Thursday, 27 February 2014

Wolfsburg Weed Huggers monthly meet.

The Wolfsburg Weed Huggers VW club is based in Penn Street, near Amersham, Bucks and their monthly club meet is held at the Squirrel Pub in Penn Street on the last Wednesday of each month. A few of the 'Outcast' VW club members decided to have a mini cruise over to their club meet to show our support. In our convoy we had 3 bay window's, a split screen and a beetle, not bad considering it was a cold and dark weekday evening.

I met Matthew at Stuarts house. Matt's
shiny blue bay next to my not so shiny
green bay. We had arranged to meet Dave
and Angela, and their daughter Louise en-
route to the meet. Stuart would then take a
diversion to meet Sean and then meet us
at the pub later.

We all survived the 20 mile or so trip with out
any drama's, so the first thing I decided to
was to get some photo's. I think this is Dean's
black '67 bug and it looked a bit RAT, and
that's fine by me!

The photo doesn't show the true camber of
the rear wheels but being so low as well it
looked just right.

Outcast member Dave took his '67 white over
blue split screen. This really is a nice bus,
with no expense spared.

Super cool looking split screen. Dave has
fitted a discreet 3rd brake light above his number
plate which really makes a difference when
following him. Something to think about I think.

Dave's daughter Louise and Dave's wife
Angela went along in Louise's beige bug,
named Brum... I didn't ask how the bug got
the name.

'Brum' the '74 bug. Rear fender in grey primer
due to recently having paid a visit to the
Oil Droppers workshop for some work.

Princess Fiona under the pub lights.

My '69 bay looking stunning as ever. Just wish
I had a propex heater because the heating
didn't really work due to the cold evening.

Matthew came along in his '69 white over
blue bay.

This really is a nice looking bay.

Stuart, Tim and Sean arrived shortly after
us in Stuart's distinctive '71 bay.

Stuart is owner of the Oil Droppers workshop
and with his turbo'd bay, and even with a
detour to pick up Sean I knew he wouldn't
be far behind us.

This photo is a bit dark, but it's the Outcast
VW Club bay line up outside the Squirrel Pub.

Andrew came along in his super clean '67
cherry red Karmann. This really is a super
straight, super clean Ghia.

I do hate the dark nights as it play havoc with
my little camera in trying to get the colour of
the vehicles. Lovey deep reflection on the
engine lid.

Another shot of Andrew's Ghia.. the colour
is still bad but look how straight the body is.

Only one way to get a good colour shot...
get a close up picture.!

Nick is the owner of this lovely split screen
panel van in what looks like Dove Blue.

Gorgeous or what..? and the right colour, in
my opinion.

Such a lovely looking spilt screen.

Iconic look of the early split screen...

Peter ( I think) came along in his deep red
Karmann Ghia.

Another super straight, super clean and yet
another '67 model.

Classic shape of the Ghia rear end with the
US towel rail bumpers.

Kez and Becky, also members of the Outcast
VW Club came along in Kez's lovely '79 late

This is a lovely bus, in a lovely colour. Kez
was saying she has a few trips planned for
later in the year... hope all goes well Kez.

I noticed this little character in the windscreen
on Kez's bay. Quite a good resemblance I
thought.!! (Only joking Kez.)

Jonny came along in his '72 bug which has
been included on my blogs before. I just love
those twin yellow spot lights.

Very RAT, very cool...

Jonny's bug has plenty of character and
many accessories.

Andrew is the owner of this unusual bug. it's
certainly distinctive with that front end.

Same goes for the rear end of this '70 bug.

Mark Chapman came along in his bright
lilac '72 Beetle. This was quite a nice colour
in the flesh...

A bit RAT looking here and there but I think
that just adds to it's character.

Ryan owns this lovely '69 white over beige
bay turned up later in the evening. I love
those yellow head light lenses and the single
yellow spot light.

I do like the odd sticker on a bay side window,
and this bus had plenty of stickers to keep
amused for a while.

Luke is the owner of this white over pastel blue
late bay who also arrived later in the evening
and it looked very clean and tidy.

The clear rear light lenses on this '75 late bay
look good.

Nice photo of a pair of bay's parked up at the
club meet.

Julian came along in his early beetle. This is
another vehicle that has featured in my blog
before, and with it looking this good, no doubt
it'll feature again and again.

By now you my have realised I have a liking
for yellow spot lights and yellow headlight
lenses... well how about this combo, just
about perfect I think.

Julian's bug looks so good from any angle.

But it especially looks good from behind. I can't
think of anything that would make the look of
this bug look any better.

This way my view of the convoy as the
Outcast members headed back to Aylesbury
after the meet. Dave was leading in his split
 followed by Louise in her bug, and then Kez
and Becky in her bay. Matt and Stu followed
closely behind me.

