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


Tuesday 28 March 2023

Hellcat 1

Tuesday 28th March 2023
Medical issues abound from several directions at the moment but not for discussion here. My distraction policy continues with a daily one mile walk from home and my model making.

My latest project is the Hellcat fighter plane  used by the Americans towards the end of WW2 mainly for the war in the Pacific and to a lesser extent by the RAF which this kit caters for. The Hellcat was used extensively from aircraft carriers. I may try to pose my model on the deck of a carrier, but I'm not sure quite how at the moment and it may not be possible to make it look convincing, especially if I want to keep the overall scene to a reasonable size.

My dictionary defines hellcat: A spiteful, violent woman. Not a bad name before those responsible for appending names to aircraft and cars ran out of imagination - see this link for a bit of entertainment:

The photos below are mainly for information and I have made no great effort to refine them.

The box-art of most scale models is usually of a high standard. Apart from the reflection I have obtained this lives up to that reputation.

The Hellcat was powered by an 18-cylinder
Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp
 radial engine

The front end of my Hellcat before the hub for the propeller is added. The body is still in the green plastic of the kit with some overspray in grey from primmer applied (that enables imperfections to be revealed and repaired before proceeding with painting the body colour.)

Now with a full coat of primer. The colour in real life is light grey which the camera has failed to interpret here. The wing,/tail alignment is correct but appears here to be askew because the model is tipped to one side and the whole being foreshortened

The next process is "post-shading." That involves airbrushing the panel lines on the underneath with black which will show through faintly when the final coats of body colour are applied producing a sort of weathered appearance. It is a difficult technique requiring airbrush precision. I have done it once before with only moderate success so I am hoping for improvement this time.
I have high hopes for my "robust" plan "going forward."


Another little niggle on the subject of sports commentary.

For a few years now it has become commonplace for commentators to refer to a particular player who was part of a winning team  in the past by saying, for example:

"He/she won the world cup in 2001" inferring that it was their  sole effort rather than the player just being part of the team.

Friday 10 March 2023

Wall Anxiety conquered

Friday 10th March 2023

See previous post.

The drystone wall was separated from its base with the sellotape still attached underneath and I was able to lift it bodily onto my model.

The scene is purely fictional, and I know, before the informed jump on me, that any self respecting drystone waller would not be using a cement mixer. In any case the Tempo was of German origin and also used in in Russia and Ukraine I think, and on what kind of terrain I know not. This diorama has been a learning curve to get me into this aspect of modelling and has no pretence at an authentic scene.

I have struggled getting this video onto this post - I hope it performs.

Wednesday 8 March 2023

Guinness cake and "wall-anxiety"

 Wednesday 6th March 2023

I am still struggling with breathlessness which has not improved much and I have no inclination to catalogue the ongoing medical attentions, but if improvement is achievable it is going to be a slow process I reckon. I am doing a daily walk from home of 1.3 miles there and back. I am ok on the flat but the slightest uphill is demanding.Walking has been the mainstay subject of this blog since I started in 2009. Now, after 1463 posts it looks as though the flavour will change.

I am still walking on Thursdays with Pete - he walks even slower than me and we confine ourselves to mainly flat tarmac, usually linear, three quarters of an hour each way, and around 2 miles. and then back to Café Ambio for tea and cake. In my last post I was called to task by Gayle for not showing a photo of the recently introduced sumptuous Guinness-and-chocolate-cake. That was because I had noticed the absence of the almost obligatory photo of tempting Spanish cuisine on one of their recent posts. Mick and Gayle are currently on an extended trip in Spain with Bertie, their super motorhome. Here you are Gayle - fresh from last Thursday.


My model making is marching on if my walking isn't. I have become more interested in placing models into a scene (diorama) and this is calling for learning new skills. The three-wheeler Tempo mentioned in my last post is going to be placed as a decrepit drystone waller's vehicle parked up on a track where he is repairing a wall. As the cement mixer came with the kit it will also be included.

I started with a block of polystyrene packaging and cut some pieces to represent grass banking rising above a track to the wall. Although the vehicle is of pre-war German origin my knowledge of tracks is more tuned to the limestone country of the Yorkshire Dales so there is no pretence at authenticity, just a compilation from my own imagination. The rough outline was glued with PVA glue. A product called Sculptamold (a name giving possibilities for my brother's wild imagination) was daubed on and fashioned into a  more convincing grass banking and also creation of a rough, stoney limestone track. The track was painted and small bits of genuine limestone scattered in secured by PVA glue. The banking was given an under coat of green but this will be covered with grass. That is a whole new technique. You can buy grass ranging through 2,4,6,9mm. That is applied using a static grass applicator, my latest acquisition. This allows the grass to be scattered through a sieve with a wire from two AA batteries with a metal nail at its end. The nail is inserted into the glue which causes it to charge the scattering grass so that it stands up vertical.  unbelievable!

It is possible to get a slightly less than fatal electric shock if you are not careful according to the Ebay retailer who has produced a detailed video of how to proceed with this contraption. If there are no more posts here you may guess what has happened.

Back to the aforementioned drystone wall and the rocky bits on the road. On a recent walk I was able to get to a location on Arnside Knott that I know of where I collected a bagful of tiny pieces of limestone. These have been used some for that road but principally to make the drystone wall. I made a mould from Lego bricks and lined it with Sellotape then put in the stones and flooded with PVA glue slightly diluted. That has taken two days to cure and today I removed the Lego. Some of the glue is still not set but it is nearly there. The wall is sitting on Sellotape stuck to a baseboard and I am not sure how I will be able to lift it without disintegration. I am sure readers will be as anxious about this as I am but you will have to wait for the next post to hear of the outcome.


The track will likely get a coat of matt varnish but it still needs a scanty addition of some grass here and there. The banking will also be grassed and the wall sat atop (I hope)

Removing the Lego was a step into the unknown but I got that far without collapse. I am not sure about the next stage.

The wall is sat on Sellotape. The glue is still  damp at the bottom. When all is dry removing the wall from the Sellotape and transferring to the model will make the sorting of the Leaning Tower of Pizza seem like a piece of cake. The wall is purposely broken down - its repair is the mission of my drystone waller.