On Saturday 28th December some of the members congregated at a very wet Proving Ground to shake off the excesses of Christmas! When we drove down the lane we were amazed to find a large body of water where there were previously meadows! Fortunately the proving ground was dry (ish!) but the water was lapping around the edges which meant some very wet tanks. This was good in a way as the tanks were reasonably clean when we finished. Peter Shaw brought his excellent 1/6th JagdTiger along which to our surprise acquitted itself very well around the course and Jim Cusworth ran his Tamiya King Tiger in all the muck proving for once and for all that the Tamiya models are every bit as capable as their bigger brethren! I have made the pictures a bit bigger this time, if that makes the download time too much please let me know and I'll revert top the slightly smaller size.
 

The first few pictures show a before and after comparison. This first picture was taken when we built the Proving Ground in early 2001. And this shows the advancing floodwaters in 2002! You can see the two metal uprights which are behind Mark in the first picture. This picture was taken in August 2002. And this in December! It was just as well that we went when we did as the water was rising even while we were there. Garry Coomber's Zimmerited Panther makes it's way carefully through the sunken road.

And along the edge of the flood water. Keep it going Garry or it'll bog down! Garry concentrates hard so as not to crash the Panther in the ditch. Here we see the Panther at speed avoiding the floodwaters. Howard's T-34 makes haste and throws up a bow wave as it goes! I'm not so sure that it wasn't aquaplaning along here! What's this then? It's Humpy's Panther climbing near vertically out of the Tank trap. If it went much higher the picture would have shown the scorch mark from one of Chris Walkers pyros!
And here entering the sunken road. Peter had dug a drainage channel which meant there wasn't hardly any mud in here, we'll soon change that! Here it's prowling through the undergrowth at the edge of the floods. A fine three quarter view of the Panther rushing along as fast as it can i.e. not fast! Here comes Jim Cusworth pretending to be the Pied Piper! Who's that funny looking character looking round the corner? Jim's Tiger negotiates one of the bridges at the proving Ground. Strange that it was almost surrounded by water! 
Just to prove a point Jim took his Full Option Tamiya King Tiger around the course. Here we see it sitting in some suitable goo. And here posed across Peter's model railway track. Funny I never realised Brunel's Broad Gauge made it across the channel! There must be some mighty big trees in Europe! The model is running on the original Tamiya plastic tracks and doesn't seem to give much trouble. Everybody present was most impressed with it's performance in the muck! Mark Spencer's old faithful Tiger 1 looking very mean bearing down upon the photographer.
I think Mark must have switched in the nitrous for this picture. Perhaps that was Germanys wonder weapon! 'Johnny, I can't get my wellie out!'
'Humpy don't worry about the wellie , mind that Panther!'
This reminds me of the scene in Band of Brothers where the JP runs behind a hedge before being driven off by a .50 Cal machine gun! Poor old JP, it didn't get it's winter overhaul as promised but it keeps soldering on nevertheless. I nearly lost that hammer off the side! Oh look who's been driving this then? Humpy lives up to (one) of his nicknames, Bank Stabber!
Could this be the Rhine or the Volga? No it's a a tributary of the River Adur! It's a good job that the King Tiger is a big model otherwise it would have been swamped, literally! After using the King Tiger as a bulldozer and clearing a new path through the undergrowth it seems to have acquired some camouflage! This picture would suggest that Jim is driving the JagdTiger and Peter is driving Jim! But we know that's not true don't we! Don't we? Peter took a standard 1/6th King tiger chassis from Mark, lengthened it and scratch built the rest! A very clever man.
 
The JT's commander is on the look out for another target. We were worried that Peter may have damaged the gun barrel driving round the course as this is such a big model but it seemed to clear all obstacles in it's path. Literally! Somewhere on the banks of the Rhine (Adur!) a JT commander searches the horizon. A superb picture.   Lying up after a hard days driving. Here's the gang that were there that day. From left to right Johnny, Garry, Jim, Big Dave, Humpy, Mark and Peter. What a motley crew!
As if to demonstrate his technical grasp of his Digital Camera, Johnny spliced two pictures together to produce this very scenic picture. Nice one Johnny.