Saturday 31 July 2010

Cheap AK47 Toy Trucks

I picked up a couple of cheap trucks, to use as transport for AK47, in the local supermarket today. Each one came in a set of two vehicles, the other one being a jeep which was out of scale for 15mm, although at only 2.38 Euros (£1.98) for each set, I could afford to give the jeeps to the kids as toys.

The trucks are pretty much 15mm / 1.100th scale and are mainly plastic with a few metal components. The tilts pop off and there's a flatbed with panelled sides underneath. They look very much like the old Maisto military trucks but are a fraction smaller and have different wheels.

They'll do very nicely as extra reinforcements so I'll see if I can track down a few more.


We arrived in Brittany yesterday after a stop over at my Dad's in deepest, darkest internet unconnected Cornwall, hence the lack of recent posts.

Today, we finally got into the apartment after stopping off (yet again) at the in-laws. The weather has been a bit grey and overcast, with some heavy drizzle overnight, but when we arrived at the beach it cleared up and is now nice and sunny.

To round off a good day, I looked out of the window this afternoon and saw this sailing into the bay. It looks like a replica 16 gun brig to me and is now anchored off shore.

I'll see if I can find out more about it tomorrow.

Go Strong Into The Desert

I saw an advert for this new Perry Miniatures source book on the War in the Sudan in Wargames Illustrated a couple of days ago.

It looks like a fantastic resource, not only for wargaming but in specific historical terms as well. It's out in late August but you can preorder it via the Perry website.

I imagine that most people will want to buy it with Perry's 28mm range in mind, especially as they're bringing out plastic Ansar and, presumably, plastic Hademdowah at some point in the next six months or so.

I'm thinking more in terms of my existing, nearly finished, 15mm PITS dervish army, perhaps with Death In The Dark Continent as a ruleset. PITS is fun but limited in a way to a certain type of low level game and not really adaptable to historical scenarios or large open battles.

Tuesday 27 July 2010

AK47 Operation Coq au Vin

Yet another victory for the F.A.R.T. to report, although the game ended up being very short and a bit 'different' compared to the others we have played. It started with the Nbuto forces on the offensive for the first time, having fiddled my points total to give myself more political options and thereby allowing Jon to be the defender for a change.

However, this subsequently meant that he failed to get any units on the table at all for the first four turns, while my jeeps, armoured cars and truck mounted infantry roamed all over the place undisturbed.

Eventually he got one unit of APC mounted infantry on the table, only to have it wiped out by my attack helicopter and armoured cars, for the loss of the Panhards to RPG fire.

A second unit of Lumatan truck mounted heavy weapons was also driven onto the table but didn't last very long before it brewed up, turned tail and routed. My jeeps and trucks were driving around the other side of the table while all this was going on doing very little of any consequence.

However, Jon then got his mortar unit on along with two EBR75 armoured cars that he'd 'acquired' through political wheeling and dealing. The resulting combination or armour and mortars proceeded to wipe out or pin most of my APC mounted infantry in the space of one turn, despite my attempt to de-bus on one of the objectives.

Finally, before anything else could happen, the countdown dice dictated the end of the game, after only about an hour and a half of hostilities. The end result was 54 points to me and 46 to Jon, resulting in a victory for the F.A.R.T. in Operation Coq Au Vin, a pre-emptive punitive strike across the Lumatan border.

VBCW Vehicle Photoshoot

BUF lorry (diecast repaint)

BUF Flying Column

BUF HQ Van (diecast repaint)

CV33 Flamethrower (Force of Arms)

BUF Flamethrower Tankette

BUF Lancia Armoured Car (Copplestone)

BUF Lancia Armoured Car

Red Workers Militia FT17 tank (HLBS)

Renault FT17 tank (HLBS)

Monday 26 July 2010

AK47 Objective Markers [2]

I managed to find some time this evening to drybrush the bases on the objective markers that I cobbled together yesterday.

I used a three stage covering of Foundry Base Sand with a final drybrush of Foundry Boneyard Light to pick out the detail.

I then had a crack at the monument plinth and the concrete hardstand on the oil depot, using a three stage drybrush of Foundry Granite, followed by a highlight of Foundry Arctic Grey Shade.

Unfortunately, this picked out the wood grain on the base of the monument, so I'm going to give it a coat of PVA and some fine sand, then re-paint it to match the rest of the plinth.

