Sera’s Blog 2018

You can now follow the latest news from Staples & Vine with Sera’s Blog.
Updates from the workbench with news on the latest aircraft being sculpted.
I hope you enjoy the blog and I appreciate your feedback.
You can email me directly via sera@staplesandvine.com
You can keep up to date with my news by following me in the social media links at the bottom of the page.

July 12th 2018

Over the past week I have been working hard on the new studio. The clearing, sorting, packing, filling, prepping, and painting have all gone very well and so far I have 2/3 walls painted and 3/4 of the floor. Next week the remainder should be finished then I can start thinking about moving things in. I am calling the grey on the floor ‘Winston Grey’ as it is a very close match to the ‘furry  wonder’.

Both the walls and floor have had 2 coats of the best paint I can find. It has made such a difference, the space is so much brighter. I painted a message to myself where my work-desk will be. I have come such a long way and there is still so much I want to do. I am proud of what I have achieved so far and look forward to the future when I can move in,  get set up, and start sculpting new projects. 

When I get the desks, benches and shelving in I shall get some additional power sockets and lighting installed. To see what this space used to look like take a look at my first vlog on YouTube (click on the thumbnail below). It looks like the Youtube channel has gone down well. If you do like it please subscribe as it will help me a lot. The vlog seems to be very popular, so that will be regularly updated. Thanks for your patience Sera.

July 2nd 2018

Another small step. My First vlog! This will bring you up to date with what has been happening and my future plans. My blog is great for quick news but sometimes there is so much more to tell. I will be producing more behind the scenes vlogs about how I design, sculpt, mould, cast and produce the aircraft and tanks. If you click on the image below it will take you to the film. I hope you enjoy it.


Still lots to do but I am well on the road to get back up and running again.

June 29th 2018

This is my vlogging kit! Vlogging is  video + blog = vlogging, I have had to do some research to find out what I need but this is what I have so far. The plan is to film what I am up to and post it on YouTube. This will show you in more depth than the blog how I design, scuplt and produce my aircraft and tanks and also allow me to talk about other plans and projects. If you sign up to YouTube and subscribe to my channel you can set up automatic notifications which will let you know as soon as I upload a film. It is going to be a bit complicated to get all of this kit set up and working – but how hard can it be?


The pros make it all look so easy, but believe me it takes a lot of hard work to make a film look good. Lots to learn, but I am up for the challenge. Have a great weekend everyone.

June 28th 2018

Aircraft film number four is now live on Youtube. As you can see it tells the story of the Spitfire Protoytpe and its development. I have learnt a lot making these few films  and have decided to make a vlog to bring you all up to date about what I have been up to within Staples and Vine and what my next step is.


Hopefully you will enjoy my latest film, I am improving  – I think!?

June 22nd 2018

Aircraft film number three is now live. I am trying to make the films as interesting as possible, telling as much of the story around the aircraft as I can. As you can see they do take a lot of time and effort but I am learning a lot of new techniques and shall soon be posting vlogs of progress on other projects.

Next week I plan to release another aircraft film and then I am onto some physical work!

June 15th 2018

Film number two has just gone live. I am slowly learning new skills and techniques, and hopefully improving. I have chosen the Fairey Battle as it played a significant role in the early stages of the Second World War. If nothing else it showed how not to design an aircraft, although the responsibility should lay with the Air Ministry of the day. As before clicking on the link below will take you to the film on Youtube.

I hope you enjoy the film and please share it with you friends, as I am trying to get 100 subscribers so that I can get a URL. This will make promoting the channel a  lot easier.  Many thanks Sera.

June 11th 2018,,

I have just uploaded my first aircraft film to Youtube. Please watch it and leave give me your comments so that I can create something you can enjoy. I am trying to get 100 subscribers so that I can get a channel URL. This will make publicising the channel a lot easier. This is my first ‘proper’ film and has been a very steep learning curve. I have a lot to learn and I am determined to improve. I have set up a playlist for ‘PEWTER AIRCRAFT’ where all the aircraft films can be found. Just click on the image below and it will take you to the film. I will be adding a link to the film on the Hurricane Prototype page as well.

