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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

Battletech


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!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

15mm Feudal Farmyard


I'm sure you've noticed the virtual standstill on the workbench over the last couple of weeks, which is due to an unavoidable but very unpleasant pre-occupation with work. Things at work are, to say the least, difficult but that's all I can say at the moment. It's also freezing in the garage, which doesn't help!

Anyway, I have been thinking forward and have now added some very nice Museum Miniatures farm yard animals to the Lion Rampant skirmish project. These will be used as objectives in the game and will be based up in small groups, ready to be stolen, cooked and eaten by the rival factions.

I particularly like the geese and chickens, which I think are really cool, together with the pigs and the mastiffs, which would look splendid on a command base. It's a shame that there is no variation in the poses but at least the goats, pigs and cows should mix well with the Peter Pig and ERM livestock that I already have in the bits box.

Baaa.

Monday, 19 January 2015

The White Rose of Stalingrad



I thought I'd take a break from the Wars of the Roses reading list, having read four books over the last six weeks, so decided to pick up The White Rose of Stalingrad, which has been sitting on the Kindle for a few months after being snapped up in one of those 99p special deals. I'd love to have a proper crack at some more low level Bag The Hun 2 on the Russian Front, so this looks like a good source of inspiration, if only somebody made a decent Yak 1 in 1/285th?

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Happy Birthday to Me!


It's my birthday today, so another year closer to retirement, although I still have twenty of them to go if I teach until I'm 68! Anyway, my wife and kids have bought me a very nice coffee maker thing, so that I can stay up even later to do my marking, fuelled by copious quantities of double espresso. It's something I've fancied having for ages and will be tried out later today, once I've worked out how to put the darned thing together!


My sister also bought me a YT-2400 freighter for X-Wing, which is a really cool looking model and very handy for all sorts of scenarios. I have an Amazon token from my dad to spend as well, so I'm thinking of getting a deep space mat of some description, so that I don't have to improvise with the dining room table cloth anymore. A couple more fighters for the rebel alliance may also be added to the order, just to round off the collection.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

X-Wing Storage Solution


I decided to splash out on a KR Multicase box for my growing X-Wing collection, as the pile of boxes on top of the piano has become a little controversial. I've selected a combination of trays that will fit the models that I already have including the Lambda shuttle, with some slots to spare for a few more fighters. I should also have plenty of space for all the counters, cards and manoeuvre dials. A good solution to the storage problem and less expensive than I thought!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Let it Snow!


I had a hospital appointment yesterday and, on the way home I decided to pop into the local picture framing and ink jet printer cartridge shop, as it was on my route. The very nice bloke who runs it has a small corner dedicated to scale models, paints and scenic supplies, as he's a 1/16th scale radio control tank enthusiast.

Anyway, he had a sale on and I decided to buy a tub of Army Painter snow, along with some self adhesive grass matting and a couple of pots of paint. I thought the snow might be a good addition to the bases of my 28mm Late War US infantry platoon, which look a little sparse and could do with something to make them more interesting.

I think some snow is needed!

I have some GW snow flock stuff already but really didn't like the way it looked when I tried it out. The Army Painter stuff is more granular and less fluffy, so I think it might be a better option, especially if I also do some washing on the oregano leaf litter, to make it a bit more autumnal and less grey / green in appearance.

Another project for a wet weekend, along with the extra figures and bases that I need to turn the platoon into a full sized unit for Chain or Command, rather than Bolt Action for which it was originally designed. I don't have any time for this at them moment but I may well try the snow out on a sample base at the weekend, just to see what it looks like? 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Dux Rampant Forum

 
There's a new forum for Lion Rampant, set up by the author Dan Mersey to support the rules and to provide new variants, scenarios and special rules. I was very pleased to see some rules ammendments for the use of handgunners, which is really handy as I'm planning to incorporate a six man strong unit in one of my 15mm War of the Roses retinues:

UNIT NAME Handgonnes POINTS 4

Attack 7+ Attack value 6
Move 6+ Defence value 6
Shoot 8+ Shoot value / Range 6 / 12”
Courage 4+ Maximum movement 6”
Armour 2 Special rules Bang; Panic

Models per unit: 6

Special rules:
• Bang: All units count as Armour 1 against Shooting by this unit (Armour 2 if in cover).
• Panic: When this unit Shoots, the target unit must take a Courage test regardless of the number of hits inflicted.

Unit upgrades:
• Pavises @ 2 points per unit. As for Crossbows.


I was just going to class them as bidowers but now have some specific rules that take into account the impact of handguns in the late medieval period. The author has a note of caution about these rules, as they may be a little a-historical and could unbalance things a bit. It will be interesting to see how they work in practice!

Here's the link to the Dux Rampant forum: http://duxrampant.yuku.com/

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

X-Wing Game Plan



It's mock exam marking time again, so the evenings are filled and the wargaming horizon is looking pretty bleak for at least a couple of weeks. However, I have lined up some potential games of X-Wing at the club for the end of the month, so there is light at the end of the tunnel. I'm also planning to squeeze a couple of games in at the weekend against the sprog, as by his own admission, he is 'rebel scum'.

Anyway, It's my birthday at the weekend, so I thought I'd use a £25 Amazon gift token that I got at Xmas to add to the X-Wing collection. It made sense to get a second starter boxed set, as it provides another copy of the rules and counters for the sprogs to use, along with an X-Wing and a couple of TIE fighters, for less than the cost of the models alone.

