Sera's Aircraft Blog 2018
You can now follow the latest news from Staples & Vine with Sera's Blog.
Updates from the workbench with news on the latest aircraft being sculpted.
I hope you enjoy the blog and I appreciate your feedback.
You can email me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org
Sera Staples. sculptor.
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Previous years blog are accessible here 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
May 7th 2018
Good news today! My arm is a lot better. I have made good use of my RnR by merging the pewteraircraft and pewtertanks websites into the Staples and Vine site. This has been a big project as there were over 300 pages to recreate. The site navigation on the Staples and Vine site will make it a lot easier to find what you are looking for. Under the home section you will see a quick link to the latest releases, and next to that my blog for all the latest news.
This site will remain live until April 2019 but will no longer be updated. So for all the latest news and release information please go to www.staplesandvine.com
In other news. I have been masterplanning the new workshop ready to extract everything from storage. I have some admin to catch up on and I have at least one major project to get up and running.
Thanks for checking in... Sera.
April 24th 2018
Lots of news! Winston and I are staying with my parents who have kindly offered to let me run Staples and Vine from their home. Winston is very pleased as he is being treated like royalty. Dad has Alzheimers so at least being here I can help mum, and keep an eye on dad. Broadband speed is very good here which makes a huge difference. So far I have got a working office just about up and running and have started to plan the main workspace. Everything is still in store so production is still a way off. Unfortunately about a week ago I badly tore the muscles in my left arm so lifting is out of the question for a while. I am not taking it too easy though as I am still working hard on the computer.
As you know we have multiple websites which has it's advantages and disadvatages. I have decided to integrate the pewteraircraft and pewtertanks website into the Staples and Vine website. No information will be lost, in fact I should be able to create a more user friendly site. I am well advanced with this major project but there still is much to do.
I have also invested in a 28 inch 4K monitor which makes computer work so much easier (shame my graphics card won't output 4K). I will invest in a new PC next year. The text is so much clearer I am noticing embarassing spelling mistakes in my blog posts - hopefully that will be a thing of the past. The pewteraircraft and pewtertanks websites will be up for another year eventually with an automatic redirect to Staples and Vine.
Thanks to everyone for your support and patience, more news soon.
April 12th 2018
Hello everyone sorry for the 'radio silence' but as you can imagine I have had my hands full. I have now moved out of the old house and I am planning where and how to resume production. There is a chink of light at the end of the tunnel. I just wish I could get to the end a bit quicker as I am desperate to get back into the swing of things. I am sorry if the blog is a bit 'off topic' but I thought you would appreciate me keeping you up to speed with developments.
Hopefully some good news soon.
February 23rd 2018
I am sure many of you are asking questions regarding my last post. Sadly my husband and partner, Tim Staples, passed away on the 12th of February after a long battle with prostate cancer. We started Diverse Images together more than 20 years ago and have come a long way together. I have been overwhelmed with the cards, thoughts, help, and best wishes from everyone. I knew our customers were great people, but I just wanted to say thank you all so much, your support has been touching.
I am now clearing and packing, to get ready for the big move, and should be here until the end of March. After March 31st the best way of contacting me is by email at email@example.com
Please keep checking in on the blog as I will be posting news about projects I am working on behind the hangar doors.
Thank you all. Sera
February 14th 2018
Due to a change in personal circumstances I will no longer be able to produce new orders for merchandise, aircraft or tank models with immediate effect. This is only a temporary situation and I fully intend to resume production later this year. In the meantime I shall be relocating to new premises and working on developing new projects. I will keep you all updated with regular blog and social media posts so please keep checking in to find out what I am up to. You are welcome to contact me by phone or email at firstname.lastname@example.org The hanger doors may have closed but plenty is going on inside and they shall open again.
January 30th 2018
Our Malta Spitfire Mk VB is now in full production and you can find out more about it and the exploits of George Beurling by clicking on the image below.
This was an interesting project and I learnt a lot. Now I have to get on with production and casting as we have lots of orders to fulfill before I can get cracking on the new Sherman M4A3E2 'First in Bastogne'. but more on that later.
