Something to keep you amused

We have company.  To be exact, our child-by-late-adoption (as in he was grown and married.  Also, he has parents, but he acts so much like our kids we decided he was 3rd son,) his wife and practice-grandchildren are spending time with us.  This means I spent the last six hours in the kitchen, talking, which is why this is so late.

I also didn’t feel like writing a post.  So I thought I’d put up from pictures from the visit to Portugal’s military museum.  Keep in mind most of the pictures didn’t come out very … clearly, and though I have notes, we don’t always have the sign with the thing, so it’s not as informative (and it’s more challenging) than intended.  However, I thought it might amuse you if I posted some of them.
Unfortunately NONE of the miniature pictures came out :/


UPDATE: Okay, I am an idiot. As I was lamenting that I hadn’t got most pictures, including the Lewis Gun, I realized that I was looking in the wrong folder. Mwahahahahahahahha!
Also, btw, the Portuguese originals were made at the Fabrica do braco de prata. (Factory of the silver arm.” THERE will be some supernatural explanation for this. (Oh, and dad got me 3 books called “legends of Porto.” (Actually “weird Porto” but…) Yes, there will be snippets of Grant goes to Portugal as soon as I’m marginally more organized. I figure house won’t be DONE till December, but I need it to the point I can CLEAN.)  The first Lewis is the one I got to fondle. 🙂
The miniatures are just a few to see the extent of it.  One of the miniature displays are one of the fictional battles of Conan the Barbarian.  I mean, I’m sure Larry Correia could spend three days at the museum JUST looking at the miniatures 😉

82 thoughts on “Something to keep you amused

  1. Factory of the silver arm?

    Shouldn’t that be Factory of The Silver Arm?

    “He barely survived, the first time he fought a werewolf, and did lose his right arm, up to the elbow. But he was trained as a smith and built himself a replacement, out of silver, and the next werewolf that tested him got its skull caved in.

    “Then the vampyre thought he could challenge him …”

    From Children’s Tales of Braco de Prata

    Add wizardry to taste if want the silver arm as more than a blunt (or possibly pointed) instrument, or could (since he was able to build that factory) mix i some steampunk to make the arm mechanical.

    1. This is why I shouldn’t read this at work! Making me laugh out loud while working the desk in a library!

  2. Ohh the Gun Museum! Yes I could spend days there. Almost as much fun as wandering a big book store with a large budget.

  3. OK, I like to think I’m pretty well read on firearms, especially more modern stuff – but what the heck is the one that looks like a belt-fed FAL (photo DSCN0716)?

    1. I don’t know what it is, but she did mention before that a lot of the things there were modified versions of various weapons, sometimes with parts coming from multiple different designs.

    2. Is not FN FAL. Is HK-21.

      Portugal was one of the few countries to adopt that thing. In my opinion, it’s a bit of a dog. Lots of people look at them and go “Squee! An HK belt-fed MG!!”. Me, I look at it as a rather poor competitor to the MG42 types, and can see little reason to excuse its existence.

      As Larry Correia would put it “HK. Because you suck. And we hate you.”. His epic rant about the company, its attitudes, and general arrogance can be found here:

    1. Doubt it. It appears to have a smooth bore and with the snub nose it would lack the ability to send a carp for necessary far reaching range … which, to my knowledge, is at least some 1,500+ miles.

      1. Ah, so. As you write science fiction and refinishing mysteries how appropriate! The carp cannon must be built from highly advanced technology that has been carefully concealed within a restored antique piece.

  4. Thanks for posting the awesome pictures. Are those really miniature UN peacekeepers next to African bowmen?

    1. From helmet color, the fellow on the elephant and the infantry walking in elephant doo behind them (behind marker 109) appear to also be UN troops.

      1. That makes sense. Whether they’re effective or not, whether they’re corrupt or not, whether they’re biased or impartial, UN peacekeepers will always end up having to deal with a lot of… doo… when they get deployed.

        1. Although going back and looking at 109, the blue-helmeted soldiers in that one appear to be wielding spears, so I’m guessing not-UN in that photo.

  5. I’m still trying to figure out what that ratchet on the little pistol is for.

  6. I bet that eldest son appreciated the display 109 … is that diorama referencing the Portuguese time in Goa?

  7. Tripod-mounted Madsen MG, what looks like a HK21 GPMG…
    Interesting, very interesting

    1. I’d love to get a good look at the Madsen MG. Would very, very much like a look inside a disassembled specimen. It was a reliable weapon in spite of the fact that it was based on a charmingly mad idea: the designers liked the single shot British Martini-Henry rifles, so they decided to base a machine gun on that design. I doesn’t have an extractor or a conventional loading mechanism, it has what look like a mechanical finger and a mechanical thumb to shove the cartridge in and pull the expended case out and eject it.

      1. There is a comment here, apparently stuck in moderation. If you’d like to know more about the Madsen, take a look at the Forgotten Weapons entry for it… Apparently, the link there I included tripped the WordPress demon.

        1. I didn’t mention the history of the gun’s sale – NOBODY ever bought it or rights to it for their principle machine gun, EVERYBODY, almost, scores of nations bought it when they found themselves at war and desperately short on weapons: “We don’t have enough squad auto weapons, US Britain, France, all out. What about that weird Danish machine gun we tested?” “Well, it worked. Call ’em and buy all they have!”

