Friday, 21 February 2020

1/2400th Cut and Shut USS Powhatan

I wanted to have USS Powhatan in the US North Atlantic Squadron but there was no suitable model in the Tumbling Dice range, so I have made a cut and shut conversion instead. This involved the back two thirds of the ASV17 HMS Retribution paddle frigate, mated to the front half of the ASV8 HMS Arrogant small frigate model, with a replacement stack made from a cut down drill bit. It's not quite correct but is a fairly good visual match the real ship, so I'm happy with the overall result, even if it looks a bit rough and ready in an unpainted format. I enjoy doing these conversions and have plans for some more to create an early Russian Baltic force based on some of the French ironclads in the Tumbling Dice range. In the meantime, I've also based and undercoated two more of the Kalamazoo class twin turret monitors, USS Nebraska and USS Massachusetts. 

La Ultima Cruzada

A few years ago I had a brief flirt with the Spanish Civil War, played a couple of game of Bayonet and Ideology 2 at the club and assembled a few packs of 15mm Peter Pig figures, only for the whole thing to fall by the wayside as often happens with these things. Today I found a digital version of  Bob Cordery's excellent wargamers guide to the Spanish Civil War, so downloaded a copy and have been reading through it over the last three hours or so. 

This has sparked my interest again but I wasn't keen on BAIT so am looking for an alternative. I did consider Chain of Command back then but think that the 15mm figures would be better on multiple bases for company level wargames, so I'm now more likely to be going down a Nordic Weasel route, possibly using Fivecore Company Command, the AK47 rules variant Mexicanski 36 or even I Ain't Been Shot Mum. It's all a bit sketchy and will probably never happen but it's worth a bit more thought?

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Fistful of Lead Reloaded Revisited

The Fajitas Brothers Banditos
Rico, Tico, Chico, Mongo and Loco

The Rev Ullysses T. Boggs and Lawmen

The Long Arm of the Law

I've booked a table at the club for next week, for a game of Fistful of Lead Reloaded, as the sprog wanted to give it a try. I was very surprised to find that, after a troll back through the blog, the last game that I played was way back in 2015! How did that happen? Anyway, I'll be digging out my figures and terrain, of which I have a good selection, so that I can play through two or three gunfight scenarios. The two rival posse will be the Fajitas Brothers - Rico, Tico, Chico, Loco, Mongo et al - and the lawman posse of the Reverend Ullysses T.Boggs.

I was thinking of using my homemade desert terrain board but it's warped having been stored in the garden shed, after The Management complained about it being in the house. I think I will eventually have to make a proper 3' x 3' board to replace it or at least some terrain tiles to match my existing scenery. I will, however, be setting out my cactus terrain bits that I made ages ago but have never actually used, so at least one scenario will be set way out in the Badlands. I'm really looking forward to a bit of good old fashioned gunfighting as Fistful of Lead is one of my favourite sets of rules and always delivers the action. Brilliant!

I'll be off to watch some Westerns now...yee ha!

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Achtung Spitfire!

I've made some good progress on the 1/285th Spitfire Vb's over the last day or so, with most of the blocking in done and only the canopies and black lining to sort out, before they will be ready for the decals. They're a bit rough around the edges at this stage but they should clean up fine, especially after the back lining stage when it all starts to work together. Fingers crossed! 

Norman No Mates

I finally bit the bullet and have sold off my incomplete SAGA Norman warband, which I've only used a couple of times and really didn't feel like finishing. I was never happy with the painting, which I did over the holidays with a very basic set of paints, although the basing wasn't bad. I've sold them to a chap at the club, so they'll be used there rather than re-sold on eBay, which is a good result and may well lead to some more SAGA games. I'll now have to paint a new army which I'll try to do at some point this year, based on the Gripping Beast Welsh warband that I bought ages ago, with some extra figures to bulk it up to a full six points.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

US North Atlantic Squadron Extras

USS Guerriere and USS Ajax

I've added two more warships to my expanding 1/2400th scale North Atlantic Squadron c1870, the first being the Java class cruiser, USS Guerriere, and the second being the Canonicus class monitor, USS Ajax. The USS Guerriere is a very lightly adapted screw frigate, HMS Galatea, from the Tumbling Dice range, which is close enough to be a visual match once the strake is sanded down and the stern carved back. I will probably add one more screw frigate or a sloop to the squadron, possibly the USS Franklin, although the four funnel fast steam frigate USS Florida would be even better (assuming I can do a conversion or a scratch build?)

USS Ajax (front) USS Catskill (back)

The USS Ajax was originally intended to be a second Passaic class monitor but I miscalculated the length and it ended up a too long compared to my earlier cut and shut conversion. Instead of starting all over again, I decided to rearrange the position of the stack and add a steam pipe, to create a Canonicus class monitor instead. The base model is once again the USS Dictator from the Tumbling Dice range. The actual USS Ajax was attached to the North Atlantic Squadron in 1874-75 too, so it's a good addition to the fleet.

