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About clive_t

  • Birthday June 6

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    Garden railways, mangling plastic

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  1. At around 7am on Saturday, September 1 1939, Kapitan Mieczysław Adolf Medwecki took off in his PZL P.11c fighter from Balice airfield, leading a flight of aircraft of the 121st Squadron to patrol in the area of Chrzanów and Wadowice. As they gained height in an attempt to intercept the incoming German Junkers Ju87 'Stuka' dive-bombers from 2 Squadron I./StG, Medwecki's aircraft was attacked by a Stuka bearing the code letters T6+GK, piloted by Lt. Frank Neubert and with rear gunner Franz Klinger. At approximately 7:30am Medwecki's P.11c fell to earth in the area of Chrosna, between Morawica and Brzoskwinia. Contrary to some accounts, including notably Neubert's own, the aircraft did not explode in mid-air, but rather crash-landed in a field with Medwecki, who had sustained bullet wounds, still at the controls. However the aircraft caught fire during the crash-landing. Medwecki, aged just 35 years, had died as a result of a badly damaged liver and a fractured skull base possibly sustained during the impact with the ground. Thus did he distinguish himself as the first Polish airman to die in the conflict which was ultimately to precipitate World War 2. The exact spot that bore silent witness to the fall of Kpt. Medwecki was subsequently identified thanks to the inhabitants of the village of Chrosna. A simple, symbolic birch cross was placed to mark the location, eventually replaced with a more permanent structure in 2018. Medwecki's remains were initially buried in the parish cemetery in Morawica. After the war, the Polish Aviation Museum in Krakow founded the tomb in which he is now buried. To this day, scouts and soldiers from the 8th Air Base in Balice tend the grave. Today, outside the John Paul II Airport terminal at Kraków-Balice there is a commemorative plaque that bears his name. Medwecki's wingman on that day, Władisław Gnys, had managed to avoid meeting a similar fate by performing some sharp turns to evade the German's machine guns. A short while later, Gnys encountered a pair of Dornier Do17s over Zurada. In his report on the encounter he claimed to have shot one down, which in turn collided with the second, destroying both aircraft; however, there were no other witnesses to the event. Indeed, some historians have since argued that the two aircraft collided with each other whilst attempting to dodge Polish anti-aircraft fire. Nevertheless, these were the first two German aircraft to be lost in the conflict. As Poland fell, Gnys managed to escape to France (where he served for a short time in the Armee de l'Air), however the fall of France meant he had to escape once more, this time to Britain where he joined 302 Squadron, RAF. Ironically, both Neubert and Gnys survived the war, became friends, and even met in person for the first time in 1989. Gnys died in 2000, aged 90, Neubert in 2003 at the age of 85.
  2. Hi all, this is the eventual set of pics I managed to take of the completed PZL P.11c, the second in my trilogy of PZL aircraft (WIP thread here). The 1st RFI, that of the PZL 23A, can be found here if you've not already seen it All in all I'm quite pleased with the outcome of this one - being a MisterCraft offering there were a number of issues to resolve, even before I embarked on my habitual course of self-inflicted stress! One particular highlight for me, though, was my first ever use of 3D-printed parts, to my own design, which were incorporated into the cockpit detail. Not that big or complex, but it's a start! Given that I opted to model the aircraft attributed to a particular person and event in history, I thought I would try to find out a little more about the subject. I've decided to add my findings, written in my own words, but on a following post to this one. I believe some people enjoy RFIs with a back story, others less so. So, I figured that adding it as a subsequent post gives people the option to read it, or not, as they see fit! Anyway, first up here are the pics - I hope you enjoy them: Thanks as ever for the support along this particular stage of the WIP. Any and all comments most welcome
  3. It's funny how even a great quality kit like a WNW just dares you not to further embellish it! Nice neat pipework though, I'm guessing you're a plumber or a gas engineer by trade
  4. Thanks Mr Kenny, yes I have a bit of thinking to do regarding the nose, but I do see a small block of balsa in my not-too-distant future In the meantime though, some further experimentations with the masters that I have already created. I carefully cut a shallow line in the Los pilot's canopy master where the two parts of the canopy would come together. My thinking was that if the acetate managed to get sucked into it even a little, that would give me a cutting guide for creating the two separate pieces I'd need. With the other, imaginary canopy master, I added a rudimentary framework made from 0.4mm strips of Tamiya masking tape, to see what if anything the vac-forming machine would make of it. So, here are the two modified masters, good to go: I should also mention that I learned my previous lesson reasonably well in that I eliminated the overhangs on the Los pilot's canopy master with some additional Milliput. The results: This time, removing the masters was simplicity itself, I just popped them out with the aid of a wooden cocktail stick, no problems at all But what about the added details? Well, you can probably make out from the previous pic that it looked to be fairly effective, however here's a close up of each: Not so very shabby, to be honest, though I says it meself - I actually think I can work with this!
