Sunday, March 31, 2013

Day of the Falcon

Day of the Falcon, also known as Black Gold and Black Thirst, is a 2011 epic drama film, based on Hans Ruesch's 1957 novel South of the Heart: A Novel of Modern Arabia, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. It was produced by Tarak Ben Ammar, Chairman of Quinta Communications and co-produced by the Doha Film Institute, Qatar. The film had a budget of US$55 million, making it one of the most expensive films backed by an Arab about an Arab subject.
Emir Nesib (Antonio Banderas), Sultan of a group of tribes and Sultan Amar (Mark Strong) of Salma have a dispute with their border. Both have been fighting war for a vast barren land they call "The Yellow Belt". Emir Nesib decides to put an end to the war by striking a deal with Sultan Amar. They meet and make a peace pact, deciding that the Yellow Belt belongs to neither and should be left as a no man's land. As a guarantee, Emir Nesib takes Sultan Amar's kids Saleh and Auda so that Sultan would not break the pact. Sultan, though reluctant, but being a god fearing and orthodox person, agrees, when Nesib promises him that the kids will be treated as Nesib's own along with his kids Tariq and Leyla. Saleh is free spirited while Auda is an introvert who is always into books. Leyla and Auda become good friends until Leyla's caretaker intervenes and asks her to stop meeting men as she is becoming adolescent.
Years pass and the kids grow up. Auda (Tahar Rahim) is still the bookworm, while Saleh (Akin Gazi) hopes to see his father someday. Nesib starts to get worried as he does not have enough money and there is nothing around him but desert and sand. Sam Thurkettle (Corey Johnson), a geologist working for a western oil firm called Texan Oil, meets Nesib after making some survey in the Yellow Belt. Nesib initially refuses to believe Sam saying that there is only sand and nothing else. Sam shows him a piece of black shale and convinces Nesib that it is an indication of crude oil beneath the ground. He explains Nesib that crude oil is very valuable and if Nesib lets him extract oil, his company would pay him phenomenal money, that would make him richer than the Queen of England. Nesib accepts the offer and lets the westerners to extract oil from the yellow belt, thus violating the peace pact. Money slowly starts to pour in and Nesib starts to modernize his country by building schools and hospitals. Nesib makes Auda the national librarian and Tariq their Colonel. He send his envoy to Amar to strike a deal to extract oil from the yellow belt. Meanwhile, some radicals attack one of the oil sites and kill the crew. Nesib learns that it is the act of his other tribes men and manages to convince all his tribes to accept oil extraction by gifting them valuables. The envoy returns and tells Nesib that Amar considers the exploitation of yellow belt a violation of the treaty. Saleh tells Auda that he can convince their father (Amar) and decides to leave without informing anyone. Halfway through, Saleh kills his support staff and flees the scene.
Nesib, desperate to gain from the oil, decides to marry Auda to his daughter Leyla (Freida Pinto). Auda reluctantly agrees as he is convinced that it is a plot so that Amar will not attack Nesib. Meanwhile Saleh is caught and Ibn Idriss kills him accusing him of treason. Nesib decides to send Auda to convince Amar for using the yellow belt. Auda meets Amar, who is surprised to learn that Auda has come as a representative of Nesib. Auda learns more about his father during his stay there. Amar tells Auda that Nesib offered 5% of the earnings but he refused the offer. When Auda tries to explain to him, he says that everything in his home is made either out of blood or love, but not money and that money has no value. The following day a meeting is held with Amar's allies. They say that by letting foreigners extract oil they let themselves be destroyed, while Auda successfully convinces them by saying if god had not meant it for them to use, he wouldn't have given it in their soil. Everybody is convinced. Amar and Auda team up and devise a plan that will help Amar attack and gain control of the Yellow Belt. Auda makes up a team and unites other tribes as well. They slowly start attacking oil fields and in the ensuing battle Tariq is killed. He meets Sheikh of Beni Sirri tribe and during the meeting the Sheikh beats Aicha (Liya Kebede), a slave girl, brutally. Auda tries to protest and an argument ensues, leaving Auda to handcuff and disgrace the leaders of Beni Sirri tribe and freeing the slaves. Amar arrives and meets Auda, who reveals that he has united all the other tribes and intends to keep the yellow belt for them. During the discussion, Amar is shot dead by the Beni Sirri tribe. Learning about the developments, Nesib accepts Auda as the prince. The film ends with Auda holding a meeting with several foreigners presumably with oil companies.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tanker's Tuesday:Rebirth Of The Airborne Tank II

UK companies QinetiQ and Vickers Defence Systems have developed a "plastic tank" which offers improved protection and demonstrates stealth technology to reduce its radar reflection and heat sig.

