Thursday 30 June 2022

Commando Miniatures Arab Regulars


I needed some bases and dice frames for the flight stands for the Falklands Air War project, so put in an order with Warbases the other day. To make the postage worthwhile, I also bundled in some Commando Miniatures 28mm Arab Regular figures, on the pretext that I already have some British figures from the same range but no opposition. The figures are actually pretty good, with the sculpting and poses better than the British infantry that I already have. 

The thinking behind this is to set up two squad level forces for an imaginary 1960's, counterfactual conflict in somewhere not quite like Aden or Oman, with the Arab figures playing the part of the Arab Nationalist bad guys (or good guys, depending on your point of view). A cheap and cheerful project that I can use my existing 28mm Old West and Back of Beyond terrain, on a different level to my 15mm Sandbox Skirmish project.

Tuesday 28 June 2022

Falklands Warships


You can't really do the air war over the Falklands without some warships, so I have ordered some 1/2400th scale Royal Navy targets from the Seawulf Range that is sold by QRF. These aren't great and are showing their age a bit, but they do have a bit more heft than the other option, which is to use Navwar 1/3000th scale models. The latter are cheaper but not as good as the larger, more detailed 1/2400th scale Seawulf models, especially for the likes of HMS Fearless and Atlantic Conveyor. I'll see how well they paint up and, if they don't look right, I'll just revert to the Navwar tiddly ships.

Monday 27 June 2022

INWarD 2022

A certain Mr D.Manley Esq. has reminded me that it's International Naval Wargaming Day in a few weeks time, so I've been planning ahead for a suitable game to play, bearing in mind I'll be away in Brittany as usual. This year I'm thinking of a War of the Pacific scenario for Dahlgren and Columbiad, but its not set in stone so may well be something else? Who knows, but I'm sure it will be as much fun as always and a great excuse for a game almost certainly using my 1/2400th scale ironclads. 

Sunday 26 June 2022

Falklands AirWar:C21


To get the most mileage out of the aircraft I'm painting for Flames Above the Falklands, I'm going to use them with Air War C21, which is a set of rules I've had for years but have never tried out. There's a very handy Falklands War  scenario supplement for the rules which will be great for starters, with the added advantage that it's a hex less system, so I can use my sea cloth, which I'll be taking with me on holiday for naval wargaming. I'm really  looking forward to test driving the rules once I've finished the models and sorted out some bases. 

Where have all the games gone?

You may have noticed a distinct tailing off of actual wargaming here over the last few weeks, for which I apologize but can explain. I've been really busy with work and domestic stuff of late, so despite having a day off mid-week I've been unable to use it for any actual games, while the weekends and evenings are soaked up with dad taxi runs, household chores are so on. I've also given up going to the local club for the foreseeable, as it now costs a fiver a pop and I can't really justify the cost for a few hours playing games that I'm not really interested in. Anyway, fear not, as I'm planning to get some proper gaming in over the summer and, in the meantime, focus on shifting more projects off through the workbench!

Saturday 25 June 2022

Falklands FAA Camouflage

I've started on the camouflage for the Argentinian Air Force planes today, with an overall basecoat in either Tan Earth or Reflective Green. This will be over-painted with the rest of the camouflage shades, from dark to light, so it's really just a key for the main pattern. I will crack on with that tomorrow, as it's a bit more fiddly and will take time to get right. It's surprising how long a simple base coat takes to apply but you have to get this bit right otherwise there are numerous headaches later on!


I had a tip off that these new rules for Vietnam skirmish to platoon level games are pretty good, so I thought I'd take a closer look. They're based on the Danger Close two-page, fast-play modern rules but with lots of additional tweaks for Vietnam. Although designed for 28mm I don't think there would be any problem using them for 15mm.

Thursday 23 June 2022



I haven't had much time over the last couple of days for any wargaming pursuits, primarily due to an unplanned round trip down to Plymouth and back in my day off, so the Falklands Air War project is temporarily on hold until the weekend. To make up for this, I'm expanding my Argentinian Air Force line up to include the eight A-4B/C Skyhawks that I have already prepared, as well as magnet basing and undercoating six A-4Q Skyhawks for the Argentinian navy which arrived in the post from Tumbling Dice a few days ago. I do like a Skyhawk!

