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.
On October 27th I took my son and nephew along to the PAX 2018 event at the Convention Centre in Melbourne. This event is basically a haven for all things computer gaming which includes exhibitors, developers, cos play, displays, war gaming and table top board games. It was a huge mix of everything but what really caught my eye was the technology being engaged in table top war games to produce buildings and scenery using 3D printing. I also found a stand by House of War who have a store in Ringwood which had some really cool figures and related products.
Being a modeller, and as you can well understand, I seem to sniff out things that fit into our hobby and came across a Citadel tool that enables you to scrap seam lines off figures. I had to have it, bang there you go and off I went. Today I visited the House of War store which was well above my expectations and is a must visit if you happen to be in the area.
House of War is mostly a table top war gamers store similar I guess to Games Workshop. But on walking in I found its much more than that, with so many books and paint ranges to suit our hobby that it quickly became a go to store for some of the more difficult things to find locally. For example, they have the complete range of AK Real Colors, most of the AK FAQ books, Vallejo paints, several ranges of fantasy figure paints, terrain and textures supplies, brushes, Scale75 figures and busts and the list goes on. This would have to be the best stocked store for modelling books and paints that I know of. They dont sell model kits but I have been told that this is coming so stay tuned.
I will also say that us modellers have been well catered for by the likes of BNA and Metro Hobbies who are great retailers, but I think this store has been hidden away and kind of undiscovered by us more mainstream modellers – so drop in and have a look around.
We all listen to our favorite music when where building a kit – right! Well today I wasn’t really building but was cleaning out the working bench and doing a little rearranging. I generally put on Spotify and today I was listening to a little alternative Aussie music mostly from the 1990s – very cool music at the time and still is by the way……
I picked up an older book that made way for another and was flicking through the pages when a song came on by Something for Kate – Captain (Million Miles and Hour). Click on the Youtube link above and pay attention to a spot at the beginning and towards the end – it will make you smile as it did me…………………
I’m sure there are other songs that may have a modelling reference, so listen a little closer next time you play a few tunes.
Over the weekend of 25th and 26th August the club enjoyed a weekend away for a modelling retreat at San Remo, located just before Phillip Island. This was to be the first of many trips where we get to forget about the rat race and to focus purely on building models. The only real rules was to bring enough kits to work through plus all the necessary tools and paints. Also a mandatory item was a sense of humor, basic cooking skills and an ability to enjoy yourself and have very little sleep!
The venue itself was a beach house that I was lucky enough to score a few months before for a family weekend away. Now, you may do this yourself and especially when going shopping with the wife, but I tend to look for modelling opportunities and this house made a perfect boys get away. At this point I would like to thank Carol for allowing our group to take advantage of her beach house located in these beautiful surroundings.
I came with a small stash of kits (9 in all) to ensure I didn’t get bogged down on one kit, and to provide a selection to flip between as the mood decided. My productivity was unheard of for myself and I managed to put away at least a month of building over the few days. Most of us did the same or at leased covered off those kits that had been long term shelf queens or in much needed attention. Its often a great environment to knock over the more tedious tasks like tank wheels and tracks or complex and time consuming scribing and filling etc.
We all had a great time and really got to know each other very well, as you do in a group situation. I will say that its a great way to see how others tackle their builds and what tools they use to do certain tasks. Its all running live before our eyes and takes us away from the solitary existence that we are all used to. Food and supplies was no issue as the shops were a short walk down the road, as was the local pub for dinner on the Saturday night.
On the Sunday we packed up our kits, cleaned up and headed down to the Vietnam Veterans Museum on the Island. This is a must and contains a great selection of Vietnam related collections and displays. This outing brought our weekend to a close and was kind of sad to end such a great time. Anyway there will be more trips to come, so cant wait for the next one.
Although not aircraft, this report does relate to our War Machines genre. Today I went to a rare one day event of a previously closed to the public local military museum.
Its location is on the Belgrave-Hallam road in Narre Warren North and is only about 5 mins from my home – perfect! Although it was a cold and wet day it doesnt take away from the fact that I was about to get close to some military vehicles – so all was good.
Much of the original collection was auctioned some 10 or so years ago, but there is still plenty to see such as the Sherman used in the movie Hacksaw Ridge. There are several fully restored vehicles mostly trucks and also a Stuart tank. Out the back are dozens of relics open to the elements waiting for restoration or parts salvage.
It was a great visit and unfortunately the museum may not open again. But having said that there was a huge public turn out, so who knows it may reopen again at a later date.
Click here for pics of the day.