Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Air War Korea - Part VII: And Now, Back to the Air

As I get closer to running Check Your 6! events, I realize I need to add a few gaming items in order to do several of the scenarios in the Air War Korea scenario book.  As it stands, once I receive my latest batch of planes from Chris G. at I-94, I will be able to recreate sixteen of the thirty-two scenarios published in Air War Korea.  Realistically I could opt to do more, but as I am sticking with Raiden for all my miniatures (with a few CinC exceptions) some scenarios are still out of reach as Raiden does not yet produced the needed aircraft, plus I really refuse to buy nine B-29s!  In looking in greater detail at some of the scenarios I can host forced me to rush over to the Fight's On! website and place an order for some goodies that I am still missing.  I have ordered from Fight's On! one time previously, picking up some damage markers and a parachute marker, thinking that would be enough, but some of the scenarios that I have the full complement of aircraft for call for things like anti-aircraft positions and target markers.  This evening I ordered the required items, along with some game markers that weren't needed but perhaps will be handy to use.  Once the order comes in I will need to paint up the AA positions and target markers, but those will get knocked out quickly enough.

In the mail today I received a copy of Squadron/Signal's USN/USMC Over Korea.  This is a classic work by Squadron/Signal, filled with black and white photographs along with color aircraft profiles.  I can't believe I never bought this excellent work prior to now.  As the F9F is my favorite Korean War aircraft, and the F4U one of my favorite World War II planes, this title, which of course brings these two and other fine aircraft into one publication, will always be a handy reference.  And it was interesting to see the appearance in the Korean War of the TBF Avenger, used to evacuate Marines during the breakout at Chosin.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Scoring Books at Half Price

I am fortunate to live within an hour of several Half Price Books locations.  Yesterday I headed to the second closest store and found some great buys, two books being directly related to the air war in Korea.

The first title is Combat Over Korea by Philip Chinnery.  My copy still had the shrink wrap intact, and had no description on the back cover, so I took a bit of a gamble on buying it, but am glad I took the risk.  Normally retailing in the States for $39.95, I picked up this new copy for under a ten spot.  Published in 2011 by Pen and Sword, it is an overall history of the war, with a war in the air focus.  There are many first hand accounts, not of the typical U.S. fighter jock, but also from those who served in air rescues, bombers, and helicopters.  And it is not just an American-centric book as other nations receive their due.  This is a great addition to anyone's library who is interested in the overall air campaign.

The second title I snagged is The United States Air Force in Korea 1950-1953 by Robert Futrell.  This edition is an updated version of the original, being published in 1983 by the Office of Air Force History.  Being an official publication, it is filled with facts and figures, and also has plenty of black and white photographs and maps.  Nearly 800 pages in length, it is also goes through the phases of the war, but from the U.S. Air Force's perspective.  The copy I was able to buy is in mint condition, as if I had ordered it directly from the Air Force.  Should be an educational experience once I delve into it.

My Half Price stores always seem to have a few Korean War books, but rarely anything so focused as the aforementioned titles.  I think it's time for another trip to my closest location to see what I can find!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Air War Korea - Part VI: Off They Go!

Not too many moons ago I was able to snag some Raiden aircraft that were being sold on The Miniatures Page by Dom from Dom's Decals for a ridiculously low price (thanks, Dom!).  In that mix was four Panthers, two MiGs, and six P-51s, along with several other aircraft for World War II (which I have sent to Kevin Hammond at Miscellaneous Miniatures to have painted).  Today I put the Korean War planes into a box and mailed them off to Chris Geisert, who works at I-94 and painted a slew of other Korean War aircraft for me a few months ago (see THIS post for pictures if his excellent work).  Chris does some excellent work as you can see on the pictures on that post, so I am eager to have him finish up my Korean War air project for me.  Other than perhaps buying some Yak-9s and Meteors, I will have plenty of planes to cover most of the scenarios in the Check Your 6! Korean War scenario book.  This will allow me to host a variety of events with a decent mix of prop and/or jet aircraft.  I recently picked up a sky blue gaming mat with 1.5" hexes, so hosting Korean War air games for the upcoming 2015 convention schedule should be easy to do.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Korean War Memorial - Washington D.C.

