Friday, 18 May 2018

The New adventures of Monkey - Netfix

Both Sue and I have been enjoying this latest Nexflix series - The New Adventures of Monkey which is a re-make of the original 1970's series Monkey Magic.

I can remember watching the original series never quite knowing what was going on. The new 2018 Netfix series is a little clearer but still remains faithful to the original story and humour. If you remember the original, do yourself a favour and tune into these 25 minutes episodes for some fun-filled nostalgia.

Details of the new series can be found here, while information relating to the original can be found here.


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Shakespear's Rose Theatre to be built in York

I learnt of this ambitious project while reading a Tourist Information booklet for York. The plan is to build a reproduction of the The Rose Theatre. The building will be a copy of the 13 sided Rose Theatre first built in London over 400 years ago. It will be a temporary 'pop-up' structure constructed from scaffolding, corrugated iron and wood with a planned audience area for 950 people, both standing and seated. In addition to the structure there will be a themed park containing Elizabethan entertainment and food offerings. For full details see this link and this Guardian Newspaper article.

I initially picked up the booklet because it had a number of images that took my fancy, but once I read of these plans, I started planning an over night stay in York and looking to see which plays are being performed. In the past Sue and I have visited The Globe down in London as well as regular visits to the RSC and Swan in Stratford (in fact our plan is to visit Stratford-upon-Avon again today). We both love seeing Shakespear live and the thought of seeing a play in these planned surroundings is just too much to miss.

The building work is due to commence in June with performances booked between June 25th and September 2nd. Prices vary between £12.50 for the 'standings' and £59.95 for the seated. - having experienced The Globe, I would recommend that you try the standing area at least once. I just wish we lived closer as I am sure these performances will be fantastic.

I just can't wait to see this new attraction.

Tony (and Sue)

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Going Minimum Gauge - my latest e-bay purchase

Going Minimum Gauge - a guide to modelling narrow gauge railways of 15" gauge and under in 7mm scale by the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association, is a handbook based on the Associations members-only publications Narrow Lines. I bought myself this 1999 edition from e-bay.

The 28 page handbook is a superb introduction to this genre and although not including much on 18" gauge industrial railways (my main interest) has been a great read. My plan is to use the format/contents as a blueprint for a couple of Blog entries detailing my own OSO Salt Narrow Gauge layout and interest so look out for some new Blog posts soon.

I have in the past been a member of the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association and continue to purchase odd issues of their members magazine Narrow Lines. In fact I have quite a collection of their magazines, many with comments or articles written by me and securely stored in the attic. For more details of how to join, please see this link.


Friday, 11 May 2018

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part thirty-five

With the main buildings completed, it was time I worked on the back scene or back board. My initial plan was to find a coloured poster and after many visits to the local travel agents - they always have large spare posters of sunny blue sky, I unfortunately, came up empty handed. I have therefore decided to hand paint the back scene.

The back scene was painted with a mix of blue, grey and white acrylic paints with the clouds 'sponged on' in a random pattern. The unpainted area is where the larger end-on structure will go - the OSO salt tank/water tank will go to the left.

For a larger image, just 'click' on the picture above.


Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Midlands Air Museum, Coventry

I visited the Midlands Air Museum yesterday afternoon and took these photographs. As you can see it was another great day out with fantastic weather and a near perfect day for taking photos. For more information about this museum please see this link.


Monday, 7 May 2018

Amour at the Abbey - Tewkesbury Abbey May 2018

Earlier today, Sue and I had an away-day at Tewkesbury Abbey. Over the Bank Holiday weekend there was an exhibition showing life in Plantagenet Tewkesbury, in anticipation of The Battle of Tewkesbury weekend to come in July. For details see this post.

Here are some of the many images I took of the day, a glorious day when we picnicked in the grounds and saw re-enactors giving demonstrations of archery and dressing a knight. The cannon is a beautiful reproduction designed to fire blanks (although I was assured that it could also fire live rounds).

This table showed some of the many arrows and archers equipment on display. I tried to pull back the hand-made bow and failed miserably!

These images of the displayed armour were laid out for the pubic to touch and wear while the dressing of the knight was a real eye opener. The knight who weighed 14 stone when in his under garments was suitable impressive when his extra 6 stone of armour was added. I should point out that Tewksbury as an Abbey and one that once saw considerable blood shed does not allow edged weapons to be exhibited inside the Abbey. So this knight would have also needed to carry his sword, shield and possibly poleaxe as well!

