Monday, 27 April 2015

Milestone: 500 Views

Got dang, I've hit 500 views! I would like to thank everyone who has viewed my blog since its beginnings. 

I've had views in China, India, Australia, New Zealand, Ukraine (I think), Turkey, the U.S., and, of course, the United Kingdom.

It's because of you guys that I strive to keep this blog as active as possible, what would be the point if I didn't have an audience to share my stories and ideas with?

Thanks so very much for your support.

Cheers,
Sean.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

ANZAC Day


I'm a little late, by a day, but I would like to wish those of you in Australia and New Zealand a happy ANZAC Day as we remember those who served during the Great War. As well as those who have served in Vietnam, representing the Commonwealth, and those who are currently in active service.

Lest We Forget.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Update: Apologies

Sorry I haven't been updating this as frequently as I was before. I've got a lot of personal stuff going on right now (including moving house), as well as an African ImagiNation to be president of.

But some updates, I've jotted down what I want from RH models (AKA Liberation) and this will be the basis of my 3 forces. Sadly they don't do any RUC, Military Police, or the like as far as I can tell, which is a shame, and I don't want to mix manufacturers even though Elhiem do some great RUC miniatures.

Feel free to follow President Goodwill Hunter over at natonga.blogspot.com as he struggles against rebels with support from their former colonisers, the British.

A break down of the miniatures I'm planning to order:
- a variety of Falklands British in Berets with a variety of weapons (GPMG, Sterlings, SLR).
- a pack of Falkland Argentinians wearing Parkas and wooly hats (for paramilitaries wanting to keep warm).
- a number of their civilian packs, including a camera man and VIP, as well as armed with AK74s and SVDs.
- some of their Urban Meltdown range with a mixture of weapons (Uzis, M16s, AKs, and Brens).

Hopefully I'll have the order sent off soon and, as this is my first time ordering from them, I hope it is a pleasurable experience with both customer service and satisfaction!

Until then,

Cheers,
Sean.

Monday, 20 April 2015

News: Soldiers Injured


'Soldiers have clashed with Republicans today as tensions rise between the two waring sides. Soldiers were sent in to assist the police against both Loyalist and Republican attacks that have increased in the past few days.'

'One particular soldier, Private Capaldi, was struck over the head with a bat, drawing blood. The injury required stitches as no protective headgear was worn. Another soldier, Private Dickenson, was struck by a projectile, possibly a brick or some form of rock, knocking him to the ground.'

'A spokesman said that these attacks will not go unpunished as the lives of soldiers were at risk.'

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Person of Interest: Billy Wilks


Name: William 'Billy' Wilks
Age: 55
Occupation: Landlord, Leader of the SLA
Attributes: Grey hair, balding, cross tattooed on right forearm, gold wedding ring. One gold tooth, incisor.
Notes: Wilks is a former soldier, serving in the Black Watch, and is considered dangerous. Unlikely to be armed but keep at arms length just in case. He was accused of murder in 1967 but there was insufficient evidence to convict him. Drives a red Ford Cortina Mk V Saloon. Several assault charges but never incarcerated. Has been an informant for several months. Protect him at all costs.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Update: Miniatures, AGAIN

I've decided to give Liberation a shot, as the waiting time isn't a problem now I have a number of miniatures to paint. I'm also buying from them for my other blog:

bastonia.blogspot.com

Please stop by, I'm starting to update it more often and it should be a fun read. Expect to see French Peacekeepers, armed militia, and Seperatists.

Cheers,
Sean.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

What's All This, Then?


They came in swarms, Republicans and Loyalists, wearing balaclavas, stockings, and hoods to hide their identity. They threw bricks and bottles at the police, and each other, and lit fires mere metres away from residential houses.

'Fuck the Queen' on youth said, 'Hang the bastards.'
'Get outta here you rebel bastards.' A young loyalist said, throwing a brick.

The policeman closest to the group of youths swung his truncheon, cracking one of them on the back of the head. 'Get home lads, it's past curfew for you lot.' He said.

'Fuck the curfew,' a young rebel said 'you're just trying to keep us opressed, fuck you mister.' 

'I'll tell your ma, you little brat, get going.'

'My mam thinks your a tosser anyways.'

The loyalist youths mocked the young Rebels as they sauntered off down the road. One of the rebels, about 14, turned and threw a bottle at the policeman. It hit him and he turned around, sticking his fingers up, triumphant.

The crowd dispersed as quickly as it appeared, and that was that. All quiet on the North Eastern front once again.

