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Procopius last won the day on August 4

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About Procopius

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    Telford or bust!
  • Birthday 03/15/1983

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    You, baby, you.

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  1. I got offered a deal on a Fine Molds 1/72 F-14A (for $30), and it seemed too good of one to pass up. Don't really do USN aircraft, but here we are.
  2. Current state of play, after I ran out of blu-tac tonight: I forgot how big these things are. I'll need to surreptitiously pop out and pick up more tomorrow. After a week of striving in vain to see the Red Arrows, guess who saw them today? No, not me, Mrs P! She took the kids to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago to see her mom and dad, who're in town (and who tried to hide this from her so they could do touristy stuff) and as she was unloading the boys from the car, the Reds whizzed overhead. "A bunch of red jets just flew over," she texted me, in her innocence. Oh well, all is forgiven, because when she got home, she made this: I'm not a big steak guy, but every now and then I go for a good filet mignon, and this was one of the best I've ever encountered. Even the alarming phenomenon of Grant dunking his broccoli in cream soda and then cheerily noshing on it failed to disturb my sense of enormous well-bein'.
  3. I could also look at one of the many reference books I own, I guess. In MJF Bowyer's Aircraft for the Few, on p.176, there's a photo of Whitley III K8984 with 10 OTU in the summer of 1940: black blades, yellow tips. In his book Bombing Colours 1937-73, there's a photo of a 7 Squadron Whitley III, also with black blades. No date is given, but a photo archive at Wingleader.co.uk says it's at Finningley in 1938:
  4. It kinda looks like the backs of the blades are painted black, which I believe, if hazy memory from building an Il-2 serves, was also done by our friends in foreign lands the Soviets.
  5. Don, if only I'd known! I was watching the same display today while ostensibly working at my office (is it really an office if it's a desk in an "open plan" environment? At least I get a window). I also saw the F-16 tooling around for a little bit. Apparently the Arrows were practicing on Wednesday, when I stayed home to mow the lawn, go figure. For the first time in my life, I almost want to go to Gary. As a lazy person, I use disposable diapers, which is probably making the world a worse place to live in for my children, but perhaps it wouldn't be so bad if they'd use their potties. (Winston is actually pretty good now. Grant...means well.) I saw them as well. It's a nice juxtaposition, with the Liberty Ship right across the water from Alcatraz. Just to rub it in. They may have called it that back then, as well. It sounds like quite an adventure! I had a second encounter with the homeless population of SF, which went roughly as follows: Homeless Guy: Nice shoes! Me: Thank you! Homeless Guy: Are you from Britain? [NOTE: If you're hoping for one of those classy mid-Atlantic accents on me, prepare to be disappointed.] Me: I wish! I'm from Chicago. Homeless Guy: [proffers hand] My name's Bob. Me: Mine's Edward, but my hands are too sweaty for a shake [this is, sadly, true]. Homeless Guy: That's okay, mine are dirty because I was hanging with a bunch of hookers. Bye! [As he walks away, to himself:] I was an angel and they never knew.
  6. If the Airfix kit were an A-4E, I might, but the decals I want to use are for an A-4E. The kit can be found on ebay for $27 shipped to the USA, not amazing, I grant you, but it's hard to know if it's worth the money to me -- always subjective, I grant you -- without knowing what people think of the plastic proper.
  7. Also -- the Blue Angels are tooling around in their Hornets outside my office window prefatory to the Chicago Air and Water Show this weekend -- hoping I see the Red Arrrows today as well, since they're here. Wish I knew where their A400M was parked!
  8. I'm back from San Francisco! I spent a lot of time doing social media, a lot of time NOT getting to visit the USS Hornet (CV-16)) in Alameda, which, as we all know from Star Trek IV, is across the bay, a lot of time eating fancy food, and along with my colleague, a former award-winning TV journalist, got pursued on foot for two blocks down Turk Street by an irate and extremely verbally abusive homeless man while on an abortive quest to find one of the top ten best breakfasts in the SF Bay Area. I got punched in the head by a mentally ill transient back in 2005 or so in a bad part of Chicago, and I'm thankful I didn't get to replicate the experience on the west coast. And I did it all in a suit and red Chuck Taylors. The food was pretty good, though I think Chicago is still better as an eating city than anywhere in the USA that doesn't have a very distinctive and specific regional cuisine can ever be: there are a lot of us, we're very fat, so we have a lot of chances to get it right. Those whisperthin Californians and kale chip-munching Tech CEO imports have no idea what it's like to eat a whole pizza. For us, that's breakfast. I know Britons in general aren't overmuch impressed by US bacon, but this had Millionaire's Bacon, and it was pretty good. Three months until I dine upon Full Englishes! The opportunity to fly 2100 miles west into a more congenial climate and stay at the Westin and do what I more or less do anyway is obviously a huge -- and some might suggest the only -- perk of my job. It's about the same temperature here as it was back there, but the humidity here is through the roof; I got back late last night and spent today catching up on yardwork (whenever I was doing something particularly likely to send rocks whipping through the air or atom-sized razor sharp grass particles flying about like a whirlwind, I would look up to discover Mrs P had set the children outside and vanished somewhere, super helpful, but I suppose it's what I get for being gone for six days) and managed to dehydrate myself pretty comprehensively. Always an adjustment to have to return to real life. Nothing is better, of course, for the ol' modelling mojo than not being able to model (as opposed to being home and not modelling, which is deadly), and a few Wolfpak decal sheets should hopefully be winding their way to me, along with the new Sword Skyraider AEW.1 and their somewhat older TBM-3W Avenger (fun fact: in my innocence, the Mach 2 TBM-3W kit was one of the first models I built when I came back to the hobby in 2011), thereby blowing out of the water my secret, highly unofficial resolution to "buy not more than ye can builde". I'm sure Sword appreciates it. I haven't had a ton of time to myself since getting back (though this morning when I went to get Grant out of his crib, how did he react to see me for the first time in ten days? He shook his head and said "No. Mommy."), but I did step downstairs tonight and smooth out my finish a bit: What sort of cloth or whatever do all of you use to clean off the surface of a model before spraying? I'm looking for ideas.
  9. I don't build slats down because I think it looks ugly, so it's not a prerequisite for me!
  10. So, assuming I don't give a fig for slats down (because they offend my delicate aesthetic sensibilities), how accurate in terms of general shape is this kit? Has anyone seen it in person?
  11. Three Wolfpak Decals sheets: Spirits in the Sky (which I might have already had?) The Devil's Fork (with the Syrian Su-22 busting Super Hornet) and Sharur All so I could get their special sheet with the late John McCain's A-4E Skyhawk on it. Best 1/72 A-4E, gents?
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