Monday, 30 June 2014
After a long, long delay I've finally started on the Japanese platoon for Chain of Command, with a platoon commander, two NCO's, a couple of sniper bases and a FOO base. It's not much to look at but I'm pleased to have made the initial steps toward the basing and undercoating of the rest of the infantry units by the end of July.
There were several model kit traders at Tankfest yesterday and one of them was selling the Zvezda Art of Tactic range of snap together plastic kits for £2.50 each, which is a pretty good deal. I've been thinking about the possibilities of upscaling to 1/144th from 1/285th scale for a while, having seen how both Revell and Zvezda have been releasing cheap but detailed WW2 aircraft kits over the last year or so.
This would only be for a one off project and will fill a gap in my 1/285th scale collections rather than replacing the smaller scale stuff. The obvious option would be to go for early war Russian Front as a theme, given the Zvezda output of Soviet and German planes, together with the relevant models from the Revell and Minicraft range.
Off the top of my head these include a Bf109F, a Fw190, a Stuka and an Hs126 plus a Lagg 3, a Sturmovik, a PO2, a Hurricane, an Airacobra and a Warhawk, all of which are suitable for the Russian Front mid 1942. There's also a Bf110, a Ju88 and an He111 from the old Minicraft range, if you can track them down, along with a Ju52 from Eduard and various diecast bombers by Altaya.
Anyway, I bought a couple of the Zvezda kits to see what they're like and was pleasantly surprised, so I may give this a go, using the club Hexon terrain rather than the usual hex mat. I think it would work well as a club multiplayer or even a show participation game, either using Bag the Hun 2 or possibly CY6!, which I think is gauged less at formations and more at individual pilots skills.
Just an idea at the moment but who knows?
Sunday, 29 June 2014
We had a flying visit to Tankfest today, staying for about three hours or so but having to shoot off before the main afternoon events kicked off. The highlight of the bits we did see was a display by 'The Garrison' Royal Artillery re-enactment group, which was very well done indeed and included three 25 pounders deployed for action. I also enjoyed the walk around the tank park and a well put together Soviet infantry re-enactment display, which looked the part and was well set up.
Saturday, 28 June 2014
I spent most of today doing other things but I have now sorted out the initial units to base up and paint over the next couple of weeks. This consists of the platoon HQ and a variety of support units including two MMG's, an infantry gun, two sniper teams, an AT rifle team and a Forward Observer team. I've also added a Ha Go light tank, which is just too cool not to tag along for the ride.
I thought I'd start with these before moving onto the three large infantry sections and the even larger knee mortar section, which will be put together using the plastic figures with a few metal ones for leaders. I will also try to scrape together some more support units including some engineer teams and, possibly, an AT gun but that really depends on what's left over.
I wanted some lorries for my Japanese platoon, as targets for the Chindits to blow up and also for the Malaya campaign as transport. Not being prepared to pay a fortune for the Company B Isuzu kit, I decided to look around for something diecast that would do the job. There aren't any Toyota or Nissan models available but this Days Gone By 1939 Ford is lose enough to look the part. I already have one which I acquired for my VBCW project and never used, so I have found a couple more on Ebay to make up the numbers. I think they'll look fine with a re-paint and some decals.
Thursday, 26 June 2014
After reading the excellent Chain of Command 'Chindits' article in the Summer Special over my lunch break this afternoon, I followed the directions to the TFL yahoo group to discover the proper job Japanese army list for 1941-42, including all the rules variations and national characteristics that I need for my rifle platoon. I'm now re-jigging my painting plans to fit the options available in the Support Lists, which makes things a lot less fiddly!
This will be out very soon and it includes a trio of scenarios for Bag the Hun based on the Malta games that I ran at the club last year. The TFL chaps have done a splendid job turning my back of a fag packet scribbles into full colour, glossy scenario briefings, which makes them look really good.
The other articles in this edition are also really interesting, especially the ones for Chain of Command which include army lists and rules variations for the Chindits. All in all, it's extremely good value for your hard earned pocket money and perfect for reading on your Summer holiday!
Wednesday, 25 June 2014
Now the Bag the Hun stuff is tucked away, I'm going to kick off my Chain of Command project for the Summer, having been tied up with other things until now. The last bits that I need (?) have been gathered together including this pack of snipers from the TAG range, which were originally supposed to be from Brigade Games but they'd run out of stock.
I've also aquired a second Warlord Games Chi Ha tank really cheap via ebay, as you can never have enough tanks, so I'm ready to get gluing and basing this weekend. The only thing I'm thinking of adding would be some trucks but I'm going to rummage in the toy box for some suitable Days Gone By diecast lorries, rather than splash out on expensive resin ones.
Tuesday, 24 June 2014
The Russian Front game this evening turned out to be a bit of a winner, with lots of low level action and some real seat of your pants flying, especially by the Soviet players who really got into the spirit of the scenario. The game ended with a draw but it was a close run thing right to the end.
The Soviets managed to force the Fw189 to crash and explode, using an unexpected but very effective taran ramming attack. In retaliation, the Luftwaffe shot down three of the La5-FN's and forced another off the table, thereby ensuring an overall draw. They did have some pretty dire luck at times and suffered from a lot of friendly flak fire, so they deserve a lot of credit for the outcome.
The Soviets had the edge throughout the game and achieved their victory conditions in truly heroic style but, with four undamaged and angry Fw190's still in the air, the VVS took a bit of a hammering. The loss of the Fw189 and it's top secret recce film helped to even things up, so a good result for both sides.
I need to think through some of the fall out from the game but, overall, I think it works really well. I'll also have a go at shifting the scenario to North Africa to try out some different angles on the basic set up. It will be interesting to see how this changes the feel and balance of the game?
So, medals all round for the three surviving Soviet pilots, one of whom is currently hiding in the Pripyet Marshes with the partisans. The Luftwaffe won't get any medals this time round but do have some new bits of lightly toasted Lavochkin to decorate the walls of the mess.