English Electric P1A

The first flight of P1 WG760 was on 4 August 1954, just 10 years after the RAF’s first jet aircraft, the Meteor, entered squadron service. It was experimental and was the basis for the RAF’s front line fighter, the English Electric (later BAC) Lightning. It was the first and only truly supersonic aircraft developed by Britain on her own.

In 1947 the proverbial back of an envelope design was so novel that the Ministry of Supply and the Royal Aircraft Establishment were deeply concerned as to whether it could succeed. Nevertheless, they placed an order for an experimental study. Two years later they placed a contract for two prototypes and an airframe for static testing.

Primary concern was the 60 degree sweepback of the wing and the low position of the tail plane. To have the concept independently tested they contracted Short Bros. to build the SB5, an aircraft whose wing sweepback could be changed and tail plane raised or lowered. In the event both the P1 and SB5 confirmed the concept.

WG760, the first of the two prototypes, exceeded the speed of sound in level flight, achieving Mach 1.22. The second prototype P1A WG763 reached a maximum of Mach 1.53.

Further developments of the fuselage and the fitting of more powerful engines meant that later aircraft exceeded Mach 2.0. The Lightning stayed in service for nearly three decades.

BMP-1

The BMP-1 is a Soviet amphibious tracked infantry fighting vehicle. This one was on display in the Cold War Exhibition at RAF Cosford.

The BMP-1 was the first mass-produced infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) of the Soviet Union. The Russian BMP-1 went into production in the early 1960’s and marked an important departure from previous armoured personnel carriers. Not just an infantry carrier, it provided a measure of combat capability with the vehicle. Its high mobility, effective anti-tank weapons combined with its armoured protection made it a significant addition to Soviet battlefield forces.

Armament for the time was formidable with a 73mm low-pressure gun, co-axial machine gun and launcher rail for the “Sagger” anti-tank guided weapon with five missiles provided. In addition the infantry section passengers could contribute with their own weapons from within the vehicle. These could typically include a further two machine guns, six assault rifles and a surface to air ‘Grail’ missile.

In addition the vehicle is fully amphibious, being propelled by its tracks. There is also a fully operational NBC system. It is easy to visualise the concern that must have greeted the introduction of this vehicle, with the prospect of large numbers of them combined with the latest Soviet tanks poised to overrun the West.

As is usually the case however, the vehicle had a number of faults and at least initially were only deployed with front line units, the follow up units having to make do with less advanced vehicles.

There was an ex-Iraqi model on display at Duxford.

More Adeptus Titanicus Titans

For me, on my visit to Warhammer World in January, one thing I did appreciate seeing, as I hadn’t really seen them before were the numerous Adeptus Titanicus Titans on display, both in isolation but also the various dioramas. There were some really nice painted models in the cabinets.

Here are some more photographs of Adeptus Titanicus Titans and Adeptus Titanicus Knights.

There were Reaver and Warlord Titans.

There was even an Emperor Titan conversion.

Adeptus Titanicus Miniatures Gallery

I now have a few Knights on the workbench.

I think one of my challenges will be painting these models which have an internal “skeleton” and then plates of armour on top. If I construct the model completely then it will be challenging to undercoat and paint. Having read some stuff on the internet, I think the solution will be to partly construct the model and then paint as I go before finally putting the model together.

How have you been painting your Adeptus Titanicus Titans? Let me know in the comments or post any useful links for painting guides.

Louen Leoncoeur

Louen Leoncoeur, the Lionhearted, also known as the Lion of Bretonnia and the Golden Paladin, is the Duke of Couronne, one of the almighty Grail Knights and the penultimate warrior-King of Bretonnia. He is renowned as a noble and just ruler. Fairness in all matters is his watchword, never allowing the law as written to compromise its noble intent, never refusing anyone a hearing in his presence to air grievances of which must be judged.

Louen Leoncoeur charges into the fray atop his noble Hippogryph Beaquis
Louen Leoncoeur charges into the fray atop his noble Hippogryph Beaquis

Wearing the blessed Crown of Bretonnia, and wielding the legendary Sword of Couronne – forged from exquisite Bretonnian silverine – the fearsome Royarch comes to smite evil from his lands.