News: Football Fans Clash


'Today, fans of football rivals Sunderland and Newcastle clashed in the street this afternoon. It was instigated by a one Scott 'Scotty' Johnson Senior. He threw a glass bottle at a group of Newcastle fans walking through the city centre. It struck a fan and all hell broke loose.'

'Boots and fists were flying everywhere as a sea of red and white scarves jumped in, battering the Newcastle fans. The fans fought back, however, and a well-known hooligan pulled a knife on Scotty Senior and slashed his Donkey Jacket open.'

'Police arrived on the scene in no time, carrying truncheons as per usual. This is when the fighting stopped between the fans. The violence was then focused on the policemen, with Newcastle and Sunderland fans fighting together against the men sent to quash the situation.'

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Round the Back


The snow was fresh on the ground and Jack was waiting. It was going to be his last job, then he could settle down, be a family man again. Just one last job. He had a Tommy Gun, and was wearing a balaclava - he was an associate of the target.

The man in question was one Edward McGuire, or Eddie Fish to his friends. He was a fish monger from Monkwearmouth and sold fish and other items. He had a long curly perm and a thick moustache.

He slid the key into his front door and turned it. The snow had soaked his leather jacket and his hair was peppered with snow flakes.

Jack was stood at the rear of the house, watching and waiting. He stopped at the kitchen window and peared through. He could she Eddie's shadow moving in the hallway.

Eddie removed his coat and hung it on a peg behind the front door, 'shit' he said to himself, realising he had forgotten to get the eggs. He moved through the hallway into the living room and sat down. There were pictures on the walls of family members and a football plaque.

Jack moved to the back door and checked the handle, it was open. He pulled the door ever so slightly, trying to make as little noise as possible. He crept into the back hallway and closed the door behind him. His ankle boots made a soft noise on the carpet leading up to the living room.

Eddie heard the noises and became alert. He jumped up off of the sofa and snook to the door. 'Who the fuck's there?' He said, his voice trembling slightly.

'You know why I'm here, Eddie,' Jack said 'it's been coming to you for a long time, you want to thank Christ you lasted this long.'

'Jackie? Is that you?' Eddie said.

'Fuck' Jack said to himself. 'Get down on the ducking floor' he yelled at Eddie.

'OK, OK,' Eddie said, getting down on the floor, face down.

Jack entered the room and pointed the Tommy at Eddie. 'I'm sorry Eddie' he said.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Walk Home


I remember it like yesterday. It was December 1980, I was 10 years old. There was me, Jock, Scotty, and a few other local kids. On the road that we walked home on, from school, there had been an explosion. Rubble, mainly bits of brick and mortar, wood, and bits of metal were strewn out onto the road. We were young and na├»ve and hadn't a clue what had happened. 

We clambered onto the pile of rubble and started picking through the remains. There were two sticks, about the length of a small rifle, and me and Jock imitated what we'd seen on the streets: gunfire. The older boys standing around laughed and cheered us on as a group of policemen stood by, talking to residents of the area.

I overheard an elderly women say that there had been a metal bin left out the front of the chip shop, just by the entrance. She said it was suspicious due to them leaving their bins out in the back lane.

She saw a van drop it off at around 8am and thought nothing of it. A few hours passed and then she heard a loud bang, and her house shook. The next thing she knew was that the chip shop was no more, completely obliterated.

This was when I first realised the full extent of this conflict. These things had been on the news, but never a bomb. I rushed home, my heart beating in my ears, I thought the worst. My parents, were they dead? Only time would tell. 

Today's Haul

Today I took a trip to Sainsbury's with my Mam and Sister and had a few quid to spare so I bought the complete collection of The Sweeney, perfect material to work from, and the film 71 based in Northern Ireland during The Troubles, 1971 to be precise.

I'm looking forward to watching these! I've started watching Minder, and I still need to finish season one.

I decided not to order from Liberation Miniatures, it seemed like too much of a hassle and with a delivery time of 4-6 weeks, I'm just too impatient. If they pop up on eBay, then I might be tempted. But with no easy access photos of their entire range, I decided to pass. Good value for money though, that's a positive!

Until next time,
Sean.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Tea and Biscuits


Mrs O'Malley's hands shook slightly as she brought the tray across to the two Privates outside of her home. On the tray stood two China cups, a blue teapot, and a plate of biscuits. 'Would you boys like a cuppa?' She said placing the cup down on the front wall.

