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Everything posted by Procopius

  1. "This man is a strange mixture of heroism and cunning. If he had come to power in 1933, we would not be where we are today."

    ― Joseph Goebbels, diary entry on Winston Churchill, 7 May 1941


    Happy birthday Winston.

  2. I've been knocking it together like nobody's business. PXL_20211128_054128650 by Edward IX, on Flickr This was all in two days. Probably not my best work. but...
  3. It would hardly be the same without you two! Shall we mark our calendars for 2022?
  4. Longer update later chaps, but the big news is the ticket couldn't be transferred and so I will not be UK-bound this March. Disappointing, but that just means I can start to plan for Telford for next year, doesn't it?
  5. If I go, I'm hoping very much to make it up there to bedevil @Stew Dapple and @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies until they sic Police Scotland on me, so that might indeed be in the cards!
  6. Hullo all, sorry again for the slow updates! A lot has happened. The big news: if my mom's ticket can be transferred, it looks like I will indeed be heading to the UK for three weeks in March*. Uh, if anyone wants a houseguest they can visit museums with, now is a good time to start thinking about whether or not you could really endure my presence, since Mrs P would gut me like a fish if I had to pay for lodgings while I was there... In other news: I finally knuckled under and decided to reorganize my workspace: PXL_20211116_195727927 by Edward IX, on Flickr This involved a lot of clearing stuff out, throwing out several hundred old cotton buds used to clean airbrushes, and approximately twenty million spare cocktail sticks. After taking this photo I got some little storage bins to go under the shelving unit as well. All in all, in gives me a sense of order and control. I also bought a resin 3D printer the other night, which should arrive in a week or two. I'm hopeful it will be helpful in modelling, amusing my children with small gewgaws, But it will also be useful for printing 28mm miniatures, which is good, because @06/24 has hooked me on Five Parsecs From Home, a miniatures wargame that addresses the fundamental problem of miniatures wargames: the fact that most people who play them have no friends. Yes, it's a single-player game where your crew of doughty 28mm spacemen go to war against aliens, petty space criminals, monster lizards, any god knows what else, all providing an excuse for the sort of mindless consumption and painting that gets me off. It's been, quite literally, almost twenty years since I painted a figure for a miniatures game, so I only had one on hand, but I ordered some Warhammer 40K guys to practice on as well, and here are the first three figures I've painted in ages: PXL_20211118_184008869 by Edward IX, on Flickr And here are some of my space crew, using some fairly awful Maelstrom's Edge miniatures, the sculptor/designer of which has clearly never held a firearm, or seen anyone else do so, in their entire life: PXL_20211120_053948558 by Edward IX, on Flickr Much bodging was needed to get to these even marginal poses. Anyway, that's much harder than building model airplanes, and though faster, isn't really what we're here for, is it? So tonight as I watched It Happened One Night, I glosscoated and decalled the Mossie. PXL_20211122_042346125 by Edward IX, on Flickr PXL_20211122_042340277 by Edward IX, on Flickr But wait, you cry, weren't you going to paint the stripes? I was, but I'm a coward, and lazy to boot. Why try to get the aircraft as it looked at a time when we have no certain documentation of how she looked, rather than as she did when we have definite photographic evidence of how it ought to be? It's a cop-out, I know, but hey, it's my model.
  7. Don't be shy, show us the cabinet!
  8. Yep! It will go with my collection of other UK and Commonwealth service weapons (Martini-Henry MkIV, Lee-Enfield No4 MkI, Webley IV -- albeit a Canadian police issue pistol -- Enfield No 2 MkI*, Enfield M1917 for the Dad's Army fans, and Hi-Power). On the off-chance you're ever in Chicago, let me know, and I'll happily help you fill that gap in your CV. This SMLE is from 1928, so it missed WWI, but presumably it may have seen some service in the Arab Revolt or WWII; I'm trying to decipher the markings on the brass disc on the stock to figure out what unit used it. And of course now that I've bought it, a 1916-dated No1 MkIII* in decent nick has turned up for even less online -- the bottom seems to have fallen out of the market for the simplified No1 MkIII* rifles, people just want long Lees or ones with the volley sights now.
  9. Wishing you a thoughtful and pleasant Remembrance Day from across the pond. As regular readers may know, there is a part of my corner of Illinois that is forever England: PXL_20211111_144528299 by Edward IX, on Flickr Pte Evans was liberated from a Japanese prisoner of war camp, if the cruel arrangements by that nation can be dignified by the name, and was medically evacuated to this country, where he died of ill-health brought on by maltreatment. I like to ensure he gets to sleep under his own flag when the Fort Sheridan cemetery permits flags, on our Memorial Day and today, when we celebrate Veterans' Day. Win was off school, and he gamely accompanied me on his scooter on the 2.5 mile (one-way) walk to the cemetery through absolutely pouring rain. By the time we got there with our flag, we were both soaked. PXL_20211111_144542808 by Edward IX, on Flickr On the way back, poor Win was so cold his teeth were chattering uncontrollably and we ducked into a doughnut shop to fortify him with a brace of chocolate long johns and a hot cocoa. PXL_20211111_152510121 by Edward IX, on Flickr He was in fine spirits once we got home and changed into dry clothes, and was further rewarded for his manful stoicism with some banana cream pudding, which is inexplicably one of his favourite things on earth.
  10. A No1 MkIII* SMLE on a cheeky low bid which I was really not expecting to win. I'm going to have to sell anything not securely bolted down here at Hedgehog Manor.
  11. If memory serves, he's a very good one, too.
