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Jessie The Jeep

My Flying Control Jeep

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Posted (edited)

The paint on the plastic was baked a while in my curing cabinet, before being temporarily fitted on the Jeep for a few photos, shown below. The three plastic strips were then placed back in the curing cabinet to fully cure. After the photo shoot, I'll add some images, giving a bit more background to what it was all about.

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Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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Nice, looks good.

Guess model building pays of on a 1:1 scale.

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East Boldon Anti-Aircraft Supply Depot - August 13th

OK, so with new markings made in early August, what have "Jessie" and I been up to?

Well, we've been out to a local World War 2 site that until recently, I hadn't heard of. The site is East Boldon Anti-Aircraft Supply Depot, which is only 7.5 miles from home. The site was an Ordnance Depot for a number of local Anti-Aircraft batteries, including Red Barns Farm, where I used to keep the Dodge.

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The site was built in 1938, in anticipation of war with Germany. It was to supply ammunition to local anti-aircraft and other gun emplacements guarding Tyneside and Wearside. It was also used post war to become a temporary home to a medical unit, a bomb disposal unit. There was also a POW camp, No.8 POW Platoon, a hutted camp attached to No.20 B.D. Squadron of the Royal Engineers, still being used in 1947.

A similar camp at Killingworth was bulldozed and converted to housing in 2014/15. With the development and quarrying of the land where the various other North East anti-aircraft batteries were, Boldon Camp is now the last remaining major above ground Word War Two site left in Tyne & Wear.

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Posted (edited)

As a result of this loss of history, a local group is hoping to acquire the site to develop into a museum. A recent local government development plan for the area ( now I believe at the consultation stage ) suggests the site will remain off limits to housing development.

While many of the temporary camp buildings to the North of the site, have long gone, there are a number of brick and concrete buildings still surviving on the rest of the site. Many of the buildings are in poor condition, with collapsing walls, missing roofs, covered in graffiti, but still restorable pieces of North East history.

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It is a large site covering 7.6 hectares and while a great deal to restore and maintain, the space would allow events to be held in future, with space for displays, trade, camping and parking. While there is a great deal of work to bring the buildings back into use, they would provide a huge amount of under cover space for exhibits and exhibitions.

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The pictures shown here, show "Jessie" in the new "Ordnance Depot" markings at the entrance gate to the site and the road from the gate back into East Boldon.

I hope to follow up this report with more information and photos soon. The site is private property, hence the shots by the entrance gate for now. 

The Tuesday evening photo shoot was for a newspaper article, to raise awareness of the site and the group's plans for restoration. More details about the project can be found on their website and Facebook pages.

http://boldoncamp.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/boldoncamp.co.uk/

This Google Earth image shows the site.

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Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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Ryhope Pumping Station - August 26th

It was fantastic weather for the North East Military Vehicle Club show at Ryhope pumping station, unusual for a Bank Holiday! I took "Jessie", still in the Ordnance Depot markings for a different look to usual. It was a nice drive over through the country lanes, but not too far, only about 12 miles away from home.

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Despite the good weather, numbers were down again on last year, with around twenty vehicles there. On the previous day, which I was unable to attend, there was only one Jeep. A three day 1940's weekend at Whitby is the most likely cause of the lack of WW2 vehicles, but there seemed to be a lack of support from the club's own members.

Jeeps were particularly noteable by their absence, with only six there including mine. When I first got my Jeep in 2005 and the show was held at the DLI Museum, there were usually two rows of Jeeps parked up.  14 years later, age and health has also taken its toll on the club members, so perhaps some of the vehicles that used to attend have move on to new owners out of the area.

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There were still some interesting vehicles on show, some of which had travelled some distance to attend. I parked up on the far side of the pump house in the same spot as last year, partly under the shade of the trees. Along with my Jeep were Land Rovers and Champs.

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On the other side of the pump house, there were mainly post war vehicles with some armour. A number of these vehicles were significantly covered in camo-nets. It puzzled me a little, bringing your vehicle to a show and then hiding it under a camo-net! It wasn't until later in the day when people were packing up, that I was able to get some photos and actually see the vehicles.

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On a few weekends a year, the steam powered Victorian beam engine water pumps are operated, and this was one of those weekends. I took some video of the engines running last year which can be seen here.....

