Author Topic: Kitbasher's blog: Too many ideas, not enough time.....  (Read 40265 times)

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Offline kitbasher

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Kitbasher's blog: Too many ideas, not enough time.....
« on: April 18, 2012, 07:40:05 am »
.....is coming soon.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 09:27:21 am by kitbasher »
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On the go: Arrow, Beaumaris, Battle, Bronco GA.1, CASA 2.217, Corsair GR.1, EE P12, Hawker P1067, Hellcat IV, Ice Cream Tank, JP T4, Jumo MiG-15, Macchi MC.205, Meteor F.8R, Phantom FG1, SAAB J-29, Sea Hawk T7, Spitfire XII, Ta154, Val, Wellington.

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Re: Kitbasher's blog: Too many ideas, not enough time.....
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2012, 09:11:07 am »
BACK STORY - THE EARLY YEARS

So.  For as long as I can remember I've been building scale plastic models.  In the past there's been the odd Airfix tank or 1/600 ship, a few of the 1/12 historical figures when I was a kid, and even a couple of the 54mm Waterloo figures.  Oddities also included an Airfix Stephenson's rocket, a Heller Apollo capsule and even an Aurora U-boat!  I even went through a brief phase of Revell 1/32 WW2 types including a Stuka (resplendent in its fuselage snake marking).  But for the most part it has been 1/72 aircraft.

I don't know when I built my first kit.  I remember building them as a primary school kid but don't remember the first one.  I can recall a Spitfire (the venerable JE-J), a sharkmouthed Kittyhawk, a Lancaster and the 'Bit O' Lace' B-17 - all Airfix - being in my early collection but I guess my Dad built them for (or with) me.  It won't have been my mum or by little brother!  I was definitely an Airfix kid.  Airfix was readily available in a fairly nearby newsagent, the local Co-op and the central Manchester branch of Woollies.  They were also available in the toy shop up by my uncle's and a popular model shop in Ashton-under-Lyne.  If I was a good lad I would be treated to a trip to the mythical Bootle Street model shop just down the way from the Manchester Police HQ, and in time the Spring Gardens branch of Beatties.  None of these now exist, although the Bootle Street shop is the Deansgate Modelzone.

So yes, an Airfix lad.  FROG could also be obtained - generally small selections in various newsagents, toy shops and model shops (of course); Lincoln and Aurora kits were also sometimes available (I was baffled by the meaning of 'quarter scale') but avoided these.  Which is a shame really.  Perhaps they were too exotic for my simple northern tastes, maybe just not that interesting.

Revell was also available.  A local bicycle was the biggest local stockist I recall, but for some reason (and despite the rather glorious artwork) they didn't truly inspire.  I remember building their He219 and am looking forward to re-establishing my acquaintance with that kit in the near future courtesy of Wooksta's clearout; I also had one one of their rather gaudy red and NMF P-51s, but Revell really didn't appeal despite a stall on Ashton market selling lots of it too.  I recall thinking it was really crude and inaccurate, unlike Airfix (of course!).  It's odd, but it's only in relatively recent years that this early anti-Revell prejudice has been overcome, although I suppose it's not that supressed as I get very defensive of Airfix when they get slagged off for re-releasing ancient kits while Revell seem to get away with it (P-51D, Bf109E, etc).

So 1/72 aircraft it was, then.  No idea why, so just go with the flow, readers!  In the early days any subject was fair game, although it tended to be British, American and German.  Very little French, Russian or Italian, and no Japanese - dunno why.  Hung from the ceiling by white cotton - ideal for playing 'searchlights' with a small torch after bedtime!  Later I'd paint the lights with luminous paints and watch them glow in the dark.  'Searchlights' was still being played, mind.

Into the teen era.  I began to focus on British subjects - probably to save money on Humbrol Authentic Colours - and I'd like to think my modelling improved.  However, girls, college and beer beckoned.....
« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 09:28:04 am by kitbasher »
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On the go: Arrow, Beaumaris, Battle, Bronco GA.1, CASA 2.217, Corsair GR.1, EE P12, Hawker P1067, Hellcat IV, Ice Cream Tank, JP T4, Jumo MiG-15, Macchi MC.205, Meteor F.8R, Phantom FG1, SAAB J-29, Sea Hawk T7, Spitfire XII, Ta154, Val, Wellington.

