Sunday, 31 January 2021

First Draft - Playtest One

I ran a playtest this afternoon to try out the Jet Knights of the Sky rules, using my 1/600th scale aircraft and battle worn, moth eaten old Hotz hex mat. The game set up included a Peruvian SU-22 fighter bomber being intercepted by an Ecuadorian Mirage F1C. This was an enlightening experience as it turned up an immediate issue with the missile firing arcs and lines of fire, which are based on the Bag the Hun system. A turning close range dogfight developed which denied both pilots a chance to fire their missiles, although the SU-22 did get a burst of cannon fire on to the Mirage, causing only minor wing and fuselage damage.

I have now changed the missile firing diagrams to fix the problem, using a target zone rather than a forward line of fire, which should make it easier to get a missile lock on both at short and long range. I didn't use this system in the initial draft of the rules, as I thought it would make it too easy to sit back and fire missiles at long range, but it's better than the current arrangement and should be an improvement. I have also extended the firing range of cannon from two to three hexes but have retained the linear firing diagram, as I don't think cannon can fire along diagonal lines!

I'll try out these tweaks tomorrow, if I get the time, to see how they work?

Jet Knights of the Sky Korea

I've been thinking of developing another version of the Jet Knights of the Sky rules for the Korean War, using 1/144th scale models and focused on MiG Alley. This would need a new altitude and speed calculation method, together with a more specific set of damage tables and a revised gunnery chart, but wouldn't be too difficult to do. The aircraft would be limited to the F-86 Sabre and MiG-15, both of which are readily available and relatively cheap, the first from Trumpeter and the second from Eduard. This would be a solo project rather than a club effort but it's a nicely self contained project and a bit of fun fort the sprogs.

Saturday, 30 January 2021

Kit Build - Dutch F-16A

I haven't had time to start building any 1/144th scale kits for the project yet, but have now decided to glue together two Revell F-16A's and paint them up as Dutch aircraft. I could have chosen Belgian, Danish, Norwegian or USAFE schemes, but as I already have some Dutch decals I thought it was an obvious choice. The advantage of the F-16 is that it's a simple camouflage scheme and the kit is also relatively straightforward to construct, so it shouldn't take too long. It will also be good to get back to the workbench after all that word processing and DTP! 

First Draft - Cut and Paste Playtesting

To enable some of the club to have a go at playtesting the Jet Knights of the Sky Rules, I've bodged together a print, cut out and pritstick together playtesting kit, which can be enlarged to A3 for an even more cinematic, Top Gun style experience. There are three aircraft included in the set, an RAF Jaguar GR.1, a Luftwaffe F4F Phantom and a Soviet MiG-21bis 'Fishbed', which should give players a variety of flight profiles and capabilities. It will also give me a good idea about the relative strengths and weaknesses of different types of aircraft, as well as a grip on the balance of the game. In the end, the playtesting is where it will either stand up or fall down, with some idea of how the game performs as a set or rules but also as an experience, enjoyable or otherwise?

Friday, 29 January 2021

First Draft - Aircraft Sheets Assembled

I've finished the rest of the aircraft record sheets for Jet Knights of the Sky but may well add a couple more later like the SU-25 and Blackburn Buccaneer. I'm thinking of changing the blog to Jim's Wargames Wordprocessor, although the vast majority of the keyboard bashing has now been done, so it's on to the playtesting!

Thursday, 28 January 2021

Air Battle Central Europe

I'm re-reading this at the moment, in search of inspiration for potential scenarios, using the Jet Knights of the Sky rules. I'm planning to do some playtesting at the weekend, having finished half a dozen more of the aircraft record sheets, some of which I can use with my 1/600th scale Peruvian and Ecuadorian aircraft. I just hope that after all the effort over the last week or so, that the rules actually work?

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Royal Navy Navwar Reinforcements

The extra bits and bobs that I ordered from Navwar arrived today including HMS Tiger and a variety of frigates and fleet auxiliaries. I've been unexpectedly side tracked by the Cold War air rules but will find some time to base this little lot up as soon as I can. 

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

First Draft - More Aircraft Sheets: Mirage F1C / Harrier GR3

Flight Stand How To

You will need:

A magnetic pickup tool:|ps_1_2173

A pack of four 90mm x 3mm laser cut hex bases from Warbases.

A 7mm or 6.5mm drill bit. 

PVA glue



Spray Paint

Brown or Desert colour acrylic paint. 

Basing sand, flock and scatter. 

1. Glue and clamp together three of the four bases and leave to dry.

2. When dry, drill a 7mm hole right through the middle of the sandwiched bases (you could use a 6.5mm drill bit then ream out the hole for a tighter fit)

3. Glue the fourth base onto the bottom of the sandwiched bases, clamp and leave to dry.

4. Spray base coat the assembled base. If you just want to have it painted, you should then sand it down and respray in your chosen colour. 

5. Add basing sand, then paint and dtybrush in a suitable shade (I used Warpaints Brown)

6. Add static grass, flock, scatter or whatever you like to decorate the base.

7. Use superglue to fix the stand in place, taking care to remove the screw in finial first.

You could just slot the stand in but it tends to wobble, so it's probably better to fix it in place with glue. 

Monday, 25 January 2021

Flight Stand Finished

I finished the prototype light weight flight stand over the weekend. I've glued in the magnetic extendable pick up tool to make it less wobble prone, having given up my futile attempts to make it detachable. 

Sunday, 24 January 2021

MiG-21SMT 1/144th


After all that complicated number crunching, head scratching and table formatting, I thought it would be a good idea to actually have a decent MiG-21 model, so I now have two thanks to eBay, where I was able to get the Eduard Dual Combo kit for a very decent price. Splendido!

Friday, 22 January 2021

First Draft - Rules Editing

The first draft of the Jet Knights of the Sky TM rules has now been set out to players for feedback and I've already been busy editing it into Draft 1.1, with a few tweaks of my own and some changes suggested by the original author of the WW1 rules. It's all going in the right direction but I do need to sketch out aircraft record sheets for at least two different fighters, in order to rationalise how the actual performance of each type translates into the numbers used in the game. 

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Sepecat Jaguar 1/144th

The latest box on top of the kit pile is an Academy 1/144th scale Sepecat Jaguar, which I'm going to build and paint as a French Jaguar A. The kit is really nice even though it's an old one but the four missiles it is provided with are way over scale and not at all realistic. I'm thinking of replacing them with a couple of spare AA-2 Atolls, to represent Sidewinders or Matra Magics, then adding a Phimat chaff/flare pod and a Barax jammer on the other pylons, although I'll have to make these myself. 


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