Friday, March 15, 2013

The Volkswagen Beetle and The Beatles "Abbey Road album" cover Conspiracy Theory.

Have you read about this before? Its the first time for me so I just wanted to share to other younger Volkswagen (VW) enthusiast on how our beloved German iconic vehicle was a part of The Beatles entertainment history....or urban legend...You be the judge..

The Abbey Road Beatles album was first issued on 26th September, 1969- the final Beatles album to be recorded, but not their last to be released. For the first time on a Beatles album, the front cover contained neither the group’s name nor the album title- just that iconic photograph taken on the zebra crossing next to the Abbey Road studios in London NW8 in August 1969. 

For decades now fans of the Fab Four have suggested that Paul McCartney was killed in a car crash and replaced with a lookalike - pointing to his barefoot appearance on the Abbey Road album cover as proof. Conspiracy theorists believed the cover contained clues, as the band wanted to reveal the truth of their guilty secret. Below are the "clues" in the album cover (numbers added as a guide to clues below) discovered throughout the years- some of it a bit of a stretch for me- but nonetheless mentioned here as trivia and of course relating the whole tale to the iconic VW beetle as seen in the background below. 
The cover is a funeral procession of The Beatles across the zebra crossing-Paul's funeral. John Lennon, in white was seen as a preacher leading the procession, Ringo Starr’s black outfit indicated he was an undertaker or the mourner, while a denim-clad with scruffy shirt George Harrison was the grave-digger.                                                                                                                                         

Paul is wearing an old suit and is the only one who is barefoot which allegedly is how people are buried in several countries. 

A closer look at Paul reveals he's a holding his cigarette—commonly referred to as the coffin nail—in his right hand (he is left-handed).  This is a significant clue to theorists suggesting that Paul's 'coffin lid' had been nailed down and the person on the cover is perhaps not Paul  but in fact a replacement for him after his death.  


Behind George Harrison appears a white Volkswagen which looks like an innocent car until one checks out the license plate: 28 IF.  It means that Paul would have been 28 if he was still alive.It has also been suggested that the LMW stands for 'Linda McCartney Weeps' - referring to his new wife whom he had married earlier that year. 

In the background, a small group of people dressed in white stand on one side of the road, while a lone person stands on the other. Is this meant to be Paul, alone and different from the others? 

The police van on the other side of the street symbolize the police who were called to the scene of the original McCartney accident in 1966 and were paid off to hush up the whole affair.  According to legend, the band's manager, Brian Epstein, bought their silence. 

A line can be traced from the VW Beetle to the three cars in front of it. If it is drawn connecting their right wheels it runs straight through Paul's head, with theorists suggesting that means Paul sustained a head injury because of a car crash. 

On the Australian version of the album, the cover showed what could be a bloodstain splattered on the road just behind Ringo and John, supposedly backing claims of a road accident. 

On the back cover there is a picture of the Abbey Road sign and above it the name Beatles has been written. There is an obvious crack running through the S - thought to suggest problems within the group. 

To the left of the name 'BEATLES' there are a series of eight dots. When joined together they form the number three. Did this mean there were only three Beatles left? 

If the back cover is turned 45 degrees anticlockwise a crude image of the Grim Reaper appears, from his skull to his black gown-  a sign that someone in the group had died. 

Nobody knows the identity of the girl dressed in blue on the back cover. On the night of the alleged 'car crash' it was raining heavily and Paul is said to have given a lift to a fan called Rita. It could be that this girl is her, either fleeing the scene or running to get help. 

If the writing on the wall is split into sections, it conveys the cryptic message, 'Be at Les Abbey'. In numerology the following two letters, R and O, are the 18th and 15th letters in the alphabet. By adding this together (33) and multiplying by the number of letters (2), we get 66, the year Paul is supposed to have died.
Three also represents the letter C so 33 could also stand for CC. Cece is short for Cecilia, with theorists claiming Paul was 'laid to rest' at St Cecilia's Abbey, a monastery in Ryde, Isle of Wight.