A few pics of the Korean War Memorial from my honeymoon trip earlier this year.  I should have posted these months ago!

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Bazaar - Filled to the Brim

I've decided to really reduce the amount of gaming items of I own, and so I am selling off a lot of lots of miniatures.  Bottom line is that I have too many historical periods I am interested in and not enough time to do them all, and and in my interests beyond gaming and it really is all too much to fathom ever completing, let alone gaming with.  As I only game once or twice a month as it is, reducing the collections not only brings in a little cash, but it also helps to clear out a closet which will make the wifey happy.  

There are several sci-fi lots currently available, and I just added some colonial figures as well.  Over the next few days I'll be adding some fairly oddball stuff, like biblicals and Great Paraguayan War, so make certain to check the Bazaar page on a regular basis.

Prices are really good, with most lots going for about 50% off their retail prices.  And considering some of these figures were purchased outside the U.S., the savings is greater as buyers will pay my shipping rates, which are much better than international.

Terms are CONUS buyers only, check or PayPal.  Most items are unpainted and still in their bags, so it is like buying new product for a ridiculous savings.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sci-Fi Odds and Sods

Just some random thoughts....

First, I have given away my RAFM grav tanks and APCs to The G Dog.  Why?  I decided that while they are excellent castings, they just have a look about them that is far better suited for Traveller's Fifth Frontier War as opposed to the setting in Tomorrow's War or 2300 A.D.  While none of us may know what type of weaponry and vehicles we will have three hundred years from now, the grav aspect is one I personally have a difficult time getting my head around.  The G Dog will get good use out of them, as he has quite the collection for several thousand years in the future, while my collection is for a few hundred.

I am trying to limit my vehicles to such offerings as RAFM's Imps, Darkest Star's Scorpions, and Old Crow's Trojans.  These are all advanced wheeled APCs which have a look more in tune with my vision for Tomorrow's War and 2300.  Based on the fact I have four Imps, three Scorpions, and two (soon to be five) Trojans. I may pare down the force even more by perhaps moving the Imps out of the collection as well.  I have a few of the Combat Wombat vehicles, but again, grav just isn't doing it for me.  Also, part of what I want to put on the gaming table are small, specialized forces, so having a ton of very futuristic vehicles doesn't fit conceptually.  A few APCs should be quite enough.

For infantry I have a ton of figures to work on.  I need to rethink what I am doing here as well.  Do I use the Tomorrow's War "canon?"  If so, I would actually need to buy more figures to represent the various book factions.  I have Ground Zero Crusties to use for District 9 or Marshborn, but have none of the official human factions.  I did buy some of their colonial defense force and Neu Swabian League, and I really like their figures.  But I already have a ton of RAFM figures (high tech level, low tech level, Marines, and Droyne aliens), some Old Crow figures, Eureka sci-fi Germans, Rebel and Khurasan Martian types, and Khurasan *not* aliens and *not* colonial marines.  At the very least, while I am the first person to pimp out those great RAFM figures (decades later and they are still damn fine figs), they might have to be the first ones I part with.  Okay, I've decided...check the Bazaar page to see what I am selling.  If I move enough product, I can buy the official figures, or simply make a few bucks.  So, go buy early and buy often!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


I have to be honest, I had to look up DEVGRU the first time I came across the term on the Khurasan site a couple of years ago.  Then I had to search on the weapons the Khurasan DEVGRU are cast with as there were some I had never heard of.  That is the problem with ultra-modern, keeping up with all the advancing developments.  (what do you mean we aren't using the M-60 main battle tank any longer?)  Regardless, while I liked the figures the first time I came across them, I had no need to buy any.  Let's face it, I have PLENTY of figures for my Force on Force/Ambush Alley project(s).  Plenty until Micropanzer was selling some painted ones on The Miniatures Page some months ago.  Curse Jason anyway, taunting me with nicely painted figures and really bargain basement pricing to boot.  A quick message telling him I need to add to my miniature addiction and I secured the DEVGRU.  Now what to do with them?

