Saturday, April 27, 2019

Another day and another model...

                                Breguet Br 693  - Armee de l'air circa 1940.

Well, a couple of completed builds and new kits ordered as well as a new airbrush. The cheap Chinese airbrush I've been using is failing and requires complete strip downs and cleaning between every use now when it isn't misfiring or clogged up. I bought what is described as an 'Entry level airbrush for the modeller who wants to up their game'...

I have been advised by other modellers to practice on card, plastic, etc... as the sensitivity and control of this airbrush will be a revelation to me. My current build and the last three builds have all been brush painted and as much as I enjoy that, it's ok for small builds but not the larger aircraft kits I am itching to start on.

Cromwell Tank circa 1944.   

 The current kit is a 1/35 scale Schwimmwagen, a VW amphibious car used by the Germans during the war. It's small and just right for brush painting but when I build these scale kits I realise how small people were in times past to squeeze into such a small machine.

So between work which has become super busy and managerially 'interesting' and the modelling I have done very little else. Following Blue Witch's latest missive I too have lost faith in the current political climate in this country and further afield as well as the moral vacuum they have created. The current shower of thieves, liars, troughers is why we get extremists gaining more access to power. We are a long way from the 20's and 30's European political scene which brought in the Fascists & Communists but it feels like the seeds of growth are there for such to happen again. The local council elections are next week and our ward has several candidates including two independents one of whom I intend to vote for. I will never vote for the mainstream parties who have ignored democracy and are painting 17.4 million voters as bigots, fascists, ignorant and stupid but funnily enough want our votes! I'll look for sensible candidates from now on who aren't anti-semitic communists or corporatist fascists. As for middle class hard of thinking wankers super gluing themselves to various objects to protest climate change...Waitrose protests? Various city street junctions and airports? Yet this country is ahead of the current game in addressing this issue but these entitled cosseted twats wouldn't dare target China or anywhere else in Asia, German coal powered stations or the companies that produce their precious mobiles, computers and clothing using child labour, polluting and destroying the environment. Nope...central London whilst the media wet their pants and cheer them on! Pseudo protest pornography comes to mind.
Start with personal change and local change: eat vegetarian or vegan if you want, buy local produce or grow your own vegetables. Cycle, walk or use public transport if those options are open to you. Vote for people in elections who are determined to address housing, public transport, services and infrastructure needs. Identify those politicians and companies that are happy to build great new wasteful housing estates whilst brownfield sites and empty properties are ignored. That's how you influence or enact change, argue against and challenge the practices that are not only destroying the environment but also social cohesiveness. Pandering to individual groups based on religion or the alphabeti spaghetti of sexual identification whilst destroying women's rights or painting the elderly as the problem in society promotes anger, hatred and division. Absolutely stupid. Practice and live your religion and lifestyles so long as it ain't illegal, doesn't hurt others and connects with other people. Ghettoisation and blaming others without resolving your own community problems makes the situation worse. Illness, disease, pollution, floods, war don't care about gender, sexual preference, colour, creed, etc...If the water is full of pesticides, shit and antibiotics it affects us all. I may have to consider whether I move from modelling plastic kits plus all the paraphernalia associated with it and use materials like card and paper which some modellers do if I want to increase my green credentials. Perhaps take up painting instead using watercolours and oils!
Rant over...I shall go away now, stroke my cats and drink some soothing tea.


Saturday, April 13, 2019

A quick update and as can be seen from the above, it is the usual modelling when I have the time or working. I booked yesterday as time off in lieu as I am owed a lot of hours but the day was booked for the cars MOT (annual test to ensure vehicles are safe and roadworthy). As I expected the car failed but only because it needed new tyres. A couple of minor advisories which I agreed to have corrected and parts replaced. Thanks to the parts supply company who cocked up in supplying an old used part the car is stuck on the ramp for the weekend until the new part arrives Monday. Apology from the garage who aren't at fault but have offered a discount as a goodwill gesture and I should have the car back on Monday. A nuisance but happily I have the hours to use up.

The tank is a 1/76 scale Cromwell from Airfix and is a quick simple build which will be completed tomorrow with a protective clear coat, decals, a further matt clear coat and then weathering. It's representative of the Cromwells used in 1944 - 45 from Normandy to Germany. I bought two kits as they were so cheap and this one I am building OOB (out of the box). The second one I may buy after market decals and portray it as a Polish Cromwell, part of the British / Allied forces in the second front. It is tiny and I brush painted as I continue to practice my brush painting skills. I even bought some new decent (more expensive!) brushes from the wargaming stall on the market. They'll be used for figure and fine detail painting.

One of the reasons I wanted the car in good shape is that I am still looking for a decent second hand camper van and if the car is in good shape I might be able to part exchange it. One of the issues is that the camper van would be used for work as well as for pleasure and I really don't want a big van. I had considered a small economical car for work and the camper van as a second vehicle. My concern there is that every vehicle I have owned whilst living here has been vandalised and the camper van parked up for days at a time is likely to attract the idiots who do this. I don't really want to have the upkeep of two vehicles or rent out a garage, etc...So I am looking out for a small economical low mileage camper van that I can use for the next three or so years. It means I am being very choosy and sadly the one I spotted and expressed interest in was snapped up very quickly. It was ideal, a French registered Renault Kangoo, left hand drive and just the right size, spec, price and suitable for work. But I am still looking and once the car is sorted I can see what's available over the next few weeks, sort my money out and join the part time travelling folk. In the meantime, Shanks' pony and staying at home this weekend will suffice.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

I finally got into the garden today, mowed the jungle and plenty of weeding done but still lots to remove. Boy, those buggers can grow and proliferate like nobody's business. I bought two tomato plants from the market and they are in protective custody from inquisitive felines. A quick shower, some piriton on top of my regular anti-histamine and as per usual, the sedative side-effect saw me asleep for the next hour or so. Sadly, no modelling done today but a welcome day of rest. However, despite missing out on bench work today and my intentions to avoid buying any more kits I received the latest acquisition today. A plane I have wanted for a long time and as this was going cheap I couldn't resist.

Another reason for not modelling today is that I have an annoying pain in the base of my right thumb and into my forearm. I suspect it is as a result of too much computer use and driving at work so I will keep this post short and rest it for today. I don't believe it is carpal tunnel syndrome but a rest and stopping those activities for a couple of days will help.

This kit is an original one from the 1970's and the decals show their age. Anyhow, back to watching old episodes of Time Team, some beer and doing nothing with my hand.


Monday, April 01, 2019

Via a fb page I found the following picture...

A school photo of my class in 1969 when I was 8 years old, about to turn 9 if I remember correctly. First year at junior school after we had moved up from infants (primary) school. I am second row last boy on the right as you look at the picture, stood in front of my favourite teacher Miss Charles. To my 58 year old eyes she looks so young yet in my memory I always thought she was much older. I've already had contact with three people from the photo but I do wonder what happened to the rest of them. One I know of, Fitzroy who is sat next to the sign and was a good friend back then but the rest could be scattered all over the world for all I know. My wife was surprised by how many black kids there were then but as I pointed out, we were a mixture of West Indian, African, Irish and Greek Cypriot immigrants or children of immigrants in my neighbourhood. The empire came home to roost and here we are. It has brought some memories flooding back, mainly happy ones of school and friends there. I suspect I was a little gobshite full of mischief back then, possibly hyperactive when I think of some of the antics I got up to. Thankfully Mrs Charles helped me with reading and my inability to sit still for long and she instilled a life long love of reading and seeking knowledge. I have to admit I am chuffed to bits to find this picture. It's a good job someone provided some of the names as I could only name about ten of the kids.