Friday 30 March 2012

BKC Aegean Italians [19]

I got home today and hacked about with the Fiat 3000 to make it look a bit more accurate, primarily by chopping off the rear of the hull then gluing the tail skid back into place. This ended up a bit bent and twisted so I had to sand it down quite a bit to make it look less wonky. I think it's looking promising. I now need to add the second exhaust cowling before I tackle the other three FT17 models, which will have to wait a couple of weeks as we're off to France tomorrow.

Change of Plans

I've been forced to re-think my wargame related plans for the Easter Holidays and have come to the conclusion that I can't afford the time to do any figure painting or preparation this year. I have a lot of work to wade through so, reluctantly, the wargaming stuff will have to wait until I get back from France.

I'll be doing some reading, though, with several good books being packed away for the duration, so all is not lost. As the Falklands anniversary is fast approaching, I'm definately going to be reading something on the conflict, with a couple of books at the top of the list including Forgotten Voices of the Falklands.

When I get back in a couple of weeks, I'll be cracking on with the BKC Italian project, which is now at the painting stage and should be completed by the end of April. I may add a few extra bits later on but already have enough for four infantry battalions, a mechanised battalion, an artillery battery and a fighter bomber flight.

I've also got a rather splendid Fiat BR20 medium bomber unit, which I may expand to a full flight of three if I can find a couple more cheap models on ebay?

Thursday 29 March 2012

BKC Aegean Italians [18]

Fiat 3000 (?) on the left / FT17 on the right

The re-modelled turret, cupola and engine deck
(that was a right pain in the *&^%!)

It's supposed to look like this?
Here's the results of the partially finished attempt to bash an FT17 into a Fiat 3000. It's not too bad, but I still need to add a second exhaust cowling and sort out the back end including the tail skid, before it looks more like the actual thing. Unfortunately, this will have to wait a couple of weeks until I get back from the holidays, although I may get a bit of time tomorrow evening to finish off the test version.

BKC Aegean Italians [17]

After a long wait, the Pendraken FT17's arrived in the post yesterday, ready to be converted into Fiat 3000's. I ordered four so that I can play around with one to work out what to do, before I tackle the other three that I need for the battlegroup. They're really nice little models and I don't think it'll be too difficult to make them look at least a bit like the Fiat's, although the twin machine gun barrels might be a bit of a challenge.

I've also completed the rest of the CO and HQ bases for the battlegroup that I forgot to do when I assembled the various battalions. I had a bit of a struggle finding enough figures to fill up the bases but I think they came out OK in the end. I'm particularly pleased with the coastal defence battalion CO base, complete with a staff car that's having a puncture repaired by an unfortunate squaddie.

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Normandy Firefight Skirmish Rules

These look really interesting, especially as they're scaled for 54mm figures of which I have loads in the plastic fantastic pile up in the loft. The example game on the authors blog also looks superb and is on a custom made 4'x4' terrain board, making it nice and compact but very visually impressive.

I'm going to get a copy of the rulebook as it's on special offer over at Northstar, so may be off on yet another tangent as a result. I really like the idea of skirmish gaming in 54mm, especially as I have more than enough figures and vehicle kits to start with.

Monday 26 March 2012

Holiday Plans

It's four days and counting before I'm off to Brittany for the Easter holidays and it won't be a moment too soon. I am wading through a quagmire of work at the moment, so the prospect of some time off is very appealing. Unfortunately, I'll have to take some of the aforementioned work with me this time, as I have too much to do and need to get some cleared out of the way before even more @*&^ arrives next term (sound familiar?).

However, I will be taking some stuff along to paint or base up in the hope of achieving at least a small proportion of the wargame related things I'd like to do this year. I'm thinking of taking the Bag The MiG planes to paint up, as they won't need much in the way of paints and decals to be do-able. I might also take some coastal forces stuff, either the modern kit for Bulldogs Away! or some WW2 models for Action Stations, both of which I've been promising to do for ages.

Whatever I decide to take along, it'll probably not happen anyway!

