Sunday 30 June 2024

Plastic Fantastic

In the summer holidays I will have a week or so when I'll be on my own, apart from the dog, in Brittany, the rest of the family being off doing other things. This means I'll have nothing much to do apart from reading and solo wargaming, apart from walking the aforementioned mutt and the occasional dip in the sea.

I'm planning ahead for this rate interlude in the joy of parenting, with Plan A being to spend some of the time building an army (or two) in plastic. This has the advantage of being easier to do while away, much cheaper in outlay as compared to metal figures, while being quite a pleasant process at the same time. 

The current idea is to assemble a Zulu and possibly a British army for Death in the Dark Continent using the Perry Miniatures boxes. The other option is to assemble a British army for the East African campaign for Chain of Command. These both have the advantage of being compatible with the excellent modular African savannah terrain that I've recently been gifted, so a great way to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Saturday 29 June 2024

Turkish WW1 Black Sea Squadron

This is what I've been able to assemble for the WW1 Turkish squadron, fleet being a bit of a stretch given the small number of models available. It's still a pretty formidable force, however, with one battle cruiser, a light cruiser, two pre-dreadnought battleships and eight destroyers in two variants. I've also included a float plane spotter, why not? 

Aviation Hardback Books

I was walking the dog this morning and passed the local charity shop, popping in while the dog took a breather in the shade. Here's the result, a couple of aviation themed additions to the holiday reading list. I think I've read Tail End Charlies before but there's no harm in reading it again, while the history of the Israeli Air Force is a new one to me. Good finds both!

Friday 28 June 2024

More Fistfuls of Lead

Black Sheep Miniatures, available from Warbases, have added some new Wild West figures to their range including a band of Pawnee braves and a posse of Pinkertons. These were so nifty that I couldn't resist ordering a set of each of them, despite having more than enough 28mm lead of the same ilk. The holidays are just around the corner, so I will have some painting and modelling time to kill, which is as good an excuse as any!

Thursday 27 June 2024

New Project - WW1 Turkish Black Sea Fleet

This is something I've had planned for a couple of years now, a WW1 Turkish fleet for the Black Sea, using Tumbling Dice 1/2400th models. There a couple of minor gaps and a proxy model here or there but otherwise it's a complete line up, give or take. I also have an opposing Russian force to tackle after this lot have been assembled, based and painted. I might even add some merchant shipping later on. Excellent!

Wednesday 26 June 2024

Filling Gaps in the Line

After reorganising the plastic storage box for the French and Royal Navy fleets, I have space for three more French third rates and a couple of frigates, as well as another Third Rate 64 for the British. It just so happens I have an 80 and two 74's in the spares box, as well as an assembled 38 gun Sixth Rate frigate for the French. I've also got a spare 64, which will be painted as HMS Agamemnon. I doubt I'll get these finished by the time the holidays start but it's worth a crack!

Tuesday 25 June 2024

Royal Navy Napoleonic Fleet Finished

...well pretty much, apart from some flags and magnet basing in the storage box. This lot and the French fleet will be off on holiday this summer for some solo fleet action games.

Monday 24 June 2024

Age of Sail Fast Play Fleet Actions

In the summer holidays I'm planning to try out a couple of sets of fleet level rules, as well as running some games of small ship to ship actions. For the former I'm going to be giving both Far Distant Ships and Grand Fleet Actions a go, although I have played the latter a couple of times at the club in the past. I'm aiming for some fast play games, so no complicated sailing or gunnery involved, so that I can use a decent number of squadrons solo. It will all be a bit ahistorical as far as the actual battles but, if the rules work well and I enjoy the games, I will aim to fill the gaps to run some real engagements later on.

Sunday 23 June 2024

Spitting Distance

I'm within spitting distance of finishing the 1/2400th Royal Navy fleet c1800, with only the base labels and ensigns to add before they're done and dusted. I'm quite pleased with how they came out but they won't win any prizes for neatness or detail. They're still a bit shiny but once the varnish cooks off they will tone down a bit. 

Saturday 22 June 2024

Sea Base Dry Brushing

I've been feeling a bit under the weather today so spent quite a lot of it lying down. However, not to be defeated by a bit of wonky vertigo, I've dry brushed the sea bases on the Royal Navy ships with Vallejo Deep Sky Blue, a very versatile shade and perfect for this sort of thing. If I'm feeling better tomorrow, I'll add some wakes and bow waves, tidy up any snags then varnish the models ready for base labelling during the week. The deadline to complete this project is the end of June, so there's no time to waste.

Thursday 20 June 2024

Base Labels

It's getting close to the finish line when you print up base labels for your model warships, which is exactly what I've just been doing for the Napoleonic Royal Navy fleet. The plan is to finish the bases on these models at the weekend, do a bit of tidying up and varnishing, then cut out and glue on the labels to finish the job. If I can, I'll also add some ensigns but I'm drawing a line at rigging for the moment, as life is a bit short to be farting around with brush bristles and fine gauge thread!

Tuesday 18 June 2024

Arctic Eagles Jagdgeschwader 5

I'm now organising the initial models for the Arctic Eagles project, starting with the fighters and fighter bombers of JG 5 Eismeer c1942-43. I'm using 1/600 scale for this as it's quicker and cheaper than 1/285th but may switch over to the larger scale for later games.

These will include twelve Bf-109 F/G fighters, using the Tumbling Dice Bf-109K model as it's much nicer than the proper model, twelve Fw-190A2/3 fighter bombers and twelve Bf-110 Zerstorer. 