Tuesday 21 June 2022

AK47 Facebook Group 350+

I'm very pleased to reveal that the AK47 Facebook group that I set up about six weeks ago has now passed the 350 members mark, which is pretty good for a set of rules that is over thirty years old. There's lots of really good stuff on the group, with plenty of posts covering all sorts of AK47 related topics, from terrain to rules queries, army lists and game reports. I'm hoping that it will continue to grow and really revive some interest in a great set of rules that don't take themselves too seriously but still give a really enjoyable game.

Monday 20 June 2022

Falklands Argentinian Air Force Fighter Bombers

Here's the next lot of 1/600 aircraft for the Falklands Air War project, in the shape of four IAI Dagger fighter bombers and six Mirage IIIEA interceptors of the Fuerza Aerea Argentina. The latter should really have wing tanks but they are not supplied with the model and I am not too bothered to go to all the faff of adding them. The Skyhawks will follow later, both for the army and navy once I've cleaned up and magnet based a few more. I'm hoping to get this lot painted over the next week or so, time and work permitting. 

Sunday 19 June 2022

1/600th Sea Harriers Sorted


The four early war Sea Harriers are now finished and ready to be scrambled, so I will now move onto some FAA Daggers and Mirage III's. I'm quite happy with the SHAR's although you can't really go wrong with all over Dark Sea Grey? Sorry about the crap photos...rubbish phone!

Saturday 18 June 2022

1/600th Sea Harrier Shades


I've just finished painting four SHAR's for the Falklands Air War project, all in the Dark Sea Grey overall camouflage scheme, which supposedly gave them the 'nom de guerre' of the La Muerte Negra or The Black Death by Argentinian pilots. I have now decided to add another four aircraft to my line up to be painted in the Medium Sea Grey scheme that replaced the darker camouflage when it was found to be ineffective. These four models have been cleaned up and magnet-based so that I can paint them alongside the four GR3 Harriers that will use the same base shade for their camouflage. In the meantime, the four aircraft I've painted today will be having their decals applied tomorrow, then varnished ready for some air-to-air action.

Friday 17 June 2022

1/2400th Austro Hungarian Pre-Dreadnoughts

I've just had a pay rise and a change of contract which makes my job more secure, so I have celebrated by adding some Tumbling Dice Austro Hungarian pre-dreadnought battleships and protected or armoured cruisers to my lead pile. These will be used as opponents for the Italian pre-dreadnoughts that I have already assembled and based. I have a nominal cut-off date of 1905 for all of my pre-dreadnought projects, so this limits the options available but does mean that it keeps the cost down when putting together an order. I also added some more Skyhawks for the Falklands project, which is ironic as that's what I was supposed to be ordering in the first place!

Wednesday 15 June 2022

AK47 Presidential Guard?

Out goes one load of lead....and in comes some new stuff (well you've got to balance the shelving somehow?). I won these three Peter Pig T-55's and Unimogs for a very good price the other day and they arrived this afternoon via the postal depot, where the postie had sent them after not being able to use a doorbell. Anyway, they are pre-assembled, need a little bit of a clean-up and some stowage, but otherwise are ready to paint. 

I'm thinking of upgrading the tank force of my dictatorship from clanky T-34/85's to slightly less clanky T-55's, the latter being the elite presidential guard or some such, with the old army surplus tanks being relegated to the regulars. It would be a quick paint job and would make good use of the T-55's, while the Unimogs will go to my big box of Colonial Settler stuff, as the army list requires at least four trucks and potentially up to seven if the political flow chart is behaving itself! 

eBay Auctions

I'm selling some more stuff on eBay this week, in an attempt to shift things that I haven't used and to clear some space on the storage shelves. This lot consists of my 15mm AK47 amphibious force, my Brigade Models 6mm Sci Fi British and a load of unpainted Brigade Models Sci Fi Chinese and Mercenary miniatures. There's also a shed load of unpainted 28mm and 15mm lead up for grabs. Go on, fill 'yer boots!