That was the February Wolfsburg Weed
Huggers monthly meet. Overall a good
evening with a good turn out of VW's.
The club meets will only get bigger and
bigger and the Spring / Summer arrive,
which is goon news for everyone.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Laurel & Hardy sign.

My good friend Malcolm Luckie, who lives in Germany has a Laurel & Hardy memorabilia collection and he asked if I could produce a couple of signs for him to fill a gap on the wall above some of his memorabilia. Malcolm asked if the first sign could be 8 feet long x about 10 inches high.  Malcolm is due to visit the U.K. sometime in March or April and he will pop in and collect the sign then, so I have a few months to get this right... I just hope Malcolm likes it when he see's it in the flesh.

Chatting to Malcolm on face book, he said he'd
wanted the sign 8 feet long and 10 inches
high, with Laurel & Hardy wording and maybe
2 bowler hats at each end. I produced a quick
design using 'microsoft word' and showed him.
He seemed happy with my design but I did say
that this design is not set in stone and may
change slightly. Malcolm was happy to trust
my judgement.

As I had 2 Laurel and Hardy signs to do for
Malcolm, and a sign for The Oil droppers, I
purchased a sheet of 8' x 4' ply and 6mm
thick. I then asked the guy at B&Q to cut the
board  to the sizes I required. Getting the cut
 board home is easy if you have a bay window.
Even with the furniture still in my bus
the ply still fitted in easily.
I also purchased some architrave
for the edges. Nice bare wood just
waiting to be primed.

The board was sanded down and 
given a coat of primer on both sides.
Then a good coat of undercoat with plenty
of sanding down in-between coats.

A close up of the architrave I purchased. I
didn't want the architrave to be too prominent,
otherwise it would take the focus off the sign.

Board and architrave undercoated in brilliant

Just another photo of all the woodwork under-
coated. I left it for a day then sanded the whole
lot down ready for glossing.

While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I started
to think about the wording, the size of font and
the spacing. Here you can see how I worked out
what was going where. This is probably the
hardest part because it has to be right otherwise
the sign will look terrible with the wording and
design not being evenly spaced.

Once the board was dry, I noticed a few small
flaws in the surface, so I mixed up some filler
and made it good. Then more sanding before
another coat of undercoat.

The board sanded, primed, sanded, undercoated,
sanded, filled, sanded, 2nd undercoat
 and now finally ready for the gloss.

Brilliant white gloss applied to the board. Allow
to dry for at least 2 days.

Architrave has had a miter cuts and then
primed, under-coated and finished in one coat
gloss black.

After gluing and screwing the architrave to the
board, the contrast of the 2 colours looked
striking. The next step was to start laying the
design and wording down onto the board.
I decided to keep to the original design and
have a script font for the christian names
an a larger bolder font for the surnames.
I decided to change the positioning of
the christian names slightly.

In the original design the bowler hats at each
end had shading, I decided to paint the hats
in black with no shading for maximum contrast.
This however meant changing the design so
I could use the white of the board in the design
of the hats.

Pencil design almost done...

I like to get the whole design down before I
start painting, others like to paint as they go.

Equal spacing is so important, if you get this
part wrong it will stick out like a sore thumb
and make the sign look terrible. I will tidy up
the edges of the board at a later stage.

I decided to have the 2 bowler hats at each
end face inwards towards each other.

Once I was happy with the pencil design, time
to start sign writing. I like to start with the script

The script lettering all done, just starting on
the bold surnames.

A close up of the bowler hat design, using
the white background as an integral part of
the design. I think the stark contrast looks good.

Another view of the sign so far...

As I have a day job, I can only do the sign in
the evenings, and at weekends which makes
the whole job much longer.

Sign finished. The Stan Laurel end....

And the Oliver Hardy end.

The finished sign. I still need to touch up the
edges with black but apart from that it's

Whilst chatting to Malcolm via face book, he
asked if I could drill holes in the sign so it will
be ready to hang. To be honest I didn't want
to spoil the sign by drilling holes so I decided
to use these brass picture hangers. I have
used 3 along the top edge which is plenty
to hold the weight of this sign.

From the front these hangers are very discreet
and will hardly notice when the sign is hung up.

And this last photo was taken for 2 reasons,
No.1 this blog is about my 1969 Microbus
and other VW related topics, so I thought I'd
better add another photo of a VW.
Secondly it gives you the reader an idea of
how long this sign is in a perspective we can
all relate to.!

I have another sign for the Laurel and Hardy
collection to make, only this one is not so big.
I have showed Malcolm some pictures of this
sign and he seems to like it, which is always
a relief when the customer sees the sign
for the first time.