Tuesday 13 December 2016

A hurried Hind

I forget where I picked up this old Esci kit but it's been 'in stock' for a couple of years.  As I'll soon have work for such a big chopper I decided to throw it together last weekend.
The parts all looked crisp enough.
It went together easily enough - helped by my usual disdain for internal detail which left many fiddly parts still on the sprue!
There were a fair few explody things to attach - I built these as separate sub-assemblies.

Lining up the rotor blades was an adventure.  I wonder how long they'll last.
So far so good.  I'm hoping to get it painted by the end of the year!

Friday 9 December 2016

Filthy Friday FAGOT

This grubby specimen was part of the Partizan 'plane purchase.  The original builder of this ancient Airfix MiG-15 had left it largely in the silvery-grey plastic.  
Given that the original Soviet decals had almost entirely flaked away and the general grubbiness and down at heel appearance of the kit I decided to pass it on to one of the WARPACT allies.
A set of East German decals was duly sourced from the decal box and it was ready for action again!

Monday 5 December 2016

I Shot the Sheriff

Well strictly speaking it was Tom.  And he shot the Deputy.*

Wednesday saw the debut of my Western gunfight game, accompanied by some of the collection of wooden buildings I bought a few months ago.  These are, I believe, mostly Starlux and my purchase included a couple of dozen Starlux plastic Wild West figures.
The quiet town of Gow's Creek (see previous post).
While Sheriff Armatys dallies upstairs with Big Lil some ruffians enter town.  As the chap in blue is flung out of the bar for trying to cadge free drinks a trio of desperadoes march in.  These are none other then the dreaded 'Big Hat Gang' led by 'Argumentative' Elsmore.  They demand the good liquor and get it.  Meanwhile the local Preacher looks in in disgust.
Our man in blue - as it turns out, a member of Tom's 'Bare Head Gang' stomps off the the other bar to try his luck again.
The Preacher calls in at the Sheriff's office to enquire about becoming a Deputy.
Another man in blue - also of the Bare Head Gang - quenches his thirst more responsibly at the well.  The Preacher is sworn as a Deputy but his request to be issued a Gatling gun falls on stony ground.
The Big Hat Gang are still whooping it up in the hotel when shooting, sorry I mean shootin', begins.
 Tom's man in the bar shoots the bartender from across the bar top.  And misses.  Twice.
His colleague by the well guns down the Deputy who has emerged from the bank.
A more accurate shot is fired by the leader of the Bare Head Gang who, from behind the stables (top left) guns down the Sheriff who falls - in a pleasingly cinematic manner - over the balcony.
Next Deputy Preacher assails the blue shooter by battering him with rocks - the only weapons he has been able to secure!
The respactable lady in green runs screaming towards the Sheriff's Office - thus ruining the Deputy's field of fire.
The finale.
The Big Hat Gang rush out of the hotel, gather up the dead Sheriff and use the corpse to batter their way into the Sheriff's office.  There they secure the dead man's keys and release a jailed accomplice.
The end!

*No?  Oh come on:  

Up the creek?

Where to begin?  In recent weeks I have been pondering some ideas for a Wild West game.
Having cobbled together some er 'rules' and scenario notes I then needed a name for my Wild West town.  And there things ground to a halt for a while.

And then providence smiled on me.  In an email last week Paul of the splendid Plastic Warriors blog mentioned that on his travels around NZ he had noticed this place name:
I took this to be, in every sense of the word, a sign!

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Tuesday Tupolev

Strictly speaking this is last Tuesday's Tupolev but I didn't get round to posting it then.
It's the old FROG kit of the SB.2 bomber which served from the late 1930s and well into the Great Patriotic War. 

As per the old box art, this one had originally been built with skis but they were in a poor state.  Having binned the skis and re-glued various parts I replaced the flaky original decals.

Friday 25 November 2016

Sheffield Wargames Society AGM

The AGM was held as planned on 23 November. 

Minutes will be circulated to members by email within the next few days.

The new Committee is as follows:

Chairman - Tim Gow

Secretary - John Armatys

Treasurer - Graham Northing

Show Secretary - Pete Scholey

Publicity Officer - Cy Harrison

A brief committee meeting was held immediately after the AGM.

The membership fee for the coming year remains at £15.00 and should be paid to the Treasurer by 31 December 2016.

SWS meets from 1845 on Wednesdays at:
Woodseats Working Men's Club, The Dale, Woodseats, Sheffield, S8 0PS

The new Chairman (right) conducts a committee meeting...

Monday 21 November 2016


Sorry - not a CASEVAC helicopter in sight.
The post title relates to the main job carried out during the refurb of these wobbly-winged wonders which were part of the Partizan plane purchase.
I actually dealt with these first as their numbers were less intimidating than those of the WW2 and Cold War models.
A lot of dust and some plastic.  This ancient SE5a may be the Revell kit.  Under the dust is was actually in pretty good shape with only some decals requiring replacement.
Less dust and less plastic.  This Nieuport 17 is again I believe a Revell kit.  The roundels were all but gone so I carefully scraped off the remains and added a set from the decal box.  I also took the opportunity to paint the tail stripes.
More dust and more plastic.  This Bristol Fighter is probably an Airfix offering.  Like the SE5a it had survived quite well, give or take the odd roundel.
The aircraft park taking shape.  But hang on - what are those big piles of dust and broken plastic at the back?
None other than (dramatic drum roll please...) in descending order of vastness  - and ascending order of completeness - an HP 0/400 (Airfix) and a Vickers Vimy (FROG).  An entire tube of glue disappeared in the securing of many, many struts.  I would never have been fool (or rich) enough to buy either of these kits so I feel very fortunate to get these vaguely serviceable versions so cheaply.
To see what fun the 0/400 is to build have a look at Al's version here.

