One of my favourite YouTube channels at the moment is the Jolly channel. The main two characters of this are Josh and Ollie (hence Jolly). Josh is quite well known in Korea as the Korean Englishmen as he is fluent in Korean. Occassional guests on his channels are Reverend Chris and Major Charles – one a minister of the church (Church of England I believe) and the other a major in the British Army (Commandos). These two are identical twins. On the Korean Englishmen channel a series has been made where Rev. Chris and Maj. Charles are taken to various places in Korea. One such location was a Korean Army base.
This is one of best episodes I have seen but all are well worth the 10 to 15 minutes each one takes. Enjoy watching “British Twins go Training with the Korean Army Commandos…!!??” on YouTube
There I was, happily minding my own business, preparing some World War 2 1/285 scale aircraft for painting, planning then to move on to my 6mm Anglo-Saxons, and then perhaps off to something nautical, perhaps 1/1200 scale galleys or modern vessels when Little Wars TV presents First Manassas. They show the battlefield, then discuss the tactics and Gen. McDowell’s performance. Just have a look at this.
Now I am getting an almost uncontrollable itch to paint 6mm American Civil War figures. Of course, to do that, I would need to purchase some 6mm American Civil War figures as I do not have any in the lead pile. English Civil War, Ancients, Napoleonics, World War 2 and Cold War figures in stock aplenty but no American Civil War figures. I have several sets of rules on the bookshelf, lots of reference works but no figures.
It is and was a fairly straightforward job. Drill a few 3mm diameter holes into a soft metal and glue a 3mm diameter rare earth magnet into the hole.
The other side of the process is to add a rare earth magnet, with the polarity reversed, to the flight stand.
A very straightforward process indeed.
Of course, it would have been easier and quicker to use a small electric drill or electric screwdriver to make the holes. Unfortunately, I did not have one available so it was out with the trusty twist drill.
This is somewhat of a trial to use, especially for drilling larger diameter holes and plays havoc with the developing arthritis in my fingers and thumbs but, as they say, one should suffer for one’s art!
Now, as a guide, here are a number of 3mm rare earth magnets in the packet that they are supplied in. Fiddly little things, especially when one has fingers that are just a wee bit fulsome … OK, bordering on fat, thumbs and fingers.
So, the best assistance in this case is the Exacto knife. Use the thin edge of the blade to separate the magnets from the stack by carefully sliding the knife in.
And yes, the blurry I-16 in the background shows where I store the magnets I am about to use to determine their polarity.
Those that are going in the recess created in the aircraft (see left) are removed from the stack. At this point, the end of the magnet that needs to be glued to the air-frame is the side of the magnet that is against the blade so the magnet will need to be reversed.
The simplest way to achieve this is to let the magnet grip one of the stands that have already had their magnets glued in. Now, sliding it off on the Exacto and the side that required gluing will be facing outwards.
A drop of superglue then slide the magnet off the Exacto blade by dragging the blade off the magnet while the magnet is pressed either into the hole in the aircraft or onto the surface of the peg in the stand.
What we then have is an aircraft that will magnetically attach to the stand, making transport and storage a breeze.
The aircraft can easily be removed for painting and for storage as it will store flat, saving the need for magnetic sheet under the base. In fact, I am thinking that a thin strip of magnetic metal across the bottom of a storage box will allow for storage secure enough for moving figures from home to game.
This is what the bottom of the aircraft looks like when you glue a magnet in the wrong way round. These magnets are quite tough and try as I might, I was not able to dislodge a glued one from the aircraft body, certainly not without some very high powered electric tools and a lot of modelling putty for later repair.
My solution, whack in a second magnet with the correct polarity.
“Why didn’t you just set some bases with the magnets the other way round” I hear you ask? Well, I thought about it but then it makes it a little difficult when setting up as I need to shuffle models and bases around until I get it right. This way all bases can be used for any aircraft.
Lastly, this is what my finger looked like after all that super gluing. The bio-metric lock at work’s going to have trouble with me today!
Thank goodness there is some superglue remover available. A few squeezes of that and rub vigorously and voila, finger as good as new (except it didn’t work on the bio-metric locks!
Update 14 January 2020: Bob Flywheel suggested the following on my FaceBook:
“Why didn’t you just epoxy a magnet to the underside? Much easier!
Yes, thank you Bob … don’t you love people who come up with simple solutions right after you’ve gone the full Monty on a complicated, elegant one? Short answer Bob – it looks better 😛
Curse You Bob Flywheel had me thinking about more aerial wargaming, in particular, the Korean Air War, MiG Alley and all that. Every night this week has seen me reading and thinking further on the topic. Last night I weakened.
