Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Falklands Again!

When work seems to have an ill effect on me, I seem to go shopping.  Could be for books, could be for figures.  In today's case, it was for figures.  I've been eyeing those FireForce15 Falklands miniatures for some weeks, having previously talked myself out of buying them because a) they cost far more per figure than MJ Figures, b) they are probably not compatible with MJ Figures and the latter are 18mm in height, and c) Old Glory UK, who stocks the FireForce range, charges a decent amount more than MJ Figures do for shipping to the United States.  However, as I am in a buying mood today (thanks to work) I decided to order a few packs so that I can do a bit of a review in a future post here on the blog.  To that end, I ordered one pack each of the Argentinians, along with one half ton Landrover.  I would have ordered British as FireForce does make some figures that MJ does not (heavy weapons and mortars), but as my Falklands war gaming will be focused on the Royal Marines, and nearly every FireForce figure is wearing a helmet, I passed.  Perhaps one day they will make more figures wearing berets, perhaps not.

The Argentinian infantrymen are wearing M1 pot helmets, are carrying FN-FALs, and some have heavier coats on.  The command figures are in a variety of poses, including one using a radio.  The weapons packs seems to come with a sniper and spotter, a machine gun, and a figure firing a rifle grenade.  The .50 caliber pack comes with three guns and assorted crew, including one wearing his parka hood over his helmet.  The 81mm mortar pack comes with three mortars and crew.  And the Landrover comes with a soft-top.  Packs have twelve figures for infantry, and run $7.60 (making each figure .63 cents...ouch!).  I can buy MJ Figures for .42 cents a figure!

I also decided to two packs from Signifer Miniatures, based in Argentina.  They offer only two packs in their Malvinas range, which are apparently Argentinian special forces/commandos.  Their packs are (if I have my currency conversions correct) $4.07, making each figure (eight figure packs) .51 cents.  I am waiting on a shipping quote, which I know is not going to be cheap, but such is the sacrifice I make to be able to review these figures for you!  

Once I receive all these figures, I will post some comparison pictures with the MJ miniatures so as you can see the differences in these ranges.  Hopefully they will not be so great as to preclude use of the Argie heavy weapons.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Check Your 6! Game Day - Updated!

Check Your 6 and Check Your 6 Jet Age Game Day, June 28, 2014


From Tom Oxley....

Meet at the National Museum of the US Air Force as they open at 9:00 a.m. and wander through the museum – those who want to take a shuttle bus to the Presidential and Research & Development hanger should get signed in for that as soon as we get in to avoid missing a morning run.

Meet for lunch in the museum cafeteria at 11:30 for a quick lunch, then take time in the museum gift shop to look at toys, books and stuff there.

At around 1:00 p.m., we will head to Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1541 South Smithville Road and start setting up games, and start rolling the dice as soon as possible thereafter. 

Directions:

Click on picture for a larger version
Tentatively there are eight games scheduled: four World War II (Battle of Britain, Rabaul, Guadalcanal, and the Med), one Korean War, one '56 Arab-Israeli, one '65 Indo-Pakistani, and one Iran-Iraq War).

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pithead Miniatures - New Releases!

Oh my!  Phil from Pithead Miniatures was kind enough to send me photos of the new Korean War releases this weekend, and these little gems should whet your appetite to start gaming this war in 10mm!  As mentioned in a previous post, Pithead will be coming out with not only Chinese support weapons, but also Americans and British, infantry and support weapons, in winter gear (actually, one can order these figures now).  This just might push me over the edge and go full bore into 10mm (well, I was 90% there anyway).  I really think those 15mm Eureka North Koreans are excellent castings, but as Pithead has released these additional figures, ones that I can use for perfectly for Fox Hill, then I no longer see a reason to ponder 10mm vs. 15mm.

Having a manufacturer committed to an obscure range, in a figure scale, while popular, is far from as common as 15mm, is a blessing that we should take advantage of.  I encourage all of you who have an interest in gaming the Korean War to please go to Phil's site and place orders for these figures.  Financial commitment (in this case via sales) will (hopefully) allow Phil to keep releasing more figures for this war.  It is my wish to see him add to the range with Americans and North Koreans in summer uniform, as I want to game some of the actions around the Pusan Perimeter as well.

The pics:

British Infantry

British Support

Chinese Support

American Infantry

American Support

Phil mentioned to me that he is also working on an M26 Pershing, a Sherman Easy 8, and a Centurion.  What, you still here?  Go place an order (then come back and say nice things about my blog)!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Gang is All Here!

