Monday, 23 May 2016


MDF regulars with nothing much to do until next week

I was supposed to be running another AK47 game at the club tomorrow night, hence the recent media output, but I've had to postpone it due to a clash with something the other half has organised without telling me (actually she did tell me but I wasn't listening). Anyway, it will happen but probably next week during half term, which will at least give me the chance to get those technicals painted up in time and to find a shipping container in 15mm. I hope that the players concerned can re-arrange something to do in the meantime and that they can make it to the club next Tuesday? Sorry guys.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

NEWSFLASH - Zubuto claims 'mystery' container (Reuters)

From our regional affairs correspondent in Mpangi

The President for Life of Zubuto, Dr Depe DuDu, has demanded the handing over of a shipping container seized by a Combined Regional African Peacekeeper patrol boat operating against smugglers on Lake Bagombo. The container is currently being held at a C.R.A.P. compound in the de-militarised zone, subject to an  investigation by the C.R.A.P. legal authorities.

In a televised speech, Dr DuDu identified the container as belonging to a shipment of 'agricultural machinery parts', a gift from the Albanian People's Democratic Republic, destined for the Zubuto Ministry for Agriculture collective farm project at Ntumbe. According to Dr DuDu, the ship transporting the container was hi-jacked by pirates on Lake Bagombo last week.

In an attempt to re-cover the container from the C.R.A.P. compound in Zumba, troops of the Zubuto Army of the People (ZAP), have confronted the peacekeepers and demanded that the sealed container be handed over. In a tense stand-off, the C.R.A.P. blue helmets prevented the seizure of the container but tension is now very high, with potential for an armed confrontation highly probable.

NEWSFLASH - Peacekeepers sieze cargo on Lake Bagombo (Reuters)

From our regional affairs correspondent in Mpandi

A spokesman for the Combined Regional African Peacekeeping mission in Mpandi, announced today that a container has been seized from a smuggler vessel on Lake Bagombo. The vessel was intercepted by a C.R.A.P. patrol boat and the unmarked container impounded by peacekeeping troops. The smugglers jumped overboard during the operation and swam to shore, making identification of the origin and intended destination of the container impossible to verify.

The container has now been landed at Port Tchumbi and taken by heavy transport to the C.R.A.P. compound in the demilitarised border zone separating Mbote and Zubuto. The commanding officer of the C.R.A.P. mission, Major Short-Cummins, has issued a statement in which he has confirmed that the container will remain sealed pending advice from C.R.A.P. legal experts in Geneva. The contents of the container will therefore remain a matter of conjecture until it can be opened and inspected by C.R.A.P. peacekeeping officials.

(here we go again...)

Saturday, 21 May 2016

AK47 Rocket Launcher Technical

I finished off the last of the technicals this afternoon, using another of the Majorette Saviem toy trucks that I saved for just this sort of thing, although this one was considerably more bashed about than the last one. The multiple rocket launcher rails are from The Scene, which is a great source of add-on heavy weapons and stowage, with a couple of Peter Pig militia as crew including one with a spare rocket converted from a figure with an RPG. I've now finished assembling the technicals, having re-crewed the Toyota and found a Landrover to add to the convoy, so I can now start painting them, although I doubt they'll be ready for the game on Tuesday.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Technical Hitch

Minor Technicalities

I have another AK47 game next week so will be busy finishing off some new militia technicals over the weekend. This has given rise to a bit of a 'technical' hitch in that you can only have two RCL per unit, which means that my existing technical fleet can only form one such unit, otherwise it will break the two RCL limit. This is a result of my daft decision to count the katyusha rocket rail armed vehicles as RCL's, as there are no points values in the rules for multiple rocket launcher equipped units. I'm now going to re-classify them as vehicle mounted mortars, which are mentioned in the rules but also don't feature in the points table. I think that they are worth about the same as AA mounted weapons, so will rate them at 30 points for the militia version, which seems like a fair solution to the problem.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Five Men at Kursk

A special offer on these Nordic Weasel skirmish rules this week, so another direction in which to take my on-going search for a good set of WW2 skirmish rules other than Bolt Action or Chain of Command. I really like Ivan Sorenson's approach and have been thinking of scaling down my WW2 focus to squad rather than platoon level, so this is very much up my street. Only £5.75 as well, which isn't bad for over one hundred pages of well-designed, comprehensive yet playable skirmish rules.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

AK47 Flatbed AAA Militia Truck

I've had a great day, spending three hours in casualty with the top sprog who decided to slice open his hand yesterday while snowboarding at the dry ski slope, so I'm less than happy. The work has piled up again as well, so it's a case of fitting in whatever wargaming stuff I can, often in a late night or last minute sessions at the workbench. I have lots of things to do, including some more 28mm desert terrain pieces using some bark pieces I've found, but no time to do them in!

