Sunday, 18 February 2018

MiG Alley North Koreans Finished

Il-10 Ground Attack light bombers

La-11 and Yak-9D fighters

Ilyushin Il-10

Ki-51 Sonia Night Raider

Lavochkin La-11

The whole banana

I managed to get the North Korean fighters and ground attack aircraft finished today, which is just as well as it's the last day of the half term holiday. I think they came out okay in the end and I particularly like the two night nuisance raiders, which were a bit of an afterthought but should be good fun to use in a game. I've also decided to make the last instalment of the MiG Alley meets Bag the MiG project another naval effort. with a selection of prop fighter bombers for the US Marines and Royal Navy.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

MiG Alley North Korean Aircraft

I've been working on the NKAF aircraft this afternoon and have completed the highlighting and washing, leaving only the canopies and detailing to do tomorrow. It doesn't look like I've done very much but they are getting there and should be finished by the end of the weekend, minus the decals unless I can squeeze them in as well. The Il-10's are actually Il-2's but I don't think that matters, as there were no Il-10's in the Tumbling Dice range when I started the project.

French Indochina 15mm Squad Level Skirmish

Yet more reading on the French Indochina skirmish  theme, this time at squad to platoon level for simple patrol actions using No End in Sight, Some Corner of a Foreign Field and the like. As mentioned in previous posts, this would use my second hand Eureka Miniatures figures and a handful of vehicles on a 2' x 2' terrain board. I have played around with this skirmish concept for a while, although with a focus on Malaya, Aden and other post-colonial settings.

The French Indochina variation would involve a couple of squads of infantry, which equates to a platoon strength force after the De Lattre reforms of the early 1950's. These shifted the focus of the basic tactical unit from a squad of twelve men armed with an automatic rifle, a few SMG's and mostly bolt action rifles to a platoon of two twelve man squads, one with an automatic rifle and one with a rifle grenadier. I've also read that these were designated as Shock or Fire squads but exactly which was which is unclear:

The French moved the lowest level of tactical employment from the squad up to the platoon level as each squad was either an automatic rifle or a rifle-grenadier squad, with one of each per platoon. The interesting point about this final reorganization is that it was done to mitigate French losses in cadres, as well as accommodate the incorporation of indigenous personnel directly into all infantry units. By moving tactics from the squad to the platoon level, the number of leaders required was reduced from about six per platoon to two per platoon, or of eighteen per company down to eight.

Interesting stuff and I think it would make for some cracking patrol and ambush firefights, especially if I threw in some AFV's or soft skins to provide a bit more firepower, which otherwise might be thin on the ground. There were single squads of a 60mm mortar, MMG and 57mm RCL in the company support platoon, so these might make an appearance but would otherwise be unlikely to feature in a typical patrol type scenario. The big plus is that I would only need a handful of extra figures to do this sort of thing, so it wouldn't be hard to set up.

Climbing the Lead Mountain

There really is a place called Lead Mountain!

I did a brief stock check of the various nearly completed and almost unfinished projects that I have accumulated over the last couple of years or so this morning. This is an endemic feature of my wargaming pursuits and something I really need to knock on the head. Anyway, the list of things that I've started and got within a percentage range of completion is as follows:

10mm USCM vs Aliens - 85%

15mm Sci Fi Mechanised Company - 75%

28mm US Infantry Platoon - 75%

28mm Japanese Platoon - 35%

28mm SAGA Normans - 80%

1/285th B17's - 70%

1/600th Coastal Warfare - 80%

1/600th Cold War Jets - 85%

1/600th Korean War - 75%

1/2400 1864 Steam and Sail - 30%

...and so on, not including anything that has been based but not seen a lick of paint (that's another story all together!). It's a lead weight hanging around my neck, especially as I would like to complete all of these in equal measure and do new things too.


Friday, 16 February 2018

Armoured Guardsmen

I'm finishing the half term holidays with a change of reading focus to NW Europe from D-Day to the Rhine and beyond. The campaign in NW Europe after the break out from Normandy has been an interest of mine for ages, with best laid plans for wargaming the progress of the 5th Battalion DCLI having been attempted in 20mm before, only to fall by the wayside for various reasons. I'd really like to pick this up again in 15mm at some point this year, probably using Chain of Command instead of Rapid Fire!, so this book is a good source of inspiration even if it isn't directly relevant. It is very well written and full of the sort of little details that make for a fascinating read, so I've really enjoyed it and have whizzed through almost to the end in a couple of evenings.

