Friday, 18 October 2019

Tempests and Doras

I have a new digital book to read over the weekend, the Osprey Duel Series Tempest V vs. Fw190D-9. I've always liked the look of these two fighter aircraft and already have sections of both types in my Bag the Hun 1/285th scale collection. The Tempests are Raiden Miniatures and are fine but the Doras are the lovely Museum Miniatures castings, which are a joy to paint and suitably sleek.

They are really powerful and well armed in Bag the Hun and make for a good match if you want a fast and dirty dogfight, especially in the hands of Veteran or Ace pilots. I'm also interested in potential scenarios for the Come and Have a Go If You Think You're Lard Enough games day in which these two might feature, perhaps alongside some Me262's in a landing pattern. Tally Ho!

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Club Yahoo Group RIP

The local club, Wessex Wargamers Winchester, has used a Yahoo group since 2004 to organise games and to share rules, scenarios and after action reports. However, as you are probably aware, Yahoo is shutting down the functionality of the Yahoo Groups system and is effectively killing it off. We are now looking for an alternative, so have been sharing some ideas about the best way forward, either some sort of free bulletin board option or a not Facebook social media style platform. Any suggestions would be gratefully received, especially if you are in the same boat and in the UK.  

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Congo Painting

I've now got back to the Congo project and have singled out the first figures to be painted, two units of warrior spearmen and a couple of masked sacred warriors that could be attached to them for moral support. In the past I've tended to paint a whole army in one go, which more often than not ends up on the shelf about half way through. This time, I'll paint up a couple of units at a go and no more than a dozen figures at once, keeping the momentum going and hopefully banging them out in a weekend each time. 

I'll also be keeping the painting process as simple as possible, with a two stage approach and some ink washing to bring out the details. The only arty farty bit will be the wicker shields and the tribal masks but I'm going to try a cunning plan for the former and a 'keep it simple stupid' option for the latter. There's only so much you can do with a loincloth and a few beads as it is. Who knows, they might even look half decent, as I'll be spending more time and effort on the basing!

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Junkers J.1 Finished

That was a pain in the bum but it's over now, as I have finally finished the Eduard Junkers J.1, ready for some aerial reconnaissance and ground strafing missions in another Knights of the Sky game at the club. It all went together well until I got to the propeller and spinner, which wouldn't sit tight on the fuselage nose and the machine gun, which had to be squeezed in next to the crew figure with little room to spare. I then had a varnishing disaster with an old can of Humbrol matt varnish, which turned everything frosty. Arrgghhhhh!!!

This was saved by a topcoat of Halfords matt varnish, which is actually more satin that matt, and some brushed on matt varnish in selected places, not to mention another wash in GW Athonian Camoshade ink on the tail plane. It's still not quite right but I have had more than enough of it for the foreseeable future, so the Fokker Dr1 triplanes have been postponed and I'll be painting some 28mm Congo tribesmen instead while my sanity slowly returns. I definitely need a break from fiddly plastic kits and some proper metal figures to paint will do me no end of good!

Turning in Broadside and Ram

Bruce asked how turning works in Broadside and Ram, so here's how I have done it in the games I've played. As I tend to play tactical squadron sized games, I have changed the turning angles to a maximum of 45 degrees for most ships, with gunboats, steamships and smaller vessels being able to turn up to 90 degrees. I have also allowed paddlers to turn up to 180 degrees if stationary. This makes it a bit more realistic for small scale games featuring only half a dozen ships a side, which is what I usually do.

For turning, the rules are pretty clear, with all turns taking place before movement and with the option of manoeuvring as a single group if within 3'' of the flagship or squadron lead ship. The way I do it is to move and turn the lead ship then move the others in line astern, turning at the same point and conforming to the lead ship, maintaining equal spacing as far as ship CS or MS allows. You need to bear CS and MS in mind when forming squadrons, otherwise you could end up with stragglers. If ships haven't got enough speed to get to the turn point, then they just move up to the turn and can follow on afterwards. 

