Blowing up More Desert Trains and Cutting Telegraph Wires

Interesting passage on Lawrence of Arabia, desert codes, telegraph wires and railways on page 249 in Codebreakers, the highly readable book on Room 40 and WW1 Codebreaking by James Willie and Michael McKinley (published by Ebury, 2015).

Pulling down telegraph poles? This of course makes sense as often the telegraph poles followed railways, so it was easy to cut these wires or pull these poles down (by camel!) under the guise of Lawrence attacking the railway again. All part of the annoyance and disruption value of guerrilla warfare but with a higher aim, reading the enemy’s codes.

A clever way to force the Turks to rely on wireless, much easier to intercept at a safe distance and then decrypt or decode than tapping telegraph wires.

Overall Codebreakers is a very interesting book on WW1, picked up in my local branch library (childhood habits die hard!) but certainly worth buying in paperback. It covers naval and submarine warfare, Zeppelin raids, the Western Front, Ireland, German espionage and sabotage in America and its legacy, the seeds of WW2 codebreaking and breaking the Enigma codes at Bletchley Park.

More on WW1 Wireless and Telegraph and SIG INT at my post https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/09/innovation-in-combat-ww1-wireless-and-telegraph-blog/

More on Lawrence and desert train gaming scenarios – next time I need to add some Telegraph poles alongside the railtrack!

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/blowing-up-desert-trains-part-1/

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 3 February 2019.

Advertisements

20% Less Pound Store Plastic Warriors for your Pound

My most recent trip to Poundland confirmed what I had heard through comments on the blog late last year, that my penny dreadful figures of 100 for a £1 (a penny a figure) was now 80 figures for a pound.

It took a few extra weeks to make it to the Southwest but the 80 figure tubs have finally arrived.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/10/31/pound-store-plastic-warriors-poundland-artwork/

Bik commented on this post here

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/26/off-to-poundland-on-a-mission/

Eventually in a few years we will just have 50 figures for £1 and they will become Tupenny Dreadful, twice the price they were last year but still reasonable conversion material.

My “penny dreadful” nickname for them came from my delight in Battle Game of The Month blogger Ross MacFarlane’s comment on the original pound store figures before I set to work with paint, pin and scalpel conversions that I have featured on previous posts. More figures on the painting table at the moment to share with you soon …

So even though they are now one “penny and a quarter dreadfuls”, still good play value for money.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN blog on my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, January 27th 2018.

The Other Channel Tunnel to Ireland

Interesting one page article by Peter Dale from my gaming scrapbook, taken from a very old copy of Volume 10 Issue 11, November 1996 of Backtrack, a railway history magazine. I kept this page when handed a batch of old railway magazines a while back, as I thought it had interesting gaming scenario ideas for the future.

Based on engineering discussions and papers from 1886 to 1901, Peter Dale explores whether a rail tunnel could have been built linking Ireland to the rest of mainland Britain via Scotland or Wales.

The geology and the whole idea proved too difficult and expensive and was quietly forgotten long before WW1, the Easter Rising, the Irish Civil War and Irish Independence.

It may have proved yet another awkward or weak point to be guarded in the national defences. Perfect for some game scenarios of “What if?”

I’m surprised it didn’t crop up in some of the literature of invasion scares that were around in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on my occasional Sidetracked blog, 22 September 2018.

Armoured train in a tin?

IMG_0399
Blowing up Desert Trains:My own train from a tin in action last year 
IMG_2876
Martin Rapier’s The Games We Play blog armoured train. 

Martin Rapier on his The Games We Play blog has done a fabulous conversion job on the good old train in a tin gift set, converting it into a sinister armoured train, useful for many scenarios

http://tgamesweplay.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/thomas-tank-engine.html

Cheaper than N-Gauge, this is a very versatile cheap instant train set available in two sizes or sets.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/deconstructing-trains-in-tins-and-boxes/

which has already cropped up, rough black painted but unconverted,  in several of my scenarios last year.

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/blowing-up-desert-trains-part-1/    Blog Post which leads or links to “Blowing Up Desert Trains Part 2”

The unconverted train is also perfect for the American Civil War, complete with cow catcher

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/charlotte-bronte-and-lawrence-of-arabia-blow-up-trains/

I must get around to dry brushing and weathering my black train this year.

Thanks, Martin Rapier, for the reminder to unTIN my Train more often.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, on the occasional Sidetracked blog 20 January 2018.

 

 

 

Moving German Planes to Turkey by Rail WW1 1917

IMG_2533
Interesting caption to the German Museum diorama (shown in / source: History in 1/72 blog)  

Interesting blog post and possible games scenario for blowing up more desert trains here on the History in 1/72 website, by German games blogger  Uwe, showing some excellent photos of an unusual museum diorama (in the  Airforce Museum,  near Munich)

http://historyin172.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/moving-airplanes-to-turkey.html

This would prove an interesting variation on our previous Lawrence of Arabia style games scenarios on blowing up desert trains.

These German planes and squadrons provided vital combat, photography and aerial reconnaissance services to the Turks, fighting the Allies in the Middle East. These would need to have been stopped if possible …

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 13 November 2017.

Eames Toccata for Toy Trains film

Sidetracked by watching a delightful 13 minute film by Charles and Ray  Eames, famous Twentieth Century husband and wife design team with a score by Elmer Bernstein.

Another one of their films, “Parade” features surprisingly few toy soldiers but lots of vintage toys.

Delightful!

Just imagine how the Eames would have embraced the opportunity of YouTube had it been available then.

What an amazing couple!

http://eamesfoundation.org

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_and_Ray_Eames

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, proudly underachieving and  slacking in comparison on the Sidetracked blog, 28 October 2017.

Spain in a Small Case

 

IMG_2234IMG_2232

“Spain in a Small Case – A Z Guage layout you can take with you”, described and built by M.J.G. Baggs, Continental Modeller Number 2 Autumn 1979.

Z Guage – now that’s really tiny, 1:220 scale, so almost 8 to 10mm figure scale in Wargaming terms.

Before there was Travel Battle in a case, there was a layout in a case. Only one page of the article has survived in my battered copy but you get the idea.

I hope M.J.G. Baggs (an appropriate surname for his subject) had hours of travelling fun with his instant Spanish layout. I have my Train in a TIN and variants for such instant railway fun, very therapeutic!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/deconstructing-trains-in-tins-and-boxes/

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 25 September 2017