19 March 2015

Cold War Campaign Weekend

OK - so it's been a while, longer than I had planned, but I've been trying to bring my Late WW2 British forces up to speed, so they have been dominating my model building and painting desk.

No excuses though, I have started the planning for a 2 day campaign with some mates and I thought I might share some of that with you.

The Plan

So the basic outline of the plan is to try and represent a escalating series of engagements as NATO covering forces try to delay a Soviet thrust towards their not quite prepared main line of resistance.  This will be done through 3 gaming sessions over the course of a weekend.


At the moment apart from Soviets, we have options for NATO.  Whilst having the whole set of games between one NATO nationality and the Soviets makes the most sense, it will mean that some players don't get to use their kit - so I'm thinking of having a maximum of two national NATO forces would be OK.  Our options are:
·         West German & British; or
·         West German & American.

If we go with the 2 nationalities approach, a way of explaining it could be the Soviets trying to advance near a lesss protected Corps boundary line.


So the plan is for 3 gaming sessions - depending on the player count this could mean some concurrent battles.

Session 1 – Saturday – The Recce Battle – Each of these would be a very small 1 v 1 game (probably max 3 AFVs per side) which will represent elements of a Soviet Motor Rifle Regiment’s Recce Company clashing with a NATO recce troop.  The game should last less than 1 hour – with the Soviets needing to identify the locations of the NATO recce troops and report them, and get off the opposite end of the table, while the NATO units need to stay hidden, and destroy the Soviets quickly.  Results of these games will have an impact on the next session. 

Session 2 – Saturday – The Covering Force – Each of these will be a small sized game – think mechanised infantry platoon, supported by a tank troop plus odds and sods.  It will represent the Combat Reconnaissance Patrol of a Soviet Motor Rifle Regiment in action against part of a larger NATO delaying force.  The game should take 2 hrs or so – with the Soviets needing to fix the NATO force in place and destroy them, while NATO needs to keep intact and in the game for as long as possible, delaying the Soviets from winning, before either losing or exiting the table in a planned withdrawal.  Again if we have the players this can be two concurrent battles.  The result from this game will have a large bearing on the next day’s battle - basically the longer the game goes, the more time the NATO defences will have had to get ready for the next battle.

Session 3 – Sunday – The Main Battle – This will be the main game played on a massive 27' long table, hopefully with some purpose built terrain added.  The game will be large enough for all players to be involved, yet my aim is to make it not so large as to lose some dynamism or to create tank car parks.  The nature of the forces will be determined by the results of the previous day’s games.
Here I'm thinking if the NATO games on the Saturday have gone badly, the Soviets will release a Forward Detachment that will try and catch the unprepared NATO defenders, well... unprepared.  I'm thinking of having a NATO only time at the beginning of the game - they'll have a number of turns to try and get "ready" - without know which turn the Soviets will arrive on.  They will have a number of assets, including some engineers, and will have to make decisions about what they are going to do, like to we set the bridge with explosives, or demolish that house, or dig trenches.  I'll also have some civilian vehicles trying to escape the combate area, a broken down tank needing repair etc. Where do we try and delay the Soviets?  Where do we make our final stand etc.  Whilst NATO will get reinforcements - they won't arrive until later in the game and in dribbles as forces rush to the scene.
If NATO has done well in the previous day's games, their defensive line will be better set with tank scraps, minefields etc.  The Soviet Attack with be a Forward Security Element of the Regiment - still seeking the main line of resistance.  Basically they'll have more kit in place, and more engineering tasks completed.  More chance of this:
Anyway - that's the initial plans - happy to have any thoughts and comments.
Have fun


23 February 2015

Esci M981 FIST-V

Ever since I read Team Yankee many many years ago I wanted to have a model of a FIST-V.  So, when I found I had 3 M901 ITV models, rather than the 2 I thought I had (a long story), I decided to convert 1 into a FIST-V.  If you want to find out more about the M981 you can look here.

Basically this meant slightly remodeling the front face of the Hammerhead - to include the sights etc, but delete the TOW tubes.  I probably could have done more - but with my basic modelling skills I thought what I did was enough.

A warning - I also tried to write something in chalk on the Hammerhead - I'm not real happy with it and will at some point try and get rid of it and have another attempt - using a different brand white pencil though...

So onto the pics:

That's all for now



15 February 2015

M113 1st Platoon - Group Shots

Thought I'd post up some group shots as well now - but before I do, some details on the platoon.  All 4 of these M113 are S-Model kits. Stowage is a mix of Value Gear, Black Dog, Milicast, Airfix (1 item) and the spare wheel and track links come from an old Esci M113 kit. Cams nets are mostly hand made, with 1 from a mate - so no idea where it came from - Germany I think?

Crew are all Wee Friends, sold by Friendship Games (or Models) on ebay and they have their own website. Dismounts poking their heads out of a hatch on one of the M113's are Preiser figures.