I am currently working on more films and which I plan to release next week. People on Youtube make it all look so easy, but there really is a lot of work that goes into that brief six minutes and fifty seven seconds.

June 10th 2018

Time for celebration – my new PC has landed. As you can see I have gone for the Staples and Vine red/ black scheme. The case is a Kolink ‘Aviator’,so the choice was a no brainer. It is really fast, so far I have just installed my software and transferred my data. I am amazed how well it handles my 3D design software, this will be a big help in the future. I have experimented with some video editing, and it handles that without breaking a sweat.

While waiting for the new PC, I designed some company stickers on my old PC for some RnR. These 60mm discs I have had printed on high quality chrome vinyl and I am thrilled with the result. This was really a trial as I intend to get some labels printed for our boxes. We used to print our own but the software we used became obsolete and other priorities took over. There are a lot of improvements I need to make to Staples and Vine, these are being addressed as I rebuild. I plan to get onto the workshop soon and document it on Youtube, so why not subscribe to my channel and you can get notifications of my progress. Link HERE

May 31st 2018

More progress this week the new PC has been ordered and should keep me out of trouble for a few more years. It will be very fast because it is a red one, and has lights in it!!! The repaired PC now has Corel Draw X8 installed, and I am gradually adjusting to the new spec reasonably well, while I await the new machine. The new machine will have a 2TB backup drive built in with auto backup, so I shouldn’t loose any data. To cheer myself up from PC withdrawll I bought myself a couple of long promised books.

I am a big Horten & Maus fan and I am so pleased with these two books. The Horten books has the Arthur Bentley drawings and lots of photos. If you like this subject this is THE book. The Maus book was a bit of a gamble, as so little is available on this tank, but I am amazed at this book. So many previously unseen photos, and lots of drawings to accompany the text. This book has it all. I am so pleased with my purchases – excellent bedtime reading.
I now have to wait until Tuesday to get my new PC, then install all my software which is never fun. It has been a frustrating couple of weeks, as I have been champing at the bit to get on with projects. I have had to find other tasks to do, so I have made progress elsewhere, which is good in the long-run.

May 25th 2018

Well this week has been fun and games! Video camera work is making progress and I was learning Adobe Premiere (video editing software) until my hard drive failed. Fortunately there is a good PC repair shop in town so I dropped it off on Monday. As my laptop was ok I could still manage to do some work on that although all my graphics programs are on the other machine. Today I got my PC back (upgraded to windows 10) and managed to back up the few files that I hadn’t pre-disc failure. Next stage to re install the design software. Slight problem my version of Corel Draw doesn’t work with windows 10. So I have just purchased Corel Draw X8. Fortunately it looks like my Adobe software will be compatible. I have decided to bite the bullet and go for a new PC and use the repaired machine as a backup so that I don’t get stuck again. I can handle the cost, I just get so frustrated about the lost time, there is so much I want to do. I guess we have all become more and more dependent on technology over the years. I am really looking forward getting my hands dirty and sculpting something new. At least Milliput and files don’t need upgrades. On the plus side it looks like I’m ok for GDPR. There is now a privacy statement in the ‘ABOUT SV’ section. I took myself off to see ‘Deadpool 2’ yesterday and had a great time. I’m now recharged and inspired to take life by the scruff of the neck, and make things happen again. Have a great weekend everyone.

May 17th 2018

I have just uploaded my first youtube video. It is an introduction to the channel, please subscribe, like and, comment if you wish. It helps me a lot with listings and allows me to grow the channel. I have also added a youtube link button at the bottom of the page which will take you straight to the channel. I will be adding more videos soon. Videos won’t be posted on this site but I will post a link and thumbnail as below. Just click on the image below which will take you to the video on the Youtube channel.

May 16th 2018

As you may be aware there has been a lot going on about personal data protection recently and new legislation is about to come into effect from the 25th of May (GDPR). At Staples and Vine we have always made every effort to protect our customers information and never shared any with any third parties. This is something I will continue to rigorously uphold. I will be sending out an email to existing customers asking if you wish to continue to receive our newsletter. We have traditionally sent out our newsletter when there is a new release or important information to communicate. I know how annoying lots of sales emails can be! You will I hope notice I have added an email newsletter sign up form at the bottom of the page where you can subscribe at any time. A duplicate is here below.

