Saturday 28 July 2018

Leopard Construction Complete

The leopard is now all finished after adding the tow ropes and chains for the smoke dischargers. I used leopard club tow ropes which are excellent by the way. I did have some issues with the chains but this was due to the high temperatures which caused the CA glue to cure too fast. Got there in the end though.

The Meng leopard is a pretty easy kit to build with only a few niggles, mostly annoying seam lines which need to be cleaned up and those fiddly tracks. I'd say it's the most accurate 2A4 I've seen and it looks great once built up. 

Thursday 26 July 2018

Leopard Progress At Last!

I've now finally almost finished the construction phase of the project with just the smoke discharger chains and tow ropes to add. With the weather here in the UK also forecast next week to be cooler perhaps I'll get this in primer and finally be able to crack on with the bulldog and chieftain! 

Wednesday 25 July 2018

Life Changing News

As many of you may be aware I've had my fair share of medical issues since 2013 having suffered not one but two heart attacks, been diagnosed with sleep apnoea and have suffered a severe back injury whilst on duty. To say the last few years have been challenging is an understatement, I've had to adapt and change many things and have tried to get back to full duties and fitness ever since.

However my back injury was the final straw and something I've not got over or really recovered from. So in January I was advised to apply for ill health retirement and have just been notified that this has been granted. I'm so happy about the result and now for the first time in ages am optimistic about the future. I've been living in limbo for so long it's refreshing not to have the worry of losing my job looming over me all the time.

I've worked for the crown for 28 years so what I'm going to do next is something I have to think about carefully. But for once I can do something I want to do instead of need to do. I'm open to job offers and if anyone wants to employ me as a full time modeller I'm up for that!😁 So I'll be saying goodbye to being a policeman in October and looking forward to a different and hopefully fulfilling future in civi street.

Tuesday 24 July 2018

Modelling 0 Exciting New Kits 3

Still not much done at the bench lately, it's just far to warm. Only very small sessions have been attempted on the Leopard and even then I've been struggling. Never mind I'm sure it will soon get back to normal with wind, rain and a big drop in temperatures!

However all is not lost with the very welcome announcements by Meng and Hobbyboss which will please all fans of modern British armour. First up is Meng who have got a rather smashing Husky coming out. It's only CAD images for now but if the kit looks this good in plastic we are in for a treat.

Hobbyboss have gone one better and are releasing a Jackal and Coyote! I'm absolutely delighted as I've wanted to build these in 1/35th for ages but lacked the disposable cash to buy the excellent but expensive accurate armour kits. Lots of scope with these as well as they are currently deployed to Estonia I think. 

It's never been a better time for those of us who love British kit and these releases will I'm sure fly off the shelves when available here in the UK.

Friday 13 July 2018

Meng Leopard 2A4 Progress

With the temperature finally dropping to more comfortable levels in the cave I've made a bit more progress on the model. Nothing of note here apart from the rear deck tools which annoyingly have the tool clap handles moulded as solid parts when they should be hollow. As they are so small it's impossible to hollow them out. 

My solution was to have a rummage in the spares box which furnished me with some etched replacements. Likewise the rear convoy light is missing the guard, again the spares box came to the rescue. Both I think should have been addressed by Meng. 

The turret took some careful test fitting and sanding to get a good fit as there was a slight warp in the lower section. The mantlet cover is soft plastic and this works very well. I replaced the kit barrel with a perfect scale modellbau resin one which I've had for ages. It was actually intended for the hobby boss 2A4 but that was disposed of when this kit came out. The kit barrel is perfectly acceptable however.


Sunday 8 July 2018

Leopard & Bulldog

Work has been restricted to the late evenings/early mornings here due to the furnace like temperatures in the cave at the moment so not much done I'm afraid. I did manage to get the tracks done on the leopard and fit the upper & lower hull together and fit the replacement handles. The tracks are fully workable and although I found them tedious to assemble look excellent once built.

The bulldog build is also progressing at a snails pace but I have now sorted out the groundwork on the base. Fine sand and plaster were used for the dirt road and the building base was also fixed in position. When it gets cooler in the cave I'll crack on with the painting.

Saturday 7 July 2018

Heddington Steam Rally

With glorious weather, no interest in the football and a chance to have a look at some classic vehicles we visited the Heddington steam rally this morning. It's just up the road from us as well which was handy. A very pleasant few hours was then spent slobbering over various vehicles and enjoying the sunshine.