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Re: Kitbasher's blog: Too many ideas, not enough time.....
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2012, 08:12:05 am »
.....not necessarily in that order, but you get the gist.

During my teens I remember buying the odd edition of Aviation News (when it was in a fortnightly (I think) newspaper format), and occasionally Airfix magazine.  Mad things such as conversion kits and decal sheets were, well, mad things you got from the dark unknown called 'mail order'.  That said I think the original (i.e. pre-ED Models) Almark sheets could be had from a couple of local model shops, but they seemed a little extravagant so it was kit components and transfers all the way.   I did indulge in some converting - the Alan Hall balsa way, turning my ancient Airfix Lancaster into a Lancastrian, converting an Airfix Harrier GR1 into a Sea Harrier FRS1, and some years later having a go with turning a Hawk T1 into a Hawk 200.

Student life really slowed down model making, although I did discover 'Scale Aircraft Modelling', my first edition being single-seat RAF Meteors (one of the earliest editions I think) and became an irregular buyer - always from WH Smiths, and only when the 'Aircraft in Detail' was of a post-WW2 RAF type, this being the sole focus of my rather limited modelling.  This would be the pattern for the next three years - one or two builds every year, that was all, plus some copies of SAM.  I think it must have been around my last year as a student I discovered Modeldecal sheets, which really was a revelation as I think first use of these, and the arrival a couple of years later of Precision Paints and Compuclour (Precision Paints were my preference) led to a mini resurgence in modelling.  Modeldecal, Precision Paints and Humbrol were the constants in accessory terms - god job really given my main modelling interest!

Thus was the general pattern of low volume modelling throughout the 1980s and the early 90s, due in part to the rather nomadic life of an RAF officer, and also married life and two small kids.  I like to think my modelling standards improved, however this was due - I'll be honest - to better aftermarket options.  Mid-80s saw me at RAF West Drayton with the Aviation Hobby Shop just around the corner.  Very handy for lunchtime shopping!

Then in the mid/late 90s a couple of opportunities arose.  Promotion led to my own office and the chance to display a couple of models in a a cabinet.  And my first whif emerged - not that I knew the term then, of course - an Airfix F-5A painted up in imaginary RAuxAF colours.  I think they were County of Gloucester markings from a Vampire Modeldecal sheet, pale blue/red national markings and I think a disruptive camouflage pattern of Medium Sea Grey/'Barley Grey' uppers and Light Aircraft Grey undersides.  The finished item was very much a prototype of my current tastes in whiffery, but didn't start the whiffing addiction.  

Subsequent posting to Boscombe Down as SATCO gave me a bigger office and a bigger cabinet - and the need of a past time to keep me away from the Mess bar every night!  So modelling witnessed a revival, but with a twist.  Post-WW2 RAF would remain my main modelling interest 'at home', but weekday modelling at Boscombe would for some inexplicable reason focus on WW2 RAF fighters.  I don't know why but I thought of this as very much a sideline that didn't warrant my full attention, although actually it got it!  After Boscombe came a staff tour to RAF Uxbridge, another cabinet and something of a return to post-WW2 RAF (but the WW2 interest continued), woth a focus on the Spitfire.  I also developed a taste for the FW190D - a handsome beast.

A deployment to the Kuwait brought about a further brush with whiffery.  I took some kits with me as a diversion - an Airfix Hunter that was finished in Kuwaiti colours, a Revell 1/144 Tornado, something else (can't remember what) and an Olde Worlde Airfix Mig-15 that was finished in Luftwaffe colours.  I remember them well!  They stayed in country.  They stayed in country for at least two and a half years as in the course of a subsequent deployment to Saudi Arabia and a swift visit to Kuwait I took a look in my old room and they were still hanging from the light fitting!  Incidentally, during the Saudi sojourn I did some kitbashing - an Italeri Spit Vb, Airfix Blenheim and Lysander, and a Matchbox Wellesley all in Middle East schemes, plus a Heller (ex-Airfix) Skyraider in US Navy colours - and left them all behind.  They were there for a while after my departure as far as I know (the Skyraider was quite international, having been bought in a Limmasol hypermarket whilst on holiday the year before) - there is some corner of a foreign field.....

