Thursday, 26 January 2017

FIVE YEARS OF ORONEGRO! Anniversary post

It was on this day 5 years ago that I did this post about my return from Argentina. This trip was the catalyst for me to start my own project and create my own little imagi-nation in Latin America. Little did I know then how big this project would become but Oronegro, as this nation came to be called, has defined all of modelling endeavours ever since. So today we celebrate five years of the Oronegro project! Sadly I can't do a grand review as some of the models have been damaged. So instead I shall start with a look at the forces of Oronegro through time. From those first arrivals on the sea of an unknown land in 1492 until the armed forces that took part in the second civil war of the 2020s. There is more below...

Oronegro through history! Or mostly a range of Caesar figures with some Airfix, Imex and others thrown in.
 Here is the progression of the 'standard' Oronegrean infantry soldier. Note that the intermediary uniforms are not included and that some uniforms are not fully representative of the infantry at that point in time. (Mainly because I just don't have enough figures for every single variant over 6-7 centuries.) Also weaponary changed vastly over the period but these changes are also not shown.

And let's not forget the evolution of another troop type: Los Angeles Negros!
 Sadly I can't do every single Oronegrean military unit through history. But there is one that I simply must have represented: Los Angeles Negros - the Black Angels! Currently I can only represent a portion of their history and uniform (because they often wore whatever was most appropriate for a particular action). Here the origin of the unit, which was based off and initially trained by Japanese Ninja and some indigenous hunters, and the elite killer of the 21st century stand side by side. Don't piss them off.

From the early years of the 15th and 16th century to the hight of power in the 18th and 19th
 The first soldiers in Oronegro were mostly armed with swords, crossbows and a few guns (1st on left). As time went on through the 16th and into the 17th century the gun became the main weapon of war in Oronegro. Unlike elsewhere Oronegro retained armoured troops meaning that they looked very outdated to many eyes (2nd from left). However at the end of the 17th century uniforms began to change. This led to the development of a new uniform more familiar to travellers from Europe (3rd from left). This design retained the helmet, a feature of Oronegrean troops that was retained in some numbers from the inception of Oronegro until the present day.

from the 19th century to the early 20th are represented here. This era saw the 1st civil war and Oronegro's decline
The crested helmet (1st figure on left) and blue uniform was standard until the first decades of the 19th century will little variation from the start of the 18th century. However, as time went on a new design (2nd from left) was to take over. This design came from the units of el ejército segundo where it was introduced in the late 18th century. It replaced the previous design in all but a few 'guardia' - guard units. It was soldiers in this costume (and the previous one in guard units) that took part in the 2st Oronegrean civil war in the mid-19th century and faced off against soldiers uniformed in a new design (3rd from left). This design, much like the crested one, would remain in use for a very long period of time lasting until the 1920s.

the 20th and 21st centuries saw Oronegro's power return slowly but then the 2nd civil war began!
During and After WW2 Oronegrean uniforms design was influenced by that of NAZI Germany (1st figure on left). These uniforms were inherited first by the national guard and then later by the native units who used them into the 2020s. Next is a bit of an oddity. The second figure on the left is representative of the 'official' uniform from the 60s to early 80s. In reality most units had uniforms based of US kit with only a couple of units being in the official kit.  The next figure shows how the Oronegreans began to catch up with other places militarily towards the end of the 20th century. This uniform (which usually included a helmet)  became very common amongst the rebel units in the civil war of the 2020s. The final figure shows the uniform that became standard towards the end of the 2010s and was worn during the 2nd Oronegrean civil war.

And there we go. How Oronegro's soldiers changed over time from the beginning until the 2nd civil war. But wait there's more!

  CHARACTER COMPETITION!

 To celebrate 5 years of Oronegro I have come up with a competition in which you, yes you, can help shape part of Oronegro. The competition is to create a character (or characters if you prefer) who play a role in Oronegrean history. They don't have to be the great and powerful, they could be a humble farmer. They don't have to be from Oronegro, they could be from overseas. Or alternatively they could be from Oronegro but make a name for them-self elsewhere. It is all up to you.
Prizes:
The winner will have their character's biography posted on both the Oronegro blog and here. Plus they will receive a miniature of their character (if you make more than one I will give the one of your choice) and probably other things that can fit in the envelope I send the figure off in. (I will also create a second figure for them so they can continue their adventures here in Oronegro)
The runners up will have their characters biography posted. In addition a character will be painted up to represent them, but they will stay here so they can have more adventures in Oronegro.
Winners will be announced later on. I will announce the closing dates of the competition with at least 1 month warning later as well (This will be based on how many entries come in and at what speed.) Furthermore the number of runners up is also random and will include whatever stories I really enjoy (could be all of them knowing me.)