That’s the boring (but important) stuff taken care of now onto some good news. I am just about to start a new big project that I have been wanting to get going for years. There will be blog updates but to find out more why not subscribe to the newsletter.

May 7th 2018

Good news today! My arm is a lot better. I have made good use of my RnR by merging the pewteraircraft and pewtertanks websites into the Staples and Vine site. This has been a big project as there were over 300 pages to recreate. The site navigation on the Staples and Vine site will make it a lot easier to find what you are looking for. Under the home section you will see a quick link to the latest releases, and next to that my blog for all the latest news.
In other news. I have been masterplanning the new workshop ready to extract everything from storage. I have some admin to catch up on and I have at least one major project to get up and running.
Thanks for checking in… Sera.

April 24th 2018

Lots of news! Winston and I are staying with my parents who have kindly offered to let me run Staples and Vine from their home. Winston is very pleased as he is being treated like royalty. Dad has Alzheimer’s so at least being here I can help mum, and keep an eye on dad. Broadband speed is very good here which makes a huge difference. So far I have got a working office just about up and running and have started to plan the main workspace. Everything is still in store so production is still a way off. Unfortunately about a week ago I badly tore the muscles in my left arm so lifting is out of the question for a while. I am not taking it too easy though as I am still working hard on the computer.
As you know we have multiple websites which has it’s advantages and disadvantages. I have decided to integrate the pewteraircraft and pewtertanks website into the Staples and Vine website. No information will be lost, in fact I should be able to create a more user friendly site. I am well advanced with this major project but there still is much to do. I have also invested in a 28 inch 4K monitor which makes computer work so much easier (shame my graphics card won’t output 4K). I will invest in a new PC next year. The text is so much clearer I am noticing embarrassing spelling mistakes in my blog posts – hopefully that will be a thing of the past. The pewteraircraft and pewtertanks websites will be up for another year eventually with an automatic redirect to Staples and Vine.
Thanks to everyone for your support and patience, more news soon.

April 12th 2018

Hello everyone sorry for the ‘radio silence’ but as you can imagine I have had my hands full. I have now moved out of the old house and I am planning where and how to resume production. There is a chink of light at the end of the tunnel. I just wish I could get to the end a bit quicker as I am desperate to get back into the swing of things. I am sorry if the blog is a bit ‘off topic’ but I thought you would appreciate me keeping you up to speed with developments. Hopefully some good news soon.

February 23rd 2018

I am sure many of you are asking questions regarding my last post. Sadly my husband and partner, Tim Staples, passed away on the 12th of February after a long battle with prostate cancer. We started Diverse Images together more than 20 years ago and have come a long way together. I have been overwhelmed with the cards, thoughts, help, and best wishes from everyone. I knew our customers were great people, but I just wanted to say thank you all so much, your support has been touching.
I am now clearing and packing, to get ready for the big move, and should be here until the end of March. After March 31st the best way of contacting me is by email at sera@staplesandvine.com Please keep checking in on the blog as I will be posting news about projects I am working on behind the hangar doors.
Thank you all. Sera

February 14th 2018

IMPORTANT NEWS PLEASE READ

Due to a change in personal circumstances I will no longer be able to produce new orders for merchandise, aircraft or tank models with immediate effect. This is only a temporary situation and I fully intend to resume production later this year. In the meantime I shall be relocating to new premises and working on developing new projects. I will keep you all updated with regular blog and social media posts so please keep checking in to find out what I am up to. You are welcome to contact me by phone or email at sera@staplesandvine.com The hanger doors may have closed but plenty is going on inside and they shall open again.

January 30th 2018

Our Malta Spitfire Mk VB is now in full production and you can find out more about it and the exploits of George Beurling by clicking on the image below.

This was an interesting project and I learnt a lot. Now I have to get on with production and casting as we have lots of orders to fulfil before I can get cracking on the new Sherman M4A3E2 ‘First in Bastogne’. but more on that later.

