RN

RN

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Postcard from Northumberland




 

 

 
 










Chain of Command Japanese Snipers

Hope mine look as good as these!
 
This is my project for the next couple of months, with the target for completion firmly set at the end of July, before I shoot off for the summer to France. I have finalised my painting schedule and reckon I can get everything assembled, primed and painted by then, using a quick approach to the latter so that I can clear a section or equivalent each week.
 
To round things off, I've splashed out on some more snipers, this time from Brigade Games via the Wargames Command Post. This should allow me to maximise the use of concealed marksmen in any game by selecting multiple sniper teams in the support list options, assuming I have the points to spend, thereby causing the Chindits a bit of a headache!

28mm Japanese Landing Craft Kit

 
Those innovative chaps at Sarissa Precision have come up with a 28mm / 1:56 scale mdf kit for a Daihatsu Landing Craft, which is ideal for my Chain of Command Japanese project, which is ready to kick off this weekend after a long delay. It looks like a cracking little model, so I've ordered a couple to see for myself and they should arrive at some point during the week. I'm not sure how they'd work in Chain of Command but I'm sure there will be rules for amphibious landings along in the not too distant future.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Back from Up North


Flodden

We got back from our holiday near Berwick upon Tweed late this afternoon.
 
On the whole, this was a really good trip, with some great weather and lots of historical things to see, so I'm more than happy. The highlight for me  was a trip to the very atmospheric battlefield of Flodden and the associated border castles at Norham and Etal.
 
We also visited the castles at Bamburgh and Alnwick, which have been modernised in the best Victorian tradition, so less than impressive compared to Dunstanburgh, which was a trip on the only wet and windy day, so very dramatic given the crashing waves and drizzle.
 
To finish off in an early medieval theme, we went to both Holy Island and to the site at Yeavering, which I remembered from my undergraduate studies as a royal centre of the 7th century kingdom of Deira. A field full of sheep but a very significant one nonetheless.
 
I can definitely recommend a trip to the top of the world...great countryside, friendly people and lots of interesting things to see. We did go to Edinburgh as well but I reckon Northumberland has the scenic edge and far fewer backpacking tourists, so much more my sort of place to be.
 
 

Friday, 23 May 2014

Up North

 
We're off to the wilds of Northumberland for the half term holidays tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to dragging the truculent, dripping sprogs around numerous historical things including monasteries, museums and, of course, some stunning fortifications. It must be a right pain in the backside having a History teacher as a dad.
 
Anyway, in a variation on the usual theme, I won't be taking any lead or plastic with me this time, but will be writing up the backlog of late 1941 Malta scenarios for Bag the Hun 2 that I've been meaning to tackle for ages, with the 2014 Too Fat Lardies Summer Special as the focus for my scribblings.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Back of Beyond Turkish Expeditionary Army

 
I've been snowed under with work this week, so have had little opportunity to do any workbench things, although there is light at the end of the tunnel. I've just been allowed to downsize my job after several years of pestering, so should have far less work to do next year and more time for my own things, although the pocket money will be reduced significantly too. Still, it's not as if I don't have a lifetime of lead to work my way through...
 
One thing I have had time to organise is the other potential option for the Back of Beyond summer holiday project. This is a Turkish expeditionary army which I originally assembled the bits for way back in 2011. It consists of a CO, two staff officers, three sections of ten infantry with bombs, two machine gun teams, a field gun and a rather splendid Erhardt armoured car. I also have a third machine gun set which may well get converted into a AA gun.
 
When I originally planned this force the Erhardt wasn't available and I decided to try to scratch build one based on some card model plans. However, the nice people at 1st Corp now produce an excellent 28mm resin and metal kit, which at £18 is a real bargain. Last but not least, there's an old Aurora 1/48th scale Abaltros CIII plastic kit, which is perfect for the Turkish air force being slightly less than cutting edge. 
 
In total this weighs in at a fairly useful 766 points or 830 if defending, so quite a decent force!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Snipers in the Back of Beyond


 
I like having a marksman or two in my Back of Beyond forces. They have the ability to out range normal infantry, are difficult to knock out if they use cover and can pick off the enemy one figure at a time to shake their morale.
 