On to the photos:

Next up - my newly completed M981 FIST-V.



13 February 2015

1st M113 Platoon - Individual Vehicles

Ok - well this post took a little longer to come along than I expected.  Settle in for a story...

A couple of weeks ago I have a completely free, non-humid Saturday afternoon and decided - what the hey - I'll break out my airbrush and put a base coat on all my made, stowed and undercoated M113s.  A simple exercise - despite not using my airbrush for a couple of years!

Earlier - after much investigating - I had bought a bottle of Lifecolour UA 006 Green - which is supposedly the absolute 100% best colour to represent Forest Green - which is the base colour of all my US Vehicles.

I set up my table in the garage, set up the airbraush, collected all teh bits and bobs I need to airbrush (massive logistical exercise everytime I use it - hence not using it for several years) and then went to get the paint.  2 hours later, after searching high and low in my office - no Lifecolour paint.  I could not find it for love nor money.

In the end, desperate to do something, I grabbed a bottle of old GW Catachan Green and headed down to the garage.  This was another colour I had read did a decent job of looking like Forest Green.  years ago, some 15 yr old shop assistant had told me not to use Tamiya airbrush thinner with GW paints - instead use demineralised water.

I spent the next hour or so in a fairly frustrating attempt to airbrush GW paint, thinned with expensive water (you can't drink), onto an increasingly small number of M113.  I then decided to give up, and when cleaning my airbrush with the afore-mentioned Tamiya airbrush thinner, I decided to give the GW paint 1 more go, this time use the Tamiya product to thin it.

Needless to say it then went on like a dream - but I had run out of time, and I was starting to run out of paint... so I sprayed as much as I could in the time remaining, packed up and went inside.

Obviously I found the life colour paint (which appears to be completely different to the GW paint) several days later.

So the base coating was largely done, and I've spent the next two weeks getting to this point.  Only slight weathering has been added - now it's to humid again to spray varnish - so more weathering will be added at some stage.

Platoon Leaders M113A1

Second M113A1

Third M113A1 (My Fav)

Final M113A1

I've tried a couple of new techniques here - with the flesh of the figures and in trying to do some chalk writing on each of the vehicles.  I like how the flesh came out - more work but 100% better than what I normally do.  I'm a little underwhelmed by how the chalk turned out - a lot of hassle, but I don't really like it - so it may disappear when the weather gets better and I can do the final weathering.

All in all I'm still pretty happy with these.

Have fun


12 January 2015

British 105mm L118 Light Field Gun and Crew

Second post of the day... what's happening to me!!!  Crazy times indeed...

Anyway - I've just finished 2 lovely little Airfix 105mm L118 Light Field Guns along with some Elhiem crew and I thought you might like a look see:

Number One Gun

Number Two Gun

Gun Battery

So there you have it.  Pretty happy with that actually.  A nice little unit to support either my Royal Marines, Para's or even some UKMF infantry.

Thanks and have fun


Mountain & Arctic Warfare Cadre: 1985 Documentary

In my swanning about on the internet recently looking for stuff about fighting in Norway, I stumbled across this set of 30 odd minutes documentaries from 1985, following a bunch of blokes as they try to become Mountain Leaders in the Royal Marine Mountain & Arctic Warfare Cadre.  I've watched several already and have found them very enjoyable - and I've even changed how I was painting my Royal Marines as a result - so I thought I would share:

Hope you enjoy!



08 January 2015

The beginnings of yet another little side project... Airfix Saracen!

A few years back I bought a stash of Cold War model goodness from a mate of mine - some of it made up and painted - some of it unbuilt kits.  There were a few odds and sods in it that didn't really fit with my plans at the time and they were basically left in a box and largely forgotten about.

Over the last year or so I've had this little idea formenting in my mind, and over the Christmas break I dug out the box and found this old Airfix kit - and for a change of pace I put it together and painted it.

Obviously I fiddled with the lighting or the camera half way through shooting those pics.

Dynamo little kit - goes together like a dream, options to make 3 variants (from memory) and it paints up very nicely.  I wanted it to look old and a bit un-loved so decided to try a bit of "chipping" with make-up sponges to see how it looked and am quite happy with what I achieved.

The idea behind this is that with the increasing tensions the British Government has begun activating its Territorial units and has decided that it needs to increase security around some critical infrastructure.  In order to beef up that security, and provide a bit more mobility to UKLF territorial units defending these sites, they have taken a few old "armoured" vehicles out of storage.

This Saracen will be patrolling the perimeter of RAF Fylingdales, a long range radar station on the North York Moors in England, along with some military police and armed police.  Who knows... that base might be the target of a Spetsnaz cell on (or even before) hostilities commence.

This project is actually going somewhere (as in progressing) so more soon

Thanks and take care