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eswube
Post subject: Re: The Dominion of West FloridaPosted: August 10th, 2019, 7:55 am
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Nice, but I'm sure this AU would benefit greatly if You would include more stuff "from yourself" (of your own creation).
On a side note, esthetically it would also benefit from standard templates and caption fonts (and format), as well as color palette of drawings themselves (including window colors, but also such things like roundels - those on Spit and on Beau use different shades than Hampdens, for example) - and also the squadron code letters on aircraft MUST be without anti-aliasing.


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TJW
Post subject: Re: The Dominion of West FloridaPosted: August 10th, 2019, 11:03 am
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eswube wrote: *
Nice, but I'm sure this AU would benefit greatly if You would include more stuff "from yourself" (of your own creation).
On a side note, esthetically it would also benefit from standard templates and caption fonts (and format), as well as color palette of drawings themselves (including window colors, but also such things like roundels - those on Spit and on Beau use different shades than Hampdens, for example) - and also the squadron code letters on aircraft MUST be without anti-aliasing.
Thanks for the feedback eswube. I'm not very good at the drawing side of things, but much better at researching & coming up with the back stories for my AU. I'm trying to start doing some mods of my own, like taking an existing design & making some slight changes to fit the design requirements my AU needs. I'm working on standardising the fonts on my templates.

I'm doing the mods in 3D Paint at the moment, so my colour palette is a little limited, but I will standardise the roundel fonts etc. in the next few days. I didn't realise they were different. And I don't know what you mean by anti-aliasing with the squadron code letters. I'm sorry.

Thanks again for the assistance.

Template fonts have now been standardised & roundel colours have been fixed. Have now also fixed the squadron code letters too.


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TJW
Post subject: Royal West Florida Navy (RWFN) 1960sPosted: November 17th, 2019, 12:11 am
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Royal West Florida Navy (RWFN) 1960s:
By the end of 1961, the Pensacola & both Bathurst class corvettes had finally been retired. Heron & Gull were both replaced by two ex-RN Ton class vessels, one in the minesweeping role, the other converted to operate as a survey vessel. The decommissioning of Pensacola, allowed for the purchase of a small frigate, built to a modified RN Type 14 Blackwood class design. Whereas the RN’s Type 14 frigates had an almost exclusively ASW fit-out, their RWFN sister was a more general-purpose design.

Ton Class Minesweeper:
The Ton class were coastal minesweepers built in the 1950s for the RN, intended to meet the threat of seabed mines laid in shallow coastal waters, rivers, ports & harbours. The first ship was ordered by the RN in September 1950, with the class eventually numbering 119 vessels. The Ton class were diesel powered & had a displacement of 440 tons. Largely constructed from aluminium & other non-ferromagnetic materials, they had a hull composed of a double layer of mahogany planking. Primary armament was one Bofors 40mm gun. Sweeping equipment was provided for moored & magnetic mines.

The Royal West Florida Navy purchased two ex-RN Ton class minesweepers in 1961. They were renamed Cormorant (M11) & Osprey (A12), replacing the two Bathurst class corvettes built during World War Two. Cormorant replaced Heron in the minesweeping role, while Osprey replaced Gull as the RWFN’s survey vessel, requiring a brief refit, which included the removal of her minesweeping gear. With Cormorant & Osprey already in the fleet, when the RWFN were looking for a replacement for their aging Fairmile B coastal motor launches, they chose to acquire two additional Ton class vessels. Their patrol boat conversion included the removal of their minesweeping gear & the fitting of a second 40mm Bofors mount aft of the funnel. The two new vessels were commissioned in 1963 & named Hawk (P105) & Kestrel (P106). All four of the RWFN's Ton class served well into the 1980s before being paid off.


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Last edited by TJW on April 14th, 2020, 7:29 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Novice
Post subject: Re: The Dominion of West FloridaPosted: November 17th, 2019, 8:21 pm
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Although the story seem plausible enough, I think you should adhere to the forum guidelines regarding drawings. These include size of template of the drawing, fonts used there.

