Workshop Wednesday – Stuck Legs and Special Occasions

The biggest leap forward in the workshop over the past few weeks was on the 4.5″ gun.

The left hand leg has been stuck fast for a long time, and with the leg attached it is very hard to reach the underside (which has been sat in a field for many years and needs some TLC).

WSW Crew members set to with jacks, blocks, big spanners and lots of grease to try and extract the kingpin, which did come out at last.

The leg was still retained by the sleeve, which didn’t give any sign of budging. A system was rigged up with some C-channel, the 10 ton press, and chains. We used a trolley jack to take the tension off the leg by adjusting the end up and down. The sleeve eventually came out, phew!

Manoeuvring of the gantry allowed us to extract the leg and turn it over ready to be cleaned up. Just the other side to do now, then we can fix up the underside of the carriage.

Last Sunday, the crew was called upon to put on their uniforms and provide vehicles for a wedding at Clevedon Hall. A great day, and good chance to get some of the machines out of hibernation. The Shopland Collection provided the 25 Pounder Gun ‘F-Sub’, Bofors 40mm AA gun, Bedford OY, 2 Jeeps and the Fox armoured car.

All the vehicles required prep and ‘waking up’ beforehand but all went smoothly. The OY did very well running relays to deliver the big guns.



Workshop Wednesday – Blitz House Mk.III Begins

In the workshop this week, the 4.5″ gun takes another leap forward as the elevation quadrant mechanism is freed off, meaning it can swing. The whole area was then cleaned up and painted in primer. Next up are the large bearings on the recoil mechanism, and the whole lot has to be turned over and cleaned up.

The GOG squad is pressing ahead with the little Austin now it’s running. Seen here alongside another GOG squad triumph – the torpedo! Won’t be long before these guys have created their own museum around their work area.



We held our second set building day of the year over the weekend. Following on from the success of the first rubble production line, Paddy and Jon were away with making more polystyrene chunks into movie rubble!

They were so productive that I’ve nearly run out of Jesmonite dust, so will need to find an alternative coating, possibly fine grey sand.

The slightly warmer conditions (and lack of gale force wind and horizontal rain!) allowed us to make a start on ‘Bombed-Out House Mark III’. The first house was cobbled together from scraps in the first year, while Mark Brothers and 3rd Battalion made an excellent display using polystyrene bricks in year 2, seen here:


This year we want to make another go of it and combine all our assets into one house, to commemorate the anniversary of the Blitz.

Paul started by taking some leftover blast wall from The Imitation Game, stripped off the hessian/plaster concrete shuttering, leaving us with 4ft wide sections, perfect building blocks. These were screwed to a 2m x 2m base section, left over from this shoot for TV channel Christmas 24 (the base section is the base of the giant christmas present).

The idea is to make the corner of a bombed out house, and part of the brief is to make it easily transportable, so it must break down into easy-to-manage sections. The walls will be bolted together on site.

We have an oak door that was salvaged from a house fire, and found an old spare window in the heap of things that we absolutely KNEW would be useful one day.

The window section was cut in to the wall, and fitted along with a new lintel and sill to set it off.

The door section will extend the other way, with the destroyed wall holding it. The open door will also act as a stabiliser on the wall, stopping it from flexing too much.

We sawed up some spare timber (from the same pile as the window) to form some truncated floor joists. On top of this will be smashed floorboards and a small remaining piece of the 2nd floor of the house.

Just need to order the faux bricks now so the exterior can be clad, then we can incorporate the polystyrene bricks from House Mk.II to extend the destroyed walls. Also need to find some suitable wallpaper to dress the interior!

If you are interested in getting involved in set building, then please do drop me an email –

Make Do Monday – The posters are here!

The posters and flyers for the Dig for Victory Show 2016 have been printed and are ready to go! As we are all very excited I thought it would be nice to share some of our highlights videos from previous years. Tickets are now available online and remember that tickets for the evening dance are limited, so grab one now!


I hope that you have a lovely week and if anyone would like some flyers or a poster to put up at work or in a window please get in touch! We really appreciate all the help we can get in promoting our fabulous little festival. Please drop us a line at

Workshop Wednesday – Braving the Chill

Great news! The GOG squad have succeeded in getting the little black Austin running and driving around the yard. Looks like it may make it to the show under its own steam, fingers crossed!

The 4.5″ Artillery Gun has had more wire brushing, paint, and attention to the bearings. These have been cleaned up of old grease and muck to try and get them turning nicely again.

The brake lines on the QL tipper are nearly done, and the last of the hubs has been primed.