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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.'

Saturday 20 February 2016


... from ignominy.

Have I spelt that correctly? Which reminds me of the original bit of  Dad's Army's repartee from the very early days when the boys are joining up:

Mainwaring: 'Occupation?'
Fraser: 'I own a philatelist's shop.'
Mainwaring: 'How do you spell that?'
Fraser: 'S. H.O.P. Shop'.

Now, back to business.  Those of you who have been paying attention will know that some months ago, I began the very simple task of kit-bashing the old Airfix 'snap-together' Me Bf109 G-6. The idea being to add another aircraft to my small, late war Italian, Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana (ANR) collection. Surely there could be no problems for a kit basher of decades? Mmm, well, apart from the rather basic nature of the cockpit, which was remedied with one of Yahu's quite marvellous 1/72 instrument panels, it should have been a piece of carrot cake.  But.  But, I didn't wash the parts, so when it came to removing the masks, the paint came off in strips. Then I left the masks on the canopy for too long, and the tape welded itself to the 'clear' plastic. Then I broke off the tail wheel. At that point, I did something I have never done before, I gave the thing up, and left if to gather dust in the shed.

But, I just couldn't leave it. Even though I moved onto British bi-plane bombers and German jets, while waiting for lumbering Whitleys.  So, chastened, I brought the 109 in from the cold:

Above, after I'd started to rub down the damaged paint  job.

Primed, again, looking a bit better.

Basics done. I can never get the German 'graus' right, even when, supposedly, using top stuff - here, Xtracrylics. I mixed the hellgrau, but ended up with too much hell and not enough grau.

And, above, as it looks at the moment. The markings come from a 20-25 year old set ('Blue Rider' perhaps), and I've already used up all the stencils, so it's just the basics, but as they incorporate a nice combination of wing fasces, fuselage balkenkreuz, tricolour and blue chevron, it looks quite neat. All that's needed is some washes, a bit of weathering, aerial, and matt varnish.

Above is a photo of the original (including DF loop - not on my version!) from the excellent tome by Nick Beale et al.

All that has rather re-whetted my appetite for Me109s - especially as I have a very, very unusual one sitting in its box. One that does not require mottling.  But, on the other hand, there is the He floatplane waiting, all clean and ready to go; not to mention the Whitley, which could, just could, be on the way... (especially now Hornby have sacked their CEO).