WIP – Modern Naval Japanese – Aircraft

2014-11-11 00.52.24I finally got around to working on the aircraft to support the modern Japanese fleet I built for playing Shipwreck! The ships are 1/3000th scale but the aircraft are 1/1200th scale, purchased from Magister Militum. Magister Militum have two ranges of aircraft, Cap Aero and 617 squadron.with the Cap Aero slightly finer models than 617 Squadron.Having said that, both ranges produce some nice aircraft.

The two ranges cover modern aircraft from the major powers. The aircraft are modelled with wheels.down, I guess as they would have made a good addition to 1/1200 or 1/1250 scale carriers or models of an airfield.

I snipped the undercarriage off in most cases as part of the clean up process. I had some hexagonal bases from Magister Militum as well but I found when mounting larger aircraft they were a little unstable. Enter the Philippine Central Bank The 10 and 25 centavo coins, apart from being magnetic, provide an extra degree of stability.

2014-11-11 00.52.05There are no Japanese Aircraft but fortunately the Japanese companies work with US aircraft manufacturers to produce localised versions. So, the McDonald Douglas F-16 is produced locally in Japan by Mitsubishi with a slightly larger planform (about 25% larger) but to all intents and purposes is an F-16. So, the F-16 doubles as a Mitsubishi F-2.

The Japanese also use F-4 Phantoms so I get to have one of my favourite aircraft on the table. The Kawasaki Company made a local version of the Neptune so the model is filling in for a Kawasaki P-2J Neptune.

The last two aircraft are some helicopters. The Sikorsky Super Stallion, a heavy lifting ‘copter and another MItsubishi local production of an American ‘copter, the Mitsubishi SH-60J Seahawk.

The brass rods these are mounted on are at various heights. 4cm is used for maritime patrol aircraft like the Neptune, 3cm for attack aircraft like the F-2 and 2cm for helicopters. I have plans to mount some missiles on a 1cm base but that may need to wait until after I have a sanity check.

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

Modern Naval – the Aircraft

A small piece of the lead pile
A small piece of the lead pile

As the next cab off the rank here in Thomo’s Manila Hole, and given that I have finished the repairs on the three modern fleets, I thought I would finish off the aircraft. Yes, they don’t look much like an air force or three at the moment but they will form the basis of the aircraft for the Indian, Chinese and Japanese Naval forces. So, what is being used? The aircraft are 1/1250th scale and a combination of Cap Aero and 617 Squadron, from Magister Militum. This scale was originally made I guess to provide aircraft for the 1/1250th scale ship collections as some of the aircraft in the ranges are carrier born aircraft with wings folded.

Anyway, in the collection are the following.

For the Indians:

  • Il-38 May
  • Tu-142 Bear
  • MiG-29K Fulcrum
  • Westland Sea King
  • Ka-27 Helix masquerading as Ka-28 and/or Ka-31
  • Sea Harrier
  • BR.1050 Alize

For the Chinese:

  • Tu-26 Badger
  • MiG-21 Fishbed masquerading as Chengdu J-7
  • Su-34 Flanker masquerading as Shenyang J-15
  • Su-30 Flanker
  • Ka-27 Helix masquerading as Ka-28 and/or Ka-31

And lastly, for the Japanese:

  • P-2H Neptune masquerading as a Kawasaki P-2J
  • F-16 Falcon masquerading as Mitsubishi F-2
  • Sikorsky Sea Hawk masquerading as Mitsubishi H-60
  • Sikorsky Super Stallion
  • F4 Phantom

And then to round all that out is a packet of mixed missiles. Of course, at 1/1250th scale and with my ailing eyes, one missiles is going to look like another.

Having looked at the models and started to prepare for the mounting I must admit that the Cap Aero are superior to the 617 Squadron models.The 617 models are fine in and of themselves, it’s just that the Cap Aero are a little finer – wings, tail planes and what detail there is is cleaner. I would recommend both ranges however, but I would recommend Cap Aero ahead of 617 Squadron. Just my opinion mind.

Next step, stick a brass pole into them and set the bases up.

First Batch of Repairs

The damaged aircraft

The damaged aircraft

As I finally had a painting area set up I thought I would start repairing the Balikbayan Box damage – the damage after the move from Singapore to Manila. The 1/1250 scale aircraft were the first cab off the rank.