Sunday 25 March 2012

BKC Aegean Italians [16]

I read through the campaign briefing today and realised that I have probably under estimated the number of command bases that I need for the Italians. I think I need to double up quite a bit, so have been pootling around with some ERM  mdf bases and a few spare figures. I'm running a bit short of the latter but I reckon I can cover what I need, just about.

I also basecoated the armour in Foundry Storm Green, followed by a wash in gunge and a drybrush with Foundry Rawhide. It looks a bit 'ho hum' at the moment but I'll paint in the tracks, exhausts and other bits later on to pick them up a bit. I finished off by drybrushing two of the infantry battalions in Foundry Granite but ran out of time before I could could get any more done.

Saturday 24 March 2012

BKC Italian Air Support

I found a 1/144th scale Sweet Macchi C200AS kit in the loft the other day, to use as ground attack air support for the Italians. The kit includes two models and some cracking decals, so I could make up a flight of fighter bombers rather then having just the one. The models have a small number of components and look pretty simple to construct, so I'll have a crack at them over the weekend.

I also bought a 1/144th Altaya diecast Fiat BR20 bomber from a a seller on ebay. I hunted around for one that wasn't too expensive and found a 'Buy It Now' listing for just over eight quid. I''m planning to use it for either parachute drops or for sitting on an airfield runway, mainly just as a prop for visual effect. I'm not too bothered that it's a bomber rather than a transport, as it looks good either way.

Thursday 22 March 2012

Flames Above The Falklands

With all the recent coverage of the Falklands, including a rather good BBC documentary on the Black Buck Vulcan mission the other day, I've found myself thinking about the possibilities of the Wings At War rules again, specifically the Flames Above the Falklands variant of the rules.

I've always had second thoughts about gaming this particular conflict, as I remember it well from my teenage years, especially as I grew up a stones throw from Plymouth. For a long time the whole thing seemed a little too close to home to be acceptable as a wargame project, especially when you consider the underlying political aspect of the war and it's immediate impact upon the lives of a lot of people, both British and Argentinian.

Anyway, time is a great leveller, so perhaps it's less emotive as a potential wargaming project. I'm not going to be gaming Iraq or Afghanistan at any point in the immediate future but I can see myself having a crack at some Falklands air warfare, given the excuse to order some more of the excellent Tumbling Dice 1/600th scale planes, which is something that I found myself doing yesterday.


Wednesday 21 March 2012

BKC Aegean Italians [15]

I spray undercoated the three infantry battalions, the artillery and some more of the vehicles this evening, having finished my Year 10 reports. This means that I can crack on with the painting up of the BKC units over the weekend, before I get stuck into the next big bit of work on Monday. It's been a bit of an up hill struggle so far but I think I'm over the worst bit as far as school work is concerned, although I still have a lot of stuff to do over the holidays.

In the meantime, I'll have a crack at painting up the infantry and the armour for the Italians once the builders are out of the way. We're having our patio re-constructed, so the workbench is covered in cement dust and the garage is full of tools. This means that any modelling or paimting has to wait until the weekend. However, the boys are off to the in-laws tomorrow, so the weekend will be clear for some wargame related stuff, as I only have my daughter to keep entertained.

 (unless the Ministry of the Interior has other DIY related plans, that is?)

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Bag the MiG Skyraiders

I'm reading Crimson Skies at the moment, which started off a bit wobbly but has now settled down to some really informative stuff on the early stages of the Korean War air campaign. This involved naval Task Force 77 on a variety of hair raising close air support missions, including bombing the bridges over the Yalu river under very heavy flak concentrations and supporting the retreat of the UN forces in the winter of 1950.

As I was reading through this bit of the book, I realised that I have a big gap in the Bag The MiG set up in the shape of the Skyraiders that formed a significant element of the USN/USMC line up, alongside the Corsairs and Panthers that I have covered. As a result, I've ordered a couple of packs from Dom to fill inthe gap and boost the ground attack capability of the UN forces.

Monday 19 March 2012

BKC Aegean Italians [14]

I realised yesterday that I'd forgotten to include any tows for the support weapons, having read through the campaign briefing for the first time. Luckily I had some Pendraken trucks in the box so quickly cleaned them up and based them before I started marking this evening. This gives me enough for two battalions worth of transport, so I'm a bit short if I have to deploy more than two battalions at a go. 

