Saturday 30 April 2011

Forbodian Artillery - part 3

I managed to make some progress this week with the batch of 1/32 scale figures which has been infesting my modelling table for some time now.  As a result, the army of the Kingdom of Forbodia has taken another tottering step towards readiness.
First up are these gunners.  Previous posts have featured the Guard Battery, and this is now joined by two Line Batteries.  The gunners are from the same box of A Call To Arms British Napoleonics as before, but with different coloured epaulettes and shako plumes.
A 3-man crew serving a classic Britains 4.7in gun.
Both batteries in action.
Coming soon - divisional and brigade staff, engineers and medics.

7 Armoured Div - part 3 - work resumed

It is a while since I did any work on this division (see previous posts:,, not least because I had forgotten all about it!  Last weekend, however I opened it's (beautifully labelled) box file and was pleased to see the progress I had made last year.  There still remains, however, the small matter of the armoured brigade, to say nothing of the AA & AT regiments and the transport for the infantry brigade.
I therefore set to with the drybrushing and slapped on the base coat of green.  Hopefully I'll get more done this coming weekend.
Tha painting in progress - 3 Cromwells (unknown resin), Challenger (Frontline), Achilles (Armourfast conversion), Crusader AA (Frontline), Daimler s/c (Matchbox) and Bedford OY lorry (unknown resin)

Friday 29 April 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

To my considerable surprise I have received two nominations for a Stylish Blogger Award!  So thanks to Ross Macfarlane ( and Bob Cordery ( for their (misplaced?) confidence in me.
The Stylish Blogger Award Rules seem (like all the best rules) to be open to many interpretations but most seem to agree on the following points:

1.Thank and link back to the bloggers who nominated you this award.
2.Share seven things about yourself.
3.Nominate some great bloggers.
4.Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

1. Has already been dealt with above - thanks again to Ross and Bob.
2. Hmm - tough one this.  OK, here goes.
Seven current wargames projects (this took a bit of narrowing down!):
i. Funny Little Wars - completing the army of the Kingdom of Forbodia in preparation for an actual game!
ii. Finishing off 7 Armoured Division (20mm, late WW2 Megablitz division).
iii. Another brigade for my NATO Brigade Commander game - Austrians perhaps, or Israelis?
iv. Compiling the programme and timetable for this years Conference of Wargamers
v. More 6mm Great War French troops (another corps or two...) for some 1914 Op14 scenarios.
vi. Writing another NBC scenario we can play over the next few weeks.
vii. Playing throught more Command & Colours Napoleonics scenarios with my 15mm toys.
My last seven wargames-related acquisitions:
i. A sheet of decals (red stars) to finish off my Li-2.
ii. A 1/32 French Napoleonic limber for adaptation and use with my Funny Little Wars forces.
iii. 1/32 Mamelukes and staff officers - also for use with Funny Little Wars.
iv. Osprey Men at Arms books on The Ottoman Army 1914-18 and The French Foreign Legion 1872-1914.
v. Some of the latest 1/285 scale releases from GHQ - including the impressive SA-15 launchers.
vi. Two units of painted 15mm British infantry for use with CCN.
vii. Several square metres of 2 inch thick insulation foam for building terrain features (or insulating the loft) - a gift from Len Cooksey.
Seven games I have designed:
i. Megablitz - WW2 operational level game.
ii. NATO Brigade Commander - postwar (and WW2) brigade-level game for use with hex terrain and 6mm toys.
iii. Sgt. Pavlov's Dogs - a participation game run by Wargame Developments at a number of shows a few years ago.  Silly tanks and exploding dogs - what's not to like?
iv. Aces High - a 20-minute card game of the Battle of Britain.
v. Shut It! - a boardgame based on that classic TV cop show The Sweeney.
vi. Iron Ships & Wooden Heads - a DBA-based excuse to use 1/6000 toy ships in a tabletop game set between the 1910s and 1940s.
vii. Don't Cry For Me- or How I stopped worrying about the bomb and learned to love penguins.  A matrix game of the Falklands campaign.  Designed for a one-off session, this was played several times over the course of a decade, generally producing a fairly historical result despite odd events such as Chilean and Soviet(!) interventions.
Seven great wargames quotes:
i. 'Bloody hell, it's the Graf Spee'  Martin Rapier (after said vessel had been on the table for an hour)
ii. 'Chariots are as good as helicopters' Ian Russell Lowell (presenting a biblical warfare game)
iii. 'I'm not afraid of direct sunlight' Phil Barker (context forgotten but who cares?)
iv. 'Anything but a one Wayne' (various - a reference to the dice rolling ability of Wayne Thomas.
v. 'You can never have too many lorries'  Me
vi. 'It's all factored in' My usual excuse for not including something in a game.
vii. 'Gotcha!' Nick Mitchell (by text message) after the first outing of the aforementioned Falklands game.
Seven (nine actually) scales and eight periods I wargame in:
i. 6mm - Classical, WW1, WW2, Postwar.
ii. 15mm - Napoleonic, Sudan, modern Africa.
iii. 20mm - WW2 (with 1/144 aircraft)
iv. 54mm - Early 20th Century
v. 2mm - 19th Century
vi. 1/6000 - 20th Century naval (with 1/1200 aircraft)
vii. 1/1 - Airsoft - WW2 & Cold War
The last seven cars I have owned:
i. Saab 9-5 Aero
ii. Mercedes E200T (W124)
iii. Honda CR-V ES TDCi
iv. VW Touran SE TDi
v. Volvo 945 GLE 16v
vi. Volvo 945 Celebration 2.3LPT
vii. Ford Mondeo 2.0GLX
Seven plastic kits I made a real hash of when I was a kid and would like another go at:
i. Airfix 1/72 Westland Scout
ii. Airfix 1/72 Messerscmitt Bf-109G
iii. Frog 1/72 EE Lightning
iv. Airfix OO/HO SAM-2 Missile
v. Airfix 1/72 Heinkel He-111
vi. Revell 1/72 A-7 Corsair
vii. Airfix 1/72 Spitfire IX

