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On Heather's Workbench - vehicles and other bits for 1/72nd scale 1940 period dioramas and vignettes


Heather Kay

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Beautiful work, Heather! 

 

As someone who was born and raised on an old Canadian East Coast farm, I'd say you've nailed it!

 

 

 

Chris

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6 hours ago, Heather Kay said:

A project that’s always bubbling under is improving my "universal airfield" photo plank. 
 

It’s been a mission of mine to try and disguise the abrupt join between the ground board and the backscene board. I acquired a laser-cut fence and gate kit, dug out some old scenic flock and scatter, and set about things in a generally slapdash manner. I find that’s the only way I can do scenery: fiddle about with stuff until it sort of gels and looks about right.

 

I'd call it "railway modellers sorcery" :D

 

...... and I love that shot of the Hampden ............. well, of course I would!

 

T.

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  • 1 month later...

It’s been a while. Life at Heather Kay Towers has been up in the air since Christmas. Best Beloved has been quite poorly, and I’ve had to switch to being pretty much full-time carer for him. Consequently, Day Job modelling has taken a back seat, as well as Fun Time modelling. 
 

Over the past few weeks help has been asked for and more or less received. I don’t feel quite so much pressure, and happily Best Beloved has seen an improvement in his overall health. This past week, I actually managed some Day Job modelling. I decided to treat myself to some fun modelling as well.

 

I decided to take up the challenge of assembling a Flightpath PE bicycle. I know. I’m bonkers. To make it more of a challenge, I decided I would try to solder the kit together. :bounce: :frantic:
 

A very tiny bicycle

 

The raw materials. The kit comprises two PE frets, with three men's and one women's cycle, plus sufficient whitemetal alloy cast tyres.

 

Let us begin.

 

A very tiny bicycle


The frames are laminated from two pieces. That’s an easy job to join with solder. The rear mudguard and front forks/mudguard have to be formed into a curve. Metal being metal, it was a bit of a palaver as the bit where the forks joined the mudguard tended to want to bend differently to where I wanted. Amazingly, I even managed to solder the mudguards to the frames.

 

A very tiny bicycle

 

The saddle is laminated from two parts, and then attached to the frame. The handlebars are carefully bent, following the half-etch marks, and then took a few minutes to attach to the frame so they were square. I have considered whether it would be possible to position the handlebars and front wheel other than straight ahead. See later on.

 

I nearly forgot. Part 15 is a reflector for the back mudguard. Part 15 is about a millimetre in diameter. A normal person would either ignore it or attach it using CA glue. I decided to take up the gauntlet and see if I could solder it in place. You’ll never notice it, but challenge accepted and I did manage to solder it in place. 
 

(I probably won’t bother with the other bikes in the kit, as a dab of red paint on the mudguard location point will probably suffice. Oh, yes, of course I’m going to build them as well. Don’t think this escapade will put me off!)

 

A very tiny bicycle


So far, I’ve used normal electrical cored solder, liquid flux and a hot iron for assembly. To attach the PE wheels to the tyres, however, I had to switch to a lower temperature and solder more suited to whitemetal kit work. I think I won in the end.

 

A very tiny bicycle


The chain and sprockets are laminated, with a chain guard attached. The next phase is a bit more fiddly, as various short lengths of thin brass wire need to be used to install the wheels and pedal area.

 

A very tiny bicycle


After a little mild swearing, it’s done! David Parkins is a past master at fine PE work, and the overall design of this little kit shows it. While it is a fiddle, needs patience, a steady hand, and decent illumination and magnification, the bike goes together fairly easily. For the scale, it’s a lovely rendition, and far superior to the blobs that come in various Airfix airfield accessory kits. The flat appearance of various parts really doesn’t show at normal viewing distances.
 

Now, the question of posing the front wheel: as most bikes on airfields were dumped in piles on the ground while their riders got on with the important work of maintaining their aircraft, the front wheel naturally tends to point to the deck whichever side the machine is laying on. I’ve assumed my rider hopped off to the right, and tipped the machine on its left side. A gentle tweak of the front wheel gives it a slight set, and matching the angle with the handlebars took a couple of seconds. 
 

I should build the other bikes up, then have a session with primer and paint. And all signs to the contrary, I thoroughly enjoyed putting this tiny bike together, and my sanity is as intact as it usually is. :penguin:

 

 

 

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Just now, Pig of the Week said:

Very cool 👍

I was thinking the frame assemblies would make excellent dumped rusty scrap bikes too..( I do like a bit of old fashioned urban grot!) 😁


A rather expensive way to make rusty scrap, though. Better off bending up some wire odds and ends, I’d have thought, or repurpose the blobby plastic ones.

