Three Months and No Wargame Related Stuff

OK, three months now … but it is going to change. I have plans! Grand plans.

The dining table will be cleared and a board game set for evening play. I am looking more and more closely at finishing the painting of the aircraft for the modern fleets. Then, the World War 2 Japanese will be based and painted. There will also be FoG online when my opponents get back to their PCs.

After that, 6mm ancients I reckon, or the 10mm Pacific War Chilean/Peruvian/Bolivians.

I was thinking of buying some more lead but I’ve decided that I should work on some of the local stock in the lead pile here.

Tring Wargames Club

It has been about 12 years or so since I was last a paid-up card-carrying member* of this wargames club. I still keep in touch with what they are doing and even now, remember fondly Friday nights, driving to Tring with Steve, and sometimes Jeffro, troops rattling around in the boot. We’d walk into the old community hall and grab some table space for a game. The usual suspects would be next to the stage playing Shako, or something American Civil War-ish, or later Rapid Fire. There would be some DBM being played, sometimes Hordes of the Things and there was generally an esoteric mix of other games going on.

We’d start by 7-7:30 and a quick game was a good game as we aimed to be finished, packed up and down to the local for two pints and a bag of crisps before the bar rang the bell. A lazy consuming of the beer then into the car to drive back to Winkwell, dodging the drunken brawls that inevitably would erupt across the High Street through Berko.

They were some most enjoyable times, and the period that I probably played most wargames on a regular basis – and they were a great bunch of guys.

Well, they are still a great bunch of guys, just slightly older (crikey, aren’t we all) and they are still meeting regularly every Friday night in Tring. They’ve finally got around to registering a URL for the club (well done Colin) and the club’s webpage can be seen here www.tringwargames.org.uk


*OK, so we didn’t really have cards … but we could have!

Two Months and No Wargame Related Stuff

Well, except for the ongoing FoG Online battle with Anthony where, for the third year running, he tries to squeeze a win out of his classical Spartans!

Still, it has been a lean two months wargaming wise. No painting, no playing, nothing, nada. Even the planned experimenting with my new airbrush (new? I bought the thing last year and still haven’t sprayed anything with it) where I was going to paint the aircraft for my Chinese, Indian and Japanese fleets has not happened.

So, this weekend looks full again with events conspiring to ensure that I will not get any wargaming time except … maybe … if I can’t play, and I can’t paint, I can buy. Buying takes less time than painting or playing and best of all, I can fool myself into thinking “ah, this will be my next painting/gaming project”.

Yes, BUY BUY BUY!!!!

But WHAT WHAT WHAT!!!!

The Chinese are rattling sabres in the East China/ West Philippine Sea area, building artificial islands in reefs to claim them as Chinese territory and circling the Filipino Marines on that rusty old boat so that could flare up. I already have a Chinese modern naval fleet as well as Japanese so there is a start. There is also an Indian feet but that will likely not drift around from the Indian Ocean.

The Philippines Navy would in all likelihood be nothing but speed bumps to the Chinese so maybe another fleet to stand up to the Chinese. Building a Singaporean fleet is an option. They have the quality to face down some of the Chinese vessels but perhaps not the kahunas given the number of mainland Chinese in Singapore and the Chinese nature of the government there.

Looks like it is the US 7th Fleet – or at least part of it, perhaps a US carrier battle group. A big mofo carrier, some smaller vessels for point defence and away we go.

Another option, Chinese modern land forces. I have a modern Danish army built for Cold War Commander so whilst it is not likely that the Danes will ever face the Chinese, at least I have a contemporary opponent for the Chinese should I build a PLA army and whilst I am waiting to build an opponent.

Another option that comes to mind is UN Korean War and North Korea for Cold War Commander. A mix of the best British, US and French tanks on one side and Russian tanks and Chinese (amongst others) infantry on the other side – plus a really cool mix of aircraft.

Yes, that’s what I think I’ll do, buy lead!

