In advance of my Vietnam 15mm Bohica platoon level project next year, I've ordered a shed load of the Peter Pig NVA figures to form one-half of my forces. I already have some of the older NVA figures but the newer range is much more varied and has a lot more options, so I decided to start from scratch rather than use my existing figures, which I will repurpose with some head swaps as additional Viet Cong or use for AK47. I'm really looking forward to building, basing and painting the PAVN / NVA platoon and its supporting elements including HMG teams, mortars, snipers and sappers. It's all slated for some point in 2023 but, in the meantime, I'm going to spend the next couple of months on more naval projects, including the pre-dreadnought era Argentinian cruisers that I'm now painting.
Monday, 31 October 2022
Sunday, 30 October 2022
Saturday, 29 October 2022
I bought the Bohica platoon-level Vietnam War skirmish rules at Colours last month, as I'd heard good things about them and liked what I read on the FB group. The plan is to do this in 15mm using Peter Pig figures and vehicles, with Hexon terrain tiles to make things easy to set up and manage for terrain. I'll need to paint a couple of platoons, one USMC and one either VC or NVA, for which I already have some figures in the lead pile, together with some vehicles, civilians, buildings and terrain pieces. It's not a lot but at my usual slow ace it will probably take quite a while to get sorted, so I'll be spreading it out over several months rather than trying to do it all in one go. This will likely be one of the two land-based projects that I'll be tackling next year but I'm already sorting out the planning for this, so that I can get in up and running as soon as possible in 2023.
Friday, 28 October 2022
One of the problems when tackling the Argentinian and Chilean pre-dreadnought project has been the limited number of models available in 1/2400th from Tumbling Dice, at least at the moment. The Chileans are fairly well catered for but the Argentinians have to be assembled from various proxy models, with the Garibaldi Class cruisers being the obvious example. I have, however, been able to raid the Japanese range for two protected cruisers, both Elswick designs that are useable as Chilean and Argentinian warships.
The Japanese cruiser Chitose is close enough to the Chilean cruiser Chacabuco to be useable, especially as a very similar design, a sister ship of the cruiser Takasago, was sold to Chile instead of to Japan in 1902. In a similar fashion, the Japanese cruiser Yoshino is a reasonable match for the Argentinian cruiser Nueve de Julio, being itself an improved design based on the Argentinian cruiser Vienticinco de Mayo of 1891. I've now assembled and based both of these models ready to paint alongside the Garibaldi class cruisers.
Thursday, 27 October 2022
After a brief holiday break in Barcelona, I'm back at the workbench to base and paint the four Garibaldi class armoured cruisers for the Argentinian squadron. These are now drying out after the base texturing and will be undercoated when they're ready, so that I can start painting them tomorrow. The aim is to get them done by the end of the weekend, when I'll be starting the next naval project for November.
Tuesday, 25 October 2022
I've got a bit carried away with the US pre-dreadnought project, so much so that I now have fourteen models to paint, which is far more than the three or four I originally planned to do. I've now decided, in the interests of actually getting something finished by the end of the month, to change tack and paint the four Argentinian armoured cruisers that I now have on the workbench instead.
This is a lot more manageable and will also mean I can actually play a game or two against my Chilean squadron before the end of the year, if it all goes according to plan? The US pre-dreadnought warships will be put aside for the moment but will return in 2023 as a full project in their own right, probably with the Spanish or even the Japanese as a counterpart for some pre-dreadnought wargaming.
Sunday, 23 October 2022
This is something I've thought about for quite a few years, as an obvious extension of my early war French and Italian naval projects, but an after-action report on the Naval Wargames (Historical) FB group yesterday really caught my attention.
This was a scenario played out using Find, Fix and Strike, my preferred set of rules, and Navwar 1/3000th scale ships, so exactly the sort of thing I like to do. I'm away at the moment, in Barcelona of all places, but will be ordering the Republican and Nationalist fleets when I get back. This is a relatively small outlay with lots of destroyers, a handful of cruisers and a couple of battleships, so cheap, quick to paint and easy to use for small scale 'skirmish' level scenarios. Excellent!
Friday, 21 October 2022
Thursday, 20 October 2022
Wednesday, 19 October 2022
Over the years that I've been wargaming, I've gradually moved away from land-based themes to the point at which the vast majority of my projects are naval or air wargaming in focus. There aren't many periods or subjects for terrestrial wargaming that grab my attention for long enough to make them viable projects, to be honest, and I'm much more of an occasional dabbler as a result. There are exceptions, however, the Back of Beyond being one of them, as it grabbed my attention many years ago and has still clung on.
As a result, I'm intending to revive my Back of Beyond wargaming next year, with a new army to give it a re-boot. To help build up some momentum I've ordered a copy of Setting the East Ablaze 2nd Edition, which I am going to use as impetus for building either a Chinese Warlord or Turkish army. At the club, we've always used Contemptible Little Armies by Chris Peers but, as I'm not attending the club anymore for various reasons, I'm free to go my own way. I did get the first edition of the rules when they were published but no one at the club wanted to try them out, so they went to eBay.
I've heard and seen a lot of good things about Setting the East Ablaze, so I'm looking forward to trying them out, initially with my Bolsheviks and Oil Prospecting expedition armies, while I assemble and paint the Chinese Warlord or Turkish forces. I'm even thinking of scratch-building another armoured train out of Lego bricks and plastic card, assuming the Chinese Warlord army is the project focus. Who knows? It won't be for a while yet, however, as I have lots of naval and air wargaming stuff to do and a back log of projects to clear from the workbench.
