Monday, 28 February 2011

Ill Metz by moonlight - The Battle of Colombey-Nouilly, 1870

The Battle of Colombey-Nouilly took place during the Prussian advance on Metz on 14 August 1870.  The game was played at the Sheffield club using Martin Rapier's 6mm toys in late 2010.  I can't really remember very much about the game, except that the Prussians had quite a hard time of it overcoming the dug in Frenchies, so I have captioned the photos as best I can.
The lead Prussians arrive, but an entire French Division has taken position on the ridge line.

The Prussians deploy guns to support their attack.

The lead Prussians are repulsed by morale failure (yellow counter) while the remaining French frantically try to dig in (green counters).

The French are subjected to (much) bombardment - a second Prussian regiment is just emerging from the woods on the left.

More Prussians arrive to (hopefully) envelop the French.

Finally the French are looking a bit worse for wear!

An overview of the battle.

The Prussian advance resumes - a fresh division is formed up on the right.

The Prussians finally are in a position to make progress on the left....

...but French cavalry arrive to shore up the line.
The Prussians are poised to march on Metz.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

6mm Modern Japanese - part 4

This is the final post looking at my 'modern' (1970s-1990s) Japanese forces, and now we leave the ground and take to the air, firstly with three aircraft from the Japanese Air Self Defence Force (JASDF), followed by a couple from the JM(aritime)SDF. 
F-16 Falcon? Actually it is a Mitsubishi F-2.  I think this is an H&R model (of an F-16) - I already had some WW2 Jap markings in stock.
F-4 Phantom.  The green looks a bit garish in this photo.  The model was an old one I already had - it's not a great casting but is clearly an F-4. 
Kawasaki C-1 transport - a pre-painted  F-Toys plastic model.
The C-1 again showing off it's (many) wheels!
P-3 Orion by F-Toys
P-2 Neptune (retired by JMSDF in 1984) by F-Toys

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Forbodian Artillery - part 2

The first Forbodian artillery crew is now complete - here they are ministering to the needs of a Britains 4.7in Naval Gun.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Forbodian Artillery - part 1

I have made a bit more progress with the Funny Little Wars project.  Having acquired a number of guns I felt that it might be a good idea to have some gunners!  I therefore bought a box of A Call To Arms British Napoleonic gunners - 16 figures in four poses - and started by taking one of each pose.  A few minor modifications were made - so the 'match' was cut of of the gun captain's (below right) had and the ramrod held by another figure cut down to make it less obvious that he's about to swab out a smoothbore cannon.  I decided on a uniform of overall green with white cross-straps and purple trim.  The prevalence of purple on the uniforms of the Forbodian military stems from the claim of the present King's grandfather, Boris the Bonkers, that he is descended from the Emperors of Rome.  Nero most probably. 
A pair of gunners during painting - they are moulded in the rather striking blue indicated by the bases.

6mm Modern Japanese - part 3 - artillery & AA

Just back after a few days away - Sara and I have spent this week in Bath - Somerset's answer to Perth.  As a result, you will have noticed that new posts have been a bit thin.  Anyway, I am now back and what passes for normal service is hereby resumed.
As well as the 'normal' tanks and APCs mentioned in earlier posts, I made sure that my Japs were tooled up with various bits of kit which go 'bang' or 'whoosh' quite loudly.  Most of this is in fact US-produced and even better, I already had much of it 'in stock'.
SP artillery - M-109 and M-110A2, together with a pair of Type 73 trucks.  All Scotia models.  And yes I kmow that Japan didn't use M-109 - it is standing in for a Type 75 155mm SP gun (they look pretty similar to me).
Type 81 Tan-SAM with it's fire control system.  Both are mounted on Isuzu trucks.
Hawk AA missile (model by Heroics & Ros).  I'm not sure if Japan actually used the tracked version, but model-wise it's the only game in town until I scratchbuild the wheeled launcher...
That's it for ground forces (for the moment at least) - next time we take to the air - with a few surprises!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

NZ Earthquake

Over the last 24 hours I've been hearing about the earthquake in New Zealand.  I know that I have a number of readers and followers in that country and just wanted to let you all know that I'm thinking of you.  Hope you are all safe.

