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Posts posted by BlueBelle

  1. Hi Lizzie,


    Clive is obviously not letting on whether he's using special software or repairing the image using Photoshop or similar, though from his last comment I'd say possibly the latter.


    You can get specialist software to heal dust and scratches - Silverfast do one, for example - but I couldn't comment on good or bad programs as I've never used any. A scanner with Digital ICE can do a good job as well.


    If you are using Photoshop the clone stamp can work as well as the healing brush tools. The trick is to pick the right brush size and type and then go carefully. I often find a soft edge brush works well as it will blend in. It's just practice really.




    On first look I had assumed the first K9 was our friend 94 BG 06 from the earlier photo, but if it is, something dramatic has happened to it between the two shots. It might also explain the discrepancy between the apparent ages and the vehicle registrations in the earlier shot. Can you spot what I'm seeing?

    K9 ...... obvious differences between them is no hole in the cab roof! I think there were 3 cab types, with obvious variances such as trafficators/electric indicators, louvres/no louvres on the waist below the scuttle and perhaps something different on those bonnet louvres. Maybe its so obvious Sean, that I've missed it!!!! It is though, sand-coloured and that is most important overall!!!


    The 'interloper' dear viewer, is of course, that lovely, though much maligned little truck, the Morris MRA1.


    Thanks for more software advice. My new 'yet to be fathomed out' slide scanner (a rather large lump of gubbins, though why that large surprises me just for negatives and transparencies/slides) has a bundled Silverfast disc which, if I get to understand how to use it, shall also be also be trialled on scanned photos alongside my Photoshop Elements attempts. I will try your trick to pick the right brush size and type and then go carefully. If only I didn't have a business, home, a person who thinks I'm crackers and a herd of moose who all make excessive demands on my time .. :laugh:

  2. Sean N said:
    Hi Lizzie,


    Clive is obviously not letting on whether he's using special software or repairing the image using Photoshop or similar, though from his last comment I'd say possibly the latter.


    You can get specialist software to heal dust and scratches - Silverfast do one, for example - but I couldn't comment on good or bad programs as I've never used any. A scanner with Digital ICE can do a good job as well.


    If you are using Photoshop the clone stamp can work as well as the healing brush tools. The trick is to pick the right brush size and type and then go carefully. I often find a soft edge brush works well as it will blend in. It's just practice really.


    Anyway, back to the trucks. The charging body on early RLs at least is the same as the cargo body with a few modifications. To quote the user handbook:


    "The body used on this model is a converted Cargo body without seats. Two low benches are fitted in the body, one at each side, extending from the front towards the tailboard. Each bench is provided with a cupboard and a drawer. Provision is made for busbars to be mounted along the sides of the body to which batteries, placed on the benches, may be connected for charging. A stand and strap are provided at the rear end of each bench to secure carboys of distilled water or acid. Holes are bored through the floorboards towards the front end of the body to encourage air circulation and prevent accumulation of acid fumes. The holes are covered with a perforated zinc plate. A ramp is provided to facilitate loading and unloading of batteries. All internal wood and metal parts of the body are treated with acid resisting paint. The tilt has six windows of oiled canvas, two in each side, one in the front and one in the rear. Each window is provided with a canvas flap for blackout purposes"


    The 'benches' are in fact a lot more akin to racks, and there is often a third floor mounted rack in the middle. Interestingly your two charging vehicles - which are both very early RLs - have two windows, not one, at the front.


    The rest of the RLs appear to be cargo vehicles and appear to be later cabs, after the headlight position was changed (at least, vehicle 6 is).


    Did you notice the interloper, fourth vehicle in the convoy, which no-one has commented on, and does seem to be towing a generator trailer although not the 27.5 KVA Meadows?


    On first look I had assumed the first K9 was our friend 94 BG 06 from the earlier photo, but if it is, something dramatic has happened to it between the two shots. It might also explain the discrepancy between the apparent ages and the vehicle registrations in the earlier shot. Can you spot what I'm seeing?

    I was just about to post "and where is our RL expert when needed?" Lo and behold, Sean's here! Yay!

    Two windows to the front of the tilt tells me that the tilts may have been for the RL Battery Charger version that carried a 27.5Kva generator (rare, I guess?), having an extended headboard and two vent fan domes that protruded out towards the cab rear? This photo shows one, with offset vents though I don't know where I got the photo from, so 'credit due to the original photographer' whoever they were (perhaps someone will recognise this for us?). I again guess this is an 'original fit' and not some mash-up by a misguided enthusiast. I have another photo that shows presumably the same truck and the generator inside it.

