Thursday, 18 October 2018

Lethal Skies

This is a new(ish) set of card driven miniature modern air warfare rules, available from Wargames Vault and published by Talion Games. The rules and some sample aircraft, weapon and trait cards are available as Pay What You Want downloads, with additional cards available for $2.00 each. The system is designed for larger scale models on circular bases, the blurb suggesting 1/200th scale as an ideal size, although I would have thought that 1/144th scale would be the obvious choice. 

You need to buy a couple of the relevant aircraft profile cards, then the appropriate weapon cards and trait cards before you can play, so it could end up being an on-going cost if you want to use more than a handful of types. However, once you have the required downloads you can use them again and print multiple copies. I think it looks interesting, as I've always fancied some 1/144th scale jet combat using model kits, so I think I'll download the core rules and some sample cards for a closer look:

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

FAS Civilianised B-26 Invader

I had pinched two Tumbling Dice B-26 Invader models from my MiG Alley unpainted plane back log to use as El Salvadoran aircraft for the Football War, only to realise that they weren't quite right due to the dorsal and ventral turrets. To replace them with a more accurate civilianised version, I cut and sanded away both turrets from a spare model, so that I can use it for my Corsairs and Cavaliers project. The two that the FAS acquired and the one that the FAH got hold of after the war, didn't actually participate in the 1969 hostilities, but I thought it would be cool to have one anyway.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Baltic Air Policing Noggies

It's been a long while since I thought about my Target Locked On! Flashpoint Baltic project but I am just about to order some 1/600th scale Norwegian and Czech roundels from Dan at Flight Deck Decals to give it a boot in the right direction. The Norwegian roundels will be used for some Oddzial Ozmy F-16's while the Czech ones will go on some Saab Gripens, which is one of my favourite modern fighter aircraft. In the meantime, here's a short but very interesting video clip  of a Norwegian F-16 fighter pilot, explaining just what it all involves:

Bag the MiG Cheatsheet

I've been meaning to do this for ages. I have stripped out most of the rules amendments for first edition Bag The Hun from the Bag The MiG article in the 2006 Xmas Special, to create a one page summary of the relevant bits, minus the rules for attacking B-29 formations. I can now give these to the players along with the standard Bag The Hun cheat sheets and the relevant Bag The MiG scenario briefings, which should make it a lot easier for everyone involved. I'm always in two minds about posting things like this, as I don't want to infringe any copyright or pinch someone's intellectual property, but you'd still need to get hold of the Special and the original rules to make use of it anyway, so I don't think there's a big issue.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Blue Monday

I've started on the aircraft for the FAH today, with an overall blue base coat on the Honduran F4U-4 and F4U-5N Corsairs. This raised an interesting question about exactly which shade of blue to use, as I have seen several alternative colours in photographs, paintings and profiles? I didn't want to use the gloss dark blue that I applied to the MiG Alley USN and USMC aircraft, as this is way to shiny for some battered, second hand 'one not so careful owner' flying machines.

In the end I settled on a very old pot of Citadel Night World Blue, from the long lost days when they had only three shades of blue in the entire Citadel Paint series. I think this looks spot on and will look even better with a wash and a drybrush. I have left one Corsair in matt grey undercoat, as one of the F4U-4's was left in an off white, light grey scheme similar to that applied to the AT-6 and T-28A's, so I'll paint this 'odd one out' when I tackle the rest of the Honduran Air Force.

Tumbling Dice Aircraft for Corsairs and Cavaliers

I've provided a break down of the different aircraft with matching Tumbling Dice Vapour Trails codes, for anyone who is interested in collecting forces for both sides in the Football War. I've also added a number in superscript for each of the aircraft types, to give some idea of the numbers available in the war itself, although this is a bit tentative as neither side kept detailed records and historians tend to disagree (a lot).

I've based the numbers on The 100 Hour War by Mario Overall and Dan Hagerdorn, which is my 'go to' source of information for this, as well as online articles and the Bag the Hun variant 'Anyone for Football?' by Tom Ballou in the 2007 Xmas Special. It's not often that you can assemble two complete air forces for an entire war for less than £20. I was even thinking of sending the rules and my notes off to Paul at Tumbling Dice to see if he'd put together a couple of Starter Packs?

Corsairs and Cavaliers Completed

I have now completed the adaptation of the Wings at War: Desert Spitfires rules for the Football War, so I'm ready for some play testing to see how the various changes fall into place or not. I've added the Bombing chart, the Victory Targets and Victory Points tables to finish off the main rules. I now have all the pages sorted and numbered ready to print and assemble into a rules booklet.

I've also added an optional set of rules for using the B-26 Invader, two of which were acquired by El Salvador during the war but which didn't arrive on time. Even then, they were armed with forward firing broomsticks painted black, as the FAS did not have machine guns or mountings to fit in the nose! They didn't even have a sting in the tail, as both of the rear turrets had been removed.

Here are some of the relevant sections so, if you have five minutes to spare, I'd appreciate some feedback especially if you are familiar with the Wings at War system. I'm not going to post the whole rules booklet here, as it's not my set of rules to start with and the copyright belongs to Chris Russell, who very kindly allowed me to muck about with them!

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Corsairs and Cavaliers Update

I've nearly finished my conversion of Wings of War: Desert Spitfires into a set of rules for the Football War between El Salvador and Honduras in July 1969. The working title for this mash up is Corsairs and Cavaliers, which I think sums up the air war pretty well and has a nice ring about it too. I have now re-written the relevant bits of both the Movement rules (p4) and the Air to Air Gunfire rules (p6) to fit the Football War. The relevant modifications are contained in the two extracts below, although there are a few more edits elsewhere in the document too.

The amended Tight Turning Table

The Air to Air Gunfire modifications

This primarily involves factoring in the relative low and high level performance of the Corsairs and Mustangs. It also involves factoring in the various armament configurations of the aircraft and, in particular, the unreliable cannons on the Honduran F4U-5N Corsairs, which regularly jammed due to a dodgy batch of British manufactured ammunition in ever so slightly the wrong calibre. I think I've managed to include both aspects in the re-write, in order to give the rules some conflict  specific focus.

Any thoughts, ideas or suggested corrections would be very welcome.

DIY Missile Markers

I thought I'd have a go at making some AAM markers to use with 1/600th scale aircraft, similar to the ones that you can buy from Fights On! as they didn't look that hard to do and I didn't fancy forking out for something I can make myself. So, I cut some pipe cleaner down to 12cm sections, stripped about 8mm of fluff off one end, then coated the exposed wires with acrylic paste and superglue. 

I then sprayed the missile end with yellow spray paint, followed by just the missile in gloss white spray paint, finishing off with a dip in bright red paint. They stick onto the magnets on the underside of the aircraft but tend to be a bit loose, so I may well strip back a bit of the fluff about two thirds of the way along so that the wire is exposed and the magnet will make better contact.

Alto Cenepa Scenario Aircraft Control Sheets

I've just filled out the Aircraft Control Sheets for the Target Locked On! Alto Cenepa scenario that I have been working on over the last week or so. I had to make up the callsigns apart from Major Orrego's 'Poeta' but I don't think that's a big issue. I've rated all of the pilots as Experienced but with a 3+ rating for Pilot Skill instead of a 4+ as listed in the rules. I've found that this makes for a better game, with a slightly better chance of doing things, and improves the chances of successful gun attacks in particular. I still don't fancy the chances of the Fitters surviving very long though!?


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