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TJW
Post subject: Re: The Dominion of West FloridaPosted: November 18th, 2019, 2:03 am
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Thanks for the feedback Novice.

At the moment, I'm just using previous drawings for the type of aircraft or ship I need as a template & making some minor adjustments or colour scheme changes. If the original drawings are the right size, I don't understand how my changes make them a different size. Acting on some previous feedback, I also went back & made sure the type font & size was the same on all the drawings I posted. My apologies, as I am not an artist in any way, so I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong here.


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Novice
Post subject: Re: The Dominion of West FloridaPosted: November 19th, 2019, 9:24 pm
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TJW wrote: *
Thanks for the feedback Novice.

At the moment, I'm just using previous drawings for the type of aircraft or ship I need as a template & making some minor adjustments or colour scheme changes. If the original drawings are the right size, I don't understand how my changes make them a different size. Acting on some previous feedback, I also went back & made sure the type font & size was the same on all the drawings I posted. My apologies, as I am not an artist in any way, so I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong here.
A simple solution to your predicament is by using the original drawing and template as is, modifying and re writing the titles to suit your needs. I remember that there was a fonts template in a thread somewhere, but I don't remember where.

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[ img ] Thank you Kim for the crest

"Never fear to try on something new. Remember that the Titanic was built by professionals, and the Ark by an amateur"


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TJW
Post subject: Royal West Florida Navy (RWFN) 1960s:Posted: December 4th, 2019, 9:29 am
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I would like to say a big thank you to NickD for his idea of an export version of the RN Type 14 frigate. It was a perfect fit for my West Florida AU navy throughout the 1960s, 70s & into the early 80s.

Type 14E Collingwood Class Frigate:
After almost 25 years of service, including WW2 & Korea, the sloop Pensacola finally decommissioned in 1961. She had been the first locally built ship in RWFN service & had been the navy’s flagship since commissioning in 1937. To replace her, the RWFN purchased two small frigates based on a modified RN Type 14 Blackwood class design. Built as a cheaper & smaller compliment to the Type 12 Whitby class, the RN Type 14s were entirely specialised for Anti-submarine warfare. Their RWFN sisters were a more general-purpose design & referred to as the Type 14E. The two aft mounted Limbo ASW mortars of the RN Type 14s were replaced with a Mk33 twin 3in/50 dual purpose gun. For ASW, the Type 14E mounted two sets of Mk32 triple torpedo tubes, firing the US Mk44 lightweight torpedo, along with a Mk15 Hedgehog mortar mounted on the bow. Two 20mm Oerlikons were also carried on the bridge wings.

West Florida followed the RN practice for the Blackwood class, naming them after famous British captains. West Florida’s first Type 14E was named Collingwood, in honour of Vice-Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, Admiral Nelson’s close friend & deputy at Trafalgar. She was built by Swan Hunter & commissioned in early 1962, becoming the RWFN’s new flagship with the pennant number F01. Her sister ship was named in honour of Admiral Thomas Cochrane, the daring Scottish captain of the Napoleonic Wars. His life & exploits inspiring legendary characters in naval fiction, including Horatio Hornblower & Jack Aubrey. Built by Thornycroft, Cochrane was commissioned in late 1962 with the pennant number F02. Both vessels played a major role in West Florida’s centenary celebrations during 1964.


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Cuban Missile Crisis:
The Cuban Revolution which propelled Fidel Castro to power in January 1959, initially attracted little attention in Moscow. However, Washington's increasing economic embargo led Cuba to hurriedly seek assistance from the Soviets & following the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961, Fidel Castro announced publicly that Cuba was to become a socialist republic. Whilst Khrushchev publicly congratulated Castro for repelling the invasion, he privately believed the Americans would soon bring the weight of their regular army to bear, & the defence of Cuba became a matter of prestige for the Soviet Union. Khrushchev agreed on a deployment plan in May 1962 primarily in response to Castro's fears over yet another American invasion, & by late July over sixty Soviet ships were en-route to Cuba. These increased tensions in the region meant that West Florida’s military was placed on high alert.

