Sunday, 28 February 2021
Saturday, 27 February 2021
I finished the last elements of the German coastal forces this morning, with a Vorpostenboot and two Ju-88 torpedo bombers. The planes are from the now discontinued Museum Miniatures range with aerial torpedoes from Scotia Collectair. I mucked up a couple of models when assembling these, which is unusual for me and a real shame, as they can't be replaced. I can now start on the painting, which I'll probably break down into manageable sections, starting with the minesweeper.
I found the 15mm Peter Pig SCW figures yesterday and did a bit of number crunching to work out how far they would stretch. I think I have enough for two battalions plus some field artillery and heavy machine gun support units, based on the outlines given on the For Whom the Dice Rolls designer's blog but I'll need to double check when the rules arrive. It's not a bad start.
Friday, 26 February 2021
I've printed and laminated all of the turn templates and tokens for a try out game of Fighting Iron over the weekend. The plan is to set up a simple scenario involving a handful of my mid-Victorian French and British ironclads in order to get a grip on the rules and, in particular, on the firing and damage mechanisms. I have a backlog of games to play at the moment, having limited access to the dining room table, but this one is being pushed forward to the front of the queue to see how they might work with my later ironclads of the 1880's.
Thursday, 25 February 2021
Way back in 2013 I played a couple of games of Bayonet and Ideology at the club, which I thoroughly enjoyed despite not warming to the rules, so decided to build a Republican army using the then, newly expanded Peter Pig range. This hit the buffers after an initial splurge but I still have the figures and vehicles, waiting patiently for a new set if rules to reinvigorate the project.
It looks as though the wait may be over, with the publication of For Whom The Dice Rolls, which seems to be exactly what I'm after. From the overview on the blog it sounds like a fairly straightforward but well thought out system, specifically tailored to the conflict and with a reasonable head count of figures, not unlike that required for a typical AK47 army.
I think it's worth a closer look, as I have a non-specific 15mm project pencilled in for 2021 and this would be a little more interesting than a WW2 or modern option. The Peter Pig figures are great as well, with lots of character but comparatively simple to paint. I think I already have enough for two or three regiments worth plus some armoured support and transport, so it's a good basis for an affordable project.
Wednesday, 24 February 2021
I looking for something else when I found this excellent animation explaining the design and operation of the main armament of HMS Colossus, the late ironclad launched in 1882. The focus of the animation and the accompanying detailed notes is on loading and firing procedures including the operation of the turrets, hydraulic rammers and ammunition hoists. I found it all very interesting and well worth a look, especially as I have a 1/2400th scale model waiting to be painted in the next project along.
Tuesday, 23 February 2021
I've started the second phase of the Cruel Seas / Narrow Seas project with the assembly of the rather splendid M1940 minesweeper. This is mostly resin with some white metal fittings, so a quick clean up and glue together job. I quite fancy getting another one as they were often used together for convoy escort, being well armed but still reasonably manoeuvrable.
One of the things that put me off Cruel Seas to start with, aside from the fact that I already have plenty of 1/600th scale coastal forces, was the gamey focus of the rules. I like to run historical or at least historically plausible scenarios, while Cruel Seas has always seemed a bit light in this respect. I've also played Action Stations and the Schnellrules for Schnellboot rules quite a lot, so my first choice for coastal forces games with the 1/300th scale models will be Narrow Seas. These share some similarities with both of David's previous rules and are far more historical in their focus, so I think they will be an excellent option for my own games, if not for club nights.
Monday, 22 February 2021
I added some light weathering and some crew to the boats this afternoon but decided to leave the decals and flags off, so to all intents and purposes they're now finished and ready for action.
I left the decals off as they looked a bit too big and I quite like the idea of having a generic unit that can also be the 5th Flotilla. I left the flags off because they were a pain to cut out and fold, but I may go back and have another go sometime, if I can get the hang of it.
It's now onto the VP boats and R boats, together with an M Class minesweeper having decided to paint one up as well. You never know when some extra firepower might come in handy?
Sunday, 21 February 2021
I didn't get much further today but have painted and fitted the torpedoes to the boats, leaving only some crew, the decals and a bit of weathering to finish them off. As a result, I've started to set out the next phase of the Cruel Seas project, the less glamorous but very useful ancillary vessels, in the form of a heavily armed Vorpostenboot and three Raumboote. I'll get started on this lot next week.
