Wednesday 4 September 2013

Norfolk and USS Wisconsin

A few weeks ago I managed to work in a short trip up to Norfolk. My primary goal was to tour the USS Wisconsin as well as see the Navy Base. I accomplished this!
First was a trip to the Nauticus Museum. Its a great little museum about US Navy history and you can pet a small shark and horseshoe crab.
The main even was of course walking the Wisconsin. I was amazed by how different she was the North Carolina. I know they are different classes but they are still battleships and should feel similar. They really didn't. Layout, lines, equipment and environment. All were different. One of the main differences is that the Wisconsin was modernized while the North Carolina was decommissioned in 1947. So the Wisconsin is missing all the machine guns and AA but did have the mounts for Tomahawk and Harpoon missiles. For all that she is a gorgeous ship. They really don't make them like that anymore. The sleek flowing lines of her superstructure and hull.
That being said, I was a little disappointed with the tour. There were huge chunks of the ship you couldn't get too. You could only get into the wardroom and some berths and compartments around it. The North Carolina basically let you roam the whole ship. Bridges, engine room, magazines, under the turrets etc. Still, overall, a worthwhile trip and makes 2 of 7 Battleships that I have now seen.

After the tour of the Wisconsin I took a harbor tour which took you right past the navy ship yard. I got to see a whole stack of modern ships.



688 Class Submarine

The mighty Ike


The Ike and George H Bush

Monday 26 August 2013

USS North Carolina

I had the opportunity to visit the USS North Carolina down in Wilmington, NC just under 2 years ago on my 30th Birthday. It was a wonderful trip and I got to truly appreciate how big and powerful those ships were.

I have always loved battleships and its my goal to visit all 7 that are available to see in the USA. I also recently got to tour the USS Wisconsin which will be the topic of my next post.

Technical and operational history can be found here:

Just to give you an idea of how big these shells are, I stand 6 foot 5 inches.

Saturday 3 August 2013


I think its time for a new name and focus of this blog. It was originally meant to focus my Warhammer 40K hobby with the odd post about other stuff.

However since that time circumstances have changed. I have ended my love affair with 40K due to a few reasons. Mainly 6th edition if I have to be honest.

Over the last 2 years I have also been introduced to a whole range of new miniatures games which has really opened my eyes to what's out there. Great game systems and wonderful models.

My primary focus has now moved onto Flames of War which I find to be a wonderful game. With that, and the other games I play, I just don't think "Military of Ultramar" is appropriate any more. The focus now will be far more generic in scope with posts about any and everything that catches my fancy.

That being said I have no idea what to call it or what image to use as my banner so I am open to any suggestions. I am going to give myself a few days to think on it.

So this is notice to my few loyal followers.

Till next time.

Saturday 25 May 2013

Suddenly....Shermans: Part Deux

My South African armour is now painted. I haven't put on the decals as I don't have them yet but that should hopefully occur in the next month or two. I also added 2 M10C's to the tank park. While it isn't strictly historically accurate to have the C variant (The 6th Armoured Div only had the base M10's) I put them in so if I want to use other books to run the list I can. I am specifically thinking of the new Market Garden book where the 17pdr gun has been uprated to AT15.

The Company is out of the FOW Forces book, is Confident Trained and comes in at 1745 points. Should hopefully be able to use them in a game next weekend.

Group shot of the company.

4 Sherman's of the HQ Platoon

2 Platoons of Sherman's. 1 BF (front), 1 PSC (rear)

2 Platoons of Sherman's. 1 BF (front), 1 PSC (rear)

4 Stuarts


Saturday 4 May 2013


My latest brain fart (and what has been occupying my time and money for the last 2 months or so) is my Flames of War tank company based on the South African 6th Armoured Division which was stationed in Italy during 1944 and 1945.

Yes, I am South African :)

Now, given that there are no briefings to cover this I have decided to use a generic British Tank Company out of the Forces book. This allows me to take loads of Confident Trained tanks. It also allows me to take most of the vehicles that were in use by the Safa's

Having researched the division quite a bit I discovered that the South African's made use of pretty much every mark of Sherman (I-V) including the MkIV in at least one instance. I suspect that this is due to being attached to the US 5th Army during part of their time in Italy.

