Saturday 30 June 2012

11 Months, 3000 pictures and a lot of coffee.

This engine strip and rebuild for an old Triumph (Spitfire ?) is quite fun to watch  :)

Twisted Brake Pipe

You know what its like, you set your stall out to tackle one job, and give yourself another unwelcome one when you make a start. Attempting to change the passenger side rear brake hose on the truck

resulted in this, in spite of the liberal application of penetrating oil over several days :( (Deep Sigh)

I've arranged to pick up two new pipes on Thursday, as the one on the other side will probably do the same...

Friday 29 June 2012

Picture Of The Week - No 7 - Schwimmwagen

In 2008 I went to the War and Peace Show. Forget your tanks and your half-tracks etc, without doubt the vehicles that impressed me the most was this WW2 Volkswagen Schwimmwagen (which literally means Floating / Swimming Car). What a fantastic little vehicle which these photos just don't do justice to. If they weren't so expensive I would so love to own one.




Film - MY WAY - US Trailer

This film looks to have promise...
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Thursday 28 June 2012

Anti-tank Ammunition – what do all those letters mean?

There is an interesting article on the Battlefront - Flames Of War website about the different types of anti-tank ammo used during WW2.  Certainly Worth a read. Link


Wednesday 27 June 2012

UK Military Rules

UK Military Rules Royal Marine Rules:

1. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.
2. Decide to be aggressive enough, quickly enough.
3. Have a plan.
4. Have a back-up plan, because the first one probably won't work.
5. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet, even your friends
6. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun whose calibre does not start with a "4."
7. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.
8. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral & Diagonal preferred.)
9. Use cover or concealment as much as possible. 
10. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
11. Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose. In ten years nobody will remember the details of calibre, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.
12. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating your intention to shoot.

SBS Rules:
1. Look very cool in sunglasses.
2. Kill every living thing within view.
3. Adjust speedo.
4. Check hair in mirror.

SAS Rules:
1. Walk 50 miles wearing 75 pound rucksack while starving.
2. Locate individuals requiring killing.
3. Request permission via radio from "Higher" to perform killing. 
4. Curse bitterly when mission is aborted.

Army Rules:
1. Curse bitterly when receiving operational order.
2. Make sure there is extra ammo and extra coffee.
3. Curse bitterly.
4. Curse bitterly.
5. Do not listen to 2nd Lt's; it can get you killed.
6. Curse bitterly.

RAF Rules:
1. Have a cocktail.
2. Adjust temperature on air-conditioner.
3. See what's on Sky.
4. Ask "what is a gunfight?"
5. Request more funding from Government with a "killer" Power Point presentation.
6. Wine & dine 'key' MPs; invite MOD & defence industry executives.
7. Receive funding, set up new command and assemble assets.
8. Declare the assets "strategic" and never deploy them operationally.
9. Hurry to make 13:45 tea-time.
10. Make sure the base is as far as possible from the conflict but close enough to have tax exemption.

RN Rules:
1. Go to Sea.
2. Drink rum
3. Deploy Marines

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Amazing Looking Terrain

Check out this link to some totally amazing looking terrain.  Link

Sunday 24 June 2012

Blade Runner: Which predictions have come true?

It's been 30 years since the release of Blade Runner and 10 years since Minority Report. Both are rich sources of predictions about the future. But what has actually come to pass? Link to BBC.


Saturday 23 June 2012

Friday Humour - Cultural Differences!!!

On a chain of beautiful deserted islands in the middle of South Pacific, the following people are stranded: Two Italian men and one Italian woman.
Two French men and one French woman.
Two German men and one German woman.
Two Greek men and one Greek woman.
Two British men and one British woman.
Two Bulgarian men and one Bulgarian woman.
Two Japanese men and one Japanese woman.
Two Chinese men and one Chinese woman.
Two Irish men and one Irish woman.
Two American men and one American woman.

One month later, on these absolutely stunning deserted islands in the middle of nowhere, the following things have occurred:

One Italian man killed the other Italian man for the Italian woman.

The two French men and the French woman are living happily together in a menage a trois.

The two German men have a strict weekly schedule of alternating visits with the German woman.

The two Greek men are sleeping together and the Greek woman is cooking and cleaning for them.

The two British men are waiting for someone to introduce them to the British woman.

The two Bulgarian men took one look at the Bulgarian woman and started swimming to another island..

The two Japanese have faxed Tokyo and are awaiting instructions.

