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Thread: OTTBE Misssion 23 - Cambrai Revisited - 9th October 1918 - teaticket

  1. #1

    Default OTTBE Misssion 23 - Cambrai Revisited - 9th October 1918 - teaticket

    The Eagles were in the mess sitting uncomfortably quiet. Some poked at their breakfast, others grimaced as they sipped the ersatz coffee, a few held a burning cigarette. All stared at the door to Büttner’s office.

    “Yes…..yes sir…….we did our...yes sir. I’ll be there as soon as possible.”

    The room behind the door went silent. A metallic click could be heard as the phone rested on it’s hanger. A drawer opened, then closed. A chair creaked and footsteps slowly crossed the floor.

    Büttner opened the door and slowly strode to the front of the mess. He quietly asked one of the orderlies to ready the car.

    “Seems HQ is not very happy with us from the results of our last mission. Results, lack of is the reality,” he said glumly.
    Büttner paused for a long moment. Looking at the floor, “They don’t understand what…”, Büttner stopped. A quick breath, “Luckily other flights did get good recon images that HQ could make use of. They’ve called me in so I must go. I’m sure it will be a fun chat and I gather they have a special task for a few of us.”

    With a hand on Beck’s shoulder, “Keep two pilots with yourself ready for my return. The rest will keep to the patrol schedule that is posted on the board.”

    Before anyone could utter a word Büttner was out the door.

    Beck looked over the room. Knowing what HQ does when desperate he wanted to protect the better pilots from a possible suicide mission. With all that the Eagles had been through it was getting more and more difficult to go out on risky missions that had little chance of positive results.

    “Fischer, Kleinberg, you will not go on patrol at the present but be ready in a moment’s notice when Herr Büttner returns”. In unison they stood to attention, “Yes Sir”, then quickly left the mess.

    Beck would let the veterans fly the day’s routine patrols keeping them from the unknown ‘special task’ Büttner would return with. Fischer and Kleinberg were the newest Eagles. Not bad pilots but still not totally welcomed by the old timers. Not that they didn’t want to befriend them but it had become too painful to have new friends time and time again not surviving a mission. So, they were shunned until they ran the gauntlet, survived long enough to gain the skills to have a fighting chance at surviving for the long haul.

    Schwarz, Schafer, Schroeder and Schmitt all looked at each other. “Looks like a day for the ‘S’ boys”, then they all laughed. Schwarz smirked as he stood and signalled for the others to follow. In fifteen minutes Schwarz was waving at the trio as they lifted into the air. He longed to fly with them but was not allowed by the doctors until they though his wound had healed sufficiently. Tomorrow he planned to fly, permission or not.

    Hermann Beck, Wilhelm Fischer and Karl Kleinberg gathered in the hangar, watching as the black men did their work.

    “Didn’t sound like HQ was happy with us”, glumly said Willy.

    “They are too hard on Büttner, don’t they realize all that he does”? Karl added.

    “Their bark is worse than their bite”, Beck began. “They always have to act in control, think they are intimidating us and helping morale at the same time, fools. Some of their special missions they send us on are a waste of time but once in a while they get it right. Let’s hope this time it is one of those”.

    Büttner returned 40 minutes after the ‘S’ boys had flown out of sight. Gathering Beck, Fischer and Kleinberg into the briefing room, Büttner informed the trio of HQ’s scheme.

    “Well, if the plan works as drawn up it should actually be of use. A large fuel dump has been located. It is the fuel for the British tanks about to start another offensive. A lone Gotha will be used to strike the dump. Only one bomber will be sent so not to draw a lot of attention. It will fly a course to look like it is not heading towards the dump and at the last turn to strike. It the Gotha can hit the dump quickly it will also try to take out the tanker trucks shuttling the fuel to the front. You three will fly escort. If opportunity presents itself, attack the tankers if safe to do so. If all goes well you’ll be out and back before the Bulldogs know you are in the air”.

    Fischer and Kleinberg started out the briefing room not seeing the look Büttner gave Beck. The look tells Beck it may not be so easy.

