Saturday 30 September 2017

Bag the Hun Me163 Komets

I went off on a tangent this morning and based up two Scotia Collectair Me163 Komet rocket interceptors, which I had in the bag of stuff that I bought on the Bring and Buy at Colours a couple of years ago. They are so tiddly that I decided to base them on plastic flight stands, weighted down with some washers glued into the base, with white metal posts from GZG for extra strength.

The plastic posts always end up snapping off eventually, especially with heavier or larger models like Aeronef, so the metal ones are a good idea. I may well get some more of the Komets, as they are really cheap at only 80p each and are pretty nifty in Bag the Hun terms, with a speed of 11, a manoeuvre rating of 3 and a respectable fire factor of 7, which should put the wind up the B-17 gunners to say the least.

Friday 29 September 2017

Bag the Hun B-17G's

The boys at the club are keen for another Bag the Hun game and suggested a bomber escort and interception scenario, which I thought sounded like a good idea. I have had half a dozen Scotia Collectair B-17G's knocking around for a while, so I thought they would be perfect for just such a scenario next month at the club. I have run out of Raiden Miniatures stands for the moment but, by scraping the bottom of the barrel and de-basing some other aircraft, I've been able to get together enough stands for the Fortresses, so I can start on the clean up and basing tomorrow. I'm on a bit of a roll for a change!

Thursday 28 September 2017

Finnish Blenheim I's

I noticed in the original 'Blue Swastika Rampant' post that I had promised myself some more Bristol Blenheim I light bombers for the Finns, so I have ordered five from Museum Miniatures to add to the one I have already got in the box. I really like the Museum Miniatures Blenheim I's and IV's although they do need a bit of filling, sanding and tidying up before you can paint them. I have also located another four Raiden Miniatures Brewster Buffaloes to make a total of twelve, which means I now have the potential for a full fighter squadron. Cool! 

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Blue Swastika Rampant Revival

A couple of years ago I assembled a pile of lead for Bag the Hun with a focus on the Finnish and Soviet air forces in the Winter War and Continuation War. This was booted off by a bargain bucket sale of Raiden Miniatures models by Dom of Dom's Decals and by a very fortuitous Bring and Buy haul of Scotia Collectair Russian planes at Colours 2015.

I've been thinking of a 'self-contained' Bag the Hun project again and, not having enough Raiden Miniatures flight stands left to continue with the Channel Front Luftwaffe project, I was thinking of reviving this as an alternative. I only need to work out how to make my own ersatz flight stands, using laser cut 3mm mdf hexagon bases and nails or brass rod for the stands. I'm off to dig out the box and have a rummage.....

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Bag the Hun Berlin 1945 Game Photos

The late war Bag the Hun multiplayer game went down well this evening, with a total of nine players taking part as fighter pilots for  the Luftwaffe, RAF, USAAF and VVS. The P-47D Thunderbolts didn't get selected by the Allies, however, so all that last minute painting was for nothing! Anyway, we all enjoyed the game and there were some really hilarious moments, which always make a game stand out The result is, however, still to be decided as both sides have been asked to submit their respective claims to the Intelligence Officer, who will then decide on the gongs to be dished out. Good fun!

Monday 25 September 2017

P-47D's Done and Dusted

I finished these off tonight but without adding all of the various possible permutations of insignia and markings, which I thought was a step too far and less than noticeable unless you are a rivet counter. I'm quite pleased with the end result so have ordered four more P-47D 'bubbletop' Thunderbolts from Magister Militum for a future expansion of the 405th Fighter Squadron. I would have bought a full eight but they have now run out of the Raiden Miniatures version, so four will have to do, perhaps with some P-47C 'razorbacks' from the spares box to make up the numbers.

Sunday 24 September 2017

P-47D Thunderbolts Almost There

I managed to almost finish the Raiden Miniatures P-47D 'Jugs' this afternoon but have now packed up for the day, ready to finish them off tomorrow evening. I need to paint the prop bosses, add individual code letters to the fuselage sides, possibly add a little more nose art and some tail bars, then paint the flight stands.  I will then seal everything with matt varnish and paint the canopies in gloss to give them a shine. I'm glad to be getting close to the finishing post with these planes but have really enjoyed the process, even if it has had me swearing like a trooper on more than one occasion!

Full Thrust GZG Japanese Starter Fleet

I ordered a GZG Japanese starter fleet last weekend and it arrived very soon afterwards but I have only just got round to unpacking it for a closer look. The ships vary in size from frigates and destroyers all the way up to heavy cruisers and very nice they are too. I particularly like the low slung destroyers and light cruisers, which will look great when painted up, although when, how and with what I do this I have yet to work out. I'm keen to get back into Full Thrust and fleet scale space gaming in general, so these may be my next mini-project on the Workbench. 

