Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Guns of Late March...

Still delighted with the new WWI flying game: "Over Flanders Fields"; good white-knuckle flying over the Western Front. The one frustrating aspect of the games is that, on top of the basic difficulty of bringing your guns to bear on a tiny, distant airplane, the AI engine allowed you to pump bullets endlessly [or so it seemed] into a plane...and it just wouldn't go down. Smoke? Yes...and lose bits and pieces. But last night I downloaded 'the patch'. Mainly it seems to affect the look of things, but it also adjusted the effectiveness of your guns. Now my .30 cal. Maxims and Spandaus shred wings like Browning .50's. Now it's a whole new game in the skies above Ypres.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hunting the Hun, with gun and camera

Just got a long-awaited WWI flying game: 'Over Flanders Fields'. And well worth the wait. Great graphics. Really good selection of planes to fly. Variable weather, seasons, time of day. If you fly historical missions, you can pick a date, say, August 1916, and only planes current at that time are available. There's a massive library of skins if you want to fly a plane that really existed, or, you can design your own. [which I shall do when I get to playing the German side] It can, however, be extremely frustrating. The developers [and most of the players, from what I can gather] are 'realism nuts'. This means that no effort was spared to make the planes in the game handle as they did in real well that over half the planes available to you are balky, unreliable and slow, with utterly vicious flying characteristics. You can spend an incredible amount time just recovering from stalls...only to immediately do it again. But choose wisely, and there's hours of white-knuckle flying to be had. Then I installed FRAPS; a little utility that does video screen capture. Now dramatic moments can be saved. I can spend a heart-pounding afternoon locked in bloodless combat, then kick back in the evening and watch my 'greatest hits'. Life is full.

Monday, March 09, 2009


The previous entry only allowed the's the last.

The duel between Hawker and von Richtofen is one of the classic encounters of WWI. The squadron of which Hawker was a member had attacked two German recon planes. Seeing more Germans above, the Leader elected to break off, but Hawker had spotted several more Germans below and dived to the attack. He ended up one-on-one with Manfred von Richtofen. They duked it out for for a very long time. One source said 35 minutes, which I find hard to believe; ten minutes being an eternity in dogfights. In any event, the two were well matched and neither could get the upper hand until Hawker, realizing that he was nearly out of fuel, made a break for his own lines. He was only 50 yards short when von Richtofen got the angle on him and killed him with two rounds, one striking him in the head. Ironically, only seconds later, von Richtofen's guns jammed.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Hawker and von Richtofen

A long-standing desire to model some WWI airplanes bubbled to the surface and this [an Albatros DV.]is the first half of a digital diorama. The second half will be Maj. Lanoe Hawker's DH-2. Some liberties will be taken, no doubt, starting with von Richtofen flew a D III, not a DV. [for the gimlet-eyed among us.]