19 May 2022

FAQ

 Recently a reader asked if I had a list of Frequently Asked Questions.  Of course I don't!  However I aim to change that as of today.  I have created a new page (at the top of the blog) where anyone can come in and ask questions about my very unofficial Battlegroup Cold War variant.  Please feel free to use it.

I also have access to the old forum where my variant was openly discussed before PSC released NORTHAG.  I'll scroll through those threads and pull out any useful questions and put them into a pdf document and post it under the FAQ page.

Hope that is considered helpful.

Richard

17 May 2022

Ashburton Aviation Museum

I'm pretty sure this is a first for me - a blog post about a museum visit.  I'll be sticking to cold war aircraft only though.

Soon after we arrived in New Zealand we had to go to Christchurch to pick up our dog, who had travelled over separately a week or so after we had left.  A long story as to why that was the case.  Anyhow, we decided to stay in Ashburton, a small town to the South of Christchurch, and I ended up having a couple of hours to kill so I headed off to the Ashburton Aviation Museum.  I knew this existed from a previous stay, and looking at the brochure, it looked like they had managed to acquire a Harrier GR.3, so my incentive to go immediately tripled.

RNZAF Station Ashburton was a pilot basic training base during WW2.  Today it is still used as a civilian aerodrome and its a great spot for a small NZ aviation museum.

I had a very pleasant visit, chatted to a couple of lovely elderly chaps who knew way more about planes in general and aviation in NZ then I could learn in several lifetimes and took loads of photos.  So here are a few of the said RAF Harrier GR.3:




I of course walked up the stairs and had a close inspection of the rather cramped cockpit.  There was a lot of stuff in this hangar - so it was difficult to get a "distant" shot of the Harrier, hence these rather tight views.  The first and second photo show how closely it is packed next to a Korean War era MiG-15.  The Museum thinks this is the only Harrier in the Southern Hemisphere which they somehow managed to pick up for just over 5000 quid!

My next favourite was a fantastic RNZAF Skyhawk:





Years and years ago, one of the best flying displays I've ever seen was a group of RNZAF Skyhawks beating up HMAS Albatross, a Royal Australian Naval Base in  Nowra, NSW.

Hidden behind the Skyhawk was a RAAF Meteor F8.  Just the one photo:


And just the one of an equally lovely FB5 Vampire:


Obviously there are loads more planes, including a very impressive and grunty looking Aermacchi MB-339CB, which fell just outside my Cold War timeframe so I didn't include it above.  There was also a Canberra front section and cockpit which was extremely interesting to have a look at.  I was at the museum for well over an hour, just wandering about.  Apart from the 2 volunteers, I had the entire establishment to myself - indeed they had to open the second hangar and turn the lights on just for me!

If you ever find yourself in the South Island of New Zealand, around the Christchurch area, this little museum is well worth the visit.  Actually in Christchurch is the official Air Force Museum of New Zealand and further north you can visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre which just happens to hold Peter Jackson's WW1 aircraft collection amongst other things.  Very excited to see they have just gotten hold of a complete de Havilland Mosquito and a P-51 Mustang had had been sitting in a farmer's shed for decades.  See here if you are interesting in reading more.

Anyway - I'm waffling now.  Onwards and upwards - now Cold Wary stuff will resume in the next post.

Thanks

Richard

30 April 2022

I'M BACK!!!

 Well, well, well.  Finally I've made it back online.  The last 6+ months have been very interesting, a wee bit stressful from time to time, and a bit of an adventure too.  We have finally been able to move from Australia to New Zealand, fly the dog over, buy a house, eventually have all of our goods and chattels arrive, and start to get on with our lives for the first time really in a few years now.

I'm very excited to have the energy and headspace again to commit to the blog, and I hope it will become regularly updated again from now on.  On of the great things about our new home is that not only will I have my own office again (read, Modelling & Painting Room), and we'll have a room dedicated as a library - but I'll also get a "proper" gaming room (read, the garage!).