    Twenty minutes after lifting off they rendezvoused with the Gotha. Beck flew to the Gotha’s right in his DVII. Fischer and Kleinberg each flew an SSW DIII. Twenty-five minutes later they made the turn towards the dump. So far so good. No EA had been encountered.
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    High above returning from patrol Edwin Stimpson led his flight of Snipes. He flew the white striped fuselage while Thomas Fidley mounted the #2 and Charles Chism got the yellow body. He though it had been a nice flight for the two newer Bulldogs. No enemy encounters so some flying time to give them a bit more confidence, always a good thing.
    Stimpson looked back for the lagging Chism and something below caught his eye.
    “Damn, how could I have missed that!” Stimpson shook his head. He wagged his wings to get the attention of his mates and pointed toward the EA at 7 o’clock below.
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    Piloting a Bristol Fighter, Lancelot Stone noticed something ahead. He yelled back to Richard Rice-Owen to get ready, having the distinct feeling what was ahead wasn’t friendly.
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    Kleinberg spots the oncoming Bristol and quickly turned to face it as it flew to cut off the Gotha. He pulled the trigger for a couple of rounds but let go as he saw he was missing aft and not going to get it in his sights. Kleinberg turns off to the left and notices a couple tracers fly through his wing.
    “God I hate two seaters”, he thought.
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    Chism, who had fluffed his maneuver was caught by Fischer, but luckily for him his deflection shot did little.
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    Fischer, preoccupied with the Snipe ahead was puzzled when the back of his shoulder started to burn.
    Beck flew in to distract the Bulldog even though he couldn’t take a shot.
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    Slipping just under Fidley, Beck faces off with Stimpson at long range.
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    Kleinberg places a few rounds into the yellow Snipe but not enough to distract it from it’s target.
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    Fischer, realizing he had been shot from behind turns left trying to evade his unseen foe. In doing so he gives Chism an easy shot and smoke bellows from his engine cowling.
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    Fischer now turns to avoid Chism. His quick maneuver throws Chism off and he gets little pleasure from his close-range shot.
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    Fischer’s quick eyes spot Stimpson passing Beck, but he hesitates to make sure Beck is clear and misses the Snipe.
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    Kleinberg tries his best to help Fischer and scores a solid burst into the yellow Snipe’s engine.
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    He keeps on the yellow Snipe but it evades by diving low and disappears behind some wooded hills.
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    Beck fires into the Snipe leader’s tail weakening it’s controls. Beck doesn’t notice the few rounds flying past as Fidley’s guns jam.
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    Even with smoke in his cockpit, Fischer clearly sees the snipe to his front and punishes Stimpson.
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    Beck can only shoot a couple of rounds as Fischer is too close to his target. Stimpson turns back and misses an opportunity on Beck Beck breathes a sigh of relief as he notices the Snipe’s pilot behind him hammering at his Vickers.
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    On to the main reason for the mission…

    In the heat of the moment, Stone overshoots his intended approach towards the Gotha. The nose gunner reminds Stone to be more careful with a burst across his bow.
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    Stone flies ahead to get Owen a clear shot but the nose gunner makes him pay for it.
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    Owen gets off a brief burst before a round jams the Lewis.

    Bombs gently fall away below the Gotha.
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    The pair of bombs fall short of the dump causing minimal if any damage.
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    The rear gunner announces his presence by placing a couple of new holes in the Bristol.
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    As the beast lumbers past the target the Bristol turns to re-engage.
    The Bristol approached directly from the side the and Gotha pilot deftly turns just enough so both gunners can shoot. Luckily the pilot did not see the result of his clever maneuver as both gunners miss, one having a jam result.
    Unfettered buy the sparkling barrels pointed at him, Stone aims carefully and does some serious damage to the large bomber.
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    Passing behind the Gotha Owen lands a burst among the Gotha’s right engine and it quickly erupts in flames.
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    The fire burns fiercely but the Gotha flies on…
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    With the Bristol again closing in and the fire still blazing, the pilot thinks this may be his last chance to hit the fuel dump so releases all of his remaining bombs.