Friday 18 November 2016

On to Washington!

No, not a leftover rallying call from last week's election, but a playtest of a new game to be published by PSC.  The designer is our old friend Martin Wallace whose games are always worth a look.
This is very much a 'working draft'.  The components of the published game will be much glossier.

 The board is pretty clear.  For the playtest, Jerry officiated while Graham and Martin skulked in Washington.  John and I represented the gentlemen of the South.
 Rather than bugger about waiting for the Yankee blockade to bite we decided on an all-out attack on Washington.

It went rather well but Jerry reckons that we got some of the rules wrong!  A promisingly straightforward game, I'm sure it'll do well when it goes on sale.

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Wednesday Wellington

Just emerged from the repair shop is the aged Wellington - I think it's the Airfix version.  My work has involved securing the tail parts and replacing most of the decals - the remaining originals were at best dry and flaky.  It still looks a bit tatty but it'll do for game use.

Monday 14 November 2016

Monday morning MiG

The recent Partizan 'plane purchase included about 50 postwar aircraft but the output of the Comrades from the East is woefully underrepresented.  In fact there are only three WARPACT aircraft of which this Egyptian-liveried MiG-21 is by far the most respectable.  I think it is the Airfix kit.
Like all the other models it had been built 'wheels down' and predictably the under cart had suffered over the years.  So I simply snapped off the remains.  Hence no photos of the underside...
Aside from that vandalism my contribution has been to varnish over the markings and glue a few bits back into place.

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Meteor strike

First out of the plastic pile from my recent purchase is this duo of Meteors. These required no repair work and all the decals were intact so the work involved was limited to varnishing over the decals.
The camouflaged specimen is - I believe - a FROG kit of the Mk8.  It's pretty basic but the lack of fripperies has probably helped it's survival.

I think this white version is the Airfix MkIII.  The the paint finish is certainly unusual, but given that snow is falling as I type this, it might be just the thing!

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Painfully predicable prodigious plastic 'plane purchase

Or - another car park, another dodgy arms deal.

So there I was at Partizan a few weeks ago. I mentioned in my earlier post on the show that there had been a certain incident. Here then, is the sorry tale.
By lunchtime I had spent a whole £3 on a book and was thinking of setting off home. But fatefully I decided to have one more walk round just to make sure I wasn't missing anything.
On one stand I spotted about 30 1/72 aircraft and asked the stallholder about them. He explained that they were owned by a friend who had just dropped them off for him to sell. As he began to reel off the prices of individual models I interrupted and asked what he'd take for the lot. He replied that he'd have to consult the owner. The latter - whose name I will not reveal - was duly summoned and in reply to my repeated question uttered the immortal words "I expect you'll want to see the rest of them..."
We thus repaired to the car park and soon were unloading more boxes from his car. The models, he explained, were the work of his grandfather but after a recent house move it had been agreed to move them on.
Following a quick count-up we agreed a deal which made the models mine for, well let's just say rather less than the price of kits. Quite a lot less in fact.
Almost half are WW2 aircraft, a few are WW1 and the remainder cover the Cold War era.
All are a good few years old and many date from several decades ago.  Though built to a generally high standard most have the usual old model issues of flaky decals, broken extremities and years of attic dust.
Over the coming weeks and months I'll post photos of the models as I recommission them.
And how many are there?  105....
Some dust.  And aeroplanes.

Tuesday 1 November 2016

Shoot to kill, Jim

On Wednesday John treated us to a sci-fi game using some Star Trek figures he bought and painted only this year.
The brave lads (and lasses) of The Federation were to investigate an object which was upsetting the equilibrium of an M-class planet.  I started at something of a disadvantage as I thought that an M-class was a Mercedes SUV...

Anyway, back to the plot.  Boldly going where no same man had gone before were the crew of the USS Illustrious, starring
Martin as Jim the Captain.
Tim as the serious bloke with the pointy ears.
Tom as 'third man on planet'.  Sorry Tom.
Plus some non-Equity members who were mostly there to catch alien bullets and diseases.
Our other objective was to secure a TV series...

We had been told that the planet may have been occupied by some nasty space goblins so clearly a wary approach was required.  Sadly Federation directives prevented us from just nuking the planet so Captain Jim decided to land a party of six crew members to investigate.
After beaming down we didn't have long to wait before the baddies appeared.
 These were horrible mis-shapen alien beings.  And Jerry and Graham's figures were pretty ugly too.

Back on the bridge calm reigned - I expect they were smoking some of those dilithium crystals again.
On the planet Captain Jim's plan was rapidly unravelling.  Turns out that conducting what was effectively a heliborne assault onto a 'hot' LZ wasn't such a great idea.
The green horrors were present in some profusion!  But we had a plan.  The crew beamed down a grenade from the Transporter Room...
...ah well, we got one of them.
Captain Jim then ordered another party to beam down.  Another fine mess ensued.
"we're under fire Jim, we canna tak much more..."
Shorn of the three man security detachment (the guys in red never last long), Spock, Jim and Nurse Chapel fled into the woods.  Jim got it in the back en route.  So I left him.
By now the ghastly green goblins had done for most of the rescue party.  Only Doctor Bones survived.  "it's worse than that, he's overacting Jim."
The goblins had a rather a tight grip on the objective...
..so I lobbed the last two grenades at it then flew off as the credits rolled.

So a not entirely successful pilot episode and no series contract.
But stay tuned for "Spock and the Space Goblins".  I think it's the future of TV.