One thing I wanted to do before we left Sydney was to take a photo of all my gaming "junk" boxed up.  Of course that never happened, but I was able to take a couple of pics today.  Here it all is:



So this is not quite everything.  None of the boxes of books or rulebooks are in the shot, some boxed games are missing, all my paints are kind of inaccessible at the moment, my one battalion sized army bag full of my best painted minis are in another room.  My 3D printer is also out of reach right now.  Still it's interesting to see 30+ years of collecting bits and pieces all broken down and put into storage.

Right now I'm relatively sure nothing too important has been broken, beyond what I broke packing stuff.  Which was a bit!

So I'm now officially semi-retired, and once the house is straightened out completely, the library shelving built, a new office desk bought, my office sorted - I'll then be able to start to put together my Games Room.  A real project to look forward to.

So I hope you're all doing well and ready for some Cold War gamey goodness, plus some other wargames room related updates over the next few months.

Onwards and upwards

Richard




24 July 2021

News

 I'm sure like most of you, the last 18 months plus have been both trying pretty weird.  I've been very fortunate in that I have a reasonable job in the Health Department and can quite happily work from home - which I have been doing since March 2020.  I've made it into the office probably 5 times since February 2020 - and I am fine with that.

I'm fortunate that both my wife and I a fully vaccinated, and neither of us mind spending a lot of time at home.  The dog thinks this is exactly how life should be and gets very confused if I disappear for longer than about 10 minutes.

So whilst I've been locked down for long periods of time - or at least living as if I was 90% locked down anyway - I not had loads of free time to twiddle my thumbs or complete all my many unfinished projects - I've had to work.  

I have managed to paint a few things - mainly for others and I think I've played 1 game since 2019.  It was the world's fastest game of Cruel Seas where my freighter was sunk at the beginning of turn 2 -and since that was the primary objective of my opponent, that was that.

Added to that mix we've been planning on moving home to New Zealand for a number of years now - so much of my free time has been preparing for that.  That has meant slowly packing up all my toys and day after day of rolling tanks up in bubble-wrap.

Then our house went on the market, was sold and then we entered lockdown again.

So needless to say I haven't had much time or energy for this blog - so I just wanted to say that it will be back - and hopefully once we finally move and settle down again - I'll have more time to focus on the things I enjoy and that includes doing some gaming, model making and figure painting.

I wish you all the best and hope to be back sooner rather than later.  That's all for now.


Richard


18 January 2021

3D Printed Danish Centurions - a Work-in-Progress - Part 1

 A few years back, I stumbled across some very cheap Airfix Centurions in a bargain bin at an excellent Hobby store in Newcastle (Australia - not the UK).  At the time I already had 3 Centurions, and a pretty detailed list in my head of what I wanted to purchase at the store.  Centurions did make an appearance on the list.  I stood there for 5 minutes trying to decide on picking them up or not.  Eventually I reasoned to myself - I'll never need more than 3 Centurions - and went and bought the stuff I had planned.  I've regretted that decision ever since!

So when I started 3D printing, Centurions were high on the list of things that needed to get printed.  Here's a little sample:


Very meaty models.  The STL's can be found here.  I printed 4 standard Centurions, 3 with side skirts, 1 without.  As you can see below:


I then printed a Centurion with a dozer blade.  This was going to be my 2-I-C's vehicle.  Unfortunately here I had some issues.


It took me a while to figure out what was going on (it turned out to be some resin had spilt onto my LCD screen) and eventually I was able to print the final Danish Centurion.

Next step was to add the Light Intensification sighting system the printed Centurions, adjust the mantlet to fit them, by scraping it down quite a lot, and then cover the mantlet in greenstuff to look like a canvas cover.

Here is the planned Squadron.  It is a short Squadron, in that I plan to replace the missing troop with a Mechanised Infantry Platoon.  Hopefully you can see the IL systems next to the barrels and the greenstuff covered mantlets.



