Sunday, 1 February 2015

Bag The MiG [2]

I undercoated the USAF fighters and fighter bombers today with an overall spray of Humbrol Aluminium, having forgotten that I'd run out of Humbrol Silver. This isn't a major problem, as the end result is perfect as a base for drybrushing in Foundry Spearpoint, followed by an ink wash in something yet to be decided.

I did spot a slight problem with the Tumbling Dice F86 Sabre models, however, which have two different fuselage bands scribed into the surface. They should all be diagonal but four of the twelve models have vertical bands. I have some spares in the box, so will replace the vertical band models with diagonal ones as soon as I can find my stockpile of tiddly magnets.

The four spares won't go to waste as I'll paint them up as black and white striped early war F86A's of the 334th FIS/4th FIW, rather than the later war F86E/F's of the 336th FIS/4th FIW, which will form the bulk of the models in the USAF arsenal, complete with the characteristic yellow-orange identification stripes.

Combat Over Korea

As I'm doing a Bag The MiG / MiG Alley project this month, I thought I'd get some more relevant reading underway with a digital copy of Combat Over Korea. I already have plenty of reference material for the Korean Air War, including loads of colour profiles, photos and after action accounts, so a general overview will be a useful source of inspiration and will help to set the context for scenarios. It has had some good reviews too, so it should be an interesting read.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Bag The MiG [1]

I've decided to tackle the long overdue 1/600th scale Korean Air War project for February. 

This was a project that I originally set out to do in 2010 (!) so it's about time I actually got it sorted. The idea is to paint up enough 1/600th scale aircraft to do a series of Bag the MiG scenarios at the club and also a MiG Alley game or two, using the club hexon terrain for the latter.

The first phase will be the USAF fighters and fighter bombers, with 12 F86E Sabres, 12 F84 Thunderjets and 12 F80 Shooting Stars. These shouldn't take too long to paint up but I'm dreading the decals, which will have to be simplified to make them manageable. 

It's far too cold in the garage for painting tonight but I'll start on them tomorrow from the relative warmth of the kitchen (I really should annex a corner of the house to set up as my painting area, if only to avoid third degree frostbite and hypothermia).

Friday, 30 January 2015

Back to Bag the MiG

Here's the other potential project for February, which is a bit shorter than most calender months so calls for something a little less time consuming. I have all the 1/600th scale Tumbling Dice aircraft I could possibly need already cleaned up and mini-magnetised, so it's just a question of a splash of paint and some very tiddly decals. It's a long standing if neglected project of mine, with plenty of potential for scenario development and some decent club games in the pipeline, so what could go wrong?

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Deep Space

I now have a 6' x 3' vinyl deep space gaming mat for X-Wing and Full Thrust. If all goes according to plan, it might even arrive before the half term holidays, which will mean that I can take the X-Wing collection down to Cornwall for some well-earned and long overdue games with the kids. I'll pack the Star Wars DVD's as well so they are suitably inspired, although episode I, II and III will definately be left behind.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Knight - The Warrior and World of Chivalry

Not a lot on the wargaming front at the moment but I have added this rather lavish hardback to the library, after a trip to the book section in the local garden centre of all places. Although it's an Osprey title, it's no flimsy lightweight synopsis and includes a pretty comprehensive coverage of all aspects of knighthood, both the chivalric ideal and the rather bloody reality. It was only £7.99 as well, so I couldn't really resist the temptation, even if the bookshelves are approaching catastrophic structural failure.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Jungle Green

A 1960's 'fly on the wall' documentary on the Royal Marines in Borneo during the Indonesian Confrontation. It makes you think about the way some things have changed beyond recognition but how others, including the front line experience of the soldier on the ground, really haven't changed that much at all. It's all heavily sanitised but there's something tangible there, especially in the commentary by the soldiers themselves, which could be from 2014 rather than 1964.