  5. Great model, seeing this takes me back to the days of my callow youth as an MoD apprentice doing work experience in dockyards round the country. In 1981 I found myself at Swan Hunter Shipyard at Wallsend, where Illustrious was being fitted out. Spent a very interesting week on board! I could kick myself for not getting one of the Airfix 1:350 scale kits when I had the chance a few years ago Good times though, thanks for the memories
  6. Yep, like that a lot. I think weathering is in the eye of the beholder anyway, but as it happens I like my models somewhat lived-in myself
  7. ... Answer: not all that much to be honest! The Milliput master came out fairly easily and with very few obvious flaws - a couple of creases where I'd fed the putty into the mould piecemeal to ensure all the little nooks and crannies were filled. They were filled with Perfect Plastic Putty and rubbed smooth with a wet finger. So, to the vac-form machine: I learned a lesson here in that I found myself having to be very careful when excising the larger master from the vac-formed shape because of the overhangs at both ends. I will fill those if ever I have occasion to use the master again. Still, for all that the results are pretty good: The interesting thing is that the original canopy part has a very faint framework moulding on it - you have to look at it under magnification to even see it properly. Well, lo and behold those same markings appear on my vac-form copy! For a bonus, here's my generic Hurricane-like vac-form canopy: I am quite pleased with the results so far, as I now feel very confident about being able to pose the Los with the pilot's canopy open, something I haven't always been able to do with previous models. Had I had this machine even 3 months ago, I would have done so for the Karas, without a doubt!
  8. I started to laugh, but then checked and found that IBG do a 1:32 version! Now what did you want to go and say something like that for!
  9. So, where was I... ah yes, the 37B Los. Not much in the way of actual progress to report, however that is for 2 main reasons: 1. The sudden realisation that there is an entire system of raised panel lines running all over the place; collectively, silently mocking me for my inability to scribe decent alternatives 2. The ordering (and eventual receipt) of this wee beastie: Yes, I broke the bank manager's heart and ordered myself a vac-forming machine. This duly arrived yesterday and I have been spending some time trying to ascertain how to use it, which materials work well with it and which ones don't! As a follow-up issue, I am trying to work out how I might replicate all the canopy parts given their different (and in the case of the nose, large) sizes. I may end up carving something out of balsa wood - I remember someone on here doing similar for some spats for his Stuka project but the name sadly escapes me at this time. Since I don't possess any appropriately sized balsa wood, I elected to have a go with my tried and moderately successful silicon rubber moulding material, and made a mould for the pilot's canopy: The void has now been filled with Milliput, which should hopefully form a reasonably detailed and heat-resistant master for the vac form machine: I will need to leave it overnight to properly harden, so hopefully tomorrow I might have some preliminary results. I'm not expecting perfection first time round, but I hope to at least have a better idea as to its viability. Incidentally, the extra blob of Milliput (there is always that to deal with) I have used to form a generic looking 'Hurricane-like' canopy, that I will try to embellish with some sort of framework before trying to vac form something from it. What could possibly go wrong?
  10. You know, the more I see of this kit, the more I wish I'd bought one. It's 1:48 but still small enough to fit in my display cabinet Very nicely done, by the way!
  11. I do love a WNW thread, so I'm in! Interesting subject too!
  12. Well, having gone to all the trouble of taking a bunch of RFI pics for the P.11c, I realised I hadn't finished it after all - no aerial wire! So I remedied that this morning with some knitting in elastic and some small pieces of styrene rod for the posts on the wings and tail: It looks a little on the thick side to me, but I wanted a 'steel' colour rather than the black that I've used in the past. So... now it's finished!
  13. Wow, that's some stunning detail! And brush painted as well... Awesome work!
  14. Whatever problems you may have had with the kit, you've done a stellar job in overcoming them, well done!
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