Tuesday 29 August 2023

Kawasaki Ki-32

Having need of at least one Japanese Army light bomber I naturally ended up with three!  As well as the Ki-30 mentioned earlier I picked up a pair of these Ki-32.  Unusual among Japanese aircraft in having an inline (rather then radial) engine, the -32 looks to me very 'late thirties.'  The fixed undercarriage was used as it was felt that the simplicity and strength outweighed the drag issues.  In fact the Ki-32 was faster than it's contemporary, the Fairey Battle.

Like the Ki-30 kit, these needed a lot of taping and holding parts in place.  The panel gaps would be issues for proper modellers but you know by now that my standards are reassuringly low!

Unusually for a 1/72 kit, the wheels have separate rubber tyres.
Paint.  I'm doing one in overall pale grey and the other in this early pattern three-colour camo scheme.

Sunday 27 August 2023

Mitsubishi Ki-30 part 2

More progress with the Ki-30 now. Having left the glue to dry on the wings and tail a base coat of pale sand was applied. There are plenty of paint options but I’m sticking with an early version. 

Saturday 26 August 2023

Thannuris 528AD again

 I had left the game from Sunday set up and today Simon joined me to run through it.  He too is experienced in the ways of Command & Colours Ancients and was very keen to try this version.  

Simon opted to lead the Persians which left me as Belisarius. And rather apprehensive after the game on Sunday!  This is a far more brief report as we were focused on the game mechanics and decision making. 

Unpleasantness soon broke out on the Byzantine left. The Persian caraphracts took a bashing and their general died!  

There were still plenty of Sassanids galloping about and my chaps were soon under pressure. 

At one point the Sassanids were ahead by five banners to two - six being needed to win.  These being desperate times I took some wild risks and sent my right into action, with Belisarius (on white horse) in the middle of things. This got my up to five banners and which point the affair hung in the balance until some further desperate cavalry charging clinched the narrowest of victories. Phew!

A great game - and thanks again to Simon for the sporting spirit which which he approached it. 

Friday 25 August 2023

Mitsubishi Ki-30 - part 1

A relatively unknown aircraft as it was very much yesterday’s news by 1941, the Ki-30 was in widespread use by the Japanese Army in the late thirties. 

This AZmodel kit looked pretty good on the sprues and the parts moulding was crisp. 

Fit was OK but wings, elevators and undercarriage legs had no locating slots or pins. So everything needed holding in place while the glue dried. Sadly I didn’t do too well at this as the wings are a bit squint.  Ah well, them being ‘gull’ wings helps to hide this! 

Tuesday 22 August 2023

Command & Colours 'Medieval' - first game!


Being a long standing fan of the Ancient and Napoleonic C&C games, I ordered this and it arrived a few weeks before lockdown in 2020.  As games moved onto Zoom and there were plenty of options, C&C remained largely unplayed for the past three years. I eventually got round to playing CCM last weekend, having taken the opportunity first to sort out and refurbish some suitable toys.

At this point I feel it only fair to issue a warning.  If your idea of 'Medieval' battles starts with say, the 11th Century Crusades and takes in Crecy and Agincourt, you need to be aware that this game deals with the 5th and 6th Centuries.  Mostly the conflict between the Sassanid Persian Empire and the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire.  Now as it happens I already had a fair few otherwise unemployed Byzantine and Sassanid toys so this all worked out quite well for me.  "Toys?" I hear you ask, "what about all the wooden blocks?" I was originally introduced to C&C (in 2010) and have only EVER played it with toy soldiers.  For the Ancient version I use old-style 25mm figures (you know, the ones actually 25mm tall) from the likes of Hinchliffe, Minifigs and Garrison.  So for CCM it would be more of the same.

Anyway, back to the game and here is the setup for Thannuris in 528AD.  The terrain is deeper than CCA by two rows of hexes.  As you can see it only just fits on my table!
The game mechanics are basically CCA but with enough added features to make it a very different game.  And now some gratuitous toy porn.  

Adding the two extra rows of hexes was going to be a challenge so I ordered more single hexes and made up five 5-hex tiles.  This is actually the first time I've used the Hexon clips to hold them together.

Anyway, enough setup and theory, on with the game.  Here we go. Byzantine card.

Persians do some moving and (more effective) twanging.
Rolling a lot of flags sees the Sassanid SHC retreat!
Sassanid cavalry charge!  On a +1 they roll 5 dice and score 3 hits. But cavalry in this game can take 4!
Byzantines using an Inspired Leadership action to do a lot of twanging.
….and chew up the SHC.
Feel the ground shaking?
Phew!  A bloody business. The Byz MC on the left evaded while the HC got the drop on their opposition.
Tea break!
Super Heavy Sassanids break into the Byzantine line.
The Sassanid cataphracts continue to run (or gallop?) amok, killing two Byzantine units and a general in a single turn!
Score now 4:1 to the Persians.
The Byzantine fight back!  On the left the event cataphracts are finished off, and a momentum advance nearly does for an evading medium cavalry unit
Sadly the plucky Byzantine HC falls in a hail of Persian arrows

More crazy cataphracts. This time they’re Byzantine and with Belisarius himself at the helm, killing one unit and damaging another which evades.
But now they’re in trouble!
The end of Byzantine hopes. The cataphracts perish, but somehow Belisarius manages to escape.  A broadly historical outcome.
OK, so this was only the first game, but despite appearances, in many ways a different experience than the Ancients version. And who knows- all these chaps on horses might just be the future of warfare…

I'm planning to play this scenario again later in the week.

Monday 14 August 2023

A hollow box of delights

Last week I had a message from a friend asking if I could provide a home for some old 54mm toy soldiers. To protect his anonymity we’ll call him ‘Alan P’. As luck had it, his daughter lives in the same village as my son so the mystery package was soon dropped off. Even better, my daughter in law was coming here this week anyway!
The difficult part was keeping my hands off of box until this evening!

The two layers of toys were in varying states of repair but there is plenty to like here. 
Mostly hollow casts, some are missing heads and some of the horses have inadequate quantities of legs. But so far only one is a total write off. Many of these chaps will fight another day! Thanks again to ‘Alan’ for his generosity. 

Wednesday 9 August 2023

Carrying on across the desert


While I was sorting out crews for my other British Bren Carriers it seemed appropriate to do the same for this pair.  I actually painted these a couple of years ago but they remained crewless until recently.  Drivers and gunners are cut-about Airfix 8th Army figures, the back-seater is Deetail.