Wednesday, 17 May 2017

USS Knox Class Modern US Naval 1/3000th NAvwar

Having completed the Spruance, Arleigh Burke, Ohio , Los Angeles, Ticonderoga ships and now the Knox Class ships from the NAvwar Modern USA fleet pack, I am left with 2 Oliver Hazard ships, the Cimarron Oiler, USS Tarawa and the CV Nimitz. I hoping to pick up some aircraft from ebay in the next week or so so I can decorate the helo flight decks and install a few aircraft on the Nimitz too. In the meantime, here are the Knox class ships..

Knox class frigates
The Nimitz is underway but waiting for my masking tape to resurface so I can complete the deck markings. Given she is the oldest serving US carrier I can't imagine she'll be around for much longer.
Nimitz in preparation

Monday, 15 May 2017

USS Bunker Hill Ticonderoga Class 1/3000 Navwar Modern Naval USA

So maybe there's only two years before these start getting decommissioned, but that's two years of good gaming time before I need to get their replacements painted.

 So here are Navwar's USS Bunker Hill models along with six Boeing AWACS I've painted this morning. The AWACS are split between the USA, NATO and Japan. I'm about to start two Knox family ships but since they are  no longer active ( another redundant set from  Navwar fleet pack) my enthusiasm is a little short. One useful thing I discovered from painting the Bunkers however is that I prefer a soft tone wash as on the Arleighs and Spruances to the dark tone wash I used on the bunkers.

Thanks for looking :)

Friday, 12 May 2017

1/3000th Modern US naval Arleigh Burke Class

Slowly working out a system to paint these as I find out what works for me and what doesn't. The  two I've sqeezed in today  seem to me  a little improved on  my earlier Spruance Class ships. Slightly more aggressive with the highlights and the shading  wash is helping the models to pop a little more.

These are today's  Arleigh Burke Class ships. I've looked at numerous photos and the shades seems to change in every picture.

Then the Arleigh burkes on the left compared to  the earlier Spruances on the right...

Probably  more tomorrow as a have a rare day off and (good light prevailing) a long and fruitful painting day :)

Thanks for looking.

Thurn und Taxis fictional Napoleonics 20mm Artillery

As a warm up for a renewed burst of modelling and wargaming activity I tried the well established practice of creating a a fictional force. Given I have thousands of bases of figures for the Napoleon's Battles system I decided to stick with that basing system since, although I am more likely to use my own GRASP rules (beta free and available for download on the right of the page) the GRASP system will accommodate any basing style and I won't be stuck with years  of costly rebasing. So utilising some AWI figures to reflect  the Alte Ordnung der Artilleristen (?) I had a bit of fun.

Having looked at some old pic and stamps for Thurn und Taxis I can see that Yellow Ochre might have been a better colour for the Artillery but I'm pretending the newer field pieces, at least, are a present from their French allies.

Navwar 1/3000 Soviet and US Modern naval Spruance, Los Angeles, Ohio

A nice package of figures arrived from Navwar last week - A battle-pack  for  modern US naval forces and a selection I made of Soviet ships to augment those I already have. I get the feeling that with the demise of Devian figures there's no-one currently making up to date naval stuff in 1/3000th. After I had cleaned up and based the castings I decided to start with the US subs - Ohio and Los Angeles classes. Next in line were the Spruance class ships, so after a good search  for pics on the web I had a go at them.

Work desk overflowing with  ships

After achieving something which I was happy with (although I can see much room for improvement) I set off to find out what had happened to them since the Gulf War only to discover that before 2000 they had all been retired! I was slightly deflated to realise that not only are the current  figure manufacturers seriously lagging and that their fleets are in serious need of modernisation but that if I want up-to date fleets, unless I'm prepared to pay the comparatively high cost that 3D printers are asking for their models, I might need to do some scratch building. I guess I can still simulate conflicts up until and including the nineties, but I need to rethink if I want to explore the hypotheticals.

My now redundant Spruance Class
 I do understand that costs of new models have to be offset by sales. Perhaps there's not enough interest in this scale and genre to justify the cost of new masters and moulds. I also  understand only too well how fast the years pass and  the nineties may be recent history to many. But these ships were retired 20 years ago. Time the battle packs were updated I think and if I can make a castable master I'd be happy to let someone cast them up for sale.'If you want something done - do it yourself' comes to mind.
I think at least the Los Angeles are still in service

I suspect the Ohio Class will be around for a while yet

Thursday, 4 May 2017

1/300 micro modern NATO aircraft plus Israeli

Not technically NATO but an ex-USA aircraft, I painted this F14  as the IRAF version.

I guess this is obsolete by now. I don't imagine I'll ever get round to building forces for Iran.

 I think these Israeli F15s are also unlikely to support a ground offensive. I might re-badge these for the USA.

Somewhere I managed to find the US were still using these ( might have been ten years ago though) I decided i couldn't do without the refualling probe so i scratched one up plus some fual tanks and an AA missile on the starboard wing.

 I think an F14 in the older scheme would look better but then I wouldn't be able to play 'Blair's Desert Adventure' with it. And for added ground support...

