Balloons were first deployed by the British Army’s Royal Engineers during the expedition to Suakin in 1885. The balloon, which was of goldbeater's skin (a thin transparent membrane with great tensile strength which was traditionally used as an interleaf for the manufacture of gold leaf) , covered with a netting. It measured twenty-three feet in diameter. When filled it contained seven thousand cubic feet of gas.This had to be brought all the way from Chatham in the UK, a distance of nearly four thousand miles.
|anyone seen any Fuzzies?|
The balloon would be used above a column of troops at about 200 feet up to give advance visibility - communications was by dropping message down to the ground. Here it is mounted on a 300mm long, 5mm diameter transparent acrylic rod set onto a CD sized base. The rod fits in to the base of the balloon through the basket.
|Tell Major Docherty to send for Corporal Millsy - I see a good spot !|
I now need to get my head around making a full ground crew, and transport for the deflated balloon and gas - but that's a project for another day or several.
This will be my last post for the Challenge - I was going to try and finish another couple of large Indian army units over the last two week , but too much day job got in the way.. So overall short of target, but I got the main stuff done I wanted too.
Its been a blast to help out the SnowLord with minion duties over the Challenge. I have really enjoyed reading some of the "wind ups" and banter ...
So until another time - thats me...
Wow. Just wow. What an absolutely fabulous final entry Dave. I'm just gobsmacked - it's such a wonderful build and looks gorgeous. The onion netting is a stroke of genius and the transparent rod works very well in this application. I know you had a slow start this season, but you rallied with aplomb and gave us many wonderful things to look at, including this wonderful bit of whimsy.
Thank you so much for all your help this Challenge, Dave. Your 'Tribute' is on the desk so please stay tuned in this following week for that. Here's to meeting at Partizan this May and Challenge VII this autumn!