Thursday, 31 December 2009

AVATAR

Last night my brother-in-law (Mike) and I went to see Avatar at the local cinema in Huntingdon. I'm useless at writing reviews, so I don't intended to try here, suffice to say, for anyone interested in sci-fi this is a must see movie on the biggest screen you can find !! Totally awesome, with a richness of sci-fi hardware on show to impress even Alien 2 fans. We both gave it a rating of 9.0 out of 10.
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Sunday, 27 December 2009

12 Days of Christmas, Irish Style, Frank Kelly

Curently staying with the out-laws over X-mas. My brother-in-law 'Mike' pointed me in the direction of this festive clip on U-tube.
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Thursday, 24 December 2009

Christmas Eve

Very little figure activity going on in the house at the moment, although Alex and I have have been playing lots of Company Of Heroes and Dawn Of War on the PC. I saw a posting on the TMP today about The Scene withdawing his range of 15mm Orcs soon, so I thought I'd get 30+ before they are gone forever. In the post came a 3 tank plattoon of Critical Mass tanks, but I've put them aside to open tommorrow.
In the meantime for WWII fans I found this fascinating clip on U-Tube showing Albert Ernst and his Jagdtiger X1 during the surrender of sPzJgAbt 512 at Iserlohn in the Ruhr pocket on April 16,1945.
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Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Mechwarrior 5



















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Slightly old news, but interesting none the less, apparently a new Mechwarrior game is in production. Imaginatively titled 'Mechwarrior 5' some of the photos I've seem show excellent looking in-game graphics.
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This trailer on U-Tube is pretty good as well ! :)
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Monday, 21 December 2009

Homeworld 2

Been playing Homeworld 2 with my son. This is quite an old game now, but the graphics and game play are still excellent. Worth picking up if you can get a copy.
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Saturday, 19 December 2009

88mm Gun In Action

This short video on U-Tube of the famous WWII German 88 Flak gun in action caught my attention. There is some outstanding footage contained within it.
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Thursday, 17 December 2009

"Ataque de Panico!" (Panic Attack!)

Guys, check out this short film called "Ataque de Panico!" (Panic Attack!). It features giant robots invading and destroying Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay.
It is 4 mins 48 seconds long and was made on a budget of $300 (£186). So far it has had more than 1.5 million views on YouTube. Hollywood is som impressed they have asked the producer to make a full length film.
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Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Trident's future under discussion

Ever wondered what the inside of a Trident submarine looked like ? This short BBC news clip gives an interesting insight. Link
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On a totally seperate subject, I took the plunge and ordered the ARC Fleet Heavy Grav Tank Platoon tanks from Critical Mass Games. For me, as soon as I saw them some weeks back, the question was not if I should buy them, but when...
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Monday, 14 December 2009

Blood, bombs and boys' talk

When you’ve lost your legs, do you lose hope? The Sunday Times had exclusive access to some of the most seriously wounded young soldiers. One is his brother. Their stories — and humour — reveal extraordinary courage. Link
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I found the above piece very moving. Well worth reading.
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Sunday, 13 December 2009

BAT-M Engineering Tractor - Crushing Cars

Stumbled across this vid of a Russian built BAT-M crushing a line of cars. No doubt, that is a tough vehicle with loads of power, I want one !! :)
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Background:
In the late 40’s the Soviet troops required a heavy artillery tractor to tow their super heavy guns and the upcoming nuclear missiles. One of them was the legendary AT-T based on the very early chassis and lower hull of the T-44 and later T-54 tank with 500mm wide tracks and a 13 teeth sprocket wheel. On the basis of this very strong artillery tractor several other heavy engineer vehicles were also derived. One of them, the BAT-M (also known as a “Way Builder”), featured a huge blade that was pivoted back when marching or being transported and a 2-ton crane installed at the rear part of the vehicle.
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Friday, 11 December 2009

Afrika Korps + A Joke For The Weekend

This is an intersting site on the Africa Corps, that is worth checking out. Link.
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Joke For The Weekend - Dead Duck

A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest. After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said,
"I'm so sorry, your Duck, Cuddles, has passed away."

The distressed owner wailed, "Are you sure?"