'I wouldn't mind, pet,' Private Matthews said, reaching out to help her with the tray.
'Milk, two sugars please.' Private Nicholson said.
'No bother lads, help yourself, please' she said with a smile 'there's plenty more biscuits as well.'

Mrs O'Malley held onto the teapot lid and poured out the tea into a China cup with pansies painted on. Next she lightly held the milk jug and poured the milk into the mix. 'Was that two sugars?' She said.

'Yes please,' Nicholson said 'wouldn't have it any other way' he chuckled to himself and took the teacup. He took a sip, it was milky and sweet. 'Ah - just how I like it, cheers pet.'

Mrs O'Malley smiled and poured another cup of tea for Matthews 'how do you take it dear?' She said.
'Milky, no sugar.' Matthews said.

A group of youngsters, aged between 12 and 15, sulked past the two Privates and glowered at them. 'Fuck off you pricks' the oldest one said, sticking his fingers up at Matthews, 'oppressive bastards.'

'Fascists.' Another one shouted, spitting in their direction.

'Oh, ignore them,' Mrs O'Malley said 'you boys are doing a fine job out here, serving Queen and Country, God bless you both.'
'Thank you, mam' Nicholson said, dunking a biscuit into the tea.

The oldest of the youths threw a stone and it hit Mrs O'Malley's front window. 'Bastards' he said 'Fascist pigs.'

'Watch it son,' Matthews said 'I'll tell your old lady what you've been up to.'

'Do it,' the boy said 'see what I care.'

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Update: Miniatures

Although I've made orders to Elhiem for their wonderful insurgents, I've decided to give Liberation miniatures a go.

It'll save me doing head swaps on Elhiem BAOR as you can get British in berets already from Liberation. Plus, they've got a wide range of miniatures for many periods.

I'll let you all know how I get on with this company as soon as I make an order and receive my goods!

200 Page Views

WOW! I didn't expect to reach this many page views. 10 was a shock never mind 200.

I want to thank everyone for visiting and thanks to Mark and Mike from winterof79 for their help.

Cheers,
Sean.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

News: Football Unites a Divided Region


'Tonight's report looks at how a simple sport has united a divided community, so here's John McDonald bringing you a well thought out report.'

'Over recent months, our region has been hit with an increase in violent activities, from both sides, but tonight I am looking at how Football, the working man's game, has sealed the gap between the two warring communities.'

'Every day, in parks, school yards, and backlanes all across the region, children from both sides of the divide come together to play a quick game of footy, using jumpers as goal posts, and sliding at each other's ankles. What unites these kids is the love of local football teams, like Sunderland. Politics don't matter to these boys and girls. As they say, ignorance is bliss and that really shows here.'

'Even amongst adults, this beloved sport can bridge a divide as members of both sides stand and watch Sunderland at Roker Park. No guns. No violence. No hate.'

News: Policeman Attacked


'PC Allan Whitman, 40, has been attacked in the Chester Road area of Sunderland today after clashes between armed police and republican protestors. Eye witnesses said that Whitman, a well respected man amongst Loyalist communities, was struck by a brick thrown at him from over a fence.'

'The fence in question was erected by a joint agreement between the police force and the British Armed Forces. This was to keep the warring communities apart, acting as a deterant. However, in the past months, there have been several cases in which members of both communities have scaled the fence in order to attack each other. Warning shots have failed to act as a deterant and the fence has garnered criticism from leaders on both sides.'

'Plans have been put into action to have the 10 foot security fence taken down, however many members of the acting council have declined any further action other than to increase security forces at the checkpoint.'

Update: Miniatures, Again

DISCLAIMER: These images are all from Elhiem and used without permission, for which I apologise.


Above: Image of balaclavad insurgents from Elhiem.

The above image shows some of the miniatures I'll be using as my paramilitary groups. As there are only three variants I'll be painting them all up differently (e.g. Blue jackets for SDF, black for SLA). If I'm brave enough, I might even try a head swap or two when I aquire heads from S and S models.


Above: Bareheaded Insurgents armed with AK47s from Elhiem.

I'll also be trying to sculpt balaclavas onto the above chaps, as well as some attempted head swaps. Again, paint jobs will differentiate the three paramilitary groups.

Although there aren't that many Varients to choose from, I'll be really happy when these miniatures arrive. It means the project can move forward! I'll also be picking up some insurgents from Enfilade and sculpting balaclavas onto those without. They also do some insurgents armed with M16s which could pass as ArmaLite AR-15s.