I have a sniper in both my Bolshevik Third Workers and Peasants Shock Brigade and my Texan oil expedition 'dinosaur hunter' force, and they've been well worth it. As a result, I've been looking for a suitable figure to use for my British Indian Army from the Copplestone range, with little success.
 
I intially thought of converting a  spare infantry figure but they don't really look the part. However, a suitable kneeling Muslim infantry figure is included in the Indian HMG pack. I can even base him up in a sangar for added effect. I also have a cunning plan to convert a loader into a prone sniper using the Lee Enfield that you get as an extra in the pack.
 
This means that I'll have a couple of surplus HMG's with Sikh and Muslim crews but I could add one of these to the British Indian force with a little juggling of the units, perhaps by incorporating a fourth infantry section from the spare figures I already have. This would add to the workload but would be worth it in firepower alone.

The crews could be re-purposed as drivers for my trucks and the Vickers used as the basis of an AA gun or vehicle mounted support weapon for my Texan oil expedition, so nothing will go to waste. It's all over the immediate horizon for the moment but it will happen at some point over the Summer.

Monday, 19 May 2014

AK47 Bits and Bobs


 
 

There are some excellent new bits and bobs in The Scene's range and, with 20% off the price, I've ordered some of them to add to my AK47 vehicles and support units. The best of the bunch are a quad mount .50 calibre AAA gun and a dual gatling gun style AAA mounting, both of which are ideal as truckbed technical armament. I've also ordered some of the new stowage packs, which will be useful for that lived in look that tanks, APC's and trucks have in AK47. Very nice indeed!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

The Scene 20% off!

 
This is a great source of various AK47 and post-apoc related 15mm bits and bobs that you never realised you needed. I can't recommend the stuff that this chap produces highly enough and, as you will know if you've had a chat with him at shows, he's a very nice bloke too. Anyway, here's his new webshop thingy, complete with all sorts of goodies to tempt you, with 20% off as an additional incentive:

http://thesceneuk.com/

PS check out the 15mm quad 50...outstanding!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Back of Beyond British Indian Flying Column

 
It's been a very busy day and I've had no time for anything wargame related but I did get up into the loft to extricate the figures and models for the Back of Beyond British Indian flying column, in a nod to the inspirational exploits of Dunsterforce. There are some bits missing, including some diecast Rolls Royce tenders as I couldn't get to them in the pile of boxes, but these are the nuts and bolts of a potential project for later in the year.
 
There are two sections of eight British regulars including Lewis gunners, a section of eight Sikh infantry, two mountain guns with crews and two Vickers HMG's with crews, commanded by a CO and staff officer. To add some mobile firepower there are three Rolls Royce armoured cars with a Vickers Medium tank as an substitute option. The air support will be provided by two old 1/48th scale Aurora kits, one DH4 and one F2B Bristol Fighter, although the latter has some bits missing so may be replaced by a Revell SE5a.
 
All in all this is knocking on for 1200 points!

Friday, 16 May 2014

Beyond the Back of Beyond

 
I really enjoyed the Back of Beyond game the other day and, yet again, have been re-thinking my long term plans for yet another army. I have a fairly hefty selection of Copplestone figures stashed away including Reds,Whites, Chinese, British and Turks, so have plenty to choose from, in fact more than I could possibly need.
 
I've already worked out that I have enough figures for a Turkish force and a British Indian flying column, so all I need to to is decide which one to paint up. The Turkish force needs a bit of support, so I've been thinking of converting some Cossacks, Chahar Mongols or Siberian infantry into Basmachi allies, which would be an interesting addition to the line up:
 
 
On the other hand, the British-Indian option allows me to field armoured cars, a tank and two aircraft, which is great as I really enjoy detailing and painting planes and vehicles, much more so than painting figures to be honest. I also have some really cool diecast Rolls Royce armoured cars and tenders, a couple of Copplestone resin tanks and some very old Aurora aircraft kits including a DH4, a Brisfit and even an enormous DH10 bomber:
 
 
Lots to think about but not until the Summer holidays, by which time I should have finished my Japanese army for Chain of Command, which is the next thing to hit the workbench once I've wrapped up the last bits and bobs for the Victory at Sea project. I'm looking forward to getting on with this, especially as my opponent has already finished his Chindit platoon!
 
