Bastiladon

Bastiladon models at Warhammer World.

An enormous creature covered entirely in impregnable armoured scales, the Bastiladon shrugs off all but the strongest attacks, all the while smashing down enemy lines with all the unstoppable force of a landslide. Stamping down anything able to move out of range of its terrible maw, the Bastiladon’s size means it can be armed with some incredible weaponry. The Solar Engine radiates the staggering power of a sun, casting forth death beams that turn armour to molten slag and incinerate anything alive extremely quickly; daemons are notably vulnerable to this Azyrite light. The Ark of Sotek spits forth a never-ending tangle of serpents, whose star-envenomed fangs bite deep into flesh, causing the blood within to burn with the flames of Azyr.

Standard Beaverette Mk III

Standard Car 4×2, or Car Armoured Light Standard, better known as the Beaverette, was a British armoured car produced during the Second World War. This RAF Standard Beaverette Mk III was on display at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

The Mk III Beaverbug – had a shortened chassis, a redesigned hull without curved front wings, top armour and a machine gun turret. A Mk III was used by the RAF Regiment in the capture of a Focke-Wulf Fw 190 and destruction of another when they landed at RAF West Malling in April 1943.

I have an old SDD 15mm model of the Standard Beaverette Mk I.

These are quite different to the Mk III.

BOAC de Havilland Comet 1XB at RAF Cosford

This BOAC de Havilland Comet 1XB was on display at RAF Cosford. These photographs go across three visits to RAF Cosford, in 2008, 2015 and 2017. As you scroll through the photographs you will see the planes underneath and next to the Comet change.

The first flight of the Comet, the world’s first jet powered airliner, took place on 27 July 1949. With a cruising speed of 725kph (450mph) and a range of 4024 km (2500 miles), the prototype established many records on long distance flights. With jet engines and a pressurised cabin, it offered unprecedented levels of comfort and speed for the 36-40 passengers.

Unfortunately several disasters were to befall the Comet; in 1952 and 1953 there were take-off accidents and a Comet broke up in a violent storm over India. On 10 January 1954, the first production Comet crashed into the Mediterranean whilst en route from Rome to London. This was closely followed by a similar incident involving a Comet en route from Rome to Johannesburg, resulting in withdrawal of the Certificate of Airworthiness. The cause was found to be fatigue failure of the pressure cabin.

After further development of the type, the Comet 4 was used as an RAF transport aircraft and formed the basis of the design which later became the Nimrod.

Orruk Gore-Gruntas

Orruk Gore-Gruntas on display at Warhammer World.

Enormous, foul-tempered porcine beasts of a strength and fury that even orruks respect, gruntas trample down all but the biggest foe, devouring the remains and noisily smashing apart everything in their path – much to the vivid delight of the Ironjawz who bounce gleefully upon their somewhat interestingly-fragranced backs. Gruntas will cheerfully and greedily eat anything, including iron (the result of devouring people wearing it, more often than not.) This undigested metal is harvested by orruks for use as weapons and armour, and called pig-iron. A well-timed charge of Gore-gruntas can easily smash apart an enemy army in a riot of stomping hooves, piercing tusks and unpleasant smells.

Thinking though these could be great as Feral Ork Boarboyz for Warhammer 40000.

Dwarf Gyrocopter

Gyrocopters are revolutionary flying machines that provides the armies of the Dwarfs with dedicated aerial support or as a form of fast reconnaissance.

This model was on display at Warhammer World.

These warmachines use a revolutionary rotor-blade steam engine that allows it to take off into the air and land vertically or even hover on the spot, becoming the first technological marvel to achieve the ability of flight. The first Gyrocopter was invented and then improved upon by Dwarf Engineers, and due to its rarity only a trusted member of the Engineers Guild is allowed to maintain and operate one.

Vickers Varsity T Mk I

The Varsity was a versatile twin piston-engined aircraft brought into RAF service in 1951 for crew training as a replacement for the Wellington T10. This Vickers Varsity T Mk I was on display at RAF Cosford.

