Friday 30 November 2018

Holiday shopping 2

While I was in buying bridges, in the same Dutch model shop I spotted a pile of cheap-ish kits. So of course I dived in for a rummage!  The ancient Heller set above was a good buy as Hotchkiss MGs can be difficult to find in this (1/35) scale. €3.99. 
Another useful set, I bought this set of Japs ‘cos it was cheap. Who knows what they’ll end up as?  Not me.
I’ve always rather liked the idea of this set of Generals and at this price it was irresistible. 
I don’t recall having seen this set before but a better informed (and clearly richer) friend tells me this sprue was included with the LandRover Ambulance set he had in the 1970s.

Thursday 29 November 2018

Calamitously crappy Commie Canberra - part 1

They say you should never judge a book by it's cover.  The same rule should apply to kits and their boxes, but sometimes a crappy box is simply a warning of what is to follow.  So it was with this horrid cheap Eastern-bloc cardboard box.
The contents  - in  garish yellow plastic...
...and the instructions, printed on what felt like recycled loo roll.  I believe this is another reworking of the old FROG kit.
The parts didn't look too bad - until I tried fitting them together.  At this point, considerable quantities of masking tape and blu-tac were deployed to hold the parts - if not in place then at least in loose formation.
This much yellow plastic is quite hard on the old eyes!  And you could fly a Hunter through those panel gaps.  Paint coming next.  Lots of it.

Pelusium 525BC

I found these photos of a Command & Colours game played in late 2017.  The Persians under Cambyses II (right) took on Egyptians led by Psamtik III.

Monday 19 November 2018

Aeronavale Corsair part 3

I finally remembered to take some photos of the finished Corsair.  The yellow and black 'Suez stripes' are a bit ropey close up, as indeed are the hand painted tail stripes but the overall effect is quite striking.  Now I'd better write to game it's intended for....


Thursday 15 November 2018

The Cold War - again!

This is the latest in the Quartermaster General series of game - and given the subject matter it should come as no surprise that I signed up for the kickstarter.  We tried it last night and got through six turns in 90 minutes - a respectable first outing.
 The game board looks very familiar, and as usual the game is driven by cards - no dice in sight!  It accommodates up to six players in three 'blocs'.  For out test game, in the blue corner Jerry and Robert were the decadent capitalists, in red Martin and John were the 'nuke 'em till they glow' Commies, while Pete (visiting from Huddersfield) and I made up the peace-loving non-aligned bloc with yellow (Chinese), Orange (Indian) and brown (others) pieces.
Pete and I swiftly consolidated our hold on SE Asia while the rest of the world was preoccupied by the reds building a wall round Berlin - and them bombing it!
Germany soon turned red, encouraging the comrades in Italy. Meanwhile our army in the Balkans kept very quiet...  Our plan was basically to encourage the encourage the big boys to slug each other stupid while we quietly racked up victory points.  Much to Jerry's (very entertaining) fury it worked!
 The red menace rolls westward.  Martin was unable to restrain John from making use of shiny WMDs.  We meanwhile secured Turkey and the Middle East.... well as Iran and Australia, though I (as Chairman Mao) wasn't best pleased about the Indian fleet in the South China Sea.  There's a clue in the name there Pete!
Near the end - the reds have overrun western Europe and kicked us out of the Balkans.  But no-one was quite ready for us to build forces in (Nationalist) Spain and dispatch the NATO fleet in the Atlantic!  Once again General Franco has the last laugh!
My recently acquired figure of General Franco laughing.

Friday 9 November 2018

A horde of Strormtroopers

Bertrand and I have a plan underway for a Verdun game, so I recently completed this batch of 1916 Germans.  These are Armies in Plastic 1/32 figures, mostly as they came out of the box, though note the two prone chaps with captured Lewis guns.  The photos were a bit rushed and taken when the varnish (Ronseal satin light oak) was still tacky.
The chaps in the front company (sorry, Kompanie) are wearing the 1916-issue 'S' (for Stosstruppe) armbands.  Sad but true.

Wednesday 7 November 2018

Men in hats or Not Quite El Alamein

A couple of weeks ago I attended a Not Quite Mechanised game hosted by Trebian and run by Chris Kemp.  The photo above reveals the sad spectacle of eight men old enough to know better wearing silly hats.  Back row, L-R, Phil, Gary, Chris, your humble correspondent, Richard, Steve. Front row L-R Trebian, Tim M.  I claim the prize for best hat.
The day was punctuated by copious quantities of tea and cake, while a splendid lasagne lunch had been prepared by Suzanne Kemp. She was clearly rooting for the Italians...
Chris had 'cast' players into specific roles which was presumably why I - though not having played NQM for over a decade but still an old hand with 'form' going back to 1991 - was unwisely given command of a corps.
The 15mm toys were mostly provided by Chris, with Trebian providing a couple of Italian divisions (fresh from the Spanish Civil War, with transport from 1970s Africa) and Phil bringing his Free French brigade.  I had been asked to bring suitable 1/144 scale aircraft models but Chris had rather underestimated the size of my Regia Aeronautica.  You may remember this earlier post , and indeed this one and this one.  This mattered as Chris had decided to limit the Axis air effort by only allowing us to use each model once.....
My photos generally feature my aircraft models and are mostly taken from my vantage point on the Axis left.  Our units from L to R were Ramcke Bde, Brescia Div, Folgore Div, Pavia Div.  Behind the lines we had 21st Panzer Div and the Italian Ariete armoured div, both of the latter were subordinated to a higher HQ and we didn't have clearance - or indeed fuel - to use them.
 MC200 and CR42 over Folgore (left) and Pavia

 Looking north towards the British steamroller - note the artillery barrage in progress.
 After a good dice roll a major air raid on the rear echelons of 50th(?) Div.  From L to R - Bf109E, CANT Z1007, Bf109F, Ju-87, Breda 65.

 The Ramcke Bde prepares to defend it's positions 

 21 PD deploys to the flank.

  Everyone knows a proper bomber has three engines!
 Ramcke under pressure from 7th Armd Div.

 The Brits rather unsportingly used overwhelming force against Ramcke.... most of our remaining air assets were committed.

 At this point I received an order for 21PD to 'counterattack in the north' - meaning the sector to our north.  So applying a Rommel-esque interpretation of the orders I counterattacked 7 Armd in our north....

 But then British armour appeared from the north.  Bugger.

Meanwhile on our right Ariete had been released - much to Trebian's delight. You may imagine his reaction when Commando Supremo snatched it away to the north the following turn!
In the end everyone claimed victory and we all had a nice day out.