Author Topic: A Spiky Tale  (Read 2732 times)

Online Robomog

  • ...had a very bad experience with [an] orange...
  • Would you buy a used kit from this man?
A Spiky Tale
« on: July 20, 2020, 05:00:24 AM »
Hi all

This story started out as an alternative history for this group build:-

But as i was writing this and putting it together the whole thing seemed to snowball in my head to become a fully blown story. Not being one to miss an opportunity I ran with it and the following is the result.

As the end of the Group Build is rapidly approaching I have published the finished aircraft and the first part of the story so that I can get on with my last entry for the group build.

Hopefully I will publish the second part before the end of the build but by doing it this way it takes a bit of self created pressure off my shoulders. Rest assured I will finish the story.

Please note that any similarities between my Brian and the Brian is purely coincidental.

A Spiky Tale – Part 1

During World War Two the Japanese tried to damage the US war machine by sending explosive and incendiary devices attached to balloons that were carried to the states on the prevailing winds, it was not a success. In order to prevent any panic in the populous all information regarding this was suppressed but within the military things got a bit jittery which lead to the experimentation with munitions designed to bring the balloons down en mass.

The most promising of these was a canister containing steel darts which when fired would spread across the sky  in a shot gun effect and puncture many balloons. It was a haphazard weapon sometimes the spread was too narrow then too wide and then the significant fall of shot had to be taken into account.

In the end the balloon threat did not materialize in any significant way and when one wag commented it would be easier and cheaper to bolt a couple of blunderbuss’ filled with nails to the aircraft the project was rapidly terminated and the considerable stockpile of munitions sent for scrap. Except they weren't told it was scrap so they were stored in an Arizona warehouse and forgotten about.

Or so people thought.........

Jebrovia is a South American country that sits uncomfortably between Ecuador  and Coloumbia, it is a small country barely a quarter the size of Ecuador and is mostly jungle. Jebrovia has little mineral wealth and most of its income is derived from tourism and the cultivation and sale of a red orchid that is unique to the hills of this country. So important is this that the red orchid is part of its national insignia.

It also has a more covert income, being paid generously by the CIA for access to the borders of its neighbouring countries via it two main cities and through a series of towns and villages.

The dictator of Jeborovia was a fair man who strived to do the best for his country and people but he also knew the armed forces had no teeth, the army was small and inadequately armed for anything other than basic policing. The air force was no better, being a handful of second hand transports, helicopters and unarmed warbirds. The navy was just as inadequate, consisting of a hotchpotch of hand-me-down coast guard  cutters that had seen much better days.

With this in mind and the rumours that a rebel faction were planning to attempt a coup from Ecuador  he turned to his closest ally, the CIA, for help.

The CIA operative on the ground was sympathetic and promised he could obtain some better equipment for the army. He could also get his hands on some aircraft ordinance but providing new aircraft was beyond his remit.

The dictator was adamant he needed better aircraft and so the CIA man gave him a contact card and told him to send some of his  air force people to see this man.

The card read simply, 

General B D Basher, Hanger 3, The Boneyard, Arizona

When the Jeborovian delegation of three men turned up at Hanger Three they were sure they had made a mistake. Hanger Three was a huge building that was situated outside the perimeter of the bone yard on the opposite side to the main entrance of the base itself. It appeared to be run down and not quite abandoned, it certainly required some serious maintenance.  It was  surrounded on three sides by aircraft in various states of disassembly, on  fourth side, an end wall,  there was a  small carpark  and a sea of spare parts bins.

They rang the doorbell and shortly afterwards a man with glasses and a beard opened the door.

He was wearing a smart  military jacket and a generals hat over a dark tee shirt and tatty pair of Jean’s and sneakers,

“ah, you must be the Jeborovian contingent, please come in"

He lead them into a small office that overlooked the hanger.

