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Issue 79 DECember 2013

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Editorial Front cover this issue is a cropped section of Keith Woodcock’s “DH 60 Moths”

Rear Cover Image Is an even more cropped “Tanking” by John Williams

Keith Woodcock has had a long and illustrious career and is a nice guy who is an honorary member, and has provided several cover paintings for our magazine. In this issue he tells about his career and gives us a selection of his paintings. Terry Jones is another nice guy, still building his career and tells us how he uses models to get proportions and lighting right. At the end he shares three new paintings with us. This issue is again good value having 34 pages to the print version’s 28 and being in colour throughout - except, for obvious reasons. some of the illustrations for Rob Knots' excellent series “Lighter than Air”. Don’t forget you get to choose your own subject for February’s MAvAS Trophy. Happy and successful painting. Dave

If any member has an objection to the Society holding Membership records on a computer and using the information for society purposes deemed suitable by the Committee, eg; the production and distribution of a membership list, please notify the Editor

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Contents Introducing Keith Woodcock


Southport Airshow


The October meeting - The Avro Trophy


Roger Markman takes a look at Guy Gibson


Terry Jones on the use of model aircraft


November Meeting - the National Geographic and Art


Steve Kerry’s Digital Workshop


Lighter Than Air with Rob Knotts




Diary Dates - keep up to date


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My first inclination to become an artist was revealed at my primary school in Bradfo where the City Council ran an art competition for all the schools in the area. The subj was road safety, with entries being separated with different age groups and I manag to win first prize on 3 consecutive years. I left Grammar School at 16 with the usual restricted crop of GCEs (strangely I was never able to in what take art) and, reluctant to have any more could be time at school, I was fortunate to get a job achieved, as an apprentice in the Design and t h e Development Department of a large local c o m p a radio and television manufacturing company n y ’ s in my home town. This meant attending the v i s u a l local Technical College where I obtained my d e s i g n Mechanical Engineering qualifications. s e c t i o n However, after working on various was also mechanical projects, I was then transferred involved to the drawing office where I initially worked in their advertising graphics, plus tech on the design, layout, manufacture and illustration for the service manuals s testing of the very first printed circuits. I then experience was quite wide and w moved on to be involved in the aesthetics prove very beneficial later. and appearance of radios, televisions and So where, might you ask, did aviatio radiograms (remember those?) so I was then come into it? Well, it was the influen sent to Salford School of Art to enhance my my big brother! He was 15 years old visual design senses, which I did for a couple me and also followed an engineering of years. In addition to the external design of but he was also a truly dedicated their products, which at that time were 90% enthusiast, so I grew up in a hous wooden cabinets and therefore fairly

ord ject ged

hnical so my would

on art nce of der than g career aviation se which

was always filled with flying model aircraft, books, magazines and the very first plastic model kits (the earlier ones were from carved balsa). I was therefore fully indoctrinated at an impressionable stage of my life. Incidentally, my brother Donald, after attaining his degree, worked in the English Electric design office at Warton with Teddy Petter on the Canberra and Lightning projects and therefore became a major inspiration for me throughout my career. With my aviation interests boiling away beneath the surface, I had eventually started freelancing in the late 60s in Sheffield, offering my design and illustration services to the large number of engineering companies and advertising agencies in that area. However, the decision to fulfil my lifelong dream of becoming a full-time artist was actually made for me by the simple fact that the engineering economy of Sheffield crashed in the early 80s so I was left with very little freelance work. After one or two false starts in became obvious that, if I were to make a living out of art, I must specialise in a particular subject matter. The choice was very simple – it had to be aviation. By this time I had already acquired a considerable reference library, as enthusiasts do, and my knowledge of the subject had consequently grown with my interest. I therefore committed myself to this philosophy and knuckled down, producing about 6 aviation paintings, trying to include as wide a spectrum of aircraft types as possible. I then photographed these and had multiple mini-prints made at the local photolab which I then stuck on to photocopied sheets and sent to everyone I could think of who might be interested in my work – magazines, book publishers, airlines, manufacturers, etc, etc. I spent an absolute fortune on postage alone but eventually a few interested recipients contacted me. All this was before the age of computers and the internet, of course, so is not relevant to today’s world, which would require a completely different approach.