15mm Painted AK47 Republic Naval Amphibious Force with Peter Pig Crew | eBay

6mm / 1/300th FWC Brigade Models Sci Fi Chinese and Mercenary Armies | eBay

6mm / 1/300th Sci Fi Brigade Models Painted British ONESS Army | eBay

Sunday 12 June 2022

Falklands Aircraft Painting Prep


The 1/600th scale Tumbling Dice aircraft for the Falklands Air War project have now been cleaned up, magnet based and undercoated. I ended up going a bit over the top and have included four Mirage III, eight Skyhawks, four Daggers, two Etendards and a single Canberra for the Argentinians, with four Sea Harriers and four GR3 Harriers for the British. I'll start painting the RAF and FAA fighters this week. 

Saturday 11 June 2022

Falklands Wings at War Project

I've been suffering from the ever-present butterfly effect recently, finding it difficult to stick to one project long enough to get it started let alone finished. A good example would be the 28mm Perry Sudan War figures and the 1/2400th scale French pre-dreadnoughts, both of which I have assembled and base coated ready for painting, but which are now staring at me from the workbench shelves, waiting for some attention. I do want to get these underway but other things have now popped over the horizon to grab my fleeting attention, partly inspired by some new reading material.

As you are no doubt fully aware, it's the fortieth anniversary of the Falklands War this year, so I have been sorely tempted to have a crack at some Wings at War models for the Flames Above the Falklands rules. This is a tempting option, as I have all of the models and decals I need for the project, together with some appropriate 1/3000th scale ships, so it's a shoe-in as far as logistics are concerned. The initial phase will consist of four Sea Harriers, four Mirage III's, six Skyhawks and a single Canberra, which is a lovely model and a joy to paint. 

This will take the place of my Thud Ridge project this year and I'm hoping to get the first lot of models painted over the next couple of weeks or so. It seems appropriate somehow to be doing a Falklands related project and, as I have a shortage of pocket money at the moment, it's also a very cheap option for me, having stockpiled what I need in advance. The rules and also familiar, although to begin with I'm just going to use them for one-off historical engagements, using the excellent AirWar:C21 scenario supplement for Operation Corporate.

Thursday 9 June 2022

Air Battles Over the Baltic 1941


I have ordered a hardback copy of this book from Helion Publishing, as it was down to just £13.75 reduced from £55.00, post free in the latest sale. I'm hoping that it will give me some ammunition for a few Bag the Hun scenarios, in which I can make use of my 1/600th scale Soviet aircraft from the Khalkhin Gol project last year. It has some excellent reviews and from the blurb, it sounds like a fantatsic resource for the first day of Operation Barbarossa over the Baltic.

This unique work is the first in a series of publications dedicated to the condition of the air forces of the Red Army prior to the Nazi invasion of 22 June 1941.

The author describes in detail the composition and the capabilities of the Soviet aviation alignment in the Baltic Special Military District, as well as the training of flight crews and technical personnel; the number and quality of the materiel; the condition of the logistics structures, as well as the operational and tactical plans of both Soviet and German Command; and their reconnaissance operations.

By using data from Soviet and German archive documents, a chronology is recreated (along with the details) of the air battles in the skies over the Baltic region on the first day of the Great Patriotic War.

The photographs, as well as biographies, are presented of all the commanders of the divisions, regiments and of the command headquarters of the Baltic Special Military District.

More than 300 unique photographs of Soviet and German aircraft are presented (together with those of their pilots) from the Soviet and German Archives, as well as from private collections. The camouflage, markings and insignia of aircraft that participated in the air battle are recreated, and maps illustrating the bases belonging to the two warring sides (both original and those recreated from archive documents) are presented.

Wednesday 8 June 2022

ATGW's in AK47


Rules for using ATGW missiles in AK47.

Here are my suggestions for use in classic AK47, based on the premise that they would be pretty rare but quite effective. I'm thinking AT-3 Saggar, Nord SS-10, ENTAC, Vigilant and other first generation systems as being typical.
1. Points and availability as for new towed guns (only professional). No tow or vehicle included.
2. Has to do a roll to move (like RCL's) reflecting need to set up, but only if a foot group.
3. Must do a roll to fire (like an RPG) to reflect need to acquire and track a target.
4. Cannot move and fire, even when vehicle mounted (vehicle e.g. jeep, truck or APC, must be paid for)
5. Fire factors and range as for a new towed gun (but with a minimum 6" range)
6. They cause collateral damage.