A Spot of Bother


LCpl. Johnson, Private Wilkinson, and Private Malone, walked down the empty street. It had been raining and the ground was sodden with water. 'FUCK THE SLA' was painted on the wall in big white letters. Johnson looked at it, frowned, and shook his head.

'Bastards,' he said 'Bloody bastards the lot of them.'
'You're not wrong there.' Malone said.
'Fuck off you royalist scum.' A voice said from a nearby second floor window, followed by a pint glass.

The glass smashed on Wilkinson's shoulder and he stumbled forwards 'Son of a bitch' he said holding onto the wound. 

The glass was followed by a table leg from another window, 'Fuck you lot.' The other voice said 'You oppressive bastards.' A brick came at the group from in front of them, it missed and landed a few feet ahead.

Malone and Wilkinson aimed their SLRs at the windows above in a hope to intimidate the aggressors. A red Ford Capri pulled up at the end of the road with the passenger window down. Johnson saw the familiar look of a rifle muzzle and he signalled his men to head for cover. Bang. A bullet caught Malone in the shin and he went down, half in cover behind a Ford Escort, his legs sticking out. Wilkinson pulled him fully behind the car.

'Shit, shit, shit' Malone said 'my fucking leg.'
'Don't worry mate, you'll be fine.' Wilkinson said 'I've got ya.'

Johnson raised his rifle over the top of the discarded rubbish bin and popped off a shot, it hit the passenger door of the Capri and spooked the shooter. The driver reversed and sped off around the corner.

'I think they're gone,' Johnson said 'everything alright over there?'
'Just a flesh wound.' Wilkinson said.
'A fucking flesh wound?' Malone said.
'You'll be fine mate.' Wilkinson said.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Pledge of Allegiance


'I [Enter Name Here] do solemnly swear that I will defend this land for Queen and Country, and may God bless me in my mission. I will never harm my brothers, nor their families, never put my brother's lives at risk, and never, above all, betray them.'

Sunderland Loyalist Assocition, Oath.

One In The Back


Paul knelt by the wall, his SMG at the ready, and looked down his sights. He closed his left eye and fingered the trigger lightly. Jimmy knelt behind him and acted as a look out. In his sights, Paul could see members of the SLA, standing, at a makeshift checkpoint. 

One member had his back to Paul and he, he had decided, would be his target. Paul licked his lips and trained the sights on the unfortunate chap.

'I'm gonna get that Queen loving fuck right in the back, just watch me.' Paul said.
'Aye?' Jimmy said 'I'll believe it when I see it mate.'
'Shut up, will you? Nobody asked for your opinion.'

A car pulled up at the checkpoint, it was red and rusty, and the target moved towards the passenger window. He reached in and took some documents off of the driver. Paul took advantage of the distraction and squeezed the trigger. Bang, bang, bang. The bullets hit the target and he fell forward against the car, bleeding. The passenger, a young lady, screamed and it pierced the air.

The man on the other side of the car rested his AK on the roof of the car and pulled the trigger. The bullet hit the brick in front of Paul and he ducked his head back around the corner. More shots hit the brick wall behind them, causing bits of brick and powder to shoot out onto the back lane.

'What now?' Jimmy said 'we're fucked.'
'As if, we've just gotta plan this out Jimma.' Paul said, creeping his head around the corner.

Another shot caused him to dart his head back around the corner. Shouting could be heard from the checkpoint and it appeared to get closer and closer: 'Come out now, we aren't fucking around, I'll give you one chance, that's it.' The voice had a distinct Belfast accent.

'We're gonna have to give up, Paul.'
'Nonsense Jimma.'

Jimmy got up and stepped out from the wall. Paul heard a shot. He heard it make contact with flesh. He saw Jimmy hit the floor, blood pooling at his head. He knew he was next. He dropped his gun and legged it along the backlane. Bullets wizzed past him, striking the red bricks on either side of him.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Playing With Fire

His hand trembled as he held onto the glass bottle. The inside was filled with petrol and an oily rag hung half out - half stuffed in.

He crept along the brick wall, 'JOIN THE SDF' was sprayed across the bricks in white paint with a badly painted Union Jack to its left. He came to the corner and peered around the edge. Three balaclavad men stood some 10 metres away, chatting and at ease. Members of the SRM, surely. He lifted the naked flame of the lighter up to the tip of the oily rag. It caught alight.

Shaking with nerves, he quickly turned around the corner and tossed the glass bottle towards the men. It landed 12 feet away from them and exploded in a ball of flames. The closest to the flames staggered forward, turning around - gun raised - and looked, half squinting, at the source of the projectile. A scraggy haired head shot back behind the wall.

