Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Aberdeengrad Factory, Part 3

Mortal enemies on the field of combat during the Second World War, once more the T-34 and Panzer IV shall do combat. Our brave workers shall take advantage of the recently constructed Tank Training Field and fight each other in mock combat. May the better team win! Do not fear for their safety - they are specially trained and, at any rate, are due to be flown back to Britain over the weekend to return to work on the TARDIS. Kan Konstructions is very particular at having a non-dead work force.

The tanks are placed in position on either side of the training course. The T-34 has the height advantage and rolls out quickly, seeking it's opponent. The Panzer crew, more cautious given their disadvantage, carefully work their way across the landscape, watching for any tell-tale signs of the Russian armoured vehicle.

Such a careful approach does not pay off, and it is the bold manoeuvring of the T-34 that allows them to spot their opponent first!

Excited, the T-34 quickly load the main turret, take careful aim and fire! The Panzer crew barely notice the enemy before it's too late, and have no time to brace themselves for impact.

But what's this? Luck? Superior armour? A poor shot? For whatever reason the Panzer simply shrugs off the blast, the shell ricocheting off the tank. The advantage suddenly shifts - the T-34 is exposed, the weak undercarriage an easy shot for the now prepared Panzer IV. The crew turn the turret, take aim, and fire.

It's a simple shot, and it's all that's needed to destroy the T-34. Though saddened at the defeat of his preferred tank, Great Leader Phil can't help but acknowl---

But wait?

What's happening? There's a fire breaking out on the T-34. The crew are abandoning the now burning vehicle. This shouldn't happen, there's nothing explosive in that tank - it's made of plastic and rubber, for goodness sake!

Greg! Greg get out of there, man! That thing's gonna go any second now!



Doctor's and nurses rush to the scene of the accident, bravely ignoring the burning wreck nearby. It's to no avail, however, Greg was dead the minute the tank exploded in a massive fireball. Despite my shock, I remain amazed at modern medicine and how accurately it can ascertain the cause of death in an accident.

There's little I can do but remember Greg, and as I close my eyes a slow-motion montage of my memories of him begins to play in my mind to some appropriate music. Probably Greenday's Time of Your Life. It's always Greenday's Time of Your Life.

Haha. Oh Greg, from the moment you were removed from your plastic fastenings, to your work on the Victory and the TARDIS, to that time you were consumed by a horrifying explosion. I will remember you.

I don't have a bible, so I go to the book I have probably read the most in my lifetime, and I turn to Chapter 10, Page 169, Paragraph 6:

There was a long silence. At last Frodo spoke with hesitation. 'I believed that you were a friend before the letter came,' he said, 'or at least I wished to. You have frightened me several times tonight, but never in the way that servants of the enemy would, or so I imagine. I think one of his spies would - well, seem fairer and feel fouler, if you understand.'

Words to ponder. Let us all think them and remember how they apply to Greg.

The Aberdeengrad Factory, Part 2

Once more into the world of tanks, comrades, and this time the glorious workers of the mortherland have recreated the armoured vehicle that is the Mark IV Panzer. While true it is a weapon of the treacherous dogs of Germany, Great Leader Phil cannot help but be impressed by its design and effectiveness.

To give a short history, the Panzer IV was originally designed as a support vehicle for the German infantry until it was discovered the Panzer III was not at all suited to fighting the Motherland's glorious T-34 vehicles. It was shifted to full-on tank warfare, and became the back-bone of the German tank force. The Panzer IV was adaptable, strong and reliable, and a worthy enemy to the glorious tanks of the motherland. It suffered simply by being outproduced by Russian and American industrial strength.

The final product, fully painted at stickerised. Great Leader Phil is proud of the quality of the vehicle, as produced by the glorious workers of the Motherland.

As an aside, these past two models has given Great Leader Phil an insight Airfix (Panzer IV) and Revell (T-34/76) model techniques.

1. Airfix has a no-nonsense approach to it's instructions. Revell will guide you through the construction of a tank in two-dozen panels. Airfix takes six, and you will like it.
2. Airfix must label every piece individually. Revell acknowledges eight identical wheel parts can be labelled with the same number without much confusion.
3. Airfix seems to understand printing the paints you will need on the box will help ease the process of creating a tank smoothly. Revell will print the main three paints you need, and doesn't give a damn if you have to go back to the shop to get the other three you discover you need after viewing the instructions.
4. Airfix does not understand how to make tank treads simple to attach. Revell does. By heavens, Revell does.
5. Based a little on future construction projects: Revell seems to think you can give an accurate paint diagram by simply flipping the image. This does not work for an asymmetrical model, Revell.

Enough of that, let's get to the main deal. T-34 vs Panzer IV!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The Aberdeengrad Factory

Greetings comrades! For those wondering what may have happened to the TARDIS Venture, do not despair! Our capitalist cousins have simply suffered some unexpected setbacks at the hands of the upper-class capitalistic pig-dog that is David Cameron and his military spending cuts. In response a subdivision, which fully supports the plight of the workers (as of said spending cuts), has been created at Aberdeengrad! At present the TARDIS is in transportation to a new construction site, but it turned out to be of more difficulty than it would initially appear, as I believe the western phrasing goes. In layman - or, should I say, the superior lower-classes who will ultimately overthrow the exploitative elitists - terms, there is some difficulty in transporting objects that are of questionable interior mass.

In the meantime, the workers, under the guidance of Great Leader Phil (no relation to Master Shipwright Phil), has begun work on a simpler project. We say simple, for the project is none other than a Soviet T-34/76 tank! While slightly inferior to the later T-34/85 version, it is still a most gorgeous vehicle, and it is no exaggeration to call it the most favourite of tanks that Great Leader Phil has ever seen. Indeed, it has been recorded that it his main reason to visit the Imperial War Museum in London was to see the T-34 there.

Quite possibly the best general tank of the Second World War, only the well-honed techniques of the German Army let it down on the Eastern Front, and several of it's features going on to inspire future tank designs in the war, it would be rightly described as a thing of beauty if not for the fact it was designed to blow people up.

The unfinished model. While we applaud Revell for their devotion to the T-34 model, we must protest the filthy capitalistic instruction methods. In particular was the painting instructions - only some of the pieces were labelled as having to be painted, while the bulk was left to the SHOCK final pages of the manual. Clearly this is representative of western ways - leave things half-finished before NUKING your opponent with SHOCK AND AWE at the last stage. Not only that, but only half of the recommended paint colours were mentioned on the box, the rest we had to discover upon opening. We would have bought them,, I mean we would have organised a Five-Minute-Plan to decide which paints were needed and remove the rest on the recommendation of our chief Commisar officer.

A more completed model, fully painted except for the treads. While the manual offers no suggestions on how to colour these, we are more forward-thinking here in the Motherland, after all it's what got us into space first. Forward-thinking, not painting things.

For those interested, the model is 1:76 scale which, comparatively speaking, makes it a tiny bit bigger when compared to our workers in the picture above.

For those not interested, or for those who may suggest the pictures are being taken in soft lighting without the flash to disguise the poor quality of my first model-painting attempt, armed helpers shall arrive soon to escort you to the train station. There you shall be taken to the most underdeveloped, horrific region of our motherland for re-eduction. No not Siberia...Dundee.

Ah, comrades, we have received a new project. By an amazing coincidence it's another of my favourite tanks and, appropriately, one forced into a role more suited to countering the T-34...