    An 'interloper'! Yes, the B&W 'clean up' photo and the colour Nero convoy feature the 'interloper' and you and I both noticed the tell-tale body strakes and cab profile etc!!! Knowing the L.A.D makeup, I'd be confident stating that said interloper in the clean-up photo was the welding truck, though whilst in Nero's convoy I'd be reluctant to categorically state which model of interloper it was other than that I'm surprised it was used to tow that generator, a generator that looks to be something like a 10Kva or something of that ilk from an earlier period and weighing heavy on the interloper's rear springs.





    A bit more tidying




    Looking even better Clive! Anymore tidying needed? I don't think so. Did you draw that lollipop on the side of the cab? Oh, its a wing mirror, on a long arm! ;) Funny how I missed it when I tried tidying up (with my Adobe Photoshop Elements (Sean) and now my 5th attempt version of the photo has the wing mirror 'blobbed out'!!! Maybe I'll go back and practice again, even if I have to draw a wing mirror!!! At least my soldiers now all have their heads on, their own heads!!!

  4. Can anyone tell me what this thing is?

    Basically just need a name to put next to the Assembly Diagram (in the model kit's Instruction pages).




    As I saw something sand-coloured .... it's a simple blade vane sight for target acquisition, used by the commander to align the main gun in azimuth only.

  5. See if you can see a Royal Signals Arm of Service flash? They're on the RL Battery Charging trucks! I presume they're Battery Charging trucks due to the vent flap windows in the tilts and that I know the Royal Signals operated these trucks for 2RTR in Homs. Odd that the battery loading racks are not stowed on the outside of the cargo body, though they could be on the other side or stuffed inside the trucks. I do not believe the Battery Charging RLs were the type with an onboard Meadows generator; they probably had battery racks fitted either side of the cargo area and a charging control/distribution panel, with power for charging, I believe coming from the 10Kva gen set towed by that Morris MRA 1ton, though I know that 2RTR and an RS unit in 1957 (Tripoli) used a 6Kva generator towed by the RL battery Charging truck. Were 6Kva gen sets ever skid-mounted inside an RL Battery Charging truck?

    Can you see the Tripolitania District flash anywhere? No, nor can I. This is a view of the departure of the regiment from Homs, with the Nero sqn Echelon bound for Benghazi, Wavell Bks. How they got there will become evident, later. The vehicles have had a black 'patch' painted over the Barbary Dhow in preparation for the application of the off-white 'Pillars of Cyrene' Cyrenaica District flash.

    Photo by John Empson REME.


  6. It's definitely different on the second photo but looks as though the O/S flash is the same while the N/S flash has been changed to the Tripolitania Barbary dhow Lizzie uses as her avatar. I can only see two tones in the first image but that may just be my eyes.


    Lizzie, I meant to say you can get software to clean all that dust and speckles etc. up, or often there are plugins or filters in image editing software such as Photoshop to do it.


    I'm still erring on the side of an RS flash, even if I've barked up the wrong tree! :-D


    Software, Sean? You're right, thanks for tip. I have Photoshop Elements and have wasted so much time with the tedious 'touch up small/large flaws' tool, 'sample this area first" then blob onto the speck and inadvertently, remove someone's head to see it reappear top left in the sky area! :laugh: Isn't there a 'magic button' that in a flash will eliminate fluff, dust and sandstorms? I do like the authenticity of the original though I know it would not do for publishing!!!!

  7. Lizzie, Ive been looking at the picture of the K9 and it seems to me that the marking on the near side is not the blue/white of a signals flash but possibly a red over blue and Lion, I may be imagining it but there is a slightly lighter patch on the top section, so it may be the HQ Egypt & Mediterranean Command flash you suggested for my K9. If the vehicle had been recently transferred it may account for the change in markings on the second photo.



    It is ..... perplexing! It will not be an HQ Egypt flash .... surely not, as that Command dissolved 1956 and our photo is between Aug 1959 and Oct 1961, Tripolitania District.

  8. Let's look at that very same Austin K9 FFW in this photo from John Empson REME of a line-up of 2RTR's L.A.D REME, Nero sqn (not one of the regiment's sabre sqns L.A.Ds). What are the differences with that K9 compared to the previous photo of it? My father is to the right on this photo, ooeee, fancy that! That'll be his Ferret, more than likely though I have another photo where he is in a turreted one.

