Monday, 23 April 2018

Desert Spitfires RAF Shading

I base coated  the overall metal RAF aircraft yesterday, using Foundry Spearpoint, so followed that this evening with a wash in 50:50 Future / Black Indian Ink and a light dry brush in Spearpoint again to blend in the shading.

I've added a couple more PR Mosquito recce aircraft to the RAF contingent as well, having noticed that they can be quite an asset in the game, winning 2VP's for flying all the way across the table assuming they don't get shot down in the process?

I subsequently realized that they are the wrong ones, being fighter bomber models not the bomber version, so they will be 're-purposed' as Israeli aircraft instead. I'll have to order some replacement models now, so that the RAF can do its job properly!

The next step will be to block in the canopies, prop bosses and exhausts with Vallejo Matt White, so that I can overpaint them with the relevant shades. From bitter experience I've learned that painting over the top of metallic colours tends not to work very well, as the surface is a poor key for the non-metallic colours.

I'm busy tomorrow evening so may not get this bit done until mid-week, when I also hope to start on the Spitfire FR18's. 

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Tumbling Dice Tu-22M-3 Backfire

One of the things that got me fired up to do the 1960's Soviet aircraft this weekend, was the arrival in the post on Friday of a package from Tumbling Dice, which included a Tu-22M 'Backfire' bomber and some very nice English Electric Lightnings. I couldn't resist the temptation to assemble the Tu-22 as it is an impressive multi-part model, complete with separate swing wings and twin engines. The sculpting is very nice and it does look the part, even if there are some minor non-symmetrical bits here and there.

It needed some filler at the fuselage joints and the wings don't actually swing, in fact they have to be deployed in the sub-sonic 'swung out' configuration, but it went together very cleanly and with minimal fuss. It is a big aircraft and, although a bit too late for my other Soviet stuff, it will go very nicely alongside the two MiG-25's that I've already put together and will definitely make a good interception objective for the RAF Lightnings. Tally Ho!

Target Locked On Sixties Soviets

The other half has broken the laptop, so I'm having to improvise with my phone, which means there may be some sellpng mistks. Anyway, for no particularly logical reason,  I decided to start painting the 1960's Soviet aircraft for my Target Locked On: Flashpoint Xinjiang project yesterday. I will post some photos once I work out how to do it (which I have, as you can see below)

I didn't get very far but a base coat of Foundry Metal does make a difference, with some blocking in with white over the canopies, intakes and other coloured bits to follow. I'm also painting the RAF aircraft for Desert Spitfires at the same time but haven't started on those just yet, as I'll be using a slightly different approach, using an ink wash rather than lining.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Bag the MiG Multiplayer Game

I've finally got round to setting up a club multiplayer evening of Bag the MiG, which will take place at some point over the next couple of months, the exact date dependent on the weather and cricket. I haven't been able to get to the club for months due to the sprog's rugby training sessions but these have now been replaced with cricket matches instead, so I will have to work around those. It's a bit of a bugger but there you go.

The game will feature some 'off the shelf' scenarios from the 2006 Xmas Special to save some time and effort, together with the first edition rules for which the Bag the MiG variant was designed. This should make things a little less complex, although all the players who have signed up are far from sprogs when it comes to Bag the Hun. I will be using my 1/600th scale planes and hope to include a good variety of aircraft including the USAF, USMC, USN and RN.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Wings at War Scramble for Britain

Just over a year ago I won an eBay bid on a big stash of Tumbling Dice models and loads of extra bits, for the Wings at War Battle of Britain rules, 'Scramble for Britain'. I spotted another auction on eBay this week so made an offer well under the asking price and won it. This time it's just the rules and a limited starter set of 1/600th scale Tumbling Dice planes but it also included three sheets of Dom's Decals Luftwaffe and RAF insignia. This made it a well worth the overall cost as they are currently out of production. I've added the planes to my already bulging box of lead and now have a second (third?) set of rules for an opponent to refer to, when I get round to this as another 1/600th scale project. Tally Ho!

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Target Locked On Evasive Manoeuvres

This is the system for evasive manoeuvres in Target Locked On:

Evasive manoeuvring can also be used to avoid incoming missiles. 