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On the go: Arrow, Beaumaris, Battle, Bronco GA.1, CASA 2.217, Corsair GR.1, EE P12, Hawker P1067, Hellcat IV, Ice Cream Tank, JP T4, Jumo MiG-15, Macchi MC.205, Meteor F.8R, Phantom FG1, SAAB J-29, Sea Hawk T7, Spitfire XII, Ta154, Val, Wellington.

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Re: Kitbasher's blog: Too many ideas, not enough time.....
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2012, 03:44:14 am »
BACK STORY - WHIFFERY BECKONS

So without realising what I would be getting myself into I'd taken my first tentative steps to unabated whiffery.  In fact I think it indicates that there is a whiffer in all of us, and I'd go as far as to say that there are two kinds of modeller - those that have whiffed at some point - and liars!  

In my case whiffery took hold whilst a member of the now defunct RAF Aviation Society.  Yes I'd been a schoolboy spotter and enjoyed air displays (I organised the first couple of Brize Norton photoshoots and worked on RIAT on six occasions, but haven't been to a show since 1998), but in RAFAS my main activity was modelling - and competing in the President's Cup each year at Telford.  Well I was never anywhere near the standard of Rod 'Otto' Ulrich and Chris McKee (both Farnborough IPMS stalwarts and Scale Modelworld medal winners - Otto is also a very keen whifffer) with straight builds so I thought I'd get around that little problem by means of a couple of inventions.  So my first 'real' wifs were my Centaurus Typhoon and Corsair:


No joy though - won nothing!  Although I got some satisfaction from overhearing one punter initially think the Corsair was a Sea Fury (it was painted in the later high Sky demarcation line scheme at the time) then realise what it really was after a double take.  With both models I took the internet plunge and submitted brief articles on each to ARC.  I'd not heard of the 'What If' forum at the time but the articles were spotted and an invitation to join the throng was sent to me - I did and the rest is history.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 05:03:47 am by kitbasher »
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On the go: Arrow, Beaumaris, Battle, Bronco GA.1, CASA 2.217, Corsair GR.1, EE P12, Hawker P1067, Hellcat IV, Ice Cream Tank, JP T4, Jumo MiG-15, Macchi MC.205, Meteor F.8R, Phantom FG1, SAAB J-29, Sea Hawk T7, Spitfire XII, Ta154, Val, Wellington.

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Re: Kitbasher's blog: Too many ideas, not enough time.....
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 01:38:29 pm »
SO WHERE ARE WE NOW?

Firmly entrenched in whifworld, that's where.  I sometimes wonder whether the liberation of whiffery - the freedom the genre offers and to me an associated sense of modelling creativity that was previously lacking (yep, that's my spot booked in Pseud's Corner!) - is sometimes not a healthy aspect of the hobby if not kept in check.

As hinted earlier,I was definitely suffering from 'modeller's block', a condition a lot of us seem to suffer from at some point.  Since writing the last entry I've thought about that a bit more and in my case I know that part of the problem stemmed from a feeling of frustration at not being able to reach the exceptional standards of other modellers.  The other part stemmed from not having anywhere to display finished models - once built they went straight into storage and out of sight.  That's passed now, but is modeller's block also attributable to life changes?  Those of us with families will have juggled domestic priorities - work, family, kids - and time for modeling diminishes.  I guess my introduction to whiffery kind of coincided with kids going to Uni and leaving me with more free time.  I do know that whiffery inspired me and successive efforts have led to me actually developing my modelling skills even further.  Also I'm content with creating something that's all my own idea and of accepting it's deficiencies - I'm much more comfortable with my limitations as a modeller than I used to be (that's not to say I'm not inspired by some of the masterpieces at Telford, for example) and I'm enjoying modelling more than ever before.

