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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Odds and ...

... bobs. One of the good things about having dreadful eyesight, and using two pairs of specs (not wanting to take a mortgage out on a pair of varifocals) is that I don't really notice the dust that gathers in my room. I know there's plenty of it, as my pipes used to (sigh) deposit grey ash on things, especially when I was cleaning them prior to a good, poisonous smoke (deep sigh), and the hatch to the loft above is usually open and atmospheric changes up there often leads to dust slowly descending. But today, I happened to be peering about  looking for a book on Mithras while wearing my reading specs, and so realised that the odds and bobs of models and figures on the book shelves really did need a bit of a dusting. While doing that I took photos of some of the little fellows:

First up, three very nice 54mm Home Front types, an Air Raid Precautions (ARP) warden on the left, a wartime copper at the back, and a fire watcher at right. I love the ARP and the fire watcher, smoking their fags, with the warden cradling his mug of tea. That's how the UK survived the war - fags and tea.

Second, the venerable Airfix Mk. 1 tank. I have a very clear memory of standing in Woolworth's when I was four or five looking up at one of these on a shelf behind the sales girl. A long dead aunt was with me, and even Woolworth's is gone, as has the whole Attlee post-war settlement (Attlee is peeping down at the Mk 1 here).

Third, a 1/76 delivery wagon that I made 26 years ago. Quite a fragile kit, and I'm surprised it has survived all my moves since then; although it has lost a headlight. I was very pleased with the GWR (Great Western Railway) poster I added, copied from an actual 1920s rail poster for Cornwall.

A random selection of 1/72 aircraft from one of my bookshelves. What strikes me looking at this is how I like odd air forces, or little known types.

Actually, my favourite from the selection above is this Polikarpov. It did, at one time, have a prop, but a gust of wind through an open window actually saw this tiny kit take to the air - for a moment - before plunging to prop losing disaster. I see that the tragic composer and poet, Ivor Gurney, has crept into the photo above. One of England's great poets, and a noted composer of church music. He could do with a little more general recognition.

And this fellow, Dr John H. Watson, with dog ... but is that the Hound in puppy hood?

Finally, just to show that it wasn't just housework that I managed today, here's some more of Castro's blokes - all IMEX Korean War US infantry. I like the little grenade thrower, and, overall, I think they've come out OK despite my deliberately utilitarian approach to this project.


  1. Thanks for sharing the some of your shelf contents with us .I enjoyed the tour and such a diverse and interesting array of models there.
    best wishes

    1. They probably would have looked quite decent in 'low vis' (dust) grey too.

  2. Fascinating window into your collection. Sorry to hear that the pipes have been retired (I must have missed this earlier in the year), it's just a damn shame that such enjoyable pastimes aren't always the best for least small lead soldiers are relatively safe, unless ingested.
    Thanks for the info. on Mithras

    1. Hi Mike, cheers. Yes, another whisper from the Grim Reaper saw off the pipes. Glad you're back on the blogging circuit!

  3. I like the way the wardens are looking upward, doubtless trying to identify aircraft on higher shelves across the room.

    Glad to know I'm not the only one whose vision involves various bands of visibility and obscurity depending on which, if any, spectacles I have on.

    1. Yes, they're nice little fellows, with bags of charm.

      The good thing about 'various bands of visibility and obscurity' (I like that) is that one can rapidly change one's perceptions of the world without recourse to chemical stimulants - just by changing specs, or putting them on and off!