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Some time ago I was idly wondering about this aeroplane as I had been making Neville Duke's fave Spitfire, the Mark VIII he left over the lake near Rome.

I would not go as far as to say I was a friend of Neville's, but we were on first name terms and I had some interesting chats with him, not least the 'Flying Visit' interview in Aeroplane Monthly that he initially refused to do, due to his modesty. He told me that after leaving JG241 he felt a little sad as 'I was rather fond of that one'.

 

I like to make models that have some relevance to people I have met, places I have been, aircraft I have worked on and so the Hunter seemed to be a nice change from World War One kits linked to the Memorial Flight in France, and things that are local, such as Harold Balfour's Sopwith Pup from the School of Special Flying, where my grandfather claimed to have met Ball and Mannock and, more importantly and, to be honest, believably, the syllabus for flying training that led to my first solo (32 years ago today, as I write this and at abut this time) and subsequent licence was developed at Gosport.

 

Having mentioned on the Post War discussion pages that I might think about this I was cordially invited to visit Tangmere museum and inspect WB188 for myself courtesy of John Wright, who was an excellent host.

 

I have a few questions afterwards and my old friend Damien Burke came up with some more pictures which were a great help.

 

Incidentally, having met a lot of real heroes and some so-called heroes I can honestly say that Neville Duke was the most gentlemanly, modest and amusing man I have met. Since I took this for Aeroplane many years ago, we might as well put it up.

 

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Shorty after this photo was taken he said to me 'you know I shouldn't't say this, bu I thoroughly;y enjoyed the war.

 

Anyway, that aside I do not need to point out that this was the Hunter prototype, upgraded with an afterburning engine. Of whoops. I did.

 

WB188 now resides at Tangmere and is not as it was for the record flight.  The engine is next to it and there have been airbrakes added to the sides which were NOT there at the time of the record flight. (Plus it would have been V. difficult to fly it with the engine on a stand) The air nrakes are shown on some drawings of the Hunter in record breaking mode, but the photographs are clear. They were added later. There are some line drawings that show the full size canopy too. Whoops

 

In sheer modelling terms it is no great deal. With my fat chemotherapy fingers, and the wonderful Mrs Hiscock thinking small models are a waste of time, it was always going to be 1/32.

 

At this point in these things I understand it is customary to show the box and all the bits on the sprues. Now, you know what a box looks like and with most of you having real danger of your houses collapsing under the weight of 'your stash (that meant something different when I was younger, oh for the rock and roll years), you've probably seen a kit in the box.

 

right?

 

Ok, so we move on, I bought a Revell F6 from a jolly nice man on Ebay. I say this as it is possible I forgot to give him a good review. If I did, I am sorry, it was all there except for some small part that was NOT your fault and it was packed and sent properly and you get a big thumbs up from me.

 

So, Hunter F6 to F2.5............ OK, 3.

 

WIngs: Leading edge slots deleted. Pretty straightforward really.

 

Afterburner. Shorter outer pipe with much confusion of parts inside, but with my pics and Damiens well bodgeable.

 

Cockpit. The rear bulkhead of the cockpit is level with the back of the seat. ON standard Hunters like the F5, it is moved back to give better rearwards view

 

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There is a clear gap between the back of the seat and the bulkhead.

 

This don't happen on the F3.

 

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Not only is the back oft he seat the back of the cockpit, but the canopy is shorter and, just to make things difficult, is not cut on one line. Incidentally, at the time  of the record breaking this was not painted. The spine needs to be extended to the front of the seat rail.

 

The nose is also pointed. This is, after all, what filler was invented for ,

 

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The canopy was also extended forwards but the aeroplane is as standard in the museum. I'll worry about that when I have to think about making it.

 

Lastly, there is an intake under the fuselage..

 

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Most of this is pretty straightforward. There are other grilles and holes and intakes, but I am not going to get too upset about these.

So, the red wine is kicking in, the typing fingers have had enough, some more soon.

 

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I just had a quick scan through what I wrote and found there were some spelling mishaps. Basically, I have an iPad, that I am using this morning and it and I have never become friends due to it spell check changing words that are actually right, and some of the things it tries to change them to are a joke. (I just had to go back and change ‘changing words’ in the last paragraph from ‘changing works’ when I know, as I watched, that I typed it correctly.  I hate it. 

I also have a couple of laptops. One is clearly just plain nasty. It can take up to four weeks to boot up. Ok, it has never *actually* Taken four weeks but it takes so long I know it * wants* to take four weeks. I bought this last year after my previous one took a dive from the coffee table and mullared the screen. This one is still in use as it actually boots up, sometimes does what I ask of it and is usually plugged into a big screen so that I can see the main project I am doing at the moment which is the third edition of Make Your Own Electric Guitar, a book that has looked after me well. I was using this last night but sitting on the sofa, with the screen miles away Is not ideal and I type too quickly. There was a time that I could bash it out on a standard keyboard but the chemo effects mean the fingers don’t work like they used to. A downside of the wonderful immunotherapy I have is that I get sores along the sides of my fingernails, and the fingers are not quite as controllable as they were, but part of that is that after bashing through the 304 pages, well over 300,000 words of text and captions I get a bit of ‘cba’ and rather than have to go back and insert text, if it looks like it’s understandable, I just leave it. Sorry. Just thought I’d let you know.