I did however show some restraint in not buying a complete set of 1945 to 1950 jet aircraft. Instead, I had a look at the next World War aerial warfare project I wanted to consider and one where some of the aircraft would be reusable for later conflicts. I settled on the late Pacific War – B-29s and P-51Ds up against Ki-44 Tojos and J2M Raidens. I added a couple of ring-ins just because I am a wargames tart and can’t keep to a simple purchase plan, and besides, there may come a time I need and aircraft of the type that only two were ever built! 😉
The purchases were:
Ki-44 11B Shoki “Tojo”
J2M Raiden “Jack”
Kyushu J7W1 Shinden
OK, so I did not really need the Shinden, or indeed, the B-17s for the late war Pacific but hey, as I said, I am a tart, and even if I don’t “need” them now, I am sure I will need them some time in the future.
I did debate over Collectair vs Heroics and Ros and decided on Collectair for the B-29s as I think I have an Heroics and Ros B-29 back at home under the house at mum’s (Thomo’s Macksville Hole).
There were some additional purchases such as aircraft stands, 1/300 scale buildings, decals and the like but the aircraft were the principal purchases. The guilty feeling passed in about 30 seconds. Onward now with brush in hand, Anglo-Saxons to commence the Dark Age project await along with Soviet Winter War aircraft to complete that project.
Damn, there I was the other day quite comfortable with the state of my 1/300 [1/285] Aerial Wargaming. I had rules and aircraft for the Winter War – the Finns were complete and the Soviets would not take long. I had decided that Bag the Hun from the Lardies could be added to the rules library and I had even made a cursory look through the free scenario book, resisting manfully adding any more lead to my collection this year*.
Then you had to mention Korea and visions of MiG Alley spring to mind, as well as some interesting aircraft. I could see some B-29s (does anyone still make them in 1/300 [1/285] scale anymore) trundling along on a bombing run with some MiG-15s and/or Yak-15s trying to attack them. Enter some UN support – P-51Ds and Meteors of the RAAF, F-80s, F-82s or F-86s of the USAF not forgetting some F-84s.
Add some Yak-9s and La-7s to the mix and not only are there some interesting games possible but a fine collection of aircraft for the display shelf as well.
Of course, as one would have some B-29s available, late World War 2 air raids over Japan or Japanese held islands by the USAAF are a possibility. The P-51Ds (admittedly in RAAF colours) could be repurposed as escorts for the bombers in WW2. Attacking them would be some Japanese Nakajima Ki-44s (Tojo or Shoki) and some Mitsubishi J2Ms (Raiden) to attack them. Throw in a Shinden and there is another set.
Some early WW2 combat collections have been popping up in my head as well, in part the fault of the scenario book from the Lardies, in part from Bob’s off hand remark about the Korean Airwar.
When will this wargames megoalomania end?
This has been an insight into how a wargamer’s mind works! Curse you Bob Flywheel!
* there are some orders for lead under way at the moment but they had all been ordered, online and via Australia Post, prior to the start of 2020.
I have some of the older wargaming books, such as Don Featherstone’s Wargames and the like, on my bookshelf at mum’s. Over the years, however, time has not been kind to some of them, or they have been lent to friends unremembered who have never returned them, or they have just been lost.
I was listening to podcasts on the drive from mum’s at Macksville to Sydney to catch a flight back to Manila. One podcast I listened to was the last episode (number 283) of Meeples and Miniatures (https://meeples.wordpress.com/). This podcast has been running for 12 years and whilst I can’t say I have been listening for the last 12 years, the last couple of years have provided a great deal of wargaming amusement.
In this last episode Neil Schuck (Twitter – @TheBrummieDwarf) and Mike Hobbs (Twitter – @HobbsThe Gamer) discussed their 4 or 5 best games. It was pleasing to note that I had at least one of the games they had mentioned. The podcast finished just prior to my arrival in Sydney so I spent the rest of the trip considering wargaming tasks for 2020.
As many of you will know, I have an interest in matters nautical as well as a commitment to 6mm. Two things that amazed me while at mum’s. First was the number of books that I will need to ship to the Philippines, I am thinking that maybe it will be 2/3rds of the collection that needs to be eventually shipped. The second was the commitment I had to 15mm Ancient wargaming. I will need to decide at some point whether to sell those collections or ship them.
That is not what I am talking about here though. Currently in Manila I have literally thousands of 6mm figures to paint – some sets have been discussed here previously. I also have hundreds of ships in both 1/3000 and 1/1200 scale. There are also aircraft, principally the Winter War collections, Finnish aircraft having graced my Instagram account.
I decided to reduce my Christmas gifts to myself then to just the following:
Terrain items and buildings from Irregular Miniatures
General d’Armee from Reiswitz Press from Too Fat Lardies – Napoleonic Wargaming
Later in the year I may add some 6mm Napoleonics to the collection or perhaps 6mm American War of Indendence. I will make an order for some 1/1200 modern aircraft from Magister Militum to finish the modern 1/3000 naval collection. I may also buy some more rulesets … but just to plan for 2021 😉
This year then will be one for painting and finishing collections (and maybe getting off to Makati Marauders to play some games). I will play some more boardgames (more? I haven’t played any for about 20 years). I have many books to read and review on the table and hope to get two or three of those off in the next two weeks. Lastly, I want to start some more research and writing, and I am looking at both my admittedly poor YouTube channel and considering some podcasting.