The damaged aircraft were an Indian Naval Air Force Il-38 May and a Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy Aircraft Tu-26 Badger. The Il-38 had developed a really weird dihederal during transport.

So, dihederal corrected and a touch of super glue Gel and the aircraft are as good as new.

What is a little more interesting at the moment are the coins.

The aircraft, repaired and in the air again
The aircraft, repaired and in the air again

There is a collection of 10 and 25 piso coins on the table as well. These are reasonably new here from what I can determine and whilst the 25 piso one looks brass and the 10 piso coin looks copper, both are magnetic.

I noticed the same thing in Singapore with the new coins there, Regardless of the silver appearance, they were also magnetic. I’m starting to wonder now either what the metal is they are made of or what is added to the coin to give it the magnetic features.

The reason I have the coins is that I am thinking of attaching them to the underside of the aircraft bases to give them a little more stability. Anyway, first repairs complete! 🙂

The coins are adhering to the magnet under the base
The coins are adhering to the magnet under the base

First Box Unpacked – not too much damage

I lifted the lid
I lifted the lid

I thought I would do myself a favour and unpack the figures that I figured would travel best – the modern ships. These are all on magnetic bases in a metal tin and I figured that the bubble wrap would help to stop them moving around. Now I should mention that I was not expecting anything great as I was present when the guys taping up the Balikbayan boxes taped first the top, then inverted the boxes to tape the bottom.

Opening the Balikbayan boxes and taking out the boxes of figures was not too trying a task as the boxes they were packed in had not collapsed at all (and remember, each of the 7 Balikbayan boxes had about 50kgs of stuff in them … books, clothes, shoes, electronic stuff and so on.

I removed the bubble-wrap and saw ...
I removed the bubble-wrap and saw …

I lifted the lid and things looked pretty much OK. the bubble wrap had kind of scrunched up a little bit and there were a couple of ships on their side down below but overall, it didn’t look too bad.

I removed the bubble wrap.

Yep, things had moved around a bit inside and I could see a little damage to the two aircraft but still, overall, everything looked pretty good.

I sorted the vessels out and reorganised the fleets in the box.

They are looking fine and ready for action (and I must admit, having not seen these for a couple of months, I do like the new style of basing I did on the Japanese).

All sorted by Navy again (Indian, Chinese and Japanese)
All sorted by Navy again (Indian, Chinese and Japanese)

The only damage that I could see was to the aircraft.

Mind you, the thing that has me amazed with the aircraft is that one of them has ended up with a lot more dihedral than it stared with. It must have been stretched over a vessel somewhere.

The only fleet damage was to the aircraft
The only fleet damage was to the aircraft

So, tonight, it’s out with the super glue (now where did I put that), straighten the wing dihedral and re-glue them to their poles.

Next box tomorrow (or maybe Monday of I go Karaoke tonight)!

The Modern Japanese Fleet – Complete

Well, complete except for the aircraft.

The painting method of the Navwar ships was simple. I started by cutting some 3mm thick bases to an appropriate size. Added some Woodland Scenics Flex Paste to the base. Tapped my finger across the wet flex paste to give it some texture. I then slid the ship into the paste and waited for it all to dry.

I under-coated the ship and base in white. To see what I was doing, I then covered the whole ship and base in a black ink wash.

The base was then painted a dark blue (use your favourite). Once that was dry, a light blue was made into a thin wash and washed across the base (and I mean thin). When dry a colour like Games Workshop’s Citadel Snot Green (or whatever it is called these days) was also made into a very thin wash and washed across the base.

The ships were painted in Army Painter Ash Grey. I kind of use a wet/dry brush technique. Some black ink again and then a light grey touch on some of the raised detail and the vessels were painted, except for the helicopter markings on the stern. These were painted as much with a fine pen and ruler as possible however as I cannot find a yellow pen (go figure) I used Citadel’s Sun Shining out an Orc’s bottom Yellow and some careful(ish) brush work.

Add some name tags, some white paint, thinned, for the ship’s wash then gloss varnish on the sea surface and satin varnish on the ship. I’m quite happy with the way these have turned out, especially the simple sea bases. I will go back over the Chinese and Indians and gloss varnish the sea surface to make it more reflective.

