Tuesday 5 December 2023

Kriegsmarine Knot Tying


As I was ordering stuff from Navwar I bundled in two extra models for my early war Kriegsmarine fleet, most of which is Davco, just to tie up a few loose ends. The big extra is the Bismarck which is a much better model than the Davco one, the latter having been binned as too badly cast to be presentable. The second extra is the light cruiser Emden, which is a lovely model and fills a gap in my Norwegian Campaign line up. I'll try to get both of these painted before the holidays kick off.

Monday 4 December 2023

Pre-dreadnought Plan B


As I've been a bit unwell over the weekend, my plan to start on the South American pre-dreadnought painting has had to be postponed. I have decided to cut this back to just the Argentinian and Chilean leftover bits, rather than add the US warships, so that it actually gets finished in the time I have available, illness not withstanding. 

The models to paint include the Chilean cruiser Chacabuco and ironclad Almirante Cochrane, together with two Argentinian El Plata class river monitors, two coastal battleships, Libertad and Independencia, and finally four Corrientes class destroyers. I also need to finish off the models for the River Plate, which are almost done but need some highlighting and basing to be fully wrapped up. 

Sunday 3 December 2023

South American Interwar Fleets

I was ill yesterday so spent most of the day in bed feeling rubbish. However, to cheer me up a bit, the Navwar Brazilian and Argentinian fleets arrived in the post. These will bridge the gap between my pre-dreadnought and modern South American projects. The only addition I'll need to make is to add some Para class destroyers, as the vast majority of destroyers in the Brazilian pack are post 1939. I will add them to my list of things to do for 2024!

Friday 1 December 2023

Flashpoint Taiwan Photo Op


Tumbling Dice have just released a 1/600th scale Neptune, so I have dug out my Republic of China Air Force where it will be sent as a reinforcement. The sidewinder armed RB-69A Neptunes were used for ultra low level CIA backed intelligence gathering flights over mainland China, with some very close shaves against Mig-17 and MiG-19 air defence interceptors. These flights were made by the 34th 'Black Bat' squadron, which was highly trained and experienced, although officially it didn't exist. Very cool! While I was about it, I also took some photos of the rest of the RoCAF line up, which covers the late 1950's to the 1980"s.

Thursday 30 November 2023

Pre-dreadnought December

United States Cruiser Squadron 
Chilean and Argentinian coastal flotillas 

I've decided that the last effort of the year will be to complete my South American pre-dreadnought project, with the Chilean and Argentinian coastal warships, together with the cruiser Chacabuco. I might also  include a United States cruiser squadron to give me some interesting scenarios to play around with, something I intended to do all along but didn't get round to. I have a couple of weeks to get these painted up, so I'm hoping to get them done, at least to a point where I can easily wrap them up at the end of the month.

Arctic Eagles Soviet Sourcebooks


A couple of second hand Osprey Publishing titles for the Arctic Eagles project via eBay, which will be very useful both for scenario research and painting. I've been after the Soviet Hurricane Aces book for ages, as it's out of print and often expensive, but this one was only seven quid, which is a bargain. Excellent!

River Plate Update


I've been feeling pretty wonky the last few days so haven't spent much time at the workbench. The only thing on the go at the moment are the three cruisers for the Battle of the River Plate, which are now ready for highlighting and detailing, prior to getting varnished. After that I need to sort out the bases. When I've finished them, I'm in a bit of a quandary as what to do next, although the Red Actions! AFSR are long overdue and I do need to finish off some Chilean and Argentinian pre-dreadnoughts, not to mention the Royal Navy fleet. I've only got a couple of weeks so it might be better to tie up some loose ends, rather than start something new. Blimey!

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Arctic Eagles Soviet Fighters



I have a bit of time on my hands, so I may make a start in the aircraft for next year's Arctic Eagles project, rather than trying to paint all of the 1/2400th scale Napoleonic ships and rushing the job. I'll save the Royal Navy fleet to a time when I can concentrate on completing the models in one go, rather than in dribs and drabs, so they will definitely get done at some point sooner rather than later.

The starting point will be the Soviet fighter aircraft including the most common types in the theatre, the MiG-3,  P-40 Tomahawk, P-39 Airacobra and the Yak-1. The obvious omission is the Hawker Hurricane but I already have twelve of these painted in RAF pattern camouflage, so just need to add Russian decals for them to be usable. I will probably add some more winterised ones later anyway. 

I'm planning to paint this lot fifty-fifty in summer or winter camouflage, which will make it easier to manage and give me some options when it comes to scenarios. The winter camouflage is particularly straightforward and has the advantage of having some really colourful insignia, with lots of bright red markings and details in many cases.

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Wings at War 2024

Something new, or...

..time to dust this one off?

..or perhaps do this?

I'm off work at the moment with severe hearing loss, which pretty is unpleasant but also quite tedious, as I'm suffering from fatigue due to lack of sleep. It's given me some time to think about next year's projects, one of which will be a Wings at War thing, to add to the unfinished ones I already have, no doubt. At the moment, this is a toss up between Wings over Suez or Thud Ridge, with a possible third option being a 'do it yourself' Wings Above Angola adaptation of Flames Above the Falklands. The recent addition of the F101 Voodoo to the Tumbling Dice range is pushing me towards Vietnam, however, for which I've already done some preliminary sketching and the obligatory purchasing of lead. Whichever I choose it will be good to have a new project on the schedule.

Monday 27 November 2023

Bag the Hun New Hex Mat

Still rolled up...can't use it until Xmas!

The Xmas present arrived early over the weekend, a new mouse mat material hex mat from Deep Cut Studios for Bag the Hun. This is designed for Battletech but the hex pattern is 1.25" so ideal for 1/600th scale air wargaming with 30mm hex stands. The finish is fairly generic rough grassland which makes it ideal for both Khalkhin Gol and Northern Russia or Finland in the summer, as well as many other settings. It wasn't cheap but for a high quality, versatile mat it's well worth it.


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