    This photo features a sand and fluff storm going on in the camera. I wonder how clever I need to be to eliminate this phenomena and the time it would take to do satisfactorily?


    Oh, Sean et al, I think there is a problem with some of the photos not expanding, regardless of being logged in or not. Some are expandable, some are not. Hmmm, what's going on as I upload in the same way each time (I think I do, as there is only one way, isn't there?).


  9. They were, for my ageing eyes at least, a bit small to see & pick up on much detail, and don't click through to a larger version like some others.

    Austin K9 has an earlier registration than the RL (BG vs BJ) yet is a later vehicle. Could the RL have been in store for several years before being allocated a service registration? That doesn't seem to tie in with what I understood to be the practice.

    RL without a bridge plate, just the number painted straight onto the panelwork which seemed to happen a lot on R types - and the half track with a bridge plate but no number.

    What is the square thing on the front of the K9 roof, above the screen just at the top of the passenger side 'A' post?

    I wonder if you put two flashes on a restored truck whether you'd get a lot of flak from the rivet counters?


    The photos expand on 'click' if I'm logged in and the L.A.D vehicles 'blow up' magnificently! Is it me or you? :-)

    No idea about the square thing on the cab roof front though to the rear of it, perhaps sticking up on a mini-mast or on a small base plate welded to the cab rear, seems to be one of those black rubber antenna base units.

    No idea of disparity with dates into service though there are many Homs shots of that RL Binner in my collection and, indeed, of the Halftrack. Tripolitania was 'awash' with RL Binners in the 50s and up to 1966. All regiments had three or four of them, if not more, and 595 Ord Fd Pk RAOC as part of 25 Armd Bde had scores of them as my photos show (yet to be seen here), multiplied when 10 Armd Div formed in Libya for Suez. There would have been many of those returned to RAOC Vehicle Parks/Depots post 1957 in 'the new order' of 'things' (not in Tripolitania parks/depots but probably Malta).

    Bridge Plate classification may not have mattered much in those parts of Libya in them days?

    Two flashes are fine in being historically correct if you have the reference. There were other radio vehicles in 2RTR though what we have to account for is that regiments, most definitely armoured ones, had a Royal Signals troop attached who were responsible for regimental radio/signals traffic/regime. Maybe it was so throughout the British Army worldwide though I suspect it was more of a 'desert thing' due to long distance communication requirements in climatically hostile environments. Rules were made up as they went along in Libya in them days and, nobody stuck to them, so it seems just by looking at markings, naming conventions etc.

  10. 10FM68 said:
    Braithwaite Tower.


    You should get hold of copy of "Soldier" for January 1961. The feature article is called "War in the Desert" and described Exercise NATATION. Troops involved included Pathfinders from 1 Gds indep Para Coy2 Para, 41 Para Lt Bty RA, 2 Tp 9 Indep Para Sqn RE, 2 coys of RIF, a Yorkshire bn from Gibraltar and 2 RTR.


    The front cover shows a Saladin of 2 RTR "Afridi" and in the article is a picture of an Explorer NNBD70 towing a Leyland Hippo, 56YY78.

    10 68

    Yes! That's it, a Braithwaite tower! See, it's so rewarding asking a question and receiving an answer, especially a question to which you didn't know the answer and to then know the answer is totally correct! Thank goodness for the power of knowledge and unfogged memory, the fogged memory is not a condition I suffer from, yet, though I do have a lot of the fogged memories of some in their generousity to aid in my in my quest! Ah, it'll all become clear, eventually. Now, where was Gurgi Barracks again?

    So to THAT Soldier magazine. You mean this one below?

    With grateful thanks to Soldier Magazine.

    Saladin 07BB85 'Afridi' of Ajax Sqn 2RTR. Ajax named their armoured vehicles whilst based in Homs though not for long when they moved to Benghazi. Badger never named their vehicles, Cyclops did, though not when based in Medenine Barracks Oct 1961-Oct 62 and, Nero (HQ) only seemed to have named their armoured vehicles whilst Homs based. The black soldiers in the photo (I have a good few more of 07BB85 on that exercise) were, if my memory is unfogged, from Ghana on familiarisation training as their government had just bought or were considering buying, Saladins.