The Paratroopers and glider borne infantry will, therefore, be foot slogging and man-hauling their support weapons around, which seems like an appropriate set up anyway. The coastal defence battalion will get some WW1 vintage horse drawn limbers when they eventually arrive from Pendraken, so this will make up the numbers and enable them to retreat even quicker than usual.

I now have four battalions based up but only one painted. I really should do another battalion to represent the mountain unit / commandos but I'm stuck for suitable figures to make them look different from the existing regular and gliderborne units. I may try to do some sort of X-MAS naval commando force if I can find some suitable beret wearing figures in the SCW range.

The alternative would be to do more headswapping or conversion work, perhaps to add alpini style feathers and hats, although that sounds like a total pain in the backside and probably not worth the effort involved. I'm sure I can work out something or just make do with what I've got, especially if I don't deploy all my battalions together.

Finally, I've been fiddling around this evening with a washer and some command vehicles for the CO base, which I also neglected to sort out earlier. I'm not too happy with it but it'll probably have to do, given the diminishing ammount of time I have before the campaign starts and my current work schedule.

Sunday 18 March 2012

BKC Aegean Italians [13]

I managed to squeeze in about an hour of basing for the Italians this evening and have completed the elite paratroop battalion. This required several miniscule, fiddly headswaps from some spare Italian paratroop figures to various crew figures from the Pendraken WW2 American range. I think they came out OK but I'd rather not have to do it again. Not much to shout about but at least I achieved something this week?

Saturday 17 March 2012

A chip off the old block?

My eldest son is into 40K so I bought him a new model today for an arm and a leg, as a reward for his school work and for passing his grading in judo. He chose a space marine ironclad dreadnought thingy on the condition that he built it himself. The result is pretty good and entirely his own work, which I think isn't bad for a nine year old. I'm hoping that it'll get painted up at some point, unlike the rest of the extensive collection of extortionate plastic that adorns his bedroom?

Friday 16 March 2012


I take my two boys to Judo on Friday afternoons after work. This gives me the opportunity to nip into town and back again for thirty minutes or so, whilst they chuck each other around and roll on the floor for a couple of hours. In this brief interlude, I always make a passing visit to the local Oxfam second hand bookshop, so invariably return home with something to add to the library.

Today, I picked up this hardback for a fiver and have had a quick flick through. I have several piratical books on the shelves already but this one is interesting in that it covers not only the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries but also piracy in a broader perspective. I'm particularly interested in the chapter detailing the anti-piracy role of the Royal Navy in China in the early 1900's, in which my great grandfather played a very small but not insignificant role.

A good read over the holidays methinks?

PS The boys passed their grading too!

Thursday 15 March 2012

What to do in a meeting when you're really very, very, very bored (from an entirely theoretical perspective, of course)

I've just got back from a two hour meeting but I have finished my exam marking, which is a bit of a bonus in an otherwise tedious slog through the pile of work that I have piled on my desk. As a bit of a diversion and to keep myself sane, I've been doodling ideas for a naval set up in a fictional South American setting, using Bulldogs Away! as a basis for some 1970's-1980's modern era coastal warfare.

I've been trying to find a historical basis for modern FAC games for a few years but always ended up with 1973 in the Med, which seems a little predictable and a bit one sided. I've also been planning to do the Alto Cenepa War as a 1/600th scale modern air warfare game using Airwar:C21 as a starting point, although the helicopters have been a sticking point. I have some stuff stockpiled for both projects but have yet to get anything sorted.

Anyway, today I put the two together and came up with an alternative plan, involving a fictitious naval and air conflict between two countries not entirely unlike Peru and Ecuador, although the exact idetity of these two states has yet to be decided. The naval side of the conflict would involve my small but nicely balanced collection of Skytrex and PT Dockyard FAC model, together with some plastic pre-paints and kits.

One of the belligerants, let's call them the 'Ecuadorians', would be equipped with 1960's era British and West European vessels, including some French-built FAC's bashed together from the Skytrex Israeli models and a slightly out of scale Leander class flagship from the old Airfix 1/600th scale kit. The air support would be provided by appropriate models from the Tumbling Dice range, although I've yet to make up my mind between Hunters, Mysteres or Skyhawks?

