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  1. Still awaiting many deliveries that have been stalled in the depths of the Royal Mail system for weeks but oddly the only delivery of any kind (other than the weekly bundle of junk mail fliers they are paid to put through every door) made by the ‘postie’ this week was mailed in Canada on Monday and arrived here Saturday which perhaps hit all the right places at just the right times. Wonder if Royal Mail management have resorted to the failed system used during the December 2010 ‘snow emergency’ of prioritising items newly entering their system over those already delayed some of which was literally left to rot in open-air storage until eventually sent to landfill. From Belcher Bits in Canada Belcher Bits BB18 1/48 CF-5 Weapons And Detail Set in resin , need some of the CRV-7 Rocket Pods in the short-term for my ‘Herrick Harrier’ but have enough F-5 kits on the shelf that all will come in useful over time , due to VAT changes a year or two back the eBay Belcher Bits Store outlet is now how Mike sells to the UK and while not all of the catalogue is shown there at any one time I dropped him a line and he very obligingly listed this one for me. From Amazon - delivered by Amazon S-3 Viking Illustrated by Lou Drendel , published by Amazon and released this week as the latest in the series with the usual mix of images , artwork and technical manual excerpts. From Postscript Books - delivered by Evri who ironically now offer a better service than RM Mix of titles from the current monthly catalogue and from their on-line stock at 50% of RRP or less as well as free shipping on orders over £25. Tornado GR.1 – An Operational History by Michael Napier , published 2017 by Pen & Sword. Testing To The Limits : British Test Pilots Since 1910 Volume 1 Addicot to Huxley and Volume 2 James to Zurakowski , both by Ken Ellis , published 2015 and 2016 respectively by Crecy.
  2. Last used EZ Line around 4 years ago and just checked those models and they are fine. Stored in tray type soft fruit boxes on a shelf in a depending on season heated/ventilated room so there is some light exposure as well as variable temperatures. Use whatever CA Glue is to hand so quite often cheap 'Poundland' tubes or equivalent but I use a very thin line so that I can give it a coating of thinned acrylic black and then matt finish with a mix of Klear and Tamiya Matt Coat which might/might not make a difference.
  3. Re-designated Weapons Systems Officers from 2003 the last three fast-jet 'navigator' trainees graduated from RAF Cranwell in early 2011 to head for Leeming and fast-jet training before heading to Lossiemouth and conversion to the Tornado GR.4 so the training pipeline had closed down well in advance of the Tornado withdrawal eight years later in March 2019. Add a reduced intake in the years leading up to this final trio along with career development away from flying duties/leaving the service at the end of contracts for longer serving WSO and the numbers still serving in the role once the Tornado gradually drew down towards withdrawal would not have been excessively high. Those released from the Tornado force and with time still to serve would have then retrained for new air/ground roles within the service including some mentioned in press reports who re-mustered as Pilots on the Typhoon or as UAV Operators.
  4. Have found with older ultra shiny Hasegawa kit decals that they can take an age to release from the backing paper , can be very thick and while they do seal with Klear there is sometimes some silvering as they set. National markings and numerals might be available through generic sheets/spares box ,and while it will not help with all of the other markings you could perhaps scan the kit decal sheet and print on blank decal paper for the Japanese lettering etc. , have found that tweaking with the settings in Photoshop can change the blue backing paper colour to white for black subjects although that might not help much with coloured propellor warning and tail markings.
  5. Most of my recent purchases are bobbing around in the chaos which is currently Royal Mail (well worth the three-quarters of million its CEO received last year in salary, bonuses and allowances for a job well done) so only arrival this week was - Via Britmodeller From Bigfoot – AFV Club AF25035 1/35 Modern US Cal .30/.50 40mm Ammunition Boxes some of which I have a cunning plan for as well as some more mundane uses for the others.