 

So, when I finished my Harold Balfour Sopwith Pup <insert badly taken phone image here>
 

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And also my Albatros DVa. Ah, now I did say the models I make have a personal connection. This one most certainly does. Having been a member of the Memorial Flight Association in France since the beginning I have been involved in some great projects. This is one of them. Very, very few WW1 aeroplanes have been successfully dug, and this is one of them. I am about to get my proper writing head on again soon and tell the full story of the original, the hole it ended up in (the motor was in good enough condition that five of the six cylinders could have been used again, and some parts of the fuel system will be). Watch out for the article, it is early days so I don’t know where it will be printed, but I will keep people informed.
 

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so, having got the previous models ‘doneish’ I had to do something about the size of the box that was taking up almost as much room in outer so are room as my guitars. We live in a flat that is so small a friend with a big nose had to reverse out into the street to turn around! (There is a naughtier version of that joke), anyhow, the size of the box for the Hunter made me wonder how people cope with the packaging on the HK Lancaster! Hey! , a free house with every model....

 

my first stage in actually making the model (I knew we’d get there in the end) was to find a drawing I could use. Quite a few of the record breaking Hunter are clearly copies of standard Hunters with the longer canopy, pointy nose and the air brakes.

 

incidentally, the spell checker on here took my miss spelling of ‘longer canopy’ and suggested ‘oh gerbil’. See what I am up against?

 

i did eventually find this
 

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‘Most’ of the right bits are here. The nose looks right, the canopy extension at the front looks right, the longer spine and shorter main canopy look right and the jet pipe extension protrudes acceptably, but it has the air brakes that were definitely NOT fitted for the record.

 

Incidentally, due to events that have been mentioned on another thread on the forum, I got to know Gwen Duke quite well and would sometimes drop in and visit her, this was after we had lost Neville. Apart from the fact the chocolate biscuits were always excellent, and woe betide anyone who turned up whilst the rugby was on (she had a full-size cut out of Jonny Wilkinson In her kitchen) she also told me she had files and files of reports as Neville had kept a copy of every report And most photographs. I would have loved to have delved into this but it was not the right time to ask. I just hope it found a good home. Financially not a goldmine, but historically SO important.  I wonder if there were useable plans or photos of the prototype? There was one great photo of Gwen looking out of the cottage window with their German Shepherd as Neville broke the closed circuit record. Gwen was still a beautiful lady in her late 80s, when I knew her, but she was a stunning younger woman. Even the dog was a looker!

 

The next stage was to blow the photo up. Easy enough with a phocopier but by this time we were in lockdown and I am max vulnerable so cannot go out at all. I do, however, have InDesign for the ‘real’ publishing I do so took this downloaded image, and that of an F4 and dropped them into a photo box, InDesign users will understand, and cranked the percentages until it matched the known dimensions. For this the good computer and The big screen were a help.

 

I then printed a few out. Anyone familiar with A4 paper and 1/32 Hunters will know there is an inherent discrepancy, so this was done in two halves.

 

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the only problem, and visible on the picture I posted here of the prototype drawing, is the width of the lines. In fact, this is not too much of a problem as the key positions, such as transport joins and panel lines match up and with the tolerances I work to (ok, I take is seriously on guitars, but models need to ‘look right’) It’ll be ok, but after a few print offs I found one I was happy with. I also had the measurements I’d taken from the F3 and the immaculate F5 at Tangmere.

 

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And just so there was no confusion....

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this clearly shows the shorter canopy on the prototype. 
 

Since the cockpit is the first bit to be made, i started holding bits together to try and illustrate wharf I was going to do. I had already worked out the extended fuselage spine and the afterburner were going to be the ‘think this through first’ bits, but the shortening of the canopy was going to be the ‘gotcha’ if it broke, and is was not a straight line. On subsequent production Hunters, the rear line of the canopy is an angled line, but straight. The prototype has a vertical section that then joins an angled section. This can be seen in the photo I posted earlier and also, just, on this drawing. The canopy that Revell supply is commendably thin. I was very impressed with that, but I sort of wished they’d included about 16 to give me a chance of not messing it up. But more of this later when I boast annoyingly about how masterfully I managed this.


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This is how the parts in the kit fit together. The fit is really good. Now let’s ruin that with some ham-fisted surgery...

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The three parts that make up the seat support, the bulkhead and the end of the fairing need to be modified. I very much doubt the bulkhead changed place but the end of the fairing needs to me moved forwards until the front face is in line with the front face if the seat support. This clarifies my point about about not worrying too much about minute measurements, as it is the existing positions of the main items not moving that determine where new parts move to. So, out with my trusty 50 year old, handleless x-a to razor saw. 
 

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the clever trick now is refit the end of the spine, in the right place and at the right angle so the seat would simply slide past if in firework mode. However, the canopy is shorter, and is bulged, therefore the spine follows this line, meaning the end piece of the spine needs to be a gnats taller. Hence the small piece of plastic are. 
 

I also need to work out how to fill in the gap. Obviously a fuller of some form is going to be used, but more filler, in my experience, means more faffing around, more sanding dust and sometimes problems with it not getting hard. The most obvious way would be to glue the end piece in place and use strips of plasticard to provide a base for the, much smaller, amount of filler. 
 

My problem here was that I wanted a nicer panel than the Revell, which is basically an engraved paint it and dry brush job, which was fine in it’s day, but which can now be done so much better. So, I ordered a set of instruments from the jolly nice people at Airscale, but needed to do all that instrumenty stuff before the back of the cockpit.

 

after they arrived, and we’d sheep dipped the postman, I got started

 

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it was then the only small problem from buying on EBay came to roost. As I suggested yesterday, I have no problem with the seller whatsoever, he was quick, communicative, honest and highly recommended and I doubt very much that he knew a small corner of the panel, at the top, had broken off. So, I brought in my famed skills as a plastic modeller......... and made a replacement. 
 

