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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.'

Thursday, 31 December 2015

PEACE and HEALTH...


...in 2016 to you all!
 
 
Contrary to all the rules of good blogging, I have neglected my duties here, and posted little. I had, indeed, thought to let these pages wither on their electronic vine.  But, perhaps not. What is started must be finished.  That, in kit bashing terms has been increasingly not the case. Old age? Too much in the way of the diurnals? Jaded?  Probably all three. However, with the onset of the Christmas and New Year holidays, I determined to kit bash something in the 'classic plastic' line. Inspired by an article by Jonathan Burns in Classic British Bombers, edited by Gary Hatcher (by far the best plastic aircraft modelling magazine editor), and armed with:
 
 
a 48 year old copy of Profile's The Handley Page Heyford, I set to on a 35 year old Matchbox 1/72 of the same.  Jonathan Burns' article was very useful, in particular his hard-won advice about getting the engine nacelles absolutely smooth on the top, to ensure proper wing mating. I didn't take photos of the Heyford as a work in progress, but here's a few (poor) shots of it on the shelf:

 
Marvellous beast. Pilot sat 17 feet up in the air, fuselage mated to top wing, giving excellent upper hemisphere vision, main bomb load carried in thickened centre-section of lower wing. That lower wing, and other devices, meant that the Heyford could be refueled and re-armed within 30 minutes - hence the manufacturer's monika - 'the Express Bomber'.


Not that it was 'express' in any other meaning of the word, with a top speed of 134 mph. Mind you, it was a dedicated night bomber, but, still, for a 1936 bit of kit, somewhat slow. Had the Munich Agreement not happened, it would have been the RAF's main weapon in any bombing of Germany.


 
Withdrawn from frontline service days before the UK declared war on Germany, it was replaced by the Whitley - which, very happily, has recently been released by Airfix...  can feel a 2016 kit bashing theme growing.
 
In other news, my son, who for so many years has been a denizen of the DARK SIDE of wargaming (i.e., the weirdness that is Warhammer and 40K), has, I hope and pray, seen the light. He has now started a new Old School project, which can be viewed here at The Molgravian Gazette. Please visit, and encourage him - it will make an old man very happy...


14 comments:

  1. Ah, the days when aircraft still looked classy, before all of this monoplane nonsense :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, yes, quite! Wings, four of them. Four wings, good. Two wings, bad. Hrrrmmph,

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  2. I loved buying the Matchbox kits from my local newsagent as a lad. All the best for 2016 old chap.

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    Replies
    1. And Matchbox chose such good stuff to kit - Siskin and the PzIII really stood out.

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  3. That looks a treat...And a death trap!

    Nice work Stephen.

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    Replies
    1. Apparently, the prop tip was four inches from the fuselage - hence the 'horns' by the cockpit to stop the pilot decapitating himself!

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  4. Hurrah for the return of Al Front!

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    Replies
    1. 'I have returned', with corncob pipe.

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  5. What a wonderful aeroplane / flying septic tank. Matchbox really did produce some wonderfully / wilfully obscure / forgotten kits that, at the time you could get hols of. Just been reading comrade front minor1s blog, splendid stuff as well. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Matchbox were a real treat in the '70s, rather showed Airfix up, and were easier (in my neck of the woods anyway) to get hold of than Frog.

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  6. ..and to yourself. That's a marvellous model, would love to have that on my shelf too. Don't worry about a regular update- we all know how creativity ebbs and flows..

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    Replies
    1. Cheers! It's made me think of doing the RAF's 'odd' interwar bombers - the Hinaidi was the 'plane that the Heyford replaced, with its pulpit type front gun position. The Bombay attracts too - I think Azur kitted that not so long ago. So much to kit bash, so little time...

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    ReplyDelete