The other side would be Soviet equipped with Skytrex and PT Dockyard Komar, Shershen and Osa FAC's, together with a rather neat Combrig kit of a Grisha corvette. I also have a Hobbyboss Romeo class submarine to add a bit of submersible capability to the 'Peruvians', for want of a better name. Again, the air power would be supplied by Tumbling Dice and would consist of land based MiG 21's or similar. Both sides would be supported by various Tamiya / Skywave / Hasegawa plastic ancilliary vessels.

I think this could be a lot of fun, in the same vein as AK47 but with a naval twist.

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Work, Work, Work

Congenital idiocy? I fear the worst.

I'm completely snowed under with work at the moment, mainly due to exam marking and report writing but also thanks to Mr Gove and his mucking about with the History curriculum. I wish the powers that be could leave it alone or at least come to some agreement about what it should be, rather than playing political football with it every four or five years or so.

As a result, I've had to pull out of a couple of games at the club including the SAGA try out yesterday, which I was really looking forward to. I've also had little time to spend on the projects on the workbench with the Italian Front being firmly stuck in a stalemate. If I can, I'll try to get something shifted forward this weekend.

To cheer myself up, I've been watching 'The Broad Fourteens' which I found via a link on the Narrow Seas yahoo group. It's a typical example of wartime 'we're all in it together' propaganda but no less enjoyable for it. You can even order a download or DVD from the IWM.

Monday 12 March 2012

Bag the MiG Books

I've nearly finished the Forgotten Voices of the Burma Campaign, which is very good to my surprise. I thought that it might be a bit lightweight but it's a thorough account of the war in Burma from the ground up, so complements the other books that I've read on the subject very well.

I'm now moving on to some background reading for Bag The MiG and have added a couple of new books to the collection to this end. They both focus on an overview of the war and have a choronological approach to the narrative but, having said that, they have a slightly different focus.

Air War over Korea by Robert Jackson is quite an old publication but has some excellent photographs alongside an informative text, so should be a good starter for the air campaign in general. The re-print of Crimson Sky by John Bruning is more of a 'seat of the pants' eyewitness based history with lots of detail on individual aerial actions, so perfect for scenario development and 'flavour' all be it from an American perspective.

I'm looking forward to reading both in the next couple of weeks.

Sunday 11 March 2012

BKC Aegean Italians [12]

Not a lot achieved today but the coastal defence battalion is now based and ready for an undercoat. I've also been allowed 200 points worth of support artillery by the campaign umpire, which means that I can deploy a couple of the 100mm guns that I've already based or some of the 75mm guns that I've just ordered from Pendraken.

I've also been considering the potential for some scratchbuilding to support the amphibious operations that will be a feature of the campaign. Although the rules don't specify the need to model any landing craft for amphibious scenarios, I think it would be a shame for the Italian naval troops to just 'appear' on table, without some sort of means of transportation.

To this end, I've been rummaging in the loft again and have located an Airfix pontoon bridge that was originally destined for AK47. However, I'm going to pinch the pontoon boats and convert them into landing barges or lighters for the Italians, something along the lines of the ML craft constructed for the abortive invasion of Malta in 1942.

This shouldn't be too difficult and will only require and bit of plastic card, some brass rod and a few extra bits to look pretty good.

Saturday 10 March 2012

BKC Aegean Italians [11]

I started on the coastal defence battalion this evening, which uses Pendraken WW1 Italian figures as the core of the units, with most of the bases completed including the support weapons, the HQ and the machine guns. There are four bases of infantry left to glue together and I'm hoping to get them done by the end of the evening, give or take the usual diversions.

I've also had the go ahead from the campaign umpire to include some FT-17s in the armoured battalion, so have ordered four from Pendraken. The Italians produced their own version of the FT-17 called the FIAT 3000, which looks fairly similar apart from the turret which mounted two machine guns. The hull is also slightly different but in 10mm I don't think you'd really notice.

