Plan B – Battle of Lissa on Hold

So the other day I noted that I was looking at the Battle of Lissa as a new Project. Over the last couple of days I dragged the fleets out of the boxes and had a look at them. Decided I would start on the Austrians first and the Radetzky and sister ships first.

A close examination of the Redetzkys suggest there will be a lot of work here, especially from the age of the moulds and the poor pouring when cast – see the images below for examples.

So, given the enhanced community quarantine here currently and the fact that I would need to get some green stuff to work on these, it is time for a plan B. Another planning session is in order this evening. And in the meantime, I will at least do some more reading and research into the Battle of Lissa and in fact, the war at sea in those times.

This could, of course, lead into a more full-on attempt at the Third Italian War of Independence on land as well, which was the war between the fledgling Kingdom of Italy and the Austrian Empire fought between June and August 1866, where Lissa was the unexpected win for Austria. The conflict paralleled the Austro-Prussian War and, like that war, ended in an Austrian defeat, with Austria conceding the region of Venetia and the city of Mantua to Italy, the Italians having been persuaded to war against the Austrians by Otto von Bismarck.

My worry is that this will ultimately lead into a desire to look at the Schleswig-Holstein War between Prussia, Austria and the German Confederation on one side and the Danes on the other. It is then only a short step backwards to the Second Italian War of Independence with France and Italy squaring off against Austria and then it all concluding with the Franco-Prussian War, a long forgotten project from my past, which I had started using Heroics and Ros 6mm figures.

Oh dear, time for my anti-megalomania pills again!

Time for a New Project — the Battle of Lissa

Enough plastic for the time being, and regardless of how great the detail is on those 1/3000 plastic vessels from Fujimi, it is time to return to the Real Man’s Wargamer MaterialTM … metal!

David Manley’s Broadside and Ram, published by Long Face Games, was purchased from Wargame Vault when there was a special on some of their other rules.

Sitting here in the enhanced community quarantine, I thought to myself, I have some ships here for Lissa somewhere. A rummage through the lead pile turned up two boxed sets of the Lissa fleets, from Houston’s Ships. I had no recollection of when I purchased these fleets, so a hunt through my emails and I discovered that after trading some emails with friend Doug, I ordered these when I was living in Singapore, on 2 January 2012!.  He was working on his Houston’s Ships in January 2012, mine have remained in the lead pile since.

The Broadside and Ram rules provide a brief history of the naval campaign between Austria and Italy 1866. This resulted in the largest ironclad fleet action in history, just off the island of Lissa on 20 July 1866.  Apart from a brief history the rules also include:

  • a campaign system
  • fast play rules
  • a complete set of ship data for the rules

The two boxed sets I purchased have been carried from Singapore to Manila and remained untouched in the lead pile for the past 8 years. The length of time figures have remained untouched and simply stored in the lead pile can usually be measured by the thickness of the dust layer on the top.

These had recently been cleaned off as a result of a deep clean of the apartment here in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. My cleaner insisted on cleaning everything in the condo … twice.  My grumpiness made no difference, nor did my grumpy explanation that COVID-19 does not live in dust layers on old books or unmade wargame models that have been sitting on the shelf for years, so in the end I simply ran the white flag up the pole and assisted the cleaning a little here and a little there.

The models and therefore the moulds they were poured from are old as well and you can see the amount of metal flash that needs to be removed from around the models to the left.

Houston’s Ships are no longer readily available with the exception of the American Civil War range. Great Endeavours (where I purchased these from) stopped making them sometime in 2017 and the range is dying away as moulds deteriorate. These models are therefore old. Houston’s Ships were always a little dodgy with regards to scale but they do have a lot of character and once the masts are gently straightened out, and the davits and lifeboats, funnels and ventilators are added, the ships will then be begging for paint. Prior to painting, the vessel will be added to a sea base, either like the ones I make for my 1/3000 scale vessels or made using acrylic gel, which will be a new technique for me.

The reference for these vessels is Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships, 1860 to 1905. This is one of four volumes covering fighting ships from 1860 to 1995 and this volume, originally published in 1985, is still available from specialist booksellers with prices ranging fro US $98 to $125+. If you ahve any interest is warships, I can thoroughly recommend obtaining all four volumes from wherever you can source them. They are so good that my Conway’s 1906 to 1926 volume was stolen when I lived in Mongolia in 2005 and even then it was the devil’s own job to get a replacement volume.

Painting reference for these ships will be courtesy of Mr. Google. There are photographs of many art works of the battle in museums and galleries in Europe and they are available to view online.

So, time to put the other projects away and break-in a new one.

18 days to go … and wash your hands!

