A Self Indulgence – the Wargaming Tasks for 2017

Last weekend I had the time to indulge myself in my fantasy – the painting queue for 2017. I had originally thought it was not that extensive as I had not purchased all that much in the way of new lead in 2016 and besides, I did not have too much left over for painting from 2014 and 2015.

The painting queue follows in not particular order!

World War II Aerial Combat. The aircraft mix in these packets are from Raiden Miniatures and are in 1/285th scale. They are:

  • Russian
    • 6 x Tupolev SB-3
    • 6 x I-16 ‘Rata’
  • Finnish
    • 4 x Fiat G.50
    • 4 x Fokker D.XXI
    • 4 x Brewster Buffalo

Russian/Finnish WW2 Aircraft
The rules are Raiden Miniatures Fast Play Aerial Combat Rules. I have version 1.1.

Any of the World War II aerial combat rules could be used. The beauty with the Winter War is that a mix of aircraft seldom seen on the wargames table is possible with the Finns using equipment from Italy, the Netherlands and the USA, among others.

Raiden also make a US WW2 aircraft carrier flight deck, the USS Enterprise, for flight and combat operations. It is a kit in 51 parts and I am not sure if it is made or not currently. See http://www.raidenminiatures.co.uk/4.html for details.

Thunderbolt and Lightning Air Combat Rules
Thunderbolt and Lightning Air Combat Rules
Starmada vessels from Brigade Models. In this case, the PacFed fleet. I have a PacFed Future War Commander Army tucked away up here and this is the off-planet version of those. The PacFed are loosely based around a “Pacific Federation” and contain a lot of vessels with Australian type names.

PacFed Starship Fleet
PacFed Starship Fleet
As an opponent to the PacFed I looked to ONESS – loosely based around German forces. Somewhere at mum’s I have the ground fleet to complement this. This also is from Brigade Models.

20170112_225409
The ONESS Starmada Fleet
Baccus 6mm figures make up the rest of my Singapore DBA Project. Armies still to be painted are:

  • II/9a Syracusan in Sicily 410-210BC
  • II/8 Campanian, Apulian, Lucanian and Bruttian 420-203BC
  • 11/39a Iberian 240-20BC
  • II/11 Gallic 400-50BC
  • II/32a Later Carthaginian 275-202BC

The 6mm Ancients
The 6mm Ancients
Speaking of Brigade Models, I acquired a US Aeronef fleet. This was for part of the Peshawar project but with the purchase of Imperial Skies, the project has expanded somewhat (see below for how much). Of course what is illustrated and discussed here does not mention the British, French and Prussian Aeronefs that are already in the collection.

These then are the US Aeronef fleet. Quite a tidy force. I have been trying to think of an alternative paint scheme other that the Great White Fleet colours of, well, white!

US Aeronefs
US Aeronefs
The perfect opponent for the Americans above – the forces of the Rising Sun. Both Fleets (the US and Japanese) are substantial and would be the two most powerful fleets in the collection.

As with the Americans I am trying to think of a colour scheme that is not the Japanese naval vessels at Tsushima!

Japanese Aeronefs
Japanese Aeronefs
I wanted a bit of fun so I added a Scandinavian Union fleet. Dumpy vessels certainly but they have a certain attraction as well. These are also from Brigade Models and I am pondering colour schemes for them.

These were never envisaged for the Peshawar Project however they will make a good opponent for the BENELUX forces described below.

Scandinavian Union
Scandinavian Union
For a little South American Aeronef action I picked up some Argentinians. These look sufficiently different to other ‘nefs to keep the interest up.

Rather than a standard grey or Victorian Livery for these I have been toying with the idea of basing a paint scheme around light blue and white – same colour as the shirts of the Pumas. Again, Brigade Models.

Argentinian Aeronefs
Argentinian Aeronefs
And if the Argentinians are light blue and white then the Brazilians should be both hairless and based around green and gold colours. I have an idea for that with an antique style of gold colouring.

Brazilian Aeronefs
Brazilian Aeronefs
An opponent for the Scandinavian Union, and possibly the Italians. The Benelux Aeronef fleet consists of vessels from Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Benelux Aeronefs
Benelux Aeronefs
The above-mentioned Italian Aeronefs.

Italian Aeronefs
Italian Aeronefs
The last of the Aeronefs in this years paint queue, the Russians. They are also one of the protagonists in the Peshawar campaign. For colours on these I am thinking, maybe, something like Port Arthur 1905.

Russian Aeronefs
Russian Aeronefs
A couple of years ago I picked up two armies for the Great Pacific War. Here are the Chilean/Peruvian Army and the Bolivian forces. I am planning on using these with the 1859, 1866 or 1870 rules. A project that has been on the back-burner for three years now.

10mm Chilean/Peruvian and Bolivian forces
10mm Chilean/Peruvian and Bolivian forces
I have had an interest in both the English Civil War and the 30 Years War for many years and picking up Baccus 6mm‘s English Civil War boxed set seemed like a good way of getting into it. The set gives me two armies, a couple of houses, Polemos rules and 60mm bases.

