As you probably know by now, we were invited by Wargaming to join them on a trip to Normandy, And what we learnt out there is that Wargaming is not always about gaming. Of course Wargaming is well-known for the war games like World of Tank, World of Warplanes and their latest game (which is still in béta) World of Warships.
But the people at the WarGaming HQ feel the need, and want to do something back to the community. And with the community it’s (also) not always about the gamers or the games. There are so many people out there who do admire the restored ships, airplanes and thanks on a daily basis and that’s the reason Wargaming decided do give them something to look forward to the next time they go to a museum and look for a new tank.
That’s why we got introduced to Tracy, the spokesman for Wargaming’s so-called ‘Special Projects’. A division within Wargaming that is focussed on preserving the history of the 2nd World War. And they call it Special Projects because the team it’s work is for from a regular office job. One day they are flying to the other site of the world to see the remainings of a tank that caught there attention, the other day they are planning an event for veterans in Minks, Bularus.
And this list goes on and on and consists of the most various jobs, requests and events. Also it’s called Special Projects for a simple reason: a project that this team takes on is not a project with a deadline when it comes to conserving the airplanes, ships, tanks or other vehicles. It might take years for a special project to be finished. And still after a few years the outcome might be what they wanted it to be.
During the presentation we got an update on the Dornier DO17, an airplane that was recovered from the bottom of the North Sea in 2013. And in 2013, when I posted the article, we that’s that it was a great idea to conserve history this way. I saw it, posted it and, to be honest, I never thought about it anymore. And now, two years later we saw the rest of the progress. And there is so much more than just giving a group of experts with a bag of money to get the plane from the bottom of the sea on to a flatloader.
As the matter of fact, these experts did a lot more than that. But their main task was to make sure that the salt water did not damage the airplane any further. And from there on, make sure it will still be in tact for the next couple of decades. Also, there might still be some radioactive ammo or led based paint in the airplane. This needs to be checked as well before continuing on the restoration.
This might look simple, but how to make this happen, that’s the real deal. Of course they need to check if everything is still good enough and it is worth restoring. And how can you do that when an airplane or a tanks is located at the bottum of a lake or an ocean? You simply can’t. It’s not just about finding it. It’s about getting it to the surface in a good condition.
From there on it will go to a tent were they keep the remains and for years they spray it with water and melon juice. The combination of these to will make sure the corrotion will stop. Also the acid in the lemon juice will clean the surface inch by inch. The only problem with the progress is, you don’t know the final result after a few years. And here we are, June 2015, almost two years later and we finally can see the difference.
Is the plane now done? Far from, but this was just the treatment that was needed. Now the assemble is about to start. This is also a very time consuming job. Because you might think everything is there, but who knows what you are still missing while constructing the plane. It might be a small bolt, but what if there are some crucial parts missing.
How are you going to fix that? That’s also where the Special Projects is for, making sure the right people are working on the plane at the right time. So from the beginning to the end, Wargaming doesn’t know the outcome of a project, but because they love to preserve the history so much that Wargaming is willing to take on the risks involving a project.
And than there is another side to Special Project, something we saw 2 weeks ago, a festival called Tankfest was a huge happening in the UK. And Wargaming’s Special Projects did something unique, they gave you the change to ride along with several tanks without even being there. Thanks to the Google Cardboard and the video’s on vr.worldoftanks.eu you are now virtually in a bad-ass tank! Talking about a divers job. 🙂
But there is so much more to Wargaming than just this and the worst part is, we don’t even know the half of it… And with al the great things that are coming up, you should just bookmark Wargaming in your browser, because you do not want to miss out on any of this awesome news.