  6. Ordered some resin/etch aftermarket for the Hobby 2000 Harrier that was delivered last week which I want to do with wall-to-wall stores in the ‘Op Herrick’ marking option so some of these have started to arrive as have a couple of reference books for future projects. From Creative Models Eduard Brassin 648273 1/48 Sniper Designator Pod in resin/etch From SGS Model Store Two x Pavla 48030 1/48 Martin Baker Mk.12 Ejection Seat in resin , one for the Hobby 2000 kit and one for the Hasegawa boxing long resident on the shelf. From Amazon Mil Mi-24 Attack Helicopter: In Soviet/Russian and Worldwide Service, 1972 to the Present book , by Michael Norman , published 2020 by Schiffer as a translation of a German title released in 2016 by Motorbuch Verlag. C160 Transall: 59 ans au service de la France book , by Frédéric Lert (text) and Alex Paringaux (photography) , published August 2022 by Zephyr , in French throughout however as to be expected the 300+ images are stunning and maybe a motivation to do something about the stack of 1/72 Heller and Revell kits in the pile.
  7. A pre-ordered kit and a couple of publications delivered this week. From Black Mike Models Tiger Hobbies/Hobby 2000 48019 1/48 BAe Harrier GR.7/9 Harrier kit , standard Hasegawa plastic with what is essentially the US Stencel ejection seat rather than the UK Martin Baker but from one of the later boxings that include both 65 and 100% LERX parts unlike earlier releases and the Revell re-box which only had the former , Cartograph decal sheet and a set of masks. From Amazon Export Vipers Illustrated book , by Lou Drendel , latest release in the Aviation Art Inc. series published by Amazon , listed by country with the usual format of original artwork and a wide selection of images with perhaps a preference for special colour schemes. From Kelsey Media Military Trucks Archive No.12 – More Than 75 Years Of British Soft-Skin Utility Vehicles bookazine , latest release in the series covering the subject from WWII to current including some that did not make it or only served in small numbers.
  8. Out of quite a few F-105 titles on my shelves I would recommend a couple of very well illustrated Schiffer titles that cover the history of the aircraft including SEA service in depth from two different standpoints , vendor links given to illustrate book covers but obviously these are not the only source - The Republic F-105 Thunderchief Wing and Squadron Histories , by James Geer , 350 pages on F-105 units published 2002 - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Republic-F-105-Thunderchief-Squadron-Histories/dp/0764316680 Roll Call Thud - A Photographic Record Of The Republic F-105 Thunderchief , by John M. Campbell & Michael Hill , , 180 pages on individual airframes by serial and disposal with most illustrated published 1996 - https://www.amazon.co.uk/ROLL-CALL-THUD-Photographic-Thunderchief/dp/0764300628/ref=sr_1_1?crid=23HCXZ9961GRW&keywords=Roll+Call+Thud+ Rather lower down the cost scale Key Publications have two titles on the subject in their smaller format heavily illustrated Historic Military Aircraft Series both by Theo Van Geffen and Gerald Arruda - Republic F-105 Thunderchief Peacetime Operations published 2021 - https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Republic-F-105-Thunderchief-Paperback/p/21674 and Republic F-105 Thunderchief Operations In South East Asia listed for future relerase - https://www.casematepublishers.com/subject-categories/aviation/modern-aviation/f-105.html#.Y26goXbP3Gg
  9. The Zvesda and Revell releases of what was originally the Dragon kit included sprues from what had been the standalone Dragon Soviet Weapons Sets which in the case of Set 3 - Bombs and Rockets provided FAB-100 & 250 free-fall bombs , UB-16 & 32 Rocket Pods and Multiple Ejector Racks.
  10. The F-16 MLU programme and the US Block 50/52 equivalent introduced a Modular Mission Computer after which systems could incramently be updated and added to using a series of Software "Tape" changes , 6.5 was at one time the NATO standard so 6.5.2 is most likely a subtle change to that , across the wider F-16 family I believe it is now up to 7.whatever.