They also had access to 76mm armed Sherman's as well as 105mm armed versions. Sadly, no British Briefing allows me to take these variants as well Fireflies. Oh well. Normal 75mm and 17pdr versions will have to do.

They also had access to Stuarts as well as M10's though again, sadly, do not appear to have had access to the M10C's

In building up my actual army I decided that since they had such an eclectic variety of Sherman's I would try and get as many variants as possible in.

Using a combination of Plastic Soldier Company, Battlefront Open Fire and Achtung starter boxes as well as individual blisters I have Mk2, Mk3 and Mk5's mixed in. I also managed to acquire some M5A1 Stuarts for cheap off Ebay. I am now just waiting to build up my funds to get some M10's as well as some Commonwealth Infantry and some Sexton SPG's

Everything is built and is just waiting primer and paint.

20 Sherman's and 4 Stuarts. Enough to give the Hun and the Eyties a run for their money

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Ebay Auction

In the pursuit of stating a new Flames of War army I am going to sell off some my unused Warhammer 40k stuff. I have never sold anything on ebay before so this will be a trial run. If it goes well then I shall put up some more stuff.

First is a 2005 Games Day Veteran Sergeant Aurelius mini. He has been previously painted and used but I have stripped him down as best I can.

Anyone want to take a look? The auction can be found here:

Sunday 17 March 2013

Total War Flames of War

The last few months have been devoted Flames of War for me. I have painted up a whole stack of armour and infantry.

I have also been involved in 2 large Total War games kindly hosted by Britt at his house. I must say he went all out to generate 2 fantastic tables.

Both games involved 2 players aside, both fielding 1750 points each. For the allies we had Britt with his dirty Yanks and Josh with his vile and imperialistic British. On the side of the Axis was Kenny with his staunch and loyal Hungarians and me with my noble Germans.

The first game used almost pure Total War rules on a stepped table setup. While this was a good game, especially for learning purposes, it ended up being a bit disappointing and somewhat static since 3 of use turned up with Infantry Companies. Because of that casualties were fairly light on both sides. Victory went to the Allies. Due to getting caught up in the game I forgot to take pictures for most of it.

Table set-up

My copse of Doom. For some reason every single bit of Anti-Tank ended up around this bit of woodland.

 The second game was much more dynamic as there were now 3 Tank Companies and there was tons of death and violence. Set up was fairly simple. The axis had to take and blow 3 bridges to prevent the Allies crossing the Rhine. The allies had to keep at least 1 bridge open when the game ended to win the game. Once again, large portions of the battle go undocumented as we got so involved in the action.
The small village slumbers, unaware of what's coming

The Allies advance into the town, severely damaging the small detachment of German Armoured Cars that managed to get there first.

The Allies continue to push hard at the village. Axis forces start to react and move up to counter
Axis forces also align to the left and advance on the undefended bridge

Things start to heat up in the village as Allied forces pour in.

The King Tigers take and hold the bridge. 1 turn later they would rid the world of that Murderous Dog General Patton.

Aerial photograph shows that the town center is starting to become clogged with burning armour. It also reveals the death trap that Shwein-Shnitzel Hill had become for the Axis Armour. 

Sadly, the King Tigers failed their Storm Trooper role and ended up just in range of the Jacksons. One was destroyed and the other bailed. The platoon then failed its motivation and ran away, leaving the bailed tank to be captured. Sadly it was then given to the Cowardly French, repainted and stuck into a museum:

(Lets be honest, its amazing that this tank is still in good running order and I would kill to watch it in operation)

Sadly, all good things must come to an end and this is what the table looked like when the game ended. All of Britt's combat platoons had been destroyed or fled the field. Josh managed to roll an ungodly amount of motivation rolls and 3 of his armoured companies stayed on the field despite being down to 1 tank in each. The most important result though was that 2 bridges still stood and that allowed the Allies to carry the day.

Can't wait for the next one. Will have to see what tricks I can come up with so the Axis can get in a win.