"Yes, I am sure. The duck is dead," he replied.

"How can you be so sure?" she protested. "I mean, you haven't done any testing on him or anything! . He might just be in a coma or something."

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room, and returned a few moments later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head. The vet patted the dog and took it out, and returned a few moments later with a cat.

The cat jumped up on the table and also sniffed delicately at the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on it's haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck."

Then the vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman. The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill.

"£150!" she cried, "£150 just to tell me my duck is dead!! "

The vet shrugged. "I'm sorry. If you'd taken my word for it, the bill would have been £20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it's now £150!"
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Paper Terrain

This site is worth checking for the free paper terrain you can download. Link
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Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Interesting Link - Operation Hailstorm


What never ceases to amaze me about WW2 is just the size and scope of the forces in play and the number of battles fought. Quite by accident today I stumbled across a reference to Operation Hailstorm. This it seems was a truly devastating strike on a Japanese naval base called Truk. Well worth a read. Link.
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Monday, 7 December 2009

Intersting Sci-Fi Terrain Thread On The Critical Mass Games Forums

This thread on the CMG forums is well worth checking out. Link. Craig is making some sci-fi terrain boards for a display game at next years SALUTE convention. He is making excellent progress, and the scratch-built model he has been showing in recent weeks is just brilliant. Can't wait to see what it looks like when painted up.
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Saturday, 5 December 2009

Simon's Cat

These are superb cartoon animations. If you have ever owned a cat, you will love these :)
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Thursday, 3 December 2009

Free E-Book On Warhammer Terrain

Stumbled across this link to a site called MiniWar Gaming who are giving away a free E-Book on warhammer terrain. Link
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Completely unrelated, but here is short vid of an impressive close escape by the occupants of a HUMVEE as a roadside bomb goes off.
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Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Three Ways To Fail A Drunk Test

This is a funny on U-Tube that my brother put me onto. Definately worth a look :)
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Tuesday, 1 December 2009

New Beamstrike QR Sheet

Neil the author of the Beamstrike (15mm sci-fi) rules has produced a revised QR sheet to accompany the rules. Check out the yahoo group Link to find out more. Printed a copy off myself yesterday, and they seem to contain everything you need in a handy 12 page pack.
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Monday, 30 November 2009

Carpet Wargaming Over The Weekend

A quiet weekend has just passed here at the 'Vultures Roost' with the management away up seeing her family. This left yours truly in charge of boy (Alex), dog (Jed), rabbit (Tampa)and hogs (guinea pigs called Chocolate and Peanut). Deciding to take advantage of the cheap cinema tickets available on a Saturday morning Alex and I went and saw Monster versus Aliens at the bargain price of £1 each. Quite an entertaining film' although a bit scary in places for some of the younger children in the audience. In the afternoon I dug out a huge box of 25mm Citadel Spacefarers that my good friend John Elwen has left (on loan) with me to use as I want. The painting on them is fine, although the bases needed some attention. I'm part way through apply basetext all 200+ of them at the moment ! Anyway, here's a few photos of a carpet battle we did in our lounge. Alex took the clean-living god-fearing Imperials (in white), while I attacked with the Mercenary space scum ! :)
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Friday, 27 November 2009

Anglo-Saxon gold is worth £3.285m


A haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure recently unearthed in Staffordshire (in the UK) has been valued at £3.285m. Link
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Favourite Film Clip

This is clip from one of my favourite comedies, The Money Pit. It always makes me smile :) This is a scene where Tom Hanks (playing Walter Fielding Jr.) is cooking and heating up water for a bath in the renovation-bomb house he bought with his wife. Things don't go quite as planned...
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Monday, 23 November 2009

Tank Battle in Budapest (Nov 1944)

Stumbled by chance on this fascinating German Wartime Newsreel: Ufa Europa-Woche Nr.90, Nov 1944 showing a WW2 Tank battle in Budapest (Nov 1944). Link
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Tank Graveyard

This is a video of destroyed tanks in Iraq, taken in 2006. Link
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Sunday, 22 November 2009

News Link - Drone Plane Developed By BAE Systems

This is an interesting news clip about the latest Drone Plane developed in the UK. Link
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Saturday, 21 November 2009

