Wednesday 28 August 2019

Military Odyssey 2019

Over the weekend I went to the Military Odyssey living history show in Kent. I've been to this show several times over the years but rarely in such good weather. This is a multi-period event with reenactors covering everything from Ancient Greece through to the present day. Some of the groups were small in number but all were as enthusiastic and friendly as I have come to expect at this show. Indeed the organisers had put special emphasis on engagement with the public this year and there were some very interesting displays across the site. As usual, I shot a lot of pictures and here is a small selection of my favourites. 

As usual with these sort of events, there was a preponderance of WWII related equipment on display, so I'll start with that. 

M8 Greyhound armoured car - This 6x6 armoured car entered service in 1943 and was used throughout the war by the Allies (some were still in service in foreign armies as late as 2006!). It was fast and reliable but was generally accepted to be too lightly armoured. 

SAS Desert Jeep - When the SAS was created it started life being ferried around by the LRDG. Very quickly the SAS acquired and adapted the jeep as its carriage of choice and many raids were carried out in these fast reliable vehicles.

StuG III - I think this is a replica vehicle I have seen before but sporting a new coat of paint, a late war splinter camo pattern. 

I have seen this replica Supermarine Spitfire Mk IIa at several events as part of static displays.

This clever and interesting Parachute Regiment display shows a specially adapted jeep being unloaded from what I assume is meant to be the hull of a Horsa glider. 

A  nice little vignette showing American Parachute troops from the 101st Airbourne. Note the 'Screaming Eagle' arm patch on the right shoulders of these uniforms. 

The thing I like about Military Odyssey is that this isn't an exclusively WWII event. At least half of the displays were dedicated to a wide range of earlier periods.

Medieval Cannon - There were three guns being fired and I had a chance to speak with one of the owners earlier in the day.  He explained how he build his replica but emphasised that the originals were made with poorer quality materials and with variable quality gunpodwer...not a safe combination!

I was able to capture the moment the touch hole was lit, showing just how much flame was expelled from the top of the gun as well as the barrel. 

And a microsecond later its all over bar the smoke. These guns are never used to fire projectiles as they would be just too dangerous. With an effective range of about half a mile and an extreme range of a mile, they could make someone's day very bad indeed. 

Very oddly sized reenactors... It seems scale creep is not just a wargaming phenomenon! 

The Hoplite Association was formed in 2001 and was the first re-enactment group to focus exclusively on the Classical Greek Period. Their equipment was first-rate, but I felt their Phalanx was a bit thin! 

Despite being only two ranks deep it gave a vivid impression of what it would be like to face a wall of speartips. 

I missed most of the big battle reenactments this year as I spent a lot of time exploring the trade stands, but I did arrive in time to see the Sothern Skirmish Association fire massed volley at the end of their display  

The Union troops gave a rousing chorus of Rally Round the Flag as they marched from the arena.

I may not be able to afford to buy militaria from the traders, but I didn't come home empty-handed. Three new T-Shirts from Art of War and some excellent reference books from Dave Lanchester

Monday 19 August 2019

Back to Reality

We flew back into the UK early on Sunday morning and two days later I still haven't fully recovered from the exertions of our holiday or the lack of sleep incurred on the flight. I have however been able to sort through nearly a thousand photo's (!) and here is a very small selection of the wonderful history we explored. 

Probably not a good idea to wear a black t-shirt!! 
Exploring the remains of a Byzantine-era fort in Paphos

4th Century BC coins in the Cyprus Antiquities Museum with the face of Alexander the Great on them

Lead slingshot dating from the Hellenistic period

Bronze Hellenistic Period helmet
Heading into another hole in the ground...lucky I had a torch!

18th Century firearms displayed in the Limassol Castle Museum

The Young Padawan was my trusty sidekick through many dusty adventures exploring the archaeology of the island

Down in the Tombs of the Kings (no actual kings were buried here...just very rich noblemen)

The spectacular amphitheatre of Kourion is not to be missed. 
Now that we are home I have several gaming projects to kick start back into life. Several packs of models arrived while we were away and I have a couple of games planned for the next few weeks. Back to my less than normal life! 

Monday 5 August 2019

Temporary Radio Silence

It's that time of year again and the Hadley household will be heading off on holiday for a couple of weeks. Consequently, the blog will fall silent for a little while (some people may even prefer it that way!). It's not complete radio silence though, as I will no doubt be posting a few pictures on facebook and twitter (I can't help myself). I have a list of archaeological sites and museums that I want to visit while we are away, so I'm sure I'll find plenty to take photos of during our stay. 

Its been a busy few months both personally and professionally and I'm looking forward to having a complete break from 'real-life' for a couple of weeks. The azure waters of the Mediterranian beckon, I have a pile of books to take away and, in between visiting historical sites, I expect to spend a lot of time resting, reading and recuperating!

I won't be completely idle on the wargaming front though. When I get back from the holiday the planning and preparation for this winters Analogue Painting Challenge begins in earnest. I have a large project planned and there are a lot of miniatures to be cleaned up and prepped for painting. I am also planning a series of games with my existing 6mm Punic War collection (more To the Strongest!) including taking it to the Shed-o-War for a 'big' game with some of the Rejects. I have a couple of new units for the Carthaginians to paint before that and need to get cracking with them as soon as I get back from holiday. I have a scenario planned and army lists prepped but as this will be a multiplayer game - and they will all be newbies to the rules - so I have some work to do to ensure the game runs smoothly.