Friday, November 8, 2019

Target

One of the scenarios for the Check Your 6 1948 Arab-Israeli War published in Wargames Illustrated calls for a vessel, the Eqyptian Amir Faruq.  This happens to be a sloop similar in appearance to a Flower-class sloop, and so I decided to take advantage of the Topside Minis cheap prices and buy one of their Flower-class 1/1800 scale offerings.  These are two dimensional renderings on self adhesive paper, that then is affixed to a base.  For those interested in getting started in naval gaming but find the pricing of some ranges overwhelming, or the thought of painting is just o much to bear, Topside is an affordable way to give naval gaming a try...or in this case a target for Check Your 6.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Growing the 1948 Arab-Israeli War Collection

A couple of weeks ago I received my most recent commission work from Kevin Hammond at Miscellaneous Miniatures, some oddball planes needed to complete the remaining scenarios published at Wargames Illustrated, written by Wubbenhorst.  Kevin isn't really doing commission work any longer, but as I have used him in the past and was very vocal on various forums about my utter satisfaction with his painting, he graciously offered to keep doing small jobs for me as needed. 

Here we have some Raiden additions for the British, Israelis, and Egyptians in the form of Spitfires, Macchis, a Beaufighter, and a proxy Hawker Fury (really a Tempest with a radial engine).  The planes I used for this period are not 100% spot on, but are pretty close, and used some planes I had picked up from Dom's Decals a few years ago for a really amazing price.  Magnets have been added, so now I just need a few convoy vehicles and a ship and I will have all the toys necessary to complete all six scenarios.

As for the scenarios, most are small in terms of player count, so I will be combining a few to be able to host medium-sized games.


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Torched

Today I received two orders for planes for yet another project, the background setting being Operation Torch.  I love doing odd periods, or odd pieces of common conflicts, and I like odd or lesser known aircraft.  One of my favorite planes is the Heinkel He.112.  Why?  I like the sleek look, the fact that the prototype was faster than the Bf.109, and that it was in service with Romania, Spain, and Hungary.  I've been planning on buying some of these planes for a couple of years now, but only MSD Games seemed to make a quality version, even though MSD seems to be more 1/300 than 1/285.  And I was going to buy them to use as Romanians to fight against Soviet I-16s.  But other voices got inside my brain, so I have come up with something a bit different.

I also like the paint schemes of American Navy aircraft for Torch, and was going to buy four Wildcats and four D.520s for the scenario that appears in the Check Your 6! rule book.  But I really like those Heinkels, so I have come up with a three-sided scenario that I can use to teach new players, using Spanish Heinkels as the third party.  The Spanish did have some encounters with both the Americans and the Vichy French, so it wasn't a huge stretch to create this intro scenario.  So along with my MSD order for four Heinkels, I also ordered four each of the Raiden F4Fs and Dewoitines from I-94.

While the basic parts of the scenario have been written, I still need to add a bit of background, and also figure out national move order for the three sides.  If you are interested in an MS Word file of what I have completed thus far, leave a comment and I'll provide my email address to you.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

More 1948 Planes Being Painted

This morning I sent off six more 1948 Arab-Israeli War planes to Miscellaneous Miniatures for painting.  Once these have been completed this will allow me to do all the scenarios that appeared in Wargames Illustrated.  Two Macchi MC.205s, two Spitfires (Late model for the Brits), a Beaufighter, and a Hawker Sea Fury will grace the gaming table in a few months.  Kevin at Miscellaneous really isn't doing planes any longer, but since I have been an established customers he has agreed to keep doing some small projects for me, which will include Flying Tigers and some Swiss, and then perhaps some 1967 Arab-Israeli and Pakistan-India War.  Then I should be pretty much "done" with Check Your 6! projects.

Back to '48, I was also able to pick up a few painted planes in a trade.  Two are painted for Syria, and are types the Syrians never used, but are still pretty cool so I am going to use at least the Lavochkin La-7 for some flavor.  The other two planes are Bf.109s, but not quite correct for Israel (should have gunpods and blue stripes), but they will also see some table time.