After U.S. reconnaissance flights on the morning of 14th October photographed a series of SAM sites being constructed, President John F. Kennedy announced the discovery of the installations & proclaimed that any nuclear missile attack from Cuba would be regarded as an attack by the Soviet Union & would be responded to accordingly. On 26th October, the Soviets offered to withdraw the missiles in return for a U.S. guarantee not to support or participate in any invasion of Cuba & to remove all missiles set in southern Italy & in Turkey. This deal was accepted, & the crisis abated. However, Cuba's proximity to the U.S. meant that Castro & his regime would remain an important Cold War ally for the Soviets.


Last edited by TJW on September 7th, 2020, 7:42 am, edited 3 times in total.

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TJW
Post subject: Royal West Florida Air Force (RWFAF) 1950s:Posted: April 8th, 2020, 2:52 am
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Royal West Florida Air Force (RWFAF) 1950s:
At the end of World War Two, the RWFAF had a fleet of 40 aircraft, including 12 Tiger Moth trainers, 4 Supermarine Walrus maritime patrol aircraft, & two dozen P-40 Kittyhawk fighters. This did not include the aircraft of the article XV squadrons serving in the UK, which were returned to the RAF. By the end of the decade, the RWFAF had maintained its fleet of 40 aircraft & added some new capabilities.


No.1 Squadron:
In 1947, No.1 Squadron updated their training aircraft, retiring their obsolete, pre-World War Two Tiger Moths & replacing them with eight new Canadian built de Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunks. Its superb flying characteristics & fully aerobatic capabilities meant that the Chipmunk was not finally retired until 1973.


No.2 Squadron:
The Kittyhawks of No.2 Squadron were finally retired in 1947 & replaced with 20 new Sea Fury fighter-bombers purchased from Hawker Aircraft in the UK. They were fitted with the powerful Bristol Centaurus engine, & armed with four wing-mounted Hispano V cannons. Australian & British Sea Furies acquitted themselves well during action in Korea, even against MiG-15 jet fighters. Most Sea Furies were retired in the late 1950s, in favour of jet aircraft. However, West Florida’s Sea Furies remained in service until 1962, when they were finally replaced by the RWFAF’s first jet fighter, the Canadair Sabre.


No.3 Squadron:
1946 saw No.3 Squadron retire its Kittyhawks & became the RWFAF’s first dedicated transport Squadron, flying eight ex-RAF C-47 Dakotas. Developed from the Douglas DC-3 airliner, the Dakota was used extensively by the Allies during World War Two & had been vital to the success of many campaigns. It remained in front-line service with many military operators for several years after the war. The C-47 differed from the civilian DC-3 in a number of ways, including being fitted with a cargo door, hoist attachment, & strengthened floor, along with a shortened tail cone for glider-towing shackles, & an astrodome in the cabin roof.


No.4 Squadron:
Following the end of the war, No.4 Squadron received four surplus Lockheed PV-3 Ventura IIs, offering a significant improvement in range & endurance compared to the Supermarine Walruses they were replacing. More importantly, they were equipped with a search radar. Although the type was retired by the RAF, USN & many other users soon after the war, West Florida’s Ventura IIs soldiered on in their maritime patrol role until finally being replaced in 1962.


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Last edited by TJW on September 16th, 2020, 11:49 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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TJW
Post subject: Royal West Florida Air Force (RWFAF) 1960s:Posted: April 21st, 2020, 5:16 am
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Royal West Florida Air Force (RWFAF) 1960s:
Maintaining their fleet of 40 aircraft, the RWFAF added several new, important capabilities throughout the 1960s.

