Saturday 28 January 2023

A Swift build? - part 2

Here is the completed Swift.  It’s a nice kit and a good representation of the real thing. To my eyes the Swift sometimes looks slightly odd but that’s because they expect to see a (similar but surprisingly different) Hunter. 


Wednesday 25 January 2023

A Swift build? - part 1

Alongside the Javelin I built it’s near-contemporary the Swift. Ordered in the 1950s as ‘insurance’ against the Hawker Hunter failing (yes, that is a comical thought, but only with the benefit of hindsight), the Swift turned out to be a rather lacklustre fighter.  For much of it’s RAF service it was used in the reconnaissance role.  This is quite a new (2014 or thereabouts I think) kit but happily the parts count wasn’t terrifying.  Being a newish tooling it went together well.  


Friday 20 January 2023

An awful Avenger? Or just a grim Grumman?


I was particularly pleased to find in JB's box this Avenger.  It was a relatively quick fix.  I opted for an overall mid-blue with the earlier-pattern markings.  I like it.

The Avenger as it arrived - several wobbly bits and the fuselage halves were parting company.

Thursday 19 January 2023

Flaky Fagot fettling - MiG-15 recovery part 3


Here is the finished MiG. In the end I opted for Chinese markings. I’d hoped to find North Korean decals but I have none in stock, and a set of North Vietnamese markings is earmarked for a newer model (in every sense) of MiG. A useful addition to my accumulation of aircraft. 

Wednesday 18 January 2023

Flaky Fagot fettling - MiG-15 recovery part 2

Having slapped on an undercoat of matt black, I followed up with (fairly roughly applied) Revell silver.  Some red highlights were added and the canopy painted over.  Now I’m off to the decal box in search of something suitable.  

Tuesday 17 January 2023

Flaky Fagot fettling - MiG-15 recovery part 1

This 50+ year veteran was passed to me in July by it’s original careful(?) owner. Still astonishingly solid after all this time, it was an obvious candidate for a quick recovery. I began by scraping off the remains of the decals and making sure there were no loose bits. 

Monday 16 January 2023

Sailors from Mars? WW2 German Naval Troops

I painted these chaps last year, having bought them on the basis of ‘buy them when you see them’ as a lot of these 54mm plastics seem to come and go quite quickly. 
I find that some of these Mars figures need some work to remove moulding lines and the heads can look a bit too small, but when painted in my usual ‘toy soldier’ style they look OK. And of course the white trousers are a bonus!

My favourite pose is the officer changing the magazine on his SMG. 

Sunday 15 January 2023

Engineers at Mametz, August 1914

This was another of the Rommel in 1914 Skirmish Campaigns series - albeit this time without Lieutenant R himself.  I set up the table and ran it over Zoom using A Fistful of Lead rules.  Broadly a platoon of Germans had to pass along the road and the Frenchies had to prevent this.  

Martin, Russell and Simon were the wicked Germans.  John and Diego the French. 

The French had two sections deployed using woods and shell holes as cover. The shell holes are nice resin castings I picked up on eBay. The chaps were an assortment from my accumulation of 54mm metal figures. 

The field of battle.  The French sections were deployed in the shell holes to the left and in the centre of the woods. 

A German section - they came strolling on and then lay down for a rest. I did notice that some of the German figures are looking a bit tatty and might benefit from a repaint. 
The boche were soon under fire and some were shaken (the yellow marker) or dead, providing an opportunity to use my new Warbases skull markers. 
An original 1914 photo. 
The Germans were soon surging forward in an impressively orderly manner. 
Another genuine 1914 photo. 
Despite the German advance being interrupted….
….the french had sprung the trap too soon and their advanced section was suffering accordingly. 
The German penetration of the woods wasn’t a bloodless experience -  but most of the dead markers are French. 
The game ended as a German victory- but at this rate it may turn out to be a long war. 

Flying Flatiron - part 4

Here then is the completed Javelin. I added the Firestreak AAMs on which I was unable (as usual) to resist adding red noses. It’s a striking looking thing and it’s shape and size give it great presence. 

Saturday 14 January 2023

MiG Alley

I have a few of these mini games from Decision Game and can happily recommend them. Under £15 for a quick to play but challenging and clever game seems like pretty good value to me. 
The air war in Korea is one of these things which interests me so it’s nice to have a compact simulation of it. 

Usual nice map and counters. 

It’s a two-player game but I played it through solo.  My initial UN offensives may have rather lacked subtlety and soon the broken aeroplanes were piling up.  

There seemed to be thousands of those bloody MiGs!
I then tried fighter sweeps…
…which soon created a few broken MiGs. 
The cards which partly drive the game are an interesting lot. This one was a nasty shock for the UN. 

My first effort resulted in a win for the Commies. This is a tough game for the UN!  Like I said, simple mechanisms but LOTS to think about!

Tuesday 10 January 2023

Gamil Aerodrome, 1956

As part of the British & French 'intervention' in Egypt in 1956, 3 Para was dropped on Gamil, just to the west of Port Said.  I had long wanted to game aspects of this campaign and prepared this scenario for Little Cold Wars.  Back in May 2022 Russell & Pete turned up as my playtesters.  The Brits were up against the clock and also trying to minimise losses.

Being quite a short game, we managed to fit it in on the same day as the TF Smith game.  The British paras were mostly the Airfix WW2 figures with some conversions, the Egyptians were represented by my long-suffering Warpact Militia.  

The post-game discussion favoured my idea about expanding this scenario to include the French para landings and I'll report on this larger game in due course.
The airfield - with a familiar looking control tower.

The action opened with British air strikes - these continued almost without pause throughout the game. First up was this Sea Hawk.

After some sharp firefights the Brits soon controlled much of the airfield.

Part of the air effort was provided by Wyverns.

Not all of the air support was friendly.  Historically there was a 'blue on blue' incident involving a French Corsair.

The control tower under new management.
At one point an Egyptian MiG-15 appeared but was soon seen off by RN fighters.