Archive for July, 2014

History Live! 14 22(History Live! 2014 … dogfights over Northamptonshire)

My little digital compact doesn’t really do long range aerial photographs but I wanted to share some of the sights (and sounds) of History Live!

I was in a tent with The Battlefields Trust doing a presentation on the Battle of Northampton (see AncOM/History Live) but there’s nothing like thunder of an approaching Merlin engine to draw people outside.  Even children too young to know are excited by the sound of fighter chasing fighter.

On display, there was an emphasis on WWI and a number of NAM displays as well as reenactment societies showing their kit.

History Live! 14 13(getting youngsters to try on a soldier’s basic load …)

History Live! 14 14(Soldiers of the Empire)

History Live! 14 17(a chance to get a good look at the Lewis gun)

A huge hit this year was this reproduction SE5

History Live! 14 15

Children were encouraged to clamber into the cockpit and get a brief introduction to their aircraft’s controls and the pitfalls of failing to manage the engine during the heat of aerial combat (apparently my goddaughter’s mission saw the oil all over the little windscreen, smoke billowing out and machineguns jammed … an average sortie and she got back safe 🙂 )

History Live! 14 16(History Live!: half pint pilot: all back safe and sound)

This was a very popular attraction all weekend and kids loved having their pictures taken in the old flying machine.

I had a quick look around the WWII encampments and I think I have not put these vehicles on P.B.Eye-Candy before …

History Live! 14 20(German blockhouse with recce patrol laagered up nearby)

History Live! 14 18(Sdkfz 222 and BMW motorcycle combos)

History Live! 14 19(Sdkfz 251 Hanomag armoured half-track)

And just to patch things up for the allies, the field hospital was present with plenty of American trucks …

History Live! 14 21(¾ ton truck seconded to field hospital use)

Of course if you are a military vehicle enthusiast there is loads more than this on show (I just try to add a few from the show every year as/when I get some time off from the stand to have a wander) … so do come along next July to Northamptonshire if this is your kind of thing.

If warfare in miniature is your passion, in addition to my Wars of the Roses battlefield model in the Heritage tent, Graham F and friends had everything from Romans to WWII in the wargames tentBolt Action and that sort of thing …

History Live! 14 08(wargames, Heritage-style: my Northampton 1460 display on the Battlefields Trust stand)

History Live! 14 23(Bolt Action with Graham in the wargames tent)

History Live! 14 24(some of those Vichy French chaps from North Africa)

History Live! 14 12(endpiece … English Heritage’s ‘History Live!’ at Kelmarsh Hall, Northamptonshire) 

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CoW 2014 00a

Or, better, pictures from this year’s Conference of Wargamers with relevance to warfare in the mechanised age

I was busy with a number of ancient and medieval projects, so there is a main report on Ancients on the Move.   So I got so see very little of the modern stuff …

CoW 2014 09(Doodlebug down! The WDDTN ADG Doodlebuggers sees another threat neutralised)

The plenary game was a live kamikaze attack in the Pacific, and later, I got to shoot down Doodlebugs – I got the highest tally but had a lot of trouble flying through debris and getting out of my burning Spitfire.    Back gardens in Kent and Woolwich were cratered and Southend Pier was blown to smithereens … but I reckon between us we saved London.

CoW 2014 10a(we had 5 minutes in which to clear the skies of  evil Nazi wonder weapons)

You can have a crack at this at a show later in the year … The Other Partizan, next, probably (look for Wargame Developments) ..

Here is more of the death struggle between Hitler and Stalin …

CoW 2014 12(A senseless waste … German bitter enders scurry through Berlin Station to confront the invader)

CoW 2014 13

… and here is the 21st Century equivalent of a cardboard simulator (the toy-shop plastic and foam rubber simulator?

CoW 2014 14(Lawn Game Simulator: pneumatic anti-tank missile system readies) 

… and it can be beguiling how convincingly the mown grass camouflages 1:32 scale toy tanks …

CoW 2014 16

CoW 2014 17(Little Cold Wars: French ground attack mission)

CoW 2014 18a(Little Cold Wars: taking hits – the T55s attack)

CoW 2014 19(fire in the hole!: Nick Huband demonstrates the anti-tank targeting system)

Mid evening on Saturday we broke for a trip down memory lane … Jim Roche reminding us of the calendar of events from 1914 and 1944 interspersed with morale boosting or iconic songs and anthems from the war years …

IMG_7899(Just in case you didn’t know the words to the Marseillaise … ) 

… and I found a window in which to ski off piste with my pop-up Naval Game, Big Ship Battles (Kaboom!) inspired by some inexpensive ships that became available in a Pound shop

CoW BSB 02(Kaboom! with Chris K … 3 hits on my Battleship … and a level bomber coming my way …)

The game takes around half an hour at most and has none of those traditional naval game mechanisms – it did, however, work (and I am inspired to push it along another level … say, maybe a quick participation game?)

CoW BSB 03a(Kaboom!: a 2mm Bomber from Irregular Miniatures about to complete its mission)

Along with all the ancient and medieval games, that was it for my CoW 2014

2015?  Well, I hope to see you there – CoW is unique for all the right reasons, so a big thank you to all the enthusiasts who make it work!

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