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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.'

Friday, 25 April 2014



Or deja vu all round. As most of us are aware, the Ukrainian/Russian crisis rumbles on, with various actors inside, and outside, those countries playing what may well be a rather dangerous game of silly buggers. I will resist the temptation to comment about multi-national states, partition, and disputed borders (we in the UK and Ireland, have had our own problems in those respects). However, the whole business is a tad depressing, though not without ironic light relief. The latter comes in the form of the totally unelected EU foreign policy Generalissimo, Baroness (how apt) Ashton, lecturing Putin on democracy. Putin is, of course, elected. But I have been a bit surprised at the speed with which parts of the UK media have wheeled out the Cold War rhetoric. However, every cloud, etc etc, and the BBC kindly supplied us aero-enthusiasts with some marvellous photographs of Russian 'Bears', intercepted by RAF Typhoons. They are well worth a look - here. Absolutely marvellous photographs - just look at the different finishes on various panels ! Aaaaah. But, more seriously, why show us this now, when, of course, it is a pretty standard event, ever since the temporary grounding of aircraft after the collapse of Bolshevism. Why now ? Why refresh old images in the minds of a good slice of the population?

And, that, of course, brings me to modelling Groundhog here at the Hobbit Bunker, in the shape of:

Yes, another 1/144 Badger, but a Badger G. Unlike my previous Tupelov, this one is being finished in over the water camouflage - gull grey over white:

I am clearly on a aircraft kit bash streak (although I have no idea at all where I will be able to squeeze them in among my packed shelves). I'm also into a long-range, sea strike mood, and last week I picked up:

Now, I intend to finish this Heinkel He115 B as an Heinkel He115A (as far as  can establish, there were no external differences between the two) of the Norwegian air force. But there is a tricky bit. My trawl of the internetosphere has come up with only three images of Norwegian He115s. Two appear to be pre-war, and one is, apparently, a photograph of one of the aircraft which escaped to the UK. The pre-war finish appears to be overall aluminuim/silver, while the escaped version has a heavy, field applied, random camouflage applied to the upper surfaces, but the colours are almost impossible to determine. Has anyone got any more concrete information on either finish???

As you might expect of a toy soldier/kit bashing/war gaming odd bod, I also have small collections of other bits and pieces - or artefacts, if you will. I'm particularly pleased by a new acquisition to my small collection of Staffordshire figures, I think it is Grace Darling, and it is probably from the 1850s/60s:
A very nice piece, with overloaded cobalt that ran. One of millions, and a reminder of both of bravery and domesticity from times past. The figure to the right, by the way, is a modern figure but executed in a nice classic style. It is 'Napoleon', but looks like Rabbie Burns dressed for a party.
 In Old Blighty, Spring is well and truly here, and this is the view from my back window out into my tiny garden:

I enjoy this view as free Englishman with thanks to the men of the ANZAC. Long may their memory live.