    Stone fires as soon as he is range hoping to prevent the Gotha from doing it’s job. He comes up short as the bombs slowly fall away below the German bomber.
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    To the relief of the Gotha crew the fire finally burns out.
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    Stone holds down the trigger until he has to turn away even though his guns had been silent for the last two seconds.
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    Both gunners again have a chance and this time do not miss. Both Stone and Owen feel the sting of a round passing through some flesh.
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    This run the bombs land in the middle of the dump. Seconds later it erupts into an inferno with any surviving workers running for their lives leaving the dump to its fate.
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    Owen gets off one last round before slumping down in pain from his wound.
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    The scout battle slowly dropped lower and lower. Now down at tree top level Fischer notices a column of tanker trucks. This time the smoke in his cockpit hinders him so much that he loses sight of his target.
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    Just as Fidley clears his guns Beck appears almost within arm’s reach. He does considerable damage but immediately re-jams the Vickers.
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    Beck’s DVII, rocked by the bullets striking it, holds true and Beck pecks at the lead Snipe.
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    Fischer takes out the lead tanker temporarily blocking the road.
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    As he flies over the column Fischer curses as his guns jam.
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    Stimpson Immelmanns and returns the peck at Beck. It was unfortunately for him his last shot as Kleinberg tears the Snipe apart sending it into the ground.
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    Working on a jam of his own, Fidley approaches Fischer hoping to catch him unawares. Fischer spots Fidley and turns towards him even though he can’t fire. Passing by they look at each other unable to fire so a salute will have to do.
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    Kleinberg and Beck turn back to see what Fischer is up to and notice the column below.
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    Fischer and Fidley clear their guns as quickly as they can while Kleinberg and Beck arrive on the scene.
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    Beck and Kleinberg split around Fischer so at least one of them will get at the Snipe. Kleinberg lines up with careful aim and hits the Snipe hard.
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    Not hard enough though as they watch as Fischer’s DIII spins out of control into the ground.
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    Beck slips just under the Snipe and damages one of the tankers in the middle of the column.
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    The attack on the column starts in earnest. Beck signals Kleinberg to attack the column but keep an eye on the Snipe.
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    Too close for comfort as Beck and Kleinberg almost collide over the column.
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    Fidley gets back in the fight and slams Kleinberg’s DIII but takes a hit or two himself.
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    Kleinberg turns in low and takes out the lead tanker.
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    Beck reverses and makes a run at the column, taking out the lead truck from a distance. As he closes in, he destroys another.
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    Fidley watches helplessly as he clears his guns.
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    Beck misses but Kleinberg hits the fuel tank for another tanker destroyed.
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    Fidley comes in with a vengeance but a little too late.
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    Focusing on the DVII, Fidley missed the DIII and Kleinberg takes Fidley out, dismantling the Snipe in mid air.
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    Beck can now concentrate on the fire and he puts it out before it consumes his Fokker.
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    Beck and Kleinberg head back to escort the Gotha which is now heading back toward German lines with the fuel dump blazing in the distance.
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    Stone and Owen, trying to catch up with the Gotha see the tide has turned with the arrival of two Hun scouts. The Gotha had done its evil deed, nothing they could do now so they break off and head for home.
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    Butcher’s Bill

    Bulldogs

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    2Lt. Lancelot Stone WIA RTB 0 Kills
    C 6 -1(wia) +3(rtb) = 8 Injured, 5 = -2 missions

    2Lt Richard Rice-Owen WIA RTB 0 Kills
    C 8 -1(wia) +3(rtb) =10 ok


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    2Lt Thomas Fidley SD EXP WIA FT 1 Kill
    C 6 -3(exp) -1(wia) = 2 KIA


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    2Lt Edwin Stimpson SD FT 0 Kills
    C 6 -1(sd) = 5 Injured, 4 = -2 missions


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    2Lt Charles Chism FRTB (eng) 0 Kills



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    One tanker truck survived with damage


    Eagles

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    Lt Wilhelm Fischer SD WIA ET 0 Kills (1 tanker truck destroyed)
    C 8 -1(sd) -1(wia) = 6 Injured, 1 = -1 mission
    E 3 -1(wia) -1(wic) -1(bel) = 0, Captured!


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    Ltn Karl Kleinberg RTB 2 Kills (& 2 tanker trucks destroyed)


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    Obltn Hermann Beck RTB 0 Kills (2 tanker trucks destroyed)


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    Gotha RTB 0 Kills (fuel dump target destroyed).