When the models arrive I'll convert them into FIAT 3000's to give them a more appropriate appearance. It shouldn't be a difficult job and will make the most of the existing casting, all be it with a bit of plastic card and brass wire enhancement. They used them in Sicily in 1943 as mobile coastal defence strongpoints, so they'll fit in very nicely with the infantry that I'm basing up at the moment.

Saurian Safari Scenery

I went to Eastleigh today with the boys to get them some new school shoes, so popped into the 99p store, as you do. I found some packs of plastic aquarium plants in both long and short versions. The shorter ones come in mixed packs of four and are about 10cm long, while the long ones are in packs of three and are 30cm or so in length, but could be easily pulled apart to make shorter sections of tropical undergrowth. Both types have resin bases which could easily be painted and flocked to match the terrain. A bit of a bargain for 99p a pack and ideal for Saurian Safari or even Darkest Africa.

Thursday 8 March 2012

BKC Aegean Italians [10]

I had an e-mail from the umpire of the club Blitzkrieg Commander campaign today, which made me realise that I've fallen seriously behind with the 10mm Italians, especially as the campaign is due to start at the end of March. I'm now going to have to drop everything to concentrate on basing and painting up at least three of the five battalions of infantry required, together with the 700 point armoured battalion that's allowed in the campaign rules.

There were originally four battalions of infantry in the campaign set up, one paratrooper, one mountain, one regular and one low quality garrison, penal or coastal defence battalion. Now, according to the latest communique, there's a further battalion of glider borne troops to be supplied, which I'll have to find from somewhere in the fairly limited Pendraken Italian catalogue. I'm hoping that I won't have to deploy all of my uits in one go, which will mean a bit of a breathing space to get things sorted out.

The priority now is to base up the coastal defence battalion that I have assembled from the Pendraken WW1 Italian range with a few spare figures from the WW1 French range thrown in as extra gun crew. I have just enough to go round but the poses will be fairly limited and I'll have to be imaginative in my basing to make the units look interesting. I may add two or three FIAT 3000's (the Italian version of the FT17) to the battalion as armoured support, just to make the battalion a bit less bland.

Back of Beyond Campaign Winner!

The last turn game in the Back of Beyond campaign was played out on Tuesday night at the club. The original plan was to run the campaign for a full six turns but, in the end, it reached a conclusion in five. I could have run a further turn but, with only four active players left in the running, it would have been a bit superfluous. There's a BKC campaign starting after Easter too, so it was about time to draw a line and declare a winner.

In the end, the front runner in the race to Kashgar was Andy, representing Major Cholmondley Warner of the British Museum Archaeological expedition. In second place was David, in the role of Colonel Bannister VC, of the British Indian Army 'Bannisterforce'. In third place was Colin, playing the part of Commander Henri Lostagaine of the Citroen-Kegresse Trans Asia expedition.

The Texan Oil Prospecting expedition, under the leadership of 'JR' Jock Ewing (Snr), came fourth, which was better than I expected. Finally, the Chinese Warlord Wu Tang came in fifth, although Adrian's army was last seen wandering around the desert somewhere in Turn Two. There was also a special mention for Chris who, as Colonel Tchestikov of the Bolsheviks, had to drop out of the campaign for unavoidable reasons.

I enjoyed running the campaign and, even though I lost or drew in most of the games, I had some good battles. The 'dinosaur hunter' expedition army was a refreshing change from my usual Bolshevik force and provided some interesting tactical challenges. I'm thinking of adding a third army to my Back of Beyond collection for future games, probably a British Indian column as it has lots of cool vehicles, although I don't expect to run another campaign at the club.

There's a final BIG finale to the campaign planned for April to round things off. This will be a large multiplayer set up involving at least four players and most of the factions in the campaign, so it should be fun and a fitting way to round off what has been a pretty good show.

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Bag the MiG is Go!

I've completed the preparation of the 1/600th scale Tumbling Dice plane for Bag The MiG this evening, with the USN and USMC aircraft magnet based and a couple of Sea Furys added to complete the FAA flights. I could add the RAAF Meteors and some NKAF Yak 9's or La5's but I think I've got more than enough to be going on with...and then some.

