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January 2013:

1) CAMBRIDGE BRANCH UPDATE: Following our last branch meeting on 8th January I undertook to produce the first newsletter of 2013 by way of an update for planned events in the coming year Our Christmas Dinner, at The Plough, Duxford on Tuesday 4th December went off well and was enjoyed by all. We held a branch display at Modelzone in Cambridge two Saturdays before Christmas which also went off well. We have an open invite from the store to arrange another Saturday event soon. I hope we can get a few more attendees and would like to be able to advertise a couple of ‘workshops’ during the day. Detail work on models, including photo-etch & resin + airbrushing & weathering might be good subjects to deal with… I am still waiting for a date for the next Creative Models open day at Chatteris, which will be on a Saturday – I will advise you all when this is known. 2) EVENTS PROPOSED FOR 2013…

February: We have ‘On-Track’ and in this month on Sat 23rd. Cambs MAFVA has two tables booked, so we need to have a reasonable turn out with sufficient of a display to make a meaningful show for the branch – final details to be agreed at the February branch meeting. There will also be a MAFVA ‘HQ’ table at the show. The Nottingham MAFVA show is on 9th Feb, with the MAFVA AGM at the same venue on Sunday 10th Feb – please see the MAFVA website for details, again, final arrangements to be agreed at the Feb. branch meeting. We have also had an invite to the Newbury Model Show on 16th Feb, but as this falls between two other busy weekend events I will decline the offer of branch attendance this year…

Possible visit to the Airfix, Hornby & Scaletrix visitor centre in Kent in April There seems to be sufficient interest to go ahead with this trip, so I am currently suggesting a date of Wed 10th April, and following discussion at the last branch meeting the consensus was to also take in the Royal Engineers Museum near Chatham as well, which should make for a worthwhile day out…Cameras at the ready!


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The Milton Keynes show – 21st April We usually attend this event, and I understand that it has been moved from its previous Feb. date due to the terrible weather causing mayhem last year…

May: Trip to a European Model Show or similar… Gareth has been busy researching this proposed trip, and we are currently looking at visiting the Deutschen Panzermuseum, Munster. [] We understand that the museum holds a model show, usually around the last weekend in May. It appears to be the German equivalent of Bovington/Saumur so should be worth a close inspection. The current plan is to evaluate ether a flight with car hire, or to drive, [as we did with Saumur last year], in which case there could be the opportunity for the branch to have a display table. Gareth will look further into costs [possibly around £300 all-in]. We also discussed a [cheaper] ‘fall-back’ plan, which would be to visit the Brussles Armour Museum in Belgium, perhaps on a weekend when there was a nearby Belgian Model Show, and take in both in one trip. Gareth to update us on a costed option at the next branch meeting – thanks Gareth

June - MAFVA Nationals We will be there….Sunday 16th June.

Beltring [!] – 17th -21st July….War & Peace…Revived…. I will be contacting the organizers for an update… You may be aware from recent press articles that the event is moving from ‘The Hop Farm’ to Folkstone Racecourse, also in Kent…It appears that the modelling marquee will be there, and the hope is that the show will be able to grow and prosper in its new location…look out for updates in the modelling press or visit

Present Arms, Damyn’s Hall Airfield, Upminster - August: Date to be confirmed – two day event envisaged with our attendance required on both days.

Possible visit to Cobarton Collection in Devon. This would be an overnight stay, with the suggestion that we perhaps take in the F.F.A. Museum at Yeovilton as well? Expressions of interest required. This trip could perhaps be held over as a ‘replacement’ if nothing comes of the ‘European’ venture mentioned above? [we can’t be away for too many weekends in the year, can we…..] A possible event for September?

Brampton Scale Model Show - September: Again, date to be confirmed, but probably the last sunday in September [23rd or 30th]

Letchworth Model Show, 20th October The date has been revised from the previous August event. Probably to be held at The Broadway Hotel again, as last year.