MiG Alley Countdown

I've decided to give myself until the end of the month to complete the MiG Alley and Bag the MiG project as far as I can, at least to the point of being able to play a basic game or two. I should be able to get the current North Korean aircraft finished and possibly one more instalment, either the B29's, the RAAF Meteors or even the Royal Navy Sea Furies and Fireflies. I should also be able to scratch build enough hex bases for Bag The MiG, leaving the MiG Alley bases for a later date.

I've done some more number crunching, so I know that I will need a LOT of the MiG Alley style bases in order to run even a small size game, although they will be re-usable for other Wings at War variants. In the meantime, I'm going to aim to finish the NKAF fighters and fighter bombers by the end of the weekend, with some good progress today up to the Future and Indian Ink wash stage.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

MiG Alley Mig-15 Fagots

These are all finished now, with the excellent Dom's Decals used for the North Korean roundels. In the end I chickened out of adding buzz numbers, as I didn't have the right sized decals and couldn't be bothered to faff about after having already applied seventy two (!) tiddly roundels. I'm quite pleased with the end result, nonetheless, especially as I now have enough North Korean aircraft to actually run a game, once I've scratch built some bases. Woo hoo!

MiG Alley 'Washing Machines'

I finished magnet basing and undercoating the Il-10's, La-11's and Yak-9's this morning, although I cut back the number of the latter to six as they were a pain to do, having a very inconvenient radiator block right where the magnet had to go. Instead of the last three frustrating Yak's I decided to add a couple of ex-Japanese Ki-51 Sonia light dive bombers to represent 'washing machine' or 'Bed Check Charlie' night time nuisance raiders.

Ex IJAAF Ki-51 Sonia light bombers NKAF

These should really be Polikarpov Po-2's but there aren't any in the Tumbling Dice range, which is a bit inconvenient to say the least. I had the Ki-51's anyway, as I bought a pack for my Wings at War variant of the Nomonhan or Khalkin Gol Incident. The North Koreans did have several of these that were passed on by the Soviets, so it wouldn't be unrealistic to use them for the nocturnal bombing missions over UN airfields and front line positions. I've undercoated them in matt black and will paint them in suitably tatty shades of dark grey, which should fit their mission profile nicely.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

MiG Alley Extras

I completed the fiddly decals on the six NKAF La-5FN's, the USAF L5 Stinson Sentinel, the ROKAF T5 Texan FAC and the USAF H-15 ASR Chicksaw this afternoon, using the trusty Dom's Decals sheets. I am going to decal all of the eighteen (eek!) NKAF MiG-15's tomorrow and also plan to undercoat then basecoat the Yak 9D's, Il-10's and La-11's. The decals really take their toll on my eyesight and I can only manage a few aircraft at a time but at least the NKAF decals are relatively simple to apply. I'm definitely getting there with the MiG Alley and Bag the MiG project but there's still a fair way to go, even if I'm enjoying the journey!

French Indochina Far East Pattern Infantry Company

I have done some more number crunching and a bit of background research to come up with an organisation for a CEFEO Far East Pattern Infantry Company, which I can use as a basis for both 10mm company and 15mm platoon to squad level wargaming. This is the 10mm multiple based organisation for use with Five Core Company Commander:

1 x Company HQ Squad

1 x Support Platoon - 1 x HMG Squad / 1 x 60mm Mortar Squad / 1 x 57mm RCL Squad

4 x Rifle Platoons  - 2 Squads each.


3 x Rifle Platoon - 3 Squads each

(Squads either Fire or Shock)

Total = 12 or 13 bases

(25mm x 50mm for the Fire / Shock Squads, 25mm x 30mm for the Support and HQ Squads)

Each Fire Squad would have an integral FM 24/29 LMG while the Shock Squad would have grenades and some MAT 49 SMG's. The 57mm RCL in the Support Platoon was attached from the Battalion HQ Company.

Great Poster..the Mrs was born in Vannes!

This would break down for 15mm skirmish games into a couple of Rifle Platoons of individually based figures with one or two squads from the Support Platoon available for specific scenarios, as required. This would give a total of around thirty individual figures, so more than enough for a one man per figure skirmish level operation. I'm not planning anything more than patrol type scenarios for 15mm, so even a single Rifle Platoon would do in many cases.

Any transport vehicles, armour or specialist units would be added on top of the basic line up, with trucks or half tracks for the infantry platoon at a squad per vehicle. These could be swapped for LVT's or LCVP landing craft if I wanted to run a Dinassaut riverine scenario, for example. I would only need a handful of any vehicles for 15mm games anyway, with more for the 10mm option especially for convoy and patrol scenarios.