The two Chinese men have set up a pharmacy, liquor store, restaurant, and laundry, and have gotten the woman pregnant in order to supply more employees for their stores.

The two Irish men divided the island into north and south and set up a distillery. They do not remember if sex is in the picture because it gets somewhat foggy after a few pints of coconut whisky. However, they are satisfied because the British are not having any fun..

The two American men are contemplating suicide, because the American woman will not shut up and complains relentlessly about her body, the true nature of feminism, what the sun is doing to her skin, how she can do anything they can do, the necessity of fulfillment, the equal division of household chores, how sand and palm trees make her look fat, how her last boyfriend respected her opinion and treated her nicer than they do, and how her relationship with her mother is the root cause of all her problems, and why didn't they bring a damn cell phone so they could call 911 and get them all rescued off this god forsaken deserted island in the middle of freaking nowhere so she can get her nails done and go shopping.


There are some interesting positions that tanks have got themselves into on this U-Tube clip of tank fails. I can imagine recovery action on some of these will have been interesting to say the least...

Friday 22 June 2012

Picture Of The Week - No 6 - Orc Warlord

This weeks picture of the week is of one of my favourite fantasy figures from my 25-28mm Orc army.  Here we have my Orc General made by the now defunct Grenadier Miniatures, designed by Nick Lund.  There is nothing showy about the figure, but that's what I like.  He's there, arms crossed glowering from under the rim of his helmet.


Thursday 21 June 2012

Ford GPW 247676 Jeep

This is a stunning little video of a restored Jeep.
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Wednesday 20 June 2012

Military Vehicle Day at Duxford

On Sunday, as well being Fathers Day it was also the Military Vehicle Day at the Imperial War Museum Duxford. For those not familiar with this event, in a nutshell owners of military vehicles are welcome to bring their vehicles along to display them to the public and take part in a cavalcade display driving around a taxi track and along the main runway. The Miniature Armoured Fighting Vehicle Association (MAFVA) have a large tent with all sorts of competitions running and a large selection of trade stands. In addition there's a couple of dozen general trade and military charity stands. The museum digs out a selection of its running vehicles and puts them through their paces in a small arena for an hour. Generally there are a few thousand visitors and the whole event is a quite relaxed un-crowded affair. I’ve been numerous time before as visitor, in fact we went as a family last year, and the also in 2009 year as I reported on this blog.

The event this year took on a different slant for the Vulture household as this year we have our GMC 352 truck, and had booked it in some months back. After returning from a weeks holiday in (a rather cold) Kent on the Friday, I spent most of Saturday preparing the vehicle for its longest journey since bringing it back from Yorkshire last July. I topped up the oil and water, lubricated most of the 33 grease points (before running out of grease), lubricated the accelerator linkage, and then titivated the paintwork here and there. After starting it up to make sure everything was good engine wise, I stuck the battery on charge for good measure and retired for the night.

Sunday morning saw the Gods smiling upon our endeavours as unlike the recent weather, we had warmth and sunshine ! :) After a quick wash down to get the weather grime off, and an unusually easy engine start I set off with son (Alex) and brother-in-law (Mike) crewing with me in the cab. An hour later and with 30 miles showing in the trip-meter we pulled onto the Duxford airfield to be met by a small army of smiling marshals who directed us to the open grass area between the American hangar and the Land Warfare hall where we joined some 30 vehicles who were already there.

(Picture taken by Ken Clay)

Over the coming hours the area filled up considerably as a further 130+ vehicles joined us. Stand-out vehicle for me this year was a Humber Pig which looked just brilliant,

closely followed by a simply massive Zil (Russian) truck.

After browsing the stands Mrs Vulture and son presented me with a fathers day present in the form of a book on the Red Ball Express, which I shall enjoy reading over the coming weeks.

An old friend of mine John Elwen was visiting with his father and they swung by for a chat late morning and then returned at 13:50 to join us as I had offered them seats in the truck for the Cavalcade.

 John, Mike and Alex opted to go in the back whilst John's Dad decided to crew with me in the less windy surroundings of the cab. We pulled out and queued up with almost 100 vehicles and then slowly eased out onto the Taxiway which runs down parallel with the crowd-line. Initially most drivers kept to a pedestrian 20mph, but as we neared the bottom of the airfield everyone got their foot down (well as much as most of us could) and after that people were belting around, it was chaos at times !