Alto Cenepa Number Crunching

I realized today that I need to do some more background reading and rules adaptation for the Wings at War Alto Cenepa project, before I can run the test game that I'm thinking of setting up. The main thing I need to do is mash together the Thud Ridge rules with the Flames above the Falklands rules, to extract the relevant bits from both and to adapt the aircraft and pilot capabilities to the Peruvian and Ecuadorian forces. I'm leaving out helicopters for the moment but I still need some more work on things like IR missiles, for example, so that the different performance capabilities of the Matra Magic R550 / Shafrir II and AA-2D Atoll are accurately reflected in the rules mechanics. In the meantime, I've found this really good first-hand combat account by the Ecuadorian pilot who shot down an SU-22 during the war, which is well worth reading: 

eBay 28mm Romans and Celts


I have put this lot up for sale on eBay today, the only stuff that didn't sell last time I had a clear out, as the buyer pulled out at the last minute. It's a nice collection of stuff and perfect for Hail Caesar or similar. I think I got it for Infamy, Infamy! but I can't remember to be honest, as it was ages ago. Anyway, it's available here, if you are interested:

Tuesday 7 June 2022

Perry Sudan British Assembled


I've now glued together the twelve Sudan War British infantry for the One Hour Skirmish Wargames project, doubling up as a regular unit in The Men Who Would Be Kings. These will be undercoated next and then I can start painting them, using a slightly less conveyor belt approach than that used on the Beja army last year. I'll probably use an off white undercoat then paint up in layers after an initial overall basecoat of khaki, but it's all a bit experimental, so who knows?

Monday 6 June 2022

Wings at War Alto Cenepa 1995

Ecuadorian Air Force

Peruvian Air Force

I haven't played any Wings at War games for ages, so I'm planning a game for my day off on Wednesday using the Flames over the Falklands rules mechanisms for the Peru vs Ecuador Alto Cenepa War in 1995. I have all the aircraft models for this and have used them previously with the Target Locked On! rules, but really like the idea of Thud Ridge or Flames over the Falklands to run a few scenarios, having already played around with some numbers to work out the flight parameters:

These would be straightforward dog fights between Mirage F1's and Su22's, so nothing too complicated to start with, so that I can learn how air to air missiles work, as well as the rules for jet movement, afterburners and so on. I'll have to work out some more performance data but, apart from that it's all ready to go. Tally Ho!

Sunday 5 June 2022

AK47 Facebook Group

The AK47 Facebook group I set up a little over a month ago now has north of three hundred people signed up and is constantly expanding, with lots of active posts and discussions about the rules, modelling and wargaming. It's been a real success, so if you haven't already signed up and have an interest in the rules then please feel free to have a look. 

Saturday 4 June 2022

Merry Xmas, Mr Sankara


I was rummaging about in the rules drawers under the workbench today when I found my copy of Nick Jones' campaign system for the Agacher War - Merry Xmas, Mr Sankara - which uses Wings at War Thud Ridge for the actual wargaming. I had forgotten all about this but having had another skim through and a look at the lead pile, I think I have enough Tumbling Dice aircraft for both the sides, save for four Mi-4 Hip helicopters, the ground units and a few more Brigade Models buildings to use as targets. 

It looks like a really engaging and well-designed campaign, with lots of clever mechanisms to set up the actual games, so I'm going to have a think about doing it as a project later this year. It might even bump Thud Ridge off the list of things to do, as it requires fewer models to be painted up and has greater potential as a solo project. Anyway, I did a new colour cover for my copy of the rules just in case and you can get your own copy of the campaign rules via Wargame Vault:

Wings At War Stalin's Eagles


I have previously sketched out some plans and done some preliminary number crunching for a Wings at War variant to cover the Khalkhin Gol incident, for which I also wrote a Bag the Hun article and scenarios last year, published in the Lard Magazine.

I revisited this idea recently and have now decided to go ahead and do some more work on it, instead of another Bag the Hun article. I've done a lot of the heavy lifting for this already, have all the models painted up and will only need to make some new flight stands and ground targets, so that side of things is covered. 

