Sunday, 4 December 2016

Flashpoint Baltic Flight Stands

I've been umm-ing and arr-ing over the best way to base the 1/600th scale aircraft for this project for a long time, which is one of the reasons it hasn't got very far off the ground. Today I bit the proverbial bullet and adopted an approach that I'd previously devised for use with 1/285th scale planes for Bag the Hun 2, although I had yet to give it a proper go. 

This was intended to replace Raiden Miniatures resin and metal stands that are now really expensive and not easy to get hold of. I planned to use a combination of  3mm laser cut hexes, 40mm panel pins and 6mm dice frames. The aircraft would be drilled and the panel pins glued in place as an alternative to using mini-magnets and to match the basing method that I've used for the rest of my Bag the Hun models.

For the Target Locked On! rules you can use any shape of base but I've decided to go with the 3mm laser cut hexes, as I already had them, along with the 6mm dice frames which I'm using to indicate altitude, just like you do with Bag the Hun 2. I ditched the mini-magnet option, as it's a bit too fiddly. The panel pins were also too crude to use and so I swapped them for some 40mm wire spears with the tips cut off using a pair of pliers.

These were attached to the bases with superglue after drilling a hole in the centre of the hex to fit the wire into. A corresponding hole was drilled into the underside of the model and it was then superglued to the top of the wire. This was tricky as the alloy used by Oddzial Osmy is very hard and can be a bit brittle, making it difficult to drill by hand. I may well try using my Dremel instead if I can avoid drilling all the way through the casting?

Anyway, the experimental base that I assembled seems to work fine, once the superglue had time to cure in the cold temperature of my garage workbench. I've now based two Russian Federation Su27 Flankers and a single F16 for the Royal Norwegian Air Force, which will be followed by a second shortly. The F16 was easy to attach to the stand as the wing section is separate, so can be pre-drilled.

I think these bases will work well for the Flashpoint Baltic project and will make the models far more resilient to some handling, whilst easing the job of painting by providing a convenient handle with which to hold them. I'll texture and paint the bases too, using some modelling paste to replicate the terrain and a paint scheme to match the 4' x 4' geomorphic scenery that I'm planning to build for the project.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Flashpoint Baltic: Target Locked On!

The days are getting shorter and the winter has definitely arrived, so I've been looking to salvage something from the wargaming wreckage of 2016 before the end of the year. I have achieved very little indeed this year so have been re-thinking my whole approach to wargaming projects of late, with a view to getting at least something done next year. I still plan to do some of the projects I set out to tackle this year, including the 15mm Gruntz sci-fi project and Congo for example, but these are going to have to be bumped over into 2017.

One thing I've started to re-think and plan for is the Flashpoint Baltic idea, which originally involved using the Airwar:C21 rules for a fictitious near future conflict between the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission and Russian forces posturing over the Baltic States. This has been in the news again recently and would be a really neat project based around the 1/600th scale modern planes from Oddzial Ozmy. I love these models, which you have to see to believe when it comes to detail, and already have all that I need for the various NATO contingents, the Scandinavians and the Russians.

Now, I'm planning to use Rory Crabb's new set of modern air warfare rules Target Locked On!, perhaps also incorporating some naval engagements as well using his modern naval rules Naval Command. I have been reading both sets of rules and they look like they would be ideal for just this sort of fast play, low complexity wargaming. The initial phase would be just the air warfare aspect, so I've dug out my box of 1/600 scale aircraft and have been playing around with basing ideas.

I doubt this will start this side of Xmas but it would be good to give it a go!

Shield Generator

I bought a laser cut mdf kit of a shield generator type thing from Blotz at Warfare a couple of weeks ago, so thought I'd have a go at putting it together over the weekend. I have a nice Deepcut Studios red planet terrain mat that I was planning to use for ground attack games in X Wing so, rather than having a Hoth themed shield generator, this one may well be finished off for a desert wasteland. I can also use it for 15mm sci-fi games, which is a bonus. It looks like a pretty simple kit to build so it shouldn't take too long. I'll see if I can finish it, give or take some tarting up, by the end of Sunday?

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Back of Beyond Campaign Turn Two

This turn there’s a lot of forced marching going on and only one battle to be fought. The Chinese Warlord, Bolsheviks, British Museum Expedition and the Mad Baron have all decided that it’s far too cold to try to fight anyone else and have found a nice warm yurt to hole up in for the winter. It is a busy time of the year for a lot of us, so I was expecting a bit of a delay in the action.