Tuesday, 18 October 2022
After some thought, I've decided to paint my US Navy pre-dreadnought cruisers and battleships in wartime colours, which allows me to use them for the Spanish American War as well as for my fictitious 'What If?' Chile - Argentina conflict set in the mid-1890's. The wartime scheme for US warships was an overall battle gray shade, with a distinctive blue tinge that I am going to try and replicate using Vallejo French Mirage Blue and Field Blue, with some Army Pinter Fog Grey for the highlights. I'm not sure if that will work, as it may be too blue, but it's a bit of an experiment so we'll have to wait and see. If you have any better ideas or paint combinations, I'd love to hear your ideas!
Monday, 17 October 2022
Sunday, 16 October 2022
One of the chaps on the Wings at War FB group was kind enough to send me a scan of this set of two-page rules for convoy strike missions in WW2 (thanks Marcus). They are designed for multiplayer club games and are really rather nifty, with a hex-based movement and combat system that is simple yet elegant in design. The article even includes a guide to making your own hex cloth, which is worth a look even without the rules themselves.
The author, Dillon Brown, used 1/600th scale Tumbling Dice aircraft and 1/1200th ship models for his games, so both cheap and quick to get up and running. Although designed for Beaufighter rocket and torpedo attacks on German convoys off Norway or in the Bay of Biscay, they could be adapted to all sorts of situations, as suggested in the article. I quite like the idea of using Whirlwinds myself. A very interesting little set of rules indeed!
Saturday, 15 October 2022
It's been a busy day but I have now assembled and based the two Chilean "What If?" battleships, Libertad and Constitucion, as additions to my Chilean naval squadron. If these had been deployed for real, they would have wiped the floor of any Argentinian opposition, but might have had a hard time when confronted by contemporary US warships in the same class.
Friday, 14 October 2022
I did a stock check of my 1/2400th scale leadpile yesterday, while looking for something else, and realised that I have the makings of a pretty comprehensive WW1 Black Sea Turkish fleet. In fact, I thought to myself, why not use it as the basis of a WW1 naval project, instead of the much more expansive and expensive Russo-Japanese War idea? I'd need a couple more Turkish ships and the Russians have only a handful at present, but it wouldn't be a major effort. As for rules, I have VAS Age of Dreadnoughts and NT Clash of Dreadnoughts for starters, with plenty of other options available. It's definitely worth more than a passing thought.
Thursday, 13 October 2022
I've been thinking about how to use torpedoes in Wings at War games, partly inspired by Korean War Skyraider missions to blow up North Korean dams, but mainly because it's not been done before and would be really good fun. Here are my initial, very sketchy ideas:
The USN pre-dreadnought West Coast cruiser squadron has now been assembled, with one or two minor changes including USS Texas being put aside and the cruisers USS Atlanta, USS Boston, USS Nevada and USS Marblehead, added to the line up. I now need to texture the bases and undercoat the ships, ready for painting next week.
Wednesday, 12 October 2022
Tuesday, 11 October 2022
I painted a complete Beja army for The Men Who Would Be Kings in 2020 but was really disappointed with the finish on the bases, so put the whole lot away for a rainy day. At the weekend, the weather was a bit wet, so I dug out a few of the figures and had a go at sorting out the bases. I wanted to see if I could make them less of a brown shade and more like a rocky desert in appearance, without having to repaint the whole lot.
A heavy drybrush and some stippling with Vallejo Iraqi Sand and they look a lot better, so with a few tufts and scrub added, I think we're back in the Beja business. I have to finish off one unit and add some detailing, eyes, mouths, beads and so on, then they will be ready to use for a game, assuming that next year I paint up some Egyptians or British for them to massacre!
Monday, 10 October 2022
As a response to Argentinian naval expansion, the Chilean government ordered two pre-dreadnought battleships from British yards, the Libertad and Constitucion. In the end, these were bought by the British government and became HMS Swiftsure and HMS Triumph, as the naval arms race between Chile and Argentina was suspended after British mediation. If they had been delivered, they would have made a powerful force for the Chileans to deploy, tipping the scales firmly toward regional naval superiority. I have two of the models from a bundle I acquired second hand, so will be assembling them and painting them up for a 'What If?' addition to the Chilean fleet.
Sunday, 9 October 2022
I've made a good start to the second phase of the pre-dreadnought project, with the US squadron well underway. Thus far I've assembled two battleships, USS Maine and USS Texas, two cruisers, USS Baltimore and USS Charleston, one monitor, USS Monterey, and one gunboat, USS Yorktown, the latter my favourite of the lot. I may not include all of these in the painting plan, as I still have at least another two cruisers and a gunboat to build, with several further options to choose from. I'll wrap up the assembly stage tomorrow and get started on the basing.
After a bit of further research, I realised that I could put together an Argentinian cruiser squadron to use against the Chilean squadron that I've just painted. The Argentinians had four Guiseppe Garibaldi class armoured cruisers, which are available from Tumbling Dice in the Italian range, so I've ordered four to use as the core of a cruiser squadron. These will be the Garibaldi, the General Belgrano, the Puerredion and the San Martin. The Argentinians also had four early Yarrow torpedo boat destroyers of the Corienetes class, which were based on HMS Havock, for which I can use the Spanish Terror class model as it's close enough to pass muster.