Saturday 23 September 2017

P-47D Paintwork Progress

I've done the basic blocking in on the Raiden Miniatures P-47D 'Bubbletop' Thunderbolts, which was a right pain to get right and reminded me that bare metal isn't one of my favourite camouflage schemes, despite appearing to be relatively simple. The anti-dazzle strip was also a bit of a challenge but it's been tidied up enough to look respectable, at least from arms length. I'll leave them now to fully dry out before washing the whole lot in a Future and black ink mixture. The cowlings are painted in Warpaints Blue to represent the 405th Fighter Squadron, 371st Fighter Group, 9th Air Force, which was based at Eschborn near Frankfurt in April 1945.

Card Deck Design

I sat down to convert one of my old Bag the Hun 2 card decks into one for the Berlin 1945 game on Tuesday, then decided it was probably easier just to begin again from scratch. The end result is a pretty hefty deck of over fifty cards, not all of which will be used but which will cover just about every possible option for the scenario. I've tried to keep them as generic as possible so that there is lots of re-play potential, so there are no specific units mentioned and the artwork doesn't feature any particular aircraft. I'm quite pleased with the overall look but I now need to cut them out and stick them onto calling cards or print them out on white card, so that they are stiff enough to be used in the game without getting all bent and torn.

Thursday 21 September 2017

Bag the Hun Card Deck

I've been thinking about the cards that I'll need for the club game next week and have decided to use some old ones that I already have, adding the extra cards for the game using the same style and format. These cards are generic ones, with RAF, VVS and Luftwaffe sections identified by colour not unit, so are easy to adapt to any scenario involving either side.

They are also of a consistent size and quite sturdy, with the central paper print out stuck down to standard size white calling cards that I buy on holiday in France in packs of 100. These are cheap and also take a lot of punishment, unlike the plastic sleeved cards I've produced for specific historical scenarios.

I reckon I have about a dozen or so to add to the basic pack, primarily to cater for the USAAF and additional pairs for the RAF and Luftwaffe, not to mention several spare Junior Ace cards just in case there's more than one rolled up by the players in the pre-game bit. It shouldn't take me too long with my scissors, glue and card to get them sorted.

Wednesday 20 September 2017


I thought I'd read this in the run up to the Bag the Hun multiplayer club game next week and while I'm painting the P47D's over the weekend. I don't think I've read it before but, as I have a mountain of air warfare books, I could be mistaken? I'm sure it will be worth it either way!

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Bag the Hun Berlin 1945

I've been busily scribbling down ideas for the Bag the Hun 2 multiplayer game scenario this evening, dipping into the rules to extract the various things I need to make it work. The idea is to split the players into two 'teams', one for the Allies and one for the Axis, but then to allocate aircraft, pilots, starting positions and altitude using a randomised system. This will probably use the cards that I will prepare for the game, to be in keeping with the flavour of the rules and to keep it simple.

The various pairs of fighters will then all enter the table as bogeys, with no one knowing who or what they will be up against until a successful spotting roll 'de-cloaks' each pair for all to see. I'm getting round this by assuming that the radio net is open and both sides are tuning in, so when a pair spots an enemy pair, everyone will be looking in that direction and will automatically spot the target too (a bit unrealistic but it's much easier to handle in the middle of a game that way).

I'm still working on the numerous cards I'll need to churn out and on the various record sheets I'll need to fill in but good progress has already been made and I'm feeling pretty much on top of the whole ball game at the moment, although who knows what snags will crop up over the week? I'm also aiming to get some paint on those P47D's but I've had enough for this evening and need to mull over what I've worked out for the game thus far, leaving the painting to tomorrow evening and a fresh pair of eyes!


Monday 18 September 2017

P47D 'Bubbletop' Thunderbolts

I'm going to try to get these four Raiden Miniatures P47D 'Jugs' painted up between now and the end of the weekend, ready for the Bag the Hun game at the cub on the 26th. This might be a bit of a tall order as I'm stupidly busy over the week and especially in the evenings, when I normally get the time to sit down and do something for myself. Anyway, I'll do my best and hope to have them completed in time for the game. It will be an overall bare metal finish with the dazzle panel along the top of the fuselage and a splash of colour for the cowling and tail planes, so nothing too arduous until it gets to the decals which will probably be a bit of a fiddle.

Sunday 17 September 2017

FW-190A8 'Butcher Birds'

I had four of these 1/285th scale Museum Miniatures FW-190A8's in the 'to do' box, so decided to finish them off this afternoon, adding some black lining and decals to match them to the four that I already have. They are lovely models, very crisp and well sculpted, so a joy to paint even of they are a bit tiddly. I now have eight FW-190A8's, four FW-190D9's, four Bf-109K's and two Me262's, so more than enough for a late war Luftwaffe show of force. Horrido!

Full Thrust Fleet Pack

I 'unmed' and 'arred' about this yesterday at the show, not being able to make up my mind, but after some deep thought I've decided to get a new GZG fleet pack for Full Thrust. I have an NSL fleet painted up somewhere, which I gave to the sprog, and a Brigade Games Soviet fleet that I have sold on eBay, so I have a good excuse for another addition to the lead pile. The fleet pack I've chosen is the Japanese one, as I really like the low slung design of the models, although I also really like the Crusties ship design as well.