  11. From Postscript Books Some much reduced price books from the current and from previous catalogues still on their website , recent change now offers free UK shipping on orders over £25. Fighters Over The Fleet – Naval Air Defence From Biplanes To The Cold War book , by Norman Freidman , published 2016 by Seaforth Publishing/Pen & Sword – a hefty 400+ page heavily illustrated in b&w doorstep looking widely at the carrier fighter (and other types) development and tactics including shipborne radar direction and both carrier and land-based AEW as well as the Soviet air-launched missile threat , leans heavily toward UK, US and Japanese (until the end of WWII) involvement while other carrier operators rate only a passing mention , reduced from £45 to £19.99. Two volume set of Air War Archive - Junkers Ju 88 Part 1 The early Years - Blitzkrieg To The Blitz and Part 2 - Biscay To The Fall Of Germany books , both by Chris Goss , published 2017 and 2018 respectively by Frontline Books/ Pen & Sword each heavily illustrated throughout with b&w archive images , each reduced from £14.99 to £5.99. Hawker Siddeley Harrier - The World’s First Jump Jet book , by Mark A. Chambers , published 2017 by The History Press , perhaps better as an addition to existing references rather than a stand-alone resource and while reasonable for the £9.99 reduced price perhaps not at the original £25 cover price , 156 pages of which around half are devoted to a history of Hawker/Hawker Siddeley with background provided on two dozen historical aircraft types with b&w illustrations , second half covers Harrier development and service illustrated mainly in colour but with a roughly 2:1 emphasis on US operations for both first and second generations , only twin-seater of any variant shown is an Italian example. From Hannants Caracal Models CD48206 1/48 USAF CH-53 Super Jolly Green Giant & Pave Low decal sheet , eventually reached the UK following its release in the US earlier in the year , 13 marking options for USAF CH/MH-53.
  12. Turned out my last cut was in early October , between rain , dew and the sun dropping that little bit lower keeping the grass in shade it never dries out so that will be it until around April 2023.
  13. With our buying habits slowing down and maybe destined to get slower I thought for a little while there that Part VII started by Duncan on January 2 was going to see the year out but it was not to be.
  14. Not sure if recent events have changed things but during the Phantom , Tornado and early Typhoon years if there were more than one operational squadron at a station involved then these rotated Q every few weeks as did the aircraft assigned which were not always from the squadron holding the alert. Previously published accounts over the years were that Q1 and Q2 were prepped for scramble Q3 and Q4 on hand to replace them and thereafter other aircraft would be generated by the squadron holding alert with help from other based units if requested so at busy periods such as uninvited guests snooping around during the larger maritime exercises there could be a bit of turnround. While wall-to-wall missiles were the case with the F-4 and F.3 on QRA in the UK this was not always the case in later years with the Typhoon which had been seen with lighter loads although that might have changed because of events to the east this year. Squadron markings are still carried by some aircraft and if that is your goal then best bet might be to decide what markings are out there from older decal releases , look for press release photos of live Q missions (e.g. https://www.defenceimagery.mod.uk/ or the Facebook pages of RAF Lossiemouth or Coningsby) to check the missile fit and then cobble together serial and tail code from existing or generic sheets.
  15. Used to be when the Police were responsible for administering Traffic Wardens that a nicely worded letter to the relevant Chief Constable could often result in them applying their discretionary powers to waive the notice. Used to get the enquiries regularly and would have to interview the Traffic Wardens and examine their ticket counterfoil and notebooks , check that the criteria relating to the issuing of the ticket had been followed (byelaws , road lines , warning notices , times) , do a site visit to check markings and signage were still displayed clearly (in one town where I worked tickets had been issued for a stretch of privately owned and maintained road for years until someone actually looked at the relevant bylaw and its map to find out why the road surface and kerbs were different) and then verify/disprove any extenuating circumstances that had been given. From what I read now with most parking being contracted out to commercial interests their in-house appeal processes are far less user friendly and often the opposite. Only had a ticket once myself. Parked in Aberdeen one Saturday in a short term free parking bay with blue badge displayed in a line of cars all of which had been there for some time on a frosty day with iced up windscreens. Saw that there were notices all along the street that from the following Monday that side of the roadway would become a designated Bus Lane and that parking would be withdrawn from then. Came back after twenty minutes and found that I had been ticketed almost immediately after parking for blocking the then non-existent bus lane , none of the other longer-term parked cars had been ticketed. Wrote to the CC of the then Grampian Police rather than the Force Parking Admin Office as displayed on the ticket explaining the circumstances , included photographs and expressed my concerns over the potential disciplinary or even criminal conduct that might be involved. Almost by return a reply arrived waiving the 'improperly issued' ticket , no mention of it having involved any discretionary powers and perhaps not surprisingly no mention then or later of any follow up action.
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