There I was, trying to plan for a flight in FSEconomy to KBPP, and my goto tool these days for this is SkyVector. To my surprise, KBPP wasn’t available. On further investigation, KBPP has been closed permanently for past couple of years. I did notice another airport on the chart that was also near Bowman, but a little further to the East. A little more digging and a look on google earth revealed that this new airport was opened in 2015 – KBWW, with a minor change in runway direction and 5701ft (1738m) of beautiful new concrete surface. In X-Plane, there’s still the old KBPP…what a good opportunity for my first attempt at an airport for X-Plane’s Scenery Gateway
Having played PC/console games since they came into existence, I often wondered about the process, technology and skills required to create a game.
One aspect of miniature war gaming that shouldn’t be overlooked is the playing surface or terrain. Ideally this should be something that is functional but also adds to the enjoyment of the game. While building the tanks this has been something occupying the back of my mind.
There I was again, perusing the local hobby store and came across a whole aisle dedicated to kits of these Gundam things. “Gun-Damn! What’s this all about?!”, I wondered. Turns out these kits are models based on a Japanese anime TV series featuring giant robots or mobile mech suits. It seems quite a popular franchise in Japan, with 2014 sales figure for Gundam toy & hobby items of about 18 billion yen. In Japan the models and the hobby of assembling them is known as Gunpla, combination of the words Gundam and Plastic model.
Having recently started on the Flames of War starter set “Open Fire” with something like 100+ models to paint and base, this was going to take some time to complete and having got started on the rules, it would not be something that the kids could get involved in.
With the tanks completed, it was time to move onto the troops. Very little assembly work is required with these little guys. Only pieces that required assembling were the Pak40 guns and the Airborne machine gun crews. For the most part it was all about getting them cleaned up, pegged on some golf tees and ready for paint.
What better way to start the assembly of the starter set than with the TANKS! Maybe because they felt like an easier option to start with, after seeing the 100 odd little soldiers! Not sure, there were quite a few tanks in any case, which made the process feel like a bit of a mini-tank production line.
Many years ago, a university colleague brought to my attention this little game that in its entirety fit on one 640kb floppy disk. The game, Elite II was my first foray into space sim genre of gaming. Despite the graphics capabilities of the day it was every bit enjoyable. This however was the 2nd installment of the series, the first – Elite – was published in 1984. 31 years later, Elite is BACK AGAIN, only this time, it is DANGEROUS!
With the decision finally made to go with Flames of War (by Battlefront Miniatures), the next thing to work out was where to start. There are sooo many armies to chose from, not just the various nations (Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Poland, Romania, UK, USA, USSR), but some nations also have models for Early, Middle and Late war periods. A trip to the local games store (Mind Games Melbourne), brought to my attention the Flames of War Starter Set called “Open Fire”.