Thursday, November 11, 2021

High Flight

Another Remembrance Day has passed. I always find it a somber and sad day. One of my earliest childhood memories would be of a Remembrance Day service at Camp Chilliwack. I was three or fours years old. 

This is a photo of the war memorial to Royal Air Force squadrons based at RAF Wickenby during the Second World War. 

Sculpture of Icarus by Margarita Wood ARCA, lettering by Ralph Beyer. Unveiled 1981. 

My father served with 626 Squadron during the winter of 1944. The squadron lost 49 planes in operations leading to the liberation of Europe. Bless all who served. 

High Flight 
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, --and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of --Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew --
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Lightning Strikes - Roman Carroballista

Christmas 2000, Joseph my good friend and gaming buddy, and I met for our annual Roman Civil War. We were playing WRG 7th edition rules. Suddenly I found myself on the receiving end of massed fire of a unit of carroballista. Joseph and his wife, had spent the evening before my arrival, converting some Airfix Ancient Britain chariots, mated with Airfix Roman scorpio bolt throwers. It was a nasty surprise and the speed of the unit on the battlefield was inspiring.  

Three of Joseph's carroballista run circles around his Legion

Warlord Games used to offer a scorpion mounted on a mule cart. From the time I first saw the image until recently it was always out of stock. This afternoon I couldn't even find it listed on their site. Meanwhile I squandered my hard earned sestertius on other frivolous figures and projects. 

While combing my mountain of lead, I uncovered some ancient (30+ year old) Ral Parta/RAFM scorpions. The Early Imperial Roman Cart is nearly always available  for purchase. So I ordered three. This project has been sitting on my painting table for the last 6 months and I finally found time to complete it,

Image of a carroballista on Trajan's Column

I am now seeking some 25mm artillery crewmen. I have some Foundry figures, but the 28mm heroic scale of the crewmen seem rather out of scale to the bolt throwers themselves. However when compared to the carvings on Trajan's Column, maybe I shouldn't worry. If I am unable to find what I am searching for, I will paint the figures up.