So put on your creative hats and give it a go! Submit your entries to: gjditchburn@gmail.com I look forwards to reading what you come up with.

Here is to the last 5 years of Oronegro! And to all those to come! Have an excellent day/night everyone.

¡Viva Oronegro!


Monday, 23 January 2017

Oronegrean Infantry of el ejército segundo

I know I said my next post would be on a hike and you probably thought the next model I would present would be another boat. Well I have recently gone back into figure painting mode and I finished up a group of figures from the Imex Alamo set. Painted up here as Oronegrean infantry of el ejército segundo (Soldiers of el ejército primero can be seen here). El ejército segundo or second army of Oronegro are often termed reservists or even militia. However, on the whole, many units are comparable to the line regiments of other nations at the time. Basically I made the other units too OP so these guys can be normal. These soldiers specifically are from what can be considered an average unit. Some equipment has been sourced from home, while most make do with the standardised equipment they are issued. Anyway onto the pics.

Still trying to find a lighting/background set up that works. I find that the contrast is a bit too much with this set up.

But I should be talking about the figures. All 16 of them, There is a mix of skin tones and hair colour but it's rather hard to see, some also wear pink gloves which matches the uniform in other units.

Other things that are mixed are the colour of blankets, bags and canteens. This makes the unit feel more varied and alive.

16 figures isn't much and it too small for a unit. In the future I plan to acquire an Imex set of US infantry for the US-Mexican war. This would bulk out the numbers and increase the level of variation


I have singled out this figure to be the representative of the uniform. Although the cross belts are hidden.

The colour scheme matches that of the other infantry. With dark blue and white being the primary colours, accompanied with yellow, black and grey, highlighted with golden details and the occasional addition of pink.

This gentlemen is the current officer of the unit, he doesn't wear a uniform rather his own preferred attire (which often was in the military colours popular in Oronegro). He will likely be replaced by a uniformed officer in the future.
So that concludes our little infantry unit. They will no doubt feature more in the future as I try my hand at some games. In addition I am looking to redo and create more law for Oronegro's military. Particularly in this period. Indeed there are plans for a total re-write of Oronegrean history and a major clean up and organisation of the Oronegro blog. Don't be alarmed though, the main aim is to improve consistency as well as quality (But I will change certain things). This will be a long project so it will probably happen further down the line.
 
Finally I'm looking to seriously churn out figures for a bit. This is primarily to break the monotony of ships but I admit I hope that it will increase views and comments. Input from others is what really helps keep me motivated and working. So please leave a comment, no matter what it is, do please come again and maybe bring a friend along too. With that I wish you all a good day/night.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Edwin Fox - 9th Oldest ship in the world. (2nd oldest merchant sailing ship)

This is the first of a couple of Posts about my adventures down in the South Island last week. While I was over there I got a chance to go over to Picton where, tucked away and unknown to most of the world lies the Edwin Fox which is quite a remarkable vessel.

Artists rendition of the Edwin Fox
 Now I heard about this in the Coast NZ TV series and given my obsession interest in sailing ships I decided I really wanted to go see it. Fortunately for me I was lucky while staying in Nelson to get a chance to go over to Picton about a 2hr drive away. The Edwin Fox started out it's life carrying tea but it would go on to do many things during its life. Here are some basic facts for you.
  • It is the second oldest merchant sailing ship as well as the 9th oldest overall. Being constructed in Calcutta in 1853.
  • It is the last surviving ship that took convicts to Australia.
  • It is the last surviving Crimean War troop carrier.
  • It is the Oldest surviving wooden ship that brought immigrants to New Zealand.
  • And the only remaining ship of the Dunbar Shipping fleet which was once one of the largest on earth.
So this is rather a special ship and I got to have a look. If you want to know more Maritime New Zealand has a page on it.Below are some of the photos I took. I hope you like them.