(in case you were wondering, they're not painted yet, just base coated)

Monday, 17 February 2020

Spit and Polish

I've finished the camouflage pattern on the thirteen 1/285th scale Spitfire Vb's and have given them an overall coat of Future based ink wash to blend it all in and add some definition. I've also unmasked the fuselage bands and will tidy them up when I paint the prop bosses. The next big thing is to paint the canopies, which is always a bit hit and miss, especially when it comes to adding the canopy framing in fine black. I know that thirteen is unlucky for some but I'm hoping that it doesn't include me?

1/2400th French Fleet Reinforcements

I'm almost at the point that I can run a full fleet action in 1/2400th scale, with my French and British ironclads re-enacting a Trafalgar 2. However, I still have some scope to add half a dozen or so ironclads to the French battle line, which would really make a difference to the overall scenario scale. I have the Normandie and Invincible (ASV41) to start with, both sister ships of Gloire but relatively short lived due to their unseasoned wooden hulls, together with up to six more of the Provence class (ASV44) ironclads. I can also add a second Ocean class ironclad as well (ASV130). I have most of the models already but will order a few more of the Provence class to top up the numbers, so that I can paint them after finishing the US North Atlantic Squadron monitors, which I'm working on at the moment in between the Bag the Hun stuff.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Spitfire Camouflage

It's the half term holidays, so I'm planning to get the 1/285th scale Spitfires painted over the week, overlapping with the FW-190's and Bf-109's once I'm at the decal stage in a few days time. We have family visiting this weekend, however, so I've only just managed to start on the camouflage pattern, although this has been less fiddly than I remember from the last time I tried doing it. The problem is getting the pattern consistent across all thirteen fighters, which takes a bit more time and effort than just slapping it on. When I have finished the planes will have an overall coat of Future based ink wash, after which I can do the canopies, prop boss, leading edge recognition strip and all the other details. Tally Ho!

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Sandbox Skirmish Oil Derrick

I was ordering some more 20mm x 60mm laser cut bases from Warbases yesterday and wanted to bump up the order to make it worth the postage. I had a rummage around and found this radio mast in the 28mm Route 66 range, which I thought would be good as an oil derrick in 15mm for my Skirmish Sandbox project. I'd thought about using a wind pump model for this but the radio mast, with a bit of conversion work, would be much better. I think I'll just leave the top bit off, add a mid stage level and fit a bit of brass rod as the oil drill in the centre of the derrick, together with some sort of hut at the base and a few resin barrels. It should look not unlike an actual desert oil derrick if I get it right?

Friday, 14 February 2020

NEWSFLASH - Mpongo in Power in Mbote (MBC)

MDF Presidential Guard - The Green Welly Brigade

From our MBC correspondent in Mpongoville

After protracted diplomatic negotiations the former President of the Democratic Republic of Mbote, General Papi Mpongo, has been reinstated as leader of the nation, with the full backing of the Mbote Defence Force and People's Volunteer Army militia. In an official ceremony at the presidential palace, General Mpongo, was sworn in as head of state by the acting leader of the government, Dr Phat Whalet, Minister of Finance. In honour of President Mpongo's return from exile, a military parade by elite units of the MDF led by the Presidential Guard has been held in the capital.

Long Live Mpongo! 

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Cut and Shut USS Catskill Conversion

I have had a go at cutting up a Tumbling Dice USS Dictator monitor and gluing it back together, minus its mid section, to create something approximating a Passaic class monitor in 1/2400th scale. I think this has worked out quite well, given that the starting model isn't exactly accurate, and it wasn't too difficult to do. I have another spare USS Dictator to chop up, so will have a go at that over the weekend, with the one I've done taking the role of USS Catskill which served with the North Atlantic Squadron in the 1870's. It's also a spitting image of the Russian Uragan class monitors that served in the Baltic from 1865 onwards, so I could convert some more for use in my 'What If?' games. 

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Broadside and Ram Game Photos

I had a very enjoyable evening at the club yesterday, running two games of Broadside and Ram to introduce the rules to some of the naval wargaming enthusiasts. After some initial scepticism, the overall impression was very positive, which means more games will definitely be appearing in the not too distant future. I ran the Hunt the Rochambeau! scenario first to warm things up. This ended in a fairly decisive French victory, the Rochambeau having rammed HMS Warrior amidships and the Couronne narrowly escaping from HMS Captain. 

In the second game, the Battle of La Baie d'Audierne, the Royal Navy managed to shatter two of the French ironclads and cripple or silence several more, but allowed six of the eight to slip through the net past La Torche and away to Lorient for urgent repairs. The blockade was still very much in evidence, however, so it was probably a victory for the Senior Service, with little damage inflicted on the blockading squadron and La Royale still bottled up. I took a divisional command in this scenario, with the four freshly painted Prince Consort class ironclads actually doing quite well!

In the game, we tangled with the knotty issue of ramming once again. In principle, my ramming mechanism worked well, except for the aftermath when it all ended up in a bit of a stalemate. It also highlighted the need for a caveat to cover neither side winning the 'ram off'. So, I have amended my tweak with the post-ramming manoeuvre being available to either ship (move up to 2'' to break free, counts as a turn in the turn phase costing 1AP, ramming ship reverses, rammed ship moves forward or backward). If neither side wins the ramming roll, then both ships are damaged but may continue normal movement next turn, as they have 'glanced off' rather than locked together.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Osprey British Aircraft Carriers 1939-45

That should be fun to paint?

