The family and I recently took a trip to New Zealand with full intent on visiting the Aviation Heritage Centre in Omaka. The Centre is split into two sections dedicated to both WW1 and WW2 aircraft, plus a mix of well presented exhibits throughout the display areas. The WW1 exhibition titled ‘Knights of the Sky’ with its aircraft and artefacts is owned by Peter Jackson and is simply stunning. The WW2 exhibition is called ‘Dangerous Skies’ and features full scale replicas of a Hurricane and Stuka which are both hanging from the ceiling (not using drawing pins and fishing line though!), as well as other interesting period aircraft.
The Aviation Heritage Centre is located 5km from Blenheim right next tot he Omaka airfield, on the South Island. This is a must if visiting New Zealand and an opportunity to see and compare some flying examples of these amazing flying machines.
Click here for a selection of images taken on the day.
Our October meeting went well and included the judging for our famous ‘Build A Bitch’ (BAB) for 2018. All the kits were on the table showing various finishes, and keeping in mind these kits were the worst of the worst considering their vintage and horrible fit etc. Below are images of what the members had to contend with and the results were really quite impressive.
Mark Bujega from ‘Sprue Finders’ also kindly donated prizes for the placings, which was hugely appreciated.
1st Martin – Fokker Souther Cross
2nd Michael Turner – PZL37
3rd Tony Mollica – P-39 Aircobra
Our first meeting of the year went well as did the committee meeting before hand. We had a good turn out with members bringing along a range of kits at various stages up to completion. We also had some great discussions as well as our usual show and tell. Rene accepted his trophy for our Build A Bitch club comp also, so here are some pics of the day.
Another Model Expo is done and I must start with a huge thank-you to club members for their support with the display. A final tally of 32 display models was beyond expectations and pre-commitments so such a strong turnout was a brilliant result.
I had the opportunity to meet and discuss modelling and future projects with Richard Alexander from Wingnut Wings and Neil Yan from HK Models. It was a pleasure to talk to these guys and see how passionate they are and not simply businessmen looking for a quick profit. Both companies have established a reputation for quality products and I look forward to planned future releases. The Sopwith Camel is a classic that will have me purchasing multiples when Wingnut Wings release theirs soon and although I have nowhere to put a completed kit, I absolutely must have the upcoming 1/32 Avro Lancaster from HK Models. The HK Models 1/32 B17 on display at the Metro Hobbies and was jaw-dropping!
I also had a great chat with Kevin Futter from Large Scale Planes fame. Make sure you check out the great work on the website with one of the most civil and informative modelling forums out there. Check it out at http://www.largescaleplanes.com
A huge turnout of competition kits, great club displays, the ever-present retailers and a Swap & Sell that was more Sell than smell made for a thoroughly enjoyable long weekend.
The Expo Committee should be suitably proud of the show and from what I could see and hear, was one of, if not the best yet. Roll on Expo 2017.
Warbirds President Martin Reid with Richard Alexander from Wingnut Wings
Martin with Kevin Futter, Administrator of the Large Scale Planes website and forum, and Neil Yan from HK Models. Martin embedded an idea with Neil and is hoping it will eventuate in the not too distant future!
We are only a week away from Model Expo 2016, with most of us chipping away at the final touches to both competition and display models. Not all members were able to come along to this meeting but I did manage to take a few pics of completed and works in progress, from thoses that did. We also had a range of new items recently purchased, while most of us are holding onto our cash for the pending Expo.
Our first meeting of the year took place today with our new start time of 1:00pm coming into effect. We were once again greeted with a fine selection of boxed WingNut Wings kits as well as a selection of member completed and in progress builds. The year ahead looks to be a busy one which will include a new format build-a-bitch member event, our annual BBQ and several club displays to be scheduled throughout the year. There is much anticipation for the fast approaching modelling shows such as Wings & Tracks and Model Expo 2016, which bring with it the usual rush and excitement of model preparation. We have some lovely projects on the go or nearing completion so I am sure the competition tables will be filled with some high quality kits.
As a point of interest our meetings are generally co-run by Martin and Laurence who between them have a very broad mix of modelling and historic knowledge. While we do follow a semi formal process there are many points where a meeting will become a mini history lesson, or you will pick up some valuable tips or information that may change your approach to modelling.
Here are some images of member in-progress and completed builds taken at our meeting toady.
Almost every year my wife takes off to New Zealand to visit family and every now and then I go along, so I took this opportunity to add in some extra must visits to make this trip extra special.
NZ has a number of excellent military museums and aviation exhibitions, but the one I was very keen to see is based at Masterton (North Island) at the Hood Aerodrome. The fighter collection can be viewed inside the showcase Hangar of The OId Stick & Rudder Company. This museum has the largest collection of flyable replica WW1 aircraft in the world so I was very excited to get there, and to experience these aircraft up close.
I did have the luxury of a hire car and so began a 2 hr road trip with my son to finally arrive at the Hood Aerodrome. The aerodrome itself is nothing fancy but does have a number of hangers and workshops as you would expect. Upon entering the hanger you pass through the small shop where entry is only $15.00 and from there you gain access to the collection. Incidentally the moment we got there we were able to join a tour which had just started. From there a very knowledgeable guide took us around the exhibits providing background information covering not only individual aircraft, but also the technologies and impact they had on aerial warfare at the time.
I was completely in awe at what I was seeing and could only think of the wonderful WingNut Wings kits that are on offer to build one of these replicas. The camera went crazy and as much as I tried to plan my images and how I would take them I just lost all control. As a visitor you just take pics of what you see, but as a modeler you take more detail shots so my head was in two places.
The collection can be seen in flight to mark events during the year such as Remembrance Day, ANZAC Day or for general public viewing such as Wings Over Wairarapa and the Omaka Airshow held at Blenheim (South Island). Details for all these events can be found online or by clicking on the link below:
Click on the image below for pics of the holy grail of WW1 aircraft. I will definitely go back, but only this time to visit the workshops to see how they build these things.