Anyway, today I  prepared a slap up fish and chip tea for the kids,  a slow cooked Spanish chorizo and chicken casserole for the lady wife and, at the same time, cooked up this diecast AAA flatbed guntruck from an old Majorette Saviem lorry toy. The .50 cal quad AAA gun is the last of the ones I have from The Scene, with the gun mountings turned upside down as I think it looks better than way.

I have another couple of technical vehicles to add before I do some painting at the weekend, either of the AK47 vehicles or of the Back of Beyond Chinese Warlord bodyguard unit. I've been signed up as a car parking volunteer for the Scouts this Saturday, so I'm not sure I'll be able to get much done, but its half term soon so I'm planning to blitz some stuff then, when I have more free time.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

AK47 Militia Gun Trucks

I have had a very unproductive day today, despite my best intentions to get some painting started on the Back of Beyond Chinese Warlord figures, largely due to an over long cricket match with the sprog this morning, followed by the weekly shopping this afternoon. Instead, I have added a couple more technical vehicles to the AK47 Superpower Backed army, using a half painted Maisto die-cast truck and a spare Peter Pig Toyota pick up. The third of the trucks was one I started ages ago.

The Maisto truck has a very nice quad .50 cal AAA mounting in the flatbed which is from The Scene while the Toyota just has a couple of Peter Pig pintle mounted .50 cal heavy machine guns. Why do I need more technicals? I have several with RCL's mounted on the back but, as you're only allowed two per unit I've been stretched to deploy more than two or three militia units in recent games, with the technicals being spread far too thinly to be effective. 

As I only have a militia mortar unit and one militia S/A unit, this makes it difficult to have sufficient flexibility and choice when it comes to army design. The extra technicals should go some way to sort this out but I really need another S/A infantry unit, heavy weapons and some transport to fix it long term. I'd rather set up a whole new army rather than add yet more bits to the ones I have, so these two are a bit of a quick fix. They're also fun to convert and paint!

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Eagles and Bulldogs

I was swamped with DIY today and have achieved very little aside from an assembled trampoline, two newly attached washing lines, a replacement toilet seat and a trip to the tip. Nonetheless, I did get this second hand paperback yesterday after work on my habitual weekly browse through the shelves of the local Oxfam book shop. A good addition to the reference library, even if I doubt I'll get round to reading it for a while. It reminds me that I really should take another look at Normandy Firefight, especially as there are now some other players at the club with the rules.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Mexican Revolution Solution?

It's turning out to be not as easy as I thought when trying to source figures for the Mexican Revolution, which you'd think would be well covered given the iconic associations and feature film tie ins. Anyway, it's been a bit of a struggle finding what I'm looking for, especially in the smaller scales of 10mm and 15mm, which I think would be the perfect way to go.

In 10mm there's some stuff in the Pendraken ranges which could be used but too many holes and gaps that need to be filled (there's a good post about this on Doctorphalanx's excellent blog)

In 15mm, there's just tumbleweed gently rolling across the scene, with even Irregular Miniatures looking a bit sparse, although someone on TMP did suggest some Freikorps options.

In 20mm the outlook is much brighter with dedicated and expanding ranges from Shellhole Scenics, and Early War Miniatures, together with some relevant stuff from Tumbling Dice and the aforementioned Irregular Miniatures ranges.

In 28mm there's a really nice but quite limited range from Brigade Games and a very good  range from Old Glory. The former is, however, off the cards as it would require ordering from the US, which is not an option due to Mr Customs and Excise.

I haven't made up my mind yet, although I have got a couple of starter packs from Shellhole Scenics as a first foray into 20mm. The figures are good and I'm sure will paint up well but they're not really what I'm after. I'd like to go for 15mm but it looks like that's not a runner while Old Glory 28mm is a possibility but at a much greater outlay.

Still, there's no rush and plenty of time to find the best solution, so in the meantime I'm cracking on with my desert terrain, the Back of Beyond Chinese Warlord army and a few mini-projects along the way. I'm thinking about doing one of these over the weekend, time permitting, so the Mexican Revolution will have to wait!