I met up with Mum, sister and the kids in the gorgeous village of Hemingford Grey today. We went out for a paddle in the kayak (not Mum of course) and I spotted this lovely dragonfly
A quick internet search reveals it to be, I think..., a female Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva). As the name suggests, this is quite a scarce dragonfly:
L. fulva is scarce in Britain and is consequently listed under category 3 (scarce) in the British Red Data Book on Insects. The Scarce Chaser is restricted to 6 main localities in Norfolk/Suffolk, Sussex, Wiltshire/Somerset, Cambridgeshire, Kent and Dorset/Hampshire. Populations appear to be stable and there is evidence that suggests that it may be expanding its range
I stopped off in the Great Wood at Northaw on my way to work yesterday. There were lots of tiny yellow butterflies flying around, and this one stopped long enough to get a really close up shot. Can you ID it?
I had no idea, but a quick google search revealed it to be not a butterfly at all, but a common day-flying moth, the Speckled Yellow (Pseudopanthera macularia)
I'm flat broke these days but UniM gave me £20 pocket money this morning! I rushed straight out to Argos to buy this fantastic pasta maker for the low low price of £19.99.
It's not for pasta though, it's to roll out thin sheets of fimo (oven baking clay) so now I can scratch build vintage model vehicles. She'll be so pleased to see how wisely I've invested her money, I'm sure.
It's time to reveal what I've been doing with my miniature tool:
Making a miniature butterfly.
This is the result of a day's work. Frankly it would have been easier to follow David's suggestion to make a normal sized butterfly along with a massive hand. Better pictures to come. Amazing that such ancient gnarled hands can create a delicate and beautiful thing like this...
My desire to collect scale model vintage vehicles is hampered by by lack of funds, but I've discovered that a damaged box reduces the value by 50% at least. I got this beautiful matchbox metal scale model of Stephenson's 1829 Rocket for a snip at £7.50
And this 1910 Benz Limousine was under a fiver, due to the squashed box, and a slight chip on the roof, which was easily repaired with a dab of black paint. Catalogue price for mint condition with undamaged box? £65-£70!
The micro-modelling continues apace but just in case 4AoSers think I'm up to my old tricks by starting multiples projects but not completing any of them, here's an update on my scratch build Riley Tri-car: I've done the wheels and tyres! Considering these are made with thread, bent coffee stirrers and fimo clay, I think they've come out really well:
The tyres took ages to get right. I'm sure purists will notice that I have copied the tread patterns from the original 1906 car. Nice!
Scratch building is the process of building a scale model "from scratch", i.e. from raw materials, rather than building it from a commercial kit, kitbashing or buying it pre-assembled. (Wiki)
I've never actually completed a scale model before, and I know that the sensible course of action would be to build lots of kit models before starting out on my own, but I just couldn't stop thinking about how amazing it would be to scratch build something. So I've started building a Riley Tri-car. Hopefully it will look like this full size one in Whitewebbs Museum, Enfield:
I only began on Saturday and I've already learned a lot, including the fact that I'm not very good at scratch building.
The most important thing is to have an organised workbench:
The next thing to consider is how to make the wheels. After lots of experimentation I settled on coffee stirrers:
Cut in half:
Then soak in hot water:
I had no idea if it would work, but it did. Carefully bend them, stick them in a makeshift mould, and glue them, and you get (eventually) wheel rims!
Next the spokes. I make a 'jig' from matches which supported the axle, and then built spokes round it. Then realised there was no way to get the jig out. Back to the drawing board.
After a lot of messing, I found the best way is to use thread, and worry about the axle later. Not bad! Next is the tyres. Tomorrow, I hope.
I devote myself to my job of course, but whenever possible, I squeeze other interests into my working day, and so it was today, when I popped out to the wonderful Whitewebbs Museum of Transport again. As mentioned before, I love the Riley tri-car:
The guys in the museum helpfully rolled it out so I could get good shots of it! (This caused an oil spill, as you can see)
Click on image for full size:
It really is a wonderful place. Here's just one room, a composite of 20 photos; Click on image for full size and scroll around!
Gosh they grow up so fast don't they? It seems like only yesterday I was showcasing the musical talents of my nephew George as he performed in the Battle of The Band competition: (Previous Post November 2011)
And this week he signed a major contract with Gary Davis!
"Signing my first Management and Production Deal with Goodgroove (Ex-Radio 1 DJ Gary Davies, Tracey Fox and Jessie Bull) with the aim of a record deal with a major label within the next couple of years! Apologies for the silence on the music front, I have been writing a lot of new music however due to obvious reasons I can't release the material yet. However the near future is looking very exciting, can't wait to share my new music with you all. Should be doing some showcase gigs soon so watch out!"
It's killing me, but I'm getting there. The 1/60 scale metal model Ford (previous post) is almost, but not quite impossible, in my opinion. Here are the parts for one of the lamps, with a 20 pence piece (not "a commemorative plate in the shape of a twenty pence piece" as suggested by David!) to show the size:
The parts are not stuck together, but have to be folded, bent and interlocked with each other. Nasty.