The other option is to turn the lead ship then arrange the others to follow in a gentle curved formation, which looks better but is probably less accurate than the turn on the spot approach outlined before. Finally, you can turn in echelon, again following the lead ship and conforming to its angle of turn, then moving forward as an echelon formation. As I limit turns to 45 degrees for armoured ships and wooden warships, this means that you need to do two consecutive echelon turns to form a line abreast, paying the requisite AP for the formation change when you do so.

I hope that makes sense?

Monday, 14 October 2019

Struttin' my Stuff

I steeled myself to assemble the upper wing to the fuselage and lower wing of the Junkers J.1 today, with not a little trepidation to say the least. In the end it turned out okay, although it wouldn't get into any IPMS competitions, as there's a distinct wonky effect it you look too closely at the whole shebang from the business end. The upper wing dips to one side and isn't straight either but it was a right ******* to glue together, so I'm going to have to live with it.

It is surprisingly sturdy, however, which is probably due to lashings of liquid superglue and some colourful language, not to mention the brass wire supports than I sneaked into the gubbins. I now have the wheels, tail skid, machine gun and prop to paint and glue on, then there's only the fiddly decals to apply before I spray varnish the finished model. The plan now is to wrap it up tomorrow so that I can take break and paint some 28mm figures instead!

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Slow Progress

It's been a very busy weekend so I've only scratched the surface compared to what I planned to do, although I will have some time tomorrow to make up the difference. I've added the wing and fuselage decals to the Junkers J/1, with the smaller insignia and markings left off for the moment so they don't get damaged by handling. The corrugated surfaces on the wings mean that the decals don't settle well and require a lot of persuasion with Decal Soft to stay put. I'll spray varnish the whole aircraft once I've finished, so that won't be a problem in the long run. 

I've also painted the cockpit surround and touched up the paintwork with a overall wash of GW Athonian Camoshade ink, which is now drying off. The crew figures are also being painted but it's taking ages for the different layers to dry due to the damp weather, so progress has been pretty sluggish. I'm planning to finally assemble the upper wing and struts to the lower wing tomorrow, at which point I'll know if it's actually going to work or if it will all end up in the bin. I have to say that this is dragging a bit now and has taken far longer than I expected, so I hope it will work out in the end!?

Saturday, 12 October 2019

"Echo Base, this is Rogue Two. I've found them!"

Last year I was given a set of Star Wars Legion Snowtroopers as a Xmas present, which was a nice surprise. The problem was that I didn't have any rebel troops in polar gear, so couldn't make any use of them, despite having some winter terrain. Now, however, I've acquired some Rebel Veterans on eBay, which I will eventually get round to painting up, not for Star Wars Legion but for Galactic Heroes. Cool!

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Something for the Weekend

I've nearly completed the Eduard Junkers J.1, give or take attaching the upper wing, fitting in the crew, adding the undercarriage and applying the decals (!), so I'm planning to start the Fokker Dr.1 triplanes over the weekend. I now have five of the 1/72nd scale Eduard / Smer kits so have one spare in case something goes wrong, which is a sensible approach to bits that ping off into the carpet or snap in half at inopportune moments. The plan is to build four models and paint them in a themed marking scheme, probably the typical streaked green and light grey with some blocked in areas of white, black or red. If they look the part, I'm not too bothered about the historical's a game after all!

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Junkers J.1 Wings and Things

I had an cunning plan today, which is usually not a good thing but in this case seems to have worked out. I replaced the very flimsy vertical struts that fit either side of the pilot cockpit with thin brass rod, along with the feed to the wing mounted radiator, so that there are three points of contact for the upper wing. This means that it will be much more stable and, hopefully, will make the addition of the interplane struts a lot easier, if they actually fit that is? I suspect they'll be a pain in the ****. 

The upper wing now sits quite neatly on top of the fuselage balanced on the three wire supports but I will need to line up it carefully when I add the interplane struts. The model still looks a bit rough and ready but I can tidy it up later. I was thinking of adding some washed in shading and the decals also need to be applied. I need to paint the crew of pilot and rear gunner as well, for which I have a couple of figures too choose from, as they need to be fitted before I add the top wing and the undercarriage. I'm getting there slowly but it's a real slog!


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