Saturday, December 1, 2018

Off They Go!

Strange Encounter by Roy Grinnell
After some great communication with Kevin Hammond of Miscellaneous Miniatures, I have shipped to him my Raiden aircraft for both the Vietnam and 1948 Arab-Israeli projects, both are for Check Your 6!  The Vietnam project is based on the Crusaders Over 'Nam scenario book, and the 1948 planes are from the Wargames Illustrated 310 article "War of Catastrophe and Independence" written by Rob Wubbenhorst, along with an extra online scenario he created.  The aircraft I have will allow me to do three of the six available scenarios.  One day I'll have to order a few extra aircraft in order to game all six.  Regardless, I'll have some options for hosting events, particularly at the Check Your 6! Game Day held in Dayton every June.

Friday, November 30, 2018

New Decals From Miscellaneous Miniatures

VF-211 decals, from Miscellaneous Miniatures website
Just popped over to the Miscellaneous Miniatures website and what do I find?  Recently released 1/285th scale decals for Crusaders and Skyhawks, for units that are in some of the Crusaders Over 'Nam scenario book.  Talk about serendipity!  Time to get those lovely Raiden planes I received a few days ago sent off to be painted!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Another Crusader Scenario

I pulled out the Check Your 6! Jet Age rules last night to go over how missiles work in the rules (I have pretty much only gamed non-missile actions thus far), and forgot that there was another Vietnam scenario in the rules featuring Crusaders.  Actually, it is a different version of a scenario that appears in Crusaders Over 'Nam, but different enough that I consider it the twelfth scenario using Crusaders.  This one also has four A4s, so I guess in my next I-94 order I'll grab some Raiden A4s!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Crusaders Over 'Nam - Planes Needed

Previously on this blog appeared a short review of Crusaders Over 'Nam, a short scenario book for Check Your 6!  This post is a bit of an add on to discuss just how many of each plane type is needed in order to run all the scenarios.

In the eleven available scenarios, the primary forces consist of U.S. Navy F8 Crusaders facing off against MiG-17s of the Vietnamese Peoples Air Force.  Add to that a mix of MiG-21s, and A4 Skyhawks, and a lone A6 Intruder, and one has a fairly simple mix of aircraft to purchase and paint.  The MiG-17s are simply F models, while the MiG-21s are either F-13 or PFM models.  The Crusaders are of four variants (C, E, H, and RF), and the Skyhawks are either E or C types.  That might sound a little confusing, but as we can use the same model Crusader, Skyhawk, and MiG-21 to represent the various variants, we can drastically simplify the buying process.  So what are our maximum needs to cover all eleven scenarios?  As follows:

F8 - 6
A4 - 12
A6 - 1
MiG-17 - 10
MiG-21 - 4

Using the Raiden 1/285th scale offerings (nicely cast models at a fair price from I-94), we can order the following codes:

F8 - USA103 - $3.50 - $21.00
A4 - USA102 - $3.00 - $36.00
A6 - USA126 - $3.00 - $3.00

Americans total 19 planes at $60.00.

MiG-17 - RUS103 - $3.00 - $30.00
MiG-21 - RUS104 - $3.00 - $12.00

Vietnamese total 14 planes at $42.00.

But wait, I offer to you an option.  Maybe you do not want to purchase and paint that many planes.  If we remove one scenario, one with twelve A4s, we can get the totals down even more:

F8 - 6
A4 - 2
A6 - 1
MiG-17 - 8
MiG-21 - 4

F8 - USA103 - $3.50 - $21.00
A4 - USA102 - $3.00 - $6.00
A6 - USA126 - $3.00 - $3.00

Americans total 9 planes at $30.00.

MiG-17 - RUS103 - $3.00 - $24.00
MiG-21 - RUS104 - $3.00 - $12.00

Vietnamese total 12 planes at $36.00.

Still too rich for your wallet?  Let's take out just one more scenario, leaving you the ability to game nine scenarios in the book, with just the following planes needed:

F8 - 4
MiG-17 - 5
MiG-21 - 4

F8 - USA103 - $3.50 - $14.00

Americans total 4 planes at $14.00.

MiG-17 - RUS103 - $3.00 - $15.00
MiG-21 - RUS104 - $3.00 - $12.00

Vietnamese total 9 planes at $27.00.

So, for $41.00 you could have the planes needed (including options) to game nine of the Crusaders Over 'Nam scenarios.  One heck of a deal I say - time to go place an order!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Great Purge

Time to get serious about cleaning out some of my collection of gaming items.  Numerous rules and gaming supplements on the block.  The listing is on both Bartertown and The Wargames Website.  Good prices.  Stateside buyers only.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Irishserb Selling Again!

After a bit of a hiatus (dude works a ton of hours), my gaming bud Irishserb is selling his 15mm resin vehicles once again.  He has an offering of some modern and Cold War vehicles, cast cleanly and scaled properly, for prices that are super affordable.  Go check his site today!  He has plans to offer some 6mm African buildings in the future.  Good stuff!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Fireforce15 Figures - A Small Review

Top row FFM-01, middle row FFM-02, bottom row FFM-03
Forgot to get these on the blog prior to now, but here are some snaps of the Old Glory UK FireForce15 figures I ordered a few months ago.  I picked up one pack of each offering, which gives me thirty-six figures in total.  Each pack has three poses of the following.