My problem now is that I can get inspiration from all manner of places, sometimes even in a moment of reverie an idea will pop into mind and I just have to get on with it before someone else steals my idea (you know, the one only I know about!).  I'm not helped by having a large branch of Modelzone just around the corner from the office and The Aviation Hobby Shop just a short drive (or bike ride) down the road to fuel my whif habit.  What I need is a bit more discipline when it comes to starting a project, staying with it and finally finishing it before starting too many other builds.

So what is my habit?  Inevitable I guess but it's derived from my long-standing focus on UK military (mainly RAF) types (see earlier).  I've built some non-Brit subjects but not many, and to be honest it's sometimes difficult to strike up the same degree of 'affinity' with these.  That said, my Merlin Fokker D.XXIII was a longstanding modelling ambition (as indeed is a real world D.XXIII) and even though I say it myself I think my 'Swiss Venom FB4' is a much better rendition of a Flitzer than its original Swedish incarnation.  I've never been an extravagant kit buyer in cost terms - my biggest purchase to date has been an Airfix Nimrod, but the 10 off deal on Airfix Valiants in Modelzone is proving hard to resist - and i'm happier chopping up a cheap old Airfix or NOVO kit up than a whizz-bang expensive Hasejumiya kit from Japan.  PM kits are cheap and cheerful, and I'm one for rummaging thorough the bargain basement second hand boxes at model shows for something to chop up and rearrange in a different but (I hope) convincing order.  While I can admire some of the outrageous fantasy whif models you encounter on this forum, for me I have to have a sense of plausibility about my builds.  Some may call them boring, others may think I'm clearly just kidding myself in thinking there's even the slightest shred of plausibility in them BUT THEY'RE MINE AND THEY'VE BEEN FUN TO BUILD!   And I really, truly hope that's how we on this forum all feel about our models.

And you know what, I really there's a positive bunch of modellers contributing to this forum.  All appear to take their whiffing seriously enough but also with a healthy pinch of salt.  Most of all it always strikes me that we're all having a bit of fun courtesy of our hobby - and surely that's the point of any hobby, is it not?
 ;D ;D

« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 03:00:20 pm by kitbasher »
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On the go: Arrow, Beaumaris, Battle, Bronco GA.1, CASA 2.217, Corsair GR.1, EE P12, Hawker P1067, Hellcat IV, Ice Cream Tank, JP T4, Jumo MiG-15, Macchi MC.205, Meteor F.8R, Phantom FG1, SAAB J-29, Sea Hawk T7, Spitfire XII, Ta154, Val, Wellington.

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Re: Kitbasher's blog: Too many ideas, not enough time.....
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2012, 05:14:08 pm »
Well said in that last post. I'm rather limited in my modelling skills (and I marvel at yours) and rather than  :banghead: or progress, I've learnt to be happy with how I model and been lucky to find the people that take it the right way here. It's about getting these things in my head out and having fun with with. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Kitbasher's blog: Too many ideas, not enough time.....
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2012, 01:33:51 pm »
SO WHERE ARE WE NOW? Part 2

On the modelling front you'll see from the bottom of my various posts what's on the go at any given moment  As with every other modeller, some of them have been on the go for rather longer than others!  For example, I must have started the Phantom FG1 over 10 years ago - it only needs painting and decalling for heaven's sake!  However, that's a newbie compared to the Jet Provost T4.  This beastie is a tidied up Airfix T3 that must be at last 20 years old.  What does it need?  A replacement canopy, that's all.  I've used the old, poor Airfix original as a master for a plunge-moulded replacement and have simply not done the deed.  Again I don't know why!

Of the rest the P12 stalled while throwing together my Operation Cosford efforts, ditto the Battle and the Mosquito NF.XXX.  Conversely I'm slowly progressing with a real-world Airfix Val and have nearly finished a 1940 Anglo-French fighter.  The idea for that creation came when OGL was looking for contributions for Operation Cosford and a late idea came to mind.  Biting off more than I could chew time again - fortunately Radish offered up his 'Parasol Spitfire' but my idea came to fruition when I snapped up the base kit for 2 at Cosford.  All will be revealed!

