Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Vacation Travelogue - Pearl Harbor Pt II

After seeing the Arizona memorial when headed over to the next exhibit the USS Bowfin museum and park. As you approach the entrance you are greeted by examples of various torpedoes, which for some reason I didn't take any pictures of, as well as two examples of the Polaris missile. It was all quite fascinating. We were quite fortunate that there wasn't a line to get into the sub itself. I have never been inside any type of submarine before so I was quite excited. It probably explains the huge number of pictures of the interior of the USS Bowfin.

A little history on the USS Bowfin SS-287: She is a Balao- class submarine and was launched on 12/7/1942, one year after the attack on Pearl Harbor. She was nicknamed the Pearl Harbor Avenger. Between 1943 and 1945 she was deployed on 9 war patrols each lasting about 2 months. She was enroute for her 10th patrol when the war ended. She sank 17 large ships, primarily cargo ships, and a host of smaller ships during her 9 patrols.

USS Bowfin battleflag
Lets take a look inside:
You enter through the deck into the forward torpedo room. She has six tubes forward.

Officers Mess

Officers' compartment

Yes, those hatches really are that small. I was waiting for the two girls to clear the shot and then I decided that they were pretty good scale indicators.

I have never seen so many dials and gauges in my life

The galley

Enlisted Mess

a bunkroom, I think there must have been a deck under this that we were not allowed on. I'm still trying to figure out how 80-100 men were aboard this boat during a patrol.

One of the four massive diesel engines. These are General Motors' V16 engines.

A small machine shop is on board.

I have no idea what this panel does but I could only get a picture through the hatch. I think its the throttles for the engines as its as the back of the second engine compartment.

The four rear torpedo tubes.

4" deck gun, used quite frequently according to what I read.

Looking forward to the bow, that is the 20mm AA gun forward.

40mm Bofers on the rear deck of the conning tower

There are a lot more pictures but I thought I should only include the better ones here. My brother has been on the U-505 in Chicago and he says this one is like a palace in comparison.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Vacation Travelogue - Pearl Harbor Pt 1

We were at Pearl Harbor on Tuesday. I took so many pictures that I'll have to break up that day into several posts. that will give me a little time to edit the photos as well. It was quite the experience, very moving to take the boat out to the Arizona memorial. Unfortunately we could not go into the memorial itself, the landing pad had developed a crack in it and was considered to dangerous to allow the boats to dock. While I'm disappointed about not being able to go inside I do appreciate their safety concerns. About 1300 people a day visit the memorial the multitude of people coming and going could make things quite dangerous. Currently the memorial is closed to visitors for an indefinite period of time.

Oh and for those that are curious, we could not see the volcanic plume from the island of Hawai'i. It is about 200 miles between O'ahu and Hawai'i.

We started off with what we thought would be a visit to the memorial, but at least we got to take the boat out and see it up close.

First look at the memorial from shore. I used my big telephoto lens for this one.

A model of the Arizona, BB-39 inside one of the two small museums nearby

A model of a Japanese carrier, I think this one is the Akagi.

A look at where everything is located from Pearl Harbor

A very large model of the Arizona beneath the water.

A Japanese torpedo that was dredged up from the bottom of the harbor. It was intact when it was found. The navy took it to see and blow it up. They then recovered the aft section.

The memorial with the battleship Missouri, BB-63, in the background.

About as close as you can get to the memorial right now

These are markers indicating where it ship was moored.

The infamous landing, that is currently cracked, resulting in the memorial being closed to visitors.

A good look from the starboard side of an Iowa class battleship.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

ReaperCon 2018 Projects - The victims

I really do intend to enter pieces in the painting competition at ReaperCon this year. I have one idea that I have been trying to get to for almost two years now and I think it will come to fruition. I have a couple of other ideas and miniatures that I'm still mulling over in my head so we will see what happens there. I'll bring along one of my FT-17s as well, I'm still pretty pleased with that work.

Here are the victims:
For the diorama "It Came From Outer Space" 
I think I have shown these all on the blog at one point or another over the past couple of years. This is the year to get this one done though!

The diorama will only feature one of the two female characters, which ever one ends up be better painted will be entered as a single.

The second diorama (if I can pull it all together) will feature these three familiar characters:
I think I need at least two more minis to pull this one off effectively. It would be my first truly multi-level diorama if I get this far.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Vacation Travelogue - Taking it Easy

Its been a long time since I went on a real family vacation. My mom decided that she wanted to take everyone to Hawai'i for her birthday. How could I say no? We opted to go to the island of O'ahu, since the group was just to big to island hop and there is plenty to do right there, including a visit to Pearl Harbor. Of course the one thing I forget to pack is the charger and spare battery for my camera. It was a couple of days before I could get to a shop in Honolulu that had what I needed, so it was just my phone camera for a couple of days. We elected to take the first couple of days easy to acclimate to the climate and not pack the itinerary with so much that everything was rushed. I can safely state that I never acclimated to the high humidity levels on O'ahu though!

We arrived early Saturday afternoon, spent Sunday on the beach which was just a 100 yards away or in Kailua which is the small town we were staying in. Monday was pretty much the same but we did venture to Honolulu for a luau at the Royal Hawaiin Hotel. Very touristy but a lot of fun. That will lead us into Tuesday, our visit to Pearl Harbor.

Our first bit of wildlife, an Anole on a rock heading into the house. There was a whole colony of them in the backyard around the pool.

One of the local denizens of Kailua, a real free range chicken. They are all over the place and there are signs asking people not to feed them.

Another bit of wildlife near the back patio, a day gecko

A visit to the Punchbowl to visit one of my wife's distant cousins that was killed on Guadalcanal. This national cemetery is located inside a volcanic crater.

Left wing of the main memorial in the Punchbowl, this features mosaics made of crushed class you can just make out some of them in the picture.

The center of the main memorial

And the right wing

Looking out over the cemetery grounds, the cousin's burial plot is somewhere on the left side near the entrance (which you can just make out in the distance there).

One of the mosaics from inside the memorial itself. This is the liberation of the Philippines. This is where my great uncle was wounded and would later die from those wounds.

Honolulu as seen from the lookout point on the rim of the Punchbowl. They definitely have a height limitation here!

A bit of the interior of the Punchbowl from the rim. This is a closed cemetery, no burial plots are available. 

At the luau, with a rainbow over Diamond Head, (another volcanic crater).

A study in contrasts, my tiny mother (5' nothing probably a bit shorter now) next to the lead Samoan dancer after the luau