Long Tan

August 18, 2012

The Battle of Long Tan (18 August 1966) was fought in a rubber plantation near the village of Long Tan, 27 kilometres north east of Vung Tau, in Phuoc Tuy Province, between D Coy 6 Royal Australian Regiment with support from Australian, New Zealand and US artillery and Viet Cong 275th Regiment with D445 Provincial Mobile Battalion NVA.

108-man D Company was in contact with a force of over 2,000 enemy for over three hours . Much of the fighting took place in a heavy downpour with the company position increasingly in danger of being overrun with the enemy frequently being halted in the assault by fire support. They held out untill armoured support of 3 Troop, 1st APC Squadron carrying B Coy 6RAR arrived from the firebase at Nui Dat

They suffured 18 killed and 28 wounded. It is estimated that they killed or wounded around 600 of their enemy.
The full documentry is avaliable on youtube.

This post is in acknowldgement of their professionalism and sacrifice. It is not an inviation for debate.

Ballista refurbishment Day Four

August 18, 2012

Did the dowling for the stand today. This is with the dowels in and wedged drying.

This is after sanding. Makes for a clean finsih that doesn’t result in black lines from metal fixtures.

Also put together the rear stand AKA the Y Stand.

This is what it looks like when you put them together. It seems that almost everyone who builds a ballista is convinced that they rested on a single rear brace that rested in a graduated rack on the back brace of the front stand. The problem is that this does not actually function. The aledged adjustment in angle is minimal and the configuration is unstable making the ballista usless in the fire support role.

To overcome these issues we went for this which we call the T/Y system. The front stand, the T stand carries the ballista and the Y stand has spikes set into the bottoms of the braces and you adjust the angle of the ballista by moving them forward of back. It makes the ballista very stable and reduces the grouping substantially. Usually at two events the ballista will be set up the evening before and will not require adjustment during the entire event. Given that we operate in some very confined places its essential that we don’t go waving things about randomly.

As you can see I’ve also started rigging. A lot and tedious activity.

Ballista refurbishment day three.

August 17, 2012

Firstly putting together various mountings for the stand. I make everything possible from wood. Not because its more period but rather because I work in wood.

This is the rear stand mount on the under side of the tray.

And this is the mounts on the front stand.

Meaning of course that the ballista can be mounted now.

After the woodwork some metal working because thats what washers are made of. Being mild steel they need to be cleaned and painted regularly.

I didn’t dismount the counterplates and just painted them in place.

Behold the sexy!

Tomorrow there will be assembling of the skiens.

Ballista refurbishment – day 2

August 17, 2012

Well the first job  in installing a new slide was to remove the old dovetail from the existing tray. This meant making the sides vertical and for this I made a tool. The Drill Driven Gutter Sander, or Duggie as I call him.

It worked very well and with some assistance from the chisel for the area inside the torsion fame I have a good clean gutter ifiarly short order. As always more time is spent setting up the work than the actual work. I would has dismounted the tray from the torsion from but those threaded rods are going nowhere. The damp from storage has locked them up tight so I saw no reason to mess with them and wrecl the holes getting them out.

The new square silde is made up of several parts and this is the key one in that it is the primary guide for the entire slide. In spite of using improvised tools its runs sung and smooth. Note: Cover with beeswax for lubrication and moisture resistance.

Also made yesterday was the front stand to replace the one that is currently hiding at the back of a pile of tent frames. On the up side its nice and pretty for showing off. Mmm pretty.

Today I’m finishing off the stand because its easier to work on the tray and slide with the ballista mounted. I’ll also be cleaning and painting the washers while dreaming of some brass shims that will not come to pass on my budget.

Free Roman legionary tent pattern.

August 16, 2012

Here you go a pattern and instructions for making your own Roman tent just like these ones.

Quick and easy Roman Legionary tent

No charge, feel free to share. By the way there’s also nothing stopping you from throwing five bucks ithe direction of the research fund if you happen too use the pattern and save yourself a couple of hundred dollars long the way.

You’re welcome.

The refitting of a ballista

August 11, 2012

Scipio is back in the fold for a refit. I’m about to go hunting sponsors and I need something shiny.

Scipio is currently rigged for stone throwing meaning the tray is set lower than usual so I’ll be making a new one to carrrying sharps.

Today was stripping off the fittings and getting the wood for a new stand and the tray. If I can dig out on of the spare triggers I’ll make a second stone tray as well. Also on the card is a spanner since Scipio has never been tensioned to full potential. Lets see if we can do better than the previous 160 metres.


Road trip – Kiwi style!

August 7, 2012

Ok so I WAS planning a trip tomorrow, but here in the Shire ocasionally something goes wrong. Flat tyre, sudden petrol price hike, dragons (which in these parts is more often than you’d think) and of course one of the fun parts of living in one of the more active parts of theRing of Fire (not a Johnny Cash song).

The earthquakes of last couple of weeks have borne fruit and Tonagriro has gotten all like “yeah dude I’m gonna fuck you up… and your little car too!” Civil Defence issued a threat warnings to Waikato, Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne, Manawatu-Whanganui (hey I LIVE there!), Bay of Plenty (damn I was going there) and Taranaki.

We’re due to be on the road this time tomorrow, but I’m just going to review that over the next 24 hours I think. Sleep in or play dodge the molten flying rock… such a line call.

Oh yeah the water is off too. Wonder if thats related to explody mountain stuff. If a bunch of dwarves show up for dinner and invite me on an adeventure tell them to piss off.

Dino’s in the news again

August 3, 2012

Aww hell we’ve been watching him for years now. Hardly what you’d call “secret” s it.
Stupid media.

Broken ballista is broken…

August 2, 2012

This is my heavy ballista model from the evolution collection. Its suffered some parts loss and inexpert modifications in the three years its been in someone elses care. It would easily be one of my favorites of the collection and it will be the first to be restored.

My quick estimation from going over the models is that I’m looking at about a year to get all the restoration completed. Once that is done I’ll have an exhibition worth of models… in my garage.

Maybe I should turn the garage into a catapult museum…

New aquisition for Murrays Museum.

August 1, 2012

A very nice fibula from around 100AD, found in Germany. It’s actually in much better condition that it appears.

Soon to be reproduced as functional living history item.