So, 2020, the year of getting on top of things!
Late Addition (1 January 2020): Of course, I did neglect to remember that I had also sent some readies off to Warlord Games for copies of Black seas and Black Sails – just the rules as I have a collection of 1/1200 coastal vessels and it would be a shame to not get them on the table at some time. In addition, I have some 1/2400 and also some 1/3000 sailing vessels that need a reason for painting and then an outing. And I will be sending an order off tomorrow to Magister Militum for some 1/1200 scale modern aircraft to complete the modern naval fleets.
Any other pruchases in 2020 will be rules, books and, maybe, occassionaly, some figures to finish out a set I am starting to paint!
I was checking some contacts in LinkedIn, or rather LinkedIn was offering me suggestions from my address book – not just the office address book but also my private gmail address book. It started to become a somewhat disturbing exercise as some of the names offered up to connect with had passed away over the last ten years or so. In a couple of cases, about 20 years ago.
That had me thinking (apart from thinking about how mortal I suddenly was). I started to wonder if it was somehow disrespectful or suppressing a memory of these folk to delete them from my address book. After all, I had known many of them for quite a few years. There were still email conversations with some of them in my inbox and sent mail folders, at least ever since Google starting keeping every email I ever read or wrote.
To delete or not to delete? Something to ponder over a single malt one evening soon.
Current reading is from the series, History of Terror. This covers the period of the Allies liberation of the Philippines, and Manila in Particular.
When the Japanese invaded, the then colonial masters, the Americans, had declared Manila an open city to prevent damage and human casualties.
When the Americans along with support from local guerrillas moved on Manila to liberate it, the Japanese commander, Yamashita, ordered Manila to be fiercely defended. What followed was a liberation, almost building by building. However it was the Japanese treatment of the local population that was most horrific with estimates of 100,000 civilians being slaughtered. There is no true count however and other estimates are higher.
Review to follow when I finish reading this book. It is available from Pen & Sword however if your curiosity is already peaked.
With a large collection of 1/3000 sale ships (more unpainted than painted I will admit), remembering the name of all the vessels can be a memory trial. As the vessels are primarily painted to wargame with, it is good if both sides can see the vessels name during battle.
One option is to put the name under the base, but this suffers from the vessels being lifted off the game surface constantly to check. A second is to add the name to a tab at the rear of the base, in the wake as it were, in the same way that Figurehead provide a label area for their 1/6000 scale vessels.
I prefer to base my vessels on 3mm thick bases and add the vessels name to the side. The 3mm thick base is good as it allows those of us with corpulent fingers to grip the base and not hold the vessel in our fingers. More importantly, I like how it looks 🙂
The method used to produce the base labels is quite straightforward. Using word processing software such a Microsoft Word or similar, I create a table of six columns. In the second, fourth and sixth columns I type the vessel’s name. Let’s use three modern Chilean Naval units for an example: Almirante Cochrane – a British Type 23 class; Capitán Prat and Almirante Latorre – Jacob van Heemskerck class.
I then decide on whether I will add the national flag or the naval ensign. I usually lean towards the ensign although in some navies the national flag and the ensign are the same. In this case, a hunt on Wikipedia for “Chilean Navy” will return the basic details, including national flag and ensign.
Next step is to resize the text. The font I use is Calabri (not sure what the Apple font equivalent is) and it is set to “bold” and resized to 6pts. I also set the table contents to “Autosize to contents”.
The ensign is then copied and pasted to the first column, first row of the spreadsheet. It is usually quite large at this point. Once the ensign has been copied in, then we resize that image, using the size of the text as a guideline.
The image of the ensign is then copied to the empty cells we have ready for the. We set the wrap text option for the image to “square”
It can then be moved to the next column where the name of the vessel is.
When formatting the layout of the image, under text wrapping set the “Distance from Text”, Right to 0.1cm (or 1mm).
After this it is pretty much straight sailing.
Drag the ensigns to the left of the name of the vessel (see Almirante Cochrane below). Once the columns the flags were originally in are empty, they can be deleted.
The table can then have a design adjustment in “Borders and Shading” by turning off the cell lines in the table.
Select the table one last time, set font colour to “white” and the “fill colour” to a dark blue, close to the shade you will use on the base. You end up with something like below.
Of course, when I got to the end of this it occurred to me that the blue on the ensign may make it disappear after printing. In this case I would add a white border around the image.
I then use a sharp knife to slice the names from the sheet and some PVA glue to affix to the base. Slap on a bit of varnish and job done!