FFM-01 - Infantry pack with three FN riflemen and what I am guessing to be a FN MAG with a box drum?
FFM-02 - Infantry pack with three riflemen and one machine gunner, with a standard FN MAG.
FFM-03 - Command and weapons with a command figure, a much smaller radio operator (with a different sculpting style), an RPG gunner, and a mortar.  Just how many mortars does one need?

Dislikes - Awkward posing, amount of flash, bent weapons, type of metal used (hard and not very pliable), mould lines, two different sculpting styles, too many mortars.
Likes - The fact that one can find FN-armed troops in shorts!

Okay, I am usually more favorable with reviews as this is a small hobby and I appreciate those who have the skill and the ability to have figures put on the market.  As a whole the figures are not bad, they just could have been so much better with cleaner and more realistic sculpting, better moulding, and a better mix of figure types.  These figures have not been around that long for the moulds to be wearing out so really the mould lines and flash shouldn't be evident.

Bottom line - One is better off trying to cobble together a Rhodesian force from Peter Pig's Vietnam and AK-47 ranges.  These Fireforce15 figures are going straight to the Bazaar!
The odd drum weapon from FFM-01

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Sword Worlds/OutRim Coalition

Command and comms - picture from GZG website
Today I received my order from GZG for additional OutRim Coalition figures, to be used for a Traveller Sword Worlds force.  This is just a quick post to sort out the figures and their weapons.

RC01 - Rifles
RC02 - Rifles
RC03 - SAW gunners
RC04 - Plasma gunners and light missile gunners
RC05 - Heavy plasma cannon
RC06 - Twin Gauss autocannon
RC07 - Twin rail mortars
RC08 - Command and comms
RC09 - Anti-vehicle missiles and heavy railgun snipers

With the packs I had purchased before, this gives me 24 rifles, 12 SAWs, 4 portable plasma guns, 4 light missile launchers, 2 heavy plasma cannon, 2 gauss autocannon, 2 mortars, higher command, 4 anti-vehicle missiles, and 4 snipers.  Breakdown of a fireteam might be as follows:

Fireteam A
2 rifles
1 plasma gun

Fireteam B
2 rifles
1 light missile

Fireteam C
2 rifles
1 anti-vehicle missile

Fireteam D
2 rifles
1 sniper

Another thought might be to increase the fireteams to five men by adding an additional rifleman.

And yet another idea might be to pull the portable support weapons out and make them platoon level assets and increase the fireteam to six troopers consisting of four rifles and two SAWs each.  

Lot's of decisions to be made with this project!  I do know I am going to do them up in some sort of winter scheme, well, at least some of the figures since I now have enough for a couple of platoons!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sword Worlds Expansion

Picture from GZG site
Today I placed an order from GZG for some additional OutRim Coalition forces, which will be my proxy figures for a Sword World force.  The mix of packs will allow me to field mission specific units by adding in numerous support weapons and higher command.  

I've also ordered the Traveller Sword Worlds book to obtain a bit more detail and background info.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Sword Worlds

A quick placeholder to flesh out a project idea later for Traveller/Striker/Tomorrow's War.

Sword Worlds Platoon - Combat Environment Suits, 9mm ACRs or 4mm Gauss Rifles with grenade launchers, Gauss light machine guns, ATGM launchers, 10cm mortar.

  • Three squads, each with
    • Three fireteams
      • Fireteam A
        • TL with rifle
        • 3 riflemen
      • Fireteam B
        • TL with rifle
        • 1 rifleman
        • 1 assistant LMG gunner
        • 1 LMG gunner
      • Fireteam C
        • TL with rifle
        • 2 riflemen
        • 1 AT gunner
      • 1 HU-420 Botond Grav APC
Figures?  I have some of the Ground Zero Games Outrim Coalition that might just do the trick.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

The Swedes in Space!

Picture from GZG website
Just a short entry as I play around a bit with creating a new faction for my Tomorrow's War project, using 2300 A.D. as a guide...the Scandinavian Union Defense Force.

Taking a hard look at the Ground Zero Games Scandinavian pack, and after obtaining a bit of info as to what the figures in that pack are actually carrying in terms of small arms (as you can see from the picture it is a bit difficult to discern what the figures truly look like), I have decided to add a cold weather force to my science fiction gaming.  

The SUDF is organized into 28 man platoons, built on eight man sections with a command element of four men.  Each eight man section has a section leader, five riflemen, a SAW (or MG) gunner, and a man carrying a missile launcher.  Weapons are as follows:

G4 7mm Binary Assault Rifle (Gevär Model 4)

The G4 has been the standard service rifle of the Scandinavian Army since 2288, when it replaced the G3 (a conventional rifle still soldiering on with some reserve brigades and the Hemvärnet).

Designed by FFV-Sako Ordnance, the G4 is a bullpup binary assault rifle that was built specifically for Scandinavian demands. As a result, it is rugged and reliable, working equally well in Arctic conditions as well as the more temperate zones; it was even tested in the United Arab Republic for desert conditions and in Indochina for hot and humid environments.