I'll try to get some more painting in tomorrow, although I very much doubt they'll be ready for the game.

Das Boot

This is what I spent most of my time on today. I finished off the standing rigging then tackled the spars and sails.

It took about four hours to get to this stage, most of which consisted of sowing linen thread through tiny holes in brown card sails with tweezers, before super-glueing the end results to my fingers.

It's not perfect but it's not bad, considering the fact that I'm making it up as I go along, and the state of the original model before I got to sort it out.

Holiday Project

I've been told by She Who Must Be Obeyed that I can't take any paints on holiday, just in case they get spilled on the upholstery in the flat.

Oh well, there goes the Victorian Ironclads as my Summer painting project. I'll save them until we come back.

Instead, I am allowed to take some figures to clean up and base, having got away with it last year with no soft furnishing issues.

I may take the rest of the TD 1/600th scale Korean War planes to finish off for MiG Alley and/or the AK47 Dictatorship army. Both of these are on the 'to do' list this year, so it would be a good way to get them ready for the second half of 2010:

On a seperate tack, I picked up an old TT model railway table at the tip for a £5 today. It had about 10 feet of track and five points until I removed them with my trusty pliers. I've added them to my existing but very small collection of rails, which I've stockpiled to use in future 15mm railway construction for AK47.

Sunday 25 July 2010

AK47 Objective Markers [1]

After having captured several of Jon's excellent objective markers in past AK47 games, I thought I'd have a crack at some of my own. Jon has a knack of producing outstanding terrain and figures out of bog roll, pan scourers and odd bits of string he's found down the back of the sofa:

Not to be outdone, I grabbed three old freebie CD's, some matchsticks, bits of wood and some superglue, together with a few leftovers things from other projects and got going.

The first one was quite quick to construct being a Socialist Realist style heroic monument, using a freebie Zulu figure from last year's Salute show, together with a wooden base and a washer. I toyed with the idea of making an identical one with a colonial figure from the Darkest Africa spares box, but I think that'll have to wait.

The second took a bit longer as it required some rummaging in the spares box. I glued together two fuel tanks from Lledo Model T Ford diecasts, added some pipework from plastic bits I had lying around and a resin block of fuel drums, before glueing everything down on a piece of plastic card. The result is something not unlike a fuel depot or oil refinery type thing.

Last of all, I took some spare mdf bases, a scrap bit of 009 track, a chain, some matchsticks and strip wood, plus a Woodland Scenics tree and some Wills plastic corrugated iron sheet, to produce a gold mine (although it needs to be finished off). I think this is my favourite of the three.

All of them obviously need to be painted, flocked and foliaged but, so far, I'm fairly happy with the results.

Saturday 24 July 2010

VBCW Red Workers Militia [13]

It was my daughter's 3rd birthday and party today so, needless to say, very little painting has been done. Nonetheless, I have finished off the FT17 which is the first fully completed unit for the VBCW Reds.


Not much to shout about but it's the beginning of the least that's what I'm telling myself. The weathering is Foundry Rawhide whilst the base is GW Calthan Brown with a drybrush of GW Dheneb Stone.

I have to take some 'action' shots of my VBCW vehicles for the next Solway supplement, so I'll add the FT17 to the photo shoot, which i'm hoping to set up sometime in the next couple of days.


I've set up a game of AK47 at the club on Tuesday, as I haven't played one for ages and won't have another game until September, so it's a good one to tide me over until then.

There are four of us involved, which is a bit unusual but should be fun. We'll either run one game and have two commanders per side, taking alternate units as they arrive as reinforcements, or run two parallel games.

As three of us have the old Second Edition rules, two of us the Reloaded version and one has no rules at all, it should be interesting to work out exactly what we're going to do. Jon had a neat idea to run a UN convoy game, so that's yet another possibilty.

Whatever happens, it'll be a laugh and there will be some after action photos posted here, perhaps with a press release from Radio Free Nbuto, if I have the time to put one together (assuming the FART are in action, that is).

Friday 23 July 2010

We're all going on a....

It's the Summer holiday as of 2pm this afternoon (huzzah!), so to celebrate I've ordered a pack of French Resistance from Westwind, together with some German motorcycle combinations, both at 40% off, so a bit of a bargain even when you add on the postage.