January 28th 2018
Ok! - heres a heads up on what's going on. The Spitfire Mk VB trop is finished and I am photographing it tomorrow. This is after a lot of detective work regarding the camouflage and markings. The defence of Malta was a desparate period and aircraft kept in the air at all costs to protect the island so schemes did vary - a lot. However aircraft fresh from England we can be pretty sure about. Back on November 10th 2017 I posted a profile of the Beurling Spitfire Mk VB based on research information and widely reproduced profiles. At the time I was a little suspicious of the scheme but decided to revisit it when I was producing the sample. A good thing I did as my profile drawing was wrong. Let me explain, the Spitfire VB trpoical scheme is Dark Earth and Mid Stone over Azure Blue. What many people assume is that looking at a classic Spitfire Mk I (see illustration below) the darker colour (the green) should be the darker colour on the tropical Spitfire. This is incorrect (see second illustration). In fact basing the scheme on a Spitfire Mk I the Dark Earth should remain and the Green replaced by the Mid Stone (see final illustration). I have changed the spinner and code colours as well.
Here you can see what I mean with this factory fresh Spitfire Mk VB in Dark Earth and Mid Stone. Indeed the more I look the more I see this scheme on period Spitfire Mk VB photos and the incorrect scheme on other models.
So there is a lesson to us all
- 'measure twice cut once'. I should be posting photos of the now completed Spitfire Mk VB tomorrow.
January 19th 2018
Sculpting the new Spitfire Mk VB is going well. The majority of the work is going into the wing as the fuselage will be modified from the existing Mk I. Chasing down all the fuselage differences has been fun but the wing is all new. The photos below show the finished wing with cannon and radiators. Also in the shot is part of the raw casting from the silicone mould so you can see how much filing has taken place.
The cannon masters in the wing were turned up by hand in my trusty 'Dremel'. That was fun and they came out really well. The greenish grey parts are Milliput details added to recreate the various blisters for the 20mm cannon.
Whilst thumbing through an old volume of 'Aircraft of the Fighting Powers' I found this advert for Folland which mentions Gerorge Beurling shooting down the 1000th enemy aircraft in the defence of Malta. I thought you might like to see it as it ties in nicely with our next aircraft release - the 1/48 scale Gladiator.
January 12th 2018
The tail end of last years orders are now away and I am fully committed to the Spitfire Mk VB. This should be fairly quick to get into production as I can utilise many parts from our Mk I and Mk IXC. I will of course be sculpting a new wing, various detailed parts and two new figures. The figures will be George Beurling (pilot) and an officer. You can see the completed Milliput masters below and mid way through mouldmaking.
While the silicone is curing (12 hours per side) I have cast a new blank wing for the VB. This is cast from a large silicone mould held together in a vice with clamps while the molten pewter is poured. This is quite a good reliable mould, some moulds leak molten pewter (280 degrees C) which can be a little alarming.
Once the pewter has cooled the casting is removed from the mould. I usually take two or three castings and choose the best for the master. You can see the casting in situ here, the 'head' of metal in the mould provides pressure to force the molten pewter into the mould.
I have just poured the second half of the figure and parts moulds. These will be cast on Monday but in the meantime I shall be working on the wing - time to bring out the big files. Have a good weekend everyone.
January 1st 2018
Happy New Year to one and all! I have a lot planned for this year and have spent a lot of the Christmas break on my PC designing new projects for 3D printing. Our regular customers will have already had a heads up on the Gladiator we plan to release this year. Progress is good with all the files loaded on the 3D printer I hope to have the printing finished in the next 10 days. Here is a render of the 3D computer model to whet your appetite.
Of course being 1/48 scale I have been able to go to town on the Bristol Mercury engine so here is a rendered image of that too. The finished engine has a diameter of about 1 inch (25 mm) so should look very impressive.
I have been working on several other projects as well and here is a teaser image of one of them. This is a screen shot of a project I have completed the 3D modelling for and now have to 3D print.
You can find another teaser image on my tank blog. I have been very busy and hope to release some real classics this year as well as start a whole new project for which I may need a little help but more on that later.