vrijdag 4 september 2015

Knock, knock!

Final day of my holiday, loads of chores have been done in and around the house so I've now started on my desk and sorting stuff to be sold so I have money for the Crisis show. But that is not where todays post is about :)

Knock, knock?

As I was working on my Deltas I found that I have only 1 guy with a shot gun and too many 203's, so lacking a bit in breachers. My first response was to post on the Guild asking for info on 20mm scale shotguns suitable for the task so I could add 1 or 2 on a sling. Well, there are none. Then in comes Leigh noting that during operation Gothic Serpent they used Ceiner under barrel shotguns! Top tip!

Some Googling produced the following blog post from a airsofter: Ciener Ultimate Under/Over Shotgun System

The Ciener Ultimate Under / Over Shotgun System

A recent discussion regarding the Masterkey shotgun system on one of the airsoft forums has prompted me to write this article on one of its competitors.  Back in the 90’s Ciener offered a method of mounting an M870 shotgun to Colt Commando carbines. The applications for this sort of combination within special operation forces are obvious, having a shotgun for entry purposes without having to sacrifice ranged firepower in the small teams that they usually operate being an attractive proposition. The Knights Armament Masterkey system also allowed an M870 shotgun to be mounted to AR15 variants using a modified version of their M203 Grenade Launcher mount, ultimately making the shotgun quicker to remove.
Click images to view full size.
The Ciener Shotgun System:

The Knights Armament Masterkey:
The Knights system proved to be more successful, though the widespread use of under barrel shotguns has not occurred.  However, what makes the Ciener system interesting to anyone that has more than a passing interest in 90’s US Forces was its use in Somalia during 1993. The photographs below show a Delta Force operator during Operation Gothic Serpent, clearly showing an M653 Carbine with Ciener M870 mounted under the barrel.
 The same weapon can be seen carried by one of the guys on this MH-6 little bird.
The weapons and equipment used by the various forces that made up task force ranger is varied and interesting. The movie Black Hawk down somewhat simplified a lot of this, which is a shame for a gear nut like myself, but is inevitable in the creation of such a movie.

This would be a very simple conversion to do at home for paintball or airsoft games, as the attachment is at the bayonet lug and front receiver pin, rather than using a barrel mount like the masterkey system.  A home made solution knocked up from some scrap aluminium would be perfectly acceptable as there is little load in this sort of application.
 Very useful post for me. I can and will convert 2 surplus M203 gunners into Ceiner Ultimates to further expand my Delta options. Some sanding,2 pieces of brass wire and a teeny bit of sculpting should do the trick. Excellent, next!

zondag 30 augustus 2015

End of times or a new beginning?

We had a lovely week, great weather, visits to the pool, the zoo and a fabulous bird of prey show (now I finally know what Johnny Rook means, as I had one race between my legs!) and are now calming down :) 1 more week with chores in and around the house and trying to grab some time for myself. Well, I can try :)

On a different but related event, just before we left, we received word that City Council will help with  daycare for the twins. Great news as we can't otherwise afford it and Kim needs the downtime badly. It does mean we lose all spending money, period. All money left over after the basics like rent, food, gas and insurance goes to the council.

What does this mean?

Well, no money for at least a year, for starters.

Is that a bad thing? Well, as long as the car and other expensive things don't break down, we have little savings and family willing to help out.

Sounds bad, but it isn't. (eternal optimist speaking)

A. Good for the kids, as they get to spend time with other kids their age and they can learn from them
B. Good for Kim, as she gets time off to help herself and as soon as therapy starts, get more help.
C. Good for me. Really? Yes, really.

Let's face it, one of my hobby problems is that I have too much stuff. Way too much. My other problem is that I spend too easily. Yes, I've cut down a lot in the last year, but still. So, lets turn this into something beneficial. I mean, no money means no soda or snacks, and that can only be good! I even ate a apple today :)

I can still sell stuff, and will continue to do so. Proceeds can only go 2 ways, either in my Paypal or straight to my bank account. Since I'm in the red, bank account is good. Paypal will only be used after  agreement with Kim for items that can fill out current and active projects only. Seems simple enough.

So, with that in mind, how does it go from now?