 

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Victory at Sea French Fleet [13]

 
I'm hoping to have a playtest game of Victory at Sea at the club on Tuesday, so have been sorting out the ship record sheets using some pre-formatted templates from the web. These are very well presented and only require a little editing to be ready for use, although I still need to laminate them. I've printed off the sheets for the battleships, aircraft carrier, heavy cruisers and destroyer leaders, leaving the light cruisers, destroyers and subs for the moment. I also need to get he counters, markers and game aids sorted, but this can wait until the weekend.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Victory at Sea French Fleet [12]

 
After some futile fiddling around with the teeny 3D printed models, with the inevitable results, I've decided to use the metal Skytrex planes for the flights of fighters and torpedo bombers that I need to equip my aircraft carrier. I only have the 'Wildcat' fighter models in the bits box, so the torpedo bombers will have to wait until I can get another order sorted. I'll texture the bases and paint them up tomorrow, if I get the time. 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Back to the Back of Beyond Game


 
 
 
 



 
We had a good old fashioned game of Contemptible Little Armies in the Back of Beyond this evening, which ended in a bit of a thrashing for the brash Texan Oil expedition of J.R. Ewing Sr. and a significant victory for the inscrutable Chinese Warlord, Wee Phat Mak. It was great to dust off the figures and improvised armour again and it will hopefully lead on to some more games in the not too distant future, especially as my unfinished Japanese army has found a home with a newly converted club player.

Naval Thunder: Battleship Row


I spotted a bundle on Wargames Vault yesterday, consisting of the Naval Thunder: Battleship Row and Naval Thunder: Bitter Rivals supplement, so thought I'd take a closer look after checking the Steel Dreadnought Games website: http://navalthunder.jigsy.com/

The rules seem to be quite similar in complexity to Victory at Sea and include pre-formatted ship data cards and game aids, which is a very handy extra. One of the things I'm going to have to do myself for Victory at Sea is a set of ship record cards, so it's a big time saver to have them pre-prepared.

There are comprehensive lists for US, Japanese, German, French, British and Italian ships, together with a series of historical scenarios covering most of the major actions of the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific theatres.

Not bad for less than £15!.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Victory at Sea French Fleet [11]

 
  
 

 
The light cruisers are now finished, leaving the aircraft stands and some paperwork to tackle before the Free French are ready for the campaign. I'm hoping to get a few practice games in before the campaign kicks off, as I have no idea how the strengths and weaknesses of the French will be played out, once the action kicks off. In the meantime, I'll be returning to my 1/600 coastal warfare project, having been well and truly hooked by the naval bug.

Free French Fleet Campaign List

 
 
Now that the Free French are virtually finished, except for the aircraft bases which I'm hoping to tackle tonight, I've turned my attention to drawing up the list for my 10 point campaign fleet. This is set at Battle priority level using the Order of Battle expanded fleet list as a basis for the composition:
 
Priority Level: War
 
2 x Richelieu Class battleships = 4 points
 
Priority Level: Battle
 
1 x Dunkerque Class battleship = 1 point
 
Priority Level: Raid
 
1 x Bearn Class aircraft carrier = 1/2 point
 
Priority Level: Skirmish
 
6 x Heavy Cruisers (TBC) = 2 points
 
3 x Light Cruisers (TBC) = 1 point
 
Priority Level: Patrol
 
2 x Mogador Class destroyers = 1/2 points

4 x Le Fantasque Class destroyers = 1 point

A bit light at the top end but I have limited options when it comes to battleships and carriers. I'm hoping the heavy cruisers will make up for this shortfall, so may scrub some destroyers to boost the cruiser element of the force?

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Shell Spashes


 
I finished the shell splashes today and they're not too bad. They look in scale but aren't anything special, so I may well do some further experiments with different materials to see what I can come up with. I'm also working on some smoke markers but they're proving to be a little less straightforward. The French Light Cruisers have also been completed and I'm now onto the bases, which I should get done tomorrow with a bit of luck.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Splash Markers


 I've been inspired by this very effective yet elegantly simple scratch build, to have a go at some home made splash markers for the Victory at Sea campaign:
 
 
Thus far my efforts are less than impressive but I'm hoping that a bit of additional layering of the modelling paste and some patient fiddling will pay off in the end? If not, I have some golf tees in the post as a painless alternative!