Reindeer on the Airstrip

It's been a while since I created a scene. Here's a Finnish Airspeed Oxford, ready to carry away the couple on the right, with a reindeer standing in front. I find it hard to resist a kit of a subject in Finnish markings, especially equipped with skis for winter. I made it as a wedding gift. I did look for figures vaguely resembling the happy couple - they're frequent travelers to Finland, in case you're thinking I'm being incredibly self indulgent - but I admit you would have to stand a long way back to be fooled. Also, they've traveled in time, since the plane dates back to 1950.

The Airspeed Oxford is interesting. Designed in the late Thirties, it began as an enlargement of the Airspeed Envoy, very modern looking and novel for civilian types in having retractable undercarriages. But the war meant that instead of a civilian career the AS.10 Oxford was aimed at an RAF requirement for an aircrew trainer. Hence the bomb aimer's window under the nose, and the outline on top of the fuselage where a turret was fitted. Several thousand were built, and since they hadn't actually been to war, large numbers survived, and were quickly converted to civilian use as cabin monoplanes, which of course they should have been in the first place. And a few, like this one, found their way to Finland, where suitable skis were fitted according to season.

Furthermore, one of the founders of the Airspeed company was Nevil Shute Norway, who as Nevil Shute was famous as the author of A Town Like Alice, On the Beach, and No Highway, all turned into films.
The kit is by Czech firm AZ, under their Admiral brand. It's a short run kit, produced with soft, almost powdery plastic, and a number of resin parts. On the one hand this approach has allowed for so many subjects from aviation to be offered as model kits, on the other, one has to accept certain challenges when tackling a kit like this, starting with the need to get out the tube of filler, and to trim many parts to fit. Instructions are often lacking in vital areas. And it's near-mandatory to do some research in books and on the internet, to get some context and understand what you're dealing with. Also, resin parts require the use of superglue, which for me is a necessary evil. But the decals on this kit were good quality and easy to use.

The figures are nice, whether or not they look like the recipients of this little scene. But the animals are another matter. Not that don't look good, but the reindeer in particular is annoyingly underscale. With animals, and to a lesser extent humans, you can sometimes get away with scale differences. But if you've ever seen a reindeer, this one does look small. When they list these products online they're fairly liberal in their descriptions, but it's definitely 1:87, not 1:76 (let alone 1:72). It came 'painted' but this was rather token, so I did my own painting job. You want a much wider range of browns and greys than the monotone mid grey it came in.
Now, I eagerly await news about whether everything is still in place and intact after being transported to wherever it was being taken to!

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