Bomag Dropship - Reporting For Duty

Well, after a couple of evenings work I've finished painting both the Peter Pig 'Bomag' dropships I got a week or so back. Very nice little models to work with.
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Thursday, 19 November 2009

Tour Of The World's Fastest Steam Car

Busy painting up one of my Bomag Dropships (made by Peter Pig). Not quite ready to photo just yet, still got the highlighting to do. In the meantime, here is an interesting link to a tour of the world's fastest steam car. Link
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Wednesday, 18 November 2009

ULTRAMARINE MOVIE

It seems there is a movie in the works about the Ultramarines. It is described as a 70-minute sci-fi thriller that will use CGI and state-of-the-art animation production techniques. Games Workshop will be working with a UK-based production company Codex Pictures, who have the momentous task of bringing the Warhammer 40,000 universe to the screen. Check out this link.
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Monday, 16 November 2009

Jay Leno Tank Car

This is one impressive vehicle...
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Stop Motion Movies - Listing

For those who haven't seen them here is a list of links to the Stop-Motion movies I've uploaded to U-Tube. My latest movie with the walkers I've taken with a different camera (Fuji S100), which has a far better manual shutter release system, and that has encouraged me to up the frame rate considerably.

1. Sci-Fi Combat - Battle For New Knaresborough Link

2. 40k Corridor Assault Link

3. The 3rd Mech Company Depart For The Front Link

4. 667th Impromtu Inspection (Lots Of Swearing) Link

5. Press Release - GZG V15-57A Reports For Duty Link

6. Plasma Tank Link

7. When All Is Quiet Link

8. 'Mechs Down At Nav Gamma' Link
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Sunday, 15 November 2009

STOP-MOTION MOVIE - Mechs Down At Nav Gamma'

Today I completed my latest Stop-Motion movie. I've been working on this since I finished off painting a platoon of Critical Mass Games walkers last weekend. I've shamelessly used the soundtrack from an old video game intro, which I feel gives it a good atmosphere. Hope you enjoy it.
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Saturday, 14 November 2009

Peter Pig 'Bomag' Dropships

I recently picked up from other sites including the excellent Dropship Horizon that Peter Pig were going to cease production if their small sci-fi range, 'Range 9'. Not wanting to miss out on having a couple of their Bomag Dropship in my 15mm collection, I placed an order on the Internet on Wednesday evening, and had the goods delivered today. The Dropships are quite small, (you might get four men in them) the body is made of resin, with the legs and weapon pod in metal. Very straight forward to assemble; I was surprised at how strong the leg arrangement is. I hope to get some paint on them tomorrow. I also bought one bag of assorted crewmen, and have to say that they are really really nice. The sculpting is excellent.
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Friday, 13 November 2009

Sci-Fi Weaponry About To Be Fielded !



















Army testing XM-25 'smart' high-explosive weapon for Soldiers.
Check out this article all about the US armies new weapon, the XM-25. Link
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Thursday, 12 November 2009

Rare Earth Magnets Arrive

Well, the rare earth magnets I ordered off E-Bay arrived yesterday, and I set to work straight away fitting them into Walker that didn't have the torso glued to the hips. My modelling drill has gone MIA so I had to resort to carving the void out in each resin part using a modelling knife. What a totally balling aching job ! LOL, but eventually after an hour or so the magnets would fit flush, so I secured them in using superglue. The end result is excellent it has to be said. The magnets are so strong there is no danger of the torso coming off even if you shake the model upside down, yet the top rotates easily. What I'm going to do now is get some more magnets of differing sizes and see about retrofitting some to my tanks.
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Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Remembrance Day + Interesting Links

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What is the unknown warrior?
As part of Remembrance Services the Queen is to lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey. The Dean of Westminster Abbey, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall explains its significance. Link
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Napoleonic sea fort goes on sale
A Napoleonic sea fort near the entrance of Portsmouth harbour is expected to fetch as much as £750,000 when it is sold at auction next month. This looks amazing ! I wish I had enough money to buy this :) Link
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WWII tank 'blows up' bungalow
A 1930s bungalow at the front of the Royal Armouries Museum at Fort Nelson has been spectacularly blown up after being shot at by a World War II Sexton self-propelled gun. Link
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Fighting Talk
This is a very intersting article about some of the history of Aghanistan. Link
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Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Beamstrike Stats For Walkers