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October Club Meeting, Tuesday 1st: Nosh night and Quiz – we will keep this as a permanent fixture I think…

Club nights We are also intending to have a couple of ‘theme’ nights at branch meetings, and after discussion ‘Airbrushing’ and ‘Model photography’ were decided upon for two evenings, with a couple of show & tell nights as well The suggested dates for these are; • February 5th - Airbrushing • March 5th – Show’n’tell • April 2nd – Photography • May 7th – Show’n’tell • October 1st – Quiz night • Other themes for later in the year to be arranged Anything else I have missed? – please do let me know…. 3) BSA M20… I was delighted last year to hear that Tamiya had released a kit of the venerable BSA M20 motorcycle. Their German motorcycle kits have been available for more than 30 years now, and the release of the delightful Miniart Harley Davidson WLA in 2010 made the addition of a ‘British’ WWII ‘Bike’ just a matter of time – well-done to Tamiya for taking up the challenge!

The great box art for the Tamiya kit… Miniart 1/35th HD WLA – it’s a state of the art model for the scale I made the Miniart WLA last year, and added it to a recently completed US Army 1944 diorama – see the picture above right… The photo-etch parts and intelligent sprue moulding made this kit a little gem to build…It looks like you could get on it and ride away….‘lookin’ for adventure’ on wheels of steel, even in the 1940’s – born to be wild!...


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So, now to the Tamiya kit – A ‘main stream’ manufacturer stepping into the sphere of the current ‘cottage industry’ companies at last! – well, in some ways that is Tamiya all over – how about the 10hp Austin Tilly from 2010?...although the ‘Accurate Armour’ ‘Tilly’ still gets my vote for accuracy, detail and that wonderful resin tilt casting…hum….see below….

Anyway, back to the BSA M20… My interest in this motorcycle comes from my father – He was trained as a ‘Don R’ [dispatch rider] in the RAF Regiment in the early war years, and then found himself pitched unexpectedly into riding one of these machines about Normandy & various other areas of France, Holland and eventually Germany as the war progressed…People on the other side shot at him and tried to blow him up every so often, and he carried a scar across his thigh where a sniper put a bullet into his BSA’s petrol tank …. he told me that a Harley WLA with its huge sprung saddle was a real ‘comfort trip’ compared to the BSA, and that the best bike that he rode regularly towards the end of the war was a ’borrowed’ BMW…[that’s another story..] But the BSA was the bike of ‘availability’ to most users a the time, and it did the job… Now to the recent kit…

The main issue flagged up in the reviews of the kit was the integral moulding of mudguards with the wheels and the rather ‘heavy’ look of the simplified arrangement of the wheel spokes – otherwise the kit was well


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engineered and parts fitted well. There were some other bits of ‘streamlining’ too, which kept the number of parts to a minimum. Having bought the model, I must admit that I had been spoilt by the Miniart WLA as the wheels, tyres and spokes in that kit are fine works of art and are pretty much to scale [see picture on the previous page] and there is great finesse in the moulded parts…. So ‘Inside the Armour’ came to the rescue with a resin & photo-etch upgrade set for the M20 which I bought at last years nationals. You will see from the couple of photos on the previous page that in the end I did a mix’n’match with some of their parts and my own scratch building for the spokes and hubs, as the photo-etched spoke assembly provided looked much more like a Christmas decoration than a set of spokes to my eye once assembled! (9 Gauge guitar strings came to the rescue in the end]

The assembled bike prior to priming and painting…

And the finished article awaiting its rider… So, this was a great little kit, enhanced with some of the aftermarket resin and photo-etch parts being used [plus a bit of modest scratch building]. My only word of warning is that once the construction proceeds beyond a certain stage, the model needs to go into a clamp to allow it to be handled, as fingers are just to big and clumsy for such little beasties as this. Let’s hope for more quirky British wartime vehicles from the mainstream manufacturers in the future as they actually do seem to sell rather well…


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4) CAMBRIDGE BRANCH MEETINGS – ROUTINE INFORMATION The next Scheduled Branch is to be held on Tuesday 5th February at 7.30pm. The venue will be the usual Duxford location in Hut 55 Please remember to sign in at the guardroom when entering the site. Subscription for attending the meeting is £2, tea and coffee is available at no extra cost. Happy modelling…! Previous newsletters can be viewed on the Cambridge Branch page on the MAFVA Website accessed via


MAFVA Jan 2013 Newsletter  
MAFVA Jan 2013 Newsletter  

MAFVA Cambridge Newsletter January 2013