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The result of this mini marketing exercise was contact with Aeroplane Monthly for whom I did a colour page artwork each month for many years and Aerospace Publishing who published a number of weekly partworks which provided me with a great deal of illustration work. Having my paintings on show to such a wide audience proved to be an extremely effective promotional tool with the added bonus of being paid for my work. The Aeroplane Monthly paintings were used to illustrate articles by the respected author and historian John Stroud, who co-incidentally was the series editor for the Putnams series of books, so I then also created many covers for these. I soon learnt that developing a business is nearly always about contacts. At this time I also approached the Guild of Aviation Artists with a view to membership. Their submission procedure at that time was to present myself and at least 6 paintings to a small office in central London to see if my work was of an acceptable standard. I seem to remember 3 other candidates waiting in a small room while some senior Guild full members discussed our relative fates. Eventually I was told I could join as an associate but, to this day, I still don’t know who those members sitting in judgement were! My first award for one of my paintings was on the other side of the Atlantic when, in 1985, I won a “Par Excellence” at Oshkosh. This prompted me to consider joining the American Society of Aviation Artists and after submitting numerous examples of my work, I was elected an Artist Fellow. In 1986 I was delighted to win the “Aviation Painting of the Year” award at the Guild of Aviation Artist’s London exhibition, followed over the years by 8 other prizes with the Guild and 5 with the ASAA, including the prestigious James V Roy award. I now feel extremely honoured that the Guild have asked me to become a Fellow this year, joining Michael Turner, Denis Pannett, Tony Cowland and Eddy Miller. Looking back, I was very fortunate in choosing to be an aviation artist when I did. At that time there were more opportunities for

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aviation art and illustration but many of the book and magazine publishers have either turned towards digital, prefer manipulated photographs or no longer exist. I have always preferred to paint to order, as commissioned work makes it easier to plan a work schedule and also levels out the troughs and peaks of income, so I have not done that many speculative paintings although I do like to “push the boundaries� with such work. In total, I have probably completed around 2500 paintings/illustrations during the pursuit of my dream career, the majority of which can be seen in printed form as even many of my large oil paintings have been reproduced. Happily I still keep busy with commissioned paintings for private individuals and organisations but I have not done any book jackets or magazine illustrations for many years. Now well into my retirement years, I am supposed to be slowing down but the list of orders shows no sign of shrinkage – but artists never retire anyway, do they.

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Southport Airsho Once again after a few days of low cloud and showers Saturday was blue skies and calm.

What a busy day Saturda was and we welcomed th Red Arrows and Tornado shows , visually stunning and stunningly noisy, to give us respite.

Busy Busy

A very successful day several paintings and S Ridgway’s prints sold. bonus we made £232 sale of John Pearson p almost forgotten but h resurrected.

ow Busy Busy

ay he o g

The Red Arrows are here! Sunday was predicted stormy and the show was unfortunately cancelled.

with Steve As a from the prints happily

The Tornado is here!

Busy Busy

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Meeting 2nnd


After viewing all entries, our judge of the evening Darren Horsnel asked several members a few questions about the subject of their paintings before announcing the winner. Darren chose Keith depicted being delivered to and is shown above presenting the trophy to Keith.


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October 2013


Canberra Prototype by Peter Neild

Gallery 1

Storming Lightning Beverley Rear Britania Reds On finals by Ron Sargeant

Sea Vixen Javelin Hastings and Beverly By David Bates

English Electric P1B By C Taylor

Reflected Glory By Steve Kerry (digital art print) Aer Lingus BAC 1-11 By Keith Stancombe

Glorious Glosters by C Jones

Ready for Anything by Jean Shevelan

Hunter by Terr Any Milage by W. Leeming

All Aboard Pilot and Scimitar Peter Twiss and Fairey FD2 By Peter Grove

Search and Re By R.