    Mission results:
    Fuel dump successfully destroyed, 11 points
    5 of 6 tanker trucks destroyed, 20 points
    Total 31 points.
    Last edited by flash; 08-28-2018 at 03:01. Reason: Tally correction

  2. #2

    Default

    Great stuff! Success for the Eagles and the Entente offensive on the ground is slowed. Maybe there is hope yet?

  3. #3

    Default

    Lots to like about this one, Peter.

    You gave those Bulldogs a right thrashing.
    Too bad about Fischer, though.


    I like your background - don't think I have seen you use it before. It really adds to the feeling of the action.

    I do have a question about Chism, though.
    You have him shot down, but he only took 7 damage
    I think he was forced RTB due to engine damage and therefore the C&W roll was not needed.

  4. #4

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Stumptonian View Post
    Lots to like about this one, Peter.

    You gave those Bulldogs a right thrashing.
    Too bad about Fischer, though.


    I like your background - don't think I have seen you use it before. It really adds to the feeling of the action.

    I do have a question about Chism, though.
    You have him shot down, but he only took 7 damage
    I think he was forced RTB due to engine damage and therefore the C&W roll was not needed.
    Yes I was going to query that as well.
    None the less great result for your lads Peter.
    The Gotha did its job.

    Rep inbound.

    "Its a fine line indeed between going out in a Blaze of Glory or having Crashed & Burnt!"
    Member Australian Society of WW1 Aero Historians

  5. #5

    Default

    Well played Peter, what an exciting outing for your Eagles, thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought for a moment the Gotha as a gonner but your chaps held it together and got the job done - Top Bombing !

    Onkel says:


    Wunderbar ! That will put the lid on HQ for a little while
    It seems that yellow Snipe didn't go down after all & I have corrected the Tally but young Feldwebel Kleinberg did well to bag two others on his second time up - he'll be one to watch. A Pilots badge in silver and an Iron Cross second class are his rewards. That will please the men
    Last edited by flash; 08-28-2018 at 03:10.

    "He is wise who watches"

  6. #6

    Default

    Very enjoyable introduction to set the scene, followed by a very clear and concise report. So much so, that we all saw Chism fly off around the hills with a damaged engine. rather than crash, unless he flew into the hill because it's the first time he has seen one?

    The back drop is excellent, it always looks strange to see the ground mat and then where it ends a bit of table, your backdrop overcomes that jarring note impeccably. Bravo.
    Of course you do realize you will have to either move it round for all the photo shots or buy enough to go round the whole table.
    Funnily enough I was looking at Tim's (Flying Helmut's) Jasta 18 pictures in the Fokker VII thread yesterday and was much taken with the backdrop he used for the photos , very similar to yours, I very nearly bought a couple but they were only 9" high and I think i would like something a bit higher. Do you remember who makes the one you have, it scales very well with the mats.
    Cheers

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stumptonian View Post
    Lots to like about this one, Peter.

    You gave those Bulldogs a right thrashing.
    Too bad about Fischer, though.


    I like your background - don't think I have seen you use it before. It really adds to the feeling of the action.

    I do have a question about Chism, though.
    You have him shot down, but he only took 7 damage
    I think he was forced RTB due to engine damage and therefore the C&W roll was not needed.
    Oy! Yep, I knew he left due to engine damage. I guess in the fury of die rolling for the Butcher's Bill I got carried away. Looks like Onkel fixed things up for me, ta.

    Willy is gone but at least he survived. Have to remember to put him in a WW2 campaign.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Popsical View Post
    Great stuff! Success for the Eagles and the Entente offensive on the ground is slowed. Maybe there is hope yet?
    We may have had considerable success at stalling a portion of the attack, but the front is collapsing so to dream we can turn things around... not looking good.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Very enjoyable introduction to set the scene, followed by a very clear and concise report. So much so, that we all saw Chism fly off around the hills with a damaged engine. rather than crash, unless he flew into the hill because it's the first time he has seen one?