Now entirely obsolete, this was still carefully guarded high-tech when I painted this F-111 up.

Harier GR mk3
Something to keep my Argentinian A4 Skyhawk busy.

More obsolete stuff, but I guess handy if i want to go back and refight the old Cold War. Two luftwaffe F4s.

That's all for  my modern aircarft -  thanks for looking :)

1/300th Modern Aircraft Soviet and Non-nato

Long ago and far away in the distance of time and space I lived in Edinburgh. As a naive 20 something I found myself in wargames show no doubt arranged by the local club. I remember a large bearded chap selling me some Soviet Micro-modern  rocket launchers as I fondled a Soviet attack helicopter, insisting with all the arrogance of youth that despite  the manufacturer telling me what it was, it was in fact something different! Of course I was wrong and I am reminded of  the gentleman's patience with this foolish youth. No doubt he knew that the customer is always right especially if they are determined to part with their cash. Given the locale I suspected it was  Scotia Micromodels from whom I purchased my Kamov KA 50 but I cannot find either the rocket launchers or the Kamov on their site. Perhaps it was Heroics and Ros,  perhaps I will never find out. So here are some of my fairly old modern aircraft all of which would benefit from a repaint:

Ka 50
 I think these would benefit from a spray primer and using an airbrush for the camo, Brushwork just looks untidy when you're cack-handed and working too quickly.

One of my first modern aircraft - Hind D
I think this is wearing the colours of an Angolan Hind for my forces in  Southwest Africa


MiG 25s are a pain to catch and make  good top cover deterrents for my Soviet forces- which is why I've got two...

another foxbat

I didn't know what to do with my Skyhawk; thank goodness for the Falklands conflict though I don't ever imagine wanting to refight it.

Mig 21
An Iraqi mig,perhaps  suitable for the Iran-Iraq conflict, but unlikely ever to see action on my table.

Mig 23
 Might have been more useful to paint this up a Syrian given the current shenanigans in the Middle east.

mig 23

And another example in Cuban colours

Mig 21
 And a Cuban  MiG, what-if  the cuban missile crisis had gone extra hot?

Yak 28L
I can't find any evidence of this aircraft being supplied to Syria  or any of the Arab league. I wonder what I was thinking of. Now obsolete, I wonder who should get ownership of this?

wurttemburg Uhlans 15mm Principles of War

A couple of years ago  I bought a selection of  figures for the various Franco-Prussian and Austro-Italian wars. I remember the artillery teams from Outpost were excellent value, and I may well have bought a few more of their figure besides. Also I remember acquiring a  few battle packs from Lancashire Games. So there are two possible sources for  these - my  Wurttemburg Uhlans. Perhaps they were intended to be Saxons, I can't remember since despite a well intentioned attempt to get them cleaned up, and undercoated on painting strips it has been far too long before I settled down to paint them and forgot to write what they were supposed to be. Remembering the struggle  to get the Wurtemburg Flags I ordered from ORF so many years ago ( unsuccesfully). Perhaps I am ready to give them another chance. If my current order comes through I will try again for the flags but I'm aware how very much I avoided QRF (despite their many attractive products) after one less than perfect experience. If all goes well I hope to have some 'Precinct 9' style Buffel and Prawn sci fi conflicts plus some nice looking dinosaurs in 15mm for  my hapless victims  friends to discover waiting in ambush. Vietnam '69 will never be the same....

Anyhow, enough nonsense; here are my as yet unflagged Wurttemburger Uhlans. These will go to the POW section  on the right of this page once they are finished.
Thanks for looking :)

1/300th 6mm Wellington Bomber

This Wellington bomber is a  poor specimen that has long languished in the detritus of my purgatory for projects ( a.k.a. 'the loft') The model is from heroics and Ros I believe and is intended to support my Allied forces in Tunisia and Italy. It's probably been waiting fifteen years for me to 'magnabase' it. Such a  quick job and yet such a long wait. I wonder if I'll ever get it into battle?

Heroics and Ros 6mm Wellington

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Sopwith Camels - Vickers FE 2b 1/300th 6mm

I don't know about you but I'm a massive procrastinator. And what better way to put off finishing a project than to start a new one. This might go some way to explain the obscene stash of kits and figures and the habit of starting new hobbies just as the old ones are getting somewhere.

After nearly five years of therapy I seem to be getting somewhere. Occasionally I feel able to finish something without a deadline being imposed from external sources, at least aside from the impending deadline of death which is probably the main motivator behind my current impetus to work; so I've been pootling around the loft looking for orphan projects to complete.

Some time ago I played a series of Blue Max games, started a pilot roster and decided I wanted to replace the card tokens with models. I must have picked up a small force of Irregular Miniatures aircraft for British and German forces and painted up a couple of them. I haven't played Blue Max in a long while and I might never do so again but in the intervening years I've painted up Italian and Austrian forces for WW1 in 6mm and still have a pile of French and German forces in 20mm and a small but much loved force of 20mm Turks and Allied Arabs for Palestine.

