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.

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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 – 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.

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.

On the Workbench — Prototypes

A naked metal Tupolev and an Ilyushin overfly an undercoated Japanese vessel
A naked metal Tupolev and an Ilyushin overfly an undercoated Japanese vessel

Doing some prototype testing. Thought I’d start with the two biggest aircraft and see how the basing and painting would go.

I think future aircraft will be on sightly shorter stands — still thinking about that though!

New Toys – the Japanese Fleet

I had always intended getting a third or fourth modern fleet (megalomania? Of Course!). To join the Chinese and Indian fleets I purchased a Japanese modern fleet pack from Navwar code FPMD 5. Even after the arcane ordering process (I sent another letter through the mail to England) the postman brought me a parcel two weeks later. Included in the parcel was a 15mm DBA Mongolian Army for the lady – figures from Naismith Design and a modern Japanese fleet.

I had learned from previous orders to just stick with the fleet pack to start with as that was surely going to provide enough vessels for future gaming. This fleet pack contained:

Pack Number Vessel Class Ships in Thomo’s Navy Sister Ships

Submarines

N505 Harushio Harushio
Natsushio
Hayashio
Arashio
Wakashio
Fuyushio
Asashio
N506 Yushio Yushio
Setoshio
Mochishio
Okishio
Nadashio
Akishio
Hamashio
Takeshio
Yukishio
Sachishio

Destroyers (Guided Missile, Aegis and Helicopter)

N544 Murasame Murasame
Harusame
Yuudachi
Kirisame
Inazuma
Samidare
Ikazuchi
Akebone
Ariake
N545 Kongo Kongo
Kirishima
Myoko
Chakai
N546 Asagiri Asagiri
Yamagiri
Amagiri
Yuugiri
Hamagiri
Steogiri
Sawagiri
Umigiri
N547 Hatazake Hatakaze
Shimakaze
N551 Haruna Haruna

Destroyer Escort

N566a Ishikari Ishikari

Frigates

N563 Abukuma Abukuma
Jintsu
Oyodo
Sendai
Chikuma
Tone
N566 Yubari Yubari
Yubestsu

Amphibious Transport Dock/Landing Ship Tank (LPB/LST)

N590 Oosumi Oosumi

This fleet pack, apart from providing some interesting opponents for the Chinese and the Indians, will also give me the chance to try a new (well new for me) basing technique to see if I can move away from the two-dimensional painted sea bases that I have done in the past.

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 Tainjin. 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 it 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 (75M9 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!

The PLAN – the first ship completed

Well, I did paint the submarines already but they are technically boats so this is definitely the first of the PLAN ships.

The Liaoning finished
The Liaoning finished – port-side view – labelled and with the sea base painted. I am particularly happy with the way the deck markings came out. I’m feeling so confident with them now that I am starting to plan the painting of the carriers for the American and Japanese side for the Battle of the Philippines Sea.
2013-07-07 13.32.33
The Liaoning finished. The starboard view of the Liaoning. There was a lot of confusing information on the Internet concerning the deck markings but I managed to find some satellite shots that confirmed the marking positions. As she is armed with about 30 J-15s along with 24 Super Frelons (Z-8s) and Ka-31s there are less helicopter marked landing spots on the deck than previously thought or planned. I guess the fighter pilots get confused with too may markings.
A Pilot's eye view
A pilot’s eye view of the Liaoning although it does look like he is coming in too high. I am still debating with myself whether or not to paint the arrestor cables in across the landing path.
The Vikrant and Liaoning together
The Liaoning finished – port-side comparison with the INS Vikrant. Whilst India will soon be a three carrier navy, the next two shots provide some idea of scale between the Liaoning and the Vikrant.
The Liaoning finished - port-side comparison with the INS Vikrant
The Liaoning finished – port-side comparison with the INS Vikrant. There is a very sizeable difference between the two carriers.

Mucking around with DBA terrain tonight – back to the PLAN tomorrow night I think.