“Your aircraft are on the far side of the building” he said “but I am obliged to warn you that what you see here must never be divulged to anyone”

“We understand General” replied one of the pilots

“Great” said Brian taking off his jacket and launching it at a hat stand followed by the hat, both of which landed neatly on the arms “that’s my official  bit done, now I can get on with my job, I hate uniforms, please call me Brian”

He lead them into the hanger, along the  right hand side were a number of aircraft being dismantled  by teams of men and on the right were parts bins, crates and pallets.

“This is a legitimate operation" he explained “we buy or are given old aircraft and remove all the parts for reuse, we can provide parts at a fraction of the cost of new and we also stockpile parts from old and rare aircraft"

“How old?” asked the head of the delegation

“We have warbird parts from second world war planes, but not a lot, there's a lot if interest in warbird aircraft at the moment so there's quite a lot of competition for spares”

They finally came to the back wall of the hanger.

“This is what you are here for"  Brian said, beaming.

Putting his hand on a scanner it hummed and beeped then a door slid back to reveal a second hanger.

Inside the hanger to the left were three Cessna 02 aircraft and on the right an Britten Norman Islander , Shorts Skyvan and a  Jetranger helicopter.

“you were actually very lucky, it takes a while to develop and convert an aircraft to specific needs. These three Cessna's were surplus to requirements from another contract.”

“These are ground attack aircraft?” asked one of the pilots.

“Absolutely” replied Brian “you have four hard points on the wings and one on the centreline, plus two tubes in the cockpit”

“tubes, what for?”

Brian bowed under the aircraft and patted one of the steel tubes protruding from its body.

"These babies are for dropping grenades and stuff, you can also attach a breach to fire mortar rounds"

There was nods of appreciation.

“We have fitted much more powerful engines and adopted a  fixed undercarriage to cope with the extra weight, that actually allowed us to fit the tubes by creating space inside"

“nice spats" the pilot commented.

“almost intimidating” commented the other.

“I’m afraid we haven’t any munitions yet, the Company is sourcing them, its miniguns and rocket pods your after isn’t it?”

“Yes” replied the leader of the delegation “bombs as well"

“hmmm" said Brian “well I can offer you some offensive stuff, it’s a bit left field but it will give you some teeth"

The leader smiled “Brian, given the current threat level, we will take anything we can strap to the wings"

“Ok, if you would follow me I’ll give you a demonstration"

Brian led the delegation into a side room.

Inside were a couple of trolleys holding two yellow canister shaped objects with clear plastic domed heads, surrounding them was a large number of crates.

“what are they" asked the pilot

Brian removed the clear dome, and a metal band that held a foil thin cover plate to reveal the heads of metal darts. He then produced a dart from a box to show them.

It was about 6 inches long with a bulbous pointed head, thin shaft and crudely welded pointed fins.

“its a steel dart, based on the World War One flechette, but scaled up. Its fired by an explosive charge and spreads out like a shotgun, the higher you are the greater the spread, it’ll do quite a bit of damage to soft skin vehicles"

“and people" someone commented.

“how about armour?” asked the pilot

“Not a lot at low level, but fired from height it will penetrate light armour"

“its very inaccurate, isn’t it"

“yes, very much spray and pray but psychologically it could have a large impact, we also have these" Brian said lifting some metal objects from another container, the were a stubby solid metal cylinder around two inches long and half an inch in diameter with a pointed end and  small fins. “ these are Lazy Dog rounds, they are a kinetic munition, when they are dropped from height they arrive like a fifty cal bullet, yes they are also inaccurate but they will penetrate light armour"

“What sort of height”

“I’m not actually sure but maybe around a thousand feet, probably two to three thousand max as they will reach their terminal velocity and more height will gain you nothing, I have a demonstration of the darts set up to show you outside the hanger"

“I would like to see this Brian, but what is happening with the other three aircraft, I notice they are Jeborovian”

“Were upgrading two of them" Brian replied “you were fortunate with the islander it was a decommissioned Defender so all we had to do was source some pylons and a couple of fifty cals, the jetranger is being kitted for rockets and miniguns. The skyvan is here to take away the munitions if you want them, they will show as ‘flares' on the manifest and boxes, we painted them yellow to make them look a little less offensive"

“You appear to have covered all the bases”

 “If you would like to come with me, we will go to the range"

Brian lead them through a back door, outside was a waiting Range Rover.

