Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Last Great Effort - Cactus to Clouds (almost)

Last Saturday morning at 0400am myself and Rob Snape took on the challenge of one of America's hardest trails. It was our last great effort before heading home for Christmas and for us it was a journey of rediscovering what our body's were capable of enduring. The 'Cactus to Clouds' is a climb/trek which starts roughly 300ft above sea level to over 10200ft, or in better terms from Palm Springs to the top of San Jacinto. The first part of the climb took us almost 11 hours and which finished at the Sky Tram, just over 8500ft. However the second part of the hike, even though only 15km, proved to be the hardest part of our journey and it happened to be covered in snow. It was because of the snow that we lost the track on more then one occasion and this in turn reduced our available day light. In the end we just fell short of reaching the top of San Jacinto and had to return before we lost light.

Our GPS reading on the elevation before heading up.

Rob at the start of the hike

4100ft mark.....a little tied

6400ft........not happy

And me.....happy to be there

One of many great views along the way

Looking up from about 6000ft at the top of the first part of the climb. If you look closely you can just make out the Sky Tram.

The view from around 7000ft, we had just made it to the tree line.

Not far to the top now only another 600ft but snow and tree fall was starting to slow us down.

Another of those great views

Almost there

Once we made it to the top of the first climb we were confronted with another 5.5mile trek

Through snow.....

to another marker at 9100ft telling us it was another 3.3miles to go..yippee!!

At 9700ft we lost the track and after attempting to go on for another 2km further in the snow we decided to turn back.

9700ft and still pictures of this stage the poor man was hurting.

This was the closest we got to San Jacinto, roughly 10100ft the journey was too much and fading light forced us to return. The peak is in the centre of the image, between the trees.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Perry Miniatures - Choson Army Armoured Infantry

I have just recently received some more images from Leroy Simpson. His latest edition to his great Choson Korean Army is this fine unit of Armoured Infantry from Perry Miniatures. The figures are from the KOR22 pack which portrays infantry carrying the Chong Tong or Arquebus and are modelled loading and firing.


Saguntum 1811 - Black Powder

Just the other weekend Andrew Parr and Adam Burke played a great game of Napoleonic's. The scenario used was that from the "General de Brigade' scenario books - Saguntum 1811 and the rules followed were that of Black Powder. The French, played by Andrew, were to withdraw at least two of their brigades from the field of battle. The Anglo-Portuguese, under Adam's command, were to defeat the French in detail before they could decisively disengage and withdraw from the field. The result, as I am told, ended in a draw, only one French Brigade managed to withdraw and one British brigade was forced the retire. All units pictured are from both Andrew's and Adam's collections. The terrain was designed and created by Adam.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

3 Miles up and 3 Miles Down - Running around Big Bear CA

I know this does not have anything at all to do with wargaming, but I thought I would share it with you all anyway. This was just one of those crazy things you have to do when a little bored and away from home. For myself and Rob Snape, well we decided it would great fun to drive two hours up to Big Bear CA, run up hill for 5km, then run back down 5km and finally drive home again. All in a days fun. The run up took us about 40mins, mostly up hill and ankle deep in snow. I was OK as my runners happened to be layered with Gore-tex, however poor Rob had to contend with wet feet most of the way up and down. But it was rewarding and the views along the way and at the top were just fantastic. So I thought I could not have all the fun and decided to put a few of those images up for you all to view.

Our start point for the run up.

About half way up we stopped for a short breather and a photo opportunity not to be missed.

2.5km into the run and a great view of Big Bear Lake behind me.

I'm not much of a tracker but this paw print was from a big cat...we ran a little faster after seeing the size of it.

A little bit of snow and wet feet for poor Rob.

From 6850ft to just over 8000ft, in 40min, we finally made it to the top.

Grand View Point and well worth the run.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Visit to the 'Architects of War' 19 Nov 2010

On the last day of my stay in Virginia, my good friend Larry arranged for us to visit the home of Barb and Ernie Baker, who are also the owners of a great new little company call the 'Architects of War'. Barb and Ernie's company provide some of the finest gaming terrain on the market. They have also just started producing an equally fine range of American Civil War figures. The terrain is all 28mm and is designed to be equally useable in a number of American or European conflicts. Many of the products are built in a fine resin with the window fittings and doors produced in metal, thus allowing you either have doors open or closed. Also on many of the buildings the roofs can be removed, which is fantastic if you are playing a skirmish type game. Barb and Ernie also offer a small range of trees, fences and stone walls to add to their great little range. The complete range comes unpainted so a little work will have to be completed on your behalf. I could not help myself and luckily, on my way to the airport, thus I was restricted to what I could fit in my bag, however I did manage to spend $150 on the stone wall set, Larry on the other hand brought a little more. Many of the buildings and terrain that you see in the images provided above and below are from the 'Architects of War' range and were taken of the great display table Bard and Ernie have set up in there little shop, below their house. Also of note if you are living in Australia, Bard and Ernie are looking for an Australian distributor.

Just on the right of this image is the great cornfield AoW produce.

A section of the stone wall. They also have a variant which comes with a number of trees and will also be producing corner sections.

Many if not all the buildings are produced by AoW, including the little out house.

AoW also produce a range of prepared positions for your gun batteries which can be used for any black powder conflict through to WWII

The stone wall with logs on top is another product of AoW.

A nice little siege line and artillery set from AoW. This can be purchased either by sections or as a set piece.

One of their latest pieces a pig pen.