Wednesday 30 August 2017

Sukhoi to the sky - flaky Frogfoot part 3

My Su-25 is now finished so here it is on a training flight in the garden.  It is perched atop a 3-foot length of stiff wire.

Predictably I was not alone for long, though Zoe was far more interested in her ball than the Frogfoot.
Coincidentally, I see that a more effective means of air defence, the Russian SAM  S-400  SA-21 goes by the NATO reporting name of Growler...

Tuesday 29 August 2017

Bastogne tank shed. European Road Trip day 6, part 2

Last stop at the barracks was the AFV collection.  Most people just wanted to see the WW2 stuff inside but I found time to photograph this ex-Belgian Army Spartan APC.
In the shed there are quite a few vehicles!
I was pleased to see this M-47 Patton - again ex-Belgian Army - still wearing the colours of it's former keepers.
Lloyd Carrier.
Renault UE with some mods added by a subsequent owner.
A super-rare M-22 Locust airborne tank.
Another command bus - it didn't look as comfy as ours though.  This one is on an Opel chassis and has added wooden bodywork.

Matilda Infantry Tank.

A nice Kubel
A trackless but otherwise intact looking Panzer IV.
Our guide for the Barracks visit - a Belgian Army Para-Commando
Stug III.  I wonder if the tarp is there to cover some bodged modelling work?  It's what I'd do...
Another Airfix catalogue flashback moment - the DUKW
A tale of two lorries - US GMC...
...and British Bedford QL

You don't see badges like this on military vehicles these days!
Even their spares box was pretty good
Another Renault UE
ex-Atlantikwall tank turret

The German UE again.
Back outside I spotted this AMX-VCC (or VCI).  Based on the AMX-13 light tank, this was used by (among others) the Belgian Army.
Next door is the Belgian Army AFV repair shop - choc full of historic vehicles being restored.  One of the tour party - and American gentleman - had earlier grumbled to the guide about having been the previous day to Houfallize (I think) to see the preserved Panther there.  He was miffed to find it's plinth empty.  "Ah yes" replied our guide coolly, "it's in our workshop now..."
An example of the workshop's fine work - an M-24 Chaffee.  A Matchbox flashback!
Finally, I noticed this rather tatty T-34.  A candidate for some paintwork soon I hope.

Monday 28 August 2017

Bastogne barracks - European Road Trip Day 6, part 1

The barracks in Bastogne are now home to a military museum.  Having been General McAuliffe's HQ during the siege some of the cellar rooms have been refitted as they would have been.  Here is the man himself conferring with fellow officers.  If at this point you are thinking that US generals are dummies go and stand in the corner.  Yes you.
The fairly well-known German letter inviting the General to surrender.
His rather more famous reply.
One of the rooms is well stocked with WW2 weapons, leading to this alarming sight!
Upstairs, the museum continues with WW2 weapons and kit from several sources.

Coming next - the AFV collection!

Sunday 27 August 2017

A blue bottom - Flaky Frogfoot part 2

Still shiny 'cos it's wet. When this side dries I'll get on with the upper surfaces. Time now to plunder the decal box for some big red stars...

Friday 25 August 2017

By the rivers of Babylon**

Another Command & Colours game, this was the final decisive battle* between the upstart Persians under Cyrus the Great and the Babylonian Empire.
Belshazzar (above) and Nabonidis led the Babylonians and were played by Martin and Jerry.
Cyrus was accompanied by Gadates and Ugbaru (above).  They were played by John and Russell.
 The setup - Babylonians nearest.
 Cyrus and his Immortals.  Many of the figures present were ex-Bob Plumb or ex-JR .  
Which makes some of them only slightly more recent than the battle.  
Manufacturers represented include Garrison, Hinchliffe and Minifigs.

   The Babylonians mounted a series of small attacks against the Persian monolith...

 ...but Cyrus's lime remained unbroken.
 Some pointing by Russell helped the game along.

 Such was the desperation of the Babylonians that even Nabonidis entered the fray...
..and saw his bodyguard cavalry perish around him.  This secured a great victory for Cyrus and hearalded the end of the Babylonian Empire.
I gather that Nabonidis and Belshazzar are currently on hanging garden leave.

*probably.  The historical records are somewhat scanty.
** all together now: