Welcome to Mike's World; re-entry!
Re-setting the Mojo
There's no doubt that over the last few months neither the website or I have been as active as we should have been but a couple of recent events and one optimisticall expected expected have given me a timely impetus (aka kick up the backside). The first inkling - almost big enough to be an ink! - had nothing to do with aviation or modelling, but a reminder of my far off youth on one of our fairly regular visits to the Stables, where an evening of the Manfreds included a sudden reminder of the need for a fully-function mojo by The One In The Middle. The second was at Duxford for Flying Legends, where a friend thought that I was overdosing on Merlins; at the end of my first circle of the Aviation Bookshop stand I couldn't understand how I'd missed the small stack of Roger Lindsay's third volume in his Cold War Shield series. Those of us with an addiction to the RAF of the 'fifties and 'sixties have had a fair proportion of our breath bated for a while, and I think I let out a small restrained British whoop which caused a few surrounding raised eyebrows. You will not be surprised to find my thoughts and comments on this eagerly-awaited book in the Mike's Pick section, for which it has always been destined; I'm so pleased not just that it's in my hands - it may never get as far as a shelf - but even more that Roger Lindsay has achieved a successful conclusion to his years of work.
As for coming events my mojo doesn't seem very intrigued by any of the expectations already raised; however you will remember my increasing involvement with the "Vickers Giant Bomber" last autumn; there is I'm sure a similar all-enveloping prolonged pleasure on the way by courtesy of Fantastic Plastic and Anigrand, with time I hope to take the first to Telford and back to IAT '77. Watch this space as well as the skies!
The T Word
For those of you who are rash enough to select GOMcom on a semi-random basis to see what if anything has been taking up my time in an aviation/modelling context in the last several months, you may have come to the conclusion that I've been over indulging my MBA in procrastionation; it's true that where things have been happining they seem to have been taking more time, and occasionally more effort, than I would have liked. It seems to have taken even longer than usual to get in to a rythym of models shows and air displays, but for the latter at least a belated reminder of sunshine and even a little warmth, prov1ded a welcome backdrop at both Old Warden and Duxford; this largely helped to illuminate the historic aircraft to which I am drawn - at least to watch and marvel, if not to model - but I was very taken by the Armee de l'Air Rafale display that opened Duxford.
Those of you who have known me one way or another these many years will have realised that for me "organization", like "tidy", is a four-letter word. Certainly it's not a task that should be faced unaccompanied, and I took shameless advantage of an offer from my older son of a day of his time earlier this year when he was making sure that he took his full leave entitlement. Suitably fortified - coffee that early, obviously - we worked our way in sporadic bursts to the back of the garage, the primary aim being to sort out the models built over the last four or five years which had arrived in this universal store in a somewhat random way, generally in with other if often unrelated models with which they'd ventured to and from sundry shows over quite a period. We managed this with only a couple of minor oaths; in spite of my long-term devotion to Casualty I find it quite hard to treat even minor inuries, and replacing prop blades, notably on the Vickers Giant Bomber and on the Supermarine 327s (Shrew) has become a minor irritant of its own. However both those types have proved eye-catchers on either the What If? and New City Club tables once the passes were open, and I'm almost sorted in some semi-permanent Useful Boxes.
Travellin' Light (if possible)
After many years trying to find appropriate square holes in which to fit on my way to other peoples' interesting areoplanes, sometime in 2015 I reached the conclusion that sitting in the middle of a row of seats in the middle of a Boeing (other options were available) had lost its charm, and my Foreign Travel last year was by coach and boat to Brittany to watch a few stripy aeropanes flown by the steely-eyed killers of a selection of European air arms. The decorating skills of a variety of units have been well-honed over the years, and as one of my favourite Downstream Consequences have resulted in a number of yellow and black striped models on public view at various shows; and on occasion I've really enjoyed seeing the real things, even if it's never been quite the same since 74 Squadron was disbanded (rotating wings really aren't the same, even on casevac).
After last year's excursion by land and sea, this year I went Tiger-hunting in Poland, venturing a little nervously back in to the lower levels of air travel to Warsaw and by subsequent coach to Poznan. As with last year at Landivisiau the first day was spent on the fringes of the airfield watching the participants coming back and going out, though not necessarily in that order; this form of reconnaisance is apparently tradtional. The following day we were on the airfield within shutterbug distance of the runway, and though more light would have been appreciated some of the decorative schemes were recordable. This one is relatively drab - a stealth tiger, perhaps - and for 2018 is wearing a pair of conformal tanks. There was a stall furnished by a local model shop from which I brought a kit of last year's Polish Tiger with a comprehensive set of decals and I had the bright idea of fitting tanks when home, but having got a pair was slightly mortified to discover both by trial fit and by reading their instructions that they'd been designed for a different make of kit. I've added a few more participants to the Gallery, though I may not know if I've remembered the tecnique untill I've uploaded the whole of this latest update. I do like striped fighters; Next year's Tiger Meet is scheduled for Mont de Marsan, and I shall consult my travel oracle in February.
And between now and then there's always ....
Dick Dastardly flies again!
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