terça-feira, 30 de novembro de 2010

German SPG's Part I - The "Wespe"

My German self-propelled artillery vehicles - the Wespe (Wasp ou Vespa em português) also known as Leichte Feldhaubitze 18 auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen II ("Light field howitzer 18 on Panzer II chassis") was developed and used during the Second World War.
It was based on the Panzer II tank and was specially allocated to the armored artillery battalions (Panzerartillerie Abteilungen) of the Panzer and Panzergrenadier divisions ( they received two armoured artillery batteries of six Wespe each). About 682 had been produced, with an additional 158 built as ammunition carriers before the end of the war.
The gun - 10.5 cm leFH 18M, had a maximum range of 12,325 m (13,479 yds) and could also fire an 15.71 kilograms (34.6 lb) AP shell. In the latter stages of WW2, it was common to  engaged Wespes in direct anti-tank fire, using armour piercing shells or anti-concrete hollow-charge projectiles, the first  (Pz.Gr. 39) penetrated 106mm and the latter (Gr. 39 Hl/C) penetrated 128 mm, both against vertical armour plate at ranges of 0-100 meters.

I use them as artillery support with the rules Ambush Blitz. The models are in 1/144 Scale, from Wargames South, the crews are adapted from Minifigs 12mm Gunners.
I made a small adjustment to two of the Wespes, one I’ve lowered the back door, which actually could be lowered to increase the rate of fire, since several projectiles were placed on top of it and the other I’ve pulled out the gun to become a weaponless ammunition carrier.


The "Best General" poll

It has been very interesting to follow the evolution of our poll regarding the best general of WWII. 
It seems the doubt now is whether the final victory will belong to Rommel or Manstein, since your votes have mostly resided with these two characters, who have been consistently tied.
I think Rommel is more appealing, as a character. The dash and initiative he inspired in his foot soldiers, while leading from the front line, were seldom equaled by any other high ranking officer in the Wehrmacht. 

Manstein was a true blue product of Prussian military tradition. Thorough and highly professional, his credits as a strategist were second to none. From the invasion of France in 1940, to the battles in Russia, this guy's intellectual superiority in war was recurrently proven.

It will be up to you to decide who will be the winner of this (outstanding...) poll.


segunda-feira, 29 de novembro de 2010

WWII Dragon kits - by Carlos Briz

 (WWII Dragon Draisine)

That's right folks, be sure to take out your drool napkins before you look at this stuff!
This guy is not real! Check out the storage shelves in the background...

 WWII Dragon E5(1)

The locomotives are the class BR 01 and class BR 52 "Kriegslok" - German State Railways.

WWII Dragon Karl

It is the first time I see a Karl mortar in it's natural "habitat".

By the way, I heard some rumors mentioning that there were serious technical obstacles regarding the placement of  replies in the comment section, to the profound and interesting challenges I usually place around here. 
I think I fixed that (or not...); therefore, there is still time for you to place a reply to the pending challenge!


domingo, 28 de novembro de 2010

WWI Locomotives & War Series nº 5 - by Carlos Briz

(Class 231 locomotive - United States Transportation Corps)

The Doughboys (nickname of the American Expeditionary Force for Europe in WWI) and their equipment made all the difference in the Western Front.  

(Class Gt 2x4/4 locomotive - Bavarian State Railways)

The Morser Lang howitzer looks really well.

(Class 0-6-0 locomotive - Railway Operation Division BEF)

Another outstanding diorama here - the open railway wagon brings a nice touch.

(Class 1-3-1 locomotive - Russian Imperial Railways)


sábado, 27 de novembro de 2010

Spanish Civil War & Locomotives Series nº 3 - by Carlos Briz

(Class 4021 locomotive - Madrid-Zaragoza Railways)

And here we are back to the Spanish Civil War!
The Republican side made a continuous effort to make ends meet throughout the war, mixing war material from all over the world.

But there were limits for the supplies coming from France...

I really must be an above average cultured guy, since I am the only one that seems to be able to reply to my own challenges.
Regarding the last one I made, the correct answer would be: Denmark, 1973.

However, nothing is lost for you, since there is another challenge coming up!

And this one is directed to our followers from Sympatico, Canada: who was the French politician that eventually had to resign from office, due to his failure to support the Spanish Republicans?