Gallery 2 Tanking by J Williams

British Comet Srs 4 By P Rose

ry Jones

Thunder in the Pennines By T. Smith

escue Shackleton . Jackson

Thunder Lightning by D. Taylor

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Roger Markman Reviews

Guy Gibson By Richard Morris Guy Gibson is a legend and a very British legend at that. He has a leading place in British national identity as the quintessential and archetypical hero. Why is this so? In his amazingly thorough and well-researched book Richard Morris analyses just why this man, who died before he was thirty and the war in Europe had ended, is such a source of fascination and interest. Partly it is because he was, and always will be, famous for his role in the “Dam Busters” story. As the C.O. of 617 Squadron, he led the most famous raid of Bomber Command in the Second World War. At the time he became instantly a national hero. It is also because his own book, “Enemy coast Ahead”, largely about this raid and published just after the war in 1946; was a best seller and has never been out of print. The Paul Brickhill book “The Dam Busters”, published in 1951, also reinforced the legend and it too has never been out of print. Over the years there have been innumerable books about the Dam Busters and several Gibson Biographies, the Morris one being by far the best to date. Perhaps, most of all, it was the amazingly successful film “The Dam Busters” (1955) with its stunning portrayal of Guy Gibson by actor Richard Todd, that still most strongly works on the collective British memory. For many Richard Todd became a sort of avatar of the great man; in a similar way that actor Otto Gebuhr also became, portraying Frederick the Great in German films of the 1940s. This film and its haunting march, composed by Eric Coates, has become as potent a British symbol as the Union Jack. I am surprised that this subject is not part of the British Nationality Exam syllabus that aspirant British subjects are now forced to take! Morris has uncovered a mine of amazing information that adds to, rather than detracting from, the man. He battled against the pain of an inherited joint problem in his feet that caused great pain when he operated the foot pedals of a Lancaster bomber! On the

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morning of the dams raid, because of this problem being especially painful, the Medical Officer had assessed him as unfit to fly!!! On this and numerous other occasions, Gibson ignored the MO’s advice and flew regardless! The cause of his death, in a Pathfinder Mosquito, is actually dealt with in much more detail than the dams raid and wisely so. This aspect of his life, his last flight, has been little discussed or written about whereas the shelves groan under the weight of Dam Buster books! It would seem that this was an accident just waiting to happen and for a very long list of reasons, all meticulously itemised and discussed. The personal life of the man including a rather sad lack of home life, an alcoholic mother, a distant father and a somewhat unhappy marriage are all discussed in detail. Memories of him by those who knew him are also here, ranging from those who hated him to those who loved him and still do! Above all Guy Gibson was a man who surprised everyone and perhaps himself as well, by the huge fame and success he achieved at a very early age. He was enormously driven by a sense of duty and shear physical courage; a product of an age and a class that scarcely exists anymore following the ravages of the Somme and the Second World War where Bomber Command aircrew had a higher attrition rate than did British officers of World war One in the trenches. Aviation art in Britain is still very much characterised by paintings and prints of the Lancaster bomber. Images portraying Guy Gibson flying towards the Mohne dam in ED 952 abound and are hugely popular. Many such paintings and prints also feature inset small vignettes, portraits of Gibson based on the well-known photographs. If any artist wishes to paint a portrait of anybody, knowing the person behind the face is crucial. To this end, I commend all aviation artists with an interest in Guy Gibson and the Dam Busters to read this quite fascinating book. Read it and you will get to know the real man, who surpasses his own legend.