As a result, the aforementioned combatants will all be FORCE MARCHING in the general direction of Urga this turn, with the outcome to be decided in due course by the D6 of doom. I'll roll up the results at the end of the turn, once the single game has been played out. A roll of 1-2 will be a retreat, 3-4 a stand still and 5-6 an advance. The odds are against them but, with a bit of luck, at least one player will get a bonus forward move.

The Japanese Flying Column and the French Expedition are, however, made of sterner stuff so will be battling it out to see if they can get ahead in the race to the campaign objective. This should be an interesting clash as the French are mobile, lightly armed and have top morale, while the Japanese are a solid conventional force with strength in their superior numbers and some tough infantry.

The French have ATTACKED the Japanese, so expect to see a fiendishly cunning defensive strategy deployed by the Japanese master of artful cunning himself, Colonel Kagemusha, who they can employ this turn as a Special Character. This character has the ability to disguise the true identity of the Japanese army commander, which may be a tactical advantage or not. Who knows?

Monday, 28 November 2016

Embers of War

I'm now reading this book, which I really should have read before but somehow didn't get round to, despite having a long established interest in the French Indochina War. It is a bit of a slow burner but I'm sure it will start to pick up when I get to the chapters on the war itself, rather then Ho Chi Minh's early life and the origins of Vietnamese nationalism, which is all very interesting nonetheless. It's a 10mm project if it ever gets off the ground, although 15mm and even 28mm also have potential, if only for squad level skirmish games. A good source of inspiration.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Old West Chapel Finished

I added some weathering, sorted out the roof and put together some Blotz furniture for the chapel today, so to all intents and purposes it is now ready to add to my Fistful of Lead: Reloaded terrain collection. I also printed out and glued on some quotes from the Psalms and a notice board for the front porch, which means that it now has an appropriate title of The Providence Chapel. I'm sure the gun toting minister would approve!

Red Armoured Train De-Railed

The armoured train project that I began a few weeks ago has hit the buffers for the moment. I wasn't happy with the way the carriages looked, especially along the underside and will probably start them again from scratch, using the turrets and other bits that I can save from the scratch build to kit out some new wagons. A comment on the Lead Adventure forum that they looked 'over-engineered' was, I think, pretty accurate, so I'll go back to the drawing board and simplify the design. I still think the Lego method of sub-structure construction is a good way forward but you have to consider just how much the plastic card layers add to the overall dimensions of the wagons, otherwise they start to look over scale. I think I'll just have a crack at another tank for the Bolsheviks instead. If at first I don't succeed, I guess I'll just have to try, try again!

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Old West Chapel

I've been putting this together this afternoon, although it's not finished yet and needs to be weathered and detailed before I can use it. The kit is from Products for Wargamers and goes together well, except for the roof panels which are a bit of a tight fit and will need some fiddling about with to sit on the walls properly. I haven't decided if I'm going to use the bell tower either. I do have some Blotz church furniture to add and some plastic Renedra gravestones to use for the adjacent graveyard but when I'll get that done, who knows?

Friday, 25 November 2016

Friday Freebies

Well, not freebies exactly but not full price either. As I've had a bit of a rubbish week at work, I thought I'd cheer myself up with a set of tokens and markers for Gruntz together with the various templates that are required for the rules. These are from Sarissa Precision and are laser cut in acrylic, so a bit more durable than the free card ones you can download from Wargame Vault. They were also at a 10% discount today as it's Black Friday, whatever that means, although for some reason it makes me think of Napoleonic Prussians? Weird?

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

15mm Sci Fi Forces

I took my son to the GZG stand at Warfare on Saturday as they very kindly provide a rummage box of sample figures that he always picks his favourites from as an extra treat.

This is such a great 'get kids into wargaming' thing for GZG to do that I decided to spend some pocket money with them, giving the sprog the choice of which army to go for.

He selected some US hard suit figures from the Tomorrows War range, although I liked the NSL Panzergrenadiers myself, so I bought a discounted set of ten packs which the very nice GZG chap put together on the spot.

These will be added to the 15mm stuff I have already got and may well get some armour support, perhaps from the Brigade Models South African range, as I already have three of their Rhino wheeled tanks as a primer.

As 15mm sci-fi was one of my projects for this year that just didn't happen, aside from a bit of assembly and undercoating, I'm going to put it at the top of the list for 2017 instead.