3. In no particular order we have: - Paul churns out models in such quantities and with a quality of finish I can only dream of.  He even has time to play wargames! - you are never too far away from a game report on Geordie's blog. - creative conversions,imaginative settings and beautiful paintwork - an absolute delight. - an Icelandic secret agent with James Bond pretensions and all done with toys - fantastic! - everything from interesting bits of history to decorating hints.  And some wargames. - Al churns out splendid toys at a prodigious rate and even manages to play games with them! - not a wargames blog, but lots of interesting stuff on the current Chinese armed forces, including photos presumably taken at some personal risk to the photographer. - a 'history' with game reports of a fictional civil war in late 20th Century Britain.  Been a bit quiet lately... - splendid battle reports featuring imaginative names and lovely 40mm toy soldiers. - he makes models, he drinks beer. Now that's multi-tasking. - Phil Steele's 20th Century blog.  Very inspirational (if only I wasn't so lazy).

Thursday 28 April 2011

Hs 123

The latest addition to my 1/144 air fleet (or should that be Luftflotte?) is this little charmer.  This Reviresco model was part of the same order as the SB-2s mentioned a few weeks back ( and being not only a metal kit but a biplane, I again contracted out the work to Wg Cdr Luddite.  The Wg Cdr passed me the completed model last week and these are his photos below. 
The '123 is the only 1/144 WW2 German biplane I own.
I particularly like the pilot peering over the side of his cockpit.
According to the Wg Cdr, this was a 'right b*****d' to build.  As I explained, that's why he got the job!

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Lisunov Li-2 - part 1 - work in progress

While my modest collection of Soviet WW2 aircraft now contains not only fighters, ground attack and bombers, it lacks any transport capacity.  The numerically most significant type of this period was the Li-2, a licence produced version of the DC-3 already operated by Aeroflot.  As the Li-2 was basically identical to the DC-3, and I happened to have a kit of the latter (Minicraft) in stock, the result was rather inevitable.
The kit went together nicely and required only slight de-flashing along some joints.
The kit consisted of about 30 parts.
I bought this kit in a sale a few years ago - I think it cost about £5.
The largely completed model.  I couldn't resist adding the gun turret with which some militarised Li-2s were fitted.  Mine came from the spares box.
Painted and awaiting the addition of some big red stars.  I'll have to order these as I have none in the decal box. 
I plan to order decals this week (thus more than doubling the cost of the model...) and will post pics of the finished model as and when.

Monday 25 April 2011

3inch AA Gun

Another one (or rather, two) from the 1940 Brits box now.  Although far from new, it's a good while since this stuff was seen in public.  There was a period in the early-mid 1990s when everytime I went to a wargames show attended by Raventhorpe, they had aded to their range of slightly obscure 1930s/early WW2 vehicles.  It's almost as if they saw me coming...  This particular combo proved irresistible (to me at least) and unusually, little time elapsed between purchase and paint. 
The 'QF 3inch 20cwt', or Vickers 3in AA gun to you and me, was a development of a widely used WW1 gun, and the wheeled carriage seen here entered service from 1930. 
The Thornycroft Hathi (Hindi for 'elephant') was built in very small numbers for the British Army during the 1920s, but it's four-wheel-drive system made it difficult to maintain.
Both models are rather substantial metal kits which took a fair bit of assembly work - the gun had around 20 parts and the Hathi around 12.