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Terry Jones

on how he sets up those great WW1 aircraft paintings Unless a miracle happens and you latch on to the perfect reference photograph for your chosen aircraft and composition, using models is a very good alternative for the preparation of an aviation painting. However, it is important to use accurate models as poor ones can lead to disaster. The models don't have to be made to a very high standard but painted rough or in the wrong colours can cause problems. My favourite era is WW1 and in this example I have used a 1/32 scale Albatros and a 1/48 scale Spad. I find 1/72 scale models are just a bit too small and lack the detail I want, although a Lancaster bomber or equally large aircraft would probably work fine. The Albatros in this case is an extremely well made model, but cost more than I would normally pay. In contrast, the Albatros in the Kissenberth painting wasn't such a great model and only 1/48 scale but was still good enough to produce a painting from. I get most of the models I use ready made from ebay, mainly because I'm too lazy to make them myself. The models were securely mounted on a couple of old microphone stands that I had attached screws to. I carefully melted holes in the underside of the


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models with an old dart and screwed the models on to the stands. The models could be raised, lowered and twisted into desired positions. Any method of mounting models can be used I just happened to have the stands from a time when I played in a band . Once located, I placed a lamp above the aircraft in order that the light source was the same for each model. Care was taken not to get the lamp too close as this can distort the direction and perspective of the shadows. I could have taken the models outside for some real sunlight but I didn't want the neighbours knowing I'm an anorak, I have a reputation to maintain and besides which real sunlight is a bit rare. I then took a number of photographs with the camera on a stand and chose the one I wanted to use. Care was taken to ensure that the camera was located at the required scale viewing distance. I always use the camera on a standard setting because this more or less represents the scope of the human eye. Consequently, what I see in the viewer is as much as I can reasonably put on the canvas whilst maintaining a normal perspective appearance. A wide angle setting can give exaggerated and unnatural results, especially with close up shots. For a spinning prop a little trick with a hair dryer can be used. One of the weaknesses of using models is that they do not reflect the aerial perspective of the real thing. Typically, a 1/32 scale model in true colours photographed from 20 inches behind with another 25 inches further on do not replicate the tonal differences of the two full size aircraft, one seen from 53 feet with another 67ft further on. This has to be kept in mind and I had to 'knock back' the colours of the Spad quite considerably. In fact, when using any colour shots of models you always have to be aware of colour scale values. Ignoring this fact this would inevitably result in a painting of a model! Similarly, care has to be taken when mixing different scales. I accepted the photographic size of the slightly smaller Spad because it suited my composition. I

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knew the perspective would be slightly adrift because it was nearer than a larger 1/32 Spad would have been for the same size. However, as in all art if it looks right it is right. Taking the above into account, models of various sizes can be used in forming a composition with 1/72 scale models perhaps providing those more distant aircraft where detail isn't that important. Care was taken to select a sky with compatible perspective and light source. I collect sky and cloud images off the internet and scrolled through them until I found one I thought would be suitable. I use a program for cutting and pasting called Ulead Photo Express. It is an old program but I got it free and it's easy to use. I pasted the two aircraft on the sky with the program and played around with image. I settled for a small part of the sky from the left tilted upwards. The next job was painting the picture. The aircraft I wanted to depict was Max Muller's Albatros with the black and white comet on the side. After struggling to get the comet shape looking right I decided to make one from paper and stick it on the model to see better how it would look. It made the job much easier and having used pva glue it peeled off easily. Whilst painting the Albatros I found the shadows on the fuselage clashed with the comet motif so I took a reference from one of the other photographs of the Albatros in which the shadow was forward a little. The Spad that Muller is chasing is from 23 Sqn RFC so the colours had to be changed. Apart from that, painting the Spad was fairly straightforward.

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This is only one of a number of paintings I've done using models so I`ve included a few more . The first painting depicts the German ace Otto Kissenberth chasing a Nieuport 17. All three aircraft in the painting are 1/48 scale. Unlike the "Max Muller" painting the models were photographed separately, resized and pasted together. The next painting features Paul Tarriscon, known as the ace with the wooden leg due to having a foot amputated after a flying accident in 1911. The French ace is seen shooting down an Albatros C.III. Both models in this painting are 1/48 scale and were photographed together for the painted composition. The last is one I recently finished and depicts Eddie Rickenbacker and 94th Aero Squadron "Hat In The Ring" in combat with the Pfalz DII. The Nieuport is a 1/32 scale model and the Pfalz 1/48. The images were pasted together for this one. I now use models quite a lot and would recommend any one to have a go.