Bretonnia Miniatures Gallery

Cruiser Ram and Ram Kangaroo

The Tank, Cruiser, Ram was a cruiser tank designed and built by Canada in the Second World War, based on the U.S. M3 Medium tank chassis. Due to standardization on the American Sherman tank for frontline units, it was used exclusively for training purposes and was never used in combat as a gun tank.

This Ram tank was at Bovington.

The chassis was used for several other combat roles however, such as a flamethrower tank, observation post, and armoured personnel carrier. There was a Ram Kangaroo at the museum as well.

I remember buying some of Heroics and Ros 1/300th scale Ram Kangaroos back in the 1980s for my Late War British army.

Eldar Armoured Vehicles

This is an Eldar Falcon Grav Tank on display at Warhammer World.

Eldar Falcon Grav Tank

The Falcon is the primary battle tank of the Eldar army, its curved silhouette a familiar but much-dreaded sight to their enemies. The Falcon has a twin role upon the field of battle. It has a passenger compartment enabling it to carry a small squad of fighters to the battle front or rescue a beleaguered unit when resistance proves too fierce. It also carries a lethal assortment of heavy weaponry, and advanced targeters that allow it to fire devastating salvos while on the move.

One variant of the Eldar Falcon Grav Tank is the Fire Prism Grav Tank. Unlike the lumpen and unlovely battle tanks of other races, the Fire Prism is graceful and swift. Despite its aesthetic qualities, the Fire Prism sacrifices none of the killing power associated with heavy armour, and its prism cannon is the bane of the heavy battle tanks of the crude races.

The main armament of the Fire Prism is an extremely unusual device that uses a two-stage firing process. A medium-magnitude laser is discharged into a massive crystal prism that greatly amplifies the potency of the shot in a fraction of a second. This energy can be discharged in a focused beam capable of blasting through the thickest armour. Or, it can be dispersed to slay entire squads of enemy infantry. Most unusual of all, sophisticated tracking arrays allow this technological wonder to channel its firepower through the prismatic lens of another prism cannon, forming one all-powerful laser blast that can obliterate any target.

See more photographs of Eldar vehicles including a Falcon Grav Tank Miniatures Gallery and the Fire Prism Grav Tank Miniatures Gallery.

 

British Armoured Train

Twelve armoured trains were formed in Britain in 1940 as part of the preparations to face a German invasion; these were initially armed with QF 6 pounder 6 cwt Hotchkiss guns and six Bren Guns. They were operated by Royal Engineer crews and manned by Royal Armoured Corps troops. In late 1940 preparations began to hand the trains over to the Polish Army in the West, who operated them until 1942.

They continued in use in Scotland and were operated by the Home Guard until the last one was withdrawn in November 1944. 

A 6-pounder wagon from one of these trains is preserved at the Tank Museum.

British Armoured Train

I’ve liked the idea of a British Armoured Train for some Operation Sealion games, however the challenge has been one of scale.

I have been painting and building Home Guard forces in 15mm and 28mm, however this makes it challenging to build a British Armoured Train. Yes you can get track from Battlefront for 15mm, but trains you would need to go down the TT gauge route for models, which are mainly kits and difficult to get hold of. With 28mm Bolt Action scale models you could go down the O gauge route for track and rolling stock, but again cost can be prohibitive.

The obvious route with OO gauge works fine if you play 20mm games as they are the same scale. However I don’t want to go down the road of another scale!

I think it will have to remain a pipe dream. 

Back in 2005 I blogged some ideas about an Operation Sealion German Armoured Train.

The German occupation forces would use armoured trains to protect the rail network from English terrorists (partizans) and important trains (carrying the ReichsMarshal of Great Britain for example).

Normally it would push a flat wagon with 40mm AT weapon on it and other wagons would include Flak wagons and heavy machine guns.

Would the Germans have shipped over a captured Polish Armoured Train or use their own armoured trains (as they did on the Eastern Front). In this instance the Flames of War 15mm models could be used.

Hmmm.