WIP – 1/1200 Scale Aircraft – Part 3

The three airfleets

The three air fleets

I managed to get some more time at the work table Sunday and decided that as I was progressing well with the 1/1200th aircraft, I should get the first batch based and ready for painting. The photo to the right shows the three air fleets, such as they are, ready for painting. I am planning on painting next weekend, social engagements permitting.

At the rear, the Japanese, the Chinese to the fore and the Indians off to the left.

Close up of the Indian air force ... well, my little portion of it at least :-)

Close up of the Indian air force … well, my little portion of it at least :-)

The Indians are shown to the left. Two maritime patrol aircraft – an Ilyushin Il-28 and a Tupolev Tu-142 Bear – which I finally got to stand on a base.

Also present are the Ka-28 and Ka-31, and the Sea King helicopters. The Sea Harriers, MiG-29K and Breguet BR1050 Alizes round out that little force.

The Chinese aircraft

The Chinese aircraft

To the right are the Chinese aircraft. Ka-28 and Ka-31 helicopters provide the ‘copters carried by the Chinese naval vessels. A Tu-26 Badger provides maritime patrol. For some aerial punch there are some MiG-21s in the guise of Chengdu J-7s, Sukhoi Su-30s and Shenyang J-15s.

The MiG-21 is small relative to the later aircraft and is modelled with no fuselage under the wing level which is not quite right, however, at 1/1200th scale, I don’t have any rivets to count and for wargaming purposes, it looks like a J-7.

And finally the Japanese

And finally the Japanese

Lastly, the Japanese. As the Chinese have taken Russian designed aircraft and localised them to Chinese requirements, so the Japanese have been building American aircraft under license.

For maritime patrol the Japanese have a Kawasaki P-2J (a licensed version of the Lockheed Neptune). Helicopters are Sikorsky Super Stallions and a local version of a Sikorsky Sea Hawk, the Mitsubishi H-60. For some punch there are a couple of older F-4 Phantoms and some newer Mitsubishi F-2s.

A couple of F-4s bounce a couple of MiG-21s

A couple of F-4s bounce a couple of MiG-21s

Of course, being a wargamer, it is too difficult to pass up the opportunity of having a couple of Phantoms bounce a couple of MiG-21s. However it seems like one of the MiGs has managed to get itself a firing solution whilst the wing man to the Phantom hopes his leader will get a hurry on and get a firing solution on the other MiG.

The last bit of dog fighting before painting

The last bit of dog fighting before painting

Lastly, something a little more modern.

OK, enough playing. Next step with these is to undercoat next weekend when I hope to finally try out my new air brush.

WIP – 1/1200 Scale Aircraft – Part 2

The bases prepared, magnetic tape underneath and then labelled

The bases prepared, magnetic tape underneath and then labelled

I mentioned previously my modern fleets (Chinese, Indian and Japanese) built from Navwar vessels. I also mentioned before that I was putting together some Cap Aero 1/1200th scale aircraft from Magister Militum to go along with the vessels. I had set the Japanese aircraft up, but have not got around to painting them yet. I am looking at just doing two of each of the aircraft/helicopter types. I reckon I am not ready for a wing of MiG-29Ks to come sweeping across a fleet yet – two seems enough to handle at the moment.

Brass wire trimmed for height for the different aircraft - 40mm for maritime surveillance, 30mm for attack aircraft and 20mm for helos (and the Alizes)

Brass wire trimmed for height for the different aircraft – 40mm for maritime surveillance, 30mm for attack aircraft and 20mm for helos (and the Alizes)

The next cab off the rank for the aircraft is the Indian Naval Air Arm. This is a mix of MiG-29K, Sea Harriers, Breguet BR1050 Alize aircraft, with Sea King, Kamov Ka-28 and Ka-31 helicopters. Ka-27 helicopters are filling in for the Ka-28 and Ka-31 and to be honest, at this scale, I can’t tell the difference :-)

Two MiG-29K Fulcrums - the landing gear is modelled on the aircraft and has to be hacked off, preferably without damage to wings dihedral or fingers! The squares are 10mm each side

Two MiG-29K Fulcrums – the landing gear is modelled on the aircraft and has to be hacked off, preferably without damage to wings dihedral or fingers! The squares are 10mm each side

I also have an Ilyushi Il-38 May  painted already for the Indians and my most troublesome model so far, a Tupolev Tu-142 Bear, also for the Indians. I say my most troublesome as this particular aircraft has more holes in it now for mounting than your average block of Swiss cheese. Still, I think I have cracked it finally.