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Been thinking about how I'd use the newly finished walkers with the Beamstrike rules.
These are the stats that come to mind...
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Vehicle Category: Legged Mecha
Arrmour:
Front: M-VA
Side: M-VA
Rear: L-VA
Propulsion: Legged
Jump Pack: No
Crew: 2
Passengers: Nil
Weapon - Pintle Mounted: HMG
Weapon - Body: Single or double fit 20mm CPP Auto-Cannon
Weapon - Arms: 1 x Beam Cannon in each.
Auto-Defence: No
Sensor 1: MAD
Sensor 2: Sensor Array (Optional fit)
Smoke Dispensor: No
Shields: Multi-shield (MS)
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Monday, 9 November 2009

Sunday, 8 November 2009

15mm Walkers Finished !!

Well I've finished the platoon of Critical Mass Games walkers I got a little while ago. I used a painting technique I spotted on the 'From The Warp' blog, which involves the simple technique of basically applying a Games Workshop Devlan Mud Wash over a light grey base. Overall I'm quite pleased with the end result. Here's a couple of photos I took this afternoon with some GZG infantry and a High Tech Grav tank....
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Saturday, 7 November 2009

A Funny Old Day + Bloodhound Jet Car

Well its been a funny old day. My son’s been ill with some sort of mild dose of swine flu, so its been a quiet day here in the Vulture household as he wasn’t well enough to do much except watch TV. That being the case I took the opportunity to start the first module in my latest home study course for the CIPS Diploma, and to press on with the Critical Mass Games walkers I mentioned a few days ago. Hope to get some photos taken tomorrow, as they are now 99% finished.
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This is quite an interesting article about the Bloodhound jet car. Link
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Friday, 6 November 2009

Spitfire Pilot Hi-jinks Found On Film

Some extraordinarily rare footage of Spitfire pilots at leisure has been discovered.
The colour footage shows how the pilots kept their spirits high as the country fought for its very survival. Link
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Thursday, 5 November 2009

Walker & Bonfire Night

Well I've got the first of my three Critical Mass Games 15mm walkers built :) A nice model, the body and legs are resin, the arms chain gun, commander and pintle mg are metal. On this one I've fixed the body position, but on one of the others I hope to use some rare earth magnets I've ordered off E-Bay to allow it to rotate, when they turn up. Hope to have some paint on them in a day or two...
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On seperate topic, its been Bonfire Night here in the UK, when people let fireworks off and light fires to remember the Gunpower Plot of 1605.
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Monday, 2 November 2009

Lufcik - Restored German Halftrack - WW2

"Lufcik" from Poland. Restored and very rare!!! Experimental German halftrack, based on the SdKfz 8/DB 10. There is probably only one in existence, and it is fully operational. Totally fabulous ! :)
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Sunday, 1 November 2009

Been Busy

Been busy with the out-laws visiting these last few days, so little time to update the Blog. Fortunately my brother-in-law (Mike) is a keen gamer, and the two of us have been doing quite a bit of computer gaming, both with my son, and also late on a night. Company Heroes ‘Blitzkrieg Mod’ has been the favorite thus far, the two of pitching our skills against the CPU. We’ve also bought Star Wars Battlefront II and Dawn of War II. Both thus far have proven to be a big disappointment. The first because it is so bugged I can’t get it to multi-player over the LAN, and DoW2 is a pig to install, and keeps crashing; furthermore you can only multi-player over the Internet through a Steam account. Not impressed thus far…
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A platoon of walkers I had ordered from Critical Mass Games came in the post, and I've been gluing the first one together, hope to post a photo as soon as there is some paint on it.
On figure gaming front, my son and I had a ‘play’ battle (no rules as such) on the floor in the yesterday using a mixture of 40k and Space Crusade figures. Here’s a couple of photos…
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Monday, 26 October 2009

