Last year I spoke about an annual modelling show that my family and I attend in Kent; Euro Militaire. I also mentioned I’d been going more or less every year since I was 6 or 7… but I’ve actually be going since I was 5, as my mum corrected me throughout the weekend. She also reminded me that the first time I came here I was carrying around a Gizmo cuddly toy (from Gremlins).

Dad is working hard on a steam punk tank to enter into the show and had hoped to have it ready for next year’s competition (2017), but unfortunately it doesn’t look like it will be ready until the following year due to the amount of work content involved and the intricate details.

The model is a steam powered tank based on an MKIV and designed as if it was a working tank in the Victorian era. I really like the concept and look forward to seeing it completed; below are a few in progress photos of the bottom of the vehicle. It is scratch built with some components turned on his lathe.

This year’s competition entries were lower than previous years but the standard has gone up and my dad has serious competition in the fantasy scratch build class (like the model below).

There were also new classes introduced this year for maritime and aviation.

The show was down on traders this year too, in my opinion, but there were some familiar faces back this year that hadn’t attended last year. The traders offer a wide range of products across the hobby such as kits, paints, bases, glues, work bench equipment etc.

There was no raffle this year, that I saw, but there was an auction raising money for The British Legion. There were less military displays too but there were some modelling clubs in attendance who brought their models (not for the competition) for you to have a look at.

Here are a few of my favourites (from the competition room) – click on each to see the full size image.



The ‘Best in Show’ winner

Besides the model show we also met up with some familiar faces and a family friend who we met at our first show. I did a bit of retail therapy and we took a walk down the old high street to the harbour to see how it had changed (there was some development work going on last year).

We took a ride in the Leas Cliff Lift from the harbour and sea front back up to the hall.

The information centre & tracks going up the hill

The Leas Cliff Lift opened in 1885 and is a means to transport the public up and down the cliff. The cart at the bottom of the track fills with water white the cart at top empties its tank; the weight of the two carts cause the heavier cart to be lifted up the cliff.

View from the bottom cart

The weather wasn’t great on Saturday  – rainy and a bit chilly – but was lovely and sunny on Sunday. Funnily, this is the first time I can recall it raining at the show, usually it’s dry but still chilly. I’m glad I packed my coat and boots!

View of The Channel


My mum’s birthday was this week and we went out for a birthday meal on Thursday to celebrate, I asked the pub ahead of time if I could bring a cake which they agreed to. My mum loves Caramac bars so I decided to make her a vanilla and chocolate swirl cake with Caramac decorations.

The most challenging part of this cake was finding a lot of Caramac at a reasonable price, with supermarkets wanting £1.50 per bar and shops online catering more to wholesale (I didn’t need 25 or 50 bars of Caramac!). I eventually found the bars at 3 for £1 in our local pound shop. 🙂

The meal was lovely! They were holding a grill and steak night, I had roast garlic chicken breast with peppercorn sauce and chips. There was also garlic bread and salad to share as sides. My mum had cumberland sausage (pictured below) and dad had a steak. My sister and her friend came to the meal and Ryan joined us all later after work. It was a really good evening. 🙂

For the cake, I used the same recipe as the Star Trek cake I made for my dad’s birthday in July, you can find it below. Along with how I decorated the cake.

You will need

For the cake:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 20 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon water
  • 35g coca powder

For the frosting:

  • 2 cup unsalted butter, softened (but not melted)
  • 5 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons water

To decorate:

  • Caramac bars
  • Salted caramel


For the cake:

Preheat your oven to 180ºC

Combine together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Add the butter and beat until creamy and smooth.

Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and water until smooth and creamy.

Remove 8 tbsp of the mixture and place in a smaller bowl and set aside.

Pour the cake batter into your cake pan.

Combine the coca powder with the mixture you set aside and stir well. Then spoon this into the mixture in the tin and using a rounded knife, gently swirl through.

Note: You can also swirl it in the bowl itself but you’ll also need to re-swirl once it’s in the cake pan.

Bake until the cake is lightly golden and slightly firm, for about 30-40 minutes.
Leave to cool then transfer to a wire rack.

For the frosting:

Cream the butter until creamy.

Add the confectioners (powdered) sugar into the mixing bowl and stir well.

Frost the cake (I used a pallet knife) and smooth over it. I used two coats.

Cut up the Caramac bars and place around the edge of the cake, I used 28 in total.

I had thought to melt up the remaining Caramac bars and use that for the drizzle, however after speaking with Ryan agreed with him that this may have been too overpowering. So we used salted caramel and broken pieces of Caramac and grated Caramac on top, afterwards we decided to melt up some of the Caramac and had a little Caramac drizzle too.


Mum really liked it.

On Saturday we should be out for more celebrating as most of us were at work on the Thursday. 🙂


Drive-in or outdoor movie screenings aren’t common in the UK, I wish they were! I have never been to one (well, until now that is). I’ve only heard of one company that offers outdoor movie screenings and that’s
Lunar Cinema.

Lunar Cinema
screen movies across the UK using pop up cinemas, so they’re not solely in one location and this weekend they were showing two movies near us. Grease on Saturday evening and Back to the Future on Sunday evening.

Ryan and I are fans of Back to the Future so booked tickets as soon as they were available online for the outdoor screening. There’s also the opportunity to buy blankets and back rests as well as pre order food and drink online but they also encourage you to bring your own blankets or picnic chairs to sit on and you can bring your own food and drink (all drinks must be consumed in plastic cups for health and safety reasons). We decided to bring our own and packed a picnic for the evening.

As well as a picnic we packed a couple of lidded cinema cups, blankets, picnic chairs and my penguin print power bank (portable electronic charger).

While waiting for movie to start the organisers had a game of “pass the parcel”, where we chucked around two large plus doughnuts around to music and when the music stopped the person or people holding the doughnuts won a prize. I managed to catch one when music stopped and won some fudge. 🙂

There was also a Twitter selfie competition to win V.I.P. seating on a bed with a free mini bar! We didn’t win which was just as well as the bed looked too comfy we may have fallen asleep in it! Lol.

The whole experience was great, we loved the atmosphere and watching a film under the stars and will definitely be looking at going to another Luna Cinema screening in the future. We had a lot of fun at this one.

I’m hoping they do a screening of Grease neare us again as some of us were singing along to Johnny be good at the Back to the Future screening, so a Grease sing-a-long would be great. Or I’d love to see Jurassic Park.

Next time we’re packing hats, gloves and a blanket for the ground as our feet began to get damp from the dew on the grass, just in case. I’ll probably also pack a Summer scarf.