The photos below were taken with a camera and because of the light, a flash, which has kind of washed the grey out a little like a sunny Pacific Ocean day. Next for the Japanese (and Chinese and Indians) is the aircraft – but that will need to wait until I sort out some employment.

New Naval Bases

Japanese to the front, Chinese in the middle and Indians at the rear
Japanese to the front, Chinese in the middle and Indians at the rear

I started the modern Japanese and for this fleet I am trying a little texture on the base. I will describe the method later (as I have shamelessly stolen it from the GHQ website and a YouTube video I think – more about that later).

In the meantime, Japanese to the front, Chinese in the middle and Indians bringing up the rear. The Chinese and Indian subs are on just a plain painted base, the Japanese on a newly, slightly textured one.

A close-up of the new textured bases
A close-up of the new textured bases

PLAN Complete

The PLAN fleet complete
The PLAN fleet complete

Well, except for a few aircraft!

There, to the left, gentle reader, is the PLAN set ready to take on the Indian fleet. I am tempted now to consider some Japanese, maybe a European fleet of some sort or perhaps a ragtag South-East Asian fleet defending their combined oil interests from the Chinese.

I am a little annoyed however as this time I had some problems with the varnishing. I am using the same Acrylic varnish that I have used for the last two years without any problem however this time it seems to have crazed some of the paintwork – in particular, the flight deck of the Liaoning.

Click on the image to see the crazing on the flight deck
Click on the image to see the crazing on the flight deck

I am not sure whether the varnish is the issue or whether it is because I did not use Games Workshop’s Citadel painting on this one – but rather Army Painter colours. I will need to go back and have a chat perhaps to the nice folks at Paradigm Infinitum here in Midpoint, Singapore to see whether anyone else has reported a similar problem.

I will do some testing of various paints on a flat surface in the next few days, when I get a chance, and report back.

Don’t you just hate it when this happens?

In the meantime, the two fleets are now safely accommodated in their semi-permanent home – a Scottish shortbread tin.

The Indian Navy on the left and the Chinese Navy on the right ... ready for red force/blue force naval exercises!
The Indian Navy on the left and the Chinese Navy on the right … ready for red force/blue force naval exercises!

And yes, that is a spare Russian carrier at the bottom – maybe I should build a fleet around it!

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!

Vikramaditya begins sea trials at the White Sea

2013-05-18 22.29.23It is almost time to paint another carrier I think. It seems that the Indian Navy’s Vikramaditya begins sea trials at the White Sea and so will be India’s next carrier. This was originally the Russian Admiral Gorshkov. There were four vessels in that group – the Minsk, Kiev, Baku and Novorossiysk with the Baku becoming the Admiral Gorshkov.

My painted model of what was the Admiral Gorshkov is to the right. The Minsk was sold to China to become a museum ship and I visited her in Shenzhen in about 2002 or 2003. I have some photos around somewhere ((note to self … sort the bazillion digit photos laying around on disk drives at home)). Interestingly the Kiev was also sold to a Chinese company and is part of a theme park in Tianjin. I’m sure the Chinese learned a lot from the carriers they purchased over the years. HMAS Melbourne was also sold to Chinese interests at the end of her service life.

800px-VikraThe Vikramaditya has been extensively modernised and changed from the original Admiral Gorshkov with the removal of the cruise missile silos and such that used to be carried forward on these vessels. There would also have been an increase in hanger space as a result permitting a greater complement of aircraft.

The carrier itself is a little smaller than the Chinese Liaoning, displacing 45,400 tons (compared to the 66,000 tons with full load). Length is 283 metres (overall) compared to the 304.5 metres of the Liaoning. Beam is 51m (75m) and draught is 10.2m (10.5m). So the Chinese carrier will still look bigger than the Indian carrier side-by-side.

Both vessels will achieve 32 knots at speed with endurance of 4,000 nautical miles (3,850 in the case of the Liaoning).

The Chinese are expecting to have 30 J-15s as their main air strike capacity whilst the Indians are looking at 16 MiG-29K. The Chinese vessel will likely have 24 helicopters compared to the 10 on the Indian vessel with the Indians opting for Ka-28 helicopters ASW, Ka-31 helicopters AEW and maybe some Indian produced HAL Dhruv.

I think India will need another carrier!