I just got an invitation through the mails:
"Your presence requested this evening,
It's formal, a top hat, a white tie and tails."
Nothing now could take the wind out of my sails.
Because I'm invited to step out this evening
With top hat and white tie and tails.
I'm putting on my top hat, Tying up my white tie, Brushing off my tails.
I'm duding up my shirtfront, Putting in the shirt studs, Polishing my nails,
I'm stepping out, my dear,
To breathe an atmosphere
That simply reeks with class;
And I trust that you'll excuse my dust
When I step on the gas,
For I'll be there,
Putting down my top hat, Mussing up my white tie, Dancing in my tails.
In the 1930s Fred Astaire was the Hollywood male epitome of grace and elegance. In movies he would be dressed in his tuxedo and singing Top Hat, White Tie and Tails or Putting on the Ritz, both written by Irving Berlin. It was pure escapism for most theater patrons and that time of the Great Depression, as such finery was well beyond their means. However, for the upper class to dress to perfection was expected, if they intended to drop in to a club of the highest stature. Every major city of the world had a street upon which the most fashionable clubs were found. In New York City it might be Park Avenue, in Paris the Champs díElysťes or in Berlin Unter der Linden.
Another phrase signifying an individual dressed to perfection is, Dressed to the Nines. Its origin is rather murky and first appeared in print in 1793 in the poetry of Robert Burns. One theory as to its origin states that as the highest single digit number and as such equates to the highest level of perfection. There were shops that catered to the highest rung of society in the production of the requisite finery. In London they may be found on Saville Row, where the most exclusive clothiers for the English nobility or landed gentry could be found. In the present day world of scale warship finery, the Saville Row equivalent is Preening Peter Hall, gentlemenís clothier of scale warships. Whatever your model, if it is a warship, odds are that Preening Peter has the metal finery that will Dress it to the Nines. One of the most elegant examples of his craft is brass photo-etch set for the 1:350 scale Bismarck. Unlike movie patrons of the 1930s, who could not afford to emulate the glittering grace of Mr. Astaire, modelerís of today do have access to finest accoutrements in scale finery.
It is all over cyber space! Trumpeter is releasing a 1:350 scale HMS Hood. As modelers eagerly wait for this release, Mad Pete is busily preparing Top Hat, White Tie and Tails for that symbol of the might of the Royal Navy. Well, what about the other bookend, the 1:350 scale Tamiya Bismarck. In an ironic reversal of history, your Tamiya Bismarck might be 20 years older than a new Trumpeter Hood but there certainly is no reason to hide your head in shame, for the gentlemenís warship clothier has already prepared finery of the utmost elegance for the Bismarck. White Ensign Models 1:350 scale Bismarck brass photo-etch set WEM 3529, is a new standard in magnificent detail. Two large frets come with set and each one is crammed with detailed relief-etched parts to outfit your Bismarck as if it was just through trials in the Baltic and fresh for a sortie into the Atlantic.
There are also a wide variety of platforms and associated gear found in Frets A and B, which will add great variety to the model. These include: Barbette Vent Platforms, Aft Searchlight Platform Decking, Searchlight Platform Supports, Fore Top Searchlight Platform, Funnel Searchlight Platforms, Maneuvering Platforms & Supports, Admiralís Flying Bridge Extension Platforms, Admiralís Bridge Roof Side Platforms, Admiralís Bridge Roof Front Platform, Kartoffelraum Deck Railings & Platforms and more. The Arado 196 floatplanes get a substantial dash of detail with pontoon supports, propellers, rear seat machine guns and more. There are a huge quantity of relief-etched doors, hatches and portholes of every description and purpose. Normally these are rather humble items but WEM makes them drop-dead knockouts. There are innumerable individual portholes, each of which has an eyebrow and open hinged cover in different styles, swinging to the side or to the bottom. These alone provide unparalleled detail but there is so much more. There are double doors in different styles, single doors in different styles, single doors with open portholes, rectangular windows with frame and relief-etched cover swung to an open position to the side or bottom. The turrets both main and secondary are not forgotten. Main gun turrets have face windows and the secondary turrets get face windows and sight arm windows. There is extra detail for the 105mm heavy AA mounts. Ultra thin solid bulkheads are provided for some positions and handrails provided for other solid bulkheads. Cable/hose reels come in three different styles and sizes. There are lens fittings for open searchlights. Masts are fully adorned with various yardarms and fittings.
Ladders are in abundance with inclined ladders in short and long lengths, each of which has perforated side runners and individual foot treads to be bent parallel to the deck. Three long runs of vertical ladder give you all you need in that department. About 40-45% of Fret A is in the form of railing and handrails. Each length runs 10 Ĺ -inches a provides all the railing you will need and more. There are eight runs of three-bar rail, four runs of three-bar rail with angle stanchions, two runs of two-bar rail with wide spaced stanchions, one run of two-bar rail with narrow spaced stanchions, two runs of half-height railing for low solid shielding and six runs of hand rails in two different styles.
|Have you seen the
well-to-do up and down Park Avenue?
On that famous thoroughfare with their noses in the air,
High hats and Arrow collars, white spats and lots of dollars.
Spending every dime for a wonderful time.
If you're blue and you don't know where to go to.
Why don't you go where fashion sits?
Putting on the Ritz.
Different types who wear a day coat, pants with
Come let's mix where Rockefellers walk with sticks,