Monday, September 16, 2013

I Had No Idea I Wanted Finnish Horses

And now I am getting some. :) Check out these masters done up by Gavin Tyler over at Baker Company. They are one of the many stretch goals making up his Winter War Kickstarter.

If you are reading this, help spread the word! Daddy needs a new field kitchen...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Off Track Already: Kickstarting the Winter War

I know, I know. Just last week I pledged to focus on AWI for a bit. Even ordered a bunch of Perry stuff from Architects of War that arrived with its usual amazing speed and quality.

Now here I am backing a Kickstarter project for the first time on Winter War figs! When I should be buying Fife and Drum stuff! Ach!

But, you may have seen Winter War games posted here before. Actual games! I have been pleased with my Finns and Russians from Battle Honours, but it never hurts to expand, does it? So when I saw these new sculpts from Baker Company, I jumped. Plus the whole stretch target thing is very intriguing. And a mini of Simo Häyhä to boot? I'm in!

You can see more here. If you are at all interested, please sign up. I want a T-26. :)

Now, to get around to ordering those GAZ trucks from Force of Arms...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Aces at Indy

I love it when two areas of hobby interest intersect, in this case, the Indy 500 and aviation. I have posted before about the exploits of American Eddie Rickenbacker and Frenchman George Boillot, both pilots in WW1 and drivers at Indy. But what about WW2?

There are a few examples, but one I was reading about today concerns one Ray Crawford. Though his racing career is somewhat non-distinguished (with finishes of 23rd, 29th and 23rd in three Indy starts in the late 1950s), he is apparently the only WW2 fighter ace who also raced at Indy. He recorded six victories in P-38s over North Africa in 1943.

Crawford was so skilled as a fighter pilot that he was brought back to the states as a test pilot. He and another pilot were taking turns flying the jet powered Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star prototype near the end of the war out of Burbank. On one of Crawford's turns he was ready to go up when there was a mechanical problem that made him bring the plane back so he lost his turn. After the problem was corrected the other pilot took the plane up only to suffer an engine flameout and was killed just after takeoff. The other pilot was Richard Bong who is better known as America's leading fighter ace with (at least) 40 confirmed victories in the Pacific.

Crawford died in Los Angeles in 1996.

Race car drivers and fighter pilots. Both require a special kind of crazy!