Fujimi/Navwar 1/3000 Naval Vessels – Ready for Paint

I have been working a little on two of the Fujimi ships as well as the equivalent Navwar vessels, getting them ready for paint in between bouts of coughing, sneezing, sleeping and putting up with a nose running like Usain Bolt. The Fujimi vessels came from Hobby Link Japan. The metal vessels are Navwar. The vessels are the carrier Shōkaku and the battleship Yamato. They have been attached to bases and the start of a sea surface added. I will get around to painting later this week or early next week.

Fujimi 1/3000 Naval Vessels

A friend here (hi Servillano) put me on to Fujimi’s 1/3000 ships. Now, having a sizeable collection of Navwar 1/3000 vessels plus some from War Times Journal, I was curious to see how Fujimi’s efforts stacked up. Now up front I will admit the GHQ’s 1/2400 vessels are the crème de la crème of model  vessels around this scale however Navwar provide, in my opinion, a better value for money being considerably less expensive than GHQ.

Fujimi adds another dimension. For a coupe of thousand Yen, I could pick up the 5th Carrier Division consisting of the carriers Shōkaku and Zuikaku as well as 6 destroyers. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:

I will of course display both again after painting but clearly the plastic from Fujimi has greater detail. It also has  deck decals to add later 😁

Lastly, I also picked up a second box that contained a Yamoto. Unassembled, the Navwar and the Fujjimi Yamoto’s, side by side:

The vessels are from Fujimi but I picked up mine from Hobby Link Japan.

YouTube – On the Workbench 2 – 17 March 2018

I got around to undercoating the t-34s roday. The t-54s needed some aerial repairs so missed the paint. I decided to undercoat in brown instead of the white or black I normally use. I also apologise for the standard of the video, I need a taller tripod os a second pair of hands.

So, started on the painting process of the 6mm Ros and Heroics Poles for Cold War Commander.

Video is here:

I will go about getting myself a half decent spray booth soon too. I have some ideas for a collapsable one.

Comments are welcome and I lied last time when I promised to get better. Next time I will get better, promise!

January 2018 Summary – Work in Progress

The soon to be Polish Army circa 1975

It has been a mixed month. A longer than planned enforced stay in Australia waiting for the alignment of the juggernauts that are the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Australia Post, to return a new passport to me has meant that I have only spent a few days working on my hobbies. So, what have I achieved this month so far?

Last year I had ordered some Poles to provide an opponent for my Cold War Commander Danes, so started work on those in January, getting them ready for some paint (that is the army off to the right there).

Of course, feeling bored, I was glancing through an Heroics and Ros catalogue and decided that I should upgrade the armour in both armies so an order went off to Heroics and Ros for 12 Leopard 1 tanks for the Danes and 12 T-72M tanks for the Poles. I’m a wargamer, I plead guilty to being addicted to buying more figures. I expect the reinforcements to arrive any week now.

The Type 74

I also ordered some more ships early in January while sitting in Oz at mum’s waiting for the passport to arrive. In the fleet order are some World War 1 Russian vessels, a Soviet modern fleet and XXXXXX <– OK,  so I can’t remember the third fleet.

I also have the JGSDF type 74 tank (1/72 scale model) sitting on my work bench. I have started to work on that as well.

Lastly, in January, I managed to finish reading a few books and had them up for review here. So, not a bad effort overall. February target is less beer, lose weight, more hobby!

This is not the start of a new project

Everyone should have a Pershing!
Everyone should have a Pershing!

Not at all.

It’s just that I was at Mega Mall on Saturday looking to see if I could expand the memory in my laptop (I can’t  – brickbats to Asus) and after failing at that, madam suggested slipping down to the lower ground floor. There is a Lil’s Model Shop there with an extensive range of Tamiya kits and modelling equipment as well as Trumpeter, Fujimi and others.

It was there that two things caught my eye. One was the 1/72 scale M26E2 Pershing Heavy Tank.

The Pershing was the first operational heavy tank of the United States Army. It was designed in World War II and saw a little action there.

The M26 was supposed to be an improvement of the M4 Sherman and although it was heavier and better armed, and indeed a match for the German Tiger I and Panther tanks, it was pretty unreliable mechanically. Its most famous use in World War II was with the 9th Armored Division and the dash to take the Ludendorff Bridge during the Battle of Remagen.

Pershings also were active in the Korean War, where they were superior to the T34/85s used by the North except that they suffered in the hilly terrain. They were replaced by the M46 Patton.

It will look good displayed next to the Panther I already have. So, you can see my interest.

Always was interested in Aerosans
Always was interested in Aerosans

Speaking of interests, I’ve always had a interest in some of the more esoteric Soviet vehicles from both the Winter War and World War II. In this case it is Aerosans.

This model, the NKL-26 was an armoured aerosan based on an earlier vehicle, the NKL-6 (OSGA-6). It was constructed from plywood and protoected with 10mm armour plate to the front. Armarment was a 7.62mm machine gun in a ring mount. It was powered by an M-11G aircraft engine.