As with the Japanese I have been been using the Philippine 10-centavo and 25-centavo coins as an extra base underneath the metal bases I bought when I purchased the aircraft. The hexagonal base, whilst a good weight, is not quite wide enough for stability and the coins provide enough extra width to stabilise the model aircraft.

The aircraft ready for gluing to the stands - that is the next job. Jou can see the Bear off to the left finally accepting a stand.

The aircraft ready for gluing to the stands – that is the next job. You can see the Bear off to the left finally accepting a stand. The Japanese are in the background

I was also looking at covering the coin on the base with some acrylic gap sealant to extend the sea base a little but that has turned out messier than originally expected so after two test bases, the idea has been dropped, leastwise until I can think of something better.

WIP – The Jutland Project – Part 6 – British Grand Fleet – The Battle Cruiser Fleet – The Task

The Battle Cruiser fleet

The Battle Cruiser fleet

And this is the last of the vessels that need to be painted. The battle cruisers and their supporting vessels.

Many of the destroyers for this fleet are photographed with the Grand Fleet so the painting load here does not look as large as it may have done.

Next off – getting the labels and bases prepared.

 

WIP – The Jutland Project – Part 5 – British Grand Fleet – The Battle Fleet – The Task

The Grand Fleet - the Battle Fleet. I'd count the number of ships but that may scare me away from painting!

The Grand Fleet – the Battle Fleet. I’d count the number of ships but that may scare me away from painting!

I did warn back when I posted WIP – The Jutland Project – Part 4 – German High Seas Fleet – The Task that the painting task for the Germans was small compared to that of the British.

Today, therefore, I present the second part of the painting task – part of the British fleet! This is main battle fleet and contains the battleships as well as supporting armoured cruisers, light cruisers and destroyers, lots of destroyers.

There are more vessels shown here than is needed for the Grand Fleet but that is because many of the destroyers that will be used by the Battle Cruiser Fleet are contained in packets used for Grand Fleet vessels. It will work out over time as I base them and get them all ready for painting.

Here I have even more basing, raising masts, making sea surfaces and painting do to.

Still, the Battle Cruiser Fleet is mercifully small by comparison. We’ll have a look at that tomorrow.

Free Time

I have some free time coming up in the evenings soon, leastwise before life gets busy again at the office. Actually truth be known, life is busy in the office already, but I need some evening downtime.

I am therefore planning already what I will do next. First cab off the rank is to watch some of the India vs Australia cricket game tomorrow with an Indian friend and some form of amber coloured bubbly libation. Sunday will be the final.

Friday night however will be sorting the rest of the Jutland project fleet. I think then I should finish the aircraft for the modern fleets before starting on the basing, undercoating and creating naming labels for the Jutland fleets.

Next week, well, that will be the Jutland stuff along with resisting the urge to buy any Napoleonics. I’ve almost finished Simon Scarrow’s four part historical fiction covering Wellington and Napoleon and it is tempting to start building armies – must resist!

Lastly, I think I might play a board game next week as well as get in touch with Vladimir, a local here, who wants to try DBA. We can play DBA!

Yep, that should keep me nicely busy until Easter at least. The next question is what to do over the Easter break.

WIP – The Jutland Project – Part 4 – German High Seas Fleet – The Task

If you think there is some painting to do in there, wait until I get then British sorted out!

If you think there is some painting to do in there, wait until I get then British sorted out!

After working out the Order of Battle, I thought I would have a look at the painting job to do, in particular, the models for each of the fleets. Some sorting was in order and the results of that are shown in the image.

This is just the German Fleet and it pretty much follows the order of the OOB – battleships across then top row with their supporting light cruisers and torpedo boats falling into the second row. The battle cruisers are in the second row to the right with their supporting light cruisers and torpedo boats.