 

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A few more vehicles were also parked up under the trees on the entrance road.

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By late afternoon, everyone was packing up and as the Champs and Land Rovers next to "Jessie" queued up to get out, I tagged on the back of the convoy. I only have a couple of days free and then on Thursday, we're off to Beamish open air museum to set up the tents for the four days of "Dig for Victory".

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Beamish Museum "Dig for Victory" - Aug 29th to Sept 1st

Both "Jessie" and "Hope" ( and "Terry the trailer" ) were taken to the Beamish Open Air Museum's "Dig for Victory" 1940's event. This is a unique event in the North and possibly the country, in that we have the freedom to drive around the site. After a briefing each day, we can singularly or in convoy around the 2 mile site road, parking up at a number of locations around the museum to display.

The Jeeps and trailer didn't have enough volume to carry the camping gear, which included two large canvas tents, so we also needed a normal car. This added to the fact that Lynne was working on Thursday and part of Friday, complicated getting there.

I took around 600 photos and three videos over the four days, far too many to add a good selection in the Jeep thread. Instead I'm going to add a couple of pictures here, then I'll write an event report in the "The meetings log and photobook" section of the forum and add a link here. That thread will have to wait until later today.

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September 10th - Ammo Crates

At the  Aln Valley and Beamish events, we were camping in our 1940's canvas tents with the central kitchen/living area. I realised it would probably look better if all our pots, pans and other camping tat were hidden in a 1940's style ammo crate or similar, rather than a plastic box ( thinks a bit, doodles on some paper and heads to B&Q! ).

Lynne brings EVERYTHING camping, including a fold up kitchen sink. I worked out that two boxes around the size of a .50 Cal ammo crate should hold all the plates, pots, pans, cups and washing up bowls etc., that she deems necessary.

Sometimes I camp on my own at events, and have a more minimal selection of camping equipment. We have enough stuff to make two separate sets of most of the things we would need. As a result, I would make another box for just my stuff, making it easy to have everything to hand in one crate in my 10ft ridge tent.

My single crate was built first, mainly because I needed it for the Sandtoft 1940's day on Sept 14th. This one is based on photos of a wooden crate that would hold two metal cans of .30 calibre ammunition, though a bit bigger to accommodate a large plastic washing up bowl into which everything else packed. It is 16" x 16" x 12" in size and big enough for all my solo camping stuff and room to spare for any other odds and ends I may need.

The end was started first, with three battens glued on with a slight over hang to form a lip for the sides to glue into. Both of these were cut and glued first, followed by the sides.

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The ends were glued and panel pinned onto the base, after which the two sides were also glued and nailed. After a while to dry, further battens were added to stiffen the box and support the lid. The box itself was made from 3/16 ply to keep the weight down. This was preferred to the weight and cost of just buying ready made crates. It also meant the sizes could be adjusted a little to suit the contents. The lid was a flat piece of ply with battens on the ends to complete the end panel and as an anti warp strip.

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Once dry, the box was painted with a dilute paint/Waterproof PVA mix to seal the wood from damp. It was given three coats before a final paint only coat, gradually darkening with each coat and also as the paint cured. The early coats looked very red, but it ended up a red/brown close to an original box I had a picture of.

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I pondered for a while on a way to fasten the lid, as the edges of the battens would also form the lifting handles to carry the crate. The original crate was wrapped in wire to hold it together, but I wanted something that would open and close repeatedly.

I settled on some studding, pivoted through a hole in the end of the box and running up a slot in the batten on the end of the lid. On the top was a wing nut which would tighten down on the lid and hold it in place. A quick flick to loosen the nut, tip the studding out of the way and the lid would lift free. Another nut was added to the end of the studding to stop the wing but from coming right off.

It took a bit of work with the blow torch to heat and bend a 90 degree curve into the studding so it didn't snap. Another nut and washer on the inside of the box keep the studding in place.

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Stencils on the computer came next, doing the artwork loosely based on photos. I'd read that lettering was printed rather than stencilled, but stencilling was clearly the easiest way to go. They were printed onto paper and the paper was then covered with a layer of Sellotape. This would reinforce the small bridges in the stencilled lettering. Out came the scalpel next and some time later, they were all cut. 

