Sunday 31 January 2016

Christmas Fairey part 3

Given that title of this series of posts it seemed reasonable to try and get the thing finished by the end of January!
You'll recall that the kit went together quite well (post) so my final opportunity to mess it up came with the paintwork.
 It actually seems to have turned out quite well - though as usual the camera flash is very unforgiving.
 Paint scheme and decals as per the box art.

All I need now is a heavily defended bridge to attack...

Saturday 30 January 2016

Delaying Action

 This was a NATO Brigade Commander game run by Martin using his 2mm toys.  John and Tim C (above) led the wicked capitalists....
...while the forces of progressive socialism were commanded by Jerry and your Humble Correspondent.  A clear victory to us in the battle of the silly hats.
  The field of battle.  Each 10cm hex is 1km across in the game.  
Out objective was to head west and not stop!
The Sov forces were a Tank Regiment 3 Btls of T-64, a  Motor Rifle Btl in BMP, a SP artillery Btl and a Co each of AA, Recce, Engineers and HQ.  We also had 2 flights each of Mi-24 Hinds and Su-17 Fitters on call.
 We also had the Divisional Recce Btl, augmented by engineers and SP artillery.
Our cunning plan was to send the Recce Btl on the right to act as a distraction while the main force moved along the axis of the autobahn.
The opening moves saw out programmed artillery landing on four crossroads, while the Brits blew up bridges.

 The wicked Brits flew in some TA reinforcements by helicopter.
 As usual, activation was card driven.
The British defence line was pretty much where we'd expected to find it.  This squadron of Chieftains was an unwelcome discovery.
 We soon called in the Hinds to deal with the Chiefies.  We upset them but didn't kill any.
 An overview of the devastated landscape.
 Those Chieftains were quite a problem - both heli flights were soon engaged.
 Once our barrage lifted we were able to move through the villages - but then the British gunners opened up...
 The Chieftains soon ran off to the next position while a T-64 Btl stormed along the autobahn.
 Barrage over, it was time to move up the Btl of Sp 122s.

 The Brits in the centre soon came under enough pressure to drive them away.
Endgame.  We had one Btl off the western end and another poised to follow. At this point the Brits decided to pull out.

We agreed that honours were pretty even.  The Brits had successfully carried out that more difficult of operations, a delaying action and withdrawal under fire.  The Sovs has successfully pressed forward covering 12km in an hour and a half with a very acceptable casualty rate.

Friday 29 January 2016

Substandard Spitfire - part 2

 The fun continues with this kit.  I removed the tape which had held it together while the glue dried (see earlier post) only to have several bits ping apart.  How annoying. Yet more glue was applied, along with more tape and I started on the filler.

I will be moderately surprised if this ends up looking much like a Spitfire!

Monday 25 January 2016

Dawn breaks over the Skagerrak

 Following on from the previous Herring War encounter (see this earlier post), as dawn broke the fleets were again in contact.  For this quick game Jerry played the Danes while I commanded the Norwegians.  The 'rules' were a slightly developed version of the single page we used last week.
Above can be seen the Danes appearing from the East (right) with a battleship, cruiser, and two TBs.  The Norwegian coast defence battleship has appeared from the South, accompanied by a small armed freighter.  In the NE corner can be seen a pair of Norwegian freighters heading West while three TBs have just arrived from that direction.

 Frantic manouevering soon began...
 The DA ships were clearly trying to 'sandwich' the NO battleship, while the latter had shielded it's TBs from DA gunfire.  Shells were soon landing close to the DA cruiser...
 The gunnery range in use again.  Pete was dragged away from setting up his own game to try it out.
 A hit on the NO battleship - happily the '1' meant it was a dud.  Don't buy your ammo from Masden!
 By now things were really hotting up!  The two hits on the distant DA cruiser resulted in it losing it's remaining guns and reduced to half speed. Meanwhile the NO TBs sail on through a hail of fire!
 The gunnery range.  The number of target sized has expanded from three to five to cope with a wider range of situations.
 The final reckoning.  While the Danes blazed away at them, my TBs got close enough to each loose off a pair of torpedoes.  All six hit...but four of them were duds.  A stiff letter has been sent to Whiteheads...
 As it happened, the remaining two were enough.  A double '1' rolled by an armoured ship causes a massive internal explosion and total loss.  Yes, just like the double '1'1 in the photo...
 As the Danes detonated we resolved their gunfire....
...which sank two of my TBs.  Still, not a bad rate of exchange!

Sunday 24 January 2016

Substandard Spitfire

While the paint was drying on my Fairey Battle I cracked open this Revell Spitfire kit.  While I only bought it a couple of years ago I knew the tooling must be getting on a bit but nothing prepared me for the degree to which this kit didn't fit together.  The plastic was very thin and almost every part was badly warped.
I often use bits of masking tape to hold parts together while the glue dries - but here the tape is also holding the thing in - more or less - the right shape.
Before that stage I had to bend several parts almost to breaking point in order to assemble the bloody thing.  What a horror!

Monday 18 January 2016

A scrap in the Skagerrak

The Battle of the Skagerrak, 1909

I am currently involved in a small PBEM campaign set during the 1909 Herring War between Norway and Denmark.  I, Admiral Lars Toeplast, command the Royal Norwegian Navy, ably assisted by my intelligence chief, Captain Captain Jakob von der Lippe (Jerry Elsmore).  The dastardly Dane is none other than Mr Alan Gruber.  The campaign is being run from his London bunker by Bertrand.

I'll not insult you by outlining the background to this well-known conflict.  Suffice it say that it's all the fault of the Danes.

The two 'fleets' having clashed on the umpires map, there was a clear need - or excuse - to get out some toy ships and play it through.  Bertrand did so using large models and amended 'Boilers & Breechloaders' rules and then last Wednesday the good people of Sheffield Wargames Society braved a game using my 1/1200 scale ships and a single page hastily typed notes.  Jerry presented the situation and I ran the game.  The Norwegians were John A and Martin R, the Danes Tim C, Richard H and John G.

As night was fast approaching when the fleets closed, the following words and photos outline what the respective officers thought was happening.  But none of them has ever had much grasp on reality...

The gunnery system involved firing matchsticks at various sizes of targets according to range and light conditions.  It provided an entertaining if excessively bloody game but further developments - refinements even - are under way.

The ship models bore but little relation the vessels they represented - being unaccountably short of Scandinavian warships I simply used the least unlikely models I had.
 the Danish commanders confer
 The Norwegians review their fleet
 The mostly mercantile Norwegian fleet, the large warship is the coastal battleship Harald Haarfagre (the model is the Schleswig Holstein by MY Models)
 The far more numerous Danish fleet, including the cruiser Helka (actually an Austrian Helgoland class) and the coastal battleship Olfert Fisher (the model is the Austrian Tegetthoff).
 The gunnery targets.  The small target is in use, with the medium and large at readiness.
 Was the smoke laid by torpedo boats or from damage? 
 A fearsome sight - John A fires a salvo... the medium target...
...and hits!
The Olfert Fisher was reported sunk by torpedoes.  
The TB at right angles to the others is the Norwegian TB1....
 ...from which no more was heard!
  When night fell searchlights were much in evidence.  Players who wished turn on lights had to choose 'blind' from a selection of randomly cut lengths of white card.
After losing contact with the Helka, the Danish armed yacht Spam I Kunne...
...fired a parting shot (Tim C at the breech)...
...and fled