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That's mind boggling work with the bicycle, Heather. Those spokes!!

 

I think I might be in danger of getting addicted to the Flightpath kits. Fingers crossed our postperson should be smuggling me some Type B and Type C bomb trollies tomorrow!

 

Murray

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11 minutes ago, MOK61 said:

Fingers crossed our postperson should be smuggling me some Type B and Type C bomb trollies tomorrow!


Ah, yes, I have some of those waiting in the wings. I find you need to be in a certain frame of mind before beginning Mr Parkins' kits, but they are most enjoyable in a perverse kind of way.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 09/11/2023 at 09:52, Heather Kay said:

That was back in September, and I’m still waiting for the 35 days' delivery window to elapse. Having no email address or phone number to contact them, I can’t even verify my order arrived. If I don’t get something in the next couple of weeks, I guess I’ll have to send another letter. How old fashioned.


Well, my order never appeared. I didn’t rush to try again, as life got rather full until recently. Anyway, I went back to the web site to confirm the 2020 prices hadn’t been updated - and I noticed an order form to print out.

 

Could it be that Matador Models simply binned my order and payment because I hadn’t used the "proper" form?

 

Well, as I still want the conversion kit and the various figure sets, I’ve sent off another cheque, plus the proper form. Let’s see, it’ll be July before I discover if I’m going to get anything from New Milton…

 


 

 

 

Edited by Heather Kay
Finish the post because the forum software posted it for me before I’d even typed anything!
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Fiddling about with fiddly bits today. Little painting and retouching jobs for some of the airfield clutter I have.

 

Clutter

 

The Airfix motorcycles got a repaint. The Flightpath PE bike got painted, and I upgraded the Airfix pushbikes by replacing their straight handlebars to better period ones from bent brass wire. They also got a lick of paint to the official black. A set of oil drums got a coat of boringly accurate black. The various trolley accumulators finally got connecting cables, made from resin-cored electrical solder, and a repaint as appropriate.

 

That kept me gainfully busy for a couple of hours.

 

 

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Some very neat work there Heather. Your solder work on that bicycle is admirable and the end result looks superb. Challenging stuff soldering in such small scale and also with some white metal components ........... ask me how I know!

 

On 4/28/2024 at 2:52 PM, Heather Kay said:

happily Best Beloved has seen an improvement in his overall health.

 

Keeping everything crossed and hoping that trend continues.

 

Terry

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  • 2 weeks later...

Heather,

  like you, I had issues with an order with Matador, by nefarious means I found his phone number - I have to say that on the 2 occasions I called the ‘excuses’ were interesting.  I don’t think I ever received the order.

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15 minutes ago, TeeELL said:

I don’t think I ever received the order.


It’s a funny way to run a business, I have to say. I’ll wait and see if anything appears in a couple of weeks.

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Heather,

  Please don’t hate me for this … but would the bicycle spokes have been more effective had you ‘crossed them to the other side?   Of course, having written that ‘smart bottom’ comment I immediately thought of a reason why you couldn’t !  Ignore, as required.

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8 hours ago, TeeELL said:

Please don’t hate me for this


No worries there. The spokes are crossed, but they don’t show well. I need to revisit these, and it’s something I need to consider better on the remaining PE bikes in the set.

 

EDIT: Re-reading your comment now I’m properly awake I realise what you meant! The wheels are made up of a cast "tyre" with the spokes fitted to each side. The spokes are etched with a circular frame.
 

Instructions

 

Next time, I might attempt to file down the rim so the PE part melds with the cast tyre better.

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  • 1 month later...

Heather

I have followed your 1940's theme for some time and very much admire the builds for your period.

 

I too am doing something similar but more around late 1943.

 

I dont know if you have seen this site, Its not been around that long but I have had a number of vehicles and found them to be excellent, two such models attached.

 

I sure you may find a couple of items that will fit your time frame, I recently purchased the three vehicle set for airfield ground defence   . . . 

 

https://rayrimesdesigns.com/

 

Albion-3-point-refueller-6.jpg

 

Crossly-4x4-crash-tender-2.jpg

 

I look forward as always to seeing your progress 

 

best regards 

Ian 

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42 minutes ago, Mancunian airman said:

 

I dont know if you have seen this site


Already bookmarked! Interestingly, there’s some more modern designs that might find a home on a side project.

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