Short post this time, just showing a pic of The Scene's "not" Predator range (although strangely they do not make a Predator themselves) along with Khurasan's "not" Predator.  I had been waiting on some 20mm bases from Litko, received them some time ago, but just got around to mounting the figures this week.  Next, off to the priming shop!

Mac, Poncho, Blaine, Billy, Hawkins, Dillon, Dutch, the Predator

I still need to find an Anna figure.  There are several options out there, but most that are suitable come in packs with other figures that I have no use for.  If you have an Anna type figure you want to part with, please contact me!

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Air War - Part II: Deciding on Scale and Rules

Scale

MiG-15s - GHQ above, Raiden below
 Wow, there certainly are a lot of options when it comes to 1/285th and 1/300th scale aircraft for the Korean War, much more than I had initially expected.  That is a grand thing, having a half dozen or so companies to choose from (that variety being the spice of life thing).  It also has allowed me to decide that while these two scales are close in size and decently compatible on the table top, I can go with strictly 1/285th aircraft so that my aircraft match perfectly, as opposed to just closely.

Why else am I able to focus on just 1/285th aircraft? There are several reasons.  First, the variety of U.S. and Soviet aircraft covered:

B-29 Superfortress - Raiden
F-84F Thunderjet - Raiden
F-86 Sabre - GHQ, Raiden
F4U Corsair - CinC, GHQ, Raiden
F9F-2 Panther - Raiden
MiG-15 - GHQ, Raiden
P-51D - Raiden
Yak-9 - GHQ




F-86s - GHQ Above, Raiden below
Next, the quality of those companies making 1/285th is on the higher end of the quality spectrum of the various companies in both 1/285th and 1/300th.  The three companies listed above blend very well together.

Add in ease of ordering.  All of the above companies have online webshops and can also often be found on eBay, Noble Knight Games, and other online discounters.

And, looking over the Check Your 6! Korean War booklet, the above list of aircraft cover nearly every scenario in the book.

So, I am going to push forward with the 1/285th aircraft that are available.  To that end I have removed the links for the 1/300th scale companies from both the right sidebar and the Air War page as, for me, they are no longer needed.

Rules

Rules, however, are still a bit of a bane to my existence.  Now, Check Your 6! seems to play decently enough, but I have only experienced two games in a span of a decade, and running numerous aircraft isn't quite what I want to do.  Most of the CY6 scenarios also call for quite a bit of aircraft, and even splitting the load among multiple players still means controlling several miniatures on the gaming table.  On the other hand CY6 is also what my gaming buddies are using, so there are opportunities for continued exposure and experience.

I have given Clash of Sabres the most cursory of read-throughs, but it appears to be a decently written set of rules, and one that a player is more focused on controlling a single aircraft or at most a pair of aircraft.  Where CY6 uses hexes for movement with each aircraft having certain maneuvers it can perform based on its historical performance, CoS uses turn templates, and the template used is based on airspeed, not individual aircraft capabilities.

Roskopf!

It is amazing to me at times to be able to access from one's memory figures (or vehicles in this case) that one knew of years ago, but never purchased because they simply were not needed at the time.  Take the Roskopf range of military vehicles for example.  I used to see these quite often in hobby shops, but never gave them much thought, simply because I was heads down in Napoleonics and American Civil War at the time.  Now that I am into 15mm moderns, these vehicles have come back into my state of consciousness.  

I had come across a few recent posts on The Miniatures Page referencing these vehicles, so off to eBay I went in hopes I could find a few.  I was looking for something to use with the 1970s Africa project, as I simply was not satisfied with using Marders for the Germans' transport.  Seemed a bit like overkill and realistic, the Marder being such a heavy fighting vehicle.  I have always liked the look of those early Bundeswehr Schutzenpanzer, especially the Kurz, so when I came across a few for a decent price, I gobbled them up.  

I still would like a couple of the Lang models as well as another Kurz, and perhaps another truck, but I have a decent start with the four vehicles I was able to buy.  They are the Mercedes-Benz Unimog 1.5t truck (28), the Schutzenpanzer Kurz tracked recon vehicle (135), the CC2 tracked cargo carrier (136), and the Hotchkiss Schutzenpanzer armored command vehicle (139).  The numbers in parenthesis are the Roskopf codes.  

Here are a few pictures showing off these nice toys, alongside some QRF Germans.  Based on the pictures I have seen in the Tankograd Schutzenpanzer book I believe the Roskopf range are perfect for 15mm figures, but you can be the judge from the photos.

Mercedes-Benz Unimog truck

Kurz armored recon vehicle

Cargo carrier

Command vehicle

The three Hotchkiss vehicles together
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