It was not all armour as can be seen in this image. A minstrel playing a reproduction fiddle. A five string fiddle made for the musician following illustrations from a German cathedral.

I'm quite sure that the sunny weather had a lot to do with it, but this was a very special day out.


Sunday, 6 May 2018

Model Making Magazines - my guilty pleasure!

I have made no secret of the fact that my hobby is all-encompassing taking inspiration from a wide range of different sources and firmly founded in a number of key family members and their long-lasting support. Since I was a teenager I have loved reading model making magazines and books; be they model aircraft, boats or military, even model railways. With a Grand-Father who made models from card and had a huge railway layout in the back bedroom, a Father who put ships in bottles and taught me to skin flying balsawood air planes with coloured tissue to an Uncle who built plastic aircraft kits to a level I could only dream of. It should come as no surprise that my hobby is making models.....

Given the above I am always on the lookout for magazines and books which show step-by-step tutorials on how to build or how to paint models, in fact I have quite a personal collection of the same - much more that I need. In this short post I wanted to point out how my buying habits have changed over the last couple of years.

In the above image you can see a wide collection of different titles and subject manner that I am sorting through prior to selling them or donating them to fellow model makers. In the lower image is a selection of similar titles that were bought at the IPMS show in Telford last November. As you can see I have quite an appetite for this type of publication.

In the past I would regularly browse the new releases on display at the local W H Smiths (a major stationers and retailer in the UK) and pick up a copy or two using gift vouchers that my Mother would supply for either my birthday or as Christmas presents. I can confirm that at this very moment there is a W H Smiths voucher for over £15.00 in my wallet, however I have over the years become much more selective about the magazines that I buy new feeling that there is a lot that is re-hashed or similar on display. I will regularly buy a new magazine if the content takes my fancy, but feel that there has to be more than one article of interest per magazine or I will walk away.

A good example of this is Military Modelling and Continental Modeller (a railway modelling magazine) which regularly has articled and tutorials by Emmanuel Nouaillier (one of  a number of modellers who build ultra-realistic dioramas from scratch). I found that I would automatically purchase any magazine with an article by Emanuel but on a recent visit to an Oxfam bookstore in Shrewsbury, I found a dozen or so magazines for the knock-down price of 50p each - at these prices, I have been able to satisfy my appetite for these tutorials at a fraction of the price of buying the magazines new. In fact while visiting The Severn Valley Railway, Bewdley, I picked up 13 French language modelling magazines called 'Le Train' which also featured articles by Emmanuel for £1.20, thats £1.20 for all 13!

So what has this taught me.

Firstly, there is very little that is truly new in these magazines and picking them up second hand has become the norm for me.

Secondly, I tend to enjoy modelling articles where the author has done some 'scratch-building' rather than buying resin updates and add-on's for a particular kit or model. (Usually at a considerable price and sometimes more than the original kit).

Third, There is  a huge wealth of magazines and articles available to us modellers.

In the attic, I have a large collection of Fine Scale Modeller, literally hundreds of magazines which I really should be culling, but I enjoy the content so much. There is also another collection of early and mid White Dwarf magazines which I would be loathed to part with. Then there are 'specials' one-off magazines with a particular favourite article or tutorial that I will re-read or (God forbid) cut out and store in folders for research and inspirational purposes.

My hobby magazine obsession knows no boundaries, Military Modelling, Boat Modelling, Aircraft Modelling, Model Trains - even magazines focused on building Dolls Houses are all fair game as most have something worth reading. I can even admit to having a number of foreign language magazines in my collects as (let's face it) most of us can glean the content from a couple of pages of coloured images!

At this stage I should also say that I very rarely keep the magazines I have read (if the article is of interest, I will either store the whole magazine, cut out the particular article of as has recently happened scan the image and store it on my computer). Those that I have enjoyed are then recirculated to interested friends or charity shop donations. In so doing I can stop the attic collapsing under the weight of thousands of used magazines.

In the past Military Modeller as one of my favourite, but of late I have moved across to Airfix Model World, which I feel gives a better cross-section of 'how-to' builds. In addition the members only IPMS magazine which is published four times a year offers great start-to-finish modelling articles which go into considerable depth and detail.

So what do you think, or buy?

I'd be interested to see if my own cross-genre interests are mirrored by other modellers/gamer's.