Not Your Usual Model Kit

Over the last few days I’ve been assembling the pieces of the ceramic poppy that belongs to my brother and sister in law. (I’m told their cat broke it, which is why people should have dogs. A dog would never do this. ;O) ) This is one of those that were part of the 2014 installation at the Tower of London, marking the centenary of the beginning of the Great War.

The ‘kit’ arrived from London as five large parts, and a couple of sherds. My brother-in-law had already tried to repair the poppy with cyano-acrylate glue, but it hadn’t stuck. This is slightly surprising as super glue usually works well with ceramics. First up was to remove the glue from the joints so as to get as close a fit as possible. About five hours work with super glue softener, tweezers and a bit of water did the trick. (I found out, quite by accident, that once the softener has had an effect you need to immerse the parts in water for a few minutes. This makes the glue turn white, and therefore easier to see so it can be picked off.)

Above you can see the cleaned parts. I joined each part with a couple of dots of super glue initially, and followed by flooding the joints with Roket Hot super thin super glue to complete. Despite painstaking cleaning I couldn’t get a perfect fit so had to use some filler. Being a modeller means I’ve got umpteen fillers and solvents on the shelves, so I used some Deluxe Materials Perfect Plastic Putty to fill in the gaps. I found that Tamiya X-20A paint thinner can be used to thin the putty, and make it easy to flow in to the gaps.

Above shows the poppy reassembled, and the putty in white before a bit of sanding back to tidy it up.

And below is the restored flower, with a couple of paint touch ups still pending. (It turns out Xtracolour BS538 Post Office Red is an almost perfect match.)

A very satisfying project. (In the UK we have a wildly popular TV programme called The Repair Shop, and I learned most of the techniques used from that, and the fantastic ceramic restoration work of @kirstenramsay2. If you haven’t seen it, have a look.)

1/48 Skyhawk In Progress

A long over due update. With the Dagger complete (and waiting in a box for a courier to take it to Argentina) I’ve moved it to its own page and started a new WIP of a Hasegawa 1/48 Skyhawk. This will be an Argentinian Air Force A-4P and will also be going to Argentina as a gift to the pilot who flew it during the conflict. Have a look on the Work In Progress page.

Bandai 1:1 Nissin Cup Noodle Instant Review

Well, this is a bit different. This is the Bandai 1:1 Nissin Cup Noodle kit. I believe Nissin were the first company to market instant noodles, back in 1971. I ate them many times when we were in Japan in 2015. The kit is typical of Bandai, with multi-coloured sprues and push fit construction.

There’s a multi-part noodle nest, and a full compliment of accompaniments, including prawns, egg, and soy meat substitute. There’s also a little strip of vinyl to cut in to small pieces to replicate the dried Leek bits. The pot itself is covered in engraved detail that can be painted, but Bandai also supply all the labelling as stickers, along with markings for the prawns. There are more frames than shown here, with parts for constructiong the pot itself. (One panel remains removable on the finished model so you can see the noodles in place, illustrating the ingenius way there are packed to avoid transit damage.) The whole thing is topped off with a self-adhesive foil lid, just like the real thing.

The instructions are a delight, being peppered with little info panels about the noodles themselves, detailing how they are paced, and the methd used to stop the dry noodles being broken up in transit. There’s also a potted (ahem…) history of the development of the noodles. Such a fun idea, and as a big fan of all instant noodles I really look forward to putting this together.

Humphrey is finished

Here’s a quick shot of the finished Wessex HAS.3 ‘Humphrey’. You can read about why this aircraft is so famous if you google for it in relation to South Georgia and Fortuna Glacier. (I know the cargo door handle is not painted, before anyone starts! It will be sorted soon.)

My next project is extremely exciting. Over the last few weeks I’ve been following the @WarDiaryF82 on Twitter as they tweet the events of the Falklands War in real time. (If you don’t know, this has been a major source of interest for me since I was 12 years old, following the events day by day in 1982.) Through this account I gained several new followers, and followed back. One of them posted a picture of the real Dagger (C-407) that you can see in the Finished Models section. I tweeted a picture of my model to compare with the real thing.

A day later Daniel tweeted back to say that he had shown the pictures to an Argentinian pilot who had flown C-407 on a mission against the British on 1st May, a few days before it was destroyed by a Sea Harrier. The pilot is named Cesar Roman, and was impressed by the model, and asked where he could get one. After explaining I’d built it, he asked if I could make another, and now I have what is effectively my first commission! (It won’t be paid work, I’ll send it to Cesar as gift.) So exciting to think that one of my models will soon be in the home of one of the very people who took part in events I’ve spent decades researching. (I do have to solve the problem of getting it safely to the other side of the South Atlantic though!) I’ll be starting in the coming days, so if you are interested give the blog a follow to keep up to date.