Another diversion is my 'Gnat F2', which looked finished at Cosford but actually wasn't.  I'd deliberately left it devoid of stores and unit markings so it would look like the Museum's Gnat F1 - anyone looking under the wings would have found holes for the original Matchbox drop tanks.  I'd elected not to fill these in as they would eventually lat be better align underwing stores rails - and they did.  Squadron markings and codes have been applied, now just a case of painting the pylons and missile rails and the Sidewinders to be attched to these.  Again, all will be revealed.

As for the others, a bit of work has been done on the 2-seat Meteor.  All the bits are in place for the Hawker P1030, T-tail Hawker P1067, Hunter T7, 'Super Hunter' and Sea Hawk whifs.  Meanwhile I'm trying (and failing) to strike a more even balance between whifs and non-whifs with pending builds of an Airfix, Hampden, dH88 Comet and new Zero; a Revell Walrus, Xtrakit Spitfire XII, Hobbycraft Otter, Heller Sabre (as an F6) and Hasegawa Curtiss SOC-1 Seagull also beckon, and I want to get a Hurricane IIb done before much longer.  More whif ideas rattle around (complete with the means to make them) and I really must build more real-world Spitfires.

Such a shame the realities of work and family get in the way of things!
 ;D ;D
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 01:51:31 pm by kitbasher »
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On the go: Arrow, Beaumaris, Battle, Bronco GA.1, CASA 2.217, Corsair GR.1, EE P12, Hawker P1067, Hellcat IV, Ice Cream Tank, JP T4, Jumo MiG-15, Macchi MC.205, Meteor F.8R, Phantom FG1, SAAB J-29, Sea Hawk T7, Spitfire XII, Ta154, Val, Wellington.

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Re: Kitbasher's blog: Too many ideas, not enough time.....
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2012, 01:15:53 am »
BUT THEY'RE MINE AND THEY'VE BEEN FUN TO BUILD!     Most of all it always strikes me that we're all having a bit of fun courtesy of our hobby - and surely that's the point of any hobby, is it not?
 

A most succinct summary of what makes  Whiffery work for us!!
"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you....."
It  means that you read  the instruction sheet

Offline kitbasher

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Re: Kitbasher's blog: Too many ideas, not enough time.....
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2012, 11:52:36 am »
Frustration.  No time for modelling the last week or so, but I'm just about to indulge for an hour or so.  Hopefully the long weekend will offer up plenty of time and I'll get soe projects closer to completion.  I want to get my Gnat F2 finished and make some real progress with 'painting and decorating' my Anglo-French WW2 fighter.  The it's some quality time with Val  ;) and hopefully my Fairey Battle too (both are real world).  There's some other odds 'n' s*ds I could be distracted by, but I want to stay focussed.  Although I could do some work on that Phantom and the Mosquito NF.XXX.
 ;D ;D
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On the go: Arrow, Beaumaris, Battle, Bronco GA.1, CASA 2.217, Corsair GR.1, EE P12, Hawker P1067, Hellcat IV, Ice Cream Tank, JP T4, Jumo MiG-15, Macchi MC.205, Meteor F.8R, Phantom FG1, SAAB J-29, Sea Hawk T7, Spitfire XII, Ta154, Val, Wellington.

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Re: Kitbasher's blog: Too many ideas, not enough time.....
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2012, 11:00:59 am »
Hurrah!  :party:  A bit of modelling this weekend.  Gnat F2 is finished, pics to follow when the Anglo-French WW2 aircraft is also finished and ready to photograph.  The latter is built and painting is at an advanced stage.

Apart from that I had to separate warring goldfish this weekend (honest!), fix a radiator to a wall, and actually do some work for work.  Rock 'n' Roll or what?????
IPMS What If? & Secret Project SIG member.
On the go: Arrow, Beaumaris, Battle, Bronco GA.1, CASA 2.217, Corsair GR.1, EE P12, Hawker P1067, Hellcat IV, Ice Cream Tank, JP T4, Jumo MiG-15, Macchi MC.205, Meteor F.8R, Phantom FG1, SAAB J-29, Sea Hawk T7, Spitfire XII, Ta154, Val, Wellington.