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Only the grenade lost a small piece. I would brush that in by hand.
The stencils were taped down and yellow model paint stippled through to create the markings. A couple of coats gave the required look, bold enough to look good, but not an even enough density that they looked too good. After the stencils were removed, I used a small brush to fill in all the stencil bridges, making the lettering have a printed look. Both sides were painted and one stencil on the lid. 

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So here's the completed box. I may do a little light sanding here and there to give a bit of wear, but want the paint to have plenty of time to fully harden before I do that.

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So a frying, cooking and grill pan, plates, cups, kettle, cutlery, camping light, a heater and other odds and ends all fit in with room to spare.

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The other two .50 cal crates will be made over the winter ready for next season.

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Sandtoft Airfield 1940's Day - September 14th

Sandtoft airfield in North Lincolnshire was just a bit too far to drive the Jeep so I towed it to the show on Friday 13th, setting up camp mid afternoon.

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The airfield was home to an Operational Training Unit during World War 2 and there were a few features remaining around the airfield. One of those was this huge brick wall, which I think was the central core to the huge earth mound firing butts, used for testing aircraft machine guns.

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The hangar isn't the original wartime hangar, but it was built on the original hangar base. The door runners from the original hangar can still be seen in the concrete floor.

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It was a warm sunny afternoon that gave way to a nice orange glow of the Sunset. A little while later, I also caught the moon rise.

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It had been a very cold clear night and on Saturday morning, everything was heavily covered in dew. After giving the Jeep a wipe down, I went for a wander around the displays to get some pictures before returning to my tent to set up some of my model art pictures. There was a varied selection of military vehicles that turned up, plus several classic cars and a vintage fire engine.

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G-MASH, the Bell 47 based at Breighton flew in for the day, along with a colourful Gazelle helicopter which I didn't catch.

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During my morning wander, I caught some of the larger vehicles arrive in a convoy.

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There were several dioramas dotted around the site with the Northern WW2 group putting on a big static display, plus a firing display part way through the day. Several of the Sandtoft based aircraft were providing pleasure flights around the local area and several aircraft flew in for the day. The Breighton collection was missing due to most of the regulars being at a wedding!

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There was a stage at the far end of the hangar where there was entertainment by Miss Marina Mae.

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The classic cars were opposite the stage at the other end of the airfield to where I was parked. By late afternoon, people started packing up and the vehicles attending for the day started to drift away. Many of the re-enactors were staying another night.

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A few Jeeps and trucks remained when the Piper L-4 Grasshopper was brought across to the diorama area for some pictures with the re-enactors and vehicles. I took the opportunity to get some pictures of my own before the aircraft was taken back to the live side of the airfield for an evening flight.

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Prior to this flight, I followed the owner of the L-4 as he drove his Jeep up the airfield to his hangar so he had a vehicle to return in after putting the aircraft away. These other hangars are built on one of the wartime loop dispersals at the West end of the runway, what was originally the perimeter track. So while at that end of the airfield, I got a few pictures of the surviving dispersals before returning to my tent. There was another nice Sun set that night and thankfully, it was warmer overnight. I got everything packed away the following morning and set off for home at 11am, passing the wartime control tower ( now a house ) and crossing two of the wartime runways as I drove away.

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September 16~18th - Airbase Medical Jeep Conversion

In 2017, I got two rolls of magnetic plastic to convert both Jeeps to RAF markings for the 100th anniversary of the RAF. I had some plastic left over, some of which I used recently to make the "Ordnance Depot" markings. There was still plastic spare and after Beamish, I wondered if I had enough left for yet another scheme.

Careful measuring showed there was enough for a planned Red Cross marked Jeep, to go with Lynne's nurse outfit. Covering the hood star, there was enough plastic to make a large, two part, white circle onto which I could paint a red cross. For the front of the Jeep, I cut an aluminium disc, like the RAF roundel I made, but this would also have a red cross. They can be seen below in the early stages of painting.

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The large red cross neatly covered the hood star. While I was tinkering in the garage, I also did some olive touch ups on the hood where the headlight bolts press against the underside. To hide the "Flying Control" on the screen, I cut two more strips of plastic which were painted up with "Airbase Medical Unit". I didn't have enough left to make one long strip.

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