The weapon fires an indigenous 7x15mm round. This round was designed to have both good ballistic performance and armor penetration. The bullet is highly pointed with a tungsten core; upon impact with flesh, it tumbles, creating a large wound cavity. To eliminate the need for carrying separate magazines and propellant bottles, FFV-Sako designed a magazine that contained the necessary propellant for 100 rounds.

Mounted under the barrel is a 30-millimeter underbarrel grenade launcher, which is closely tied to the rifle's electro-optical sighting system and laser designator to take advantage of programmable munitions. Although tailored for the Scandinavian Gr 30 series of grenades, software modifications enable the launcher to be used with foreign ordnance as well. High explosive, high-explosive dual purpose and smoke grenades are available for the weapon.

Finally, the G4 mounts an DECA Optronics S-3 electro-optical combat sight. It features a variable magnification (from 1.5x for MOUT combat to 6x for battlefield "designated marksman" role), a thermal imager and a laser rangefinder/designator. The last feature is used in concert with programmable grenades. Targeting data is displayed on either the sight's own display or broadcast directly into helmet optics. The sight is powered by a small battery in the rifle stock.

MG4 7mm Binary General Purpose Machine Gun (Maskingevär Model 4)

The MG4 is the general purpose machine gun of the Scandinavian Army, in service since 2289. It can be found in several different incarnations and configurations, including light machine gun (section use), medium machine gun (support platoons, with a heavier barrel and often a tripod as well), anti-aircraft machine gun (on a pintle mount), point defense weapon and even on a combat walker's shoulder mount on the Thor CW.

The LMG, MMG and AAMG versions use 200-round cassettes; the MMG and AAMG versions feature cooled heavy barrels for sustained fire but they are otherwise identical to the light machine gun. The point defense weapon uses a large (3,000-round) ammunition drum, a linkless feeding mechanism and a separate propellant container combined with an on-mount sensor. The CW version works on the same principle, but with a 1,000-round drum, a correspondingly smaller propellant container, and suitable electronics for CW use.

PM 7 Pilen Man-Portable Guided Anti-Tank Missile (Pansarvärnmissil 7)

The PM 7 Pilen ("Arrow") is the standard man-portable ("light") anti-tank missile in use with the SUDF. They are issued to support platoons and companies in infantry battalions, and a specialized version (PM 7B) is also mounted on the Thor combat walker. A totally indigenous design, PM 7 manufactured by the Scanavia Missile Division.

Weapons and organization from the excellent Etranger site.

For vehicles I am going to go with the Chariot tracked APC (also from GZG).  I like the look and each should hold at least a half section (hoping that when I buy these they will look suitable for a squad).  It will be called the Stridsvagn.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Modern Poles - Colors

In looking at this picture of Polish troops in Chad, the overall tan effect with some splotches of what appears to be gray along with green webbing, and dark green Rosomaks, might be how I paint those nice Terrain4Games Poles I picked up a few months ago.  The pictured soldiers are wearing caps, while the miniatures are in helmets, but I can live with that difference.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

More on Elli

One of the items I discussed in the first post about the First Balkan War naval Battle of Elli was about a basing system.  I really wanted to go with clear acrylic bases, and Warbases offers a 40mm by 20mm base, with etching, for a good price.  But 40mm was just a tad too short.  An email to Warbases to inquire about getting larger acrylic bases made, with the ship names etched, has already been responded to, and apparently can be done!  So, I have sent them the ship names, and awaiting a PayPal invoice and in a few weeks I should have bases for the Navwar ships.  Pretty darn cool, but now I have to ensure that I can glue the ships to the bases without causing the bases to fog.  Oh, and of course paint the ships before mounting them, as I normally glue the ships, then prime everything at the same time.  A bit different direction this time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Battle of Lemnos? No, Elli!

Battle of Elli - ships engaged - from Age of Steel and Coal
A few years ago (see HERE) I picked up some Navwar ships from a chap who thought he had organized his purchase for the Battle of Lemnos (First Balkan War).  However, in recently reviewing the ships that I purchased from him and the lack of enough destroyers for the Lemnos affair, it appears that really he collected the ships needed for the Battle of Elli.  Makes perfect sense considering that at Lemnos the ironclad Asar-i-Tevfik was not present, yet I have a casting for it.  Ahhhh, good, now I know what I have to work on for a future game!

Okay, what to do with this project, meaning what sort and size of bases to use, and what rules will offer a simple enough game, yet give that period feel I like?  Here is a nice after action report using Majestic Twelve Games' Grand Fleets (never heard of them, although they seem to be available Stateside, and apparently they offer a scenario book that has the ships for Elli already rated).  Thinking about some clear acrylic bases, but also worried that the glue might fog the bases, and with the tiny destroyers in this scale it will be difficult to not have excess glue along the waterline.  And, my go to base supplier, Litko, does not make rectangular acrylic bases.  But I do have some nice splash markers from them, and they also offer some firing arcs that will be useful.

Warbases make custom etched acrylic bases, which could be excellent to have each ship's name already etched on the base, but while nearly all the miniatures would fit on the largest rectangle base they offer, the Georgios Averof is just a tad too large.  I think I will send them an email to see if they could make a larger etched base.

