Friday, 28 August 2009

Wind in the Wires

No wargames figures at all during the past 3 months after a good start this year production and enthusiasm waned with back and neck problems due probably to sitting at a computer to much, after all we seem to be chained to them at work. however a few WW1 biplanes were produced and these are the results. Above is a Spad XIII in RFC colours an old ESCI kit.

The Spad with the Airfix Bristol Fighter and Revell SE5a (bought cheaply in Modelworld sale earier this year)

The SE5a was built on holiday in a rented cottage in the Forest of Dean so I didn't have my usual modelling box with me the decals on the top wing 'silvered' even with Humbrol decalfix and this is slightly more noticable as they have no white circle being of 143 sqd Home Defence based at Detling in May 1918. Also the 'fun' job of rigging still has to be done as the pet spider was left at home!

Now usually Hazel plans a holiday destination devoid of aircraft museums/military museums I'm sure not deliberatly, only to find our host was based at RAF Brize Norton so I got myself invited to the officers mess while the family went llama trecking!

Military Odyssey 2009 or Wings & Wheels Dunsfold ???

Military Odyssey Kent Showground Detling Kent

August Bank Holiday Weekend
Saturday 29th, Sunday 30th & Monday 31st August 2009
Gates open at 9.30am with Arena Events commencing at 10.00am

Not only the Country's Largest Multi-Period Living History Event, but now the Worlds largest event of its type with a huge collectors market with hundreds of traders (To quote directly the web site!)

We seem to have a proliferation of military themed events in Kent this year with the new Military Mayhem show at Faversham and the first Headcorn Vintage Aircraft Fly In & Military Vehicle show which included lots of WWII re enactors. Two of the stalwart shows have been the annual War & Peace show at the Hop Farm, Paddock Wood and Military Odyssey at the kent Showground on Detling Hill above Maidstone, the site of an old aerodrome where 500 County of Kent Squadron were based with their Avro Ansons in 1939 (could woffle on about the aerodrome for ages so must stop immediatly!)

I attended Military Odyssey last year and it was excellent in parts. Hazel even ventured along with me and enjoyed the showmanship of the medieval jousting 'knights'.

We missed most of the morning and the Napoleonic re enactment but witnessed the afternoons entertainment!

Unfortunatly they clutter the display ring with less than convincing 'cardboard' houses etc mostly I think for the benefit of the WW2 re enactors and so diminishes the 'authentic' uniforms of the other groups and looked downright out of place with the American Civil War re enactment. The uniforms and drill of the ACW groups was excellent as was the cloud of gunssmoke emitted when their muskets were discharged in a volley...really does emphasise what the 'fog of war' looks like and on a battlefield of 50,000 + must have added to the confusion big time!

The WW1 societies were very impressive especialy in their camp setting, I didn't watch their arena display as if they had gone about it with an element of reality the Maxim the germans had would have mown down the British contingent in 15 seconds!! perhaps if they had re enacted that then more people may be more aware of the realities and horrors of conflict than what these cosy sanitised re enactments know the thing...volley of muskets 2 chaps collapse....2 mins later they re join the affray or raise their heads to watch whats going on!I must own up to being interested in the uniforms, equipment and the soldiers life element of these displays and not the bang bang your dead element of displays.....controversial or what!

That nasty 'Hun Gun'my grandfather had a small collection of german machine Gun Bullets in his chest 'till the day he died at 92

The WW2 2 display we did watch,the element which interests me is seeing equipment manned withTanks crewed up and guns served,this brings life to 'hardware' and helps when modelling vehicles for the wargames table.

So what will be my chosed day of entertainment this bank Holiday Weekend.......... Dunsfold Wings & Wheels in Leafy Surrey. Many moons ago when I was a teenager I was invited to the BAC families open day there and it was an excellent show the highlight being the Mosquito and Sunderland Flying Boat (Sandringham version I think). Dunsfold was the test aerodrome for Harriers once they had been assembled in the days when we had an aircraft industry at Brooklands and Kingston. The main reason for attendance the VULCAN I still havn't seen it fly since its return to the sky's last year and I always enjoyed it's displays when I was a regular airshow attende in the 80's...please weather be fine....please XH558 be servicable theres a good beastie!

Above is a picture taken from the Vulcan to the Sky website of a recent appearance in Devon in formation with the Red Arrows and below a picture I took at a Fairford Air display at a Fairford IAT day in classic bomb doors open attitude in 1989.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Sheerness Centre Bastion Battery

The above photo was taken last weekend when we visited Sheppey for the annual 'World Walking the Plank' contest!! at Queenborough.

The centre Bastion Battery was developed as part of the fortifications at Sheerness to protect the naval Port and entrance to the Medway from 1825 and was updated until WW2 finally being abandoned in 1956.

Have a look at the superb and fascinating website 'Underground Kent' for better photo's and other areas of Sheerness Fort which is sadly not open to the public. Also Wars of Louis Quatorze for more details on Sheerness and Queenborough and the fortifications at the time of the Dutch raid in 1667.