January 28th 2018

Ok! – here’s a heads up on what’s going on. The Spitfire Mk VB trop is finished and I am photographing it tomorrow. This is after a lot of detective work regarding the camouflage and markings. The defence of Malta was a desperate period and aircraft kept in the air at all costs to protect the island so schemes did vary – a lot. However aircraft fresh from England we can be pretty sure about. Back on November 10th 2017 I posted a profile of the Beurling Spitfire Mk VB based on research information and widely reproduced profiles. At the time I was a little suspicious of the scheme but decided to revisit it when I was producing the sample. A good thing I did as my profile drawing was wrong. Let me explain, the Spitfire VB tropical scheme is Dark Earth and Mid Stone over Azure Blue. What many people assume is that looking at a classic Spitfire Mk I (see illustration below) the darker colour (the green) should be the darker colour on the tropical Spitfire. This is incorrect (see second illustration). In fact basing the scheme on a Spitfire Mk I the Dark Earth should remain and the Green replaced by the Mid Stone (see final illustration). I have changed the spinner and code colours as well.

Here you can see what I mean with this factory fresh Spitfire Mk VB in Dark Earth and Mid Stone. Indeed the more I look the more I see this scheme on period Spitfire Mk VB photos and the incorrect scheme on other models.

So there is a lesson to us all – ‘measure twice cut once’. I should be posting photos of the now completed Spitfire Mk VB tomorrow.

January 19th 2018

Sculpting the new Spitfire Mk VB is going well. The majority of the work is going into the wing as the fuselage will be modified from the existing Mk I. Chasing down all the fuselage differences has been fun but the wing is all new. The photos below show the finished wing with cannon and radiators. Also in the shot is part of the raw casting from the silicone mould so you can see how much filing has taken place.

The cannon masters in the wing were turned up by hand in my trusty ‘Dremel’. That was fun and they came out really well. The greenish grey parts are Milliput details added to recreate the various blisters for the 20mm cannon.

Whilst thumbing through an old volume of ‘Aircraft of the Fighting Powers’ I found this advert for Folland which mentions Gerorge Beurling shooting down the 1000th enemy aircraft in the defence of Malta. I thought you might like to see it as it ties in nicely with our next aircraft release – the 1/48 scale Gladiator.

January 12th 2018

The tail end of last years orders are now away and I am fully committed to the Spitfire Mk VB. This should be fairly quick to get into production as I can utilise many parts from our Mk I and Mk IXC. I will of course be sculpting a new wing, various detailed parts and two new figures. The figures will be George Beurling (pilot) and an officer. You can see the completed Milliput masters below and mid way through mouldmaking.

While the silicone is curing (12 hours per side) I have cast a new blank wing for the VB. This is cast from a large silicone mould held together in a vice with clamps while the molten pewter is poured. This is quite a good reliable mould, some moulds leak molten pewter (280 degrees C) which can be a little alarming.

Once the pewter has cooled the casting is removed from the mould. I usually take two or three castings and choose the best for the master. You can see the casting in situ here, the ‘head’ of metal in the mould provides pressure to force the molten pewter into the mould.

I have just poured the second half of the figure and parts moulds. These will be cast on Monday but in the meantime I shall be working on the wing – time to bring out the big files. Have a good weekend everyone.

January 1st 2018

Happy New Year to one and all! I have a lot planned for this year and have spent a lot of the Christmas break on my PC designing new projects for 3D printing. Our regular customers will have already had a heads up on the Gladiator we plan to release this year. Progress is good with all the files loaded on the 3D printer I hope to have the printing finished in the next 10 days. Here is a render of the 3D computer model to whet your appetite.

Of course being 1/48 scale I have been able to go to town on the Bristol Mercury engine so here is a rendered image of that too. The finished engine has a diameter of about 1 inch (25 mm) so should look very impressive.

I have been working on several other projects as well and here is a teaser image of one of them. This is a screen shot of a project I have completed the 3D modelling for and now have to 3D print.

This year we plan to build on the tremendous success of our Tiger I and not only follow up with the M4A3E2 Sherman Jumbo but release at least one more tank as we want to build the range as quickly as possible. The tank following the Sherman has already been modelled on my PC and just needs breaking down to its component parts for 3D printing. Here is a teaser image for you to try and identify what tank it is.