The rules and scenario book that covers the First Balkan War have been ordered.  The neat thing about the scenario book is if I enjoy the rules I can also use my Spanish-American War fleets for Manila Bay!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


I picked up a copy of a book titled Fireforce from my local Half Price Books, and am a few chapters in at the moment.  It is one man's story of the time he spent in the Rhodesian Light Infantry, and has been a fairly good read thus far, although some of the slang is unknown to me.  I am hoping that there will be enough detail, once he gets into action, to create a few small scenarios.  Coincidentally, Old Glory UK offers a small range of figures (FireForce15) for the Rhodesian forces, but at this time no OPFOR.  However, placing an order is a bit problematic.  Evidently their payment processor doesn't seem to like United States addresses, and one (at least Stateside) cannot process an order.  An email to Old Glory UK was responded to quickly, and I was able to place an order for a pack of each code via email.

While Peter Pig makes an extensive range that would provide rebel forces, I will need to see how the Old Glory UK figures compare to Peter Pig.

Old Glory UK also make an Alouette III helicopter and a Cessna Lynx in 15mm, the former with a G or K Car option.  However, I find these to be a bit pricey and will be looking for some alternative solutions, maybe even going to 1/144th as many 15mm gamers will use smaller scale air assets.  News flash, Armaments in Miniature make 15mm Alouettes for a more cost effective price.  They also have a Reims Lynx for again a cheaper price. 

More on the book and the figures in a future post!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Micropanzer Nomad Organization

I never rated these fine fellows nor provided an organization for them in previous post, so time to address that oversight.

Nomad Force
Basic Attributes
Confidence Level: Normal
Supply Quality Level: Normal
Body Armor: none
Troop Quality/Morale: D8/D10

Typical Unit Attributes
  • Augmented Senses
  • Animosity (at the team level)
  • Elusive
  • Pain Resistant
  • Stealthy

Nomad Squad
1 x Nomad Leader with energy pistol
6 x Nomads with rifles
1 x Nomad with Anti-Material Rifle (Med AP:1/AT:3)
1 x Nomad with Flamer (Lt AP:2)
1 x Nomad with SAW (AP:2)
1 x Nomad with Grenade Launcher (Med AP:2/AT:1)

The squad will break into two teams with three riflemen and two weapons per team, with the weapons assigned based on operation type.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Final (for now) Moongrunt Stats

Putting it altogether, including the recently added rockets.

People’s Liberation Army Space Force
PLASF Basic Attributes
Confidence Level: Normal
Supply Quality Level: Normal
Body Armor: Type 28 Armored Pressure Suits (2D and may not use rapid movement)
Troop Quality/Morale: D8/D8

Typical Unit Attributes
Poor Initiative

2 x Riflemen with ZH24 Laser Rifle/Grenade Launcher (Lt AP:1)
1 x Gunner with ZH34 Heavy Pulse Laser (Hvy LWS AP:3/AT:2)

1 x Squad Leader with ZH24 Laser Rifle/Grenade Launcher (Lt AP:1)
1 x Gunner with ZH40 MPRL (Med AP:2/AT:3)
3 x PLASF Cells

United States Marine Corps Extra-Planetary Expedition Force Luna
USMCEPEFL Basic Attributes
Confidence Level: High
Supply Quality Level: High
Body Armor: M31 Protected Pressure Suits (1D)
Troop Quality/Morale: D8/D10

Typical Unit Attributes
Designated Marksman
Old School

1 x Fireteam Leader with M225 Laser Rifle/Grenade Launcher (Lt AP:1)
1 x Riflemen with M225 Laser Rifle/Grenade Launcher (Lt AP:1)
1 x DMR with M225 Laser Rifle/Grenade Launcher (Lt AP:1)
1 x Gunner with M237 Rapid Pulse Support Laser (Med LWS AP:2/AT:1)

1 x Squad Leader with M225 Laser Rifle/Grenade Launcher (Lt AP:1)
1 x Gunner with M222 MRPRL (Lt AP:2/AT:2)
3 x USMCEPEFL Fireteams

Sunday, August 12, 2018

North Korean Forces

Okay, so I have sold off my 10mm Korean War collection, but still would like to do some sort of skirmish level gaming set in 1950s Korea.  I do have a handful of Eureka 15mm North Koreans, and I have an excellent T-34/85 made by Irishserb, but I think I would need some additional figures (another squad or so) for the North Koreans as what I currently have is what you see here.

I do not own any other forces suitable for Korea, so buying some sort of Allied force would be a requirement.  Here though I could have a bit of fun and move away from a typical American force, and create a South Korean or British one instead.  I'll have to see what figures are on the market beyond World War II offerings.  Of course, having some U.S. Marine infantry supported by a Pershing could be nice as well.

Rules might be Nuts! by Two Hour Wargames, which I believe is the same system as FNG 2nd Tour, which I have enjoyed.  I have the Fire in Korea supplement, but not the base rules needed for play. 

Terrain, well, that would be a bit tricky as I do not have anything I think that would be suited for Korea.  Pretty sure my jungle terrain would not be proper!

Update - Seemingly South Koreans could be pulled off by using WWII Americans, but I would need them to be of the size of the Eureka North Koreans.  Eureka does happen to make 15mm U.S. Marine infantry, so they might do the trick.  