There were two crewmen and could carry four ski troops riding outside the vehicle on its skis or towed behind.

Detailed painting instructions, in colour. Paint it white!
Detailed painting instructions, in colour. Paint it white!

The Trumpeter kit is 1/35 scale and includes two crewmen.

Also included is the coloured colour painting guide. Painting guide? Paint white 🙂

I’m really looking forward to building this model as it covers a vehicle not often seen. I am also looking forward to trying my spray gun out on this – after all, how wrong can a bloke go spraying white?

The big surprise for me with this kit was the number of etched brass parts included. Now I am really going to need to pay attention during the building.

I think next I’ll pick up some 1/100 scale aircraft next, just to relax with mind 😉

And as I say in the title, this is not the start of a new project or interest – just a bloke building a couple of models on a cold Manila evening!

Damn, there are a butt-load of etched brass fittings!
Damn, there are a butt-load of etched brass fittings!

Another Brief Interlude – On the Painting Table

2013-08-14 00.20.11
Velites on the right, test sea bases in front and Triarii and Equites towards the rear – 6mm Baccus figures

I decided that there were a couple of things hanging around near the painting table that were just gathering dust so before I started on the next step of the Khmer/Burmese/Aeronef/WW2 Russians/WW2 Hungarians whatever, I should tidy some of this up.

2013-08-14 00.20.31
The sea base using Vallejo Water Effects – starting to look more like the business

One of the items was a part painted Polybian Roman army for my 6mm DBA project – remember, that was the project I started about two years ago when I first got to Singapore. I have the Numidians completed and the Romans half done and frankly, the dust layer on the Romans was thick. Out with a brush last night then to clean up the figures and then start some more painting. At this point, the Velites are finished and ready for basing whilst the Triarii are nearly finished. The cavalry are about one night’s worth of painting away.

The other item part done was mucking around looking for an effective sea base for the naval projects. In the photo above you can see two efforts. The one on the left was using white glue (PVA) and the left hand one using Vallejo Water Effects paint.

After some layered painting the Vallejo Water Effects base looks somewhat like the ocean. I think I will need to finish that model now (yep, another aircraft carrier I do not need) to see the final effect.

Tonight however, after leftovers for dinner, it’ll be more 6mm Roman painting.

Work in Progress – the PLAN almost finished

Work in Progress - the PLAN fleet gets its name labels
Work in Progress – the PLAN fleet gets its name labels

Just down to adding the labels which I will finish tonight with a bit of luck. After that, wait 24 hours for all glue to dry and then a varnish in a satin finish acrylic varnish and they are done, ready to face the might of the Indian Navy.

Their biggest advantage is the size of the PLAN carrier, the Liaoning. Their disadvantage with that is that the Indians have been operating carriers for a number of years.

One project for 2013 almost completed … oh, except for the bloody aircraft!

Mixed Progress – from the work bench

Ming class Chinese submarines to the right and Kilo class Indian to the left
Ming class Chinese submarines to the right and Kilo class Indian to the left

I managed to get some painting time over the weekend and knocked out another three Kilo-class submarines for the Indians and the 3 Han-class submarines for the Chinese.

The sea bases were the most time consuming part of the painting progress, after all, how long can it take to paint a 2 cm long model dark grey then wash again in black?

I’m not sure I actually like to appearance of the sea bases at the moment but it’s the best I’ve been able to come up with on a flat surface. Whilst I also like what others have done by way of sea bases – see Of Mice and Tiny Men and a Lead Odyssey for some nice textured sea bases texturing has not been working for me so far. I won’t mention my recent failure again but suffice it to say that some point I will need to sit down and try and do a proper job.

In the meantime, I guess the two-dimensional hand painted ocean will have to do – at least until I find some Hammered Metal (Coral colour) here in Singapore. The Han-class at the rear for example will need a bit of a touch up, the wake is too white. A bit more of a repaint tonight I expect.

At least one of the targets on the Kilo-class also needs a touch-up. Oh well – sometimes it works and sometimes it don’t!

Some harriers, Il-38s and Ka-25s
Some harriers, Il-38s and Ka-25s

Also under-way at the moment are some aircraft – Harriers, Il-38s and Ka-25s (filling in for Ka-27s) of the Indian navy.

I am not sure with the aircraft whether I will just leave them on their metal bases as they come or mount them on 1 cm x 1 cm (or 2 x 2) plastic squares to bring them up to ship height. Some prototyping of that tonight as well I guess.

And yes, apart from finishing the Kilo-class submarines for the Indians and the Ming-class for the Chinese tonight I will also start on some of the surface vessels – INS Vikrant and the three Rajputs are the rest of tonight’s painting target.

Mind you, just looking at the dark blue base (well, Citadel’s Regal Blue which I suppose is close to the old Ultramarine Blue) there is a lot to be said for the plain blue base with just a white wake.

Hmmmm