It feels good to get these projects worked on and putting some planes on the table!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Korean War Plane Collection

I am taking some time to go through my 1/285th aircraft to get them a bit more organized, and finally got around to straightening out my Korean War planes.  I have more than I thought!  Here is a picture of the collection, nearly all Raiden, and of course using Check Your 6!  Time to get some aircraft on the game table!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Các cố vấn

As mentioned in a previous post, I have some nicely sculpted Eureka North Koreans that I plan to use as advisors in Indochina....

Các cố vấn - Unknown to all but a few, a group of North Korean advisors were sent to support the Communist effort in Indochina.  Being in an advisory capacity it was important that they were not discovered by French forces as this might widen both the Indochina and Korean conflicts.  Serving  However, there was one instance in which the North Koreans were involved in a small firefight, in central Vietnam, near a place called Pleiku....

"Bon Dieu, il fait chaud!"  The hot and humid jungle was not the only issue that Lieutenant Médard De la Croix had to deal with. His undersized platoon - really a squad and mostly made up of miscreants and even some former SS personnel - were always a troublesome lot, but being stationed over twenty kilometers from the nearest support made his men edgy, and so too was De la Croix.  Even with his steady and experienced sergeant to keep the men in tow, the lieutenant was uneasy.  "Sergeant, get the men ready, we have a patrol in the morning."  Sergeant Reinhold Kästner was one of those NCOs that could make or break a new officer, and De la Croix knew that Kästner was better left to manage the men as the sergeant saw fit.

"Vere ist ve heading, Lieutenant?"

"Back to ze village, Kästner."

Setting
Village of Ch'Rong 1

Forces - All Eureka
Viet Minh - platoon of thirty men, including two LMG teams
North Korean Các cố vấn - squad, supported by an LMG team and a light mortar
French Foreign Legion - sixteen men, with small arms and an LMG team

Terrain
Flat, using The Terrain Guy tiles and trees, along with Flames of War paddies and jungle bushes.  Buildings are Eleven Tree and Flames of War.

This post will be added to over the months and years.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Check Your 6! - New Projects

After another great Game Day I have decided to expand my Check Your 6! collection a bit.  I am selling off my Spanish Civil War planes so that I can start a few oddball projects that I have more interest in.

At Game Day I picked up the remaining aircraft that I need to complete all the 1948 Arab-Israeli scenarios I have collected, written by Rob Wubbenhorst and published in Wargames Illustrated.  I also picked up a few P-40B/Cs to start either a Pearl Harbor or Flying Tiger project.  As I already have some P-36s doing a Pearl Harbor scenario might be fun, but I also now have, via a trade, a few Ki-27 Nates, so I might hold off on Pearl as that involves buying all the Japanese forces as well.  

I haven't purchased the planes yet, but the Football War (1969) saw Corsairs and Mustangs used in Central America, and I have the workings of a scenario in mind.  

I also have an idea for Swiss/German fighting during World War II that could be interesting, and have completed a bit of research to create a scenario for that.  I am getting some Bf.109s in a trade as part of the Spanish Civil War selloff.



Sunday, June 9, 2019

Check Your 6! Annual Game Day Recap

Israeli S-199s and Egyptian Spitfires dance over Israel.
Just a short post about the annual Check Your 6! game day event held each year in Dayton, Ohio.  I was able to attend the entire day, including hosting a 1948 Arab-Israeli War game and playing in a no-plot game, and watching a Vietnam game during the evening session.  There were plenty of historical eras covered, from the Great War through Vietnam, and a good turnout as well for some Wings of Glory Great War combat.  I-94 was there selling there wares, and so I picked up a few oddball planes to complete my 1948 collection, and a few P-40 B/Cs to start either a Pearl Harbor or Flying Tiger project.

Attendance seemed to be very good for the morning and early afternoon, but the evening session only had two games going.  One thing I'd like to help work on is promoting the event a bit more to help increase awareness and hence numbers present.  There is certainly space to hold more games and accommodate more gamers, so no concerns there.  And there are a few fast food joints close by to satiate the gamer appetite.  The location also has a kitchen, so that means potential to sell some gamer food right onsite.

If you have an hankering for air combat, makes plans to attend next June.  The National Museum of the United States Air Force is only minutes away, so one could make a nice weekend that includes gaming miniature aircraft and see the real thing up close.





These are 1/600 scale...check out those paint jobs!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Must.Resist.Buying.