OK, it looks like I have a fair bit of basing, raising mast, making sea surfaces and painting do to.

Next up, I’ll sort the British fleet.

WIP – The Jutland Project – Part 3 – German High Seas Fleet – The Battle Fleet

After Real Life getting in the way of hobby over the last couple of weeks, I managed get the High Seas Fleet (Hochseeflotte) sorted out. The High Seas Fleet was the main fleet of the Imperial German Navy. The fleet was created in February 1907 after the renaming of the Home Fleet (Heimatflotte).

Following is the Order of Battle for the High Seas Fleet:

German High Seas Fleet

III Battle Squadron I Battle Squadron
5th Division
6th Division
1st Division
2nd Division
SMS König SMS Kaiser SMS Ostfriesland SMS Posen
SMS Grosser Kurfürs SMS Kaiserin SMS Thüringen SMS Rheinland
SMS Kronprinz SMS Prinzregent Luitpold SMS Helgoland SMS Nassau
SMS Markgraf SMS Fredrich der Grosse SMS Oldenburg SMS Westfalen
II Battle Squadron  IV Scouting Group (Light Cruisers)
3rd Division
4th Division
SMS Stettin
SMS Deutschland SMS Hannover SMS München
SMS Hessen SMS Schlesien SMS Hamburg
SMS Pommern SMS Schleswig-Holstein   SMS Frauenlob
SMS Stuttgart
Light Cruiser broad pendant Torpedo-Boats SMS Rostock
I Torpedo-Boat Flotilla III Torpedo-Boat Flotilla
SMS G39 SMS S53
I Torpedo-Boat Half-Flotilla V Torpedo-Boat Half-Flotilla VI Torpedo-Boat Half-Flotilla
SMS G40  SMS V71 SMS S54
SMS G38  SMS V73 SMS V48
SMS S32  SMS G88 SMS G42
V Torpedo-Boat Flotilla VII Torpedo-Boat Flotilla
SMS G11 SMS S24
IX Torpedo-Boat Half-Flotilla X Torpedo-Boat Half-Flotilla XIII Torpedo-Boat Half-Flotilla XIIV Torpedo-Boat Half-Flotilla
SMS V2 SMS G8 SMS S15 SMS S19
SMS V4 SMS G7 SMS S17 SMS S23
SMS V6 SMS V5 SMS S20 SMS V186
SMS V1 SMS G9 SMS S16 SMS V189
SMS V3 SMS G10 SMS S18
 The Battlecruiser Force
 I Scouting Group (Battlecruisers)  II Scouting Group (Light Cruisers) Light Cruiser broad pennant Torpedo-Boat Flotillas 

SMS Regensburg

SMS Lützow SMS Frankfurt

II Torpedo-Boat Flotilla

SMS B98

SMS Derfflinger SMS Wiesbaden III Torpedo-Boat Half-Flotilla IV Torpedo-Boat Half-Flotilla
SMS Seydlitz SMS Pillau SMS G101 SMS B109
SMS Moltke SMS Elbing SMS G102 SMS B110
SMS Von der Tann SMS B112 SMS B111
SMS B97 SMS G103
SMS G104

VI Torpedo-Boat Flotilla

SMS G41

IX Torpedo-Boat Flotilla

SMS V28

XI Torpedo-Boat Half-Flotilla XII Torpedo-Boat Half-Flotilla XVII Torpedo-Boat Half-Flotilla XVIII Torpedo-Boat Half-Flotilla
SMS V44 SMS V69 SMS V27 SMS V30
SMS G87 SMS V45 SMS V26 SMS S34
SMS G86 SMS V46 SMS S36 SMS S33
SMS S50 SMS S51 SMS V29
SMS G37 SMS S52 SMS S35

OK, so that is now the Order of Battle sorted for both the British and German fleets. Next will be

I’m looking forward to getting some paint on these vessels too.

The next installment of this continuing saga will be sorting the vessels ready for basing and then painting.