I'm hoping to start painting something by the end of the week but, as I'm stupidly busy at work at the moment, I'm not going to make any rash promises. If I do find the time, I'll kick off with either the MiG 15's or the USAF Sabres, which should be relatively easy to complete bar the fiddly decals. In the meantime, I'll be sorting out some more hex bases ready for an actual game, whenever that may be?

SAGA Normans

I've been organising a warband for SAGA out of the Crusader Normans that I have stashed at the bottom of the leadpile. I have a bit of a top heavy selection, with lots of armoured infantry and cavalry, together with a decent number of unarmoured spearmen but with only a handful of archers. This means that I could do something with six points that looks like this:

12 hearthguard (knights mounted with lances or dismounted with spears) = 3 points

16 warriors (unarmoured spearmen) = 2 points

12 levy (bowmen) = 1 point

This would mean buying a pack of bowmen, which I'd rather not do, so instead, I might do something like this to field a basic four point force:

8 hearthguard (as above) = 2 points

8 warriors (as above) = 1 point

8 warriors (bowmen) = 1 point

I haven't decided yet but to least I've worked out what might be possible and can get on with something once the Bag The MiG project is shifted. I may very well take the 28mm Normans off to France at Easter to get cleaned up and based, ready for painting later in April.

Monday 5 March 2012

Naval Wargames Society Show

I missed this last year as I was reluctantly attending a work colleagues wedding in Old Basing, which was relatively painless but not quite the same as a weekend of naval wargaming.  At least the venue was suitably historical.  Anyway, this year I'm staking my claim to the weekend of the 2nd / 3rd June, so that I don't miss out and get to have a crack at a few participation games, many of which looked really good last time round.

I have some 'money in the bank' with the Ministry of the Interior, so I may well be allowed out to play, given a bit of wishful thinking and some covert arm bending. I've also signed up to the NWS, which is something I've intended to do for a while but didn't quite get round to. It's about time I got myself orgamised and tackled a couple of the naval projects on the leapile shortlist.

As it happens, the club participation game this year looks like it will have a naval flavour, so it may be a possibility for the NWS show, assuming the usual suspects (me included) get our collective act together? There's a not particularly subtle hint in the picture but it's all a bit tentative at the moment, so I'm not going to let the cat out of the bag.

Sunday 4 March 2012

Bag The Panther

In a change of plan, I decided to prepare a selection of US Navy and Marines aircraft for Bag the MiG this evening, instead of the RAAF Meteors that I originally planned to tackle. It's mainly down to my soft spot for the F9F Panther, which is such a classic aircraft that I couldn't leave them out. As a result, I also had to have some Corsairs and Banshees, with a couple of Tigercats for good measure.

They all need to have magnets added but otherwise are ready to paint up. I have magnet based the B29's and the Il-10m's, however, along with a lone FAC Stinson Sentinel, which will make a useful addition for potential scenarios. Tomorrow, I'm hoping to get the magnets attached to the naval stuff then crack on with a few extra bits and bobs.


I rummaged in the leadpile today and found the box of Crusader Normans that I originally acquired several years ago for WAB. I didn't have enough figures for a decent army then but I do now, if I use them for a SAGA four point warband. In fact, I have all that I need plus a few spare figures to add some variety to the set up.

The thing that put me off SAGA in the first place was the cost of the rules and, in particular, the special dice set that you need for each faction. If I wanted to play solo I'd need to fork out £24 quid on dice alone, which seems a bit extortionate to say the least. I know you can print out your own on sticky labels then attach them to spare D6 but, to be honest, that seems a bit of a time consuming, make do option.

Anyway, now that I have some potential opposition, I've decided to splash out on one set of SAGA dice so that I can try out the mechanisms before I play the game for real at the club in couple of weeks. I've ordered the Norman set along with some Little Big Man 28mm shield decals from Crusader, so that I can put together a Norman warband at some point later in the year.

Apparently, the next release by Gripping Beast for the SAGA rules will be a supplement including Bretons and 'proper' Anglo Saxons. This is very tempting as I wrote my undergraduate dissertation on the westward expansion of Wessex in the eighth to ninth century, so it's something I'm particularly interested in. My wife is also from Brittany so I could potentially put together a third SAGA warband, as the Normans will be ideal as opponents or allies for the Bretons.

