Tuesday 12 April 2016

Shuttleworth Collection


NB - I've published this post despite lacking info on some of the planes pictured, just so as to get it online ASAP. I'll fill in the blanks when time allows! [Oh, and Blogger in Safari on my iPad is helping me lose pics!]

Although the weather wasn't the brightest, several of the Collection's planes were out flying, including this Hurricane (above), and a Fiesler Storch (below). The latter was the only complete Axis plane we saw at the collection. There are some oddments relating to two German late-war jets, and lots of models of German and other Axis planes, but very few of the real thing.

The Shuttleworth collection is understandably very proud that the vast majority of their exhibits are kept in working order, including some of the oldest planes still flying from the earliest years of manned flight.

Fiesler Storch.

Sopwith Camel

It was making my recent Revell 1/72 Sopwith Camel that got me thinking of a visit to Shuttleworth, which museum I'd visited once many, many moons ago, poss as far back as my childhood. I had vague but strong memories of having seen a Sopwith or two there, and fancied returning for a little recce.

I was a little sad to find that the planes I'd come to see - the Sopwith Camel (pictured above and below) and Sopwith Tri-plane - were both sans props, and indeed sans nose in the case of the Camel. Still, even in this form, she's a beauty, and it's good to get ref. at source. The four bombs pictured below, for example - a part of the Revell model I opted to leave out - were coloured altogether differently from how I thought they would be. 

What kind of Camel has no humps?

Rather attractively coloured instruments of death!

1918 Avro 504 K.

Museum visits are great for collecting ref. and inspiration. The prop and engine on this Avro 504 are terrific!

Sopwith Pup, plus rockets (and laminated Easter egg!).

The rocket arrays on this Sopwith Pup look positively primitive and bizarre - a bit Heath Robinson, really. But they make for a good pic. I'm less keen on the Easter-egg-trail laminated egg, slipped into the nose cowling! Would've removed it if I'd noticed it, but I only realised my mistake when I got home and reviewed the photos!

Oh, for the wings of a Sopwith Dove. Another beauty.

Phwoarrr... get a load of that nose. This'd be very tricky finish to replicate in miniature, I suspect.

I'm thinking of making up my Revell 1/72 Sopwith Tri-Plane along these lines. 

It's a kind of dark chocolate brown, with interesting markings.

Look at the conk on this 'un! But what manner of bird is she?


This plane, which looks like a small slim Sopwith variant is actually a Bristol Scout, Type D.

A folding Yankee war-bird, for use on aircraft carriers. 

Most of the Shuttleworth collection, both civil and military, is British, but there are a few other nations represented, including the USA, Russia and (civil only, I think?) France. 'Check'er Tail' is a machine I've seen recently flying over Duxford, and has, both on the sexy fuselage pin-up and the planes rear end, a distinctive chequered tail... Geddit!? Boom, boom, eh?


Models galore!

The collection of planes and other vehicles is supplemented by lots of other stuff, including many propellers, engines and other components, and large numbers of nicely made models. Some model-makers have donated entire and often large collections, some made from kits, many converted, and plenty scratch-built.

Above is an amazing segment of a model of an aerial view of part of Bedfordshire, which, as can be seen in the lower of the two pics from an info-board below, was mounted on a flexible base that moved around two large rotary drums. A pre-computer-age flight simulator, this was a veritable moving diorama... the stuff of my childhood (and even adult) dreams!

The picture above is actually turned 90° clockwise. The model is displayed hanging vertically on the wall, like a painting. The stripes running vertically across my pic (actually horizontally, when viewed in situ) are where the strips of the model would separate, as it went around the rollers. Amazing! As the upper part of the pic below shows, the scale is tiny (somewhere around 1/700th, I think), and the quantity of miniature buildings and trees used is staggering.

What a cool job! They had all the gear, no mistake!

The Shuttleworth Collection also features lots of non-military stuff, including early flying machines, bikes, cars, carriages and agricultural machinery, such as the rather lovely Austin tractor above.

A very shiny beast! Forgot to snap the info board on this one, so can't identify it. Can anyone help?

And finally, in the restoration workshop, the ultimate 'big boys' model kit', an actual real life Spitfire. The Shuttleworth collection is great. I'd definitely recommend a visit. Its strongest, from a miniature wargamers' perspective, on British WWI planes, but there's loads more to enjoy, plus a restaurant and gardens, etc.

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