This puts the rebellion at a bit of a disadvantage, with three X-Wings and a Y-Wing up against four TIE fighters, two TIE interceptors and a Lambda class Imperial shuttle. I'm hoping that I'll get some extra rebel kit for my birthday, if only to even the odds and keep the sprog happy. If not, I'm sure I can use the force to locate some more rebel fighters or even a Millenium Falcon!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Bag the Hun Bomb Run Conundrum



An interesting question about level bombing popped up on the club forum today, which got me thinking about the 'vanilla' bomber question, for want of a better term. In the rules for level bombing the base factor is 1D6 regardless of the type of aircraft concerned, be it a B17 or a He111, for example. This is all fine, assuming most bombers are just there to be shot down but, if they are actually being flown by players rather than the umpire and attempting to bomb things, then it does seem a bit bland?

The obvious solution would be to modify the base factor to more realistically reflect the load out and capability of different types of bomber. I suggested a 1D6 addition (rounding down) for every 1000kg or 1000lb's of bomb load, assuming most medium bombers to be carting around about 2000kg? This obviously excludes the really big heavies but then they are rarely going to be used to bomb targets in a tactical level game like BTH2. This would, for example, give an He111 a base factor of 2D6 rather than the generic 1D6.

What do you think?

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Fighting High


We went to our local Hobbycraft and Haskins yesterday to get some birthday presents for a party my daughter was invited to and to check out the sales. I picked up some spray paints, a new Xacto craft knife and a couple of A1 sheets of foamcore that were reduced in price. They are now stockpiled ready for the Lion Rampant terrain scratchbuilding project that I'm planning to start next month.

In the garden centre there's a small selection of discounted books on display, so I usually have a browse while the wife looks at pots, plants and other gardening stuff. I spotted this book on sale for £5.99 and thought it looked really good, so I now have another source for my Bag the Hun scenario projects, including some excellent material based on original combat reports and pilot diaries. It's also very well illustrated.

I just have to track down Volume 1 now!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

10mm Aliens USCM M577 APC's




These are what started the 10mm Aliens skirmish project in the first place, when I found two of them in a plastic bag of Micro Machines at the local charity shop. I was going to plate over the wheels with plastic card discs to hide the holes where the metal axles stick out but I couldn't find my hole punch, so didn't bother. The bases need some tidying up, especially on the edges, but these are now ready for the use when I've finished the marines.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Lorient U-Boat Bunker Visit Photos





















I promised to post some photos of my visit to the U-Boat bunkers in Lorient over the holidays, so here they are including some mildly dis-interested children and a slightly less dis-interested spouse. It really is an impressive site to visit and well worth it if you are in the South of Brittany on holiday.

Incidentally, the wreck is a WW1 German light cruiser which took an active role in the Battle of Jutland, was ceded to the French as reparations under the terms of the Versailles Treaty, incorporated into the French Navy, then was subsequently sunk by the Germans as an anti-torpedo block ship.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

X-Wing Lambda Shuttle


I'm feeling a bit less rubbish today, thanks to a couple of early nights and copious quantities of various medicinal drugs, so the flu-thing seems to be on the back foot. I was also cheered up by the arrival in the post of my Lambda Class Imperial Shuttle for X-Wing, which I ordered a while back and had almost forgotten about. 

It's the only non-fighter, larger sized model in my collection but very impressive to look at, even if it might not be that handy in a dogfight. I have an Amazon gift token thing left over from Xmas to spend, so may well invest in some more models and a storage case or bag to accomodate the X-Wing stuff, as it has now expanded beyond the original starter set box. 

Any suggestions?

Museum Miniatures January Sale


I thought I'd flag this up, as the Leading Edge 1/300 scale range of WW2 aircraft are well worth a look and make up a significant element of my models for Bag The Hun. They are very good sculpts and cast in clean, high quality metal, even if the castings suffer from a few imperfections due to the age of the moulds (I always order one or two extras in case the greenstuff can't solve the problem). 

Leading Edge Fw190-A8's
I'm thinking of ordering some more of the Fw190-A8's to convert back into JG2 A4's for the mid-war project that I've been planning over the last few months. I have some Raiden A4's but they're a bit too chunky and some how don't look quite right, which is very unlike Mark's usual sculpting efforts which are always spot on. I think I'll sell them on and try to file down the cannon blisters on the Leading Edge models.

No cannon blisters

Spot the difference

Anyway, if you're looking to try out some WW2 aerial gaming in 1/300th scale, now is your chance to grab some very nice models at a bargain price. If you want to see some examples of the Italian, British and German models, there are a lot of examples here on the blog. The Italians and late-war Luftwaffe planes are particularly good, athough there's plenty more to choose from.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Lion Rampant War of the Roses [3]


I'm still feeling rubbish, only slightly less so than yesterday, so will be having another early night. However, I have decided on the basing for the 15mm Lion Rampant War of the Roses project and have ordered the requisite pile of laser cut mdf from Tony ar ERM, although I'll have to wait a bit longer than usual for them to arrive due to some 'technical issues'.

I'll be using 15mm x 15mm bases for the foot and 15mm x 25mm bases for the horse, although leaders will get slightly bigger bits of mdf to stand on, as befits their status. This is a bit different from my usual circular mdf or 1p coin bases but fits in better with the rules, especially if and when foot units form schiltrons. It also reminds me of the counters in Cry Havoc, which can't be a bad thing.

I've also bundled some ERM 15mm farm animals into the order to use as livestock for raids and tax collection scenarios, including some pigs, sheep, goats and cows, although I drew a line at naked camels. These will mix in well with the Irregular Miniatures farm animals, carts and barrels that I already have from a long forgotten project, making it much easier to organise some decent sheep stealing escapades.