The bow of the ship has been partially reconstructed to show what life would have been like onboard

A hammock seems like a sensible idea

These two photos show a contrast. On the left is a room what would have been occupied by wealthy passengers. The right is a mock up of the galley.




When used to transport immigrants which is what most people on board would have slept in.

But by far the most interesting thing about this ship is the size of it. This space in the hold. It has been described like an upside down cathedral. Although an exaggeration it is quite a space to be in.

Another shot from inside
A look at the rudder, with a helpful person for scale

The ship is kept in dry-dock and it is possible to go down and look from below. A really worthwhile experience.

The rudder again, this time looking up at the stern
A view of the bow. Note the Muntz metal plating



A view of the bow. Note the white paint. Compare this line to the artists drawing above. The ship has completely lost it's top deck.

Finally an interesting read. It shows the crimes and sentences of some of the convicts transported by this vessel. A full list is in the Museum itself. Note: Habitual drunkenness with a 7 year sentence.
 Well that is all for today. I will upload some photos from my trip to the Abel Tasman National Park soon. Oh and for those wondering the ships dimensions were:
  • Length: 44.1m
  • Mast height: 48.8m
  • Beam: 9m
  • Crew: approximately 50
  • Passengers: up to 400
  • Tonnage: (original) 900, (current) 630
Or in 1/72 scale:
  • Length: 61-62cm
  • Mast height: 68cm
  • Beam: 12.5 cm
 Which is not too large for a model. :-P Although I don't have the plans for it and unless there is interest in this being made in 1/72 I don't think I will bother the museum staff for a copy. So until next time have a good day/night and I hope you've enjoyed learning about this interesting ship.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Abel Tasman National Park, day 2

Well I'm not quite home yet, so this is not the full post of my adventure. But a small update to carry you over. After completing our hike we got picked up by a water taxi and on the way back we came on a pod of dolphins, around 200 strong. (as well as passing a small seal colony) With my Camera out of juice my phone stepped up and snapped some pics. Sadly blogger doesn't want to use images from my gallery so a photo of the water taxi will have to do. I'll have plenty of pictures for you later (including dolphins) until then have a good day/night!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Abel Tasman National Park, day 1

This blog post comes to you from the middle of nowhere. Apple Tree Bay to be specific. Somehow there is reception out here. I'll do a full post when I get back but until then have a great day/night.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Holiday in Nelson

Hi all, I hope that you are all well and having a good time. :-) Today I've got something a bit different for you. My sister and I are down in Nelson and we're staying with friends who own a backpackers down here. Got some interesting things planned such as a walk in Abel Tasman National Park, which I will post pictures of later.

Anyway if you're ever down here look up the Bug Backpackers and let them know Gowan told you about them.

But enough writing for now. I'll have some more tramping photos and model boats for you soon ;-)
Until then have a good day/night!

P.s. this is my first post using the Blogger mobile app. Hope it turns out well.

Here's a photo from the backpackers 

Friday, 30 December 2016

Pirate Galley - Barbaroja

Arrgh! 'Tis time for another ship m' harties! Meet the beautiful Barbaroja (red beard). A light galley based of ancient designs she is designed to chase down and raid small merchant vessels. On her mast she carries a mighty sail that is the main form of propulsion. As such this model represents her in her sailing configuration with the benches and oars being stored below decks to enable free movement. On with the pics (which I edited due to lighting)
I forgot to mention that this fine lady is armoured! Yellow copper plates protect the front when ramming and the ram is copper too.

If you saw this coming at you (usually oars would be in use too) you should probably expect a good ramming!

Name plate - I went for a more rough and crude look for this name plaque. It suites this piratical vessel

Instead of a rudder she had rudder oars. Again mirroring ancient designs. They are also slightly harder to shoot off which cannon.

Close up of the bow. As you can see there is plenty of protection. Often small cannon would be kept behind here for use against shipping

And one of the Stern. Again there is a significant raise in the sides to provide protection to the crew

The jolly roger! Although not so jolly for any passing merchant ships.
So that is all for this ship and indeed for this year. I wish you all the best for the coming year, may it bring you joys. I for my part will try to bring you more adventures and stories of the little people of Oronegro. And I will enjoy seeing/hearing what you have to show. Have a good day/night! I will see you all again next year!