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For the No Chairman, interestin represent in the Nat over the y this maga (historic t well repre bookshelv earliest co

Avia Subj the National Geographic M

Consequently we were presente aviation and space topics, inclu subjects, such as the Battle of Mi serious issue of the changes in (notably skirt length) over the y progress from artist impressions to whilst being re-introduced to onc Convair. It was also surprising, and of the airlines advertised in disappeared for financial reasons o

After running through the content let us rummage through the pick of of the meeting. I’m sure that a g ideas for future paintings came f been created for this magazine ov

ovember meeting our , Peter Flitcroft gave an ng talk on the tation of aviation subjects tional Geographic Magazine years. Peter has collected azine, among others tractor magazines are also esented in Peter’s ves), for many years and his opy dates back to 1939.

ation jects in Magazine

ed with a wide range of uding significant military dway, and the rather less air stewardess uniforms years. We saw Concorde first, and sadly last, flights ce famous names such as rather sobering, how many these magazines have over the years.

ts of the magazines Peter f his collection for the rest good number of potential from the images that had ver the years.

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Steve Kerry`s Workshop was Flitcroft, C. Ta P Nield, R. Sar Stancombe.

Steve brought along a considerable amount of equipment and, in addition to having many of the mysteries of digital art explained to them, members were able have a go themselves, using stylus and mouse to produce their creations.

Digital Art s attended by P. aylor, P. Grove, rgeant, and K.

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Regarding the expense of equipment, Steve pointed out that he does not have purchase brushes or paints.

P ta h a w

Colin Taylor settled for using a nmouse for his Swift

Peter Nield,the man behind the camera, wor

Ron has been critic of digital art but giving it a good trial. Peter Flitcroft gets to grips with altering a Buccaneer

Peter Grove used a ablet and stylus for his Zero, but he is already proficient with his iPad

rked on a Lightning

t he was

Altogether a very interesting day. Coincidentally, Steve had just sold his digital art print “Reflected Glory� and the possibility to sell a separate print in lieu of the framed one on the panel raised the question of what do we do to maintain a level playing field re sales of traditional art where only one original exists. The agreed solution was that the sale of digital artwork off the panel must result in the framed item being removed from the panel, just like a traditional piece of art. Then, in keeping with the arrangement for traditional artists, the space left is made available to the digital artist to provide an alternative piece of art for display, not a replacement print for the one just sold. If no alternative work is available, the space is offered to other members as in the past.

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Rob Knotts on

Lighter than air Art Part two The cost of buying a balloon and filling it with hydrogen was prohibitive to all but the wealthy. Thus ballooning became a leisure activity or a platform for scientific study by someone of means. Onlookers would treat balloon gathering occasions as social events and dress accordingly. Victorian Ascension highlights the elegance of fashion in attending a balloon gathering in a painting displayed by David Uhl at the 2007 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in the USA. While the balloons developed by the Montgolfier brothers and subsequent balloonists offered an opportunity for man to fly, early aeronauts were at the mercy of the wind. Balloons drifted uncontrollably through the air lacking a means to direct and control their flight. Effective flight could only be achieved if the craft could be propelled and steered. The first successful steerable airship was that of the French engineer and inventor Henri Giffard, who constructed in 1852 a cigarshaped, non-rigid gas bag 44 m (143 ft) long, driven by a propeller powered by a 2.2-kw (3-hp) steam engine. He flew over Paris at a speed of about 10 km/hr (about 6 mph). Giffard's airship could be steered only in calm or nearly calm weather but it demonstrated the potential. An engraving showing Giffard's dirigible is shown above.