Next step was to deal with the cam netting and stowage



Then everything got a coat of black undercoat



Then the blu-tack came out:


And the next coat of spray.  This time I used a Tamiya aircraft spray AS-23 Bright Green (Luftwaffe).


Peeling off the blu-tack we are left with this:



As you can see, AS-23 is quite different green to my final colour - but I don't mind it as a base colour.

Part 2 will cover the painting...  Coming soon.

Thanks and stay safe

Richard


31 December 2020

Danish HJV (Home Guard) Special Intelligence Patrol

It's been quite hard to get anything finished recently.  I have no workshop and do my 3D printing in the same room I do my painting.  Anytime 3D printing is going on, or has even just recently been going on, you do not want to be in there because of the fumes - which give me a stinking headache.  It's also my work office several days a week.

So I've put printing on hold for a while to try and finish a couple of things - and the first thing finished was an addition to my Danes in the form of a Hjemmevaernet (HJV) or Home Guard Special Intelligence Patrol.  Although HJV, these patrols worked directly with the Danish Army as their only Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols or LRRPs.  These guys specialised in gaining tactical intel from behind the lines, both from fixed observation posts and through patrolling.  Here are a couple of pics I've found - possibly from the 1970s onwards - which should help you see why I've done some of the things I've done to the figures:




I've tried to paint these guys in what I'm calling my interpretation of the Danish M/84 Flecktarn camouflage uniform.  Head and weapon swaps all come from Elhiem.  His Hovea m/49 SMG is about 1000% better than the one I made out of plastic rod!  I'm reasonable happy with the result of these and the minor conversions I did.  Here is the whole unit:


For a closer look - here's some front and back pics of four of the chaps:



And a front shot of the other 4:


If you take 2 of these chaps you have a very useful sniper/spotter team:


Interestingly I've read that at the time only the HJV used snipers - the regular Danish Army did not.

Lastly - here are a couple of shots trying to show the weapon swaps on the NCO and the spotter.  Not the best pics but I hope you get the idea.



So that's it - my HJV Special Intelligence Patrol.  I hope you like them.  PLently more Danish stuff to come this new year - along with loads more Canadian and Norwegian stuff.

Hope you all have a much better 2021 than 2020.

Richard


  

25 November 2020

3D Printed Canadian AFVs

Recently my brand spanking new Elegoo Saturn 3D Printer arrived.  I've been waiting for it for a few months now, as I was lucky enough to get in on the pre-order sale.  So of course I've started to pump out some 1/72 scale models to try and finish off all the Armoured Fighting Vehicles I needed for my Canadian force.  It's very much been a learning experience, but I'm pretty happy with what I've managed to achieve so far.

Here's most of what I have printed for my Canadians thus far:




So in the rear row (from left to right) we have 2 M150 TOW Carriers followed by 2 M113 ADATS.
In the front row (from left to right) we have a M113 C&R Lynx, 2 M113's to carry a mortar team each, a M113 to carry a Blowpipe team and another Lynx.  

You can see I've replaced the barrels on the Lynxes .50 cal HMGs with a couple I found in my bits box.  The 3D printed ones were just a tad too chunky to my eye.

Of course once painted up I could use the 3 M113's for another Mech Infantry platoon - I'd just need to add 1 more M113.

I also printed these four AVGP Grizzly APC's:


and 2 Cougar FSV's seen clinging here to the print bed


But I have to admit I'm not 100% happy with them and am considering printing them again.  I'm being a bit pedantic, but I feel like the scale conversion is just off a wee bit and they are just a fraction too big.  There's every chance I'll just get over it, but we'll see.  I've also learnt a bit about supports since I printed them, and think I could do that a bit better as well.  I'd also never buy black resin again!

The only problem with 3D printing is that you have to stop printing after a while and start stowing, camming up and painting.  We'll see if I can do something about that this weekend.

That's it for now.  Have fun

Richard