Friday, September 30, 2011

50 Mission Crush

I started writing today's blog post, but as often happens it morphed into something else, this time a nostalgic homage to my favorite computer game company from the 1980's: Strategic Simulations Inc (SSI).

Way back in 1984 when I was a young 21 years old, I purchased one of my favorite SSI computer games: 50 Mission Crush. Back then, I had a heavily modded Atari 400 computer with extra memory (48K) and a custom keyboard. So of course I got the Atari version of the game.

50 Mission Crush bills itself as a role-playing game, with your pilot improving his skills after each successful mission, which took several to ten minutes to play. You had to survive 50 missions to successfully beat the game and go home to America. I played this game so many times I lost count. I never survived 50 missions, though I did pretty well at times from what I remember. Those were good times back then!

By today's standard, the game is crude with basic graphics and lots of text with numbers. But what it lacked in graphics, it made up for it in tension and addiction for an early computer war game.

Moby Games has a nice section devoted to 50 Mission Crush. A quick Google search will also turn up abandonware sites where you can download the game (only 102k in size!), as long as you don't have Windows 7 64-bit installed.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Road to Victory: Firing a Canon

I'm trying something new. This evening, I created a YouTube account to host some videos to show here on the blog. This is a brief 9 second video I shot at the reenactment. The quality is ok, considering I shot it using my Lumix camera. Since I didn't have a tripod, I do get a bit shaky when the boom goes off! I have a couple other videos I shot that day. We'll see how this works and then see if I post them as well.

Those Ceramcoat Navy Blues

Over the years, I've been a vocal supporter of using craft paints for miniature painting. I own 100s of bottles of craft paints, along with some other hobby paints. Recently, Michael's Craft Stores stopped selling the Delta Ceramcoat line of craft paints. Michael's also cut way back on their stock of Americana and Folk Art paints, preferring to sell their own cheaper and inferior line of paints.

Several weeks ago when I last visited a local store here in Central Florida, I picked up a dozen or so bottles of Ceramcoat and America on deep discount. paying around .25 to .50 for even their 8oz bottles. I even bought some extra bottles of colors I often use and feel are essential to consistency, such as the browns I use for my figure bases. I figured I had it all covered. I was so content in my collection of craft paints that I ignored warnings on TMP that Michael's was totally getting rid of Ceramcoat.

You know what's coming next! Yesterday, it dawned in my feeble brain that I use Ceramcoat Navy Blue to paint all my Union ACW figures and that I had only one partially used bottle of the color. Agh! A quick check of the Web shows that Jo-Ann Fabric stores still sell Ceramcoat. So I will be toting myself off to Jo-Ann this week to pick up a few extra Navy Blue bottles, storing them upside down to seal them tight for future painting sessions. I am not going to blow it twice!

Today's Lesson: If you have a favorite paint color that you really really need or like to use, pick up an extra bottle or two. You never know when it will be discontinued or altered.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Road to Victory: M8 Greyhound

The folks at the Road to Victory Military Museum in Stuart, FL brought some of their equipment along to the reenactment. Here are some photos of their M8 Greyhound armored car, which would have been used during recon missions. You can find more information about the Central Florida World War II Museum at their website.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Road to Victory: Willys Jeep Hootin Annie

Here some reenactors are representing the 99th Infantry Battalion (Separate) with a camp display and a Willys jeep named Hootin Annie. Follow this link and you can read the history of the real jeep's actions during WWII and see more photos of the restored version below. It's a very good story. Hats off to reenactors everywhere for keeping our history alive!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Road to Victory: Reenactor Displays

With all the confusion of the past few months, I forgot to finish posting the rest of our photos from the Road to Victory military reenactment that took place here in Central Florida. I'll start this evening with some of the reenactor displays.

Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 39th Infantry Living History Group was there. This is a new group being established here in Central Florida. The 2nd Ranger Battalion Company F had a nice tent display. The 197th Guards were supposed to be there, but I don't recall seeing any Soviet reenactors, which is a shame because I could have used them as inspiration for my Black Tree Design Soviets! Others were there as well, but I can't recall them. March was a long time ago!

Over the weekend, I'll finish with the American vehicles (a jeep and M-8 Greyhound) and then the conclusion of the big battle. I apologize for forgetting to post these pics! You can check the older posts as well: Bren Gun and 130. Panzer Lehr.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Killing Blogger's Lightbox Redux

Google has removed Lightbox as the default photo viewer, so I've updated the blog's code accordingly and removed old posts dealing with this dead topic.