Grown-up Stuff
Being a sober, mature adult, I like to play with models
An old steam locomotive always puts a stupid grin on my face, and I have a general soft spot for anything old and mechanical. We drive a red 1977 mini, which is one indication.

Model railroading is contagious, I caught it from my Dad. I messed about with HO scale as a kid, then started getting the Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette in about 1983. That inspired me to model narrow gauge. The only stuff I could find was some HOn3 equipment in the States, but I wanted to model New Zealand Rail, not American.

Twenty years went by, and nothing much happened.

My modelling career woke up again in 2014 after moving to Vancouver. I'd brought my collection of un-opened kitsets along, convinced they'd sit in their boxes for most of my lifetime, if not for all of it. However, one of the guys I went hiking with turned out to be a modeller too. He was in a similar frame of mind, imagining he'd start modelling after he'd retired. We basically inspired each other. It's amazing what happens as a result of a chance meeting and what becomes easier, when you're not toiling on your own.

Even though I moved on to Norway and then back to NZ, we stay in touch. All of the modelling projects posted on this blog, began as email conversations between the two of us. It continues to be a journey of learning and inspiration.
After years wondering what to model, I settled on New Zealand Railways in the 1930's, on the South Island's West Coast, in S Scale, 3'6" gauge. There's so much on offer now that I've no excuse not to. I'm also using my HOn3 equipment to model a fictitious two-foot gauge line in S Scale that'll interchange with the NZR main line.
Backwoods Miniatures S scale 0-4-0 Vertical boiler, converted to Sn2 with scratch-built tender
I love older aircraft and made quite a few plastic kits years ago. Badly brush-painted and smeared with glue, they were fun to make but rubbish to look at. I collected a few kits more recently, but wasn't confident and hated painting. In general, I knew that I avoided model painting like the plague. Words like under-shading, dry brushing, oil pin washes and chipping were a foreign language. Painting was where I always fell over and since it was the last and most significant step towards building a realistic model, it was a real stumbling block.

I used to work as a freelance illustrator, and I think it's amusing I could do airbrush artwork, but got scared away from painting models. Where do we lose our youthful confidence? Ask a kid and they seem happy to give anything a try. But then we somehow absorb the idea that risk is always bad. We then spend the rest of our lives trying to un-learn it. I'm finding the only person who's telling me I can't do something, is me.

And so, I raise my gaze from my navel, and carry on.

I started building aircraft models again last year, beginning with the Hawker Typhoon, posted below. It was a little more involved than I'd expected...
Airfix 1:24 Scale Hawker Typhoon
Click on the below images to see some of my work
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