This Japanese fleet will be used against my other one that as yet remains unpainted, a Federal Stats Europa fleet pack that I bought at Warfare ages ago. I think this project will have to wait until next year before I start on the painting but, if I get some time over the next couple of months, I may well get cracking early. I still have to finish my 15mm sci-fi army first, however, not to mention some other bits and bobs that need my undivided attention. No rush. In the meantime, I'll be flicking through the new edition of Full Thrust Light that I picked up free at the show.

Saturday 16 September 2017

Imperial Skies vs. Full Thrust

I had a quick flick through of the Imperial Skies rulebook at the Brigade Models stand today and thought it looked really flash. At £22 a shot, however, I was reluctant to splash the cash, especially as I have a perfectly good set of rules for VSF aerial wargaming in Aeronef. I have played a lot of Aeronef in the past, although not recently or for quite awhile, and have fully operational fleets for the Portuguese, Japanese and Bolsheviks, with an entire French fleet waiting to be assembled and painted one day.

I'd love to dig them out for some games but have yet to find the impetus to pick up where I left off, after a Scramble for Africa club campaign I organised came to an end. Perhaps this new variation on an old theme might be the stimulus I'm looking for? On the other hand, I also picked up a free copy of the new edition of Full Thrust Light from the nice people at GZG, which is something I could get into again without any further persuasion. Now, I wonder where I stashed that Federal Stats Europa fleet in the lead pile?

Colours Swag

I had a nice afternoon at Colours today, bumping into some old gaming friends and browsing the trade stands in search of things on the shopping list. I completely skipped the demo and participation games for some reason but, according to the sprogs, I didn't miss much although I'm sure there were some good games on show. I also forgot my camera so it wouldn't have made much of difference if I had climbed up to the top floor for a look see.

On the other hand, I did stick pretty much to the list of items I was looking for which mainly revolved around the Old West and Mexican Revolution. These included a couple of 20mm Blotz  lasercut adobe buildings for the Mexican Revolution, which will eventually be assembled when I start the Viva La Revolucion! project at some point. I wanted to get some 20mm Federales from Shellhole Scenics too but they weren't at the show this time round, so that will have to wait until Warfare in November.

The other bundle of stuff I bought is all destined for the 28mm Fistful of Lead: Reloaded terrain collection including half a dozen more Warbases Longhorn cattle, a couple of Warbases draft horses for a stagecoach, some vultures and snakes from the Dead Man's Hand range, a really nice blacksmiths forge from Red Vectors, a very simple but useful pig sty from Warbases and a lovely little adobe style Hispanic chapel or hermitage from Charlie Foxtrot.

This is my favourite of the lot and will be perfect alongside my other Mexican adobe village buildings. It has a resin pantile roof that slots into the top of the mdf lasercut sub-structure, which can be detailed with glue on resin pieces to represent exposed mud bricks underneath the plaster. A very neat and clever idea indeed, so I hope I can do it justice. I also had a nice chat with the designer, who just happens to live down the road from my home town in Cornwall. All in all a good day and not too heavy on the wallet.

No616 Squadron Meteors

I finished the 1/285th Raiden Miniatures Gloster Meteors for Bag the Hun this morning, using I-94 decals and setting solution to bed them down, after painting the cockpit glazing and lining out in black. I'm quite pleased with the end result, considering it only took a few hours from bare metal to finished models, although my eyesight is going and I find it increasingly difficult to see what I'm doing! I must be getting old.

Friday 15 September 2017

Colours 2017

I'm off to Colours in Newbury tomorrow if all goes according to plan, so I may well bump into you if you're planning to go along too. I like Colours as a wargames show and so do the sprogs, at least one of whom will be along for the ride, so I'm really looking forward to it. I have a small but well focussed shopping list but expect to come away with all sorts of random things, even if the budget is a bit tight at the moment. See you there!

Thursday 14 September 2017

Gloster Meteor Momentum

I've washed the Gloster Meteors in a Future / Black Indian Ink wash, then dry brushed them with Foundry White, followed by the canopies in two stages of Foundry Sky Blue and some highlights. I'm not too chuffed with the canopies but my brushes are in a shocking state, so I tried my best. The stands have also been base coated in the usual ancient Citadel Horizon Blue. The whole thing looks alright but will benefit from some touching up and a bit of fine black lining to accentuate the cockpit glazing and control surfaces. I can then add the decals and Robert is very much your mother's brother, as they say. I should get this done over the weekend, if I can get a new OOO brush for the lining out first!

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Skirmish Afrika

I'd read a review of this African imagi-nations supplement for Skirmish Sangin a while back in one of the wargaming magazines and thought it looked really good, although I'm not into modern gaming as such. I am very much into AK47 and 15mm post-colonial gaming, however, so may well download a copy of this supplement for inspiration, if nothing else. I really like what they've done with this fictional 'Afrika' geo-political setting and can see all sorts of potential directions in which I could take my existing 15mm AK47 forces, just for starters. There's even a country called N'bote which is virtually the same as my fictional AK47 nation of Mbote!


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