Saturday 30 December 2017

Sea Hawk - part 2

Calamity!  No grey spray paint.  No matter, I used white primer instead.  If anything this makes the thing look even more sleek.  Brushwork to follow when the undercoat dries.

Tuesday 26 December 2017

Sea Hawk - part 1

There seemed at first to be rather a lot of parts but this illusion was due to them being in five separate packages!
 This version of the kit contains decals for West German Bundesmarine...
 ...and Indian Navy machines.
 The instructions were clear and the parts crisply moulded.
  Build progressed smoothly...
...and is now complete.  Hopefully I have some grey spray paint in the garage...

Monday 25 December 2017

The results are in!

All of the votes cast have been counted* and the result independently verified**.
My thanks to all those of you who discharged your democratic duty in so responsible a manner.

Trailing in third place with only six votes is the Lavochkin LA-7.
In second place with a creditable nine votes is the Jolly Green Giant..
Which means that the clear winner with a mighty eleven votes is the Sea Hawk.

Analysis of the results revealed that popularity correlates with price, the ‘Hawk having cost £8.00 and the JGG £6.89 while the LA-7 was free. At least to me. Make of that what you will. The build will commence later today.

Happy Christmas!

* all 26 of them
** by my dog

Saturday 23 December 2017

Christmas Kit Build

It's (nearly) Christmas, I have toys to paint and kits to build and this blog has 200 followers!

To celebrate the latter I will shortly be running a competition with actual prizes. 
Admit it - until you remembered it was me writing you were mildly excited.

Until then I need your help choosing which kit to build next.  The Poll is to the right of this post - please vote and leave a comment supporting your view.  Even if it's that I should get a life.

The options and their stories are as follows:

Lavochkin LA-7
Appalled at my having had a hastily built LA-5 stand in during the TF Smith game, John found and kindly gave me this kit the following Wednesday.  He is insistent that it is ready for the re-run of the TF Smith scenario.  And apparently it was cheap.

Hawker Sea Hawk
Bought on a whim on eBay (yes, I was shocked too...), I may have a need of a Sea Hawk in Royal Navy markings for a Suez '56 scenario I am plotting.  I have never previously owned a Sea Hawk in any scale.  This kit was, at £8 including postage, the most expensive of the trio.

HH-3E Jolly Green Giant
It's big and has an amusing name.  I can offer no more rational explanation for the presence of this monstrosity.  Many years ago I had the Revell version and no doubt I made a hash of it.  Perhaps it's time to make amends.  This was slightly cheaper then the Sea Hawk.

Vote now - polls close at 1100 on Christmas day!

Friday 22 December 2017

The lamp is dead....

...long live the lamp!

In this Post from almost six years ago. I mentioned my modelling table setup. Since then little has changed. Until today. My trusty brown Anglepoise lamp died!  In fairness it was approximately 40 years old and included parts from a later version and a home made weight so I don’t feel too hard done by.
As a replacement I have moved the red Ikea lamp in the photo above from my office desk. This young upstart is a mere 15 or so years old - I wonder how long it will last.
So now I need a new office desk lamp...

Added 23/12/17 1022hrs - apologies if you couldn't see the photos in this post - hopefully you now can!

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Task Force Smith - a Little Cold Wars game

Last Wednesday I ran a test of a scenario I am working on for the follow-up to Little Cold Wars.  So now you know why I was painting all these North Koreans and the Great Patriotic War surplus Sturmovik and Lavochkin.  I also made some new hills - they're the brown ones in the photos - and roads.
In the event the scenario needs a bit of tweaking as I felt is was unsatisfactory - though all four players enjoyed it.  We'll try the revised version next year but I thought you'd want to see the photos anyway.  John was Col. Smith with Graham as his artillery officer.  Martin and Tim led the commies.
The situation is pretty well known.  Basically an under-strength US infantry battalion (1/21st) has been hurriedly flown from Japan, driven across Korea for several days and them dumped on a wet and muddy hillside which sits astride the NK route south.  What could go wrong?
As usual with Little Cold Wars games the figures are 1/32, vehicles 1/50ish and aircraft 1/72.  Stands are US platoons or KPA half-companies.
So exciting was the game that I kept forgetting to take photos.  Above - TF Smith having dealt with the first T-34s the others begin a flanking move.
US infantry (Britains Deetail) gloat over their early success.
Just in front of the burning T-34 can be seen the 75mm RCL platoon which did the damage.
Col. Smith keeps an eye on things.
KPA infantry trudge unimaginatively forward.

Each turn dice were rolled for air support - needing a 12 on 2D6.  There was dancing in the streets of Pyongyang at this point.
Soon my recently completed IL-2 was in the air  - and supported only by a bent wire clothes hanger it flew down the road bombing and strafing.  To no great effect.

Next turn an further 12 was rolled and the LA-5 came out to play....

...with similar lack of effect!
By now KPA infantry was surging across the bridge and things were getting quite unpleasant.

At this point we drew a veil over the action and discussed revisions to the layout and briefings.

Sunday 10 December 2017

Lavochkin LA-5

Friday.  Needing another Soviet aircraft to accompany my Sturmovik  I went rummaging for the fighter (was it a YAK or a Lavochkin?) I was convinced was in stock.  Either my search skills or memory were at fault though, as I couldn't find such a thing.  The internet responded well to the challenge and this Italeri LA-5 kit arrived on the Friday. 
 Saturday.  The following day I built the thing.  It wasn't a challenging build

Sunday.  I spray painted the ensemble green.
Monday.  Painted camo and details.
Tuesday.  Applied decals and varnish.
Wednesday.  Used it in a game!  more on the game coming soon.

Added 20/12/17 - last Wednesday John A presented me with an old kit of an LA-7 he had stumbled upon.  Expect to see it soon....

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Araxes, 529BC

Historically this battle saw Cyrus The Great try to extend his domains east of the Caspian Sea.  Here he encountered the Massagetai and in an earlier battle captured the heir to the throne.  The lad in question, Spargapises,   committed suicide rather then be ransomed.  None of this endeared Cyrus to the local Queen, Tomyris, who ordered her archers to target the Persian King .  It clearly worked for Cyrus perished on the field.  What would happen this time round?
For the game - played using my Hexon terrain and 25mm toys - I was Cyrus the Great while John played the enraged Queen.  The top photo shows the initial deployments - Persians astride the river.

The King of Kings skulking behind his Immortals.
The Persian line soon surged forward
My plan was to keep the enemy pinned against the hill line.
Persian cavalry making a little foray on the left.  The marshy ground didn't help.
A Persian unit scores an unheard-of three hits against a Massagetai warrior unit.  That'll teach 'em.

As you can see, it got very messy in the centre.

Even Cyrus braved the hail of arrows and advanced to encourage his Immortals...
...who duly dispatched a seventh enemy unit to secure a hard-fought victory.

So Cyrus lives still!