Picture from GZG
That SOB* at Ground Zero Games snuck more Moongrunt figures out there without my notice.  A new faction to boot...the British Lunar Force!  Hell, I do not even have my Chinese and Americans painted, and here Jon goes releasing more cool figures...bloody bastard.  Doesn't he know that lightening my wallet (or increasing my credit card debt to be more precise) is something I am trying to avoid?  Regardless, some packs of infantry and biggies are now available.

*Disclaimer for those who do not understand sarcasm...Jon at GZG is one of the best!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Battle of Elli - Basing Solution

When deciding on how to base ships for the Elli project, I did some searching on various gaming sites, looking for a clear acrylic option.  One suggestion was Warbases.  Alas, while they offered clear bases, and even etching for ship names, they did not have a size of base that would be suitable for the larger ships.  I decided to send them an email to see if they had any options for this issue, as their pricing was so incredibly reasonable.  To be great pleasure I received a timely and favorable response - indeed they could create a larger base that would accommodate the larger ships and they could move the etching of the ship names along the long edge.  Warbases worked with me to design a larger base, and so I was able to take care of that issue!

The next issue for basing will be painting and gluing the ships to the bases without creating any fogging.  I typically mount ships on sheet styrene and prime everything at one time, which obviously defeats the purpose of using clear etched bases.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Vietnam in the Air

Another small project ready to go!

Here are a couple of pictures of some Raiden aircraft, purchased from I-94,and  painted by Kevin Hammond at Miscellaneous Miniatures, I'll be using for some future games.  I have enough for a few scenarios from the Crusaders Over 'Nam booklet.  I've only played one Check Your 6! game using missiles, so I will need some practice in using missiles.  

Kevin does great work,  I had something like 27 planes painted for around $170.00, which included the scheme I wanted and decals as well.  Add magnets and these babies will be ready to take to the skies of Southeast Asia!


Saturday, April 13, 2019

1948 Arab-Israeli War

Nice, a long planned project finally coming to fruition....

I picked up some greatly reduced Raiden aircraft from Dom at Dom's Decals some time ago, for the most part planes that would be correct for use in the '48 Arab-Israeli War.  Using Check Your 6! and a '48 War article (an supplement download) that appeared in Wargames Illustrated (#310) and written by Rob Wubbenhorst, I gathered planes to tackle a few small scenarios from that article.  Sending the planes off a few months ago to Kevin at Miscellaneous Miniatures, I received them a few weeks ago, and am really impressed by Kevin's work (again).  All I need to do is glue on some magnets and fill out some aircraft sheets and they are ready for Check Your 6! Game Day in June!


Friday, April 12, 2019

New Releases From Blue Moon

Picture from Blue Moon
After a few years, Blue Moon has finally gotten around to releasing mode codes for their Great War range!  Particularly useful are the American 37mm guns, casualties, and listening party.  The stretcher bearers, nurses, and doctors pack is also of note.  Throw in some generic trucks and the 75mm gun, and the Americans are fairly well covered. 

Looks like I will have to take advantage of my Old Glory Army Card and pick up a few packs!  Placed an order for a pack each of the 37s, casualties, listening posts, as well as light trench mortars.  Now what to use for rules....

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Stop! Magnet Time!

Heinkel He.51s painted by Kevin Hammond
In order to host an upcoming Check Your 6! game, one set during the Spanish Civil War, I had to take some time and add magnets to the various aircraft that Kevin Hammond, he of Miscellaneous Miniatures fame, painted up for me quite some time ago!  Using my trusty magnet tool I picked up from Corsec Engineering, I not only knocked out the Spanish Civil War aircraft that were in need of magnets, but also some Korean War planes, painted by Chris Geisert, that were still needing this necessary accessory.

I was able to find some nicely priced magnets from K and J Magnetics.  Unfortunately, based on some completed aircraft I had picked up I ordered the incorrect size, very small fiddly ones, so I had to place another order after looking over my own aircraft to get the size magnets I truly wanted.  K and J offer a huge variety of sizes, with good shipping rates.  

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Going Dutch?

No, my wife and I are not splitting the dinner bill....