After 3 circuits we all pulled off and parked back up. 
I  I left the truck at that point and queued with Alex for him to have a look around one of the armies newest vehicles the Coyote Tactical Support Vehicle which is based on a 6x6 derivative of the Jackal 2.
The soldier from the Parachute Regt showing the kids around the vehicle was a top guy, and spent quite a time with each of them answering their questions. According to his colleagues he’d been hard at it since the doors opened at 10:00 and hadn’t even had opportunity to eat his lunch !

Around 17:00 we left and gently cruised back home at a steady 35-37 mph with the sun still shinning. A top day all in all :)

Friday 15 June 2012

Picture Of The Week - No 5 - Lords Of Midnight

My picture of the week is the front cover art of an old ZX Spectrum computer game called 'The Lords Of Midnight'. This was a very very early graphical adventure wargame which I recall spending hours and hours and hours playing with some friends in the early 80s. We mapped out the entire world and where the character's and their armies could be found. Happy days when the world seemed less complicated :)

Here's a screen shot from the game itself:


Sunday 10 June 2012

Afghanistan's 'graveyard of foreigners'

Few countries in the world have been invaded as often, and by so many other nations, as Afghanistan, where many soldiers and civilians of various nationalities are buried in Kabul's Kabre Gora, or "graveyard of foreigners". Link to BBC.

Saturday 9 June 2012

Forthcoming Event - 2012 Duxford Military Vehicle Show - 17 June

A quick reminder to everyone that it is the Duxford Military Vehicle Show next Sunday, the 17 June 2012. Put it in your diary :) Weather and vehicle serviceability permitting, I'll be there with my truck, so if you see me, stop by and say Hi :)


Friday 8 June 2012

Picture Of The Week - No 4 - Jeep To Normandy

Back in 1977 when I was still at school, I used to sit next to a lad called Chris Jenkins in my O Level History lesson. Chris and I have have been friends ever since, and have shared may adventures over the years, including going to Normandy in his Jeep for the 60th D-Day celebrations in Jun 2004. Boy did we do some mileage in that Jeep! In the space of 4 days we drove south and caught the Chunnel across to France and then drove to Normandy all in one day. For two days we toured the sites, and then drove back home on the fourth day.  The weather wasn't great and most of the time it was pretty cold, but we still had a great time.  Here's a (rather grainy) photo of the two of us setting off on our adventure.


Thursday 7 June 2012

Prometheus Viral Videos

Just discovered these on U-Tube.  They are worth watching whether of not you have seen the movie yet.




Tuesday 5 June 2012

Special FX Miniatures

Amazing modelmaking that has taken place for some films. Link


Monday 4 June 2012

WWII veteran recalls fighting at Cassino, Anzio

When Kansas weather turns cold, Bing Powell still wears three pairs of socks to warm his feet that suffered trench foot during the bitterly cold fighting at the Battle of Cassino in Italy 68 years earlier. Link

Prometheus - Short Film Review

Last night a small posse of us saddled up and dropped-shipped into the latest of the Alien film franchise Prometheus. Myself I have deliberately not watched any of the trailers (even the one on this blog) or read any of the reviews, so that I could see the movie unencumbered by pre-conceptions.

The first thing to say is that, if you are a fan of the Aliens movies, this IMHO is a MUST see film.

On the up-side it is real visual treat; the sets are gorgeous and the way the script answers some outstanding questions from previous films is very well done.  Camera work is good, and so are the special effects.  The lead actress provides quite a gritty (Ripley like) performance.

This is the point I now say, don't read any further further if you think my criticism might spoil your enjoyment if you haven't yet seen it.. Plus there is some plot spoilers...
On the down-side the script is such a disappointment :( Character development is poor, in fact really poor in some areas, plus some of the characters are rubbish along with big chunks of the story. For instance one of the guys starts feeling unwell and spots a tiny creature in his eye. Does he mention to anyone, his partner for example ? NO, he just presses on. Why the Android decides to experiment with contaminating the crew is simply not explained. And so it goes on...

I have seen many of Ridley Scott's films, and consider this to be the worst scripted one I have seen.

Overall ratings out of 5:

Value For Money (for sheer entertainment): 4.5
Linkage Into Existing Alien Movies: 4.9
Overall Quality Of Script: 2.5

Friday 1 June 2012

Picture Of The Week - No 3 - BattleMaster Mech

One of my favourite pieces of Battletech artwork is the picture of this BattleMaster taken from the front cover of the Rolling Thunder supplement.