(this is separate from using chaff or flares, as there's a different system for that)

This type of manoeuvre may be carried out once a missile has been fired. A pilot skill check must be passed. If the skill check is failed the aircraft does not carry out any manoeuvre. If the check is passed the aircraft can carry out any manoeuvre type it wishes.

Once the manoeuvre has been carried out roll 1d6. The target score equals 3 plus the weapons EW characteristic. If the roll is successful the missile misses and causes no damage.

Note that this manoeuvre still has a fuel consumption and speed reduction effect; these are applied during the aircraft’s next activation.

This all makes perfect sense to me but I can't help feeling that there's a bit of book keeping to do at the end, with fuel and speed reduction to take into account possibly several phases later. I was wondering if an alternative would be to take the hit for speed and fuel at the point of the manoeuvre, regardless of whether the aircraft has moved already or not?

This would obviously impact on the subsequent movement and could even lead to an involuntary stall, if the numbers were tight. I'm not sure how this would affect the flow of the game but it would avoid having to remember the fuel and speed reductions later in the game. I also thought that an evasive manoeuvre could be made at the expense of the free manoeuvre in the next turn of the game, perhaps even instead of the fuel and speed hit, although that would be a bit unrealistic.

I may try these ideas out and see if they work or are just unnecessary fiddles that aren't really worth bothering with?

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Hands to Flying Stations

This is brilliant! I remember going on board HMS Ark Royal on a navy day in Devonport way back in the mid '70's. This reminds me of the Flashpoint: Fleet Air Arm project for Target Locked On! that I was thinking about a few months ago. I really should do something with that, now that I have a good grasp of the rules. 

Desert Spitfires RAF 'What If?'

It's a bit early to start mucking about with the Desert Spitfires rules but, in a moment of reckless abandon, I thought I'd get some Bristol Brigands to add to the RAF ranks. These were just being introduced into service in 1948 and could, theoretically, have made an appearance over the front lines during the war. In fact, from early 1949 onward No.84 Squadron operated the type from RAF Habbiniya in Iraq, where PR Mosquito reconnaissance aircraft often re-fuelled for flights over Israel.

Tumbling Dice Bristol Brigand (ISA609)

However, for most of the first half of 1949 only a handful of aircraft were serviceable and there were numerous problems with spare parts, ammunition and even cannon being in short supply, not to mention enough trained aircrew. The aircraft also had a reputation for serious mechanical  issues and going u/s due to 'wrinkling' of the wings! Even so, despite it's terrible reputation, I quite like the stubby look of this light attack bomber and so will paint some up for the game, even if I can't think of a good reason for them to be directly involved or even operational by the end of the war?

Monday, 16 April 2018

Desert Spitfires Web Research

I've been reading all about the air campaign in the 1948-49 War of Independence and have uncovered a number of really fascinating websites, each of which adds something more to the story. I've taught the causes and consequences of the Arab Israeli conflict many times but haven't really looked into the aerial side of things before. I started out with a focus in the RAF involvement but this soon expanded to take in the Israelis and Egyptians, with even the Syrians getting involved despite having no air force to speak of. The involvement of numerous foreign and often non-Jewish 'volunteers' is particularly interesting, the collective title of Machal being given to the foreign pilots who flew for the IAF. 

Anyway, here's the links to some of the most useful and interesting pages:

All well worth a look!

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Desert Spitfires: The RAF

I have magnet based and undercoated the RAF aircraft for Desert Spitfires today.

These include four Spitfire FR18's, six Hawker Tempest MkVI, two PR.34 DH Mosquitos and a single C-47 Dakota. The latter doesn't actually play a role in the game but I had one spare so thought, why not? The Mossies are unarmed photo recce aircraft and have to make it across the length of the table to win VP's in the game, whilst the fighters are there to protect them and to shoot down the Israelis and Egyptians if they try to get in the way.

I don't know what I'll do with the Dakota but I'm sure I can fit it in somehow, perhaps with a similar mission objective to the Mossies? This is about the maximum size for each of the forces in the game, much less than I've done for each side in MiG Alley, which means I should be able to get the Israelis, Egyptians and British sorted out sharpish. I'll start painting the RAF planes over the next week or so, although I'm back at work tomorrow so will have less time to spare. 


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