The Foxer

A typical morning in the Flare Path office: Roman arrives an hour late, sopping wet and without his Welbike. When I ask him if he’s OK, he shrugs and asks if I’ve seen the grapnel. Uncle George turns up at 11 pushing a wheelbarrow full of broken biscuits. Irina goes out to the local secondhand bookshop to search for volumes on the Fw 200 Condor and returns just before lunch with the news that we now own the local secondhand bookshop.

The answers to last week’s ‘locations that feature in movie titles’ geofoxer

a Central Station, Rio de Janeiro (phlebas)
b Tiffany & Co, New York (Little_Crow)
c Sunset Boulevard (Stugle)
d 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Stugle)
e Tiger Bay (Artiforg)
f Waterloo Bridge (Artiforg)
g Gorky Park (AFKAMC)
h Mulholland Drive (Stugle)
Pearl Harbor (Stugle, Arglebarf)
j Pelham station (Little_Crow)

* * * * *

Foxer Fact #890

The presence of what appears to be a Blackburn Buccaneer, an MG 13, and a Pilatus Railway railcar in the background of van Dyck’s ‘Henrietta Maria and the Dwarf, Sir Nicholas Digby’ (1631) has provoked intense debate ever since conservator Barbara Huber noticed the details while restoring the painting in 1969. Some believe the elements are incontrovertible evidence of time travel; others think they simply show van Dyck wasn’t very good at painting trees.


  1. Artiforg says:

    That would be Peter Wyngarde as Jason King in the middle there.

    • AFKAMC says:

      Random Peter Wyngarde factoid: interned by the Japanese during WW2, in the same camp as JG Ballard (“Empire of the Sun”).

  2. Stugle says:

    The box cover in the top right corner has a partial ‘Rev. W. Awdry’ on it, suggesting it has something to do with Thomas the Tank Engine.

    • Little_Crow says:

      Google images suggests the specific story is Stepney The “Bluebell” engine

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      phuzz says:

      Indeed, you can just see the Fat Controller and some tracks.
      According to wikipedia, Pierce Brosnan voiced him at one point!

  3. Stugle says:

    Is it Greta Garbo besides him?

  4. Matchstick says:

    Disk on the right is a North British Locomotive Company Maker’s Plate

    • Little_Crow says:

      Struggling to find any concrete details further than that.

      After a lot of googling, I suspect it was sold as a New Zealand Rail J Class, but couldn’t find anything more specific.

    • Little_Crow says:

      More googling suggests it was likely produced for the war effort. The British Locomotive DB narrows it down to either a Stanier 8F or WD Austerity 2-8-0

  5. Stugle says:

    The submachine gun is a Sterling.

    • unacom says:

      I don´t know much about submachineguns, but the Sterling doesn´t seem to have a flash-suppressor. This gun also features a (I assume) gas-tube under the barrel -which the Sterling does not have.

  6. Cooper says:

    The blue helmet that appears multiple times is an old fire helmet.

    Specifically, I think, the Merryweather helmet:
    link to

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      phuzz says:

      Yep, I think you have it. The style seems to have been reproduced all over the place though.

      • Cooper says:

        Yep, it s a Victorian British design, but also gets used in Australia at a similar time it seems, and also seems to be (mis?)identified as also being used in France…

  7. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    The blue hats look to be fireman’s helmets. Still trying to pin down a specific one.

  8. Matchstick says:

    Are we sure the SMG is a sterling as I can’t find any pictures of one that show what looks like a gas tube running underneath the barrel ?

    • Stugle says:

      I’m not sure – the barrel and the magazine look good, but the Sterling seems to have a round… erm, whatever the part is called that’s behind the barrel. And this gun’s is square. Also not sure that the stock is right.

    • Cooper says:

      It’s not a sterling, it’s a Japanese model, the 100. Lookign for a good image, give me a mo…

      • Cooper says:

        The 100 comes in different versions, some with and some without the cylinder below the barrels. Some of the only photos of actual 100s can be found on the wikipedia page, though these alck the cylinder.

        Many models / replicas of the 100 show the cylinder though. Below is a link to a collection of some of the better photos (mostly of replicas I think):
        link to

        The specific version in the Foxer is, I think, a model, not an original, the end of the barrel looks different to the originals I can find photos of. Here’s the replica model I think it is:
        link to

        From this page (2nd entry):
        link to

      • Cooper says:

        Also, what gives it away, is the wooden stock: Definitely not a Sterling.

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    phuzz says:

    The aircraft on the right is an early model Heinkel HE 111B-2.
    The famous glass dome cockpit wasn’t introduced until the 111P.
    (Nice work Roman, that unusual nose had me searching for ages!)

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      phuzz says:

      Ok, I’m not sure if it’s a B-1, 2 or 3, but the engine exhausts point to it definitely being a B.

    • Stugle says:

      The He-111 was described as a wolf in sheep’s clothes, since it was ostensibly developed as an airliner, while its true purpose was to be a bomber from the get-go (I’m hoping throwing out random factoids might lead to the emergence of a Foxer theme).

      • AFKAMC says:

        Random He111 factoid no. 2: known as “Pedro” in Spanish Civil War service.

        (AFKAMC reporting for de-foxing duty from sunny Spain, where it’s 30 degrees C, and the internet is crap.)

  10. Stugle says:

    The bomber right is an early Heinkel He-111, I think.

  11. Arioch_RN says:

    Looks like a Scots Guards cap badge lurking behind the (Jason) King & (ice) Queen, rotated 90deg clockwise:
    link to

  12. Stugle says:

    Any thoughts on the boat in the upper left? Or should we be focusing on the mooring line?

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      phuzz says:

      It looks like a canoe, pretty standard, I don’t see anything specific about it. I think that style is a North American design (from before the white folks stole the place).
      The rope at the front is called a painter, I have no idea if that helps (and technically, because it’s on a boat it’s called a line, not a rope).

  13. Lazzars says:

    Is that the target logo in the background?

  14. Little_Crow says:

    It doesn’t bear to much examination, but a lot of these things are of ‘dual heritage’.

    Peter Wyngarde is French-English

    • Little_Crow says:

      dang it,
      Peter Wyngarde is French-English
      Marlene Dietrich is German American
      The Type 100 is a Japanese take on the MP 18
      North British Locomotive was born from 3 companies – 1 of which run by a German
      The Merryweather Helmet is from a French design

  15. Tim Stone says:

    This foxer is still very much at large.

    Roman recommends reexamination of ‘Marlene Dietrich’.

  16. AFKAMC says:

    I’m pondering whether or not the link might be the Siege of Sidney Street (January 1911) AKA the Battle of Stepney. The Scots Guards were drafted in to aid the police, and the event was captured on film by Pathe News. One of the culprits was Peter the Painter; Pedro = Peter. No idea at the moment where Marlene fits in, though, or any of the other clues.

    • AFKAMC says:

      I see Wyngarde was in the movie “The Siege of Sidney Street”.

    • Arioch_RN says:

      The siege took place at 100 Sidney Street, the “target” symbol is from the Latvian air force (the siege was of two Latvians), the MFB put the fire out whilst wearing their shiny helmets. Still looking for a link to the NBLC maker’s plate and our smiling lady.

      Applause for AFKAMC methinks!