I also started to work out how much weight I’d need to stop it being a tail sitter. The destruction pamphlet says 40g right in the nose cone. Firstly I knew the cone was going to get sanded to within a micron of its life and secondly they were talking about lead shot. Being locked down more than both Kray brothers (and for my own good so I am ok about it) I cannot get out to find lead shot and i betcha the fishing shop is shut anyway, so it was a case of looking around the house.

 

Having now pretty well retired from making guitars I do have a lot of guitar pickup magnets of varying sizes, including a whole bag of 6mm x 13 mm alnico 5. These were bought for some bass pickups I never made and whilst more expensive than lead shot, they are there, redundant and paid for. 


(as another aside, and I say this knowing there are a number of guitarists on here, changing out the magnet on a pickup can alter the sound way more than you may think. Not so easy on Stratocaster style pickups, where they are glued in and taking them out can break the windings, but on humbucker and P90s, it is a doddle. For example, if you were to give me a good reissue Les Paul, the first thing I would do is take out the Alnico 5 magnets and put in Alnico 4. Current forum rules say I cannot offer a replacement service, but I can discuss your options. Pm me if you feel like it)
 

Alnico is an alloy of nickel, colbalt and aluminium (hence Alnico when you list it in the right order). Obviously with a significant part being in aluminium it will not be as heavy as lead alone, so I weighed ten and it came to 31.6g. Therefore I’d need nearer 14 to make 40g but had the problem of not being able to put then in the nose cone. This would mean using more, as the moment if weight in each would be less, and I would need to fit them in wherever I could. Time for some cunningness.

 

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five fitted neatly in the footwell.

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another tops either side of the nose wheel bay. The precision drawn pencil mark shows where a bulkhead falls.


and whilst holding the nose wheel bay, the gun ports get filler

 

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so, that!, do for this morning. There will be more later.

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Ooh, time for some more spelling mistakes.

 

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the filler in the cannon ports was barely allowed to harden (I am SO impatient) and rubbed back and had some thick Mr Surfacer ladelled on. I also got stuck into the inside

 

spacer.pngthe broken corner of the panel was fixed and I will admit that although I made an effort to get the correct instruments in the the correct positions the ‘cba’ alarm went off fairly early as the chances of seeing anything by the time my hamfisted attempts at plastic engineering have come together you are not really going to be able to tell if the altimeter is a mark XII or a Mark XIII B/762 series 9. As long as it looks a bit ‘instrumenty’ when you look in then I’m happy. 
 

I decided not to do anything about the top part until the foaming was fitted as since this was put together as a speed airframe I doubted it would have a gunsight - well you can see from photos that is doesn’t, so I’d fill the area with ‘test’ instruments.

 

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Meanwhile, at the other end of the cockpit, what became the biggest game if the whole job got started. The first stage was re-arranging the bulkhead behind the seat in its new position

 

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it was, by now, already losing some of its detail. If your stomach is strong enough to look closely you can see the end of the thumb is a bit yellow ( it rarely stays this good). This the the antibody damage from the chemo, which is worst in the right hand (which does make my remaining guitar playing easier as the left fingers only hurt a bit) but this thumb gets very sore. This does lead to the joked about hamfisted ness, as let’s face it there is not much point moaning about it as it is keeping me alive. One of the biggest problems it gives in modelling terms is not being able to get a lot of tension when pulling on masking tape when gluing bits together, and all these spolling mistooks. WARNING the next bit will happen from time to time as I get a bit evangelistic. NEVER miss a test (I did) as no test is as nasty as some of the surgery, pain and, at times desperate fear and worry I go through. There, sermon over (for now),

 

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it did actually get to be quite fun working out how many magnets I could fit into places around the cockpit. The moment from the pivot, in this case the main undercarriage, to the nose is not that long and the cockpit is only about half way and my basic Gosport Grammar School physics still suggests, through the mists of time, that the force at the nose, assuming, just for example, that the distance from the pivot to where Herr Revell wants me to put 40g is 20cm, then the force exerted will be 40 x 20, or 800 thingamabobs. Me putting one 3.1 g guitar magnet at about half way from the pivot, under the seat will be 10(cm) x 3.1, so 155 thingamabobs. Therefore I have to use more of them. Some of the space available is nearer the pivot, so my 3.1 (ish) weight will exert less force, and there are a couple of places further out to the nose where it will be more effective but why let accuracy get in the way. You’ve seen the drawing I’m working to, I just shoved magnets wherever they would fit. 
 

the funny thing was that I have had this bag of magnets, as I think I said, uncharged, unused and basically unwanted and since I have had to retire and I am not making pickups, I thought the chances of them being needed were close to zero, but in the back of my head I imagined getting an email from someone desperate for half a dozen pickups, at a price that made it worthwhile, when half the magnets are epoxied, superglued or body puttied into the sharp (and due to get sharper) end of the 1/32 Mr Duke’s Hunter. Last night I genuinely got an email from a good friend in Liverpool It started, ‘hi Melv, are you still making pickups?’ I think I have some old stock to sort him out.
 

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see? They fit anywhere!

 

The next stage was to fill the gap between the bulkhead behind the seat and the fairing. I did think about doing this with a couple of layers of plastic card, carefully bent and shaped. 
 