Gaming the Forgotten War Forum

Just a friendly reminder to come join me along the 38th Parallel and visit Gaming the Forgotten War forum, where we talk all things Korean War gaming from air to ground.  From rules to miniatures to the war itself, it is the one-stop shop for gaming this conflict.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Forage Caps and Shakos: Empires at War - The Church

Forage Caps and Shakos: Empires at War - The Church: The kit This evening was the second build of my five building Spanish set from Empires at War, this time the church.  I wanted a church...

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Forage Caps and Shakos: Empires at War - Spanish Farm

Forage Caps and Shakos: Empires at War - Spanish Farm: These buildings will see use in many places, from Texas to the Philippines. I placed my first order with Empires at War.  Ordering was ...

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Another Irishserb Build

Another easy kit tonight, just trying to get these all built and then primed.  In this case the Panhard ERC 90 F4 Sagaie, basically a tank killing armored car, one that could use its 90mm gun to take on T-72s.  

Nine pieces in this kit, consisting of hull, turret, gun, and six wheels.

This build was rather simple, other than getting the gun into the hole in the turret.  It took a bit of widening the hole and scraping down the insert part of the gun, but once in it created a snug fit.  

Irish Spring, or the Ayes Have It

So I was in the shower this morning, reaching for my body wash (I know, too much information), when it dawned on me, instead of Arab Spring, why not do some hypothetical or even sci-fi using Irish and call it Irish Spring?  Yes, lame it is, but what the hey.  It gives me a chance to use and mix figures and factions that really have very little to do with each other historically.  

Some examples:
  • I really like the Peter Pig Israelis, but I have plenty of desert/arid climate gaming projects already, and I really do not want to paint up more Arab-type "bad guys" than what I already have.  I also have some Ground Zero Games Israelis, but haven't incorporated them into any current project.
  • I have a bit of Irish blood in me, so I am interested in doing some sort of force of modern or perhaps sci-fi Irish.  They use a mix of weapons that would allow use of the Eureka Aussies as proxies.
  • Iceland beckons.  I want to go there and hike, and while they do not have a traditional military, would it not be cool to field a force from their Crisis Response Unit, a unit that still uses the G-3 battle rifle?  Finding figures with modern helmets carrying the G-3 will be a tough chore.
Three countries that begin with I, at least in English.  Dare I consider India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, and the Ivory Coast as well?  Okay, too many ayes there to even think about, but some of these countries could be a bit of a framework for a fictional setting, whether historical or science fiction.  An Irish-Israeli War?  Where would it take place?  An Iceland-Irish conflict, maybe along the Greenland coast or some of the small islands off the coasts of Iceland and Ireland?  Irish in Liberia, next to the Ivory Coast?  An Irish U.N. contingent in the Ivory Coast?  I know, all a bunch of silliness.  I agree, but it is still fun to think about.

There could be a bit of historical basis.  The Irish Army lost the most amount of U.N. troops as part of the UNIFIL mission, which supports the Lebanese Army.  Wouldn't be that much of a stretch to have a flare-up with Irish and Israelis involved, I would just need to figure out what sort of figures to use for the Irish as the Israelis pretty much stopped using the Galil in 2000, and the Peter Pig figures I have are Galil-armed.  But that is yet another arid climate project, and I would rather move away from that a bit at least.  It could be moved forward a bit, using the Eureka Australians as Irish, as Khurasan make a range of modern Israelis, although I hate the look of the latter's "chef's hat".

This one is going to take a bit more thinking I'm afraid.

Friday, July 20, 2018

More Irishserb Builds

I decided to work on a couple of the fine vehicles I picked up from my friend Irishserb in a trade some months ago.  My plans for these are for some sort of Third World nation as the OPFOR, while using a variety of "good guys" to go against them (West Germans in a 1970s setting, 1980s Israelis, etc., etc.).  The Panhard could be a nice target, notice this pic of some poor Irish blokes with the white "shoot me" Panhard and blue "no, shoot me here" caps.

For this entry two vehicles, a post World War II T-34/85 and a Panhard M3.  The quality of the casting is readily apparent, as is the resin.  No bubbles, very minor flash, pieces fit nicely together.  Irishserb's prices are also super competitive.  

The T-34/85 is a very easy build with only four pieces - hull, tracks, and turret.  There are ridges along the underside of the hull which to align the tracks in the proper position.

One of the cleanest looking T-34s on the market today

The Panhard is of nine pieces - hull, turret, wheels, spare wheel, and guns (two FN MAGs).  The guns are brass rods.  Again, assembly is very easy.  The wheel wells have a tab to align the wheels onto, the spare has a mount, and the guns insert into holes in the turret.

Notice the tabs to align the wheels

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Gaming the Forgotten War Forum

Getting a bit of traction on the Korean War gaming forum, entitled Gaming the Forgotten War.  If you have an interest in Korea, and in particular gaming Korea (1950s style at least), come join us!  With Pendraken's recent 10mm releases, it might be a good time to start a Korean War project.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Check Your 6! Updates

A bit of a summary, mostly for my own later reference, but some of the projects I am toying with for Check Your 6!

Spanish Civil War - I have a few Heinkel He.51s, Bf.109s, and now with my friend's collection, some Cr.32s.  I need some more bad guys to go against them.  I do have four I-16s painted up, but in Soviet markings.