He was on the move, running through the back alleys, not looking back, heartbeat thumping in his ears, longing for home. Any minute now he expected a bullet to hit him from behind. 

He took a left and hugged his back against the wall, panting, he felt naucious but he knew his big brother would be proud. He heard no footsteps or commotion at all and knew the coast was clear. He pushed himself away from the wall and turned the corner, bumping into three armed men.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Sunderland Loyalist Factions


Above: Sunderland Loyalist Association (SLA) members dressed in black, armed with a variety of weapons.


Above: Members of the Sunderland Defence Force (SDF) dressed in casual clothing armed with AKs.

Within the town of Sunderland there are two main Loyalist groups, the SLA and the SDF, both of which fight against the SRM in and around Sunderland. Their numbers are low but they make up for that in their determination to fight for Queen and Country.

They get their arms from a number of sources, including the British Army and include SLRs and AK47s. They also have access to Sterling SMGs and Browninh Hi Power handguns.

They work in cohesion with the British Army and act as an auxiliary unit, patrolling areas with high Republican activities. Gunfire has been heard around the Grindon area, as well as around the town centre, with Loyalists fighting alongside the British Army.

Although both of the Loyalist paramilitaries are fighting for the same cause, there are many cases of inter-fighting between the two groups.


DISCLAIMER: Although my project holds parallels to that of The Troubles, I do not condone the actions of either side of the conflict and I believe that it was a terrible time in British, and Irish, history.

Factions

As you may have guessed by my last post, I will be highlighting some of the factions on each side of the civil war. This includes Republicans, Workers Unions, Loyalists/Royalists, and her Majesty's Armed Forces.

I've already covered the Sunderland Republican Movement, and I shall have the next one up asap. I still don't have any models to start the 20mm side of things but that shall change soon.

We're moving in a month or so, so I'm hoping my hobby picks up then. Until then,

Cheers,
Sean.

Sunderland Republicans


Above: Members of the Sunderland Republican Movement (SRM) armed with a variety of firearms (rifles and sidearms) as well as wearing a mix of military attire and casual wear.

The SRM are a fairly young militant group founded in 1980 by George Hamilton, along with his father Michael Hamilton. They were, at first, a peaceful political organisation set up as part of a wider Republican Movement based in Liverpool and London. They were never voted for thus never getting a seat on the council. 

The elder Hamilton couldn't accept this defeat and, contacting his wife's Uncle in Londonderry, asked for arms to be shipped over to them in Sunderland. The Uncle agreed and sent a handful of firearms including several AKs, two sterlings, and a number of SLRs. This shipment went unnoticed by authorities and strengthened the SRM.

Their first operation was against the occupying Loyalist forces. They shot and killed two Paras near a checkpoint in the town centre. This attracted large media attention and it wasn't long before they claimed responsibility for the attack. 

The Hamiltons remained unidentified, however, and a manhunt for supporters spread across the city. Similar attacks took place across the country, with police officers being killed in Newcastle, Liverpool, and London.

News: Loyalists Set Up Garrison In Sunderland


'Welcome, to the News at 10, since our last broadcast we have been informed that Loyalists, those loyal to the crown, have set up garrison in the town of Sunderland. Met with hostility from the working classes and the republican community, they have set up roadblocks along some of the towns main roads, enabling them to smoke out those suspected of Republican activity.'

'They have been backed, and trained, by Her Majesty's Armed Forces and have been supplied with ex-military equipment. These men have exchanged gunfire with Republicans in the town centre, no deaths have been reported but several Republicans have been injured in the struggle.'

News: Republicans Take Up Arms


'Today, on the fifth of July, a surge in paramilitary activity has spread across the North of England, mainly, as well as across other parts of England and Wales. Their leaders, well known terrorists the Corrigan Brothers, have declared war on the occupying Royalist forces in County Durham. Cells in Newcastle and Middlesbrough have also taken up arms against occupying forces. Earlier in the week, two unarmed British Paras were shot and killed by a group of masked men at a military checkpoint. Although they haven't been identified, and no one has stepped forward, sources agree that it was likely down to that of the County Durham Republicans. Officials have told soldiers active in the North East area to stay alert and not to stray too far away from checkpoints and posts.'

'Sources close to the BBC have claimed that the CDR are supplied with arms from supporters across the water in Ireland, as well as other parts of the UK. These include Varients on the AK47, Sterlinh SMGs and Browning Hi-Power handguns. We'll have more news at 10.'