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the first stage was to glue a piece on the inside to form a base for any subsequent layers

 

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the canopy was also used to give an idea how the spine would need to change to match it when I bravely cut it to length

 

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the plan to build up the area with plasticard is a good one and not that difficult. As you can see, Mt Hamfisted managed quite a good job making this but if very springy 20 thou fit quite well and I would have preferred to do it this way. Basically all it needed was 2 layers of 20 thou or one of 20, one of ten and a thin layer of body putty but I got hit but my chemo and had a bit of a bad week. Most of the time it is very easily bearable and nothing compared to what some people have to endure. I don’t get real nausea, I get dry skin and some sores on my fingers but nothing physical like some of the horror stories you hear, I have kept my hair, not that that bothered me anyway, but in my two week session one is spent very tired, which is hardly surprising, and I try just to work around it but going up and down steep stairs to the loft, and the stairs are not the safest with sharp turns too and bottom. At this time I was mentally ok, by so physically tired I simply couldn’t safely get down to the kitchen to use hot water to form the plastic, or take either lot of equipment to do the job in one place or the other. It was just much simpler, and safer, to stay in one place and slap on a thin layer of putty every half an hour or so to built it up and get in with some of the other jobs while energy allowed.

 

unfortunately, this also seems to coincide with the time when the otherwise perfect Mrs Hiscock managed to include my phone in the washing. I can say for certain the bag of rice trick doesn’t work. Nor does my phone and I had some finely crafted images of body putty application that would have had you almost bowing with admiration (try and prove me wrong).

 

one thing that annoys me about body putty is how it can separate in the tube. Luckily the fine NHS give me a hooooge antibiotic tablet as part of my treatment and the foil packets are the perfect size for mixing up putty. They are also good for paint mixing

 

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The Lymecyclene is an antibiotic used to help stop me getting very, very spotty but I have to ration the foil trays as I only get to take one a day (who knew plastic modelling could be this interesting?) but Omeprozole, that many people are familiar with, is a smaller tablet and good for smaller quantities. I use this foils too.
 

oh, backstop a bit, the panel and side panels were fictionally splattered with a little wear and tear, some red and yellow bits, which are traditionally used in cockpits to help prevent  the pilot (although not in this case) from doing something stupid like leaving the cigar lighter plugged in whilst refuelling.

 

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this includes the fixed bit of panel. I decided to leave the hole for the gunsight as the part also fills a hole in the coaming.

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of course, the apwhilev,it was supposed to fit together a little better than this, but hey ho, that was what body putty was invented for.

 

As the layers of putty on the spine were drying, and the phone as going into spin cycle, i got started on the nose cone.


we had measured this when at the museum, neatly from the nearest panel  line That was shown on the drawing.

 

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checked using my usual fine engineering standards (and you can see what I meant  about those lines being on the thick side of stately. The hole is already drilled (not chilled you spell checking moron) in the end of the nose one to take a dowel of the right length That will support even more putty.


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You can tell by the inherent manliness of the file how much is being removed and I am not even close to the outer edge of the drawing line, let alone the inner. A block with 320 grit paper was also used and it hurt holding this with manky fingers whilst filing. Honestly I am such a martyr.

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even on trial fits it was just not looking right do it was time for drastic operation .

 

whilst I build the tension for this I am going to catch a quick nap. 

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Well, I have read through this thread so far and totally gripped. Can't wait to see how things go.

 

Melvyn, I bought your book on making an electric guitar, many years ago. And I did. Much sawdust in the attic. And it worked! Thanks, I couldn't have done it without you.

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Thanks Don, that is much appreciated. Edition three is being finished off (without spelling mistakes) at the moment and should not be too long in coming. There is at least 75k new words a lot more photos and the jokes are just as bad. We finally got a holding site on melvynhiscock.com And that will have all the news and some videos soon. 
 

nah, I’ll stick a pic here....

 

I know this is a bit naughty but hell, I am a naughty person and this book would not have made it this far without the incredible care of the National Health Service who literally HAVE kept me alive for the time this book has taken me. It was close to being ready to go when I was diagnosed four years ago. Since then I have really found out who my true friends are, and I am looked after by total professionals.

 

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now, back to Neville’s Hunter....

 

and thanks, but we know there is a spelling mistake, and it’s not even mine!

 


 

Edited by melvyn hiscock
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Melvyn, this has to be one of the most absorbing wip threads in a long while! Looking forward to more updates 

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So, after that very welcome interjection from DonH, it is back to the nose cone. It started to get very clear the plastic was getting thin, so in the absence of those sadly missed, old fashioned things called shops there was no way to get an epoxy filler, and Squadron putty, bless it, would have taken aeons to dry and the solvents would probably have melted the nose cone. So it was done to some epoxy glue that was at least five years old and in the bottom of the ‘guitar tools I’ve got left’ box. Luckily I’d put the correct lid on the correct tube last time I’d used them (oh how I laughed when I did that wrong once) And it took two lots mixed up in the lymacyclene containers to fill the nosecone

 

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it has been a while since I used epoxy in this sort of amount, and I was surprised at how warm it got, and how green ‘clear’ epoxy can go after years of sitting around and still work. I did think about sticking in another magnet but it would have been very close to the edge and if I had to attempt to file it with the epoxy my natural happy exterior may have shown some slight alteration as Alnico is as tough as old boots. I can’t place the plastic bag with the magnets next to the file as they sit in the bag jeering and making rude remarks about the file’s manhood! I think one or two of the crept put the other night and beat up the neighbours Pitt Bull, they are that tough.


so, it was back to filing and sanding and I was through the plastic and onto the epoxy very quickly.

 

oh, and I glued the tail one together to make a stand for the epoxy. It was getting time to think about afterburners as things were going well.