          1. Yet one more application of the advice to not wait until you are in a war to prepare for war.

            I suspect one differential between Conservatives and Liberals is their responses to the adage “Si vis pacem, para bellum.” Or, as phrased by George Washington, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.”

  8. Phew! I don’t feel quite so guilty about semi-hijacking this post.

    A couple of weeks ago here, I promised Orvan – and, IIRC, Celia? – that I would finagle an old family cookie recipe out of the wife. Well, turned out it’s not old family. Turned out it isn’t for cookies. But it is delicious, decadent, and will ward off vampires that are into healthy eating. Oh, heck, just go read today’s post on my blog. The 190 proof vodka recipe is now up.

  9. I tawt I taw a Boys anti-tank rifle like my stepdad used to have, though the muzzle brake was ‘wrong’. I s’poze, form following function, a lot of ATR looked similar, or it could be a Boys with a ‘home brew’ muzzle brake installed.

    Very cool gallery; thanks for sharing.

    And Judge Posner is still a moron.

    1. If you’re looking at DSCN0708, that’s not a Boys. That’s a Czech vz. 52/57, which was the Czech companion piece to the the original 7.62×45 guns they built post-war, and then had to convert to the Soviet M43 cartridge. The vz. 52 was in 7.62×45, and the vz. 52/57 was in Soviet M43 7.62×39. Both were replaced by the vz. 59 which is very similar, but in 7.62x54R or 7.62×51.

      That gun might be a war trophy taken in Africa; or, it might be one the Portuguese Army purchased for testing. I don’t know that it was ever standard issue for Portugal.

        1. Mental image of Portuguese paratroopers smiling into the camera while standing with one foot (each) up on a pile of captured weapons a-la Teddy Roosevelt or Papa Hemingway.

  10. So since we’re still going all gun geeky here, I have a question for the Hun firearms knowledge collective:
    The magazine on the lower Lewis Gun photo (DSCN0733, the one on the sandbags) has the magazine I recognize. The upper Lewis Gun photo (DSCN0682 in the display case) has a mongo tall magazine, with otherwise apparently the same footprint. What gives? Is the taller one what a “high capacity” Lewis Gun magazine looks like?

    1. Actually I just realized, since he has actual experience on the firearm, that might actually be a question for Sarah’s Dad…

    2. There were two standard sizes of Lewis MG magazine; 47 and 96 rounds, respectively. Due to weight, usually the lighter 47 round magazine was issued for infantry ground use, and the bigger ones were kept for aircraft, vehicle, and shipboard use. This didn’t stop the overachievers in the infantry forces from absconding with the bigger magazines, in the service of producing more ‘dakka, however… So, you could find them in use throughout the Lewis-using military.

      The Lewis is an interesting design; the basic action was reworked/perfected into the FG42 by the Germans, and then further copied (badly, in my opinion) by the US for the M60 MG. It has its moments, but it’s basically a good, useful weapon. Certainly well ahead of its time, and the fact that the US Army never adopted it to any large degree is another argument in favor of saying that our small arms procurement processes are fundamentally insane, and have been so for a very, very long time.

      1. I checked online and I’m fairly sure the submachinegun with the long barrel is a Super Sola from Luxembourg. On a wall, there’s an M1896 broomhandle Mauser pistol mounted on a wooden stock/holster.

        1. No, it’s a Belgian Vigneron M2. The Super Sola looks a lot different, especially along the bottom of the receiver.

      2. OK, thanks, that makes sense. The odd thing is in my airplane geekery, I don’t recall seeing the thicker hicap version on photos of, say, the Lewis Gun mounted up on top of the wing on an SE.5. Maybe that was too much weight for the mount, or too much drag, or somesuch.

        1. I’d wonder if it was left out until the thing was airborne, just to reduce drag, but that would require some interesting gyrations by the pilot to get it in place in an unstable aircraft with no autopilot. Not that it would stop some pilots, mind, but not likely. I wonder if it was only loaded immediately before take off and removed after landing? FWIW WWI aviation isn’t my “thing.”

          1. The Lewis Gun on an SE5 was mounted on a curved rail thingee called a “Foster Mount”, so a pilot in need of a reload had to swing the entire machine gun down through it’s arc on the rail until it was directly in front of him, remove the old magazine, replace it with a new one, and slide the thing back up into position for use: see photo:

            That is just what I would want to be doing were I firing enough that I needed a reload.

            I’ll note the magazine in the photo looks to be the hicap version.

  11. Did you find out if your dad has a Lewis gun tucked away somewhere for emergencies?

    Poster is still a moron,

    1. Sarah’s home is in Denver now. 😉

      * * Paul Howard (Alias Drak Bibliophile) * Sometimes The Dragon Wins! [Polite Dragon Smile] *

    2. I’m in the Springs. Our U Haul business, on the back room of the bookstore, is drastically short of trucks because most of the U Haul trucks in town seem to have been at the North lot and were damaged by hail.

      1. Wait. I know that bookstore. I love that bookstore!
        Hi! (Waves hands frantically in the air.)

      1. Could be a Mauser, could be one of the many Spanish or Chinese copies of the basic design. It was a popular weapon, especially as a carbine. You’d need to take a much closer look at that one, in order to tell–Some of the Chinese ones are copied well enough that you’d virtually have to conduct metallurgical testing to make sure of what you were handling. Some others? Not so much…

  12. And enjoy your company; there’s plenty here to keep us busy (except I have to get back to work myself).

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