Tanker's Tuesday:Rebirth Of The Airborne Tank?

March 17, 2004: The U.S. Army has taken four M8 Armored Gun Systems out of storage and assigned them to the 82nd Airborne Division. Often described as an "airborne tank", the M8 project was cancelled in 1996 in order to use the money saved (over a billion dollars) for other uses (like paying for peacekeeping duty). The M8 was a 1980s project, whose purpose was to provide light infantry forces with a tracked vehicle, equipped with a 105mm tank gun, that could be dropped by parachute or delivered via C-130 transport. The M8 has a three man crew and can be fitted with two different sets of add-on armor. The basic M8 weighs 19.3 tons and has armor that will protect the crew from shell fragments and some bullets. Three tons of additional armor will provide protection from all bullets and some small caliber cannon shells. Add another 2.5 tons of armor (creating a 24.8 ton vehicle) provides protection cannon shells up to 30mm. The M8 looks like a tank, but it isn't. It's best armor protection will not stop the least capable anti-tank round currently in use. The M8 is more like the World War II ear American "tank destroyers," which proved more useful as infantry support vehicles. The Germans and Russians had many similar vehicles which were accurately described as "assault guns." The M8 has an autoloader with 21 rounds, plus another nine rounds for reloading the autoloader. In practice, the M8 usually functions as self-propelled artillery system for light infantry. Missiles and air power are more likely to be used against enemy tanks and armored vehicles.

If the M8 had gone into mass production, each one bought would have cost about five million dollars. The army says it does not plan to resume development of the M8, it just needs some mobile artillery for the 82nd Airborne Division and the M8s were available. Cancelled weapons systems usually have working prototypes into storage in case the project is revived or, in this case, the weapon is actually needed. The new chief-of-staff of the army is said to be in favor of the M8, so putting the four prototypes to use might create enough positive feedback from the battlefield to get the M8 back in the procurement budget. The army originally wanted to buy 237 of them. The 25 ton version would be well protected against RPGs and would provide the kind of direct fire artillery support light infantry find very useful. At the moment, only tanks can provide this kind of support. But the 25 ton M8 can be flown to distant battlefields much more easily than the 65 ton M-1 tank. Development on the M8 has not stopped completely, there's now a version that carries a 155mm howitzer, whose development was paid for by the manufacturer, not the government.

March 15, 2004: The U.S. Armys hummer vehicle was not meant to be a combat vehicle, or a power generator, but that's what it is turning into during the continued Iraq operations. Of the 10,000 hummers in Iraq, over 40 percent of them will be armored. Moreover, it has become more common for troops to run numerous electronic devices off the hummers power supply. As a result, a growing number of the vehicles are breaking down. The engines are being worn out prematurely, and the extra weight of armor, and additional weapons, is doing more damage to suspensions and tires. Nearly ten percent of the hummers in Iraq are out of action waiting for repairs. Getting sufficient spare parts to Iraq is also a problem. Moreover, the hummer was not designed to be quickly repaired, especially for things like engine replacement. It takes 62 man hours to replace the engine. The M-1 tank, which was designed for ease of repair, can have its engine replace much more quickly. As a result of this experience, the first time hummers have been used in a sustained combat operation, design changes for the vehicle are being made for the future models.

March 12, 2004: Some 300 of the U.S. Army's Stryker LAV (wheeled Light Armored Vehicle) were sent to Iraq last Fall as part of the first "Stryker Brigade." The Stryker has proven durable (not wearing out it's tires, as the M-2 Bradley does its tracks, after 1300 kilometers on the road) and able to protect itself. The two times an RPG rocket has hit a Stryker, the damage was minor because of the additional "slat armor." Two Strykers were hit by roadside bombs, but only one soldier was wounded. Moreover, Iraqi attackers have learned to be wary when Strykers are about, because they accelerate faster than armored vehicles, and come at the source of the hostile fire with guns blazing. The army brass are pleased, so far, with Stryker's performance so far and are planning to continue buying them and forming Stryker brigades. The Stryker has had a 90 percent readiness rate (which is higher than tracked vehicles.) The height of the vehicle has caused some stability problems and there have been at least two roll overs.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Yet More Loot

Tim Gow said...
Not enough toys Don. Buy more at once!

Well never let it be said that I don't follow good advice!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

GZG ECC XVI : Photos Up!

And now with photos!