Here is the description from the Khurasan website:

SEAL DEVGRU operators, OPS-COR helmets, wearing PVS-15 and face mask (eight models – six with HK416 (two with grenade launchers attached), one with Mk 14 EBR, and one with Mk 46 Mod 1

The Weapons

The HK-416 I hadn't heard of, but knew of course that it had to be yet another fine offering from those folks at Heckler & Koch.  Yep, it is.  An advanced AR-15 they call it.  Not as cool as the G-36 (sorry, just LOVE that weapon), but in use by various military and civilian forces, it is a still fairly neat weapon.

A Mk. 14 EBR?  What the frack?  Never heard of that one either.  Oh, it is an advanced M-14 you say?  Okay, that is cool.  Enhanced Battle Rifle.  Good to see the American military is still committed to some of our forces carrying a weapon using the wham bam 7.62mm round.  Gotta love that and gotta love the fact that one of these figures is carrying such a powerful weapon.

A Mk 46 Mod 1?  Oh, a special forces version of the M-249 SAW.  Check.  Got it.

The Figures

Here are some pictures of the DEVGRU figs offered by Khurasan.  I have to be honest, I have NO idea where I found the last three pictures!  If you know, let me know so I can give proper credit.  Regardless (not IRregardless, that isn't even a word!), these are crackin' little figures, with detail, animation, and heft.  UPDATE:  The last three pics are from the Little Big Wars blog!

The figures as I purchased them from Micropanzer

From the Khurasan website

Carrying HK-416s and grenade launchers


Mk. 46 on the left, Mk. 14 EBR on the right

Monday, September 22, 2014

Goodies From Abroad!

Today I received three packages in the mail, all filled with miniatures, all from the U.K.  No piccies today, I'll snap some tomorrow so folks can see some comparison shots.

First up, science fiction...Old Crow must make the most perfect vehicles I have even seen.  I bought two Trojan APCs (wheeled versions) along with a few packs of his 15mm infantry.  The vehicles are perfect, some sort of super resin I think, as there was not one hole nor miscast spot on either Trojan.  Amazing works of art, and includes my choice of missile rack, gun turret (think Marder), or plain hatch.  The infantry I will call the Peter Pig of the sci-fi world as they are small (but cleanly cast, detailed, and well-animated).  They might be close to the Eureka Germans I have in terms of height.  I might use these to go against the Germans if they blend well.  Regardless, the two APCs made the order shine, simply amazing quality.

More science fiction...several packs of Ground Zero Games 15mm!  I bought some colonial defense force, some Neu Swabian League packs, and some Crusties, taking advantage of the great "buy four, get one free" offer.  These figures are large 15mm, with a nice heft, and really some of the best sculpting I have seen on any 15mm figure, and that is saying something considering the quality of 15mm offerings on the market these days.  The Crusties will be used for dual purposes, portraying the Marshborn race from Tomorrow's War as well as serve as District 9 aliens, as let's face it, that seems to be exactly what they were intended to be!  The NSL figures will become some sort of German faction for Tomorrow's War, as will the colonials.

Last, a slew of Peter Pig Vietnam figures were in a rather long box.  I bought ARVN, U.S., VC, and Vietnamese peasants.  Not certain what rules I will be using yet, but Ambush Alley and Charlie Company are the front runners.  I might try to heavily modify Giac My to simplify the numerous die rolling that one must do in the original version of the rules.

Piccies tomorrow (hopefully)!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What ARE These?