For some years I've keep an Excel file listing the various World War II 15mm Dutch figures available on the market.  Believe it or not, there are four companies making the Dutch in 15mm.  Why this interest in the Dutch?  Underdog syndrome perhaps.  My friend The G Dog has a plethora of WWII 15mm Japanese an it might be nice to provide an alternative OPFOR.  From infantry to vehicles to 1/144th scale aircraft, one could put together quite the nice Dutch force.  But that list sits there, getting updated about one per year as prices change.  Well, even if I do not order any Dutch, here is a bit of a breakdown of what is available:

East Riding I believe are the old Camel Miniatures range, and from what I have seen from their Japanese figures, are the roughest of the bunch in terms of quality, which begs the question why their price point is on the high end of the scale?  However, offsetting the quality and pricing concerns is East Riding's outstanding customer service even if they do not offer pictures of their Dutch.  Of note, their Dutch are for the East Indies, not Europe.

Depending on your tastes, I believe the Peter Pig figures to be of the best quality.  Many gamers do not like the open mouth ghost like faces, but their figures are full of animation and crisply sculpted and cast.  They are also the most expensive figures available for the Dutch.  Service has always been good.  If you want the best, perhaps use Peter Pig as your infantry core then fill in with vehicles and support weapons from other ranges.  But, having said that, their Dutch are suited for Europe, and would not make ideal opponents for the Japanese.

QRF can run the gamut in terms of figure quality.  Their more recent ranges are good, even though posing can look awkward from time to time.  As their Dutch have been available for some time, I would guess the sculpting is okay, but not of their more recent quality.  Alas, they offer no pictures of their Dutch.  From a price point the are one of the more affordable companies and they often run specials.  Service is excellent.  Bear in mind that their infantry is KNIL (Dutch East Indies) and not suitable for Europe, but ideal for facing off against the Empire of Japan.

True North Miniatures (Old Glory) - Army Card prices shown
True North offers a nice range of figures for both Europe and the East Indies.  They are average in quality, but they offer more vehicles in their range plus a Fokker D.XXI in 1/144th scale.  Based on price and completeness of range, this might be the most cost effective direction for your Dutch force.  Service is solid, at times my orders arrive quickly, at others takes a bit longer.  And if you order from Old Glory on a regular basis, then buy their Army Card and save 40% on all your orders for a year.  For years I resisted taking advantage of this offer, but finally broke down and spent the money last summer.  It has more than paid for itself and I still have several months to go!

Oh, there is one additional company offering 15mm Dutch, in this case aircraft.  Armaments in Miniature produce three aircraft in their Dutch listing, the Fokker D.XXI, a Fokker C.X, and a Brewster Buffalo.  While 15mm aircraft may be too large for your needs, the quality of their resin aircraft is top notch.

There you have it, the Dutch for World War II.  If I ever buy figures, I'll be certain to post pictures!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Slave 2 Gaming...Nailed It!

I mentioned in a previous post about the re-release of the old Cannon Fodder Miniatures ranges of "modern" 15mm figures, sculpted by Greg Blake.  I placed an order with Slave 2 Gaming within a day or two of seeing the announcement on a gaming forum, and received an email from them on the day I ordered letting me know there would be a delay due to the amount of orders they received for that range.  Now, here is one interesting aspect about that notice...Drew from S2G apologized for running out of figures and that he would have more in two days and would ship them upon receipt.  What?  A gaming company apologizing for a two day delay?  Oh, did I mention my order was placed on a Saturday and he was getting more on that following Monday and would send them immediately?  What kind of great service is that?  

Okay, so the S2G box arrived today.  What is today's date?  January 23rd.  So, let me get this timeline down - order on the 12th, get an email apologizing for running out of stock, they get more on the 14th and send them straight out, and I have them on the 23rd.  Not too bad, right?  Oh, did I mention they were shipped from Australia to the United States?  What kind of friggin' magic are they using to wing that order so quickly?

But wait, there's more....

In the package, which by the way was packed very nicely, was a set of S2G six-sided dice, and a handwritten note on the invoice from Drew, thanking me for my patience.  Patience?  Hell, the figures arrived faster than some of the orders I've placed from U.S. companies, and a freebie to boot?

Really good stuff from Drew and co.  If I decide to order more of these figures, I will not hesitate to place another order.  