The range, Brian explained, was a few miles into the desert and after weaving between parked aircraft they drove for about fifteen minutes into the desert.

When Brian finally stopped the car you would not have believed it was a range as apart from a flat back truck next to an open backed concrete block house and a sturdy metal gantry with two of the canisters hung one behind the other on a rail, it was just endless flat desert.

“we’ve parked a car, truck and armoured car down range as targets” said Brian ushering them into the block house.

Inside was one of Brian's colleagues, who handed out ear defenders to the visitors and indicated they stand by the observation slit “ it’s all ready” he said “the base has been warned there’s going to be a few bangs"

“Thanks" said Brian “ everybody ready?"

Nods all round.

“Ok firing in 3-2-1"

He pressed the firing button.

The bang was loud, followed by a high pitched whine as the darts sped away, the observer's got a small glimpse of the darts before they plunged into the targets.

“Firing two in 3-2-1"

Again the bunker shuddered as the second set of darts whistled towards their target.

“Right, let’s go see the damage"

They all returned to the Range Rover, and drove down to the parked targets.

Both the light skinned vehicles were peppered with holes, none had a complete pane of glass left, the insides were wrecked, the armoured car was better off it was covered in scratches an dents from strikes and a few darts were embedded in the side like an arrow, one tyre had deflated.

The delegation inspected the targets thoroughly, there was a lot of positive noises and nodding of heads as they talked. When they finished there was a short pause while they had a serious conversation between themselves, then the head of the delegation approached Brian.

“you’re a good salesman Mr Basher, sorry, Brian. We will take all you can give us"

“Excellent” Brian replied “ we will load the skyvan immediately, the pilot is already here, then load more on the islander and the Jetranger can take what left. The pilots for those two will be arriving in the next two days"

“I take it the Cessna’s are ready now"

“yep, we just need to fit the drop tanks, fill up and you can be on your way"

“thank you, we will leave as soon as possible. One last question why the clear nose cone ?"

“Camouflage” Brian explained, grinning “ it makes them look less warlike. After all, they are only there to split the air. When the weapon is fired the darts punch through the foil an shatter the cone on the way out. The recoil is taken up by a damper spring attached to the back plate, when it gets to the end of its travel the munition is ejected to allow the one behind it to fire"

They all shook hands and returned to the warehouse, an hour later three Cessna’s and a fully laden Skyvan taxied from the hanger and took off from the dirt airstrip outside.

“I reckon they were pleased with those" Brian commented as the aircraft faded into the distance.

“Guess so" his colleague replied “ pity the poor sod who’s going to be on the end of that lot”

To be continued...............


« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 04:25:52 PM by Robomog »
Mostly Harmless...............

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: A Spiky Tale
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2020, 07:05:21 PM »
It would be an uncomfortable place for a small country to sit as Angola is in south west Africa meaning they would be bobbing around in the middle of the Atlantic.

Online Robomog

  • ...had a very bad experience with [an] orange...
  • Would you buy a used kit from this man?
Re: A Spiky Tale
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2020, 08:14:44 AM »
Blimey what a brain fart !     :-[    serves me right for rushing things :icon_zombie:

 Make that Ecuador  - story suitably corrected

And thanks for pointing that out, yr a star  ;)

Mostly Harmless...............

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: A Spiky Tale
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2020, 09:51:11 PM »
Blimey what a brain fart !     :-[    serves me right for rushing things :icon_zombie:

 Make that Ecuador  - story suitably corrected

And thanks for pointing that out, yr a star  ;)


My pleasure, though there were probably enough Cubans in Angola for it to count as South American.

Online Robomog

  • ...had a very bad experience with [an] orange...
  • Would you buy a used kit from this man?
Re: A Spiky Tale
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2020, 11:07:14 PM »
Ha ha  ha  ;D

Mostly Harmless...............