Recently I picked up some assorted Peter Pig figures on eBay.  Well, at least I think they are Peter Pig figures!  When I compare them to other Peter Pig figures I have, they look spot on.  What is the issue?  The poses do not match any of the existing poses in either the AK47 or Men of Company B ranges, so I need your help.

It looks like there are two complete packs here, eight machine gunners and eight command figures.  They are wearing boonie hats, matching the Australians in the Vietnam range.  Some of the leaders are carrying something that looks like a FAL or G-3; again, that goes along with the existing Aussie Vietnam range.  But the actual poses do not match...there is no command pack listed for the Aussies.  

In looking at the AK47 range, while there are figures available wearing boonie hats and carrying SL rifles, and even while some of the poses are close, they simply do not match.

I am guessing these are Vietnam Aussies, older figures that for some reason are not being made any longer, but I need the esteemed readers of this blog to help confirm that.

Machine gunners on bottom, command across the top

Close-up of command figures

The three command poses

The three machine gunner poses

Monday, September 15, 2014

Progess on the Painting Front!

Recently I was able to get a paint day in with my gaming buddy The G Dog.  I went north to his place with bare metal figures to prime, already primed figures ready to paint, bare metal figures to mount on bases, and vehicles to put together.  An ambitious amount of work on my part.  The good news is the paint day allowed me to get brush to figure for the first time in a long time, and I was able to work on the Eureka sci-fi Germans I have for either an X-COM or Tomorrow's War project.  These babies were already primed, so I just needed to come up with some sort of paint scheme for them.  I settled on some Vallejo German World War Two colors, but shied away from any camouflage.  I wanted the figures to reflect a bit of throwback, but also be easy for me to paint (I kept the breathing masks black as to give them an even more sinister look)  Therefore I painted up this platoon as follows (I still need to finish the bases obviously):

The entire platoon of twenty-eight figures - their organization is detailed HERE

Fireteam - two heavy weapons, two riflemen, one team leader

Platoon support team - rocket launcher and ammo carrier, heavy cannon, sniper team

The leader of the, platoon

Sniper team - the sniper is one of my favorite poses

Rocket launcher team - picture is a bit blurry

Rifleman, or whatever I make the typical small arms to be

BFG - big feckin' gun!

The heavy weapons for each fireteam

I was also able to get another RAFM Imp primed, along with priming the Peter Pig Iraq War Marines  for the Generation Kill project, the QRF post war West Germans for my Somali (Africa) project, and The Scene figures I have for Predator (which are now painted).  Priming figures in my condo is not an easy task as I do not have an area that I can freely prime figures, so having the chance to prime figures at The G Dog's abode really was something I had to take advantage of.  Now with all these primed figures I have plenty to work on for the next few weeks.  All in all a good day of accomplishment, and I look forward to the next painting session.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Khurasan *Not* Predator

A couple of posts ago I posted about my collection of special forces for the Predator movie that I had completed painting.  The Scene makes some lovely figures that covers Dutch's seven man team that goes looking for Harper and his missing men.  I mentioned in that post that I would soon have the Khurasan predator completed, and here he is.  I finished this lovely little chap a few days ago.  I am rather pleased on how he turned out.  I have tried to give him that yellow-green skin
tone that the alien had in tone that the alien had in tone that the alien had in the movie, not sure if I captured that well, but regardless, I am glad to have this little project completed (at least from a painted figure perspective).  

Now I need to pick up some jungle terrain, which I need to do anyway for my Vietnam projects, and I will be able to run a Force on Force//Ambush Alley/Tomorrow's War scenario.

As with all my posts, clicking on the picture will bring up a much larger image.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

By Dagger or Talon...'Bout Damn Time!

