I decided that I needed to get out over the weekend and after a short, experimental visit to Waitrose on Saturday, where I acquired an anaesthetic bottle of Peter Lehman Barossa Tempranillo, I went to Kingston with my little boy yesterday.
I had to take my daughter to a school play rehersal in Kew so she could be a munchkin all day. This is a somewhat curious piece of casting given that she is nearly 5'8" tall; but they are short of competent dancers it seems. Anyway, rather than drag all the way back home and then back to Kew to collect my daughter Guy and I decided to go back only as far as Kingston to have lunch and visit Games Workshop and Modelzone. We had watched James May's Toy Stories about Airfix Kits on TV last week and had got it into our heads to get a 1/48th Spitfire. Now my usual style would be to get the big 1/24 scale one but given I have had the engine of the Hurricane on my shelf for years without progressing it and have the Stuka in the loft we decided to be rational and go for a smaller one. Unfortunately, I managed to pull my stitches which strated to bleed and we had to beat a rapid retreat back to the car and left Modelzone without said aircraft (probably just as well).
However, before this I happened on a model kit I did buy. Blow me they had a 1/350 scale model of the Jeremiah O'Brien; the Liberty ship I visited in San Franciso last month. Well, I had to get that! About 280 pieces and 15" long. I haven't made a model ship since...well I can't actually remember. It may be a model of HMS Suffolk I built 15 years ago. I used to enjoy Airfix ships more than aircraft when I was younger although all that getting the two halfs of the hull aligned was a nightmare! Fortunately, the Trumpeter model has a one piece hull which is, cleverly, the below the waterline section so you can build it as a full hull or waterline model. I remember that the Airfix Graf Spee was like this but that involved some very dicey hull cutting. This is a much more elegant design solution!
Interestingly, Modelzone also had another 1/350 model of a ship I saw on my travels last month: the USS New Jersey. This is moored opposite the Philadelphia waterfront in Camden New Jersey. I didn't get a chance to go on board this visit but hopefully will do next year.
Force Publique as at Saturday evening
On the Darkest Africa front, progress is steady on the Force Publique army. I'm hoping to have the first batch finished today. I was due to go back to work today but they have told me to stay at home another couple of days.
I have to sit still more it seems so am pondering on what dreadful film to watch this afternoon. I am torn between Carry on up the Jungle with Valerie Leon in a fur bikini and Ray Harryhausen's swansong Clash of the Titans. Decisions, decisions.