Friday, 22 July 2016

Combat Crew

I've just finished reading this autobiographical account written by a flight engineer on B17 missions over occupied Europe in 1943. It was really good and has inspired me to add some B17's to the late war fighters that I already have in the Bag the Hun 2 collection. I have some Scotia Collectair B17G's to paint up and all the decals I need to make them look really impressive, so when I get back to the workbench in September, this will be the first project on the 'to do' list.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

TFL Summer Special BTH2 Scenarios

The 2016 Summer Special is out and I have a couple of scenarios for Bag the Hun 2 in it, which I only managed to submit at the last minute after remembering to get myself organised. The two scenarios are both for the Westland Whirlwinds of 263 Squadron, although one also features a flight of long range Spitfire IIa's of 66 Squadron. The special rules for the latter were left off the published scenario briefing, so here they are:

The Spitfire IIa LR is the long range variant and has a 30 gallon fuel tank fitted to the port wing. This may not be jettisoned and causes significant drag. The MAN rating for the Spitfire IIa LR is permanently reduced to 5 and SPD reduced to 6.

There's also a small mistake in the Order of Battle but that is easily spotted if you read through the Game Outline and Cards sections of the scenario briefing. The sub-heading for the 66 Squadron Spitfires is too high up, making it look as though Yellow Section of 263 Squadron is part of the formation. No big deal but it might cause some momentary head scratching!

Monday, 11 July 2016

One Lump or Two?

With the holidays on the horizon and my mainstream miniature gaming on temporary hold, I thought I'd try something a bit less time consuming and easier to manage, with the aim of re-charging my wargaming batteries over the summer break. As a result, I've started another blog, which will run in parallel to this one but will only cover 'beer and pretzels' board and card games. I won't be updating or posting to it as much as I have done for Jim's Wargames Workbench, but there will be some stuff appearing over the next few weeks on a casual basis:

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Au Revoir

I've decided to give up my wargaming and blogging for a while, as I'm not in the mood for either at the moment. I'll be back in the Autumn after I've reassessed my whole approach to the hobby, which I'm finding harder and harder to focus on of late. For one thing, I'm not able to get to the club as often as in the past and, when I do, I feel that I'm out of the loop. The workbench has also become a dumping ground for unfinished and half completed projects, most of which I just haven't had time to do or have become frustrated with. In short, I need a clean break and a fresh start. I may well add the occasional blog post here and there but otherwise I'll be mothballing the wargaming for a couple of months until I'm in the right frame of mind.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Sorry SAGA :O(

How to spell '*****' in five dark age dialects?

I've decided to not take part in the SAGA campaign at the club this summer, as I just won't be able to spare the time next month and will be away for several weeks after that. I don't want to be put in the position of not being able to play out games against opponents, so will let the other players crack on without me. I'm frustrated by this but can see no way round it in the foreseeable future. I'm hoping another campaign might take place at some point as I'd still love to join in with my Normans or Welsh, once the latter get painted. All in all this year is turning out to be pretty rubbish. I hope it get's better sooner rather than later, as I'm really fed up with the whole thing already and it's only June!

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Coat d'Arms Triads

I'm a big fan of the three stage painting approach and have made wide use of the Foundry range of paints in the past, although my painting output has been pretty minimal this year due to a lack of time and too much stuff to do. However, there are limitations of the three stage method, one of which is the limited options available unless you work out the combinations yourself and the other is the prohibitive cost, even though the Foundry pots last for ages and are really useful.

I was very pleased to discover that Coat d'Arms also has a range of what they call triads, consisting of three complementary shades to use as a basecoat, midcoat and highlight. I've always found these paints to be a bit wishy washy but thought I'd try out the basic military green set to see what it was like and to fill a gap in my existing collection of basic shades. If it looks good, I'll check out the rest of the triad range, which at £5.50 a set, is good value for money and much less expensive than the Foundry alternative.

Crush The Kaiser

I was quite impressed with the Mexican Revolution offshoot of these WW1 rules, Achtung Gringo!, so when I found the main rulebook and a supplement bundled on eBay for a tenner, I thought I'd grab them to add to the library. They designed for individually based 15mm to 28mm figures at battalion to brigade level, with the company as the smallest unit, so perfect for 15mm or even 10mm. I'll have  a think about what I could do with them after I've had a read through of both the rulebook Where the Poppies Grow and the army list supplement.

This is an interesting set of rules and a fascinating and neglected period. Initial thoughts would be either 15mm individually based using Peter Pig figures, which could double up for Through the Mud and Blood, or 10mm using Pendraken figures on multiple bases. The latter has the advantage of looking at least a little bit like the real thing and would look really impressive on some custom made terrain. There are some positive reviews around if you google Crush the Kaiser, so why not take a closer look? I'm off to dig out my 10mm WW1 stuff....

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Black Ops [6]

My minimalist approach to this project is paying off, albeit in a very minimalist way, with the Blotz pillbox now finished in a spare half an hour this evening. I went for what I think is a non-descript concrete shade, using an undercoat of Halfords Ultra Matt Khaki, followed by a two stage dry brush in Foundry Cadaverous Green and a wash in GW Agrax Earthshade. I think it looks OK but could possibly do with a bit of signage or some weeds to brighten up the boring gravel effect base?

Monday, 20 June 2016

Black Ops [5]

I've now undercoated the Black Ops tactical team ready for painting so, while they were drying, I assembled the first bit of military - industrial terrain in the shape of a WW2 British pillbox from Blotz. This will be used as a checkpoint at the entrance to the complex, so I based it on a laser cut terrain template from ERM and added a central floor slab to keep the building from sliding around all over the place. I also added a square of fine grade sandpaper on the roof to add a bit of texture and to hide the joints. It's a really nice little kit, easy to assemble and only three quid, so well worth getting hold of if you need a small bunker or control post for your WW2 games.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Top Guns of the Luftwaffe

I was taken to Lyndhurst for Father's Day this afternoon, primarily so the kids could see the luxury sports cars in the Ferrari / Lamborghini show room and so the wife could look at up-cycled iron fire bowls, neither of which I'm remotely interested in but went along with as a dutiful dad. There's a really good discount bookshop there too, so I had a good look through the military history and aviation sections, which turned up this excellent hardback for a tenner. It's a great resource for Bag the Hun, especially as the mid-war RAF v. Luftwaffe conflict over the channel is one of my on-going projects, alongside my existing late war Defence of the Reich collection of 1/285th scale aircraft.