Interesting Links

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At the centre of time
Without it international travel would be in turmoil and calling friends in faraway places at the right time impossible. Exactly 125 years after the Greenwich Meridian line was drawn, how and why did Britain become the centre of time? Link
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Sci-Fi Art Blog and Pictures.
Some the pictures you can find on these sites are amazing.
Sci-Fi Meshes
Concept Ships
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Sunday, 25 October 2009

HMS E18 Found

The wreck of a British naval submarine lost for more than 90 years has been found in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Estonia. HMS E18 - with its complement of three officers and 28 ratings - went out on patrol in May 1916 and was never seen again. Link
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Thursday, 22 October 2009

Alien Assault Released (PC Game like Space Hulk)


Guys, this is well worth checking out. The game is called Alien Assault, and to all intents is Space Hulk (renamed due to copyright issues). You can download it here.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Quiz - 7 Questions On British Battles

Check out this Quiz on the BBC web site on British Battles. I was totally rubbish ! Can you beat my score of 1 out of 7 ? :) Link

Monday, 19 October 2009

Bargain Box Of Figures

A few weeks back there was a Model Railway exhibition down the road in Ramsey, and my son and I dropped in for a look around. Whilst browsing one of the dozen stalls there we came across a lady selling all sorts of things including a box of old 25mm figures for £ 5. Always on the look for a bargain I picked it, and on getting home and counting the contents found it contained 3 cavalry pieces and 63 infantry! All fantasy pieces of varying vintages. Spent the last month basing them up so my son can play small battles with them :)
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Saturday, 17 October 2009

Sea gives up secrets to experts


This is a totally fascinating story about Pavlopetri - the world's oldest submerged town. Link.
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Friday, 16 October 2009

The Serving Soldier

This quite interesting. There is a selection of images from The Serving Soldier – for the first time providing online access to unique original documents and photographs held by the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives at King's College London. Link
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Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Alien Sunset

Nothing really to do with wargaming as such, but this sunset so impressed me last night I felt inspired to share it with you. Taken from the upstairs of our house looking west, over towards Warboys airfield. Simply fabulous :)
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Sunday, 11 October 2009

Royal Oak Battleship


Royal Oak Sunk. A dark chapter of war remembered. It was one of the darkest days in the history of the Royal Navy. The WWII conflict was only a few weeks olds when, in the early hours of Saturday 14 October, 1939, the battleship Royal Oak was torpedoed by a German U-boat at its base at Scapa Flow in Orkney. Link
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Saturday, 10 October 2009

Space Hulk - The Novel by Gav Thorpe


Space Hulk - The Novel by Gav Thorpe. Picked up a copy last week in the Peterborough Games Workshop. The action is totally contained within a Hulk and follows two squads as they cleanse the opposition. Although a fan of Space Hulk for years I must confess I haven't been familiar with a lot of the 'fluff' surrounding Blood Angel Terminators; for instance the fact that a Terminator is over 8 foot tall was a surprise to me. What I did love in the novel was the constant references to each other as 'brother' to 'the Angel' and to what are almost prayers the Characters keep coming out with during the action, such as:
"Praise to the Angel for he shall guide my aim".
"In the Angel's eyes we shall know victory"
Not a long book, and I finished it quite quickly, but a good read all the same for fans of Space Hulk, and very reasonably priced at only £ 3.00.
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Thursday, 8 October 2009

Video Of WW2 German Stug III Recovered In Russia

This video shows the quite amazing condition of a Stug III they pulled out of a swamp. I would just love to have one of these parked on my drive at home !! :)
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Monday, 5 October 2009

50,000 Webshot Viewings & Wings Of War

Bit of a minor milestone to report here, my webshots photo album has now had over 50,000 viewings in three years. Aside from that life splutters along, the weekly grind of having to go to work to pay the bills getting in the way of important activities such as figure painting and gaming in general ! LOL
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Bought myself 4 more of the Wings Of War Miniatures, to complement the four I all ready had. Ordered them from a company called Infinity Games, who very efficiently dispatched them the next day. Here's a couple of photos...
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Sunday, 4 October 2009

Friday, 2 October 2009

Battle Of The Bulge Slideshow

This slide show about the Battle of the Bulge slideshow is worth looking at. Link
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Thursday, 1 October 2009

The BIG Bang

Okay, this looks like an excellent toy to have in your collection :)
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Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Conker Soldier Battles !!