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it was becoming clear, by the point that I needed to start in the wings, the whole nose section, so gluing in the nosegear bay, more magnets, final shaping of the spine (which had already been chopped at the rear nose join to make handling easier, the intakes, tail cone and the air intake under the fuselage, and to start thinking about how my ragged brain was going to get the intakes and the whole lot together. This was to become fun, as anyone that has made the Mk6 or Mk9 will know already.

 

so I started with the tail cone. The original engine doesn’t help much 

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neither do my picture of the insides

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although you can see the concentric pipes, with the centre one being split. Damien Burke’s picture from his ‘Thunder and Lightnings’ site that he very kindly slung over to me in Dropbox showed more inside detail.
 

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and big thanks to big D for letting me use them.

 

it was clear this was going to be a bodge job. (Many people may not know the word ‘bodge’ often used, as in this case, to refer to a hurried and sub standard job, is actually a term from the furniture trade, and in High Wycombe, very much a furniture making town (as well as, for many years, home to the excellent Wal bass guitars) has/had a pub called the ‘jolly bodger’)
 

the kit includes an aft fan in a section of tube to act as the non after burning Avon back end. I cut the tailpipe to the measurements made on the prototype

 

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with the lines accurately marked (?) and the bits glued together, a bit of masking take was used as a guide for the pre-CBS (guitar joke) x-acto razor saw

 

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and then, in true a Blue Peter fashion here is one I’ve already done 

 

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engineering perfection

 

I decided I needed an outer ring, with the kit jet pipe acting as the inner pipe. This, when inserted from the outside, rather than inside as on the kit instructions protrudes a little from the now shorter fuselage, which is what is wanted. I took one of the kit fuel tanks (sorry for anyone that wanted a swap when the Covid restrictions are lifted), cut a slice, and with a small insert of plastic card, this was the right diameter to go around the outside of the jet pipe.  I then added a couple of small pieces of 10thou plastic to be the adjustable bits and chopped off a Tamiya bomb to act as the thinner afterburner tube on Damien’s pic. A five pointed star of thin rod was added to this and dropped into place. 
 

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Not bad for an admitted bodge

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ok, not good for a bodge either. Jet pipe at left, shortened rear fuselage and my first attempt at an outer pipe before I realised curling up drop tanks was easier.

 

afterburnery bits

 

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from the side

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and in place covered in NATO ‘hides a multitude of sins‘ black

 

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And just before I limp off upstairs to spray primer, just another reminder of my attention to magnetic detail when gluing the nose together....

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I snuck another five in there before I glued the nose wheel bay in. 
 

also, and just because it is fun, when Neville and Gwen used to visit Popham, it was not unusual for the manager Dick Richardson to break out the famous Popham VIP limo. Here is Dick with Neville and probably Gwen hidden in the sidecar, at Popham. I could name you several famous and admired ‘hero’s’ who would not be seen dead doing this. This is my hero, who loved it.

 

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wings and air intake later although cider may be taken first

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Tangmere model show 2018, their first one, and the Romsey club had the table under the wings of this impressive beast. 

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And a good day was had by all! 

We even won the "best table" 🎉😎🥳

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What a great thread! I look forward to its development. Thank you for taking the time! Am now remembering a book I used to have with Neville Duke and a Hunter. Darn, I wish I hadn't got rid of *that* one. Heigh ho.

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Thanks for the replies folks. It is nice to get a response.

 

now, can anyone advise me how to get in and edit out my spelling mistake in the title page?

 

Rob Lyttle, your picture *just* misses out an interesting point. The very helpful John Wright, who arranged our visit, pointed out something in the Hunter wing that models (can’t speak for the Airfix one it was not out at the time of the visit) generally get wrong and that is the outer tip of the aileron is not straight but has a slight curve, missed off of most, if not all, models.

 

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John is right ( as well as Wright) and it is quite a marked curve jut not quite visible in Rob’s picture above. John did joke that my visit to Tangmere was only allowed on condition this curve was included in my model of WB188, and so I have nicknamed it ‘John’s curve’ ever since. It only Takes a couple of swipes with my mahoosive (but scared of Alnico magnets) file.

 

This brings me to another of my bugbear of models and that is welded control surfaces. I can understand moulded control surfaces on 1/72 models (just) but in 1/32? Not only that, but the flaps are separate. I know people love to have the flaps opened on models,  and that is wrong when they are parked. It is check list stuff. Most checklists, Hunter probably included actually say ‘on turning off the runway, raise the flaps unless you plan to display your otherwise perfect aircraft at Telford’. Now, dropped flaps, unprototypical as they are, are not as offensive to me as welded control surfaces. Flaps do get dropped on the ground for maintenance and to show off the excellent 1:1 scale parts Eduard make for the real thing. On the other hand, welded control surfaces can make any flying, other than straight and level, problematical. Joking apart (as if) the Hunter elevators *almost* get away with it, as they look like they would be capable of movement, the same applies to the rudder that I did cut and reposition, even though it would have been straight on the ground, just to wave two fingers at the designer who did the ailerons. The main hinge line on these is similar to the elevators, so 5/10, but the ends and the small corner angle are almost invisible and moulded on as if an afterthought. 
 

They have made a relatively acceptable attempt at moulding in the trim tab. This is fine for the F6 but an external flap was fitted in the port wing of WB188. 
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and hey! Look at that, a VISIBLE gap between the aileron and the rest of the wing suggesting the aileron might actually move if called upon in flight. Is this too much to ask? Even making mine with the ailerons central required quite a bit of work with the old x-acto (and it IS old, small drill, craft knife, ruler and chainsaw.

