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Happy New Year!

May your 2010 be happy and may you prosper!

We here at Grubby Fingers (Me, my wife, Alex, my daughter Bekki, and my dog, Abi) would like to wish you all the best for 2010 and we'd also like to thank you for your ongoing support through 2009. It is appreciated.


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2009 in Hindsight

Looking back at the last 12 months

The clichés about how fast time flies are all true, I guess that's how they became clichés!

The Grubby Truth

It's now a full year since I started doing The Grubby Truth and I've had a heartening response with subscriptions growing steadily and traffic at the website growing all the time. Print sales are steady, despite the "recession". As always, I underestimated the work involved in getting a newsletter out regularly, so you might find it it a bit sparse some months.

Grubby Fingers Website

I find it fascinating looking at the stats and seeing what people come to the site looking for. The walkarounds and photo galleries are obviously a well-used resource with most visitors arriving at the site after Google imge searches for specific types. The volume of these arrivals always fluctuates with the release of new kits. The traffic to the Gannet walkarounds leapt this year with the release of several Gannet kits, as an example.

The drawing tutorials have proved very popular too, with a constant stream of visitors there.

Unexpectedly, the Aussie Hind gunship build gets a lot of hits. I really must get off my tail and do some more of that. Now that things are settling down after the shift that is a distinct possibility.


The calendar gets a lot of hits, even though I have been less than conscientious in its upkeep. I'll make a greater effort on that this year and add the info to this newsletter too. That'll give me an extra shove.

Mustang Book Project

I've been heavily commited to a Mustang book project with a friend and that has been taking up most of my drawing time. That should be drawing to a conclusion this year, so you should see a greater variety of subjects becoming available. It'll also mean I can start clearing the backlog of commissions that have been building up. I must thank all those in the queue for your patience. Your drawings will happen! In the mean time, there are some great Mustang prints becoming available. When the book does get published, you'll hear about it here, too.

ModelArt Magazine Submissions

Another commitment that has been taking up some time is a regular submission to ModelArt Australia to provide a set of profiles for each issue. These are being well recieved and I see a jump in traffic on the site after each issue is released.

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What's on the drawing board?

What's Grubby Fingers doing in 2010?

The Mustang book is taking highest priority, so you'll see more Mustangs coming out. See below for some of the new ones.

Next cab off the rank will be some Beech King Airs, including some of the NSCA aircraft as well as other local birds.

After that I'll be working through the backlog of Cessnas, etc that you see on the left. In each case, I'll be doing a generic factory finish for those who want a print of the Type, not necesarily a specific airframe.

Of course, all this is on top of "real" work: looking after my own graphics clients and doing Agency temping as well. This might help explain the slow progress through the list.

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More Mustangs!

Mustang A68-5 / VH-BVM

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Mustang A68-5 / VH-BVM

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Mustang A68-5 / VH-BVM detail

A68-5 was a CAC CA-17 Mk.20 Mustang. It was flown for a short period with 78 squadron, RAAF before being stored. It was the first Mustang to be owned by a civil concern in Australia. It is shown here as it appeared when entered in the 1954 REDeX Round Australia Air Trial.

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Mustang A68-39 / VH-BOY

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Mustang A68-39 / VH-BOY

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Mustang A68-39 / VH-BOY detail

A68-39 was one of a pair of Mustangs (VH-BOY and VH-BOZ) flown by Doug Fawcett's various aviation businesses from the late 1950s to the mid 1970s. They were used for various jobs including a lot of target towing work for the RAAF. The attachment on the side of the fuselage is a wind-driven winch arrangement for hauling the target drone back into the aircraft. The cockpit was modified to include a second person as winch operator who faced aft and was seated immediately behind the pilot. VH-BOZ had a similar arrangement.

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What's On: The Calendar

The Grubby Fingers Calendar of Upcoming Aeronautical and Modelling Events!