I'll review the figures with some comparison shots in a future post as I get the figures mounted and ready for primer as part of my Little Bird Down project.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

East Germans

Several weeks ago I took advantage of a sale at Plastic Soldier Company to pick up an infantry platoon of their 15mm Cold War East German figures, originally part of the Armies Army range.  The figures arrived several days later, but there was a bit of an issue...one of the light machine gunners was missing.  An email to PSC about the missing figure took a few days to get a response, but they eventually did, and I also eventually received the replacement figure.  Fairly decent service overall, with at least the willingness to make it right, even though it took a bi of time.

The platoon will be painted up with a winter scheme in mind, which is basically a white smock over the strictarn uniform as pictured.  I have some terrain I've been collecting, including a snow mat, and plan on finishing my Novus Design Studio Russian houses with snow on them.  Why Russian houses?  Why winter?  We'll just say that these East Germans got a little off course and wind up closer to the Arctic Circle than West Berlin.

The figures themselves are organized in eight man squads, and if one tries to obtain a true squad organization, well, just search for that on some of the gaming sites and see what happens.  Each squad has a squad leader, light machine gunner, an RPG gunner, one rifleman with underslung grenade launcher (which may or may not have been in use), and four other riflemen.  Apparently dismounted squads were of seven or eight men, and should have two light machine gunners, but I am not going to sweat that discrepancy.  I do need to decide on what sort of transport I want to give them, either BTR-60s (known in East German service as SPW-60) or BMPs.  I think I'll go for BTRs as they are just a cool looking throwback APC.
Picture from Armies Army blog

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

We Have a Little Bird Down

I say again, we have a Little Bird Down....

Taking advantage of the recent re-release of the old Cannon Fodder Miniatures range of 15mm by Slave 2 Gaming, sculpted by Greg Blake, I decided to get my Black Hawk Down project moving forward, but modified using a crashed MH-6 Little Bird instead of a Black Hawk,  (the former of which I conveniently have thanks to David Glenn, who created the terrain piece as part of a swap).  I've actually been thinking of using the Slave 2 Gaming rangers as part of a pseudo imaginary force, based on the Danish army.  Yeah, I know, I am goofy, but instead of going for a straight Black Hawk Down setting, why not?  While it appears that the Danes were not involved in many foreign operations beyond the Balkans during the 1990s, they have supported various UN and NATO missions since then, including in Africa.  Currently they use weapons that are the same or similar enough in 15mm to the Cannon Fodder U.S. Rangers, like the Canadian version of the M-16. 

The Cannon Fodder Africans are a mix of AK-47s, RPGs, and other light weapons.  I have shanties, North African buildings, the mosque and Olympic Hotel. 

We'll have to see what inspires me once the figures arrive...they are winging their way from Australia as I type!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Cannon Fodder Returns...

U.S. Rangers - picture from Slave 2 Gaming site
...well sort of....

Modern Africans - pic from Slave 2 Gaming site
Slave 2 Gaming, a newer gaming company, has picked up the old modern range first offered by Greg Blake at Cannon Fodder Miniatures.  This makes me very happy!  Why?  Because a few years ago when I wanted to do a 15mm Black Hawk Down project Greg had already closed his doors and the next company to grab the range only offered them for about five minutes.  Yes, there are other ranges one could use, but I have a bit of brand loyalty to Greg's figures...numerous years ago he sent me some of his 28mm Irish as a sample pack, gratis, which I thought was really grand of him.  He has also let me tinker with his
rules that he used for his Irish and 1920s China gaming, and I modified them and offer them free with his blessing (Yanks Up the Yangtze).  

The cost of the figures are a bit high, running about .85 cents each, and with shipping from Aussie land, I am paying around a buck per figure.  But, I want them, I have to have them, and I am sure the wife would understand.  

I ordered four packs, two of rangers and two of African militia.  I was tempted to order some Delta boys as well, but instead decided to do a Black Hawk Down lite sort of thing.  I've got the terrain well in hand for a small town setting, including a version of the Olympic Hotel and a large mosque.  

I am looking forward to receiving these figures and getting them on the table!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Weird Wars - Check Your 6!

A placeholder for some of the stranger conflicts to explore using Check Your 6!


El Salvador

F4U Corsair
P-51 Mustang/F-51 Cavalier

Honduras

F4U Corsair
T-33
T-28 Trojan

I have a couple of P-51s already, but would need to find some sort of scenario information.  Got this title on my wishlist as it might do the trick.
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