Monday, 31 January 2011
Gripe No 2a. Why are some paints good and some f**king awful? I use a lot of Humbrol acrylics and most are OK, this needed, for the topside, 29 for the brown, which I use a lot anyway, and 163 for the green. The 29 is good. Covers beautifully. The 163 won't stay the same shade for two minutes no matter how much it's mixed/shaken, which I don't normally do, and is translucent. I'm having to put it on like custard. Do Hornby/Arfix/Humbol have a plan to sell you the crap paint which is sub-standard?
Anyway as can be seen, basic Spit done and basic paint on... sort of. *shakes head*
Sunday, 30 January 2011
Things have changed somewhat: this is not the Airfix kit of my youth but a high quality Indian-made plastic kit up to the standard of the Parkside et-al products that railway modellers are familiar with. There are a couple of minor gripes, but only minor. The original was designed to be bought with pocket money in the morning, quick lunch, built and painted before tea, and hung from the ceiling before bed. This kit won't be that quick. And suspect that the target market has changed from under 12 to over 50.
Before, as I remember, there was a spigot that came from the fuselage that the pilot sat on, now you get this (out of focus) assembly consisting of eight(!) parts. Took me over an hour to put it together and paint it. Eight bits and four paint colours. AND a transfer for the panel. there's even a firing button. Wow!
Friday, 28 January 2011
I looked at the box with dread. At this moment I don't need another modelling project. I built this Airfix kit some ten years ago, the fuselage halves were stamped 'Airfix 1958' and the plastic moulding was awful. Thankfully this Indian-built modern kit is a far superior product and should go together pretty well. Dad probably picked this up in a January sale for £1.99 if past behaviour is anything to go by, but of course to finish it I will have to drive a 20 mile round trip and spend £5 on the correct paints which are not my usual colour stock...it's for my dad though.
It's easy to forget how important this sort of imagery is to his generation, To me (born 1964) it's a plastic aircraft kit, my father though as a small child had direct contact with the prototype in its working capacity during the second world war when this area was ringed with bases containing them, often piloted by Poles. These same small boy would cycle to the bases and watch the various fighters being serviced and operating. To him this is not just a plastic kit - it's a carrier of small bits of hot shrapnel to take into school and swap.
Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Sunday, 23 January 2011
I got taken to task this morning over yesterdays post. I was asked if I was being provocative. Well no. But then maybe I was – provoking a thought maybe. An ainti-kit rant? No. Very tongue in cheek. Anti-exhibition? No again. However, there is a point to me made and the thought process came via an email and then a conversation with young Nigel. But it all goes back to 1977.
I’ve touched on all this before – the whys and wherefores of doing this. And the root is my serious entry into the hobby which was the purchase of the April 1977 RM in Woolies in Middlesboro of all places. This coincided with the Easter shows. There were at the time only really two big shows on the calendar: York and Central Halls (I’ve attended neither as it happens) there were ‘club’ shows as well but in the main those were very much of the village hall type; local club shows off what it’s done during the year and raises a bit of cash for the club room rent. The other thing that would spring out at you from 1977 is that in the main everything within the pages of RM is hand-built. There were RTR models and kits of course, but they are Nu-Cast and K’s and pretty basic, and this is before the explosion in cheap good quality etching. Palitoy had just come on the scene and raised the bar on RTR moulding but had yet to make a full impact. Railway Modelling meant just that. Yes a lot of it was extremely rough, but did that matter? Even with all the help that available now, there’s a lot of rubbish around.
I think what I was saying yesterday is that, a) we’ve possibly lost some of the pure pleasure of making something from card/plastic sheet etc. with the minimum of bought-in add-ons. And, b) (and this is the important bit) are we doing this just to meet deadlines for exhibitions? And if so why? I say this as there was a short conversation yesterday PM about what needed doing to Garn/Unnycoombe/Lylynfordd to prepare for this year’s shows. NOT for the pleasure of the modelling, but for unpaid public entertainment.
The exhibition circuit has, in the three decades since I stood at the counter in Woolworths, become a travelling circus. It’s very sad, but you see the same faces at every show. This is akin to ladies of a certain age booking to see every show all around the country of a Cliff Richard tour. It’s passive. How many questions are asked about modelling even on demo stands? We look... but there is very little exchange. We pay money... and look. Or if you are on the other side of the barrier you pay... and play. And if you don’t believe that, stop and think for a while.
Saturday, 22 January 2011
I like doing this. It restores my faith in why I do this in the first place; it's creative and constructive. And allied to a comment that I made in an email this morning I'm starting to question the whys and wherefores. What's all this exhibition malarkey about anyway? What does it serve and who does it please? So why do I bother? Isn't it just about making something in your shed?
Thursday, 20 January 2011
Sunday, 16 January 2011
Thursday, 13 January 2011
Wednesday, 12 January 2011
I mentioned on the last post that I'd been passed a bundle of digitised slides that Nigel Hill had found in a box. The quality is a bit variable which probably explains why they were discarded. However the historical nature of all of them warrants publication.