By the way, the word "Sympatico" is similar to the Portuguese word "simpático", that translates to English as "nice" or "likeable". Must be a good place to visit...


sexta-feira, 26 de novembro de 2010

Character Series nº 7 - Nuno Álvares Pereira

(Part I)
Once again, good old JMM guessed correctly the name of the present character. It so happens that this time I made a serious effort to chose the easiest guy I could think of, in order to allow our numerous and loyal followers from Australia a chance at winning the valuable prize I was offering.
But no; he had to step in and ruin their chances.
JMM: that was not a fair thing for you to do, you know.
I already warn you that you will not stand a chance of guessing the name of my next character and there will be a serious prize involved (for me…), in case you do not do it correctly.
Be warned!

Nuno Álvares Pereira, also known as São Nuno de Santa Maria (from now on referred to as NAP) is a name that to most of you foreign guys out there does not mean a thing. However, for a Portuguese bloke, with a minimum knowledge of his national history, it is immediately identifiable, even more so because NAP was recently (26 April 2009) canonized by Pope Bento XVI. 

But NAP’s saintly virtues were not the thing that gained him a place in the limelight in this most elevated and wonderful web space.

His martial qualities did it for him.

NAP exact date of birth is generally located in the 24th of June of the year 1360. He was not born out of his father’s holy wedlock, so to speak, therefore his birth must have been more or less problematic (little did they know that he would be the founder of the Royal House of Bragança…).

By the way, his father was a member and leader of the most venerable Order of the Hospital, in Portugal.
Hey, wait a minute:  weren’t those guys supposed to be some kind of monks?
Nevermind, that was just a technicality anyway.
NAP was an illegitimate son, after all, but soon to be legitimized by royal decree (you know what they say about friends in high places…).

From his early years it seems NAP revealed a profoundly mystic personality, with a taste for the spiritually heroic virtues of the medieval knight, as portrayed by the popular books at the time, like the legend surrounding King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table or the heroic tales of Charlemagne, King of the Franks.

With barely 13 years old, our hero was introduced to the court of King D. Fernando I and became squire to the Queen D. Leonor Teles – who it seems was as beautiful as she was evil and  soon to be the cause of much pain and suffering to the Portuguese kingdom.
However, the woman that would cause such serious danger to the independence of Portugal would be the same woman that would knight NAP, who in turn would become the main force behind the preservation of that independence.

Isn’t it funny how some things turn out ?

King D. Fernando I, it seems, was kind of a lady’s men. He was seduced (without too much effort) by D. Leonor, at a time when she was still a married woman, and secretly married her, after obtaining the annulment of her previous marriage on some trumped-up motive.
What could one expect after such a promising beginnig to a relationship?
Her ex-lawful husband thought it best for his health to escape to Castile, where, in a more or less joyful mood, regularly exhibited a pair of golden horns in social events.

In my next post (whenever that will be…) of this wonderful Series you will know something more about the political and social environment that eventually bred a hero.


WWII Locomotives & War Series nº 9 - by Carlos Briz

(Class P8 locomotive - Finnish State Railways)

Once again, we can see the robust and ubiquitous Class P8 steam locomotive, this time in a Finnish scenario.
Oh! I can feel a challenge coming up...
And here it is: who knows until when and where this particular class of locomotives was in service?

Here you can see a couple of Stug III Ausf. G, fresh from their German factory. 
Once again I ask you Carlos: were did you find a model for the "Sturmi"?
Do you by any chance have a private modelling factory or are they scratch built?


quinta-feira, 25 de novembro de 2010

Spanish Civil War & Locomotives Series nº 2 - by Carlos Briz

(Class 4021 locomotive - Madrid-Zaragoza Railways)

Here we are back to the Spanish Civil War.
The Republican airforce could really land their airplanes anywhere. 
The Mosca you can see in this pic is a very good example of that.

By the way, regarding the challenge we sent you in our last post, the correct answer would be "white russians".
Some of you sent strange answers such as "pink russians", but once again (fortunately, this time...) they were lost somewhere inside our comment box, since we still could not fix the darned thing in order to allow it to hold  replies to the challenges we usually post around here.


quarta-feira, 24 de novembro de 2010

Russian Civil War & Locomotives Series nº 1 - by Carlos Briz

(Class Su 1-3-1 locomotive - Russian State Railways)

As usual, there were hundreds of our most trusted followers that tried to answer the challenge I placed in our last post, regarding this fantastic new Series of Carlos Briz dioramas.
However, due to some technical problem, our comment box came out empty.
Nevermind, I know you will try again next time...