McCartney insisted he had merely kicked off his sandals because it was a hot summer’s day. On the day of the photo shoot  The Beatles were dressed in the suits of Tommy Nutter, Savile Row’s enfant terrible of the time – all except George Harrison, who insisted on wearing denims.

The photo on the album cover was in fact just one of ten taken during the same 1969 shoot by photographer Iain Macmillan. In fact, a rare photograph of the Beatles that disproves a conspiracy theory about Paul McCartney's 'death'  has sold for £20,000 at auction. The photo shows the band walking in the 'wrong' direction across the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing - and more importantly shows McCartney wearing a pair of white leather sandals.
Iconic image: Taken at the same time as the famous Abbey Road album cover in 1969,                                                                     this picture clearly shows Paul McCartney, third from left, wearing a pair of sandals.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Volkswagen Beetle made of WOOD!

Check out this unique Volkswagen Beetle, made almost entirely from wood!  The full wooden body is covered with around 20,000 oak slats and has wooden steering wheel, hub caps and dashboard. This is a real drivable vehicle.

Momir Bojic, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, built this wooden Beetle as a hobby which took him an entire year to complete. It has become an attraction on wheels in the Bosnian town of Banja Luka, near Bojic’s hometown of Celinac

I guess the only things he has to watch out for to protect his masterpiece are- TERMITES!


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Friday, March 1, 2013

Scale Model Painting and Weathering Process Flow II.

This is Part II of the generic Scale Model Painting and Weathering Process Flow (see Scale Model Painting and Weathering Process Flow I) which now offers general definition of terms used in weathering, tips and the usual order on the application of paint and other finishing layers that are commonly used.

After the Painting steps in Part I, the model will look like it has just come out of the war factory assembly line- which concludes your project if that is your goal- a "freshly minted" military vehicle.  To add realism to your model however,some wear and tear will certainly enhance your scale modeling experience and appreciation which definitely makes the model stand out!

Weathering Process Flow:

14. Chips.
Paint chips, rust chips, scratches etc can be applied with a very tiny brush or even a cocktail stick to any part of the vehicle- of course realistically to places where REAL exposure to the elements are expected to be. These should NOT be overdone,though.
Hasegawa 1/48 scale N1K2-J "George".
15. Light Dust With Airbrush
Again, realism should be considered: lower vehicle parts and underside should receive a very light ‘dust’ layer with very thin paint.
The key with the airbrush (AB) doesn't  to do with making the paint "thinner".
 It's keeping the AB about 6 to 8 inches from the model and keep it MOVING.
Like this sprayed with a "buff" acrylic mixture at about 15 psi.
16. Heavy Dirt and Dust
Mainly applied to vehicles; pigments and/or ground pastels can be applied with a brush which can be applied really thick mix with resin or varnish.
17. Light Dirt and Dust
Apply dry pigments or ground pastels in addition to the previous stage depending on the degree of weathering and muck you are replicating.
Note application of the dust coat. The right side of the toolbox shows the muddled appearance of
the washes and thinned light earth. The left side shows the carefully blended coat of earth and dust.
18. Detail Wear and Tear.
Recent signs of wear & tear and usage (oil and fuel stains, rain streaks, boot marks, etc.) that the vehicle would have recently suffered and should appear on top of all other weathering.
Leaks and streaks are generally formed on vehicles depending on environmental factors and their maintenance.
 Examples could be rain streaks, marks from fuel or oil leaks(red arrows above) and rust streaks.
19. Final Dusting?

Another very light dust layer with thinned paint from an airbrush to blend everything together.  This must be very light at this stage to avoid soaking or removing any of the dry pigments.

20. Final Protective Layer???

With a completed model,   the temptation is to give it a coat of matt, gloss or semi-gloss varnish to protect it -which is likely to impair the look of the model.  Varnish OVER dry pigments on the model will blend them together and may make them completely invisible; the different sheen on different parts of the model will become uniform .

If you feel the need to protect your model, then keep it to a minimum.  Matt/flatt or dry pigmented areas should receive only  very light varnish misting of  varnish mixed with matte or varnishes with different sheens to add interest to the model.


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