Well, there is plenty of stuff to do. While I was on holiday I received several packages. 1 was a bag of second hand Liberation miniatures (US Army Rangers) from Rob at the Guild that will be perfect for  for my Black Hawk Down project (I did buy them for that) after I finish the Delta's. I also received 2 motivators, a Ssh40 Russian helmet from the fifties for when I start the WW2 Russians that went for way less then militaria sites charge you, and it is practically brand new. I also received a Dutch Royal Navy sailors cap from the Eighties (not that they have changed) from a former Dutch sailor as a motivation  for my 1/3000 naval stuff.

I have enough projects to cover me for a year, so I don't see any problems, and my wife and kids will be better for it :) What is not to like? ;)

I just means that conquering the lead mountain challenge has become indefinite.

zondag 23 augustus 2015

Project management and a brief holiday

I'll be leaving for a short holiday tomorrow with the wife and kids to get away from it all. It will be nice to be a week without internet and just a good book in the evening. Can't wait.

Meanwhile, at home..... I had a brainwave earlier this week in that the boxes I use to send out stuff actually make good project boxes. A bit on the big side (a bit bigger then A4 size) but very suitable, as as I can get them from work for free (we only get these from one customer who packs all of his motherboards in the same standard box, and we don't use them for shipping as they are single layer cardboard, so we just throw them out) I have a unlimited supply.

So, 5 minutes with my trusty labelwriter gives me this:

All of my current projects, (not so) neatly stacked and labelled. I plan to repack my older projects in the same manner and store them in the attic for now. Anything on my desk now (that does not belong into any of the Ikea sorting boxes I have) should be put in bags and boxes asap and stored in the attic.

Of the 7 projects you see (3x 20mm and 4x 28mm) the Bandit Buntai box is a future one cause I feel my skills are not up to that task yet. The EW Germans have the problem that with half the army missing in the post, and not sufficient funds to buy replacements, this has stalled before it has started. The other 5 I can work on now.

In other depressing news, the manager of the local GW and a dear friend of mine got fired. As a result, I will no longer be using the friday night hobby club at the GW (and many more people with me) as we all support the manager (and not GW for this insane move).

As my wife does like to see me go out once a week to preserve my sanity, I've contacted my old gaming buddy Modhail to do a weekly/bi-weekly friday night hobby and/or gaming session. In a few weeks time this will start and we'll see how it will work. One week at his place, one week at mine seems to be the idea. And mutually motivating to get things done, I like that :) Even his wife approves! Just brilliant :)

woensdag 19 augustus 2015

Welcome to Nelengele! A overview.

Nelengele is a former British colony in a area we in the real world call Nigeria, Niger and Burkina Faso. It gained its independence on the 8th of August 1966. Compared to other countries in Africa it is a large country with many tribes and ranging from desert to tropical conditions, covering almost 2.5 million square kilometers, although there are more then a few contested areas with the neighbouring countries.

The national flag of Nelengele as we know it today was instituted in 1968 when General-for-Life Emmanuel Nwude took over the country in a coup. He wanted the flag to symbolize the patriotism of the Eastern and Western tribes entering an era of peace (completely ignoring the Northern tribes, of which later more) hence the blue-white-blue flag.

The official language is English, but in the North a large part of the population speaks French. Several dialects are spoken by the various tribes.

Agriculture dominates the country (coconuts, corn and sugar for export), with uranium, salt and tungsten mining in the sparsely populated north. Oil is found in the south and at sea. Iron and tin is also found in the south but barely developed and the same goes for deposits of gold, coal, lead and bauxite. Large foreign companies dominate what little mining there is, and the oil industry is dominated by CLAM (Colonial Liquid Assets Monopoly)

By the time of the last census it was found the country just tipped at 100 million citizens, mostly in the South. Illiteracy has dropped by 27% since General-for-Life Emmanuel Nwude took power and his wife Adele Nwunde-Darling instituted a program to get kids into school. Infant mortality dropped by a mere 7%, though this is to be attributed to rebel activity and large areas suffering from Nelengele fever which targets mostly the young, sick and elderly, and for which no cure is found yet. The average family has 5,7 children, and men are expected to live for 51 years. Women however have a life-expectancy of about 55 years. Despite a extensive hospital building program the country still ranks low on the doctor- patient ratio, 0,025 per 1000 patients.

