Finally finished. The brace of Skyraiders lies exhausted on my table and await the call to action.
The decals were something of an issue as most of the Revell markings broke up in water and several couldn’t be saved. More rummaging in the decal box produced some which more or less fitted my requirements. Both machines are finished in USAF colours - they’re destined to be used in a game about pilot rescue in Vietnam, where these ‘Spads’ (so called because of their propeller-driven antiquity) flew escort for rescue helicopters and suppressed nasties on the ground.
I’ll try to take some outdoor photos in the next few days.
Paint has now been inflicted on the unsuspecting Skyraiders. The decals which came with the kits - incomplete in the Revell and not entirely useable US Navy in the Airfix - will serve as my starting point but a good rummage in the decal box is required.
While the glue dried on my Airfix Skyraider I cracked open this rather newer (1991) Revell version. While the Airfix kit represents the single seat ‘J’, this is the twin-seat ‘E’. It’s always interesting to compare new vs old kits and the Revell offering manages to be both more and less sophisticated than the Airfix veteran.
It was a simple and straightforward build and soon both kits were drying side by side.
I actually completed this models and took the photos back in May so here at last it is! Bought at the same time as my G3M1 bomber, I picked up this version as it was both different - but similarly cheap!
Both civil and military markings are provided on the enormous decal sheet.
With the major sub-assemblies done it was time to glue the bits together - and try to get them more or less in alignment.
A few hours later I attached the engine cowling and canopy and then attended to the array of explody things provided with the kit. I opted for a combination of bombs and rockets - the long drop tanks looked as if they'd drop off a little too easily.
I'll leave the glue to dry overnight now while I ponder paintwork.
This A-1 J kit is something of an antique - having been launched in 1968 while the real thing was still active in the skies above Vietnam. The box style of mine dates from the mid-1970s. I have hazy memories of briefly owning a down-at-heel Airfix Skyraider 40+ years ago but I’d never actually built one.
Like most of its Airfix contemporaries it’s a fairly simple affair which, despite its age, went together well. The copious quantities of masking tape is there to secure the parts while the glue dries - not to hold shut massive panel gaps!
During outdoor games there are few things more embarrassing than one's armoured vehicles being swept away by the breeze. To give the models a bit of 'heft' I add some weight. Cut a hole in the bottom of the foam, press in the weight and secure in place with a dollop of PVA. I have in the past used scrap metal figures but for this batch each model was treated to two 0.05 Euro coins. We generally return from holiday with a fair few small coins or 'shrapnel', so this seems a good use for them.
Once the PVA dries, get on with painting. These US M-113s have had two coats of olive green. I generally add the 'detail' with paint pens - grilles, vision slits, headlights. A couple of coats of Ronseal clear satin completes the thing.
And er, that's it. I hope this little series might inspire other prospective bodgers out there. If so, do let me know and post some photos.
And of course the danger with completing models is that one is inspired to build something else! Any thoughts?
On Wednesday I ran Bob Cordery's Peninsular War matrix game. I last saw (and indeed played in) this game at COW 1992 so my memories of it were, to say the least, somewhat hazy!
I managed to assemble players to fill all seven of the roles. The cast list was as follows:
Napoleon - Martin R; Junot - Graham; Murat - Richard; Wellesley - John; Moore - Pete (assisted by Jerry); Spanish Royalists - Tim C; El Incognito (Spanish irregulars) - Diego.
I assembled the forces from my 15mm toys, with a 54mm figure for The Emperor. The map was hand-drawn on a sheet of flip chart paper and place names added with a label maker. The game covered mid 1808 to early 1809.
The action was driven by the players making matrix arguments - see the WD website for more on this.
I'm sure that Pete, Richard and Martin will post their own reports in the fullness of time. What follows are some of my recollections.
El Incognito was soon active harassing the French and causing Junot some embarrassment. Meanwhile the Royalists had a go at Madrid. The Emperor sent reinforcements - though not as many as were requested - while Wellesley landed in a non-empty Lisbon.
The situation in and around Madrid.
Wellesley and chums in Lisbon.
In a shock development the Spanish Royalists seized Madrid from under the nose of El Incognito.
Soon more Frenchies arrived, though their supply columns were harassed by El Incognito's ruffians.
After a bloody struggle the French found themselves in possession of Madrid again.
Wellesley meanwhile had failed twice to get to Madrid but had succeeded in not being placed under Moore's command.
The players all seemed to enjoy the game!
The end. Everyone did well, though history may harshly judge the obscure Gen. Wellesley. Moore meanwhile has hopes of being made a duke in a couple of years.
My thanks to all the players - and credit in particular to matrix game first-timers Pete and Diego.
Back in 1992 I played El Incognito. Having established and maintained an uneasy truce with the Spanish Royalists (John Davis) during the game, I stitched him up on the last turn and entered Madrid alone. And you thought the French were the real enemy?