  12. PXL_20211110_010234085 by Edward IX, on Flickr I probably put the exhausts on wrong somehow (it's not a very positive fit), but the shrouds gave me no end of difficulty, and I found it most annoying. Still, ever onward.
  13. My feelings for the infernal kinetic sand are on a par with John Betjeman's for Slough, in fact, and I regularly hoover up great swathes of it out of my carpet. I would rather ten innocent men die than its creator be allowed to live. Also, the video was filmed because them playing together nicely is so rare that we wanted some proof for ourselves that it ever happened.
  14. Some updates, not strictly modelling related. This arrived, along with the Airfix Vulcan today: PXL_20211109_193528283 by Edward IX, on Flickr I'm very relieved that they came when they did, it was a large box and it might look a little bad to Mrs P. And secondly, that I made Cambridge burnt creams with the yolks left over from my Pavlova: IMG_20211109_074745_01 by Edward IX, on Flickr Waste not, want not, after all. I used my small hand torch to caramelize the sugar. Also, if you want to see my bizarre children in action, here you go (it's a video, so you need to click on it to go to Flickr to watch it): PXL_20211106_132942074.TS by Edward IX, on Flickr
  15. I feel like this is the sort of Occam's Razor solution that might logic one right out of a job, and probably a profession.
  16. Are you close to Eagle? Damme, missed opportunity! I might be back up next week. Some people are naturals. One of the guys I went with had never fired a shotgun before (like me), and was knocking them down on crossing shots. It was insane.
  17. It's a Stormy Kromer, part of the traditional garb of my people (midwestern dads) after the temperature drops below 60 F. I would be lying if I said I didn't choose it to look deliberately old-fashioned. It's also much, much cheaper than shooting tweeds.
  18. Wow, it sure was a busy weekend. On Saturday I bought groceries (twice), made a pavlova for the first time, did some work on the Mossie, mowed the lawn, and went to bed. Behold! My pavlova! PXL_20211106_220710831 by Edward IX, on Flickr Every recipe for meringue I've ever seen gives wildly differing bake times, and none have ever worked for me. I only managed to get it to the consistency of meringue in lemon meringue pie, but as my children regarded it as a vehicle for whipped cream delivery, it can still be said to be a success. And I will try again. Plus I have the yolks to make creme brulee now. Then on Sunday I drove eighty miles to Wisconsin, a drive I do not normally enjoy -- indeed, I dislike driving in general -- and had a lovely drive up through the Autumn colours and went trap-shooting for the first time. This, if you're not familiar with it, it shooting those little whizzing clay pigeons with a shotgun, or in my case attempting to. I only hit one, and that was pure luck as the sun was in my eyes. Trap shooting is interesting to me, as the great "Johnnie" Johnson regarded it as the secret of his success in the air and an important training tool for training pilots in deflection shooting. It's safe to say I would not be a great fighter pilot out of the gate, so there's one more youthful dream dashed. Me, properly attired for making a fool of myself with a borrowed shotgun: PXL_20211107_181055962 by Edward IX, on Flickr Also while at the range, a friend presented me with a knitted hedgehog in battledress that they knitted for me: PXL_20211107_180701601 by Edward IX, on Flickr It now resides with our other household gods: PXL_20211107_235119830 by Edward IX, on Flickr Anyway, the model! I painted the exhausts a Tamiya brown, the specific number of which escapes me, then used some of the Tamiya metal weathering powder on it. The effect looks nicer in person, I swear. PXL_20211108_030549240 by Edward IX, on Flickr In any case, they'll be covered by the exhaust covers, so it's needless frippery, the best kind of frippery! I also painted the props and spinners Colourcoats Night, and added the guns to the nosecone: PXL_20211108_030604394 by Edward IX, on Flickr We're getting to the point where I'll need to do the invasion stripes and assemble the fiendishly complex landing gear.
  19. Well, the footage from the camera ship during the Aarhus raid proper shows at least one Mosquito with the full-height stripes at 0:27: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060030265
  20. Tonight I used the LF camo mask set for the Mosquito to mask the camo, and I think it's just about the worst set I've ever come across, with opaque and minimalist instructions and masks that don't ever quite seem to match up to the camo pattern; much bodging had to be done with Tamiya tape to get things more or less close to the aircraft's actual appearance. I've also started putting the props and spinners together -- these aircraft use the earlier needle-bladed props (which makes sense, as the paddle blades were better for high-altitude performance). The spinners were black, which was very kind of the RAF and greatly simplifies things. I wandered over to the optometrist yesterday to get my prescription updated, and talked myself into getting contacts in addition to new glasses (total cost to me, after insurance: $440), since we're all wearing masks for the foreseeable and I'd like to be able to shop for groceries without peering at canned peas from mere inches away, and so this morning I went into the bathroom to put the damned things in. Dear reader, ninety minutes later, I had one contact in my right eye, which I was unable to extract, and three destroyed contacts for my left eye, and the timbers of Hedgehog Manor were reverberating with the mightiest, vilest oaths I know, and I know some good ones. It took me another twenty minutes and two false positives before I got the one contact I'd managed to shoehorn in out so that I could use my glasses. Apparently, per the optamologist, I'm cursed with long, luxuriant eyelashes that would leave Gilda-era Rita Hayworth green with envy. But does anyone use my poster to cover up their prison escape tunnel? No, it's just the drawbacks for old Edward. So I'm not really sure contacts are for me.
  21. Airfix 1/72 Vulcan Modelcollect 1/72 B-52H "Linebacker II"
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