Website of the Week - MERDC Camo

I came across this site while looking for MERDC camo references recently.  While the information it contains is quite widely available, it is useful to have it all on a single website.  Enjoy.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

6mm Modern Japanese - part 2 - recce and tanks

More of my 'modern' period Japanese forces now, with some photos of tanks & recce.  After experiments with M-24s in the '50s, the first indigenous tank was the Type 61 which looks a lot like a slightly scaled down M-47.  This was followed by the sleek (in an AMX-30 sort of way) Type 74 and more recently the Type 90.  Sadly the pics of the Type 90 did not come out at all well, but to my eyes it looks very much like an early Leopard 2.
Type 87 armoured car.  This and all other models in this post are by Scotia.
Type 61 MBT -  Produced from 1962 - early 1970s
Type 74 - produced from 1974.
Next time - artillery and AA vehicles.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

6mm Modern Japanese - part 1 - infantry vehicles

Following on from the report of the game set during a fictional invasion of Japan in the '80s, I dug out my Japanese forces and had some of them pose for the camera. 
Inspired by one of the crazy impulses we wargamers suffer from I bought a load of Japanese models from Scotia ( a few years ago and surprisingly, painted tham all within a short period of time.  A few words about Scotia for those of you unfamiliar with the make.  While the detail of their models generally falls some way short of GHQ or CinC, they are far cheaper, and in terms of both quality and price are on a par with Heroics & Ros.  The reason that I have so many Scotia models is that their range includes many models unavailable elsewhere.  As well as the Japanese, most of my South Africans are from Scotia, together with significant portions of my Arabs, Russians (especially engineering kit) and Gulf 1 UK & US troops.
An Infantry Company equipped with Type 73 APC (Produced from 1974).  The infantry are all Heroics & Ros.
All four Infantry Companies of the battalion.  I know that the Flags are overscale, but I felt they added a certain something.
The Heavy Weapons and AT Companies - SU 60 APC (produced 1959-early 1970s) and  Type 60 106mm SP Recoilless Gun.
A special photo for Don M - a close up of the Type 60.
Type 82 Command & Recce APCs.  I have a full battalion kitted out with these.
Next time - tanks and armoured cars.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Forbodian Jagers - part 2

More news from Forbodia now.  I decided on a colour scheme of dark green with purple trimming and a pale green shirt.  Although the figures are nicely detailed, the thick coat of PVA tones it down and makes it easier to achieve a 'toy soldier' paint effect.  I started with a small batch of five chaps (I was also painting four gunners at the same time) so as to avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed by the size of the task!
The next job is to varnish them - at least two coats - then stick them to individual bases.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Invasion of Japan, 1985

