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"Ext. The Sahara Desert. Late 1942

Silence. The desert seen from the air. An ocean of dunes for mile after mile. The late sun turns the sand every colour from crimson to black and makes the dunes look like bodies pressed against each other.

An old aeroplane is flying over the Sahara. Its shadow swims over the contours of sand."

tunisia_zpszvm4kzhk.jpg

So begins the screenplay for The English Patient, a fantastic novel by Michael Ondaatje that was turned into a fantastic movie by the late Anthony Minghella, winning a hat full of Oscars. When we got married, my wife and I had a section of the book as the reading. It's a big favourite. And central to the plot is a plain aluminium Tiger Moth, carrying the registration G-AFFC.

English%20Patient-Tunisia20_zps88otvuc3.

I'm going to have a crack using the Revell rebox of the Matchbox Tiggy, making the decals myself. I'm quite nervous as I have rotten luck with aligning individual struts such as the four between the wings on this kit. Be that as it may, I'll give it as good a shake as I can and, all being well, will use the standing 'mechanic' figure to make Ralph Fiennes. Not sure how I might do Kristin Scott Thomas yet, but to be honest if I get far enough for it to be a problem I'll be thrilled!

Here is the kit and sprues (still bagged!)

075800FB-4CC6-4496-8EF5-E6FA193D5EC8_zps

On with the show...

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What a marvellous subject, she'll look great in silver and the emotional link will prove extra motivation I'm sure. It's not a bad kit at all despite its age, the worst thing about it in my opinion is the box ....... Totally useless with that end opening instead of a lift off lid. I'm doing two of these so we can cuss about the struts together! :)

Max

Ps welcome to the GB!

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Thanks, everyone. Glad you approve! I have got a Matchbox edition of the kit as well, which may well have less flash I suppose. I just thought that if I was going to make a mess of one it should be the Revell!

Finishing the first of my Battle of Britain builds today, then giving this one a crack - hopefully making a start this evening.

The story of The English Patient was partly based on fact - the character played by Ralph Fiennes, the Hungarian explorer László Almásy, certainly existed and, throughout the 'Thirties, sought out the lost valleys of Zarzura in Libya - one of many legends of the Sahara that were relayed in the ancient histories of Herodotus. Almásy left Africa soon after the war began because the British felt that he was an Italian spy (and the Italians thought that he was spying for the Brits!) In the end he joined the Luftwaffe after the German invasion of Hungary.

There was no great love affair with Katherine Clifton (Kristin Scott Thomas) - two things precluded that. Firstly, Almásy was gay and secondly she didn't exist. The character of Katherine was based on the British socialite Dorothy Clayton who, after marriage to Robert Clayton East-Clayton, travelled to Egypt on an expedition to find the lost valleys of Zarzura in the Libyan desert. Her husband contracted a fatal infection in the desert and died just seven months after their marriage.

Dorothy then returned to Libya with an expedition of her own. She did indeed discover two of the three lost valleys of Zarzura while the third was discovered by an expedition led by Almásy that was taking place at the same time in competition with her.

Dorothy returned to Europe and made another expedition to far-flung shores in 1933, this time to Lapland. Returning to England she was killed when flying from Brooklands aerodrome in a de Havilland Moth. For reasons that were never fully explained, she leapt from the aircraft while it was taxiing - it was thought that the throttle might have stuck - and died of a broken neck.

As a regular at Brooklands, I often wonder about old Dorothy's demise, which most likely took place somewhere near the modern day out-of-town superstores located on the old airfield. It's all a long way from Ralph and Kristin in the desert!

RalphFiennesKristenScottThomasTheEnglish

Edited by maltadefender
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Thanks Chris, can't wait. Looks like the 1/32 club is an exclusive one!

Both of mine are the Revell 1/32nd offering, so not so exclusive after all!! And all of mine (I have one partially built and another unstarted, so that's four in all) are completely free of flash.

Max

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Forgot to add, in case it wasn't clear from the biog, that the real Almásy wasn't burnt in a wartime flying accident. He carried on exploring after the war - better than being at home in Hungary, where he was vilified as a collaborator. He died in 1951 from amoebic dysentery contracted while in Africa.

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I had promised myself that I would finish my first Battle of Britain GB entry before getting involved with this one.

Pah!

Couldn't resist. The cockpits are all painted and the fuselage is buttoned up. Drilling out the rigging holes and moving on to the wings ASAP. Progress pics follow...

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I've got a touch of insomnia at the moment! As I'm not scratchbuilding any additional parts like your lovely stowage compartment it's a pretty quick process to tidy the parts up, paint them and put them together so far.

I'm going off piste a bit with the instructions. Basically the plan is to build and rig it minus engine, cowl and wheels then spray the whole lot flat aluminium, then decal and final assembly before weathering.

That's the plan, anyway!

Here are some very poor pics. This evening I've tried the EZ Line in the holes I've drilled and sanded down the seams in the fuselage halves.

68067803-F43A-4F84-8223-452AD1EE7347_zps

74FE9998-371A-4A7E-9D77-E811776BC0D3_zps

9C9E67B1-C153-4854-ACFC-0DA0952EAA42_zps

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Don't worry, I know the belts are fairly shameful. No need to point that out. I'm very out of practice with belts...

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I think the problem is that computer fonts tend to have round "C"s and "G"s, whereas registrations are done in pre-computer "signwriter" lettering with squarer letters. So you could use an RAF font, either "RAF_WW2_841ATH Regular" or "RAF_WW2_851ATH Regular". These two (plus others) are available from here, along with others

These are a pretty close match apart from the "A", which has the crossbar a bit low in comparison to your photo, but you can fix that quite simply with a graphics program.

The (current?) CAA regulations for registration markings are available here. They don't give a particular font but do show some examples of how to construct your own if you don't want to go down the font route.

Regards,

Adrian

Edited by AdrianMF
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Can't help you with the font, but I *do* have some G-AFKX artwork. Wouldn't be a stretch to modify to G-AFFC.. From memory, I traced the letters 'cos I couldn't find an appropriate font..

Many thanks Cap'n - might have to drop you a note, G-AFKX looks spot on as a font.

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I think the problem is that computer fonts tend to have round "C"s and "G"s, whereas registrations are done in pre-computer "signwriter" lettering with squarer letters. So you could use an RAF font, either "RAF_WW2_841ATH Regular" or "RAF_WW2_851ATH Regular". These two (plus others) are available from here, along with others

These are a pretty close match apart from the "A", which has the crossbar a bit low in comparison to your photo, but you can fix that quite simply with a graphics program.

The (current?) CAA regulations for registration markings are available here. They don't give a particular font but do show some examples of how to construct your own if you don't want to go down the font route.

Regards,

Adrian

Adrian - thank you what a resource!

I think that the RAF_WW2_851ATH Regular is as good a match as could be hoped for. I'm going to plump for that one. Much appreciated, thanks again!

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