I also bought some British heads in tin helmets from the SHS range of WW2 figures that Westwind produce, so I'm going to try out some more headswapping on the leftover militia figures in the spares box, to give them more of a VBCW look.

The French Resistance chaps will be added in to the reinforcements leadpile but one or two will get converted into gun crew. I have a second Copplestone Putilov field gun left over from my Back of Beyond project, so it could be added to the existing one to make up a full gun section.

The motorcycles will be added to the BUF as escorts for the flying column, again with a headswap operation and a perhaps a Lewis gun added to the sidecars, although I may use one of them for the Reds instead.

Thursday 22 July 2010

VBCW Red Workers Militia [12]

I eventually got round to the FT17 and Putilov this evening, after tangling with the ratlines on the boat for an hour or so.

The FT17 and field gun got a wash with the usual gunk, followed by a GW Camo Green drybrush.

Next, I painted the tracks, wheel rims and machine gun in Foundry Charcoal Grey and Charcoal Grey Light. This was followed up with the exhaust in three shades of Foundry Tan and rust streaks in the same, with a little GW Flesh Wash for good measure, although I think I may have over cooked it a bit with the latter.

I need to add some mud weathering and some metallic chipping to the tank but decided to add some decals in the meantime. The Red Stars are from Doms Decals (excellent!) 1.300th scale range and the numbers from the sprares box.

Next up will be the breech on the gun and some detailing on the tank, prior to the aforementioned weathering and basing.

VBCW Red Workers Militia [11]

I had a crack at the Red Workers Militia again last night, painting the boots on all of the figures in GW Calthan Brown.

After that, for a bit of a change, I thought I'd start on the FT17 tank and Putilov field gun, so gave them a wetbrush of 50:50 GW Catachan Green and Camo Green, followed by a Camo Green drybrush and a drybrush of GW Dheneb Stone.

I need to give them a wash next, followed by another highlight drybrush, then paint the tracks, wheel rims, breech block and so on in a suitable range of blacks and greys. I'm going to keep them simple, so no funky retro camouflage, just a red star or two to add some colour.

There's a sale on at Westwind at the moment, so I quite fancy getting some more French Resistance and Russian Partisan figures to add to the Reds, especially to convert to gun or mortar crews. I'm not sure I can justify the cost at the moment though, even at 40% off?

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Attack! 2010 Best Game In Show Award

Apparently, the club Battle of Britain game won the Best Game In Show award at Attack! on Sunday, so it was all worth it after all! Well done to the team who put it together and to the guys who ran it on the day. If you'd like to see the game or even take part, then it's going to be re-played at Warfare in Reading in November when I'll be helping to run it, so come and say hello.

Tuesday 20 July 2010

WW1 Dogfight

I organised a late war 1918 aerial dogfight game, this evening and took some photos of the resulting pile up.

I flew Bristol Fighter (F1626) on an escort mission, piloted as always by wobbly chinned Lt Rupert Twistleton Twinkle and his trusty if somewhat flatulent rear gunner, Corporal Albert Scrote.

In the ensuing aerial fray they managed to shoot down a Fokker DVII, piloted by the infamous Otto Ritter Von Splat, so it was a definate victory for the RFC. In a later add on game I flew a Fokker DVII and managed to set fire to an SE5a, which subsequently crashed behind German lines.

The black and white DVII's (Revell), the Bristol Fighters and the RE8 (Airfix) were built by me, whilst the other aircraft were provided by club members. The excellent rules used were our club set, Knights of the Sky, which you can find on the Wessex Wargamers Winchester Yahoo Group.

Blog Clean Up

As you can see, I got tired of the old colour scheme of black and white so decided to play about with the design a bit. I'm not sure I like the end result but I'll keep it for the moment as I can't be bothered to change it back.

I've also decided to do a bit of a review of progress (or lack of) over the last six months before I shoot off on holiday to Brittany in a week or so. I think it's time to assess how my plans for 2010 have gone and, perhaps, to re-think the way I've gone about things since January.

In an unpleasant twist of fate, I have been reverse promoted to a job I used to have, which I spent years trying to ditch but have now got to pick up again, so I won't have much time for painting or gaming in the next six months to a year due to increased workload.

As a result, I think a new stategy might be required in order to give myself a realistic wargaming output and avoid meltdown of yet more projects.