The aircraft had been designed three years earlier in response to an Air Ministry specification and had been put into production once proving trials and operational tests had been completed. To adapt the successful Valetta design for a general purpose crew trainer, the Varsity was given a nose-wheel undercarriage and an under fuselage pannier bomb-aimer’s station. The Museum also has an example of the Valetta which is awaiting major restoration.

The most outstanding quality of the Varsity was that it could provide excellent training for pilots, flight engineers, radio operators, navigators and bomb aimers simultaneously. The latter were seated in a very large ventral gondola which contained bomb aiming equipment and a small quantity of training bombs.

The prototype Varsity T MkI made its maiden flight on 17 July 1949. The RAF took its first deliveries in October 1951 which went to No.201 Squadron, Advanced Flying School at Swinderby, Lincolnshire. Production of the Varsity T MkI for the RAF ceased on 28 February 1954 after a total of 163 had been built.

WL679 was built by Vickers Armstrong at Bournemouth and released from their factory on 25 September 1953. This was the last Varsity to fly with Royal Air Force Insignia, but in the very distinctive livery of the Royal Aircraft Establishment. It landed at RAF Cosford on 27 July 1992 and signalled the end of an era spanning over 43 years.

Orc Rogue Idol at Warhammer World

This is a Forge World Orc Rogue Idol at Warhammer World. When I first saw this model, I wasn’t too sure, but the more I look at it, the more I liked it.

When greenskin tribes gather for war, foetid effigies depicting the Orc gods Gork and Mork will be constructed. Using rock, dung, old battle trophies and other detritus, these ‘statues’ are intended to bring the favour of Mork (or possibly Gork) to the Orcs and Goblins mustering in their shadow. Some are no more than a heap of stones or no larger than a chapel door, but when a Waaagh! is brewing they can grow to immense proportions, and become so infused with the greenskins’ lust for battle that they are roused into life and will lumber forth to crush and bludgeon the enemy.

If a Waaagh! is subsequently defeated, or the concentration of greenskin magic dissipates, the idol will lapse back into immobility. However, when a Storm of Magic rages across the Warhammer world these gigantic devotions to the greenskin gods may rise up again as a Rogue Idol, mindlessly attacking all in their way until the storm blows its course.

I really like the modelling that has been done and the use of scenic materials to make it really look like it is just stones that are drawn together by magic.

I did think that it could be a good model for a Feral Ork army for WH40K.

Comper Swift

This Comper Swift was on display at RAF Cosford.

The Comper C.L.A.7 Swift is a British 1930s single-seat sporting aircraft produced by Comper Aircraft Company Ltd of Hooton Park, Cheshire.

In 1923 Flying Officer Nicholas Comper formed the ‘Cranwell Light Aeroplane Club’ (CLAC) for apprentices at RAF Cranwell. The CLAC built three successful light aircraft, all designed and flown by Comper with the majority of the construction work being carried out by the apprentices.

Having gained this experience Comper left the RAF to set up the Comper Aircraft Company. Their first product was the Comper Swift which was produced from 1929 until 1934.

The Swift was available in either red or blue and became one of the most popular racing aircraft of the 1930s. This example, G-ACGL, was built in 1933 and registered to Alex Henshaw of Mablethorpe.

Henshaw won several trophies in this aircraft. The most notable success was the Siddeley Trophy at the 1933 Kings Cup, only a year after he had gained his pilot’s license. He went on to become one of Britain’s foremost competition pilots and record breakers and served as a test pilot flying Spitfires and Lancasters during the Second World War.

Hawker Hunter F.6A

The Hawker Hunter is a transonic British jet-powered fighter aircraft that was developed by Hawker Aircraft for the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the late 1940s and early 1950s. It was designed to take advantage of the newly developed Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet engine and the swept wing, and was the first jet-powered aircraft produced by Hawker to be procured by the RAF.

Hawker Hunter F.6A

This Hunter is on display at Duxford and is on loan from the United States Air Force.