I`ve mentioned before the Spanish Christmas thing called "Belen" where they build the most amazing nativity scenes :D
So at this time you tend to find bags of flock, buildings and all sorts of terrain items on the shelves of those "Chinese" shops, some of which can be very useful and usually pretty cheap.
Anyway on Saturday as it was our last night before flying home this morning we went to the local town for tapas and there was a Christmas street market - not something we`d seen here (in our local town) before, anyway among the usual stalls was one selling Belen building and animals, nativity people, etc :D Mostly far too big for me (wonderful work though, most impressive). But I did find these aloe vera, which I quickly snapped up for my Tunisian/Syrian/Mexican battlefields.
I took a couple of quick shots with Shellhole Scenics Yaqui
I`ve been writing a new scenario after I found a good article on the defense of Faid Pass, Tunisia by the French at the end of January 1943.
The action basically pits French artillery against DAK armour, but most of my French `75s are the later type with pneumatic wheels and the battery involved was hippomobile (horse drawn), so I needed to build a new battery, this has taken about a week altogether:
1ere batterie du 67 RAA
Gun on move (I know should have 6 horses, but for space I went with only 4)
Horse team are EWM, gun and Limber are Hat
Gun, deployed limber & crew all Hat, the spent shells and ammo cash are EWM
Gun and most crew Hat, again ammo cash from EWM, the gun commander was an Italeri Italian (head-swapped)
The whole battery together
I also needed to field some French engineers, not except for a single flamethrower by FAA, no-one actually makes French engineers, so I had to scrounge up some figures and do minor conversions to suite:
Platoon 1ere Coy I/19 Genie
EWM MG cart (new wheels) piled high with various bits, one horse is Tumbling Dice, the other Imex
4 x Airfix WW1 French (two have arm swaps & I`ve added rifles)
2 x Hat gunners
Esci FFL with head swap and added pack, Airfix FFL with head swap
In the Mediterranean in 1941 the Italians start using underwater chariots to mine the undersides of allied ships. Explosives expert Lionel Crabbe arrives in Gibraltar to organise defenses, but finds only two British divers available to help him. Even more worrying, it seems likely that the Italians are secretly using neutral Spain across the bay as their key base.
Film made in 1958, directed by William Fairchild
Starring: Lawrence Harvey, Dawn Adams and featuring Sid James
Based on the real life story of Lionel Crabb and his exploits in Gibralter during the war.
Crabb solved the mystery of how Italian frogmen were attacking ships in Gibralter, they were working from the interned Italian Tanker Olterra.
The auxiliary ship Olterra was a 5,000 ton Italian tanker scuttled by her own crew at Algeciras in the Bay of Gibraltar on 10 June 1940, after the entry of Italy in World War II. She was recovered in 1942 by a special unit of the Decima Flottiglia MAS to be used as an undercover base for Manned torpedoes n order to attack Alliedshipping at Gibralter.
Photo showing the concealed hatch
In one scene the British are preparing their defenses for an expected Italian attack you can see several Northover Projectors being set up to hurl depth charges into the bay, nice to see actual, interesting wartime weapons on screen.
The Projector, 2.5 inch—more commonly known as the Northover Projector—was an ad hoc anti-tank weapon used by the British Army and Home Guard during WW2.
With a German invasion of Great Britain seeming likely after the defeat in the Battle of France, most available weaponry was diverted to the regular British Army, leaving the Home Guard short on supplies, particularly anti-tank weaponry. The Northover Projector was designed by Home Guard officer Robert Harry Northover to act as a makeshift anti-tank weapon, and was put into production in 1940 following a demonstration to the PM, Winston Churchill.
The weapon consisted of a hollow metal tube attached to a tripod, with a rudimentary breech at one end. Rounds were fired with the use of black powder ignited by a standard musket percussion cap, and it had an effective range of between 100 and 150 yards. Although it was cheap and easy to manufacture, it did have several problems; it was difficult to move and the no76 incendiary grenade,it used as one type of ammunition had a tendency to break inside the breech, damaging the weapon and injuring the crew. Production began in late 1940, and by the beginning of 1943 nearly 19,000 were in service. Like many obsolete Home Guard weapons, it was eventually replaced by other weapons, such as the 2pdr anti-tank gun.