I’ve been quiet for a while but then this Tweet from @Thewargamesroom
set my mind to thinking, especially when Keith noted that he played the game on a 3’x2′ table.
As I am space challenged currently, and as Keith noted that it worked well at that alternative scale, I thought should have a look for these rules and see if I could get some modern gaming in with myself.
The Spearhead and Modern Spearhead rules were written by Arty Conliffe. I searched for Modern Spearhead and found only one place that had them on their catalogue, however, On Matters Military, sold out in July 2020.
I then thought to give Amazon a try and searched for publications from Arty Conliffe. I came across this gem!
Wow! Just WOW!
I think I will go home tonight and carefully place my copy of Shako (and Shako II for that matter) in the vault and leave it there.
What other old rulesets have you run across that are currently for sale at ridiculous prices?
Two weeks of extended community quarantine have now passed and while the daytime has mostly been taken up with work from home tasks, late night to relax I have been working on some 1/3000 scale Fujimi models of modern Japanese warships.
These are delightful models, full of character and detail. When compared to the humble Navwar models I painted a couple of years ago, well, there is no real comparison. Admittedly these are somewhat more expensive, maybe 1.5 times the cost of Navwar and plastic so lack the reassuring heft of metal models, but the final result of a little work, and they look absolutely wonderful.
The decals that come with the models really make these too, even down to hull numbers on the vessel, something that is far above my painting skill.
I am becoming a big fan of decals for 1/3000 scale models and the flight deck decals that are produced for the 1/3000 scale Navwar aircraft carriers are brilliant, really making the model stand out, however, they are really only available for aircraft carriers.
The decals for these Fujimi vessels perform the same magic, marking the landing spot for the ships’ helicopter(s). This box represent the first flotilla of the modern Japanese fleet, circa 1995. I have another box of Fujimi ships that represent the same flotilla several years advanced, including a full-on helicopter carrier, a DDH that is currently under conversion to become an aircraft carrier.
As for the community quarantine, it is tough residing in 42 square metres. In the afternoon I walk to the local convenience store for “food” – in my case, a large can of beer. It is my only outside time unless I am called into the office. I do hope that after the month that Metro Manila, indeed, Luzon, has spent locked up flattens the curve enough for us to rejoin the world outside, and safely for us old-timers.
So, for sanity’s sake, my late evening, after work, was spent adding just one colour to the models, followed by the can of beer then sleep. Last weekend was the first one off as well and that allowed me to finish the vessels. You can see the progress below:
The final product, after painting
Modern Japanese naval vessels – 1/3000 scale model in plastic from Fujimi
Next task, in the late evening, tidy up my work/hobby table. Yes, it is a shared space. Then decide on the next painting project.
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!
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!
I had plans of doing some painting today however one thing and another conspired to prevent that from happening. I therefore decided to have a look at the contents of a couple of the kits I had acquired recently – sort of get used to the contents before making them.
The Type 99 (Chinese: 99式; pinyin: Jiǔjiǔshì) or ZTZ99 is a Chinese third generation main battle tank (MBT). The tank entered People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) service in 2001. I originally thought the S-Model kit was expensive until I realised that the 1+1 on the box meant that there were two vehicles inside the box.
From Wikipedia: 99A, the Improved Type 99. Prototype testing was underway by August 2007 and believed to be the standard deployed Type 99 variant in 2011; upgradable from Type 99. The improved main gun may fire an Invar-type ATGM. It mounts 3rd generation (Relikt-type) ERA, and an active protection system. Has a new turret with “arrow shaped” applique armor. The larger turret may have improved armour and a commander’s periscope, and the tank may have an integrated propulsion system. Has a semi-automatic transmission.
Once I realised that the number of pieces in the box did not look quite so daunting.
Two sprues make up most of the parts. As with tanks, the first question is the tracks. Unlike older kits, the tracks here are moulded to some of the rollers with additional tracks to wrap around the idler and the drive sprocket.
The pieces are crisply moulded and appear as though they will be easy to remove from the sprue. I did not notice any flash with a quick look. At 1/72 scale this is a large tank, larger I think than the T-64 in my collection and that I will look at later.
Perhaps the best part though are the Photo-Etched parts. These are very finely modelled and will add very fine detail to various parts of the tank.
Currently the only users of the type 99A are the People’s Republic of China with 4 battalions of Type 99A (124 tanks) in service as of December 2015.
I am thinking to start this tank (or one of the other ones I purchased) this week.
Overall I like the model and I am looking forward to putting knife and glue to it.
I am also wondering what to do with the second vehicle.
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:
Westland Sea King
Ka-27 Helix masquerading as Ka-28 and/or Ka-31
For the Chinese:
MiG-21 Fishbed masquerading as Chengdu J-7
Su-34 Flanker masquerading as Shenyang J-15
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
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.
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.
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 International Business Times reported yesterday that India Launches First Homemade Aircraft Carrier, Raising Alarms In China ((The Indian press is referred to her as the INS Vikrant but as she has not been commissioned just ‘Vikrant’ is more appropriate)). The Vikrant will be around 37,500-40,000 tonnes and carry 30 aircraft including MiG-29K, Light Combat Aircraft and Kamov Ka-31 helicopters. The Light Combat Aircraft are Indian designed and built.
Given the time to finish construction and then go through the maker’s and working up trials before commissioning I would guess that by 2020 India will be capable of having two carrier battle-groups in the Indian Ocean and possibly the Pacific.
The International Business Times noted:
The Vikrant’s high-grade steel was manufactured by the Steel Authority of India, while all the design and manufacturing was accomplished domestically. But the Vikrant warship, which is 260 meters (853 feet) long and 60 meters (197 feet) wide, is at least three years behind schedule and set to undergo extensive trials in the year 2016. By the end of 2018, Vikrant is expected to be commissioned and join the Indian navy.
Currently the Indian Navy operates a single aircraft carrier, the INS Viraat which is the ex-British Navy’s HMS Hermes and the oldest operating carrier in the world. She is likely to be decommissioned in 2019. The Indians also purchased the Admiral Gorshkov from Russia a few years back and after much haggling and argument, a final price for improvements was agreed. The Admiral Gorshkov will be renamed Vikramaditya when commissioned into the Indian Navy. The Vikramaditya is expected to be delivered later this year.
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.
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.
And yes, that is a spare Russian carrier at the bottom – maybe I should build a fleet around it!