The Last Dogfight

A group of mates has, periodically over the last few decades, gotten together in a smoke-filled room to play a board game. Not any old game, but “Dogfight” – a dice-based, card controlled WW1 battle of the airspace over Europe.

Although most of the players were well passed their fifties, we squabbled like little kids, goaded each other fearlessly, preened and peacocked at our prowess and got nit-picky about the many nuances of rule variations hard won.

dogfight battle - endgame

It was honestly some of the best fun to be had, and the chaps were good sports, one and all. In January, one of our quartet passed away. “Dr Winston O’Boogie” (Michael) flew off into the sunset for the last time to great fanfare.

A quintuple ace in training

We have met since, dragging a young buck into the fold, and played until Michael’s house (the home of our epic aerial battles) was finally sold.

Tonight is our last hurrah!

Marc Kirshembaum's Biplane and Eduardo Clement's Avioneta

I have struggled to find a suitable way to celebrate such a wonderful partnership, but turned to Origami, as is my want. I wanted to fold BIPLANES for the original pilots, and a smaller plane for the new recruit, and have really struggled with these models. The Biplanes are designed by Marc Kirschenbaum. I wanted to fold them smaller but failed many times, only being able to manage them from 60cm squares (and not very tidily sadly) – red, naturally in honour of Von Richtoffen (or Snoopy, take your pick).

The smaller plane is “Avioneta” designed by Eduardo Clemente – a charming little fokker.

I hope the guys like them. I remain forever grateful for the opportunity to act like little kids when surrounded by the wonder and majesty of imagination, fun and friendship. Chocks away Chuck, fly true one and all.

1052: Theremin

I am a firm believer that people learn something important when they try to do something they are not good at. I have recently bought a Theremin, and I want to pretend that I am anything but not good at playing it, but, like, it is hard to master:

Origami Theremin

I noticed that a Theremin has a distinctive shape: an upright antenna that you use to control pitch (the high-lowness of a note), and a horizontal antenna loop you use to control volume. To my (not so great) surprise, I discovered that no one had yet done an origami model for this thing, so set about having a go.

I started with the fish base, long flap for the pitch antenna, long flap for the stand, then 2 shorter flaps become the volume loop. Some accordion pleating and the basic morphology is there. You can (I hope) see the development in the sequence below:

It is a start, I might try to refine it (add knobs, refine the antennae, etc). Happy with v1.

1050: Kunsulu’s Music Stand

When I saw the folded form I thought there must be some trickery here:

Kunsulu's Music Stand

All I had access to is the crease pattern (CP) for this model, and, given I am trying to develop my CP solving skills I thought it fair game to give it a try.

Kunsulu's music stand development

Based on a 16×16 grid, some strategic box pleating and an ingenious colour change we have a classic music stand, 3 shapely legs and a piece of sheet music that is a different colour to the stand – magic.

Kunsulu's music stand views

I like this model a lot – it just sort of coalesced in to a successful model for me, although the first fold was on paper that was same both sides but I could see the potential for colour change and had to fold it in duo paper,

1045: Miyuki Kawamura’s “Gear Cube”

On a high from a folding session taught by Sipho Mabona, I wandered virtually out into the virtual conference meeting rooms and sat in on a modular folding session, where I was taught the modules for a “Gear Cube” – 6 modules that make an intriguing structure:

Miyuki Kawamura's Gear Cube

This is designed by Miyuki Kawamura, and I came in half way through an informal folding session, but picked it up fairly quickly.

I will probably fold this again, with bi-colour paper (all the same however) as I suspect the “gear” mechanism might look more interesting if they are all the same colour.

Apparently spontaneous folding sessions are a feature of Origami conferences – I have never been to one so I was delighted that people shared skills at all hours of the day and night – the Zoom/chatroom combination facilitated by “Gathertown” was fabulous.

1044: Geisha

I attended the 2021 April OUSA Foldfest – a 25 hour online marathon of folding tutorials, lectures and virtual meet nd greet:

Sipho Mabona's Geisha

One of 2 deciding reasons to attend was the opportunity to be taught a model by Sipho Mabona – his “Geisha”.

At 3am, I awoke, made tea, cut some paper ready for the workshop (international time is cruel), and, thankfully followed alone a complex but beautiful sequence.

By pure coincidence, my paper looked like Sipho’s, and my final model is really close (amazing for a first fold, testament to the sequence and expert tutelage).

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