(Class Su 1-3-1 locomotive - Russian State Railways)

Are these guys Red or White russians?
I will try to fix the comment box in the meantime, to allow you to place your answers in time...


terça-feira, 23 de novembro de 2010

Spanish Civil War & Locomotives Series nº 1 - by Carlos Briz

(Class 4021 locomotive - Madrid-Zaragoza Railways)

Well, are you surprised by this new Series?
If you are, I will be very desappointed with you.
Do you really think Carlos could leave out of his collection the locomotives from the Spanish Civil War?

An aerodrome next to a Church?
I could not think of a better place to land...

Who will guess the brand new historic Series by Carlos, we are starting tomorrow?
I can only tell that it is also a civil war and that, of course, there are also locomotives involved.

By the way, there is no prize involved if you guess correctly.
JMM: this last sentence is for you, for obvious reasons; you are getting prize-addicted...


segunda-feira, 22 de novembro de 2010

WWI Locomotives & War Series nº 4 - by Carlos Briz

(Class PLM locomotive - French Northern Region Railways)

Carlos does not know the meaning of the words "inspiration deficit"...

(Class 0-6-0 locomotive - Railway Operating Division BEF)

Another outstanding diorama, this one here!

(Class P8 locomotive - Prussian State Railways)

If the German army can reach it, the P8 locomotive can follow...

(Class 4-6-4 locomotive - Railway Operating Divison BEF)

What could the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) have done without it's "Iron Horses"?


domingo, 21 de novembro de 2010

WWI Locomotives & War Series nº 3 - by Carlos Briz

(Class 4-2-2 locomotive - Belgian State Railways)

I had promised myself not to do this on a Sunday. And here goes another broken promise...
I am getting addicted on posting this stuff, and it is all Carlos's fault!
If one day I have to check into a rehabilitation clinic for modelling nerds because of this, I will have to send him the bill.

(Class 0-6-0 locomotive - Railway Operating Division BEF)

Check out the London bus on military operations!

(Class P8 locomotive - Austro-Hungarian Imperial Railways)

The ubiquitous P8 locomotive.

(Class P8 locomotive - Austro-Hungarian Imperial Railways)


sábado, 20 de novembro de 2010

WWII Locomotives & War Series nº 8 - By Carlos Briz

(Class BR 52 locomotive - German State Railways)

And here we are back to WWII with more outstanding pics!

Carlos: where in heavens name is the tag with the identification of this locomotive?
Do you think we are all experts on railway material?

(Class 69 locomotive - Italian State Railways)

(Class BR 18 locomotive - German State Railways)

I already warn you that on the seventh day we will rest...


sexta-feira, 19 de novembro de 2010

WWI Locomotives & War Series nº 2 - by Carlos Briz

(Class P8 locomotive - Bavarian State Railways)

Well, will you just take a good look at this!
I could say that I would like to be able to do something like this when I grow up - but that would not be true.
The truth is: I would like Carlos to offer ME something like this when I grow up!
By the way Carlos: if you could do that any time soon would be fine with me...

Locomotive? Who cares about the locomotive?
I just would like to know how Carlos managed to suspend that observation balloon in such a realistic way!

Sorry Carlos - could not figure out the identification of this one. But my guess is that it is also a Class P8 locomotive.

(Class Gt 2x4/4 locomotive - Bavarian State Railways)

(Class E550 locomotive - Italian State Railways)

And here you have another fine combination of railway material, airplanes and snow.
Carlos: did you also have to sell your car in order to afford to buy all these models?


quinta-feira, 18 de novembro de 2010

WWI Locomotives & War Series nº 1 - by Carlos Briz

(Class P8 locomotive - Prussian State Railways)

And here you have it!
We are starting a brand new series of outstanding pics, now related to WWI, with a lot of railway material and much more!

(Class Gt 12 4/4 locomotive - Bavarian State Railways)

I know you thought we had run out of Carlos's stuff to post, but I already warn you that the best is yet to come!

(Class FS650 locomotive - Italian State Railways)

JMM, in his usual (lazy...) way is always telling me not to post this stuff on a daily basis.
He tells me that if our huge following has always a lot of new pics to see, they will not be able to check out our sponsors (he has serious plans to get a regular income from publicity, in order to avoid working altogether...).

(Class PLM locomotive - French Northern Region Railways)

I am sorry JMM.
I just cannot help myself! 
I  feel I am depriving the world of something important if I do not do this...