No.2 Squadron:
The Hawker Sea Furies would be the RWFAF’s last propeller-driven fighter, replaced in 1962 by 14 Canadair Sabre Mk.6 jet fighters. The RWFAF Sabres were ex Canadian aircraft which had been replaced in RCAF service by new CF-104 Starfighters. The sale of the aircraft to West Florida also included conversion & follow-on training for RWFAF pilots & technicians. The Canadair Sabre was built under licence from North American Aviation, a variant of the American built F-86 Sabre. The Mk.6 was patterned on the later versions of the US Sabre, with larger wings for improved manoeuvrability while replacing the original GE J47 engine with the locally designed, more-powerful Avro Canada Orenda. The Mk. 6 is widely considered the best of all Sabre variants.


No.3 Squadron:
Despite the robustness & versatility of the C-47 Dakota, by the late 1950s the RWFAF was looking for a replacement with greater cargo capacity & longer range. Unlike older, World War Two era transport aircraft derived from passenger airliners, the Lockheed Hercules was designed specifically as a combat transport, with a pressurised cabin & rear ramp, allowing bulk loading & dispatch of cargo. Its turboprop powerplant gave the Hercules a range of 2,000km & the ability to operate from short & unprepared strips. So, in 1963, No.3 Squadron’s venerable Dakotas were retired & replaced with by four Lockheed C-130E Hercules. The extended-range C-130E model was essentially a B-model with the addition of 1,360 US gal (5,150 L) Sargent Fletcher external fuel tanks under each wing's midsection & more powerful Allison T56-A-7A turboprops. The E model also featured structural improvements, avionics upgrades, & the four-bladed propellers that had become standard on the B-model. The Hercules represented a huge improvement over the C-47 in terms of payload, range, speed & manoeuvrability, giving the West Florida military its first strategic airlift capability.


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No.471 Flight:
In 1962 No.471 Flight was raised, becoming the RWFAF’s dedicated maritime patrol force. It was named in honour of the Article XV squadron who flew with the RAF’s Coastal Command during World War Two. The new unit’s blue & white colours were taken from the flag of Shetland, in memory of 471 Squadron’s service in Shetland & Scotland during the Second World War, & the flaming torch on the their crest was borrowed from the badge of RAF Swinderby, where 471 Squadron was raised. The Lockheed P-2 Neptune had been developed for the US Navy to replace World War Two era patrol bombers such as the PV-1 Ventura & PV-2 Harpoon. A major factor in the design was ease of manufacture & maintenance, & this may have been a major factor in the type's long life & worldwide success. The Neptune was equipped with sonobuoys that could be launched from a station in the aft portion of the fuselage & monitored by radio. It also had a Magnetic Anomaly Detector fitted in an extended tail, & a belly-mounted surface-search radar which enabled detection of surfaced & snorkelling submarines. While the P-2 was replaced in USN service by the P-3 Orion during the 1960s, the Neptune remained in operational service with Naval Reserve squadrons & other armed forces. The RWFAF received two ex-USN P-2H Neptunes in 1962. They became the initial aircraft of No.471 Flight, replacing the PV-3 Ventura IIs previously flown by No.4 Squadron.


No.4 Squadron:
After retiring its Lockheed Ventura IIs the previous year, No.4 Squadron became the RWFAF’s first operational helicopter squadron in 1963 when it received six UH-1 Iroquois, followed by six Westland Wessex in 1964. The RWFAF had selected the AB-204 variant of the Iroquois, licence-built by Agusta in Italy. This was because the Italian built machines used a derivative of the de Havilland Gnome engine also powering the Westland Wessex that were on order. Agusta had also supplied these aircraft to Sweden, Austria & the Netherlands. The “Hueys” of A Flight were put to work in a variety of roles including search & rescue, battlefield reconnaissance, artillery observation, medevac, & training. They could also be employed in the gunship role, armed with a pair of M157 rocket launchers & twin M-60 machine gun mounts for two door gunners. B Flight received the first of its six Westland Wessex in 1964. The Wessex was a British-built turbine-powered development of the Sikorsky H-34, produced under licence by Westland Aircraft. One of the main changes from Sikorsky's H-34 was the replacement of the piston-engine powerplant with a turboshaft engine. In addition to its Royal Navy service, the Wessex was also successfully employed as a utility helicopter by the RAF. Their improved HC.2 variant was powered by coupled de Havilland Gnome engines, which provided nearly double the power of the original single-engine model & hugely expanded the aircraft's range & this was the variant purchased by the RWFAF, capable of ferrying up to 16 troops or a 4,000-pound payload of supplies. The HC.2’s ability to operate in a wide range of weather conditions as well as at night, also made it well-suited to search & rescue (SAR) operations.