Anyway, here are a couple of pics of my Camels and Gunbuses. It will be a long time before I pursue this particular project any further s there are  20mm Napoleonic, 28mm fantasy and 1/3000th modern naval figures covering my work-desk, the spare bed and the  coffee table. Apologies to my long suffering wife - may she be rewarded in the next life - because it's unlikely I'll change during this one. :)

irregular miniatures Sopwith Camel 6mm

Irregular Miniatures Vickers FE 2B

Note the tricycle undercarriage on the model, it would seem the forward wheel was often removed in service. There are much more realistic and attractive schemes than the one I have used.

Monday, 17 April 2017

1/3000th Naval Modern

Hi ( and Happy Easter) ,
Spent last week with a good ( and now old) friend testing the GRASP rules I've written. The play-testing with different  periods and scales has  been a real help in tweaking the rules. We tried playing a Modern naval game where one element equals 1 real ship / aircraft, with a scale of around 1 inch to 10 nautical miles. The game was played over 3 nights, with a couple of turns per hour. I think the  game was resolved at around 6 turns. It might seem 2 turns an hour is not much although much of the time was spent discussing what was working, alternatives and stopping to eat toast.

Now I must have bought these at least ten years ago and after one  long-winded attempt at Harpoon (3 hours to track and resolve one torpedo firing) I knew I needed something that was quicker, less fussy around insignificant differences and generally easier for my shrivelling brain. So, after playing with two Leander Class ships and 15 phantoms on the British team v a much larger Soviet team, a grand tactical subset of the rules is in progress ( just means some of the extant rules can be  ignored).

Having lost the entirety of the Soviet air cover to  F4Ks I decided to paint up the  rest of the figures I had and post them up here. If I get carried away and start playing naval games a lot, I'll create a new sub blog link on the right of this page.

First is my  UK fleet circa 1980 something,

So at the rear are my three Victor bombers intended to act as K tankers ( supply is a integral aspect of the GRASP rules), on the large bases furthest away - two Leanders, then two Leopard Class , and   three Trafalgar class subs. In front are ten Phantoms.

Looks like I need more practice at painting these tiny ships and trying to get realistic water effects.

Second is the Soviet fleet:

As you can see there are two distinct sea colours. As ever I  never manage to get the basing the same after a long break.

These are the Kashin and the Kashin Mod. with their attendent Kamov helicopters. I'm thinking about using a hole punch to make some clear discs for these...

This is the Moscva helicopter carrier at the front and behind is the Kiev aircraft carrier.

 Three Myasishchev bombers equipped with what looks like very  capable low altitude  navigation.

Three Akula class (rear) and three Tango class subs. looking at these I think theres a small improvement on my first effort (at the  very back).

I tried  painting the subs  a dark 'german' grey with an Army Painter dark wash over the top. I mixed my own sea green colour for the bases, which means - yet again, I will  have bases of a different colour next time :(
 and a gaggle of Beriev ASW aircraft.

 Ten (one is hiding) MiG 25s, although I used some of them in the test as SU33s. ( I got their stats wrong and the F4Ks made short work of them!)

Lastly, A line of Yak 38s already for action, although I've just checked my references and I need white tail tips and intake leading edges. Ho hum, back to the  paintshop...

Thanks for  looking :)

Saturday, 25 March 2017

28mm fantasy characters

Here's a few figures I've just finished for a friend -

More pics in the Figures and dioramas section  -->

Thanks for looking :)

The Scene - Jet bike riders

Just finished a small group of jet bike riders from The Scene..

I think I prefer the silver schemes  and I  do not like the desert camo, so I might have to repaint it. The figure have elongated  aerodynamic  helmets which  will make them suitable riders for some  humanoid aliens I have with elongated heads. More pics in the Sci fi section --->
Thanks for looking :)

Friday, 27 January 2017

New GRASP Rules - Play anything :)

I've uploaded a new set of rules I've written  that should enable anything to be played against anything.
If you have time and inclination to try them I would love to hear any feedback.

Monday, 19 September 2016

6mm 1/300th WW2 Aircraft

Long time since these saw the light of day but had an opportunity to get my WW2 aircraft onto the wargames table last week. We played a new set of rules I've written to cover any period of conflict. So with the intention of testing the rules to destruction I set up a WW2  game for couple of friends.
I'll post up the rules  another time when I've worked out how to make downloadable pdf files.

For now, I thought I'd post a few pics of the aircraft. Hope you like them.

well...I just had to have one. Maybe a pink one in the future.
Liberator - good in defence and offence

V1s - gotta get'em all.

Macchi or Fiat, who knows - shoot it anyway.

Great arty spotter -  the  Fw189

For those more substantial targets -  bring out the heavies.

Just when you thought you'd seen everything -  here come the reserves -  in a Gigant.

A lonely hurricane, better find some friends soon .

Allied commander's preferred ride - the Auster

Italian Storch - useful over the battlefield as a scout

Hurricanes -  a little obsolete ( and a little too shiny)

Ju87 and its can openers.

Three Me110's  looking for lunch

You can just about see the three 110's starting their run on the Shermans. The Shermans were lucky and took little damage. Not so lucky was the armoured car in the field which was destroyed by the PaK guns which can now been seen running bravely away from danger.