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    • Mike

      Ongoing DDoS Attack causing Forum Slowness   26/04/17

      In case you have missed the announcement, the reason that the forum has been slow at times since the minor version update the other day is due to a Denial of Service attack, brute force attack on our email, and judging by the lag with our FTP response, that too.  If you're feeling like you're experiencing a glitch in the Matrix, you're not wrong.  This is the same MO as the attack in September 2016 that occurred when we transitioned to the new version 4 of the software.  We're currently working with US and UK cyber-crime departments, who specialise in this sort of thing, and we're hopeful that we'll be able to track them down this time by using the accumulated evidence already held.    We are pretty certain that it's a continuation of the same attack last year, only at a reduced intensity to deter people from using the site "because it's terribly slow", rather than taking it down completely, and we're also sure of the motivations of those responsible.  Spite.   Please bear with us in the interim, and wish us luck in dealing with these.... "people".


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  1. If I'm approximately correct in my dates, it's 100 years ago either yesterday or today that Grandpa was wounded. An exploding artillery shell sent shrapnel into his right thigh and left hand, shattering part of his thigh bone and blowing him into a shell hole. He managed to get his field dressing on to his leg wound and, eventually, he was rescued by stretcher bearers. He was sent to a clearing station and then a military hospital, where his wounds were operated on. On April 28th he was evacuated from France to St Andrew's military hospital in Dollis Hill, London. He stayed there for 6 months of therapy and recuperation. One of the excercises he was given to build up his wounded hand was to embroider his regimental badge: His initials and the date are in the bottom corner. He was discharged from the army on 1st November 1917 and sent home: He attended the local hospital in Falkirk to have his wounds dressed and was one of the early patients at Erskine Hospital where he was fitted for boots with a special buit-up sole on the right. However Grandpa was never one to sit around and by the summer of 1918 he was back at work with Falkirk Iron Company making, among other things, artillery shells! He's second from the left here: His wounded hand is behind his back, as it often would be in photos, and you can make out his built up boot sole. Grandpa and me, 1962: John
  2. Thanks for the kind comments. Steve, concerning the kilt you are of course correct that even as late as 1917 many Highland Regiments were still - incredible as it seems - going into battle with the kilt and apron combination. I remember my Grandfather talking about this, and about how the mud dried into the heavy woolen cloth and pulled the hairs out of the soldier's legs. However he did at least suggest that by the time he was wounded standard battledress was being issued. It's a bit of a judgement call, but he certainly never explicitly said he was still wearing his kilt in combat by the time of Arras, although some undoubtedly were. John
  3. I've never really been a figure modeller but there's an anniversary coming up that I feel I need to commemorate in the best way I can, and that's with a figure. April 1917 is the centenary of my Grandpa Walker's wounding in the Battle of Arras. I'm not sure exactly which date it happened but the 1/7 Argylls were involved in fighting at a location known as the "Chemical Works" from the early hours of 23rd April and we know Grandpa didn't get that far before he was hit. We also know from his discharge book that he was evacuated from France on April 28th, so that seems about right. I bought the Tamiya WW1 British soldiers from Hobbycraft a while back. I'm only planning to use one, the advancing soldier, on a plain base. I'm not aiming to recreate the final scene of Blackadder 4, just something simple. I'll finish him a a 51st HD Sergeant. I found this little unglazed ceramic plaque which will do fine as a stand for my soldier. I also managed to get it home without breaking it, which was an achievement. An aerosol coat of gloss black enamel will be the first order of business for it. Basic construction and a couple of coats of Humbrol 36 Pastel Green as an undercoat: followed by a mix of Revell 86 and 16 for the khaki and Humbrol 94 for the webbing: I also bought some Fields of Glory Models barbed wire for the base, but the I think the stanchions are a bit out of scale. The actual barbed wire looks quite convincing: Grandpa's army discharge book showing that he was evacuated from France on April 28th 1917: John