 

Now I am off up to the wonderful Queen Alexandra Hospital to have my two weekly blood taken prior to Monday’s chemo. The best decision I made was to have a picc line fitted as it means I don’t have to get stabbed for each blood test and for the drug line, for the (chemically very nasty) chemo. This is just a tube out of my upper arm and is no bother at all and makes life really easy. The staff are excellent and most know I make up all sorts of alternative names for stuff (chemo is ‘creative poisoning’) and I call the picc line ‘the vodka port’. One day a young junior nurse took me to one side and said ‘you do know if you use it for vodka you’ll die?!’ She was so sweet about it and I promised her it was a joke. 
 

so, off to give my blood samples and have the line redressed. This is one of the three times in two weeks I get to leave the house.

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Super work on the F.3 conversion Melvin, and great write ups, expect nothing less from you though!

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Thanks James, again, most appreciated. You may be interested that I have an interesting WW1 article to get written (there is mention of it above) and Bob Grimstead, aviation author, excellent pilot and jolly good all round chappie, has been trying to get me doing more for the aviation magazines. There was even talk of some flight reviews, but permanent chemo means I can’t even self-certificate so no more licence for me (I did mention 2 June 1992 was first solo, I wanted to fly that day but....) It has been one of the toughest parts of the chemo, to lose the flying, And the fingers problem mean I’ve almost lost guitar playing too, although they are not too bad really at the moment. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the serial killing it would be hardly worth getting out of bed.

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This is what I mean abouT ailerons, the main hinge, fine (if you really have to have them welded in place) is just about acceptable but the vintage x-acto has to come out for the rest.

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and hey, look, droppable flaps.

 

the rudder, as mentioned above got the full treatment

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 So, apart from welded ailerons, the only change in the wing is the deletion of the leading edge extensions which is really a case of cutting down the extensions and deciding how to link it all up with the wing tip, nav light and pitot tube. This may sound strange, but I sort of based it all on the wingtip light. I cut off the very outer bits of the extensions as well as cutting them to width and I was going to use those bits to fashion a new wingtip but fat chemo fingers hit again and I couldn’t hold all the fiddly bits in place and it all nearly took a high speed flight all of it’s own. Hoe

wver, it all seemed to line up in space so the sips got blued on and the corner filled with putt ready for the reshape and installation of the wing tip light."

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After a bit of aileron bullying, the Trim tab war files into oblivion whilst generally thinning down the trailing edges
 

the leading edge extensions were quite straightforward 

 

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And even the tips were not too much trouble. I can’t remember swearing once, but since I am generally A touch ‘Anglo Saxon’ in choice of language I’d hardly notice

 

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Ok, it might not ‘exactly’ match the drawing but let’s face it, my drawing didn’t ‘exactly’ match either.

 

oh there was a bit of thinning of the trailing edge on the elevators 
 

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and the last job before nailing most of it together would be the intake upon the underside. 
 

Whoever designed this was thinking of 1/32 scale modellers as it was 8 inches from the fuselage join, or 1/4 in and it measured 31 1/2 inches long which in 1/32 is....( carry the one, multiply by the integer, forget the number you first thought of an say ‘ok, it’s an inch) 

 

the drawing was printed off to the scale size, which was even cut and uses as a stencil. The whole was cut in the time honoured way of lots of drill holes and chopping with craft knife and files. 
 

the original ,looks like this

 

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But his is going to have to wait as the cider I’d kicking in, I am knackered from spending four and a half hours on the phone and net to Nat West Bank yesterday to get them to do a minute mistake that has mended me around for four years and it sounds like Mrs H is about to feed me.

 

intakes tomorrow or when I surface after chemo

 

 

 

 

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This is great plastic bashing! 

Got to say "welded" control surfaces drive me to the edge as well. 

I picked up a little saw blade set at a show. They came on a frame that looks like a brass photo etch. 

One in particular is in constant use, going down the sides of flaps, ailerons, elevators, trim tabs,, the lot. 

This is my latest hatchet job on the tail end of a Lockheed Ventura. 

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I'm all over the Fowler flaps as well! 

 

And best wishes on the med front as well! 👍

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Rob.

 

I have to say how anyone managed to make sense out of some of my spelling last night is beyond me. I will admit some was probably cider (Henry Weston’s Vintage and jolly strong) but this iPad really does have a mind of its own when it comes to spelling and I don’t always spot it. The tips of my fingers can get very sore too. I actually wiped blood off a bit I was photographing. Basically, the chemo is helped by an antibody (anti body, is there a clue there?) which makes it work much better. This was only licensed in October 2018 and is, currently, pushing all my nasties backwards, but it sees things like dirt along the sides of your fingernails as a threat so sets about it killing it off and so is very much like Whitlow, so it is like an infection and can feel like a needle being shoved into the wound. Currently the right hand is worse, (which helps for what limited guitar playing i can still do) But the right thumb is very painful and trying to hold the bits of a Hunter wingtip in 3D with no fixed points was, well, interesting. Typing is easier on a touch screen, if it types what you want, but using the pc hurts a bit. But, if I was really honest (no chance there) the spelling could be the cider although (and this is genuine) I just misspelled guitar playing and it came up as ‘guitarviolation’, not only does it take the pi**, it takes the pi**!
 

The blunt end of that Ventura looks good. Are you foiling that? I am also impressed with the sharpening of the pencil in the background so that you can write around corners! Seriously, nice elevator choppage.

 

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Edited by melvyn hiscock
Ugly git with glass
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Melvyn, a most interesting read again. You certainly have a talent for writing in an engaging way, have you thought about writing books?

 

i have two Revell Hunters in the stash, awaiting my careful attention/butchery and it is great to see some gotchas to avoid. The curve on the aileron is a good spot!

 

looking forward to the next episode.

