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Greetings!

'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.'

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Happy Birthday to Me...

... I'm a hundred and three...

That being a version sung to me by my grandson. However, as he also bought me an Airfix Spitfire PRXIX, I'll forgive him.

And...the Whitley...aaaah.  A big, shiny box (a proper, tray style too), with a really rather atmospheric bit of artwork showing Whitleys coming into land:



The Whitley was manufactured just a few miles from where I live. In a neck of the woods called Baginton, now part of Coventry. That city was such an aeronautical (and automotive) powerhouse in the 1930s and 1940s. In consequence, it had zero unemployment in the mid and late 1930s, and the only notable extra-parliamentary political activity was in the form of the Greenshirts (the Social Credit types. That was just a tit bit for any VBCW chaps reading). Of course, Coventry still has an automotive edge in the form of the increasingly successful Jaguar-Land Rover; but, alas, like steel, not owned by a British concern.

Enough of all that dribbling. The kit? How does it look, out of the box?  Nice, clean, sharp, light grey plastic:



Look at those wings! Look at the chord! The thickness of the wings! This was such a feature of the Whitley. My 1967 Profile Publications; The Armstrong Whitworth Whitley, number 153, price TWO SHLLINGS, has some pilot reminiscences of the aircraft (which was, of course, frontline only 24 years earlier). The big wings produced a high degree of lift: 'When lightly loaded it tried to float quietly off the ground before the pilot had got both throttles up to take-off power. Similarly, its arrival on the ground was uniquely an affair of its own. "One motored gently in with the two Merlins singing their customary varying song, and proceed to attempt a hold-off. That part was all right, but when one tried to get the tail fully down nothing very much happened. The thing just wheeled itself quietly and softly on the ground and seemed to take no notice whatever of the driver."'




More above of the nice, crisp bits.

Now, below, the new style instructions:



I'm not sure what I think of them, but will wait and see if they are ok; they seem a bit busy.



13 comments:

  1. Happy returns of the day - the word is that you look very good for 103, so keep up the regime. Respect.

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    1. My thanks, sir! It's the plastic glue - keeps one's spirits up.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Norm! I was mistaken for my grandson's father today! Mind you, the training centre for Guidedogs is nearby..

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  3. Replies
    1. My thanks! I've waited half a century for a decent sized Airfix kit for m'birthday. Just shows you, patience is a virtue!

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    2. My thanks! I've waited half a century for a decent sized Airfix kit for m'birthday. Just shows you, patience is a virtue!

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  4. What a gift! All the best Stephen.

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    1. Cheers, Paul. I started it today, because I caught myself looking through my stash for Western Desert kit....

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  5. Allow me to wish you joy of the day!

    I'd be curious to see a picture of that bomber next to a fighter, just to get a sense of scale.

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    1. My dear fellow! Hopefully, the thing will be finished in a few weeks, then I'll post with a Hurricane. It was classed as a night-bomber 'heavy', though not quite the size of a Lancaster or Halifax.

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  6. Replies
    1. Thank you! I always try and stretch the thing out; you know, 'it's my birthday week...'

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