FINALLY!  I received my copy of By Dagger or Talon in the post yesterday, and I am glad it came.  When BDoT was first released I must have missed seeing an announcement, and missed out on the chance to buy one.  I've been pounding the poor folks at Ambush Alley Games about when it was coming back into print...told be told back in January "soon."  I do not live in "soon", I live in the now and I want a copy!!!*

Right before seeing the recent post on The Miniatures Page by Shawn of AAG, while perusing the AAG website I stumbled across the fact that BDoT had recently gone back into print!  I went straight to Wargame Vault and purchased both a PDF and hard copy.  I have skimmed through the PDF version a few times, but I am old school and like having the product in my hands without having to go through a ream of paper and two ink cartridges printing the PDF, so when I pulled the booklet out of the mailbox, I immediately started reading the goodies within.

For those of you who do not know, By Dagger or Talon is the first supplement for Tomorrow's War.  The supplement covers in its one hundred plus pages alien species and how to create them within the TW format (in far greater detail than what is given in TW.  It also adds enhanced special operations forces and other juicy tidbits like a slew of scenarios involving the alien races.  It gives some background on some of the first encounters with alien species and allows players to game within the TW canon (loose as the TW canon may be) or to create their own species to game on the tabletop.

I hope that Ambush Alley Games will continue to flesh out their historical background with future supplements (one can always check their forum for ideas from others), but in the meantime By Dagger or Talon is a hell of a good place to start!

* I have had nothing but great experiences with the folks at AAG, so I hope my impatience wasn't too annoying!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Ground Zero Games Buy Four Get One Free!

NSL Panzergrenadiers - Picture from GZG website
Damn, damn, damn...another sale from a great miniatures company.  Yesterday it was Peter Pig (15% off
sale) so I picked up several packs of Vietnam figures.  Today it is Ground Zero Games with what amounts to a 20% off sale...if you buy four packs you can pick a fifth pack of equal or lesser value for free.  I've never ordered from GZG, but have drooled over their science-fiction figures for quite some time.  The sale was enough to push me over the edge.

I ordered some of their Crusties, which in Tomorrow's War serve as the Marshborn (which have some 2300 A.D. Kafer characteristics and look amazingly like District 9 aliens).  I also grabbed some Neu Swabian League Panzergrenadiers and some of the Colonial Defense Force.  The NSL figures continue my affection for all things Germanic and will become my enhanced special operations forces for TW), and the CDF figures just look cool with their light armor, helmets, and more conventional weapons.  I did add one pack of the NSK power armor guys as to me they are the ideal Starship Troopers (book canon, not those crappy-ass movies).

No doubt with all the existing 15mm sci-fi figures I have I did not need to add more.  But the GZG castings are some of the nicest out there, and I just HAD to take advantage of the sale, didn't I?  (look, honey, I SAVED us 20% on these figures.  Great deal, eh?)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Peter Pig 15% Sale

ARVN - Picture from Peter Pig website
This is something that doesn't come along very often, a sale at Peter Pig!  They are offering a 15% off sale on all their items with a minimum $65.00 order.  The sale goes until September 18th.  I've been dabbling with the thought of getting into Vietnam (I should say back into Vietnam, for like the tenth time!), and so took advantage of the sale to do just that.  I ordered a mix of figures, Americans, ARVN, VC, and peasants, so I will have a decent mix of forces to use, most likely with Ambush Alley Games' Ambush Valley.  I do have a copy of RAFM's Charlie Company on the way as well as I like the idea of a campaign and all players taking on the role of Free World forces.  

Peter Pig does a nice line of figures, but I still felt a bit limited without having U.S. Marines with M-14s or ARVN/ROK troops with Garands and M-1/M-2 carbines to choose from, or even CIDG forces to buy, but the sale convinced me that Peter Pig was the way to go...that and the fact I do like their figures.  That said, it probably took me three hours and several variations of shopping cart contents to decide what I wanted to order.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Scene's Not-Predator Special Forces

After having owned these little suckers for a couple of years, it was time to finally get them painted up.  My first completed figures in a very long time.  I still need to hit them with a layer or two of dullcoat, but overall I am fairly pleased on how they turned out.  I used mostly Vallejo and Coat D'arms paints, with olive as the base color and highlighted with faded olive.  I do not have the skills to paint woodland camo that should appear on some of the characters, but instead hit them with a light drybrushing of black, light green, and saddle brown.  Alas, that drybrushing got lost once I blackwashed the figures.  A bit of flesh wash, basing materials, and here are the results.  Be kind, my skills are not that great!

