that will be my last visit to the mall for a long time. I must attend to a lentil curry I am cooking and there is a bottle of Mango Gin that needs my attention this evening.


Sunday, January 03, 2021

 I found an interesting film I wasn't aware of and absolutely loved it. Why? This is where I grew up and was home for many years during the sixties, seventies and eighties. I actually grew up in Hornsey about half a mile away but so many memories flooding back just watching this. The accents, wonderful...that's what I sound like, that's my voice.

Beneath the Clock Tower

It is odd seeing what Crouch End is like now as much has changed but so much remains from years before. Once this nonsense is over I fully intend to spend a few days in London revisiting my old manor.


Saturday, January 02, 2021

I decided to have a look at the builds I completed this year starting with this...


The Stuart Honey just about pops in as most of the build was done last year. Fifteen builds which given the demands on my time is reasonable. I had deliberately slowed my build rate down and aimed for a more considered approach.


Friday, January 01, 2021

      Happy New Year! 

Hopefully a better year ahead for us all although my opening to the new year consisted of clearing up where the smallest cat missed the litter tray! I sincerely hope this is not a harbinger of things to come. She's been somewhat naughty in that she was in the bedroom the other night so we left the door open to allow her to get to her litter tray. We don't ordinarily allow the cats in the bedroom at night because they wake us up at all hours for attention. Mindy clambered on top of us and then she decided to pee all over Sue. All hell broke loose! Cat flying off down the stairs pursued by Sue shouting at her, bedding changed but both of us wide awake and it must have showed because at work someone commented I looked very rough. However, all now settled and serene and the holiday 'celebrations' now done and dusted. Again, I am just glad to have a few days off before I return to working in an area that is lock downed in Tier 4. I'll find out what that means for face to face visits but I think we will be back to telephone contacts only except for urgent or crisis visits. Happily we get to define urgent according to clinical need and most of my caseload has had urgent visits. One excellent start to the new year is that the troublesome party who returned to the team walked out again yesterday, for reasons so far unknown. With another colleague leaving after next week we are again very short staffed. I guess my desire to move to part time working will be on hold for some time to come but I am ok with that. Based on the past year who knows what this coming year holds for us so I'll happily plod on with my work.

This is the progress so far on the M3 Stuart Honey and it took some extra work as the large decals would not sit right. I masked off the areas and painted in the red and white markings. Clear coated them and then this morning I touched up the camouflage areas where the white paint leaked into. I finally brush painted a matt coat all over including the figure and that is now drying off. There is some chipping but I kept it to a minimum. I decided to leave the oil paints off and I will opt for using pastels to represent dust and sand but I do have the oil pin wash to do to accentuate the rivets and recesses. I am pleased with it so far and I would like to put it in a diorama but space is the issue and one I will have to address this coming year. There are umpteen completed builds on shelves around the house but with the cats using some of the shelves I am running out of space. My plan is once the damp course is completed and we redecorate, I can build some new shelves in and place the builds there. I did shock Sue when I stated the joy of this hobby is the building and display only plays a small part for me as the completed builds are essentially worthless to most people.

All in all a quiet and peaceful holiday and I am looking forward to a quiet weekend before I return to the shenanigans next week.I hope you all have a happy and safe new year.


Monday, December 28, 2020

 Progress so far on the Honey...

The main colours from the Caunter scheme are airbrushed on and I brush painted the figure with a base coat of desert yellow, the thinned layers of khaki and wooden deck tan colours.A light dab of sunny flesh (Ooo er Missus) and then clear coated. I will use a thinned layer of oil paints to bring the colours together on the figure and then continue with chipping and weathering of the tank. Pastels will be used for the dust effects once everything else is completed. A lovely build so far and a wonderful escape from the madness outside. In case you are wondering yes, the wheels do move as do the tracks. I'll need that to complete the weathering on the tracks.

 That's Watson in the background and we had a major de-fleaing operation on him with Frontline, combing and more combing. He has been lethargic for the last couple of weeks and I suggested we do this first to rule it out. It's worked! He has more energy, a better appetite and loves being combed. We found only the two fleas but they would soon have multiplied. The others have had similar treatment, furniture and carpets sprayed and over the last three months we may have finally eradicated the little bitty bastards. I still plan to get the cats to the vet for a check up and their jabs so I won't be popular for a while with them.

Watson is also loafing in front of one of my presents, a mix it yourself whisky blending set which I tried out on Christmas Day evening. Thoroughly enjoyable and I will try it out again for New Years eve. I am also pleased to have the little bottles as a colleague at work is from Glasgow and I can bring him in some of the English Cotswold whisky to try out.

All in all, a quiet and somewhat subdued Christmas as the lockdown continues and although we went out walking, there is nowhere else to go to. I assume the sales are on and people are rushing out to buy whatever so another reason to avoid the shops. Having had Brexit divide society but hopefully now done and dusted, we have the next divisive issue to contend with, Sars-Cov-2 and vaccines. Apart from the next couple of days back at work I plan to have a quiet new year, finish this build and consider the next one for the table. 

I hope you all had a happy and peaceful Christmas and hopefully we can look forward to a better 2021.


Friday, December 25, 2020

                       Merry Christmas!