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  1. Then out spake brave Horatius, The Captain of the gate: “To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late. And how can man die better Than facing fearful odds For the ashes of his fathers And the temples of his gods[?"] -- Thomas Babington Macaulay, The Lays of Ancient Rome, "Horatius at the Bridge" "Your son is in a burning house. Nobody can hold you back. You may burn up, but what do you think of that? You are ready to bequeath the rags of your body to any man who will take them. You discover that what you set so much store by is trash. You would sell your hand, if need be, to give a hand to a friend. It is in your act that you exist, not in your body. Your act is yourself, and there is no other you. Your body belongs to you: it is not you. Are you about to strike an enemy? No threat of bodily harm can hold you back. You? It is the death of your enemy that is you. You? It is the rescue of your child that is you. In that moment you exchange yourself against something else; and you have no feeling that you lost by the exchange. Your members? Tools. A tool snaps in your hand: how important is that tool? You exchange yourself against the death of your enemy, the rescue of your child, the recovery of your patient, the perfection of your theorem...Your true significance becomes dazzlingly evident. Your true name is duty, hatred, love, child, theorem. There is no other you than this." ―Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Flight to Arras Nie damy miana Polski zgnieść Nie pójdziem żywo w trumnę. [We won't have Poland's name defamed, We won't step alive into a grave.] -- Maria Konopnicka, "Rota" Earlier this year, which seems about a hundred years ago at this point, I built some Polish Spitfires. As you know, I always try to only build aircraft I'm interested in, flown by people I care about. Weird old H P Lovecraft, whose grave I visited earlier this month in Providence, once wrote that "without interest, there is no art." (He probably capitalized art, because ol' HPL raised pretension to an art form in and of itself.) In any case, in some stupid little way that merely exposes how sad and tawdry my own little life is, the builds were acts of love, a way, however imperfect, to express how I feel about those men and women (and children, too), now mostly long-gone, dead of old age or stolen from us by the war. In any case, I guess some people liked the thread, because I got a PM from @GrzeM , who had seen I was interested in building IBG's RWD-8 kit. As it happens, Grzegorz does some work for Arma Hobby, and he had a hand in the resin correction sets they've produced for IBG's kit. He offered to send me the resin sets for free, which was incredibly graciously of him, and, as if that wasn't more than enough, he even dug up a set of custom-printed decals for a WWII-era RWD-8, "White 8", WWII markings for the type being otherwise impossible to find in decal form. The package turned up at my office in May (which gives you an idea of how behindhand I am these days.) 2017-05-23_12-44-36 by Edward IX, on Flickr Needless to say, I'm not only deeply touched by his generosity, but also wholly unworthy of it. But I shall do my best. 20170819_152506 by Edward IX, on Flickr The RWD-8 was a small high-wing monoplane, not unlike the Tiger Moth in terms of both looks and pre-war popularity as a civilian aircraft. Most of the civil RWD-8s were impressed into service by the Polish Air Force at the start of the September Campaign and subsequently lost in action. Today none survive, but they were the last Polish aircraft flown in Poland during the fighting in 1939; a handful of RWD-8s flew during the Battle of Kock in October, the last major battle of the German invasion, in support of the last remnants of the Polish Army in the field. Though the planes themselves were unarmed, their pilots carried grenades and flew at low level to lob them out of the aircraft at enemy troop concentrations. The Germans had not yet fully realized that while they could kill Poles, they could never conquer them. I did the usual thing and washed the kit off, paying especial attention to the resin, which I clumsily extricated from its casting blocks. 20170819_160658 by Edward IX, on Flickr This mostly went well, but the entire leading edge of the wing (the kit wing is slightly the wrong shape, and, get this, too thin) is connected to the casting block, and I'm rather inept, so I took a bit out of one side of the inner starboard (I think) leading edge which is very visible in person. I'll either need to sand down the other side or somehow extend the leading edge on the damaged side. 20170819_152556 by Edward IX, on Flickr The resin cowling isn't exactly a drop-fit (there are no instructions on how it attaches to the kit with it, but let's be real: we all know where the cowling goes), as one needs to remove the kit cowling first. I accomplished this mostly with a Tamiya scribing tool, but this still leaves the raised "lip" that was the rear edge of the cowling attached the fuselage. 20170831_210341 by Edward IX, on Flickr No problem, I'll get out my X-acto knife, and -- FB_IMG_1504231184664 by Edward IX, on Flickr AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Fortunately, I keep isopropyl alcohol around to thin paint, and so I immediately sterilized the wound (after rushing upstairs to take this picture for you all, blood pumping lustily from my finger the whole time) and bandaged it. We think we can save the finger, but if not, I'm left-handed anyway. Then I finished up on the cowl: 20170831_210436 by Edward IX, on Flickr And checked the fit of the resin item: 20170831_212607 by Edward IX, on Flickr Hmmm. This will likely need some filler at some point. I also pulled out some of the Hataka Orange Line paints for the Polish Air Force. I've heard a lot about Hataka lately, little good, but what other choice did I have for Polish colours? None, really. I was pleasantly surprised, however! 20170831_212401 by Edward IX, on Flickr I thinned their Interior Silver (a tricky colour to work with for any paint manufacturer) with Gunze Self-Levelling, and sprayed it right on the cockpit floor and sides. It looks pretty good to me, and came out smoothly. Anyway, more later. Mrs P is days away from giving birth (due 15/9, but the midwife thinks this weekend), so who knows when I'll update again.
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