While looking for some other photos I came across a number of pics of this game, played a couple of years ago using my NATO Brigade Commander rules.  The scenario, set during the early stages of a fictional war in the mid-1980s saw a small Japanese force tasked with defending a stretch of coastline in anticipation of a Soviet (remember them?) amphibious landing.  The Japanese commander was in charge of an infantry battalion (in wheeled APCs), a recce squadron (Type 87 armoured cars) and an experimental AA missile battery.  The AA battery did not in fact have any live missiles, and although these were due to arrive by air, the Japanese commander was not to allow the new system to fall into enemy hands.  As far as I can remember, the Japanese objectives were to defend the two factories.  Reinforcements, including a tank battalion were available and would arrive randomly following any Soviet landing.
Soviet forces consisted of an understrength Naval Infantry Regiment, together with an Air Assault Brigade.
Early in the game - Soviet Paras have landed (by helicopter) on the hill above the Jap AA battery (which is under naval gunfire), while the Jap Mech battalion has seen off another Para assault on the airport.  The recce still anxiously watches out to sea...
Close-up of the fighting at the airport - the surviving stand of Paras (nearest camera) prepares to go down fighting.
Japanese reinforcements arrive (top left)
Meanwhile, out at sea...
Two battalions of Soviet Marines land.  The Paras have overrun the AA battery and engage the Japanese battalion at the airport (failing a morale check in the process).  The naval fire support is now aimed (badly!) at the airport defenders.
Close-up of the Naval Infantry disembarking.  The Lebed-class LCAC (Landing Craft Air Cushion - that's a hovercraft to you and me) are scratchbuilt from balsa and card. 
As the Lebeds return for more troops, the Naval Infantry overrun the factory defences.  The Air Assault guys try to land troops at the airport.  While under fire.  What could go wrong? 
Close-up of the carnage at the airport.  The Sovs have landed a BMD Para battalion (left) together with the Brigade HQ (centre) and Assault Gun battery (the ASU-85, right) - but are beset on all sides by angry Japs.  One of the Antonovs has clearly made a rather heavy landing.
Naval Infantry head north, having handed over the grey factory (next to the lake) to the Paras. At the bottom of the frame can be seen a Japanese Tank Battalion preparing to join the fun at the airport.
The Air Assault troops have fought off most of the (already battered) Japs.
Endgame.  The Sovs control the airport but the Jap tanks still threaten.  The Naval Infantry (top, centre) are heading to the main highway in order to deny that route to further Jap reinforcements.  The Sovs still have another battalion at sea.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Website of the week

My thanks to Wg Cdr Luddite for sending this week's link.  Remember these 'exploded' views you get in plastic kit instructions?  Well have a look at this:

A work of genius!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Forbodian Jagers - part 1

As part of my ongoing Funny Little Wars project, I decided that it was high time I painted more infantry.  Readers will recall that I have painted one small unit so far (the Palace Guard) for my fictional country of Forbodia.  Regular readers will no doubt be shocked to learn that a certain amount of toy buying has taken place over the past few weeks, and although the Forbodian Army is far from complete I have toys for parts of at least two other armies...  One is never enough.
While casting around for suitable toys I had a look at the ACW Zouaves made by HAT and decided that they would be suitable for the obscure Balkan principality that is Forbodia.  As Zouaves would also fit into a French-style army (or as H.G.Wells would have it, 'Army Horizon Blue') then I could justify buying quite a few of them. 
HAT actually produce two different sets of Zouaves, with 16 or 18 figures in each, so I bought three of each.  This enabled me to achieve some degree of uniformity in terms of poses and will give me four 20-figure battalions (at least one for Forbodia) plus 'spares' to be used as gunners, staff officers, medics etc.
These are really rather nice figures - seen here awaiting an initial coat of PVA.
Mine will look rather different to the box artwork!
The Forbodian Jager Battalion being formed.  The bases are only temporary to make them easier to handle while painting.
So far the figures have been sorted into units and the chaps who will form the Forbodian Jagers have been cleaned up a bit (there was very little flash to remove), washed to de-grease them, and stuck (using double-sided tape) to temporary card bases.  Next comes a liberal coat of PVA to provide a paintable surface.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Cambrai, 1917

As I mentioned in my earlier post 'Landships', my WW1 tanks were painted very quickly for use in a game.  I can't remember much detail of it so I'll let you try to figure it out from the photos.  To save your eyes, there are no fewer than 19 tanks on the table at the start of the game!  My three are in the middle (identifiable by the white/red/white flashes on the front).  Those at the far end may look like 15mm toys but they're just far away.  Honest.
Turn 1 - deployed and ready to roll!
Turn 2 - the tanks break trough the German line.
Turn 3 - to the green fields beyond?
Turn 4 - a major breakthrough
Turn 5 - more German resistance is encountered on the left
Turn 6 - the final German line is reached...
Turn 7 - two places!  Happily one of my toys is in the front row.
Turn 8 - Endgame - will these new-fangled tanks ever catch on?