    The back drop is excellent, it always looks strange to see the ground mat and then where it ends a bit of table, your backdrop overcomes that jarring note impeccably. Bravo.
    Of course you do realize you will have to either move it round for all the photo shots or buy enough to go round the whole table.
    Funnily enough I was looking at Tim's (Flying Helmut's) Jasta 18 pictures in the Fokker VII thread yesterday and was much taken with the backdrop he used for the photos , very similar to yours, I very nearly bought a couple but they were only 9" high and I think i would like something a bit higher. Do you remember who makes the one you have, it scales very well with the mats.
    Cheers
    First time to use the background scene. I've loved Rob and Tim's so had to get one myself. Yes, I know I'll be moving it around the table quite a bit! I should get another so every photo won't be the same! I hope I still have the literature that came with it. I'll check next weekend when I'm home again. I'm sure you can find one. Try searching for railroad backgrounds. There are some nice ones out there.
    Last edited by Teaticket; 08-28-2018 at 14:50.

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    I flew the bomber on this one letting Beck lead the Eagles on his own. I rolled for each scout to see if they would stay with the bomber or go after the other scouts. The scouts unanimously didn't want to play near the Gotha so went their own way.

    First bomb drop on the dump ended up short but I knew if I waited one more card I'd be long. (note, need more practice!) Between the fire and Stone/Owen I didn't think I was going to make it. Luckily the fire went out with a '0' and the two jams on the Bristol gave me just enough left to go on. The double wound was also big. Having Owen drop out saved my bacon as he would have had a couple more shots in passing and that might have done in the Gotha.

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    Nicely done Peter. I also like the backdrop. I was thinking it would fit in great with the Red Baron scenario.

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    A resounding score for the Eagles You should get extra points for the backdrop as well.


    I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings
    Coming down is the hardest thing

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    When I did my backdrop I bought A3 sheets of card covered clouds and sky from a hobby shop unfortunately since closed down. Then cut out my Railway scenics along the horizon or hill line and glued it onto the sky card thus extending the height.
    You could do the same if you know anyone good at doing skyscapes.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

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    Now onto the superb action packed scenario with the great background already mentioned. This takes the setting to an entirely new level Peter.
    Well done that man.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    When I did my backdrop I bought A3 sheets of card covered clouds and sky from a hobby shop unfortunately since closed down. Then cut out my Railway scenics along the horizon or hill line and glued it onto the sky card thus extending the height.
    You could do the same if you know anyone good at doing skyscapes.
    Rob.
    That's a good thought, I found a background like Tim's and bought 3 of them, for £1.50 each but the guy had only 1 sky background to extend its height and it doesn't match but I thought I could cut it a bit and see if it will work.
    The paper is fairly thin and I was going to glue it to foam cored board to provide rigidity. I think the glue will show through the printed paper, what did you use and has it bled through?
    Cheers

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    Sorry not to get back sooner on this. The producer of this backdrop is Walthers INC. Product line is 'Instant Horizons'. The accompanying brochure has 17 scenes to choose from. The scene I have is 949-715, Eastern Foothills to Country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teaticket View Post
    Sorry not to get back sooner on this. The producer of this backdrop is Walthers INC. Product line is 'Instant Horizons'. The accompanying brochure has 17 scenes to choose from. The scene I have is 949-715, Eastern Foothills to Country.
    Thanks for this info Peter, in the end I found a local stockist of the backdrop that Flying Helmet uses and they were very cheap so I bought 3, even though they are only 9" high.

    Size isn't everything.

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    Bit late on this Peter, but better that than never Another resounding success for the Eagles - gave the doggies a good bashing again - congrats for that (grrrrrrrrrr ) Great AAR as always and I agree about the background around the edge of the mats - nice REP inbound and thanks for a fun read.

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    Great AAR Peter, well played and reported. It was a hard won victory for the Eagles.

    I will also have to look for a background, thanks for the source information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teaticket View Post
    Sorry not to get back sooner on this. The producer of this backdrop is Walthers INC. Product line is 'Instant Horizons'. The accompanying brochure has 17 scenes to choose from. The scene I have is 949-715, Eastern Foothills to Country.
    Finally got around to ordering two of the Walthers backdrops today (now that the Christmas rush is over)
    Thanks for the info, Peter

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    I have 2 to mount that I ordered before Christmas. The one I already have somehow developed some bubbles. Not sure I can remove them but will try. Figuring I will muck it up I got a replacement and the one that joins to it.

    Good luck with yours.



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