Books, Books, Books

I can't resist a new (or second hand) book now and again, so when I spotted a copy of Warships and Naval Battles of the Civil War on ebay with a reasonable Buy It Now price tag, I thought 'Why Not?'.

It's an ex-library book so it's a been well read but it's in pretty good nick nonetheless. As a guide to ACW naval and riverine vessels it's excellent, featuring well drawn coloured profiles and views of just about every ironclad, gunboat, paddleboat, blockade runner or other craft you could think of. There are also some useful notes on the characteristics of each vessel together with a history of their use during the war.

Great stuff!

It's got me thinking again about my box of Peter Pig Hammerin' Iron ships that I aquired at Salute last year, together with a few Thoroughbred models from ebay. This could be a project for next year or I could do it instead of one of the projects I set out for 2010, although that list has slid inexorably off the end of the schedule so far!

Monday 19 July 2010

And now for something completely different...

I thought I'd explain why I haven't been doing any painting over the last couple of days, just in case you were wondering if I'd lost the plot.

Fear not.

I have been tasked by She Who Shall Not Be Named with a small restoration project for a freind of the family. The object in question is a ninety year old handmade model galleon, which has seen better days and is in need of some reconstruction. I have been 'volunteered' to strip down and rebuild it, so have been busy with the first stage of the process over the weekend, despite having to go to a wedding on Saturday and a kiddies birthday party on Sunday.

After dismantling the various bits of tangled string and dusty woodwork, the hull was given a good wash and brush up, then varnished with gloss and satin spray. The end result looks pretty good althoughI expect the Edwardian Vintage Model Boat Society would probably disagree.

I'm now in the process of stripping back the yardarms. After that, I'll add the standing rigging to the hull, with the ratlines as the first task on the list.

Fingers crossed.

Saturday 17 July 2010

Tumbling Dice Victorian Ironclads [6]

HMS Warrior

The Royal Navy Channel Squadron
The French Channel Squadron

The Onodaga

Here's the two squadrons in all their undercoated glory. As you can see, the models are very well detailed and quite impressive close up, even though the photos are a bit blurry. The picture of HMS Warrior shows just how much detail is included. The Onondaga conversion is a little less than fantastic but it'll do as a stand in until I can scratchbuild something more accurate.

Friday 16 July 2010

Tumbling Dice 1/2400 Napoleonics

I've enjoyed assembling the ironclads, despite the occasional superglue related outburst of colourful language, so I thought I'd order some of the Tumbling Dice Napoleonic ships as well.

I have the AAGE Grand Fleet Actions in the Age of Sail rules which are perfect for small scale games with large numbers of ships, so I ordered a couple of the starter packs, the Napoleonic Squadron (MSP1) and Inshore Squadron (MSP2), which together should give me plenty to get going.

The models are very nice and, in construction terms, are pretty much like the Victorian ships, although they should be easier to put together due to the larger sails. I've seen some examples of painted ships and they look very good. Hopefully, I'll be able to produce something equally impressive, with a little patience and some steady brushwork.

Exactly when I'll get round to all this is a completely different question!

I also noticed that the new TD catalogue lists some ACW coastal forts including a large and small coastal battery, together with a floating battery and mortar rafts in large and small formats. They aren't available via the website yet but when they are I'll definately pick some up for the ironclads to pound from a safe distance.

Thursday 15 July 2010

Tumbling Dice Victorian Ironclads [5]

It's the last day of activity week and, unfortunately, I didn't get round to painting the Tumbling Dice ships beyond a basic undercoat. There just wasn't the time to assemble the two squadrons I planned to complete and get them painted.

I think I underestimated the time it takes to put each model together, which involves cleaning up the various component parts first then superglueing each bit to the model with tweezers and colourful language.

However, I now have two decent squadrons of ironclads and supporting ships for both the French and the British, all ready for a coat of paint. Today, I added the four coastal defence monitors Gorgon, Cyclops, Hecate and Hydra, to round off the project. They were quick to clean up, having no rigging to speak of, so it was realtively simple to get them ready.

What I'll do now is go back to the VBCW Red Militia, to finish them off before we go off on holiday, then take the ironclads to France as a painting project over the summer. They don't need a vast array of paint shades so it would be an ideal option to take them away and finish them there.


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