You can find links off the AAR page below:

The Kinsey Project photos are also posted:

Thanks again everybody - if people have things about GZG ECC XVI they'd like
to post to the website, let me know and I'll get it up.


Monday, March 11, 2013


Well, that took longer than a week. :/ My apologies folks;
real life is being something of annoying little brat at the

Anyway, the first part of the AARs are up.

I've got a photo album to post, and Mark Kinsey has passed
along 8 years (!) of photos that also need to be posted. I'll let
people know when those are up. (Maybe this weekend...????)

Shout out to everybody at the Con this year; I tried a whole
bunch of new stuff (all rules I've never played before in my
life), and it was a lot of fun.

For more photos, check out our Facebook page!.


Small Scale Hobbies

As a past customer of ours, we are pleased to announce to you the re-opening of our web site, We would like to thank you for your past patronage on ebay and assure you that we will still be able to service your modeling needs on Ebay as well as the new web site, . is
an internet based hobby shop and as our name says, we specialize in small scale hobbies, especially military kits and accessories.
On you will find a superb selection of 1/87 scale military kits, paints, tools, airbrushes, books & tech manuals and a great selection of decals. We import many hard to find and unique kits. These come to us direct from the manufacturers, the great majority of them you will not find at most other hobby shops. is easy to use and to navigate. Search and advanced search options are there to help you find a special item. If you have trouble with the site, please let us know so when can take steps to correct things.
If you need help finding a special item that we do not show in our inventory, just contact us and we will do our best to find it for you.
Some of the products at are: Herpa / Roco Minitanks, Arsenal-M, Trident Miniatures, Preiser, SDV, Wespe, Heiser, WSW Modelle, Mac Kits, Peddinghaus Decals, I-94 Decals, Tankograd publishing, Micro Scale, Squadron-Signal books, Osprey books, Badger Airbrushes, X-Acto tools, Testors Model Master military colors, Vallejo paints and more.

We still have hundreds more 1/87 scale items to add over the next few weeks. We are getting new products almost weekly so check back often. In the near future we will be adding other popular modeling scales such as 1/72 and 1/35 along with some HO model trains.

At during checkout, you may pay for your purchases with PaPal, checks, money orders or certified checks. We will be able to take your credit / debit cards in the near future.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns please email us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
We look forward to serving your modeling needs. Please enjoy the new site.
Greg & Scott Schneider


 Bringing you the best in small scale military kits and accessories from around the world. 
Only the best from the best!

1220 South 14th Street, Manitowoc, WI 54220

I've done allot of business with Greg on ebay, now opening an on line store
I can't recommend him too highly!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Few Mile Stones

Brazos Evil Empire
153060 pageviews - 1001 posts!

Just because Tim said I didn't bring big enough guns to the celebration:


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tank Nut Dave!



Welcome to The Armoured Essentials Online Encyclopaedia of military vehicles!! is an online military vehicle encyclopedia spread over a thousand articles categorised by type and generation. It is written by an international staff of combat experienced servicemen and civilian specialists. We have consulted for and featured on TV/movies, including the BBC and attracted the attention & respect of the Bovington Tank Museum’s director for the educational content of our articles.

Tanker's Tuesday: M1A1 Abrams, MilitaryPorn

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Gamer's Codex :By Ron

After several months of hinting and some false starts, Justus Productions would like to announce our latest project. Jeff and I have been talking about something like this for a while. Back in 2006 to 2009, I wrote for a web site called, and later for Scrye magazine after their publisher bought the web site. Combing that experience with the resources and reputation of Justus Productions, we have launched a new web site that we'd like you to check out.

The Gamer's Codex
It is going to be a one-stop table-top gaming industry news and reviews site. We have a team of great reviewers, some great support from people in the industry and great experience behind the web site itself. We're working on the news side and should have a complete newsfeed up and running on our site very soon. We also have a table-top gaming Kickstarter link index. We ask anyone to submit their Kickstarter links to our index and we'll help promote it.

Our goal once all features are 100% working is to have weekly content – news, reviews and columns. I am now writing a regular series of B-movie reviews from a RPG game master's perspective called B-Move Inspirations. We will also have interviews from industry professionals. I have started by posting past interviews we have had from The Morning Star.

The Gamer's Codex and Justus Productions events will be closely related in that you will see Codex reviewers demoing the games they have reviewed and hopefully over time you will see more and more of that at other events.

Please check it out, like our Facebook page ( and/or join us on Twitter ( We have a Google+ page but unfortunately that's not auto-posting yet.

Thanks and I hope you like!