    Yes, I have obtained that magazine and a few others with less than spectacular coverage of all things Tripolitanian. If you know of more sources of sand-coloured Tripolitania stuff, then please do engage as I shall be more than grateful for the information, even if foggy. :-)


  11. Just to test your powers of observation with respect to the previous photo of the L.A.D vehicles. The K9 has both a REME arm of service flash (with white band and words 'LAD REME 2 R Tanks' and a Royal Signals one! Yes, that was the LAD FFW truck, complete with a real RS signals person though can't see the antenna mounts/connections nor can I remember without checking, which side of the truck all the antenna gubbins was. I'm almost sure I've seen it on either side. There seems to be 'something' on the cab roof, whatever that may be?

    The Halftrack has some nice tyres and a lovely shield-shaped Tripolitania District blue, black and white Barbary Dhow flash whilst the RL Binner has the rectangular version of it!!!!

    No strict rules and I even have photos where the Dhow is either facing the wrong direction or is missing one of its masts and sail sets!

  12. We need more sand-coloured stuff that was in Tripolitania, so let's see what this next photo does for you ... (Oh, the 2RTR tank park coloured photos went by without notice, as did the that b&w one with all those .... oh, never mind, you're all too stunned for words!!!!) :laugh:

    Yes! An Austin K9, again! RL Binner and fitter's Halftrack L.A.D REME 2RTR, Homs 1960/61. Photo by John Empson REME.

    I've asked 'those who were there' what the tall, glassed hanger-like building was used for and we're stumped. I have a similar photo showing the building under construction sometime in 1956/57 when 3RHA were in-situ. Stumped. No, it was not a gym, so I'm told. I have had the suggestion that it housed inflatable decoys of some sort? Too far-fetched perhaps? Perhaps not. During the latter half of 1950s, I am well informed that squadrons from 22 Regiment RE based in Tripoli were involved in setting up or trialling decoy targets for the Warsaw Pact hostiles, and, I also understand (perhaps an airforce expert may be on here to enlighten/verify) that RAF Idris to the south of Tripoli was a diversionary/dispersal airfield for the UK's V Bomber force. Hmm, maybe the hanger in Homs had in it a blow-up Vulcan? Or a regiment's worth of inflatable Shermans left over from WW2? I jest, of course, though the truth is just waiting, somewhere to be found and told.

    Oh, the RL Binner is not a special version with a structure mounted on the roof; it is the camp water tower behind the truck. There is a special name for that type of water tower; maybe we have an RE specialist who would know the answer?


  13. Sorry, no photos of sand coloured 421s but here is the photo of 00CA24 as built in DBG and carrying what I guess is a full load of amunition:





    Thank you! I wonder how many times that vehicle, or the vehicle that bore that registration, went in for modification and re-issue for trials, prior to being ...... shot at, melted down, left to rot or 'preserved'? it looked better in Light Stone.

  14. The original design of Fv421s had the front of the 'cab' in one continuous slope, no window in the only cab door which was on the left side and was hinged on its rear edge. There were no hatches in the cab roof proper but provision for an AA gunner/observer just behind on the centreline of the vehicle. They also had the track idlers very close to the rearmost road wheel.


    Later they were modified and possibly some built new with the more vertical windscreen, roof hatches in the two sloping sections of roof directly above driver and co driver, a window in the now front hinged door. Seperately the idler was moved back about 9" to the position shown in the photo in the post above and mounted on a much stronger adjusting mechanism with its pivot below the wheel centre instead of above.


    Another change saw the main radiator moved from the very back of the vehicle to the front of the engine in the air intake stack and a very much bigger air exhaust duct that enclosed the two exhaust pipes and mufflers which had been to the right of the duct before.


    I have a photo of 00CA24 in the original configuration so that one was definately rebuilt at least once.


    Note that they never got a door on the driver's side of the cab because the fuel filler is there together with all sorts of bits on the inside of the cab side.


    Does anyone have a copy of the later user handbook (W.O.Code 18396) that they might sell/lend for scanning/or scan and email to me?




    Super! Are we going to see your photos then? Please? At least the sand-coloured ones? 00CA24 was sand-coloured and, in TRIPOLITANIA (Yay!) which is why we're here! :laugh:

  15. Now we'll have another one from Max Warwick REME and a stunning line-up for an annual Admin Inspection of 3RHA in Homs, 1956. Admin Inspections in the 50's were enshrined in unit calendars but perhaps fizzled out completely by the early 60s. Maybe something do do with track mileage expenditure!