German-Czech What If - Just got my order for eight Avia B.534s from MSD, and I plan on buying some early mark Bf.109s to go against them, but I still need to find a few period German bombers to add in.  Most of the German bombers on the market that were round in 1938 are later period versions, and so a bit incorrect.

Romanian-Soviet Front - I like the Heinkel He.112, a lot.  While there were only a few made (less than 100) it is still a cool looking bird.  There is a neat encounter in June, 1941 in which Romanian He.112s are strafing a Soviet airfield while the I-16s based on the field are taking off.  Turns into a hairball of a fight, with a dozen Heinkels facing upwards of thirty Ratas.  Rating the He.112 is a bit of a bear, seemingly a tad slower than the Bf.109B, less agile, but more maneuverable, I think I would rate the 112 as follows:  A4+1, with a robustness of 1, and armed with FF: 2xLVC, 2xLMG.  This would make them a tad better than the I-16, with a better punch for armament, which should help a bit with the number disparity.  I already have four I-16s painted in Soviet colors, but would need to order some Heinkels from MSD along with a slew more of the Ratas.

Flying Tigers - I've always liked their story, and with the addition of several scenarios in one of the Check Your 6! books that was released recently, there are now something like fifteen scenarios published that include the Tigers.  I have no aircraft for this project.

Wake Island - Another one of those stories that pull me in again and again.  However, while I look the look of those Marine Wildcats at Wake, after the initial Japanese bombing attack, only four remained, and they faced Mavis flying boats after the initial attack.  I can't see buying a ton of flying boats for one project - they are expensive!  Perhaps I can do something from the Cactus Air Force scenario book as I do like the look of those early Wildcats!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Spanish Civil War

A picture of the expanded Spanish Civil War collection.  As mentioned in my previous post, I selected my friend's Italian collection as I have fond memories of a Check Your 6! game I played in a few years ago.  In this collection were also some Spanish Civil War aircraft.  I already had a few planes painted up for this conflict (nicely done by Kevin Hammond at Miscellaneous Miniatures), and now there is an Italian component added to the mix.  I am not 100% certain of all the plane types, and I am going to need plenty more Republican forces, but it is a start!

The top row of Bf.109s and the He.51s are ones that I had Kevin paint for me.  The remainder are from Bob's collection - Bf.109s, Cr.32s, I-16s, I-15s, a Ford Tri-motor (I think), and something in the middle I have yet to identify.  There are a mixture of companies represented as well - Raiden and Shapeways, and maybe one or two others.

I'll get the large force of World War II Italian planes together for a future post.

In Memory of Bob

This past Saturday I spent the day with my gaming friends, in the basement of a departed friend, Bob.  Bob passed away at the end of last year, suddenly, unexpectedly, a tragic event that still affects me greatly.  Bob's wife, whom I have known for many decades, graciously invited the gang over for a day of gaming and food, in memory of her husband and our friend.  We had a grand time, but one that felt uncomfortable at the same time.  To see what figures Bob was working on, still sitting on his painting table, to be gaming in his basement without him, and to go through his massive collection, at the behest of his wife, to take items that we wanted, left me walking away with mixed emotions.  A high as a result of gaming with my friends and enjoying the banter, and a low as I miss my friend.

From Bob's massive collection of painted figures and boardgames, I came away with something that would always give me a memory of him.  A few years ago, at the Check Your 6! game day, Bob hosted an Italian/British brew up with Gladiators and Cr.42s, and it was quite a fun time.  Therefore, I came home from Bob's basement with his Italian CY6! collection (with the Gladiators as well), so that I could host that same event in the future in honor of Bob.  I also choose a small boardgame based on Wake Island, an old Mayfair games offering.  Not sure why other than the Wake Island story holds interest for me.

I'll snap some pictures of the Italian planes...Bob did some amazing paintwork on them.  In the meantime, here are a few pictures of the Fire and Fury game we played.  This was a combined scenario, designed by another friend, and it was a challenge.  Some bad die rolling on the Federal's part kept us from obtaining our objective, but it was fun to run "Bull" Nelson's division at Shiloh just the same.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Another T2000 Blog

I have been following this one for months, but forgot to mention it before now.  This is an excellent and highly interesting blog that focuses on a Twilight 2000 campaign in Poland.  You'll find it a good read as well as a source of inspiration.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Moongrunt - A Few Extras

Two of the Chinese rocket figures
When I first decided to put together a Moongrunt project using the GZG excellent range, I wasn't planning on using rocket-armed troops as part of my forces, but after reading Luna Marine from the Heritage Trilogy I decided that adding what is a fairly common weapon system in the books made sense.  So off to the GZG I went, and ordered a pack of rocket-armed troops for both the Marines and the Chinese.  Of course, while there, I just add to add a civilian element to the project, so I grabbed a pack of crew in vac suits, a pack of survey team personnel (also in vac suits), a Surveyor II tracked vehicle, and a couple of tracked gunbots (although I am having a heck of a time getting the latter put together due to their small and fiddly pieces - a lack of modeling skills on my part).  Jon, as he often does, threw in a couple of freebies, in this case some stowage cans and ammo/supply cases, along with a pack of Moongrunt Marine rifles. Jon is an excellent dealer:  he offers wonderfully cast figures, fast shipping (although this latest order took a bit longer, which is why I think he threw in extra freebies), and will often throw in something for free that will meld with your order.

