29 Feb 2016

Americarna 2016

Even with a bit of rain, the final day of the Americarna festival was still popular. I had a prime position on a bench with a view of a massive 1959 Cadillac with huge fins and rocket engine tail lights. When it started to look like it was going to start getting wet, that all went out the window. I didn't wait for a clear path and just drew everything. What you see is a Star Destroyer sized Cadillac with three people and four cars in front of it. (For the enthusiast, a 2008 Mustang Shelby, 1934 Chevrolet, a 1970 Rambler Hornet, and like last year, a 1956 Chevy Belair.) A special shout-out to the several people I met from Wanganui who are waiting for the final version of this one.

Below: Last year's Belair

26 Feb 2016

Taranaki Flying Boat

We were invited to draw a Catalina flying boat in one of the hangars at the New Plymouth airport. It was a pretty crazy old plane. It had quite a few things that looked weird but then became normal when you remembered that this is also a boat! Those little T-shaped bits near the nose where you would throw a rope around... Boat! Landing Gear folds up on the side... Boat! Door opens on the top of the plane and then you climb down into it... Boat! 
The inside was really cool too. When you climbed in, you found yourself in between 2 sets of 2 facing seats. Across a mini hallway in the middle of the plane was another cabin with 4 facing seats. In this hallway you could either climb a few stairs and be in the cockpit or go into another room where the landing gear indentations were. You could climb up to the wing area and there was a window up there. Lots of hydraulic pipes here too. Past that was two more cabins of 4 seats. After that was one last room near the tail. It had 2 sideways bench seats that allowed you to look out these bubble shaped canopies. We all agreed that this must be the first-class lounge.
The older guy sweeping in my sketch joked that when he was an apprentice, he started out by sweeping, and look where he is now! 

Below: A progress pic from about half-way done... The large wingspan wouldn't fit entirely in the hangar.

20 Feb 2016


This 1944 Canadian Vickers built Canso CV375 Catalina is being lovingly restored at New Plymouth. It is due to fly shortly to be at Warbirds at Wanaka.
It served in the Royal Canadian Airforce for anti submarine duties but spent its last years (1988 - 1993) in Africa flying the Nile between Egypt and Zimbabwe with African Safari Tours (16 passengers + four crew) and was bought from the French owner. In 1955 it was in Costa Rica then back to Canada for stevadoring and with Austin Airways of Ontario
Two 1200hp engines power the beast, and it lands in the water at 140kph - all 12 tonnes of it.  It's 32m wing span looks huge. My dad was in the RNZAF in the Pacific Islands including Bouganville during WWII as a fitter armourer, and flew in Catalinas. He flew home lying by his kit bag in the nose of a Catalina as it was crowded. He described they overnighted in New Caledonia and when they attempted to take off the next morning the waves were too big so thank goodness the pilot eventually gave up, the single skin under the hull where he was lying seemed pretty thin.
56 Catalinas operated in the RNZAF, used for shipping escort, anti submarine, air sea rescue (downed pilots) and transport roles.
It has been repainted in RNZAF wartime plumage.


Catalina - drawn by Patricia

5 Feb 2016

The dead centre of town

Te Henui Angel - twas peaceful, no noisy neighbours there in the cemetery

Grave decorations

2 Feb 2016

CC Ward

There's this building on the main street here in New Plymouth that has this large white box on top of it. I'm guessing that it's supposed to be part of it but I don't know what the deal is really. Weird. Beside it, is an old department store with plaster fancy plaster ceilings. I think it was a family owned business for nearly 100 years but it wrapped not too long ago. Now it's empty and I wonder if it's going to get another chance. It's an E Grade (Earthquake Survival) building which is as low and as expensive as it gets.

Te Henui Cemetery

Sketching last Saturday was at Te Henui Cemetery. It was quite pleasant sitting in the shade. There were a lot of colourful flowers in amongst the headstones, so I just tried to capture the colours.