I'll get started on this over the summer, with the aim being to have something to play test by the autumn. I'm going to use the WW1 Wings at War rules as a rough template but will add in some specific extras to reflect the unusual aspects of the conflict, including ramming, air to air rockets, rescuing shot down pilots and so on.

The working title....Stalin's Eagles (until I can come up with something better?)

Friday 3 June 2022

Perry Sudan British Characters

It's been a while since I assembled my 28mm Beja army for The Men Who Would Be Kings. This is the other half of the project, at least to start with, a three man command group for the 2nd Devonshire Regiment in the Sudan c1884-85. The Devonshire's didn't serve in the Sudan but could easily have done so, being one of the regiments in India that might have been deployed instead of the Royal Irish Fusiliers. I've kept them in helmets without covers, which means that I can't use them on the NW Frontier but there you go. 

These three will initially represent the characters in the One Hour Skirmish Wargame Zulu scenario, in which the Zulus will be replaced by the Fuzzy Wuzzies. I'll change the names of the characters to something more West Country too, as it seems more appropriate to have a Sgt Coombs rather than Moynihan, for example. I'll add another nine infantry to this lot next, so that I can use them for TMWWBK as a unit, not just the five needed for the scenario. 

Thursday 2 June 2022

Bulldogs Away! Finished

I finished painting the Israeli / French missile boats and the RN Leander class frigate this morning so, with the exception of the aircraft, this project is a wrap. I have enough FAC's for both sides in my imaginary South American conflict and can use the 1/600th scale planes from my Alto Cenepa project as a stop gap, so I am ready to run a game as soon as I can find some time. I've enjoyed painting these Skytrex models, not that they are the best in terms of casting quality or detail, but I'm ready to move on to the next thing, the One Hour Skirmish Wargames Sudan War project. The Bulldogs are Away! 

Half Down, Half to Go

It's now June so time for a review of the progress (or lack of it) so far. I've not done too badly over the last six months and have completed one project from my 'to do' list - the Strength and Honour Roman and Parthian armies - although have yet to try out the actual rules. A second project - the Battle of Britain Bag the Hun Finest Hour campaign - has stalled a bit, but I have painted up the fighters for both sides and only need to add the decals to be ready to play a game or two. 

I've changed one of the other projects on the list, the Ancient Naval one has been scuppered, but have replaced it with a  new one - Bulldogs Away! - which is almost complete and ready to go. A couple of new projects have also been added to the list, most recently the One Hour Skirmish colonial thing, but that's eminently manageable and not a major diversion. I've also sold off a load of 28mm stuff on eBay to clear the decks a bit and have only bought a limited amount of stuff over the last six months, trying to keep the lead pile in check. 

I've not played many games and have pretty much given up going to the local club for various reasons, so will aim to address that over the summer with some solo campaign games, no doubt with a naval and skirmish focus. I've also set up the AK47 Facebook group which has proved to be far more popular than I thought, in the space of only one month gaining 289 members, so a successful initiative as long as the momentum lasts. Not bad and there's still six months to go!

Perry Zulus


I recently sold my Warlord plastic Zulu army as I didn't like the models, so am now free to use Perry Miniatures instead for The Men Who Would Be Kings and, of course, for One Hour Skirmish Wargames. I have a box set of the Zulu War British infantry, so now have all I need for the Zulu scenario in the One Hour book, which requires only sixteen Zulus including ten with spears, three with muskets and three command or character figures. This will make an excellent little skirmish project but, in the meantime, I am going to paint up twelve British figures for the Sudan version of the scenario, which will also double up as a unit in TMWWBK. 

Wednesday 1 June 2022

One Hour Skirmish in the Sudan


I collected my copy of One Hour Skirmish Wargames from Waterstones this morning and, after a quick skim read of the Zulu War scenario in the book, I'm thinking of adapting it to the Sudan c1884-85. This would be a quick little side project as I have a Beja army already painted for The Men Who Would Be Kings, so only need to paint eight or so British infantry from the Perry plastic box set. I also have the terrain needed but would plan to glue together a blockhouse, for which I have an laser cut kit knocking about somewhere. I might even start on this at the weekend, although it's yet another tangent off course as far as my best laid plans are concerned! 


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