There may well be more Bf-109's added later in the various interesting camouflage schemes used in the campaign. I'll also include a few extra one offs, such as the Ju-52 and Fw-189, to deploy for specific scenarios.

Monday 17 June 2024

Duel of Aces Dawn Patrols



Dawn Patrol!

It was a very busy weekend so nothing has moved an inch on the workbench, mainly due to the fact that I haven't been at home very much. I sat down today for a rummage under the aforementioned bench, however, only to find the two metal boxes containing the 1/600th scale Tumbling Dice aircraft for Duel of Aces and Algernon Pulls It Off. These were painted a couple of years ago I think and only need some decals to be ready to play a game. If I can find the time I'll see if I can get that done, make some flight stands and take them for a dawn patrol of two. Tally Hi! 

Sunday 16 June 2024

Saturday 15 June 2024

Arctic Eagles Research

Although I started some background research for my Arctic Eagles project, I hardly scratched the surface so have pulled all the relevant Osprey titles from the book shelves, ready to do some proper scenario research over the summer holidays. Unlike some of the books from this series, these are generally pretty good, especially the ones written by John Weal, who really knows his stuff.

Friday 14 June 2024

Himmler is Similar

One of the scenarios I'm going to work out over the summer holidays is a 'What If?' variation on the shooting down of Admiral Yamamoto in April 1943, reimagined as an ambush by Soviet fighters on Himmler's Ju-52 over the arctic front in March 1942. 

Himmler was on an inspection tour of front line units on the 24th March 1942 and was escorted by Bf-109's of JG5. In my imaginary twist on real events, Himmler's flight is rudely interrupted, with the pilots of JG5 having to prevent the Ju-52 from being shot down. 

It's early days yet but this one may well end up as a club play test game and possibly an article for the next Lard Mag?

Tuesday 11 June 2024

Arctic Eagles

This Bag the Hun scenario and campaign project has been parked for a few months but I'm thinking of booting it up over the Summer, once the Royal Navy Napoleonic fleet is finished. I've made some decent progress with that over the weekend, so the deadline of the end of the month is looking realistic for a change! After that, I have a week or two to sort out some 1/600th scale aircraft, ready for painting in the holidays, so it looks like Arctic Eagles may well be taking off sooner than expected.m

Monday 10 June 2024

Falklands Air War Resources

I had to pick up the other half this afternoon so had some time to kill in town. I haven't been to the Oxfam bookshop for ages so popped in for a look. I was chuffed to find a hardback copy of this book, which I've heard on the grapevine is very good, for the bargain price of £3.50. I had a quick skim read while waiting in the car park and there's loads of fascinating detail to be mined for Flames Above the Falklands, Air War: C21, Target Locked On et al. Brilliant!

Sunday 9 June 2024

Double Glazing

The stern galleries on the Royal Navy Napoleonic ships have now been painted, with a bit less precision and neatness but enough to make them look okay from arms length. I've highlighted various other bits as well so just need to tidy things with some matt black before tackling the bases. It's been a long haul as I started these at Easter, but the end is getting closer!

Saturday 8 June 2024

Napoleonic Naval Fleet Finish Focus

I've realised that I only have the rest of this month to finish the 1/2400th Royal Navy fleet, so I'm going to ditch my other plans and only focus on that, with the Spanish or American squadrons as a possible addition. I've also discovered that the Fire in the Sky project needs a lot more planning and thinking time, so that will be shoved over to next year, leaving the latter half of this year for other, smaller and more manageable things.

Prototype Base for Fire in the Sky

That seems to work. A laser cut 120mm x 40mm base with 30mm panel pin flight stands and a 7mm dice frame for altitude. I just need to undercoat and spray paint it in a suitable shade of sky blue and add an ID label on the rear edge. I'm going to have to rethink the size of the grid squares, however, as 150cm is way too small.

Painting Again

The Napoleonic naval painting is now back up and running, with the plan being to complete the stern details on the ships of the line and possibly the frigates over the weekend. There's quite a lot to do but I think I can get it all sorted as my DIY workload has been reduced a bit, despite new jobs being added all the time!

Friday 7 June 2024

Corsairs and Cavaliers

This is now available from the Tumbling Dice website:

Fire in the Sky Bases

I'm going to use my tried and tested panel pin and magnet method when basing the squadrons for Fire in the Sky

The fighters will be based on 3mm thick MDF bases in finger four formation, each base being 120mm x 40mm, while the bombers will be based in formations of six on 3mm x 150mm squares. I couldn't fit mine bombers onto this size base but I think six looks fine and does create the impression of a bomber box.

I'm not going to use different length panel pins for altitude but will stick a dice frame on each base instead, so that the three levels can be identified by turning the dice to one, two or three dots. I did think about using a custom token for this but dice are a good way to keep it simple.

I'll aim to get a prototype assembled and painted over the weekend.

Tuesday 4 June 2024

P-47D Thunderbolts, 61st FS/56th FG

I've taken some sound advice on board and have switched from painting to a little bit of basing up, in this case some P-47 Thunderbolts for Fire in the Sky, a whole squadron no less, which is the common tactical unit in the rules. These were easy to clean up and magnet base and will hopefully be fun to paint up, when I get some time. 

Sunday 2 June 2024

Reading to Rewind

While I'm taking some time out from painting and modelling I thought I'd do a bit of reading, something I normally only have the time and focus for in the long holidays. I've had this book on the Ipad for ages but never got round to reading it, so will give it a go now that I'm not doing other things. It's obviously relevant to the summer project but also just a chance for me to rewind my metaphorical spring, ready to get back to the workbench in a bit 

Saturday 1 June 2024


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