  4. Another vote for the Roden He111 in the worst kit category. What were they thinking??? Also the most disappointing because there's a gap in the market for the early nosed He111. The worst fitting kit I've wrestled into submission in the last few years was the MPM Wellington Ic. If I hadn't really wanted a Wellington I'd have binned it. Best? The original Airfix B17. Most fun I've ever had from a plastic kit, even all these years later. Best recently? Tamiya 1/72 A6M2. Just beautiful. John
  5. I have no recollection at all of either the Wildcat or the P40 in British markings, as I would certainly have saved the pocket money for them if I had. I didn't even realise they existed at all until fairly recently. J
  6. Mike Starmer's recommendation for RAFBG is " "R.A.F. Blue-Grey No. 33 Mix: 77 + 67 in ratio 4:1 or 112 only but satin varnish overall" pages/Starmer camo.htm Humbrol 112 used to be Matt Tarmac but was recently re-released as Matt Field Blue: I don't know if the colours are exactly the same but an eyeball check suggests they're pretty close. This is "legacy" 112 on my Albion Refueller: Looks better after a bit of gloss or stain varnish. John
  7. 96 is the RAF uniform colour. RAF Blue Grey is a BS381c shade, darker than 96 and previously used overall on RN helicopters. John
  8. I'll be getting one of these next time I'm putting in an order to the Big H: John
  9. Thanks, I'm clearly a bit out of touch with my modern British Army finishes! J
  10. Is Deep Bronze Green still the colour of choice for British Army vehicles?
  11. Looks like there's an alternative now to the Light Stone desert camouflage. J
  12. Many moons ago, in the late 1970s, Revell introduced a series of 4 single-engined WWII fighter kits. There was a very well received late model Bf109G, along with a Spitfire II, P-51D and a P-40E. As far as I know, and I never built one when it came out at first, this kit is based on that P-40E mould with an extra sprue to add detail. This seems to be the original Revell plastic: and this is the new sprue: Looks good. I don't know when the last time this kit was available was but the Bf109G and the Spitfire are still in the Revell range today. The P-51D seems to have been retired in favour of the Monogram mould, which was probably a good move. John
  13. I've had a soft spot for the P-40 since I was a kid. I blame the Airfix Kittyhawk kit. It was a must-have when I started getting interesting in building modes in the second half of the 1960s: the exotic colours; the shark mouth; the box art flying over a burning Axis convoy on a desert road - what wasn't to like? I clearly remember having one in its bare silver grey plastic with the markings stuck on, and another later example finished from my dad's stock of gloss Humbrol enamels that he kept in the house. No matt paints, only gloss, so the chances are the colours were something like 9 Tan and 10 Service Brown over 47 Sea Blue, or perhaps some of the now discontinued but equally inaccurate shades in the grey check-pattern tins. The smell of vintage gloss Humbrol enamel still takes me back to that newspaper covered kitchen table... I also had a 1/72 Revell P-40E, in US Army markings: AIRCRAFT/PROPELLER/Revell P-40E Curtiss Warhawk 1-72 '60's.jpg?m=1362192280 It had a sliding canopy - that was cool. Curiously, I didn't know Revell GB had released this kit in RAF markings until I saw one a couple of years ago. I have no recollection of this at all, because I certainly would have invested my pocket money in one if I'd come across it: Then - wonder of wonders - I was given the Aleutian Tiger boxing of the 1/32 Revell kit as a present. It had an engine, sliding canopy, retractable undercarriage and that amazing tiger on the nose. Wonderful: H271 P-40Alut.JPG Over the years I've dipped in and out of the P-40 kit market, building a couple of the Otaki/Arii/Airfix 1/48th kits and the Hasegawa 1/72. My interest was restarted by the new Airfix P-40B/C kits, and in a fit of nostalgia I dragged my ProModeler kit from deep storage: There's no box shot because it's a long time since it had one but it looked like this: I also have this decal sheet bought in contemplation of finishing an Otaki/Airfix kit with it, but that never happened: I might be able to do an homage to my long gone Aleutian Tiger. Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to put this together along with the Airfix P-40Bs I'm working on. John
  14. The Model Engineer in Stirling was a great wee shop. The "curse of Beatties" affected local model shops in a lot of towns and many never recovered. Falkirk never had a Beatties, although they did look at renting a unit in the local shopping centre, but we still have a model shop. Another shoutout for Scott's Models in Glasgow too. John
  15. I think many GP practices, especially here in Scotland, are actually too small. In Falkirk we have a few 1- and 2-doctor practices who must be under pressure to provide even a working hours service. My practice has 8 GPs, and I've never had a problem getting an appointment when I need one. They're also open to 6 most evenings. John