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so, this bit. One of a couple I was concerned about. Knowing it was probably a NACA design me and a quick googling and I got this 

 

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so, obviously, it was just a case of programme in the CNE machine (CNE is ‘completely non existant‘) and get cutting, or draw it and see what happens.

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It just fought it out, with the emphasis on rough...

 

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So, it was printed off onto some A4. For a nanosecond I thought about putting the plasticard through the laser printer unit I remembered just how hot the heater element gets......

 

the shape was then scalpel cut out and the hole used as a stencil on a piece of 10 though plastic As I considered using that as a cutting pattern, although the remains of the brain kicked in and I realised I would probably scalpel into it, or a finger. 
 

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incidentally, for the squeamish, that is red paint on the side of the fuselage not group B or whatever I am. By this point I had painted and assembled, ok, I’ll admit it, assembled, disassembled and painted the air intakes and this is simply Tamiya no 7.  More words will be had about the intakes a later date whilst I have a nurse monitoring my blood pressure.

 

So, the stencil was used with a sharpie to give the shape of the intake, and then the good, old fashioned, method of drilling lots of little 0.3 mm holes around the edge,

to start removing the insides was done using that thumb I was moaning about in the previous post to hold the drill bit. NOW you may understand why the fantastic Mrs Hiscock brings me apple-based anaesthetic at about 6.30pm, which is usually when the upstairs levels of language start to be heard over episodes of The Crown.
 

Another piece of mildly interesting (to me) information is the best relief I get from these finger sores is actually from a hydrocortisone Ear drop! I smother the fingers and let it dry. It has not cured it, but it does make it easier (except that right thumb) and my Oncologist (who is a saint called Anne O’Callaghan) was saying that sooner or later the pharmacy would question why a gastric cancer patient is getting ear drops!

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It needs a bit more smoothing and chairing but I remembered to put the ramp in at one end, although I have no idea how I am going to make the grille, and I wanted to add some depth to the sides so that I could ramp that. This just means clamping a couple of bits of plasticard to the side and I am sure you don’t want to see a fuselage side and a couple of clamps. You do? Really? Ok then, you asked for it spacer.png

 

happy now? Good.


once glued in this was shaped


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once shaped, my monstrous file was brought into play to angle the inside. As can be imagined this did not take long. This does remind me of Blue Peter, I am half expecting Valerie Singleton to be along in a moment with a story about Marie Antoinette. (I doubt there are more than about three people old enough to understand that reference.

 

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Once this was done I could glue the fuselage halves together but I needed to fit a roof to the intake and so used a piece of 20 thou plasticard with a slight angle bent into it so that it was trying to bend out of the fuselage. This was glued on one side and left overnight to harden, before the fuselage halves were glued and the slightly bent roof sat on the opposite side of the intake without a problem. Sometimes even I amaze myself. 
 

my run of self amazement (believe me, it doesn’t take much to impress me about me) then carried on as I cut and scored a piece of plastic card to make the intake grille, or something that would convince, at a distance and perhaps from behind a tree.

 

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I have just realised that I have put more effort and shown more photos of my intake than I did of the extended fuselage spine, so I took a picture just for you.

 

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Now, speaking of this, and perhaps apple juice, some false courage hit me and I decided to have a go at the rear canopy. The plan was, masking tape the rear, pack it gently with blu tac and then cut. From years of cutting Perspex for guitar scratchplates, and from making the windows for my Rearwin..... what do you mean ‘what Rearwin’.......

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just a little something I knocked together......

 

however, Perspex cuts better with blunt tools and different angle drill bits. When drilling, the drill bit is ground to 60 deg from 45, or the other way round, I can’t remember but you soon find out when your £350 Sheet of Perspex shatters. And blunt saws have less tendency to catch and do the same. In both cases definitely a cider moment, so having had a second bottle (it was an important bit in The Crown and the saintly Mrs H needed me to shut up) I grabbed my fast-becoming-famous vintage X-acto and went for it.

 

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if this isn’t an advert for the qualities of Henry Westons Vintage Cider I don’t know what is. You should just be able to see (as I could at that moment, the upright piece, that I cut to 10 mm as it looked about right. These were done first and then the angle cut to join them up. It worked. It worked I tell you!!!
 

Next will come the saga of gluing the fuselage together with the wonderful  intake system. Those who have already made this kit, as an F6 or the FGA9, or even as a conversion, will be giggling like school children knowing that I may reach a level of frustration hitherto unseen in the pages of Britmodeller, and that no amount of cider, beer, class A drugs or medicinal anthrax will get me through with any level,
 of sanity.
 

there may be a short break before the next instalment, due to tomorrow being chemo day where I get my 50 hours (no joke) of medicinal anthrax,(mildly funny joke not that far from the truth).

 

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Don, thanks for that. The big gotcha is in the next episode 

 

as for books, there was Classic Aircraft from World War One from Osprey in about 1993, and Hawker Hurricane: Inside and Out through Crowood in about 2000. There was also about 20 years of regular stuff in Aeroplane, occasional in Flypast and others and a very big selling guitar book.

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Posted (edited)

Forgot to post this yesterday

 

Royal Marine William ‘Gusty’ Hiscock

 

HMS Hawkins, bombarding Omaha and a Utah Beaches

6 June 1944. Uniform picture about 1943, colour picture was the last time he went our, to the remembrance ceremony in the local village. This was 11 November 2011 and we lost him in May 2012

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sorry I’m a day late dad, but to be fair so we’re you lot! 
 

he missed his Legion d’Honeur by about 18 months.

