Pink Is A Girly Colour

And the heading image of the PRU Spitfire should prove that.

The original intention of the pink paint – to hide the photo-reconnaissance aircraft under clouds  over Europe in WW 2 – is somewhat negated by the black and white invasion stripes painted under the fuselage – but they were probably more worried about the jittery Allied AA gunners than the German ones. Or someone in the hangar had had enough of the pink and couldn’t stand it any more.

There was also a colour known as Mountbatten Pink that the Royal Navy used for a number of ships to hide them at dawn or dusk. I’m indebted to the research done by another blogger – ferrebeekeeper – for the pictures  to show the shade of paint and for the story of the paint. Go to https://ferrebeekeeper.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/mountbatten-pink

As well, here are screen grabs of other girly paint jobs.

With the exception of the Soviet tank in Prague, all the rest are British. Govern yourselves accordingly…

 

Char 2c

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I am repeatedly astounded each year when I attend the plastic model display at our local show grounds, and at many things.

Firstly, at the number of models put out for display – even in a lean year there are more put on the tables than can well be seen. In the case of the larger modelling societies they crowd cheek to jowl…or perhaps that should be wheel to wing …on the tablecloth, and each one does not really get a fair viewing in its own right. The variation in the scales makes for a bit of a jangle as well – you just begin to accept one style of painting or animation when you are changing your view for another.

Secondly, the skill level seems to rise each time I see the models displayed. And as some are carried over from year to year, you can see the improvement in real time. This is a little unfair to the previous entires as they were undoubtedly the state-of-the-art standard when first seen. It is probably a fault of our characters that we rush to praise the new by discarding some of the glory of older items.

Thirdly, the variation and arcane variety of kits is staggering. I built kits in the 1950’s and 1960’s and would never have dreamed of some of the things that are being offered. If we had the vast selection of aircraft, ships, and automobiles then that we see now, I do not think that the weird monster figure offerings from Aurora, AMT, and the others would have ever gotten a second glance. They are charming by-blows now and period vignettes, but basically side-show toys.

Fourthly, the detail level is so daunting as to put off all but the keenest of builders, what laser-cut accessories and additional packs for kits that go ever deeper into detail. I applaud it and admire it, but wonder if sometimes more complexity is attempted than is necessary.

Fifthly, the costs. I looked at some of the price tags and, while I do not accuse the sellers of gouging, I wonder that anyone would pay that much money. Perhaps I am just sticker-shocked. Perhaps I can equate the price with groceries and petrol. I suppose that if one would spend a year on one model the price would be bearable, but I can’t see people wanting to restrict themselves to that extent.

Sixthly – well I am also astounded at the good humour and camaraderie of the builders. It seems to be equal to that of the doll house ladies and certainly far in advance of the die-cast collectors. Perhaps it is because the basic premise of the plastic modeller is personal achievement rather than accumulation and then sales for profit. In any event, like the model train people, I found them much more willing to talk and share.

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The tank? French WW II heavy tank. Not terribly successful, but it did engage the attention of the German forces through publicity and propaganda.

 

The High Horse

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Every year seems to bring an increase in the number of 4WD, SUV, and other large vehicles to our roads. As residents of Western Australia I wonder if we have embraced these vehicles out of fashion or folly. I’m pretty well convinced that it has not been out of necessity.

I hasten to add that I recognise the facility of this sort of vehicle for explorers and farmers. There is a need for them on mine sites and with the military. And a small number of enthusiasts actually use them to go to places off the beaten track, thereby beating the track into fragments… Would that they could do it in road graders and help the rest of us.

But I fail to see the utility of the type in the city. I can agree with a ute or pickup for tradesmen – and of course there is always the tray-top to transport the tradie in and out of morning traffic at high speed….but the 4WD land tank suburban Transformers truck going into car parks and down to the school to collect the kids seems overkill. And it kills a lot of the joy of the road for everyone else.

Of course the finger might not be pointing in the right direction when it goes toward the users – they may be trapped by the manufacturers who just keep coming out with bigger and more improbably vehicles to beat their rivals. The suburban mum who might have been perfectly capable and happy with a hatch or sedan a decade ago is now saddled with something that looks like it comes out of the Russian army. But she dare not go against the grain of the Mother’s Group pecking order – when large SUV’s are a sign of status she must needs get an Altair or Scammel.

Of course then it becomes a self-fulfilling thing. The big car puts her high up and as she is high up she is impervious – impervious quickly morphs to imperious, and then she needs a bigger car with bigger bumpers. Her ego expands to fit the sheet metal volume. Eventually it outruns her mechanical ability to see, steer, or form adequate judgement. Then she is eligible for the gold rings and  chains, sunglasses in the hairdo, and barking scream.

Catherine The Great would  have loved the modern SUV. Better even than guardsmen or horses.