For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Wednesday, 26 October 2022

Lysander build

Wednesday 26th October 2022

Bad weather and my muscle spasm affliction have kept me from the outdoors but I will be back as soon as as the stars are re-aligned. The muscle spasm I'm glad to say has more or less disappeared, and in any case the physio encouraged me to keep walking.

In the meantime I have made a start on my Westland Lysander model. I bought this a long time ago and then thought that I had not enough experience to tackle what is a difficult kit.The interior cockpit is very detailed and the  canopy in particular will be the greatest challenge, it looks like a major greenhouse from Kew Gardens.

The Lysander was used in WW2, often to drop off agents and pick up rescued air crew in France using its short take off and landing attributes. Operations were usually carried out at nighttime using remote fields and improvised landing strips. One of the options with the kit is to paint the aircraft black as it was used for those missions. and that is what I intend. 

Progress so far is shown  below.

Not a model. Here you can see some of the complexity of the canopy and also in the shot below

This shows the black livery used for clandestine missions to occupied France in WW2

All the parts that are to be Cockpit Green. I wasn't happy with this colour and later re-sprayed them in the authentic RAF colour as below

Here part of the cockpit module has been primed and painted and partly assembled. Note the pilot's seat with the detailed harness (click to enlarge) - very fiddly. The length of the cockpit sides is 7.5cm.

The now completed pilot's module showing the instrument panel and...

...the pilot's seat. The two centre silver boxes are fuel tanks. The top one is an auxiliary only used on  longer flights into France.

Here I have started on the rotary engine. difficult to eliminate the shadow

To be continued.


Saturday, 22 October 2022

Thanks for the NHS and bad news for cats

Saturday 22nd October 2022 

Just over a week ago I was afflicted with acute lower back pain which came on quickly. I suffered a couple of days before phoning my GP's surgery. Your call at our practice is normally answered  in less than five minutes. One gives brief details to an experienced and sympathetic receptionist who logs you for a call back by the GP within that morning. I fielded the call and had a positive conversation and was offered an appointment with the surgery's physio one week on. From what I read that is pretty good. I saw the physio this last Wednesday after increased suffering. He gave me a through examination taking my complaint seriously. He booked me for an x-ray and gave me a sheet of individual exercises compiled there and then  from his main list on the computer, and he also booked me in for blood sampling the next day-but-one (Friday.) On Thursday I went to Kendal hospital for the x-ray. I only had to wait ten minutes and the radiographer was pleasant and welcoming. The pain had become much worse but I stuck it out until my appointment today, Friday with the nurse for blood taking at 11:00 am.

I told the nurse that I desperately needed further examination and help from the qualified GP, not that I was dissatisfied with the physio, but I had to make something happen. Nurse said that there was only one GP on duty and she would get him to ring me later. At that point I'm afraid I burst into tears, so off she went to speak to the doc. After waiting another five minutes in the waiting room the doc appeared and saw me. Again he was sympathetic and thorough. He examined the source of my pain and concluded that it was "muscle spasm" whereas the physio had been more on the track of something orthopaedic, The doc prescribed me: Diazepam, Tramadol and Amitriptyline, sending the prescription electronically to the chemist in our village. I drove straight there and only waited ten minutes for the tablets. Back home I took the doses as indicated and sat in my large comfortable armchair stretched out and so dosed up I drifted off to sleep and awoke four hours later after very deep sleep. The pain had almost gone. Well, that is for the moment and I will have to see how it goes.

My reason for detailing the above is to illustrate that I doubt if there is any other country in the world where you would get such good treatment for free, ok I know we pay National Insurance but that is now so firmly embedded it tends to be hardly noticed. We do also have to pay for prescriptions up to the age of 60, so for me they were also free.


In the evening I was still comfortable enough to listen to some music which included Nicola Benedetti playing Elgar's violin concerto. The music with the London Phil was of course moving but in particular I was struck by the bewitching tone of Nicola's violin which took me to an even deeper level of that emotional pit of the stomach feeling - that is how some music does for me anyway, others talk of goose pimples or back of the neck hair raising.

Curiosity prevailed and I found this on the Classic FM website.

3. How much is Nicola Benedetti’s violin worth?

The violin Nicola plays is called the Gariel, made in 1717 by Stradivarius. It's worth an estimated £2m and previously belonged to an ancestor of Princess Diana. Nicola has said if a fire broke out in her home, she would grab her violin before her cat. "In an ideal world, all three of us would escape unscathed," she says. "But if I had to choose between the cat and the violin the £2million Stradivarius would have to come first."  

Tuesday, 11 October 2022

Watching the news

Tuesday 11th October 2022

Every morning I read the BBC News and the Guardian News on my computer, whilst munching my toast and marmalade and taking onboard several cups of tea. I also watch the Six o' Clock News on BBC and often the Ten o' Clock News on ITV as well as other news and current affairs programmes from time to time. 

News is mainly bad and of late it has become increasingly worse with obvious global disintegration, and with old age ever looming and other problems I have found myself becoming increasingly depressed (quite seriously.) But I continue to feel that I should  keep myself properly informed. The occasional snippet of light relief in the news therefore is more than ever welcome.

I am a sucker for a good animal story and this morning The Guardian for a moment side stepped missiles in Ukraine, the UK going bankrupt, and famine and drought worldwide providing me with a little chuckle over my breakfast.

Read the article as well as watching the video.

You will need to copy the link and paste it into your browser. I couldn't make it work the normal way.

Friday, 7 October 2022


 Friday 7th October 2022

The latest model is finished.

I have said before that I prefer to have some affinity with each new model chosen. 

For this Hawker Tempest the initial choice arose from it being featured by Genesis Models' step by step build on You Tube which I wanted to follow in order to learn some new techniques. It also adds to my 1/48 scale personal air force of WW2 aircraft.

The Tempest was a high performance mid and low level fighter and attack aircraft developed and uprated from the Hawker Typhoon. 

The kit specified several options but my interest was most sparked by this NV 994  flown by one of the most celebrated WW2 pilots, Squadron Leader Pierre Clostermann during his time with Number Three Squadron in Fraserburgh, Germany in 1945.

Clostermann was French and flew with several different outfits during the war, his story is quite interesting before, during and after WW2, and worth a little read on Wikipedia HERE

I wonder if the red spinner was specified by Pierre?

The Three Squadron  logo is depicted on the rudder and readable on the decal:

  Tertius primus erit

= The Third shall be first