Conker Soldier Battles !!
On getting home from work today I found that my wife and son had been painting up a bunch of conkers for an unconventional battle tonight ! My son has a small army of silver sprayed ones (conker droids) that were to attack my small army of local misfits conkers. Apparently his had guns and stuff where as mine could only engage in close combat !! Suffice to say my misfits didn't do very well ! LOL !

Saturday, 26 September 2009

News - Anglo-Saxon Gold Hoard Found

These are two quite interesting links about the huge hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold that has been found in the UK.
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Slide Show about the hoard. Link
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The Dark Ages? Why Anglo-Saxon gold find means we must reassess period. Link
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Thursday, 24 September 2009

Star Trek - Original Opening Sequence

I remember watching the original series when I was a kid, being completely glued to the TV with my father. The opening sequence although looking dated now is still a classic.
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Wednesday, 23 September 2009

News Links

In pictures: Arnhem Commemoration
This is a link to a small picture show commemerating Arnhem.
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Biggest Viking find for 150 years
The biggest find of Viking treasures for 150 years is to go on display in York, then at the British Museum in London. The items, including jewellery, coins and everyday household objects, were discovered in the Vale of York two years ago. Link
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Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Minor Updates To The Beamstrike Rules


There are have been some updates to the artwork, grammar and some minor text amendments to the Beamstrike 15mm Sci-Fi rules, which takes it to version 1.22
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The rules can be downloaded here: Link
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Monday, 21 September 2009

Warhammer Ancient Battles


For fans of the set of rules called Warhammer Ancient Battles (WAB) I've been pointed in the direction of forum dedicated to discussions around WAB. Link. Well worth checking out.
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Rocket Launch

The weather was so good today (sunny and warm with little wind) Alex and I decided to fire off our small reusable rocket from the field beside our house :) The movie was too large to upload unchanged, so I had to use Windows Movie Maker to make it more manageable. A bit of quality has been lost sadly, but you can still make most of it out. :)
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Saturday, 19 September 2009

Free Web Based Games


My son and I have been playing these two web based games that are quite fun.
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Flying Games:Dogfight2 Link

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Robo Kill Titan Prime Link
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Thursday, 17 September 2009

First Games Of 3rd Edition Space Hulk


At the Huntingdon club tonight I introduced one of the other members (Chris Lowe) to Space Hulk. Over a three hour period we managed to get four games in, and had a great time. For the first time I was using a Sgt with a Thunder Hammer and Shield. On both occasions he did rubbish, so even though he's meant to be a close combat specialist, in future I'll keep him out of the action for as long as possible !
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Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The $150 Space Camera


This is a great story about two students putting a camera into space. Link

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

In praise of the sci-fi corridor


This is a great article on the web site 'Den of Geek' by Martin Anderson all about his love of sci-fi corridors. Link
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Interesting News Link

This is worth checking out...
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Underwater robot wars
University teams battled it out to become underwater robot champions at an event this week. It was held at Europe's largest freshwater tank in Gosport, Hampshire - a facility normally used by the Ministry of Defence for ship and submarine trials. Link
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Five consumer laws you really ought to know (if you live in the UK)To mark National Consumer Week, here are five laws the canny shopper should be using in their battle to get stuff that actually works.
There is a war being fought between customers and many of the firms they have to deal with. It is an asymmetric conflict - the little man versus the faceless, bad customer service monoliths. On the little man's side there are only newspaper consumer pages and a rather handy selection of laws. Link
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Sunday, 13 September 2009

Panzer Eight

Following a link on the TMP I visited this little web site called 'Panzer Eight' where some quite interesting 2 page play rules for the following periods are hosted:
1939-45
1950-69
1935-65 Air
Air Pocket
Sci-Fi Pocket
Sci-Fi Skirmish
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Well worth a check out.
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Friday, 11 September 2009