    I digressed. Look! support_70f4b451d1ce894bd94e58eb847d56e8.gif Its another Scammell Explorer and its VRN is 94BD67 ..... well fancy that! We've seen 94BD17, 94BD27 and now 94BD67. OOOEEEE! And look at that Centurion ARV Mk1. Stunning, as indeed is the turnout of those lovely Halftracks and the soldiers. Funny how scruffy today's soldiers look on parade (Guards Brigade/Household Division excepted) in those baggy shirty-hanging out camo rags and ortho brown boots 'shuffling' along out of step and dressing. What was wrong with 'barrack dress', those shirts-non hairy tucked in, green woolly pullies, stable belts, berets worn properly with badges over the eye, not ear and shiny boots ammunition, with or with studs and toe/heel-clicky bits? Don't answer on this thread, please. :laugh:

    The airstrip to the south east of Leptis Magna was the usual venue for vehicle parades, whether Admin, Colours, Queen's Birthday and so on. As children, we and my mother were bussed to the airstrip for 2RTR's Standards parade in 1960 to see the whole regiment drive past in clouds of sand and dust! The band played on, may have been (I'd have to check) the Royal Irish Fusiliers from Medenine barracks, Tripoli.


  16. BlueBelle in post 134 you make reference to the Cambridge Carrier and then ask where they were trialled.


    I would suggest that Canada is an answer as this one exists today near me. I have posted these before, they are my images not to be reproduced etc etc.

    Thanks for posting about the Cambridge Carrier. Advanced search completed to find your Cambridge thread; failed! Can you please point in the right direction? I wonder why the Cambridge Carrier was abandoned in Canada? Is someone operating what you've shewn or restoring them?

    Thanks in advance.

  17. Hopefully this will satisfy the appetite of those wishing to see a FV421 on trials in Libya, I believe with 3RTR.




    Magnificent! SAND-COLOURED too! Thank you for posting. MORE! Hmmm, Arm'd Regt? 3RTR? 3RTR did not 'do' Libya as a regimental or squadron posting, though maybe a troop/trials troop could have 'done' the desert.

    If Arm'd I'd go for 5RTR Dec 54-Mar 57 Barce Cyrenaica District


    6RTR Nov 57-Aug 59 Homs Tripolitania District


    Queen’s Bays Feb 56-Aug 57 Sabratha


    If we can prove either way I'd be even happier!

    The source of the photo is.....? I might need it, legally, for my book!!!!

    Just realised, there are TWO of them, side by side!

  18. BlueBelle said:

    So I will now provide the photographic proof, as discussed further on around page 12/13, that the above photo from page 1 of the 2RTR officer's red Dauphine is indeed, was taken in Homs camp at the REME end of the camp.

    The new photo has been provided by John Empson REME who took the shot we are now going to see. Focus on the hanger arrangement and more closely on the 1 or 2' high angled ridge of concrete that is on the ground, projecting out from the hanger. It seems be be a barrier between, perhaps, two different levels of ground, maybe even to prevent the REME A-Frame wheeled crane hoist thing from rolling away. The ridge is clearly evident in both photos. There we go! Done!

    But 'what a photo'! Just look what vehicles are in it! This photo also confirmed for me (2RTR couldn't!!!) that the camp's ambulance was, in addition to my father's big black Mercedes (running boards type and called on when required) that great truck, a Fordson Thames E3 FV13304; yes, one of them, bottom right nearest the camera!


  19. Hmm, not sure where 2RTR parked their Austin K9s, so we'll keep on trying .....

    Did you notice the first ever literation of the reverse air-flow cooling on the nose of the early marques of Saracens in the previous photo? Yes, we've covered this before with the REME AQMS Wally Roach.

    Did you also see that cute little ..... generator on the Saracen's wing? Must be one of their command vehicles (no, not with the modified superstructure, just a bog standard Saracen).

    What can we see here in John Empson REME's photo? :laugh:

    Well, there's one at least!


  20. Spring forward a few years, miss out 6RTR's time in Homs and we come to 2RTR's holiday in Homs (only joking -- they worked hard, played hard just as all previous encumbents did) and LOOK what was on the tank park!!!:wow:

    These next few photos are from John Empson REME who 'was there' as was my father who ran the REME workshop as the ASM whilst the two REME officers were, erm, perhaps doing something elsewhere, perhaps one always in Benghazi (the EME) where 2RTR's Ajax squadron was based (D'Aosta barracks), and of course, I, moi (kinder) was there and walked through the workshop gate, through those vehicles almost daily enroute from our Libyan Lodge or school (bottom end of camp outside the wall) which finished at 13.00 as did the soldiers in the summer 9 months, to the beach, just 100 yards from the front main gate of the camp.

    Can you see an Austin K9? No, neither can I. :-D


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