Monday, 1 September 2014

National Motorcycle Museum and Motorcycle Film Festival

On 24th June I visited the National Motorcycle Museum to produce a large scale ink sketch for an art exhibition which celebrates the museums 30th anniversary. On that day I had no idea the short film that I made with Tom Rochester about the process, was to be selected for the Motorcycle Film Festival in New York this September! The Film will be premiered on Friday 26th at 5pm and so I don't want to put up a picture of the final piece until the festival is over. So for now I will post some teaser photos taken by Matt Bone...

I'm planning some sketching activities for my week in New York so keep checking the blog for more ink action!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Tankfest 2014

After sketching my first military vehicle at The Eastern Counties show earlier this year I have been wanting to sketch some more of these incredible vehicles. Well I couldn't have chosen a better place than The Tank Museum, and on the day of their annual event Tankfest! The Museum is an incredible place with a huge collection of tanks and related vehicles, and a fantastic WWI display Showing the development of early tanks and the use of warhorses, it's well worth a visit even if there isn't an event on. Whilst Tanks charged round The Arena I sketched a few interesting machines: 


Challenger 2 TES (Theatre Entry Standard)

(ink sketch)

This is the most up to date tank that was on display. The Challenger 2 is currently used by the army and this version has all the upgrades including passive armour and various weapons upgrades. The engine is a Perkins Condor CV12 which develops 1200bhp with a top speed of 35mph.

Tank Medium T34/85

(ink sketch)

This was my first sketch of the day so I thought I'd start with a classic tank. The T34 was built by the USSR and started service in the 40's, and stayed in service until the 60's. Around 70,000 units were built. This specific 85 example was used in the Korean War by Chinese Communist forces. The 85 variant was commonly used in world trouble spot and can still be found in 3rd world armies.

Tank Mk IV

(ink sketch)

One of my objectives for the day was to sketch a WWI tank. There were plenty on display in the museum, but when I saw this one outside on display alongside members of The Great War Society I had to capture the scene. After sketching this MkIV I found out that it was not a real one but a recreation that was made for the film Warhorse. It uses JCB running gear and took 10 months to build and cost £80,000! Apparently a lot of it was bespoke including all the track plates.
WWI tanks were developed to break through German lines by climbing over trenches and anything else that got in the way. When it got there they could fire across the lines with the guns on the side The tanks only travelled at 4mph and so were easy targets for the Germans. Occasionally bullets would get inside the tank and bounce around, so the men inside would wear masks as seen above.
Final tank fact.... Tanks get their name from a code word that was used for them when they shipped them over to Europe. The body of the tank looked like a riveted water tank and so they were named as tanks to avoid being detected by the Germans hence the name. The appearance of these formidable machines on the battle field would have been a total surprise to the Germans.

Baffle Amoured Personel Carrier

(ink sketch)

Based on a Mercedes Benz Unimog chassis this Baffle came into service in South Africa in 1978. It is designed to protect the driver and troops from mines, as the drivers cab and rear troop section are set high up and have V shape undercarriages to deflect the blast.

More Photos... 

 Matilda, Canal Defence Light
 Thornycroft Bison
 Contentious, S-Tank 
 Rolls Royce Armoured Car
 Titan Bridge Launcher
 Halftrack full with troops ready for the mock battle at the end of the show.

 Tiger II
 Centaur Dozer

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

VSCC Double 12 at Brooklands

This was my first trip back to the Double 12 since my first visit 3 years ago. I always enjoy visiting Brooklands as it's one of those museums that you really have to explore to get the most out of it as there is so much stuff to see around all the various sheds and hangers, it takes at least 2 visits to get your head round the site. The Double 12 event celebrates the races of the same name that were held at Brooklands between 1929 -31. The race was a 24 hour endurance race but the neighbours complained and so the event was split in two 12 hour races held on consecutive days. The modern day event cannot be the same as the track is no longer complete. However the weekend consists of time trials and hill climbs up the Brooklands test hill. There is also a concourse and vehicles galore.

The Sketches:

1926 Ford Model T Ton Truck
(with veteran Triumph onboard)

(ink sketch)

Bought from Texas 2 years ago, apparently all this needed was a little fettling and away it went. I had to sketch it as it was my two favourite subjects in one place.

Essex Motors of Detroit

(ink sketch)

I didn't find anything out about this car, but I love the simplicity of it and the rather interesting suspension set up.

Pary Hassan Special

(ink and watercolour)

Again I didn't speak to the owner of this special. I always enjoy sketching single seater specials and with it being all black how could I resist?

The rest.... 

1928 Doug Earl Cotton JAP in the McEvoy shed

Francis Barnett 172cc Brooklands Track Special
 1927 Norton Racing Outfit
1917 Sopwith F1 Camel

 Fuel Mobil
1901 BSA Path Racer
 Raleigh Concept Monocoque 1981
1905 Sloping Roadster
Bursford Ultimate Bike, the first pedal bike to break 200mph on rollers at Brooklands in 1995.
Whistling Billy, a genuine steam powered race car.
Cars like this were used in the States to pace horses.

 1921 Wolseley 10 Moth.
This is a recreation of the original car. The build was started when the original engine was found in Cornwall
 The Clive Lones Morgan. The first car to lap the outer circuit at over 100mph, and attained the fastest speed at 116mph in 1934.
Morgan Aero
An unusual Morgan 4 wheeler
Handlye Rolls Royce Special, with a Merlin V12!
Sinclair C5s a plenty