Hell Cannons: A Pair of improvised mortars.

The tragic long running civil war in Syria has thrown up many examples of improvised military equipment over the years: from home made sniper rifles to converted apcs. Ace models have recently immortalised two such weapons in a plastic kit.

hell cannon 2

Hell Cannons are the name given to large improvised mortars that have been built by the rebel forces/ Free Syrian Army in the past few years. Consisting of a large metal pipe fixed to a truck axle they fire homemade shell that are mostly made from propane gas canisters. As can be imagined they are not particularly accurate and neither do they have a long range, barely reaching overa mile. A more in-depth  look at them can be found here .

Ace kits are a east European manufacturer of limited run plastic kits that cover a wide variety of subjects that are often not covered by the bigger companies. Given the limitations of their short run production their kits have a repuation of being difficult to build; the finesse and fit of the parts is not up there with the likes of Revell or Dragon. That said the two guns were built over the course of a single evening. I thought it was a nice touch that several examples of the relevant ‘shells’ were included too.

hell cannon wip

hell cannon 1

Painting was mostly done with a sponge to get the mottled camo and rust effects and didn’t take long at all.

The first gun is from the Ahrar al- Shmal Brigade nd was seen in the Idlib area in 2013.

hell cannon 3

hell cannon 4

The second gun was built and used by the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo in 2017.

hell cannon 5

hell cannon 6

I have bought some suitable figures from Elhiem to use as crew but I’ve not painted them yet.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

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My competition winnings.

A while back the ModernAfricanBushwars yahoo group ran a quick competition- first to answer three questions correctly wins 50 Euros at Hobby Den model store. I saw the email whilst sat in my favourite cafe in town, fortunately the questions were on the Rhodesian War (the conflict in Africa I know most about) so I rattle off my answers and luckily little old me won.

Deciding what to get was a nice experience and today I picked up my parcel from the Post Office.

I like getting parcels, I'm quick to open them up...

I like getting parcels, I’m quick to open them up…

... and tip the contents out.

… and tip the contents out.

I got 3 open backed Unimogs, a M1117 armoured car, a Shorland armoured car and an M47 Patton. All of these models were from Hobby Den's in house range of resins.

I got 3 open backed Unimogs, a M1117 armoured car, a Shorland armoured car and an M47 Patton. All of these models were from Hobby Den’s in house range of resins.

A quick shot of the hulls and turrets, photographing pale resin never really brings out the best in the models (well not with my barely functioning level of skill in photography).

A quick shot of the hulls and turrets, photographing pale resin never really brings out the best in the models (well not with my barely functioning level of skill in photography).

Hobby Den’s own range of resins are very nice and they do fill some useful gaps in the market- they come highly recommended from me.

Their website can be found here: http://www.thehobbyden.com/

On the topic of URLs the yahoo group can be found here: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ModernAfricanBushwars/info – worth joining for access to the photo albums alone.

You might be wondering what I plan to do with my new resins..?

Well, the 3 Unimogs will be painted up to be added to my Rhodesian Bush War collection- though I’ll need to find some crew for them, the M1117 will be a sand colour for service in Iraq ( they were mostly used by the Military Police for convoy protection duties and I have been planning a game along those lines for ages), the M47 will be painted in Croat colours as I’ve got a decal sheet with a nice scheme on that I want to replicated and as for the Shorland I’m not so sure, I’m a big fan of them as they are basically armoured Landrovers with a turret on, I may do it in a Syrian camo scheme or possible a plain grey.

Typing that last paragraph made me realize I’ve a complete lack of focus as I’ve covered 4 different projects there. If I could concentrate on one thing at once I’d probably get a lot more done but where would the fun be in that.

Cheers,

Pete.