Victor Bomber takes off by mistake at air show

The Victor bomber has long been retired from service, but one is kept in Bluntingthorpe aerodrome in running condition by a group of enthusiasts. A couple of times a year they fire it up and it does fast taxi runs up and down the runway. It is not considered flight worthy and as such is not cleared to fly by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). However in May this year....
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Bob Prothero, a retired RAF group captain from Portsmouth, was on the flight deck, with an engineer as co-pilot. As the aircraft gathered speed, Mr Prothero instructed the co-pilot to slow the aircraft, but instead he increased the throttle — and then froze.
The 75-tonne V-bomber rapidly reached take-off speed and began to climb. As it lumbered into the air, reaching 150ft, it veered to the left — heading towards a housing estate.
Mr Prothero, who last flew a Victor in the 1980s and whose flying licence had long since expired, was faced with a split-second decision: “I was petrified. Everything was pure instinct,” he said.
“I was shouting at the co-pilot to pull the throttle back. I saw the nose rise into the air. I thought, ‘Oh God here we go, how are we going to get out of this one?’.”
Mr Prothero could try to land the aircraft immediately — but risked missing the runway and crashing. Or he could fly the heavy aircraft around before landing. “I had to make a snap decision. I pointed the nose down and noticed we were well and truly airborne, but because of the crosswind we were not over the runway. Thankfully, I managed to pitch the aircraft back towards the runway and away from any spectators.”
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Mr Prothero landed the aircraft — named Teasin’ Tina — without a scratch. He described the event as the “most terrifying nine seconds of my life”.
“My only concern was getting the plane down as quickly and safely as possible,” he said.
A video on YouTube shows the Victor leaping up, lurching left, then touching down in a cloud of dust.
One onlooker is heard asking, “Should it be doing that?” while others are heard shrieking in disbelief.
The aircraft is designed to use a drag parachute as a brake, but Mr Prothero had no time to deploy it.
He said: “Although I touched down on the grass I still managed to keep it under control. All that was left to do was get out and kiss the ground.
“Nobody could really believe what had happened. There were people slapping me on the back and congratulating me on not crashing the thing and ruining the day.”
Yesterday the Civil Aviation Authority, which held an inquiry into the incident at the Cold War Jets day at Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome in May, said that it would take no action. Its report said: “The problem arose as a result of the engineer ‘freezing’ at a time of high stress.”
David Walton, the managing director of the aerodrome, said: “It was a brilliant piece of airmanship from Bob. If the aircraft had stalled, the day could have ended in tragedy.”
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The British-built Handley Page Victor was part of the nation’s V-Bomber nuclear deterrent during the Cold War and also served in the Falklands and the Gulf War.
Bruntingthorpe-based Teasin’ Tina, along with Lusty Lindy, are the only two Victor bombers that remain in working condition.
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Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Space Hulk - 3rd Edition

My copy of Space Hulk arrived yesterday. There are far better reviews than I could write of the product on The Miniatures Page (TMP). Suffice to say, the game is of excellent production quality and I am very pleased with it. My only word of caution is on two accounts.
1. You need to be careful geteting the models off the sprues. A good set of clippers is a necessity.
2. The models are quite fragile and will need to be casefully stored if damage is to be avoided.
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DSCF0217
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Monday, 7 September 2009

Castle Rising

Two weeks back my son and I visited Castle Rising. For those gamers who have played the classic game 'Kingmaker', you may be familiar with the name as its on the playing board and is also noted on card 48 'Peasant Revolt' which says 'Mowbray to Castle Rising'.
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2009-08-20 ~ S1DSCF9736
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Castle Rising is one of the most famous 12th Century castles in England.
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2009-08-20 ~ S1DSCF9748
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The stone keep, built in around 1140ad, is amongst the finest surviving examples of its kind anywhere in the country and, together with the massive surrounding earthworks, ensures that Rising is a castle of national importance. In its time Rising has served as a hunting lodge, royal residence, and for a brief time in the 18th century even housed a mental patient. The most famous period in its history was when it came to the mother of Edward III, Queen Isabella, following her part in the murder of her husband Edward II.
The castle passed to the Howard family in 1544 and it remains in their hands, the current owner being a descendant of William D'Albini II, the Norman baron who raised the castle.
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2009-08-20 ~ S1DSCF9744
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