 

Nothing to do with a Hawker Hunters, but it is to do with Neville, but I’ll tell you a relevant story later.

 

so far I have written the whole story twice and this iPad or our sky (rubbish service) has lost it on both occasions.

 

so, I shall try again, and save frequently.

 

Sadly I was at Popham on that fateful Saturday 7 April 2007. I was not there when Neville landed but I did drive Gwen back to Hurn and, as a result of that and events afterwards we got to be friends. I knew that she was due as guest of honour at the 2007 Dunsfold show, and that a flypast with Guy Black’s Spitfire and Jonathan Whaley’s Hunter had been planned so I left the commentary position to warn her to have a tissue ready, whilst I was doing this she was rummaging in her bag and gave me this.

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This was Neville’s own commemorative mug for the 25th anniversary of the world record in 1988, when he had reflown the route in G-BOOM alongside G-HUNT. Needless to say I was very touched.

 

I was commentating, as usual at that one, with Brendan O’Brien who is a good friend and a very generous commentator. He said ‘ok Melv, you knew him, you know the history better than I do so I’m going to sit this out, it’s your gig’


 

As a result I was asked, in the following October, to recite a poem at the memorial service at St Clement Danes. Then, less than 48 hours before this,I was asked to also provide one of the eulogies. Former Chief of The Air Staff, Sir Michael Gaydon covered Neville’s RAF career, his test flying was covered by none other than Peter Twiss, and his private flying was covered by Gosport Grammar’s best known guitar maker, me.

 

At this time I was in the middle of breaking up with my partner of 26 years so things were a tad stressful, with ball lightning bouncing off the furniture at home. We actually get on very well now, and she even looked after Neville’s mug for ten years, but it was not fun at that time and I got into the train that morning to get a phone call from my brother. This meant something was wrong and it turned out that Dad had been rushed to hospital and was not expected to last the night. My brother asked me what I was going to do and knowing Dad, I told him I’d be down the following day as I had a gig to do.

 

Dad did recover, that time, and actually went five years later when I was commentating a show, with Bernard Chabbert at La Ferte Alais and is a story on its own, but this time, when he was well enough to talk properly, he gave me that ‘dad stare’ and asked ‘did you do Neville’s thing and when I told him I had, he said ‘Good, you could have dragged me out of here in a wooden box and you weren’t missing that one, remember he was MY hero as well!’

 

When the Hunter is finished it will be displayed with his mug and the order of service from the memorial service and the small Times cutting where I got a name check and I saved it for my dad.

 

We lost him 8 years ago last week. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by melvyn hiscock
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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, melvyn hiscock said:
Edited by melvyn hiscock
Trying to delete, aaarrrrgggghhhhh
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Well, that started well. With my already well stated love of this iPad combined with the utterly useless service that we get from Sky that had me have have three goes at putting up the thing about Dad up last night, and wanting to get a start in this before I have to deal with the WiFi at hospital.  
 

I know last night’s little story is not directly relevant but it was a chance to mention the old man sometime around DDay and, that in his opinion, my duty was with Neville on that day when he was really ill.

 

So ladles and jelly moulds today’s rant, sorry piece if fine creative writing deals with the installation, painting and inherent psychopathic qualities of the air intake.
 

Well, it may be written, it depends on the generally very unreliable WiFi at the hospital. 
 

it is a strange state of affairs when I am having five hours of very serious drugs, although not as bad as they used to be when chemo was designed to kill you a bit, but to kill the cancer quicker! Did you know they are STILL using one based on WW1 Mustard Gas!

 

As I’ve said before, it is far easier for me, but it is a very 21st century complaint when the main moan is bum ache off the plastic hospital chairs (although we do get recliners) and the very 21st century moan that we can’t get online reliably! Come on people, (including me) they are saving my life!!
 

And a quick note. You might think the oncology day unit would be depressing with people getting all sorts of treatments that are, in some cases, a bit ‘last ditch’ but with very few exceptions people are positive and friendly, as we are all working towards the same thing, a bit of extra life, and it can actually be quite fun sometimes and I’ve met some lovely people. As for the staff they are nothing short of incredible, seriously able to walk on water.

 

It is only really the first hour I feel well enough but I’ll give it a go to get some writing done today as the intake on the Revell Hunter is a masterpiece of design in the same way as the Sinclair C5 and the 1940 Tacoma Narrow’s bridge. 
 

There WAS a small user error, I will admit that, but it is nothing in the scheme of things. 
 

so, clock off now as Mrs Hiscock’s incredible healthy breakfast and my coffee (Lidl’s Italian) has arrived and is more interesting than talking to you lot. 
 

if I can get online it’ll be about 1-2pm. It’ll give me something to do.

Edited by melvyn hiscock
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‘Even this landing was easier than fitting the Revell Hawker Hunter intakes’

 

Dick Grace, Hollywood Stunt Pilot

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Posted (edited)

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‘I’m so glad I gave up trying to fit the Revell Hawker Hunter intakes and took up sums instead!’

 

A Einstein, professional sum doer.

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Melvyn

 

several weeks ago I spotted a "spare" 1/32 Hunter in the stash and thought about doing this but took cold feet as when I looked at what was likely to be required I thought it was beyond my information resources, my modelling capabilities and generally I'd just mess up.  So its gone back in the stash.

 

Your topic however shows me how it can be done and is quite inspirational so that wee project will be back on the cooker again soon.  Thanks for showing and helping us mere mortals along the way.  I will be happy to be a copycat here.  Enjoying the humour too by the way.

 

Oh and totally agree about autocorrect.  The person who invented it should rat in Hull.  (apologies to  Hullensians :D)

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