The New Zealand Tiki Squadrons (2)

23 Squadron Tiki Nose Art RNZAF 1944

Continuing on from The New Zealand Tiki Squadrons (1) there were further examples of tiki art in use by the New Zealand military (in both the RAF and the RNZAF) during World War II. Next up is No. 135 Squadron RAF stationed in India in 1943, which flew Hurricanes. It’s not clear exactly how many New Zealanders operated in this squadron but the specific Hurricane pictured was flown by Pilot Officer WH “Hugh” Dean of the RNZAF. Read more ›

Posted in Europe 1939-43, Europe 1944-45, In The K-Rations, Mediterranean 1940-45, Pacific/Far East 1941-45, WW2 Aerial, WW2 History Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The New Zealand Tiki Squadrons (1)

75 Squadron Tiki Nose Art RAF 1943

A friend of mine has been researching the use of tiki symbolism in New Zealand prior to the 1950’s, and most notably it’s use in military units and formations. A German author, Sven Kirstin, has written 3 books about tiki pop culture (published by Taschen), claiming that this was somehow a unique cultural invention particular to the United States. Despite the fact it has been pointed out to him that white New Zealanders adopted the tiki as a popular culture icon on postcards, book covers, stamps, ashtrays, cigarette lighters, mugs etc. decades before white Americans did, he has failed to mention this in his books and persists in his view that it’s a unique cultural feature of the USA that originated around the 1950’s. Read more ›

Posted in Europe 1939-43, Europe 1944-45, In The K-Rations, Mediterranean 1940-45, Pacific/Far East 1941-45, WW2 Aerial, WW2 History Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Duty And Daring

Proserpine & Commerce de Bordeaux face HMS Defence

It was a devastating battle, leaving several French and Spanish ships struggling to remain afloat. Proserpine (a 36-gun Frigate) was not involved in the battle, having been on picket duty nearby. Now having arrived at the scene of the battle to deal with it’s aftermath, Capitaine de corvette Cyrille Léopold Villeneuve (Proserpine’s commander) has been ordered by the fleet commander to assist the 3rd Rate, Commerce de Bordeaux, that has been damaged in the fight. The ship has suffered severe damage to masts, rigging, hull and rudder, and has no surviving ship’s boats. It’s officers and men have taken heavy casualties, have lost their captain, and jury rigged sails and rudder have proved inadequate for her to navigate on her own. The wind and tides are are driving the ship perilously close to reefs and shoals off the enemy coast. Proserpine must get to the Commerce de Bordeaux, take it in tow, and make her way to safer waters before the stricken 3rd Rate falls victim to the rocks or enemy vessels! Read more ›

Posted in Age Of Sail, Anchorage SGN Solo, Sails of Glory, Solo Gaming Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Un Trio de Batailles Navales (3)

Audacieux vs. HMS Vanguard

With a second glorious victory for the Royal Navy, we prepared to set sail one more time – the mighty HMS Vanguard set forth again under my command opposed by the French Téméraire Class 74 Audacieux (actually the Sails of Glory model Généreux again) commanded by Joel. Having successfully defeated Généreux and sent her off across the channel with a prize crew HMS Vanguard resumed her close blockade of part of the Brittany coast, and it was not long before a French vessel (le Audacieux) was spotted making a run for the nearby port… Read more ›

Posted in Age Of Sail, Ahoy! Shipmates!, Sails of Glory Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Urgently Wanted: 1/72 HäT WW1 Figures

Nick's WW2 Battle of Crete diorama

Nick Papadopoulos of Papatoetoe in Auckland is currently in the process of mustering 1/72nd scale figures to produce two dioramas to display on behalf of the Papatoetoe Historical Society for the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings. The dioramas will be a ‘Gallipoli Battle Scene‘ and ‘A Generic Western Front Trench Scene‘. To make these dioramas Nick is utilising HäT WW1 Figures – HOWEVER HäT are out of stock of some key packs so Nick needs help! He’s also looking for people to help him get the project completed as soon as possible (I presume by 25 April 2015)! Read more ›

Posted in 20mm Figures & Models, Community News, Gallipoli 1915-16, Some Other Things, Western Front 1914-18 Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Un Trio de Batailles Navales (2)

Généreux vs. HMS Vanguard

After our brief but brutal Frigate Encounter we moved on to a pair of SOLs (Ships Of the Line), being a pair of 3rd Rates (74 Guns). Joel was once again the French (commanding Généreux) while I again represented His Majesty’s glorious Royal Naval (on board HMS Vanguard)! “…somewhere not far from the coast of France an attempt is being made to sneak past the British Blockade by a lively French 74, but his majesties navy is up tot he task and intercepts the wayward enemy…” Read more ›

Posted in Age Of Sail, Ahoy! Shipmates!, Sails of Glory Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Un Trio de Batailles Navales (1)

Frigate Encounter: HMS Concorde vs. Courageuse

As I mentioned in my Setting Sail with Sails of Glory post I’ve been keen to get my teeth into playing the rule set recently, I’ve always been keen on Age of Sail naval gaming, and while I enjoyed playing the Langton Rules (Hoist the Signal for Close Action) – both full and fast play variants – and some other rules (like Fire As She Bears) I have always been looking for something with the right feel for me – which to be honest is something akin to the mechanics in the old Warhammer “Man o’ War” rules from the 1990’s. Sails of Glory seems to offer the feel of “Man o’ War” for the fun side, and obviously a better feel than the latter overall for age of sail tactics, so that while still just a game it contains enough historical content to at least give the impression of having a vague simulation aspect as well! Read more ›