The figures themselves are easy to work with  Cleanly cast with good detail and animation.  There are ten figures in this range, but really one only needs seven to do homage to the movie.

I have a start on the Khurasan not-Predator as well (seen in the background).  Should be able to finish that figure this week along with some other goodies.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Combat Wombat Vehicles

I have had the fortune to buy various buildings from Jason at Micropanzer Wargames Studio when he has sold them on The Miniatures Page at very reasonable prices.  These are definitely of a sci-fi bent, and will be used for the Tomorrow's War project, and perhaps as structures on Luna or Mars for the X-COM project.  I will post some pictures of these buildings in the future post.

VBL on left, Eureka sci-fi German center, Heavy Grav MICV on right
Also via Jason I bought a few of the Combat Wombat vehicles.  These little buggers are really nice castings, and of course picking them up already painted was heaven.  In looking over the Combat Wombat website, it looks as if I have the VBLs and the Heavy Grav MICV.  These will also find a home within the Tomorrow's War project.  They seem to scale nicely with the Eureka German sci-fi infantry and the RAFM Imp APC.  At first I thought the VBL was too small, but it should serve well as a small recon vehicle.  The MICV is about the same size as the Imp, so it will "hold" a fireteam or two.  I might have to check out more of the Combat Wombat line.  I am staying away from grav vehicles a bit as many I have seen look very futuristic, and I want vehicles that look like natural progressions of our current military equipment. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Air War Korea - Part V: Yes, Even More Toys!

Oh man, oh boy, oh bliss!  Got a little box in the mail yesterday from I-94, and it contain some of the most wonderfully painted planes I have ever seen.  Chris Geisert, who does painting gigs for I-94, painted and decaled these little beauties for me, and I am more than pleased with his work, and the superb!  I do not have the patience to do such small decal work, so having Chris add some character to these babies was well worth the cost.  Depending on the amount of paint and decals, the prices ranged from $3.50 to $4.50 per plane.  Add to that the base cost for a Raiden model, and you can have such great work for under $10.00 a plane.  I almost do not want to tell you how good these are as more work for Chris means more waiting for me!  But, I cannot help but to give props where it is due.  Chris was easy to work with, communicated very well, and the turnaround time was about six weeks (I was fourth in his work queue at the time).

As you can see by the photos, I had several planes commissioned.  One MiG-15 in North Korean colors to go along with the three I bought painted from Zippy off of a Bartertown ad, and two MiGs done up in Soviet markings.

Add in four F9F Panthers, probably my favorite Korean War airplane at the moment, from both a design, color, and Check Your 6! performance perspective.

Six, count 'em, six F-86s, four in 51st Fighter Wing and two in 4th Fighter Wing markings.  The amount of decals Chris added to these are stunning.  I now have John Glenn's MiG Mad Marine in three scales!

And let's not forget four Marine F4Us!  Again, just great work!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Air War Korea - Part IV: New Air War Toys!

I was able to purchase some wonderfully pre-painted planes from Dave at I-94 Enterprises at the semi-recent Check Your 6! event in Dayton, known affectionately as OxleyCon.  Several weeks ago I attempted to attach magnets to my purchases and get them ready for the table, but my fingers are far too large to handle the tiny magnets that come with the Noble Minis flight stands, so after getting glue in places I shouldn't, I gave up.  Then I remembered seeing some sort of magnet tool on the Corsec Engineering site.  I immediately placed my order and after a couple of weeks of waiting I received this magnet tool in the post, got out my planes, and after a few mistakes in polarity and still getting a bit of glue on the fingers, I now have some toys ready for action.  The F-84s are Raiden, but I am unclear as to the Skyraider (I believe it is Scotia). 

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