Entourage on tour

We had decided early on to repeat last year’s trip; to the Helsinki Model-Expo. Honeybuns couldn’t come along because she had to go on a job trip—to Helsinki. Still, an expectant band gathered up by the harbour and off we went.

We had booked the cheapest cabins. What really should not have been a surprise was that they were also preferred by youngsters, saving them money they could spend on booze. While not being exactly rowdy, a couple dozen kids spent the night talking quite loudly in the corridor. Round 05:30 our neighbour snapped and rushed out of his cabin to give them several pieces of his mind, which however they just ignored so eventually a call to ship security was required to put the young to bed.

Still, a fresh new day awaited us. We bundled into our rented car and drove out to the Exhibition centre. The modelling exhibition was in the all-new hall, sharing it with the crafts exhibition (not very far-fetched a combination). The competitors lined up their entries and then we dispersed in the halls to see what we could find.

When introducing a new R/C plane kit, of course you need to bring it to the flight area accompanied by mood(y) music, soap bubbles and uniformed men looking very emo.

An utterly delightful kajak vignette.

Horror models: a tiny organ.

Over at the pet fair: little kitties sleeping despite the surrounding din.

We had vaguely thought about riding out to Suomenlinna, but the exhibits proved plentiful enough that we realised we wouldn’t have time for that. Still, eyes bleeding and brain full I eventually decided I’d had enough for the day and headed back into town on my own. As I got to Pasila station, the train pulled in, I ran for it and got on just in time. There were big signs in every car giving the ticket prices and carefully noting the fines for failing to buy a ticket. Yet I could nowhere find any instructions on the actual mechanics of purchase and found myself at Helsinki Central before realising I could simply have asked a fellow passenger. (Talking to commuters, what a bizarre idea! I probably could have gotten thrown off the train for that, too.)

The weather was sunny, though rather too windy to be warm, so I was quite impressed by the boys I saw playing icehockey in their shirtsleeves as I strolled out to Hietaniemi to tend to the family grave.

Back in the city centre I found myself in the middle of a little open-air rock concert, the final set just starting with The Death of Gagarin. The stage was quite small, but the band did their best to look as if they were playing at Woodstock. The lead guitar jumped around and kicked at the loudspeaker stack, but as they weren’t exactly the heaviest Marshall speakers, they rocked (too) in danger of falling over. For a fraction of a second the guitarist looked as if to reflexively put out a hand to steady the stack, but immediately realising that that wouldn’t look ultracool, so he just stared fixedly at the stack until it was steady again. A couple of minutes later his toddler child crawled up on stage:

“Not now, sweetie, Daddy’s supposed to be playing a solo.”

Finally the rest of the gang returned from a full day at the fair and we set out to find something to eat. “There’s a pretty good Spanish restaurant just around the corner here. Oh, looks like they’ve closed.” ”But the one we were to last year, the one with the knockout waitress? That was…over there somewhere?” [zig, zag] ”Look, there it is!” “Sorry, we are fully booked. Sorry, no, we won’t toss out the little ladies over there even if they look harmless. May we recommend the restaurant around the block?” [trudge] “Table for six…? Uh, yes, there’s a company just leaving, give us a minute to clean up.” It was Asparagus Week, but we didn’t have to eat the slimy asparagus (except for those who wanted to) and were quite satisfied as we walked back to our hotel.

The next morning we headed out to the aviation museum. This was a classic aviation museum in the style of “We have x m² hangar space, let’s pile in as many aircraft as we can.” Nothing wrong with that.

A bit of a jumble… Visible are a Caudron C.60, a Sääski, a Tuisku, a Viima, an I-16, a Safir, two Vampires, a Draken, a Hansa, an Utu, a Kanttikolmonen, an SG 38 and so on…

I did a careful photographic walk-around of the Mi-1 for an upcoming modelling project. Here are the rotor blades: note that they are canvas over a steel and wood structure, just like any WWI aircraft.

This really knocked my socks off: 40 hand-carved wooden 1:100 models of world speed record holders. Here the Macchi M.C.72.

From the collection of all Finnish air force aircraft types in 1:72: the SPAD VII. Compare this with my rendition.

Having had our fill of the museum, we headed back to the expo, picked up our prizes, did some (additional) last minute shopping (good SEK/EUR rates) and then headed to our ship home. No drunk kids on this trip and when we returned, it was spring in Stockholm.


thnidu said...

"horror" at the organ? (Expands picture. Gets idea of scale. Gasps.) Uh! Building... THAT!....

"Yet I could nowhere find any instructions on the actual mechanics of purchase and found myself at Helsinki Central before realising I could simply have asked a fellow passenger."
Their fault: the UI stinks. But you probably wouldn't want to go to the trouble of making a case and building the defense against the penalties.

kai said...

Yeah, actually I didn’t get far enough to smell the UI—I couldn’t find the machine (if any) to begin with. The price list implied that it also was possible to buy SMS tickets, but did not go into the necessary numbers or codes for those.

thnidu said...

(Checks interesting-looking link)... follows through...) Ah, so "Linnoitus" doesn't have anything to do with coitus after all.

kai said...

Ah, sorry for getting your hopes up :-) (Trying to work out something about “conquests”, yeah, I’m sure contemporary poetry could have done something on assaulting the seemingly impenetrable fair maiden…yeah, the metaphors just write themselves.)