Thursday, 14 December 2017

Osprey Military History Hardbacks

I was in Southampton today for a fieldwork trip and, in the lunch break, decided to pop into The Works. As a result, I now have two very glossy Osprey hardback books, the first on trench warfare on the Western Front and the second on the German Army in WW2. Both are compilations of previous books with new text and additional photographs, maps, diagrams and artwork, much of which is very good indeed. Excellent material for wargaming and not bad for a grand total of £17!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

New Dark Sea Naval Wargaming Cloth

The Tinywargames dark sea cloth arrived today and very nice it is too. It's a lightweight material and looks like it will deal with any spills or creases without a problem. The wave pattern is subtle and ideal for moonlit nights somewhere of the East Coast or a winters day in the Baltic or the North Atlantic. The colour is a good match for my 1/600th scale coastal warfare bases and, surprisingly enough, not too far off my 1/3000th scale WW2 French warships. I'm really looking forward to setting up a game of Schnell Rules for Schnellboote to try out!

Monday, 11 December 2017

USAF F-86F Sabres W.I.P.

I didn't get much done for the MiG Alley / Bag the MiG project this weekend but have stripped the masking tape from the Tumbling Dice F-86F Sabres to reveal the yellow ID stripes on the wing upper surfaces. I wasn't sure this was going to look that good but I'm quite pleased with the masking result. I used Tamiya tape which seems to work very well even in tiny scales like 1/600th.

I will add the black outlining soon and finish off the canopies so that they are ready for the decals, which always make the whole shebang look the biscuit, if you know what I mean? There's a tiny bit of bleed on some of the wing stripes, where the yellow paint has channelled down the panel lines, but you can't see it from normal viewing distance and I can easily tidy it up later.

I've also been thinking about marking the Sabres up as aircraft of the 336th Fighter Squadron - The Rocketeers - to match my WW2 1/285th scale P-51D Mustangs. This would mean another yellow ID stripe on the vertical stabilizer, assuming I can get the masking tape cut to size for such a small space! If it works, they will really look the part, even though I haven't got any nose art insignia or buzz codes.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Empire of the Clouds

I found this for £6.99 in the local garden centre of all places, while choosing a Xmas tree today. I read the paperback edition when it was first published but this is the hardback illustrated version, so a very nice volume to add to the bookshelf or even to the coffee table, if I actually had one of those. There are some splendid photos of post war jet aircraft too.

Dremel Drilling

I got absolutely frozen and soaked this morning at the sprog's rugby practice, so didn't fancy sitting in an equally frozen garage at the workbench this afternoon with shaky painting hands. Instead, I whipped out my Dremel and cut off the sharp ends of a shedload of 40, 30, 20 and 13.5mm panel pins, ready to use as flight stand components for  MiG Alley. I've been meaning to do this for a while but hadn't got round to it, so it was a good use of an hour or so and warmed me up a bit, especially when the sparks were flying.

I also drilled loads of holes in a Hotwheels Chevy hot rod, ready to glue in carefully re-bent bits of heavy duty paper clip wire to make roll bars and rams, for use with Gaslands and Axles and Alloys II. The idea is to replicate something along the lines of the old cover art for the Battlecars board game, if you know what I mean?  I'm not sure this will actually look right in the end but its definitely worth a try for the price of a few cheapo wire staples, some judicious drilling and a bit of imagination?

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Launch and Recover

This is great! Just the job as inspiration for my planned Target Locked On! Flashpoint: Fleet Air Arm project next year. There are several similar films on YouTube and plenty of videos of 1960's and 1970's Royal Navy carrier operations, which are very atmospheric and enjoyable to watch, especially if you have a soft spot for Sea Vixens, Scimitars, Buccaneers and Gannets, to mention just a few of the iconic Cold War aircraft included. Brilliant!

MiG Alley USAF Primary Colours

It's the weekend, so I've braved the sub-arctic garage and have been cracking on with the 1/600th scale Tumbling Dice aircraft for MiG Alley and Bag the MiG. This involved adding the base primary colours of blue, yellow, red and green to various areas with the canopies, ID stripes and so on getting a double coating over a white basecoat. It's a bit rough and ready but will look better once I do a bit of highlighting and some black lining out tomorrow.

Taiwan Crisis 1958 Newsreel

This is also worth a look, even if it's jam packed full of 1950's Cold War clich├ęs! I particularly liked the Tawainese frogmen in their little bazooka equipped rowboats dropping plastic propaganda 'messages in a bottle' off the Chinese mainland to demoralize the Reds! I wonder if it worked? There are some really good shots of CNAF F-86 Sabres scrambling to intercept the Chinese MiG's and some ground attack F-84 Thunderjets dropping napalm on some suspicious foliage. Brilliant!

Taiwan Crisis 1958 Declassified

I found this de-classified US Government report on the Taiwan Straits Crisis of 1958 the other day. It has a section on the air warfare aspect of the crisis which is really interesting and includes some very useful details on the tactics and relative strengths of the Taiwanese and Communist Chinese forces. This was the first time the Sidewinder missile was used in combat and it gave the CNAF F-86F Sabres a massive advantage over the PLAAF MiG-17's. All useful stuff for Flashpoint: Taiwan, even if it's an earlier aspect of the conflict than the one I'm really covering.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Ramshackle Conversion Pack

It's pay day so I have splashed out on a pack of 20mm conversion bits for diecast toy cars from Ramshackle Games. I'm not keen on the over sized 40K style guns but the drivers, ram plates, turrets and missile pods should be very useful.