I am planning on using these with the Baroque Rules from Dadi and Piombo as well.

ECW - Polemos and Baroque
ECW – Polemos and Baroque
Navwar 1/3000 scale World War I Austrian ships – battleships to destroyers/torpedo boats. I have their main opponent, the Italian fleet, painted and here already. It must be said that during the war, both the Italian Royal Navy and the Austro-Hungarian Navy kept their most modern capital ships inside their bases (Pola and Kotor for the Austrian Fleet, Brindisi and Taranto for the Italian fleet), leaving mostly submarines, destroyers, torpedo boats and scout cruisers to do any fighting.

World War 1 Austrian Fleet
World War 1 Austrian Fleet
Heroics and Ros figures have been used for my Cold War Poles – an opponent for my Cold War Danes.

Cold War Commander Poles
Cold War Commander Poles

In addition to all that, there are a few other items on the list including:

  • Anthony’s 20mm World War II British
  • Finish off the 1/285 scale World War II Japanese
  • 1/285 scale World War II Hungarians
  • 1/300 scale Cold War Commander Danes to be completed
  • 1/1200 scale Coastal Warfare Ships
  • The 1/3000 scale Jutland Fleets
  • Houston Ships Italians and Austrians from the Battle of Lissa
  • Dystopian Wars fleets, and
  • Peshawar, 2mm ground forces

So – a painting queue that for 2017 should keep me busy well into 2020!

23 April 2017 – Update: Nothing. Nada. Not done a thing! Maybe I need to motivate myself and buy some more figures.

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Nothing to see here, move along!

Everyone should have a Lightning!
Everyone should have a Lightning!

This is also in no way indicative of a desire to do plastic kits more so that I always liked the Ilyushin IL-28 Beagle and if one is going to do a Beagle, well, one simply has to have a Lightning!

And if it is enough for Jeremy Clarkson to briefly have had one in 1:1 scale in his frontyard, then a 1:100 scale kit should not raise any eyebrows.

The fact that 1:100 is, in wargaming terms, 15mm, has nothing to do with it (as is the fact that the Beagle is a bomber, of course).

And a Beagle, beagles are sweet aircraft!
And a Beagle, beagles are sweet aircraft!

Now, all I need to have some fun with these is the right colour paints, some putty for filler, some wet and dry paper for tidying up and smoothing out and a rainy Saturday to make them followed by a sunny Sunday to paint them!

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!

USAAF Spitfires in World War 2

In one of those usual oddities of Google and the Internet, I was hunting for some information the other day on Soviet World War 2 aircraft camouflage and, as you do at a time like that, came across a reference to the USAAF flying Spitfires in World War 2. “Tally ho”, I thought,  “here’s an oddity to look further into”.

Look into it I did.

Well, not only did the USAAF flying some Spitfires but the US Navy also managed one squadron. There were four groups in the USAAF flying Spitfires for a time, initially out of England and then in the Mediterranean. They were:

United States Army Air Forces

4th Fighter Group

  • 334th Fighter Squadron
  • 335th Fighter Squadron
  • 336th Fighter Squadron

7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

  • 13th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron
  • 14th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron

31st Fighter Group

  • 2d Fighter Squadron
  • 4th Fighter Squadron
  • 5th Fighter Squadron

52d Fighter Group

  • 307th Fighter Squadron
  • 308th Fighter Squadron
  • 309th Fighter Squadron

United States Navy

Supermarine_Spitfire_Mk.Vc_USAAFI’ll freely admit that this was news to me. I had always associated the USAAF pursuit (fighter) groups with P-40s, P-47s, P-38s and P-51s, never with the Spitfire.

The 4th Fighter Group was fairly typical, It was constituted and activated in 1942, Activation was in England and the core of the Fighter Group were formers members of the RAF Eagle Squadrons. They commenced operations with Spitfires but moved across to P-47s in March of 1943 and P-51s in April 1944. 

Of course, the US Army Air Force was not the only non-Commonwealth country operating Spitfires in World War 2. I mentioned 1942 above. In 1942 Spitfires were being sent to the Soviet Union to assist that war effort. I can see I will need to add some to my Soviet mid World War 2 army. The picture below is of a line of Spitfires, camouflaged and marked with a red star ready for export to the Soviet Union.

USSR_Vb_1942

CAC Wirraway

There was a search of Thomo’s Hole recently where the search term was “An RAAF Wirraway circa 1943 set for use with Mustangs”. No result was returned to that search term, even though in the gallery behind Thomo’s Hole there is indeed a picture of an RAAF Wirraway circa 1943 set for use with Mustangs. That is the picture there to the right.

The model is 1/300th scale Collectiar model and was originally purchased from Stronghold Miniatures of the UK although I am not certain if he is still operating as there is a note on his home page that says that he is “shut until further notice. I have some personal issues which include separating from my wife.”