The army is conscripted, and over 150.000 strong, on paper. In reality corruption is rife and recruiters can be bought off by the wealthy, and commissions in the officer corps bought. Some units only exist on paper or are severely understaffed. The Lifeguard (or Finyezi) is the best equipped unit in the army and fiercely loyal, easily recognized by their yellow berets. But in the Northern regions the army barely rises above militia status. Equipment wise it is a hodge podge of WW2 vintage equipment mixed with modern items mixed with prototypes from various companies. Also, simmering conflict with their neighbours and rebel activity means the army is stretched thin resource wise in those areas.

Foreign influences include the USA, USSR and China. The UN has a resolution in place to help and protect refugees in rebel contested areas, though in reality they are powerless as no support is given by the government.

(Oh, and where did I get the name Nelengele from? Well, before my girl could say the word water or drink she just pointed and said Nelengele (or something sounding like that!))

dinsdag 18 augustus 2015

Turning spam into something useful

Received a email in my spambox last night from a chap called Nkuku Nnekwu, if I'd like to sign for 25 million in 5000 dollar deposits on my account. Western Union of course.

Enterprising fella. Let's give him a job. :)

Nkuku Nnekwu has been the Finance Minister and the head of the First National Bank of Nelengele since before General-for-Life Emmanuel Nwude rise to power. Highly regarded in the upper ranks of the regime, Nnekwu skill in balancing the books and keeping the Nelengele Pound stable has made him a favourite of Nwude. This was cemented when one of Nwudes elder sons married Nnekwus daughter a few years ago.

Nkuku Nnekwu, a small and stocky man, hails from the northern tribes, where Nelengele skirts the great desert. Fiercely independent, this area caused the former colonial rulers much trouble until they instituted a large literacy program as well as the industrialization of the local salt lakes, bringing moderate wealth to the area and calming the tribes. His father managed the production of salts from the Agala lake, greatly improving the output by diverting river water with a canal program. His success led to great personal wealth and made it possible for a young Nnekwu to study Corporate Finance in Switzerland.

His estate is in the south, near the Capital. He owns a large game reserve as well as several canning factories (fish and corn) which export around Africa. A rumour that just won't die is that he also deals in diamonds, making frequent trips to Belgium. As Nelengele has no known diamond mines, it is a bit of a mistery where these would come from. Others say he had a mistress in Belgium.

maandag 17 augustus 2015

Clean up of dead links - I could use your assistance!

I noticed some pictures on my Blog no longer seemed to work.

I am taking steps to relink all of the missing items, starting with my popular Shapeway post.

I you see any of my posts that have missing pictures, let me know and I will get right on it getting them back up online. I of course will spend a few evenings checking the lot myself.

Modern air and ground support and a tad of fantasy

Last week, a chap on Marktplaats offered up a box full of helicopter kits. It contained a Italeri AH-6A Night Fox. Just the kit I am looking for Mogadishu, how fun is that!? So I bought the lot.

As a bonus, it has a CH-146 Griffon in it as well that will convert nicely into a troopship or a counts as Radio Truck for my mercenaries. Just need to add 2 loose miniguns to my next SandS order to convert the AH-6A. The rest of the kits I dumped back onto the market for a fiver each (sofar no takers) but for even one of the AH-6A's online I would have paid as much as what I paid for 3/4 of the lot so I'm in no hurry to sell.

The spiders are for Daisho/Mordheim/Frostgrave....not like I am playing either of those but they seemed perfect for it and I really enjoyed making one ages ago, so why not make some more. Hell, my 20mm's can fight them for all I care :)

A topic on the Guild pointed out a Yemeni Technical based on a Toyota:
In case you did not know, I love Technicals. Either goverment issue, contractor or rebel built, I don't care. Love em. Most games I want to play need them. The Toyota one is easy enough to make, so who knows. This one has a single heavy rocket launcher on the back (well, i looks like a single)
Compared to that a Libyan one looks more bad ass....

Soon my pretties, soon......