The Indonesian Confrontation 1962-66

I've decided to postpone my 15mm Lion Rampant project for the moment, as I just don't have the time to paint up two retinues, even if they only consist of  fifty or so figures each. I don't want to start something I can't finish in a sensible timescale, so it's time for a more realistic Plan B for February. I'll definately be back on the Lion Rampant project later in the year but, in the meantime, it's something completely different!

A long while back I started to think about a post-war skirmish project, based on the Malayan Emergency and the Indonesian Confrontation. This was spurred on by the excellent Inkerman Castings / Britannia Miniatures range of 28mm figures that are now carried by Grubby Tanks. However, having parked 28mm for the foreseeable future, I'm now going in a 15mm direction.

To speed things up, I'm going to make use of the 1960's British AFV's that I based up for my AK47 colonial settlers army in the summer holidays a couple of years ago. These had been parked in the 'to do' box, so will now be re-allocated to the Far East. I have a couple of QRF Saracens, a Saladin and three Ferrets, along with a pair of Bedford lorries, all of which are useable for Borneo or Malaya.

The infantry will be provided from the packs of Peter Pig AK47 professionals that I bought at Warfare in November. These are perfect for Borneo, although I'd really like some figures with Sterlings as well as the SLR's. I'm going to base up and paint a couple of sections, using individual bases for skirmish level games, so only twenty or thirty figures will be needed.

I haven't worked out the figures for the Indonesian army and guerillas yet but they will be from the Peter Pig AK47, Vietnam and WW2 ranges. The AK47 Hardened Militia or headswapped WW2 US Marines would be pretty good as Indonesian regulars, with some Vietcong or AK47 militia as the irregular forces. I've ordered the relevant Osprey for the Indonesian Confrontation, so some background reading will no doubt help to sort out the requirements.

I'm looking forward to this mini-project for next month and hope to actually get started pretty soon. It will be good to get back to some painting, even if I have to squeeze it into the limited time I have available. I'm leaning toward Borneo rather than Malaya at the moment but will be doing some relevant research over the next few weeks in order to check out all the possibilties.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

X-Wing KR Multicase

It's been a busy day but I've finally got round to sorting and packing the KR Multicase X-Wing storage box that I got for my birthday. As you can see, everything sits very snugly in the layered foam trays with some room for a few more fighters on their stands. It took a bit of fiddling around but everything is now neatly stowed away in the various custom-made foam compartments.

When I was sorting out the models I found that I was missing a couple of the plastic stand segments, so my single Y-Wing has been laid flat un-based while I locate some replacements. I now have everything neatly sorted and ready to take with me on holiday in a few weeks time. I don't have much time at the moment, so it was very rewarding just to sort this lot out, let alone actually fit in a game!

A very good product and well worth the price tag, especially as you can hand pick your tray selection to meet your storage requirements. I may well get hold of a half sized box just to take the thin trays for the counters, rulers and cards, adding a couple of extra ones for the overflow and leaving the big box for the models alone.

Thursday, 22 January 2015


I used to play this many years ago at college with some friends, using the second edition set with the stand up cardboard counters and the Rifleman on the box top, which I still have up in the loft somewhere. A lot later, I also used to play the PC games Mechwarrior 2 and Mechwarrior 3, both of which were loads of fun at the time and part of my long lost pre-offspring freedom.

Anyway, I have now splashed out on a boxed set of the new version of the rules, complete with plastic mechs and heavy duty map boards. I spent some of my Amazon token on this, so I suppose it's a birthday present to myself. It looks really good and the sprogs are desperate to give it a try out, although that will have to wait until the half term holidays in three weeks time. It's also pretty good value for £45.

I also have a big stash of the old Heroscape plastic hex tiles that I snapped up when they were on a massive discount at Argos. A lot of people seem to use these for Battletech so I may well dig them out, tart them up and deploy them as proper 3D terrain, assuming I can remember where I put them? It's all a bit of an indulgent nostalgia trip but it's also really good for my flagging morale!