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Re: Kitbasher's blog: Too many ideas, not enough time.....
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2012, 03:27:07 am »
Apart from that I had to separate warring goldfish this weekend (honest!),

 :blink: :blink:
Decals my @r$e!

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Re: Kitbasher's blog: Too many ideas, not enough time.....
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2012, 01:16:42 pm »
Apart from that I had to separate warring goldfish this weekend (honest!),

 :blink: :blink:

Yes, really.  Big Fish looked as though it was fighting Little Fish.  Explained the symptoms to the bloke in the local branch of Maidenhead Aquatics and he explained that Big Fish might be a boy and his hormones were probably kicking for the first time.  So 'Special Fighting' :wub: I suppose.  Little Fish might be a girl fish with a headache.....unless of course Big Fish is.....:o  :blink:.....surely not??
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On the go: Arrow, Beaumaris, Battle, Bronco GA.1, CASA 2.217, Corsair GR.1, EE P12, Hawker P1067, Hellcat IV, Ice Cream Tank, JP T4, Jumo MiG-15, Macchi MC.205, Meteor F.8R, Phantom FG1, SAAB J-29, Sea Hawk T7, Spitfire XII, Ta154, Val, Wellington.

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Re: Kitbasher's blog: Too many ideas, not enough time.....
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2012, 07:35:03 am »
I give up  :blink: ;D
Decals my @r$e!

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Re: Kitbasher's blog: Too many ideas, not enough time.....
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2012, 03:25:08 am »
Gnat finished, pics to follow.
Getting my plans together for the Folland Mosquito.
Anglo-French WW2 fighter painting done, markings going on later today, wheels tomorrow.  Varnishing and general touching up to follow in the week.
Last day of the Premier League (tense, come on QPR!  Roll over and let Utd put 10 past you Sunderland!), must do final Fantasy Football transfers in a mo.
And the fish have been re-united; Little Fish is much perkier and Big Fish is being well behaved.
 ;D ;D
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On the go: Arrow, Beaumaris, Battle, Bronco GA.1, CASA 2.217, Corsair GR.1, EE P12, Hawker P1067, Hellcat IV, Ice Cream Tank, JP T4, Jumo MiG-15, Macchi MC.205, Meteor F.8R, Phantom FG1, SAAB J-29, Sea Hawk T7, Spitfire XII, Ta154, Val, Wellington.

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Re: Kitbasher's blog: Too many ideas, not enough time.....
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2012, 11:57:45 am »
Gnat pics later this week on the new Gnat theme build thread, Folland Mosquito thread coming soon.

Anglo-French WW2 fighter all done, 'premiere' at Hendon tomorrow and pics here to follow later in the week.

So, 5 whifs in as many months!  MAd build rate by my ususl glacial standard.  Going to slow down a bit now though - need to get the real-world Val and Battle done, plus a couple of subjects for Telford.  Oh, and I think it's time to throw a couple of Spitfires into the mix (real world again).   So maybe not slow down that much after all!

I am going to cut back on the model spending thouh.  While the stash is but a fraction (about a tenth) of what OGL calls his stash (but civilians would call a branch of Modelzone) I'm never going to build it all.  So for now the only planned purchases for the remainder of the year will be 2 Airfix 1/72 Spitfire 22s when they come out.

That doesn't include anything I wight win on the tombola at Hendon tomorrow though.

Anyway, final episodes of The Bridge tonight.  It's OK, but not a patch on 'The Killing' (original Danish version).  Sarah Lund would have solved it all by the end of Ep 3!
 ;D ;D
IPMS What If? & Secret Project SIG member.
On the go: Arrow, Beaumaris, Battle, Bronco GA.1, CASA 2.217, Corsair GR.1, EE P12, Hawker P1067, Hellcat IV, Ice Cream Tank, JP T4, Jumo MiG-15, Macchi MC.205, Meteor F.8R, Phantom FG1, SAAB J-29, Sea Hawk T7, Spitfire XII, Ta154, Val, Wellington.