Posted in Age Of Sail, Ahoy! Shipmates!, Sails of Glory Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Our Ships Were French Oak And Hearts of Oak Our Men

HMS Vanguard takes on the Duguay-Trouin

Contre-amiral Thierry Victore’s ad-hoc squadron has been in pursuit of an enemy Royal Navy ship heading towards the safety of its waters. Aboard the ship was a passenger carrying vital intelligence of great importance to The Directoire. Capitaine Géroux’s mission was to prevent that passenger from reaching the enemy shore, and if possible, to capture him. However during the night fog enveloped both ships, potentially allowing the prey to escape, but as night gave way to day the fog started to lift… When all became clear, Géroux found himself within firing range of the enemy. Dryade was in a position to wreak havoc upon the enemy ship but failed. In the process Capitaine Géroux was unable to sink or capture the english ship nor capture the passenger and gain the critical intelligence. Unable to make clear plans following the disaster poster le brouillard Amiral Victore has dispatched a ship to observe each of the likely ports the enemy vessel has temporarily taken shelter in. Read more ›

Posted in Age Of Sail, Anchorage SGN Solo, Sails of Glory, Solo Gaming Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When The Fog Lifts

Dryade collides with HMS Sybille and is raked -

Capitaine de frégate Josepe Aurèle Géroux had been pursuing the English frigate for several days now, but finally he had outthought his foe and was almost upon them. His command, the Dryade (a 36-gun Frigate of the Republic) was in fighting trim and spoiling for a fight, and he was himself known in the French Navy for his uncanny aim and the quality of his crew’s gunnery. It was also vital that the English vessel be caught, as it contained valuable intelligence on board and a person of great interest to The Directoire, it must not reach the safety of English waters! However as dawn approaches the Dryade has been shrouded in a thick sea fog, and the enemy vessel is lost from sight – but with the rising sun the fog burns off and the enemy is spotted… Read more ›

Posted in Age Of Sail, Anchorage SGN Solo, Sails of Glory, Solo Gaming Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Setting Sail With Sails Of Glory

Sails of Glory

Ahoy there shipmates, we’re setting sail with Sails of Glory! That’s right, hopefully there is finally a playable, fun, Age of Sail ruleset – and it features ready painted ships for those who just want to get into playing… After much frustration with numerous rulesets over the years (for various reasons), including both versions of Langton’s “(Hoist The Signal For) Close Action“, “Fire As She Bears“, “Trafalgar“, and others – and flip-flopping between scales (1/1200 and 1/2400) – I’m hoping SoG (Sails of Glory) is finally something fun and easy to play long-term that will have enough historical feel to prevent it getting bland quickly! Read more ›

Posted in Age Of Sail, Ahoy! Shipmates!, Sails of Glory Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dogfight over Peepinghtohm 1917

World War 1 R.E.8 Crew

Great video from West Tokyo Wargamers of a World War I aerial game using the Wings of War (now Wings of Glory) game and miniatures!


Posted in Talk In The Trenches, Wings of War / Glory, WW1 Aerial Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Steven Zaloga Says Fury OK

Fury Movie Brad Pitt

Stumbled across an interview with Steven Zaloga (c/- Mad Padre Wargames Blog) and it’s discussion around the movie “Fury” and the performance of the Sherman (and Allied Armour in general) in North-West Europe 1944-1945. Zaloga criticises some of the accepted truisms on tank warfare in NW Europe (namely about the Sherman’s vulnerability and the claimed 5 to 1 ratio of how many Allied tanks it took to destroy one German tank) – he also cites a disproportionate reliance on British authors describing their experiences of Normandy, which obviously is not representative of the campaign as a whole (in Normandy Montgomery used his armour as a battering ram to (a) keep infantry casualties down, and (b) ensure German armour and other resources were continually drawn to the northern sector in preparation for the breakout in the centre & south). Read more ›

Posted in Books, Mags, Websites, Europe 1944-45, Films & TV Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fire & Sword Turn 05: March 1884

The fight near Dongola in February 1884

After the rather erratic results in February 1884 the Anglo-Egyptian forces were facing some great challenges (and some perhaps unrecognised opportunities) in March. Both Eastern & Western Sudan are only showing very low levels of rebellion and not offering a serious threat to the Anglo-Egyptians – the real fight for Sudan is spread the length of the Nile, from Fashoda all the way downstream to Abu Hamed. In the North the 3rd Company, 19th Yorkshire Regiment headed south from Aswan to Wadi Halfa ready to move into the Sudan in April; where it is joined by a late reinforcement in the form of a company of the Egyptian Camel Corps and a Screw Gun Battery of the British Camel Corps. Read more ›

Posted in Revolt In The Sudan, Sudan & East Africa, The Sword And The Flame Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Italeri Church

Italeri Church

Following on from my last post (Italeri Country House With Porch) the other model I picked up from Kieran’s cancelled commission project was the Church (Italeri Kit 6129). This includes an attached (custom made) cemetery and is an outstanding model (if somewhat large). Ther design makes this primarily suited to Northern Mediterranean areas (and Southern Europe), such as Spain, Italy, and Southern France, as well as possibly Croatia, Northern Bosnia, etc, and possibly Southern Austria and the like… Read more ›

Posted in 20mm Figures & Models, Buildings & Fortifications, Crossfire, Europe 1939-43, Europe 1944-45, Mediterranean 1940-45, Pieces Of Nature Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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