Saturday, February 22, 2014

Experimental Friday

Yesterday was an experiment for two reasons. I put together an Airfix kit after swearing I would never do so again and I decided to do some proper photography, which I'd sort of sworn off as well.  After the Harriers, what could possibly go wrong? 

This is an Airfix Gloster Gladiator, a simple plastic kit of the last biplane fighter in British service. It went together relatively simply and the construction is sturdy enough, though the struts were a bit of a pain in the neck.   

I also took the opportunity to mess around with my new lighting tent.  I've been sick of not being able to get proper picture of my models, that I finally decided to take the plunge and get a tent.  This is a small portable setup that I can knock up and put down in less than twenty minutes.  It came with two lights and a very serviceable mini-tripod. 

There's something wonderfully quixotic about the Gloster Gladiator.  I love biplanes, a hangover I'm sure from when Biggles taught me to read.  The Gladiator was after it's time even when it was new, but it is still a magnificient beast and one that will always be associated with the Hal Far Fighter Flight, the legendary "Faith, Hope and Charity" that defended Malta in 1940.

GK Chesterton once wrote that he didn't like fair fights.  Those who have fought rarely do, so while the trio of Gladiators defending Malta in 1940 is certainly romantic, I'm sure they were very glad to get their Hurricanes in the end.  Still and all, it must have taken a considerable amount of nerve to go up in the gladiators in the first place.

I've been looking at Mosstroopers and Stokes's pictures with envious eyes for so long now that I decided that it was time to do something about it.  I had some photographic training, but it was candid and portrait almost exclusively - so taking pictures of figures has been a learning experience. 

All of these shots are the result of messing around with the aperture and longer exposures in the hope of getting a pin sharp image.  Practice I think will make perfect.

Once I get a handle on what works for this sort of setup, I'm sure it will be a lot easier. I got a little model railway backdrop, so I'll be able to imitate Mosstroopers wonderful scenes. 

Too little. 

Way too much. 

Lets bring that back a little. 

And again. 

We'll get there eventually. 

I don't do enough photography these days to really be comfortable with what I'm doing, but I think that I'll be able to crack this given another few goes.  There is a wealth of advice available online, but really I think a little application should work wonders.


  1. Conrad Kinch,

    Whatever your problems might have been when you constructed this model 'Glad', it looks great now that it is finished. Just the sort of aircraft you need for any self-respecting VBCW army.

    All the best,


    1. It's not too bad. I'll have to put the decals on and finish the paintwork.

  2. Wholly in the spirit of constructive criticism and encouragement, I might suggest that you borrow Mrs. Kinch's iron before the next session?

  3. Is that the old/original Airfix Gladiator or the new one?

    1. I don't think so - it was in a new box. It was very simple though.

    2. I think it's the old one. The new one is a Mk. II and has a different prop I believe. I bought one a while back and haven't gotten around to building it yet.

    3. Cool. It's a really easy build. I mean if I can do it...