Diplomatic relations with the United States:
Increased U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, along with West Florida’s refusal to participate in the conflict, threatened to strain diplomatic relations between the two countries. These tensions were eased, however, when West Florida committed to putting additional pressure on the growing Soviet presence in the region following the Cuban Missile Crisis. From 1964, regular patrols were undertaken by the navy’s two Collingwood class frigates & the air force’s P-2 Neptune maritime patrol aircraft.


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Last edited by TJW on September 17th, 2020, 12:14 am, edited 7 times in total.

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TJW
Post subject: The Dominion of West FloridaPosted: April 23rd, 2020, 3:25 am
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This post is for the purposes of supplying a little further background information to my AU storyline.

Transportation:
West Florida has a moderate highway system connecting all major cities & linking up with US interstates to Mobile & Montgomery in Alabama, & Tallahassee in Florida. Many parts of the Commonwealth, such as Australia & New Zealand, drive on the left, as they do in the UK. However, West Florida chose to adopt the Canadian system & drive on the right, simplifying road connections with the US highway system. The country also has a modest railroad network, operated by Florida Gulf Railways (FGR) & used mainly for bulk freight haulage. The main passenger service runs from Pensacola, & terminates in Tallahassee, Florida. The ports of Pensacola & Panama City are West Florida’s major sea trading hubs, accounting for a combined annual container volume of around 175,000 TEU & cargo tonnage of around 5 million tonnes. Pensacola International is the main commercial & personal travel hub for air travel, with Panama City International & Emerald Coast Airport being the other main air transport hubs.


Hurricanes:
Hurricanes pose a threat to West Florida each year, particularly from August to October. It is rare for a hurricane season to pass without at least some impact by at least a tropical storm. The worst occurrences have been Hurricane Ivan in 2004 & Hurricane Michael in 2018.

Hurricane Ivan 2004:
Ivan made landfall along the West Florida coastline, causing damage in & around Pensacola, along the shorelines of Escambia Bay, East Bay, Blackwater Bay, & up to 30km inland. Some key roads were not re-opened until 2005, over a year after the storm hit. In Pensacola, Escambia Bay Bridge was heavily damaged, with a section of the bridge collapsing into the bay. Much of the rebuilding was not complete until after 2007, with recovery efforts made more difficult with the storm surge resulting from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Hurricane Michael 2018:
Michael made landfall near Panama City, causing widespread damage. Several thousand buildings were damaged or destroyed, with the areas two main hospitals both suffering significant damage. The resulting storm surge also caused critical damage to the area’s beaches. Two inlets were created along St. Joseph Peninsula, cutting off vehicle access to a 14km stretch of the St. Joseph Peninsula National Park, isolating over 100 cabins & campsites. West Point was flooded & isolated for several days due to blocked & damaged roads. Downed transmitter link towers & power outages resulted in the loss of nearly all television & radio stations in & around Panama City, St. Joseph & West Point. Significant structural damage also occurred to St. Andrew Air Force Base. Damage was primarily due to the force of the winds rather than storm surge, with most hangars fully unroofed & battered by the strong winds. The aircraft at the base remained relatively unscathed & were brought to airworthy condition within a few days. The flight line & drone runway were also damaged. Many facilities on base are still operating from tents & temporary buildings until the reconstruction is complete.


Last edited by TJW on September 22nd, 2020, 3:05 am, edited 2 times in total.

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