Sunday 24 April 2011

Coming soon...

Happy Easter!  No posts for the past few days due to a busy end to the week at work and various family-related stuff over the weekend.

Normal service is on it's way though with a number of posts planned over the next few weeks including (probably):
1. More toys for the Forbodian Army (for my Funny Little Wars project) - as seen here on the modelling table.
2. Another 1/144 scale aircraft built for me by Wg Cdr Luddite - it's the one in the foreground of the above photo in case anyone wants to try and identify it....
3. A further 1/144 scale model I am in the process of painting - visible at the rear of the photo. 
4. A preview of Better Red than Dead - Wargame Developments' 2012 participation game which will be unleashed on an unsuspecting gaming public at Triples on 21 & 22 May.
5. A report on an NBC game - set on Crete in 1941.  This is currently set up on my wargames table and awaits playtesting.
6. More early WW2 20mm Brits.
7. More Megablitz units - including 50 (Northumbrian) Division - I'm open to further requests for specific units.
8. A report of a further C&C Napoleonic game.

That's quite a list - I'd better get on with it!

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Nationale Volksarmee in Sherwood Forest!

I finally managed my first airsoft outing of the year on Sunday.  I was joined by a few other members of our (very) informal airsoft team, Wheezy Kompanie at Phoenix Airsoft's woodland site just along the road.  There were around 40 players in total.
Martin and I both decided to give our East German 'Strichtarn' camo an outing while Gunter went for modern German Flecktarn and Tony & Alex British DPM. 
Rifles used were as follows:
Tim - am: nice wood & metal AKM, pm: scruffy old black AKM
Martin - am: modified M-14 (it will pass as an SVT-40), pm: G-3 SG1
Gunter - am:  G-36 (long version with bipod), pm: G-36C
Tony - AK-47
Alex - G-36C
All photos taken by Tony Lineker and used here with his kind permission.
Martin (right) and I prepare to repel an assault by the capitalist imperialist lackeys from the west.  Must be from Derbyshire then?
Your humble correspondent helping to make the world safer for the peoples' democracies.
Gunter turns his G-36C on a flanking attack.
It may be cheap and not very cheerful, but Strichtarn is pretty good camo!

Monday 18 April 2011

Memoir 45

This game, played at the Sheffield club last Wednesday was Martin's development of the well-known Memoir 44 game.  While, as regular readers will know, we are quite keen on the ancient and Napoleonic versions of Command & Colours, the WW2 game has never really caught on with some of us.  And me in particular.  I put this down to the fact that, unlike the other periods, I actually know a little bit about WW2 and this makes the heavily stylised aspects of the game rather more evident.  Anyway, after discussing it a few times, Martin went off and made a few tweaks to the basic Memoir system - differentiating between medium and heavy armour and guns for example.
The game setup as viewed from the German side.
I forget the details of the scenario - hopefully Martin will comment and address this - except that it involved the Germans counterattacking Canadian positions in early 1945.  John and Jerry looked after the Canadians while I 'Panzer Gow' commanded the Germans with my usual style and panache.  Despite this handicap the forces of the Reich actually did rather well.
The game used Martin's 15mm toys and his set of green Hexon terrain.  I took along some 1/144 scale aircraft - Fw190s and Typhoons - in case anyone got air support.
Panthers ('heavy' tanks don't you know...) and infantry prepare to surge forward.
German infantry clear a hill of hordes of dug-in Canadians....
...with a little help from the Panthers
The Landsers who took the town are attacked in turn by massed armour.  Well Shermans anyway.
The dramatic right flank attack led by Panthers.  This rescued the increasingly vulnerable survivors from FJR Rgt 6 and basically won the game.
Meanwhile in town the Shermans are close assaulted by some very angry infantry.
 While it was a pleasant game and we rattled through it in under an hour and a half, the general view was that it wasn't something we desperately wanted to play again and may in fact be a developmental blind alley.  Ah well, you don't know these things until they are tried.