I've had this book knocking about on the Kindle for a while so decided to give it a go, having an ongoing interest in the subject and plans to paint more late Victorian ironclads or early pre-dreadnoughts in the not too distant future. I've read some of the author's other naval history books and so I was expecting a well written, engaging and interesting read. I've not been disappointed and its given me a shove to try out the Fighting Iron rules which, incidentally, look pretty good too.
Saturday, 20 February 2021
I tackled the various gun mountings this afternoon, which I wasn't looking forward to at all, but they have come out okay in the end. I particularly like the 40mm Bofors mountings that I've used on the two converted S38b boats, which are actually US ones from the crew set. It's on to the torpedoes next then the decals and some light weathering.
Friday, 19 February 2021
The S-Boote are now shaded and have had some highlights applied, so pretty much done as far as the hulls are concerned, bar a little weathering and the decals. I'm now onto the gun mountings, crew figures and torpedoes.
Thursday, 18 February 2021
I spent quite an enjoyable hour or two this afternoon, blocking in the decks of the boats with Vallejo French Mirage Blue. They're now ready for a pin wash rather than my usual slap it all over ink wash, for which I'm thinking of using Army Painter dark tone ink wash, as a bit of an experiment.
Wednesday, 17 February 2021
I sorted out the workbench to make a start on the Cruel Seas S-Boote flotilla yesterday, with an initial block in of Vallejo Pale Grey over the original base coat of Vallejo Sky Grey. The latter was what was advised in the Cruel Seas starter set painting guide, but it looked wrong to me so I went for the lighter shade of off white, pale grey. The next thing to do is the most fiddly bit, involving blocking in the decking, for which I'll use Vallejo French Mirage Blue.
Tuesday, 16 February 2021
I'm reading this new Osprey at the moment, with my pre-dreadnoughts in mind, which is another of my projects for 2021. It's the usual format but a very good overview of the subject, if you don't fancy wading through more detailed sources, and the artwork is better than some other titles in the series. Worth a look.
Monday, 15 February 2021
I've just spent an hour or so painting the second lot of Navwar RN warships for the IndoCon project, which was a lot less straightforward than I expected.
I'm experimenting with basing then painting the models, which speeds up the first bit but slows down the second, as it's a pain in the **** trying to get a neat waterline. The castings are a bit rough too, so it's been hard getting a decent, neat finish.
Oh well, they've now been ink washed and are drying off, so that I can do some tidying up then paint the bases, which I'm hoping will pull them together a bit more?
Sunday, 14 February 2021
I completed my Wings at War MiG Alley project, give or take some minor extra bits, about a year ago. It originally started way back in the mists of 2009 (!), before I wandered off in other directions, then got hammered to semi-competion in 2018 and polished off in 2020, so it only took a little over a decade to do.
I didn't get round to actually playing a game this time last year, however, for some inexplicable reason, so I'm planning to run a few over the next week or so with my son, so that all that effort isn't wasted. The dining room table should be available as it's half term so not needed for school work, which means I can set up the terrain and get cracking.
Saturday, 13 February 2021
Friday, 12 February 2021
I'm taking a bitesized approach to painting the Royal Navy warships for my Indonesian Confrontation project, starting with the most digestible portions first. The hors d'oeuvre consists of two Oberon class subs, HMS Oberon and HMS Olympus, the former of which was on patrol during the conflict. Ideally, I'd have liked to deploy some Amphion class boats, but I haven't been able to find a model. Next up will be a tasty starter of five frigates.
Thursday, 11 February 2021
I thought I could do with some larger aircraft for my 1/144th scale Heroes of the Sky scenario hooks, so what better than a Ju-52 'Iron Annie'. Those of you who, like me, grew up reading Warlord when I was at junior school, will remember the eponymous cartoon strip along with Kampfgruppe Falken, Killer Kane and so on, which heavily influenced my interest in wargaming. I have now got hold of an Altaya 1/144th scale Ju-52 for a good price, so will repaint it in an Eastern Front camouflage scheme and add it to the line up. Excellent!
Wednesday, 10 February 2021
I've braved the freezing cold garage today to undercoat and base coat two thirds of the Royal Navy Task Force, together with a super tanker. I'm going to be taking these one step at a time, the next stage being to block in the hulls, superstructure and decks, if I can stop my teeth chattering and my fingers turning blue?