Oh dear.

Saturday 3 March 2012

Bag The MiG B29's

I spent most of this afternoon chopping down a very reluctant tree in the garden, as we're having a new patio built and it was in the way. This meant I was away from the workbench until the early evening, when I managed to clean up and assemble five more B29's, to bring the total to eight. I have a few more to add to the collection but I think I have enough to be going on with.

This means that I'll have two flights of bombers for the Bagging the B29 scenario in the TFL 2006 Xmas Special, as well as for other games in a similar vein. I still need to add the magnets but that'll be fairly straightforward. I'm planning to clean up and attach magnets to the six Il-10m's and, possibly, the Meteors tomorrow.

Ongoing Saga?

In the latest issue of Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy, which is the best of the current crop of wargaming magazines in my humble opinion, there's a very good set of linked articles for the SAGA rules by Gripping  Beast. I bought a copy of the rules at Warfare back in November but haven't given them much further thought since then.

However, a new club member has offered to set up a game in a couple of weeks, so I'll have a chance to try them out for the first time. If I get the hang of the rules and like the feel of the game I may very put together a warband of some sort later in the year. Needless to say, I have more than enough figures for Vikings, Saxons and Normans in the leadpile, all originally destined for WAB Shieldwall.

I'm leaning toward a Norman warband at the moment, given the availabilty of the (very expensive) dice set and the fact that I have some very nice Crusader Norman figures in a box somewhere. On the other hand, I really should get some Gladiators painted up first, not to mention the long lost Darkest Africa project? A SAGA warband shouldn't take too long to do after all?

15mm Chain Link Fencing

I went into Poundland today and spotted this double pack of anti-splatter mesh things for a quid:

The mesh is very fine and ideal for 15mm chain link type fencing. I cut it out of the circular rim with a pair of kitchen scissors then chopped it up into strips, ready for fence construction when I get round to the AK47 scratch building project. It would also make excellent mesh for windows or door screens.


Friday 2 March 2012

Bag the MiG Update

The rest of the planes for the Bag The MiG mini-project arrived from Tumbling Dice yesterday, including the Il-10m's and the B29's, so I now have everything I need to run all of the scenarios from the TFL specials. I haven't managed to do any more preparation and basing this week as I've been very busy at work and have had three evenings away from the workbench.

However, I'm going to get the rest of the planes sorted this weekend, ready for painting and hope to make a start on that by the end of the weekend too. I'm not going to try anything too fiddly and will be restricting myself to a very limited palette of no more than half a dozen shades. These will be silver for the bare metal, a couple of shades of blue for the canopies, black for some lining out and finally some primary colours for the squadron markings.

It shouldn't take long to get a squadron or two painted up but I'm sure the decals will take up a fair chunk of time, as they're tiny and have to be individually cut from the sheet. I've used Dom's decals many times before but never in 1/600th scale, so it there will probably be some colourful language and a few false starts before I get the hang of it.

Thursday 1 March 2012

Back of Beyond Campaign Big Game

Campaign One Big Game

Campaign Two Big Game
Campaign Three Big Game?

At the end of each Back of Beyond campaign I've always organised a big multiplayer finale, incorporating the various factions and a few extras so that non-campaign gamers can get involved. The game usually involves an assault on the defences of Kashgar which are garrisoned by my Bolshevik army and whatever rag tag units I can scrape together from the club players.

This year I'm planning to combine all of the four or five campaign forces into one multi-national assault force, consisting of four hundred points of troops per player. This will allow me to beef up the defenders to match, using a combination of field fortifications, artillery, air power and my armoured train. I'm working on the details but I reckon on about 2000+ points worth of defences, once I sort out the various units at my disposal.

I'll need to complete my armoured train and build some track to go with it. I'll also need to scratchbuild a simple wooden bridge and a blown up version of the same, as this will feature as one of the obstacles for the attackers to negotiate. I may also finish off a 1/48th scale Ansaldo SVA5 biplane that I've had knocking about for a few years, to boost the ground attack capabilities of the Reds.

The date for this extravaganza is yet to be decided but it's looking like the latter half of April at the earliest.


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