For the rocket troops, I am attaching one to each squad leader as a support weapon.  The Chinese rocket will be slightly inferior to the American version, in terms of accuracy, but a bit superior in punch.  Therefore, when firing the Chinese version, it will use a D6 on its attack dice, an anti-personnel rating of 2M, and an anti-vehicle rating of 3M.  The Marine version will use a D10 to hit, an AP rating of 2L, and an AT rating of 2L.  Of course, these will need to be tested.

The Surveyor II is not a combat vehicle, but does have a rating of 1D6 on all faces.

I used the various cases to create some terrain bits.  They could factor into a scenario as a victory condition as denying the enemy of supplies on Luna could be a devastating blow.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Modern Austrians - Part V

Eureka, CP Models, Terrain4Games
Something I forgot to do, take some comparison pictures of my Eureka proxy Austrians as compared to the CP Models Taliban (and a Terrain4Games Pole, The Scene special forces, GZG Moongrunt Chinese, and a CP contractor, all for good measure) that I have as a potential OPFOR.  As you can see by the pictures, the two companies are decently matched, certainly good enough on the same table as opponents.  Actually, most of the companies do fine together.  The GZG and CP figures are a bit heftier, but not noticeably so from a few feet away.

Eureka, CP Models, Terrain4Games, GZG, The Scene, CP Models

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Poles II

Just a quick blurb about getting the modern Polish I picked up from Terrain4Games based (infantry) and built (vehicles).  The infantry are mounted on Litko bases, 20mm round in this case.  The M1114 and Rosomak both went together easily, with a touch of filing to make everything fit a touch more cleanly.  I filed the bottoms of the wheels as well to ensure that both vehicles would sit flush on the tabletop.

Next step will be priming!

Friday, April 27, 2018

The Poles!

Okay, another one of those purchases that I think "that's cool, I can use them for...."  I really have to stop doing this!

For months, off and on, on and off, I have made some visits to the Terrain4Games website to look at their modern Poles.  What kept me from buying any of their figures was the shipping cost to the United States from overseas for a small amount of resin figures.  However, some of their listings on eBay actually have reasonable shipping costs, so I ordered the "full" kit of eight soldiers, an M1114 (HUMVEE), and a KTO Rosomak.  

The eight soldiers are carrying a mix of weapons as follows: five with the wz.1996 Beryl assault rifle, two with the wz.1996 Mini-Beryl, and one with the UKM-2000, which is an updated PMK machine-gun, firing the 7.62 NATO round.  

I placed my order on April 5th.  Expected delivery date was given as after May 5th.  Actual delivery was April 26th, a nice surprise.  The medium sized box was packed well with plenty of bubble wrap to protect the vehicles and figures.

The figures measure about 16M on the Barrett Scale.  They are decently animated, with just a smidgen of clean-up needed to remove some resin "flakes."  The bodies are in good leg/torso/arm proportion, and the weapons seem to be scaled correctly and do not suffer from bazooka-like size that can occur in 15mm figures.

The M1114 comes in six parts.  Detail is good, casting is fairly clean with some cleanup needed, but a few seconds with the X-ACTO will take care of that.  The wheels glue onto axle posts, the grill needs to be added to the front, but the machinegun seems to have an issue as the bottom of the MG has a small round post that should go into a corresponding hole on top of the M1114, but there no corresponding hole.  I might have to file down the post.  The MG probably has the most resin to clean up, but again should be a relatively quick chore.  (picture shows comparison with an Irishserb M1114)

The Rosomak (wolverine) comes in eleven pieces - chassis, turret, gun, and eight wheels.  Detail is excellent.  The wheels have giant tabs on the back that align with slots on the chassis, ensuring an accurate fit.  The gun mounts cleanly onto the turret.  This is one nice looking wheeled armored vehicle.  Two issues though - the turret is slightly loose when positioned on the chassis, allowing a bit of slippage, and the gun was cast with a slight upward gradient as it moves away from the turret.  Being made from resin, I am not going to be able to align the gun back into proper position, but one has to really look at the vehicle to notice.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Urgent Fury - Preliminary Planning

Marine Corps Welcoming Committee
Come to the islands!

Some scattered thoughts regarding a Grenada project, you know, that thing called Operation Urgent Fury?  Some years ago I had some 20mm figures for this conflict for skirmish gaming, but as I have mentioned previously my space is limited so 15mm is the preferred scale...oh, sorry scale snobs...preferred size, for most of my land gaming projects.  And Grenada calls out to me every couple of years.  So today I spent some time doing some searching on blogs and gaming sites trying to find figures that would be somewhat accurate.  I will state it is going to be a chore.

Let's jump to buildings and terrain.  This is a bit easier to tackle.  First, I have some hand made shanties that should add a suitable slum element to part of the tabletop.  I also have tropical trees and plants (well, they are mostly desert, but they'll do in a pinch), along with some Flames of War Vietnam foliage and trees.  I have some green tiles from The Terrain Guy (now defunct) for the gaming base.  But I do need some additional buildings, and in doing some searching there are plenty of pan-tiled roof buildings on Grenada, shades of the Mediterranean.  Empires at War make a series of prepainted mdf and laser cut Spanish/Italian buildings that should do nicely.  Okay, terrain really isn't much of an issue.

