Paris International Model Exhibition, Easter 2008 - Roger in France.



St. Nazaire:
Given time off for good behaviour ( !!!! ) I took myself off to visit St. Nazaire for the day. It is about one and a half hours north of where I live. To this day the Nazi submarine pens are sombre and intimidating but are currently being put to better and happier uses. I presume they are just too strong to be readily demolished. I have also included some detailed shots of the tug “Croisic” which was conveniently moored in the inner harbour. She is owned by the towing Company “Bourbon”, is 30.3m in length, has a bollard pull of 53t, a maximum speed of 12 knots, has 2 Schottel drives and bow thrusters. “Croisic” is a fishing port on the Brittany coast. There was nobody about and so I could not ask for more information or a visit aboard.

The internal visit to the French submarine “L’ Espadon” (“Swordfish”) was very interesting but, unfortunately, photography was prohibited (I did, naughtily, take one!). She looked sad from outside the hull with many buckled plates and floating in a dark (former Nazi) submarine pen with filthy water and a lot of debris. She never saw hostile action but was the first French submarine to surface through the ice at the North Pole. The visit was well organised with a portable commentary (select your own language) which one operated at the appropriate point. Particularly fascinating audio extracts were the sounds of the hull creaking under pressure; ships passing close by; whales and other sea creatures close at hand.

The two memorials on the beach front caused me to stop and remember, with gratitude.

Hope Mayhem Members enjoy the photographs.
                                                                          Roger in France.


Paris Show:
It was the second year the Show took place at the purpose built Le Bourget Exhibition Park. I resolved not to go again this year as last year at that site the show was poorly supported. It is also a difficult site to travel to from the centre of Paris. However this year it was much better. This is a very large show covering many aspects of modelling but dominated by railways and aircraft. I have concentrated on the boats.

There were many traders present but Graupner had the largest stand and the biggest display adjacent to the pool. I am afraid that the photographs of the new RTR’s “Alexander von Humboldt” (with beautiful green sails) and an air boat had to be taken through the glass of the display case (despite my “Mayhem Press badge!).

I guess for me the highlight of the show was to see the vast model of the yacht “Endeavour” sail with great majesty across the pool. I must also admit that the indoor flying to music (both fixed wing and helicopter) was spectacular. How they do it I shall never know. The fixed wing aircraft even hovered on its tail and was picked out of the air by the pilot at the end of his demonstration.

The exterior shots of the sand yachts have a fascinating background of the adjacent Space Museum.

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