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A dirigible has to be steered and powered where its pilot wills, not in a direction dictated by the wind. The technology of the late 1700's, however, did not possess an engine powerful enough to propel a craft through the air, yet light enough to be lifted by a gas filled balloon. That deficiency was overcome by an early and successful exponent of the dirigible, Brazilian Alberto Santos Dumont, who combined the internal combustion engine and the balloon. The heir of a wealthy family of coffee producers, Santos Dumont dedicated himself to aeronautical study and experimentation in Paris, France, where he spent most of his adult life. He designed, built, and flew the first practical dirigible, demonstrating that routine, controlled flight was possible. Between 1898 and 1905 he built and flew 11 dirigibles. The peak of his lighterthan-air career came on October 19, 1901 when he won the Deutsch de la Meurthe prize of 100,000 francs for flying his dirigible Number 6 from the Parc Saint Cloud to the Eiffel Tower and back under thirty minutes. In a charitable gesture, he donated half of the prize money to the poor of Paris. The other half was given to his workmen as a bonus. Between 1898 and 1905 he built and flew 11 dirigibles. Art is not limited to conventional portrayal of subjects. Caricatures and cartoons have been used throughout history as artistic expressions. For example the picture on the left shows a caricature of Santos Dumont in one of his flying machines. It was published in Vanity Fair in 1899

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Santos-Dumont’s airship Number 9 (named “La Baladeuse”- “The Wanderer”) was built to demonstrate the possibilities of urban travel. Powered by a 3 hp motor, with a gas bag capacity of 7,063 cu ft (220 m3) he often flew the airship to drop in on unsuspecting friends in a Paris boulevard for a drink. I do some cartooning and also collect cartoons. My favourite one is by French cartoonist Jean Barbaud. The picture below left shows an actual flight of SantosDumont’s airship along a Paris boulevard. On the right Jean’s cartoon portrays an associated social event. It delightfully captures a scene that sadly would not be tolerated in our modern world. It appeals to my liking of the whimsical and eccentric aspects of life and to my interest in airships. The cartoon was produced for an exhibition in the Aero Club de France, Paris. A few human powered experimental craft were built in the early days of airship technology. For example, Charles F. Ritchel's Flying-Machine was demonstrated in public during May and June of 1878. The gas bag was of made of rubberised fabric with brass tubing used to construct the framework. The hand-cranked "Ritchel Flying- Machine" was first flown in public by Mabel Harrington, although Mark Quinlan appears to have made most of the public demonstration flights, including two which lasted over an hour each. The innovative "Ritchel Flying-Machine" was flown in Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, and made the first outdoor, public, powered flight in the U.S.A., as well as the first outdoor, public, powered circular flight in the U.S.A. Charles F. Ritchel built and sold five of his "Flying-Machines.“ The engraving above showing Ritchel's pedal-powered dirigible featured on the cover of 'Harper's Weekly' on 15 July 1878.

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In 1907 14 year old Cromwell Dixon designed and flew a pedal powered airship; his mother, Mrs Nellie Dixon, sewed the airship's envelope. On one occasion she even flew the machine. John Abbott Nez has delightfully captured the achievement in his book "Sky- Cycle". John is a professional illustrator. His illustrations in the book captured the elaborate fashions and settings of the

More Airships in part three of Rob’s exploration, in issue 80 March 2014

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Newsround Oops Apologies to Chris Jones, his painting “The Hunters” was overlooked when we transferred the images for the Korean War exhibition from PDF to print. Although it appeared in last issue’s PDF here it is again.

Keith and the Guild In case you have missed it our our congratulations are due to featured artist Keith Woodcock, who has been honoured by the GAvA . He has become a Fellow, a position granted to only four other Guild Members. Follow the link to the Guild’s website and check out some other very gifted artists

Diary Dates Meetings are held from 7-00pm to 9-30pm in the Conference Room in the Air and Space Hall at the Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester on the first Tuesday in the month unless otherwise stated.

Tuesday 14th January

“Quiz” Hosted by Peter Flitcroft

Tuesday 4th February

“MAvAS Trophy Competition” No specified subject Winner to be decided by consensus

Saturday 8th February

“Workshop” 10-00am to 4-00pm WW1 Aviation/Marine subject. A Demo in acrylics by Ossie Jones

Tuesday 4th March

“Annual General Meeting” Election of Officers etc. Annual Subscriptions Due Followed by Portrait Sketching

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Editor: Dave Bates Tel: 0161-284-3467 Email: Society website:

MAVAS Issue 79 December 2013  

Quarterly Magazine of Manchester Aviation Art Society Manchester, UK

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