Scotia Grendel Productions in the UK now sells the Collectair line however and the Wirraway (along with the other classic Australian aircraft of World War 2, the Boomerang) is available from them.

The Wirraway has the distinction of a World War 2 David and Goliath victory. The Wirraway was a converted trainer, used as a stop-gap measure and mostly used for tactical reconnaissance and light bombing roles. It certainly was not a fighter. On 26 December 1942, Flying Officer John Archer along with his observer, Sergeant J L Coulson, both of them from Melbourne, were flying a tactical reconnaissance sortie over Gona in Papua. They spotted a Japanese Zero (Zeke) passing beneath them.

Archer then dived at the Zero and fired a burst from the machine guns, hitting the Japanese plane and causing it to crash into the sea to the cheering of several hundred Australian troops at Gona at the time. Perhaps even more remarkable than the Wirraway shooting down a Zero was the signal sent back to Headquarters. It read,

Archer has shot down one Zeke, repeat one Zeke. Send six bottles beer

Archer’s Wirraway, A20-103, is on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

To the Collectair model I added an aerial and pitot tube, both from 20 thousandth of an inch (0.020″) brass rod. I painted the Wirraway in a 1943 colour scheme, lightening the blue on the roundels as at 1/300th scale, the darker blue used by the RAAF disappears into the green. The paints used are from the Games Workshop Citadel range, the green being Snot Green and the white, Skull White. The darkened panel lines were achieved using Citadel’s black ink and a fine brush.

Interestingly, Australia built 755 Wirraways and only 250 Boomerangs.

Franco-Thai War of 1940-41

It was back on 2 January 2007 in an earlier version of Thomo’s Hole that I noted:

Er, and for consistency, have you heard this o­ne before?


I still have that research o­n the French-Thai War of 1940-41 – just not with me at the moment. It is done – just the articles need to be written. Aircraft in 1/300th scale have been purchased for this as well. The research I have with me. The aeroplanes are still in Australia. I will get to this eventually. I had pressed my Old mate Bill in Boston into service in this regards too and hopefully I will be able to bring up an article o­n the Battle of Koh Chang as a starter. I almost made it to Koh Chang this Christmas to have a look around … next holiday down this way.

Well, I need to add to that:

  1. Er, I did not get to Koh Chang … although it is still on my list of places to visit
  2. I do still have all my research notes for this
  3. I do still have the 1/300th scale aircraft – they are under the house at mum’s and I will get them out for some paint this year … maybe
  4. I do have access to the appropriate Conway’s for ship details as well so will get around to writing that up as well. I’ll also look for appropriate ship models to allow the Battle of Koh Chang to be recreated on the tabletop … perhaps with it being a little less one-sided this time
  5. And maybe, just maybe, I might do something based around Blitzkrieg Commander for some land battles (which really never occurred apart from the odd artillery bombardment near as I can see but which would make an interesting addition for a wargame).

So yes, Gunna Thomo will get around to it … honest!

Albatros DVa and Pfalz DXII Being Restored at AWM

It seems that the Australian War Memorial, being the proud possessor of an Albatros DVa and a Pfalz DXII, has decided to restore them for display in November this year (I guess as an exhibition on the Great War and to celebrate 90 years since Armistice Day).

The ABC had a report on it – you can read it at Rare warbirds restored in Canberra which contains info on the restoration as well as a couple of neat pictures. Best of all is the description of the camouflage of the aircraft which French aircraft expert Alain Vallet noted

When you have a look at this particular camouflage, you just see dots of colour but once in the air you just see a dark shade and we have experience with flying a 457 covered like this and it is the worst airplane to get a photograph of.You just see a blur, you don’t see a real shape, it is made to destroy the shape of the airplane. So it is lighter in colour on the underside of the airplane and much darker on the topside.

I, for one, will be hanging around there at that time.

Royal Thai Air Force Museum

Boripatra of the Royal Thai Airforce After much mucking around over the past year or so, I finally have the Royal Thai Air Force Museum photos back on line in a gallery and accessible to those that can’t get to Thailand to have a look for themselves.

This is one of the best Aircraft Museums I have visited around the world and this one is important for a couple of rare displays they have, such as the Boripatra, the Curtiss 75N and Curtiss Hawk 3, amongst others.

In any case, it is now available online again with pictures of about half the exhibits at the museum. I should note that the last time I was there, the entry to the museum was still free.

How-To Wargames Guides Updated

I’ve managed to get around to updating and labelling the How-To Guides. They are in the now migrated Gallery here.

The guides are:

Or go to https://thomo.coldie.net/gallery/ to access the gallery directly.

One day I’ll get around to expanding these. Feel free to look.

Note (updated 9 December 2008): The gallery has disappeared and I am not sure where it is or how to get it back again, at least until I can persuade (beg, grovel) Jeffro to have a look. I will update here again when all is well and available.

Later note (21 February 2009): The gallery, and therefore the guides, are back.