Saturday 16 April 2011

Box file labelling project

After many years of messing around with various sizes of boxes, tool boxes and drawers I have now reached the point where most of my toys live in box files.  Specifically, all the 20mm (WW2), 15mm Napoleonic & Modern Africans, 6mm Ancients, some terrain and various other odds and ends. 
This has the dual benefits of making shelving and transport easier to arrange.  I started using box files in the early 1990s and their numbers, in an entirely predictably way, rapidly grew out of control.  The true horror of this was brought home to me when I moved house five years ago and I decided to shift the box files by car.  My initial delusion that I would only need a single trip evaporated rapidly when the car (a not very small VW Touran) was full, and the toy room far from empty.  Three trips later....
I started off labelling them when they only numbered about 20, and initially printed rather grand bespoke labels which I then glued onto the box files.  Needless to say this labour intensive system soon fell by the wayside and the post-it notes which succeeded them had a tendency to fall off.  Small hand-written labels served as an interim measure but a proper solution was clearly required!
A couple of years ago, therefore, I began creating sheets of suitably marked posting labels (I keep them in stock for business purposes) and the quality of these has taken a step forward with the acquisition last year of a colour laser printer.  I can now report that around 90% of my box files are labelled in this way.
Some of the British Megablitz toys.  I have, to an extent, been able to colour code the box files by nationality.  Most of the WW2 Brits are in silver boxes, French in blue, US green, German grey or black etc.  Most box files accommodate a division.
Italians - as their divisions are smaller, I can usually fit two in a box.  Some (infantry) divisions will fit in the half-height boxes.
Some of the WW2 Soviets - while the Rifle Corps (of 3-4 divisions) have a box each, because of the ever changing organisation of Tank Corps, Artillery Divisions and so on, other Soviet toys are boxed by category - 'Light Artillery Regiments', 'Heavy Tanks' etc.  Incidentally, the thing on the right which looks like a rifle barrel is in fact...a rifle barrel.  Of an airsoft AK.
All 3 boxes of Sudan toys. 
Some of the 6mm pointy-stick guys and a whole box of stands for 1/300 and 1/144 aircraft.

Friday 15 April 2011

Boeing E767 AWACS

I mentioned in the recent post about my Japanese C-130 that there was an even more outrageous model to come.  Here it is.  Built from a Doyusha plastic kit, this is a 1/300 scale model of the militarised 767, complete with flying saucer attachment on the roof.  God knows how I'll find a way to include it in a game - all I can say is that stranger things have flown, driven and to a lesser extent, sailed across my wargames table...

Wednesday 13 April 2011

British Armoured Brigade - 1940

Skulking in the same box as the Morris and Rolls-Royce armoured cars, and completed at around the same time is my 1940 British Armoured Brigade.  In the early 1990s I picked up a number of early cruiser tanks made by Black Star Models.  Most are destined for service in North Africa, but I decided to build a Brigade for use in Europe in 1940.  I am still impressed at my restraint in not building the whole of 1st Armoured Division, but then the real one was never fully deployed. 
A9 Cruiser.  This is a particular favourite of mine as it is so obviously past it's best by 1940.  Two MG turrets - what were they thinking?
A13 Mk1.  These were ridiculously fast.  When they worked.
Vickers MkVI light tank.  This is a metal kit by RAFM - who did a small but very useful range - are they still available?
The whole of the mighty brigade assembled for action.

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Be careful what you wish for...

During the discussion (comments) which followed the recent post about my Morris Armoured Car (, and the merits or otherwise of the mighty Boys AT rifle with which it is armed, Paul (this one: suggested that althought it would struggle with tanks, a Honda might make a good target.  Unfortunately, the commander of the Morris (see photo below) is a regular reader - and it clearly gave him ideas!

The Morris car's commander scans the landscape from the wargames room window sill for suitable targets...
aha, what's this he can see?
Target acquired! (my Wife's CR-V - bought a couple of weeks ago)
Damn - out of range!  So he makes a call to some chums... the Medium Artillery Regiment, and soon....
A hit!  And when the smoke clears....
Oh dear. 
This will be rather tricky to explain to my domestic authorities....

Monday 11 April 2011

Japanese C-130

Not much modelling to report over the weekend. As the weather was so nice we had a trip to the seaside on Saturday (sunny but breezy, so handy to have the Mazda van to shelter and make cups of tea in between walks) and various garden and chicken related activities occupied Sunday morning.
A couple of months ago I posted photos of some of my modern 6mm Japanese forces, finishing up with some aircraft (  I am happy to report that after finishing a more models recently I can now add to the collection.
C-130 Hercules by F-Toys.  This model was pre-coloured and required assembly and markings.
The overall pale blue colour is rather striking on an aircraft of this size!
The C-130 came in the same set as the Orion and Neptune models.  The other C-130s included one which will end up as an RAF aircraft and two in the livery of the US 'Blue Angels' team.  One has already been repainted for use with my  Pakistani forces.
There is a further Japanese aircraft still to come.  It is far more outrageous than the Herc.