I'm reading this at the moment, with my plan to build a second 1/3000th scale early war WW2 fleet firmly in mind, although the Italians and Japanese are also in the running. The neat thing about this is that it combines my two wargaming interests, naval and air wargaming, in one project package so to speak. I have all the Navwar and Davco 1/3000th scale models I need for an early war British fleet for the Mediterranean already, with an order of 1/600th scale Swordfish and Fulmars winging it's way from Tumbling Dice right now, so this could be my next big project after the Bag the Hun game day stuff is stowed away, especially as it's one of the things on the 'to do' list for 2020.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Royal Navy Ironclads Finished

I managed to get the four 1/2400th scale broadside ironclads finished along with HMS Black Prince, although it all ended up as a bit of a last minute rush and not as neat and shipshape as I'd have liked. I will be able to use HMS Ocean, HMS Royal Oak, HMS Prince Consort and HMS Caledonia in the game tomorrow night, as a separate division to back up the fleet. I now need to get cracking on the Spitfires before I run out of time!

Brigade Models Small Scale Range

Castel de San Antonio

Fort Boyard

Spitbank Fort

Beachy Head Lighthouse

The parcel of Brigade Models 1/1000th scale scenery items arrived today, so I wasted no time matching them up with a 1/2400th scale Tumbling Dice HMS Warrior model, for an instant scale comparison. I don't know about you but to my eye they look a bit too big for my 1/2400th scale naval games, which is a real shame but not the end of the world.

The model of Castel De San Antonio, of which I have a couple (SSS-8081), is particularly splendid and I could deck it out with some of the fortress guns that I also ordered with the buildings. I also really like the model of Fort Boyard (SSS-8038) which would be great as a harbour defence fortification for Victorian ironclad scenarios. I'm pleased with these and would order more but it's a real shame that they're not half the size. I will just have to expand into 1/1200th Napoleonic  naval instead!


Bag The Hun (473) AK47 (354) Books (353) Ironclads (220) Back of Beyond (201) Wings at War (169) What a Tanker (161) Bolt Action (159) Coastal Warfare (156) Old West (122) Chain of Command (120) Bag The MiG (113) Pirates (111) Target Locked On (110) MiG Alley (104) Britain's Small Wars (96) 15mm Sci-Fi / Near Future (89) VBCW (89) Sandbox Skirmish (80) Fistful of Lead (78) Shows (74) Darkest Africa (73) Knights of the Sky (70) Victory at Sea (69) BKC (65) Indo China / Vietnam (64) Rapid Fire (60) Pre-Dreadnoughts (59) Saga (57) Napoleonic Naval (54) Boardgames (53) Saurian Safari (53) IABSM (47) Gladiators (44) France's Small Wars (43) Journals (43) Flashpoint Taiwan (42) Flashpoint Baltic (41) Flashpoint Alto Cenepa (38) The Football War (38) Naval Thunder (34) Post Apocalypse (31) Atlantic Wall (30) Iron Cow (29) Normandy Firefight (27) Full Thrust (25) Air War C21 (24) Lion Rampant (24) Mexican Revolution (24) ACW (23) Fortifications (23) Samurai (23) Desert Spitfires (22) Cold War (21) PITS (20) 28mm English Civil War (19) Achtung Kommando! (19) Flashpoint PVO (18) Iron Cross (18) Find Fix and Strike (17) Galactic Heroes (17) Aircraft (15) Rate of Fire (15) Strontium Dog (15) Imaginations (14) Imperial Commander (14) International Naval Wargaming Day (14) Aliens (13) Black Ops (13) Dragon Rampant (13) Congo (12) SCW (12) Aeronef (11) CY6 Jet Age (11) Gaslands (11) Impetus (11) The Men Who Would Be Kings (11) Flashpoint Fleet Air Arm (10) Naval Command (10) 633 Squadron (9) Scramble for Britain (9) Sharp Practice (9) 28mm Future Wars (8) Adventures in Jimland (8) Ancients (8) Dux Britanniarum (8) Zulus! (8) Cry Havoc (7) French Indian Wars (7) Frostgrave (7) Ancient Naval (5) Five Men at Kursk (5) Flames above the Falklands (5) Three Musketeers (5) Arab Revolt (4) Duel of Aces (4) English Civil War / Anglo Dutch War Naval (4) French Resistance (4) HYW (4) In Her Majesty's Name (4) Maurice (4) Star Wars Legion (4) HOTT (3) Check Your Six! (2) Crom (2) Disposable Heroes (2) Fire and Steel (2) Gangsters (2) Iron Stars (2) Lethal Skies (2) Luft 46 (2) NUTS! (2) No Go Zone (2) Shipwreck! (2) War in El Dorado (2) 2mm ECW (1) Air War Over Khalkhin Gol (1) Battlegroup (1) Dropzone Commander (1) Hind Commander (1) Missile Threat (1) Red Actions! (1) Sturmovik Commander (1) Through The Mud and Blood (1) Thud Ridge (1) Ultracombat Normandy (1)