Here is a by-no-means comprehensive list of aviation and modelling related happenings that will be happening in the near future (or immediate past, depending on how often I get to update it!) around Australia. If there is something you’d like to add to this list, drop me a line here and let me know.

Dates for upcoming events of interest:


RAAF Museum Pont Cook Interactive Flying Displays
On three days of every week, weather and aircraft availability permitting, the RAAF Museum, Point Cook, takes one of its airworthy aircraft up for a display. This means that three times a week you can have your own little air show! The display flights usually last 10-15 minutes and are preceded with an introduction on the ground presenting the aircraft and the pilot and ground crew. After each flight there is a Q&A session where you can get up quite close to the aircraft and ask any questions you might have. These are a terrific and casual way to see some famous aircraft up close and personal. The museum's airworthy fleet includes: CT-4 Airtrainer, Sopwith Pup replica, P-51 Mustang, Winjeel trainer, Tiger Moth and Harvard trainer. Often visiting aircraft are displayed as well. These might include DC3, Cessna O-1 Bird Dog, other Winjeels or even an RAAF PC-9 trainer. And it is completely free! How good is that!


January 2010

January 30-31
Temora Aviation Museum Flying Day
Temora, NSW. Always a great display of warbirds and classic aircraft! Visit

February 2010

February 6-7
Tauranga City Air Show
Tauranga Airport, New Zealand.
The innaugural event with the full show on Sunday following Saturday practice. Family fun programs both days including balloon rides, music, skydivers, gliders, food and refreshmants, trade and other exhibits right through to heavy military iron and battle re-enactments. Visit Australia)

February 7-8
Rotary Air Show, Bairnsdale
Bairnsdale, Victoria.

February 28
Wings over Illawarra
Albion Park, NSW. Visit

February 28
Point Cook Air Pageant 2010
RAAF Williams, Point Cook. Victoria
Always a great day without the huge crowds of Avalon. Gates open at 9:00 am, flying starts at 1:00 pm. Aircraft on dosplay will include: Mustangs, Kittyhawk, Sabre, Winjeel, Tiger Moths, DC3s, Vampire, Sea Fury,, Wirraway, Boomerang, Spitfire and many more! Looks like a big show! Visit

March 2010

March 17
Houdini 100 Year Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony
Houdini Reserve, Diggers Rest, Victoria. Visit

March 17 - April 20
The Great Australian Air Race
Parafield Airport, South Australia. Visit

March 21
Houdini Flight Expo and Community Celebration
Houdini Reserve, Diggers Rest, Victoria. Visit

March 28
Canberra Airport Open Day
Canberra, ACT.

APRIL 2010

April 2-4:
Warbirds over Wanaka
Wanaka, NZ. One of the world's best warbirds airshows. Visit

April 4-5:
Mack Muster (Inc. model truck comp.)
Colac Showgrounds

April 10-11
Temora Aviation Museum Flying Day
Temora, NSW. Always a great display of warbirds and classic aircraft! Visit

April 11:
NSW NNL Titles
Venue: TBA.

June 2010

June 5-6
Temora Aviation Museum Flying Day
Temora, NSW. Always a great display of warbirds and classic aircraft! Visit

August 2010

August 14-15
Temora Aviation Museum Flying Day
Temora, NSW. Always a great display of warbirds and classic aircraft! Visit

November 2010

November 20-21
Temora Aviation Museum Flying Day
Temora, NSW. Always a great display of warbirds and classic aircraft! Visit


March 2011

March 1-6
Avalon 2011
Avalon Airport, Avalon, Victoria. Australia's premier air show. Celebrating the RAAF's 90th anniversary as well as the the 10th Avalon airshow. Trade only Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (1-3) and Friday 4th until 2pm. General Public access from 2pm on Friday and all through the weekend. Flying displays will include a night show on Friday. Visit

Sources (among others):
AeroAustralia Magazine
ModelArt Magazine
Waverley Scale Modelling Club
Australian Society of Aviation Artists
Aviation Historical Society of Australia
AARG, Moorabbin Air Museum

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