Photo from Khurasan website
Back to the figures. I own three packs of Quality Castings modern Americans.  Given the fact that these figures were probably sculpted well over twenty years ago, the term modern fits a bit more with late Cold War.  Do they have the correct weapons?  Let's try a bit of pass/fail.  The weapons pack has the M47 Dragon (pass), the M60 machinegun (pass), LAW antitank launchers (pass), Stinger missiles (no need for these), and the figures are wearing the kevlar helmet (fail for Marines, pass for 82nd Airborne).  The basic infantry packs have M16s, some with M203 grenade launchers (check), but again with the kevlar helmet.  And the Quality Castings range is so small in height (or should I say SCALE?) compared to other 15mm figures, with some figures showing strange poses.  I cut my WWII 15mm teeth on Quality Castings, but I am not 100% sold on their modern offerings, with so many newer ranges out there.

I found a few pictures of US Marines wearing the steel pot helmet with their sleeves rolled up, so perhaps Vietnam era figures might work after all.  I already own some Flames of War Vietnam figures, but they have things like cigarette packs and what not cast on, so they have a decided 'Nam feel.  Then I stumbled onto the Vietnam range from Khurasan.  You have to know the secret handshake to find them (or this link) as they do not appear under the historical figures listing, so I am not even certain they are available for sale.  I'll have to send an email to Khurasan to check availability.

Won't you take me to, shanty town?
Okay, so perhaps Vietnam figures will work for the Marines.  What about figures for the bad guys?  A bit tougher.  The Cubans could be handled via Peter Pig.  Their hardened militia look the part of Cuban military, even if they might not be in proper attire for Grenada.  Peter Pig also make Soviet helmeted African troops, which might work for the PRA.  There are also some militia packs that might be suitable.  I like some Peter Pig figures, and others I could do without.  Their modern Marines are excellent - chunky in heft, the open gaping mouth that is Peter Pig's signature feature not nearly as prominent, and they have animated sculpting.  Some of their other ranges are not as good (mostly from being older sculpts).

For vehicles I am going to keep it super simple, perhaps one BTR-60 for the bad guys and one AAVP7A1 for the Marines.  Butlers' Printed Models make both in 15mm for a pretty decent price, even though the shipping is a bit high (more than the cost of the two vehicles).  Irishserb makes an AAV7A1, wonder if I can get him to do a BTR-60?

More to follow!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Grunt at the Moon

Just a short post with a piccie or two as I prep my GZG Chinese Moongrunt figures.

Heavy pulse laser and two laser riflemen with grenade launhers
Unlike most GZG infantry packs, the Moongrunt packs are of six figures instead of the usual eight.  This because there are two sprues of packs in each pack that need to be cut from the sprue and glued onto the back of each figure.  The figure has a small hole in the back and the pack has a small pin for fairly easy alignment.

The Chinese are organized into three man cells, with three cells making up a squad, with the addition of a squad leader.  Each cell has two riflemen with a laser rifle/grenade launcher combo, and the third man carries a heavy pulse laser.  (see my Moongrunt Ratings for Tomorrow's War post).

One squad of three cells, with a squad leader
In total I have four squads organized in this fashion.  I have yet to purchase the rocket launcher pack for either the Marines or the Chinese as I just do not have a use for six of these for each force, but mostly likely next time GZG runs a special I'll grab a pack of each.

Of course, being GZG figures, the quality is high while sold at a very reasonable cost (these figures are 58 cents each due to being in packs of six; a pack of eight infantry would yield a cost per figure of only 42 cents.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Bazaar Updated - Added 15mm Sci-Fi

In an effort to pare down the madness a bit, there is a widely varied offering of figures and magazines now updated on the Bazaar page.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

White Dragon MTU

A couple of piccies and some thoughts on these figures that actually arrived several days ago.  That is the first thought...from order date to arrival was just a week and a half, excellent shipping time from the U.K. to the States.

Casting is...interesting.  As you can tell by the pictures, the figures are cast by fireteam with a lot of resin being used for the base piece.  I am wondering if White Dragon could cut costs by reducing the amount of extra resin being used for that piece.  While it might be neat to see the name of the unit on that bar, it is very unnecessary and about half the resin used is going to be tossed in the bin.

The figures are excellent, some of the most realistic proportions I have seen, particularly when it comes to the weapons.  That also might be a downfall as the rifle barrels are thin, and one will have to be careful when removing the figures from the base piece so as to avoid weapon breakage.  I am hoping that once removed from the base that a coat of Gesso will help protect the weapons, but as an added precaution perhaps only game with these figures with fellows you know will be more careful in use.

There is a nice round base on each figure, but the base is only 12mm in diameter, so a bit small (for me at least) to use as is, so these figures will be mounted onto some Litko bases.

There is some flash on some of the figures, but as these are resin the flash is easily removed with a flick of the X-ACTO knife.

Standing figures measure about 16mm from sole to eye, and with their correct proportions I would rate them a 16L on the Barrett Scale.
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