Friday, 28 February 2014

Roland CII

And here it it finally is! After several months of building the Roland CII is based (I also repainted the wheels grey as the black was too striking) and finished with the addition of two crew men, discussing aerial combat tactics. For those that are interested they are the  from Czech Master Kits, which I bought from Hannants. I have spent a great deal of time talking about this model, so I'll shut up and let the pictures speak for themselves:

'No Fritz, you fly OUT of the sun, not INTO it!'

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Roland CII WIP Pt.5

Finally the Roland was built and painted, but this was only the first step of finishing off. It still needed weathering and varnishing. Here it is before the final stages:

I had a minor disaster with the varnishing. I used some gloss spray varnish and the original coat of Mr Hobby paint started to blister below the later layers of Humbrol. It looked like six months of work was going down the drain in seconds.

However, I left the plane to dry overnight and by morning the worst of the damage seemed to have passed, I'm not sure how but the paint seemed to settle back down. I did repaint the upper surfaces of the top and tail wings though, just to get rid of the slightly blistered effect left behind. I decided that I had had one close shave enough and left the underside of the aircraft unvarnished and just went onto the weathering instead...

I gave the entire model a wash in very thinned down black acrylic paint which was also wiped off with some cotton buds where it had gathered too thickly. I dragged the paint to the rear of the wings where dirt would naturally gather. I was happy with the result and it looked, to my eye at least, as thought it had been flying in rain.

I didn't want to tempt fate any further, so I left it at that and turned my attention to the base. I already had a wooden base from Wooden Bases from when I built the Pfalz, which had been earmarked for this build. I added a square of grassed paper to the base then added Woodland Scenic static grass with the help of some PVA glue. I also added a few grass tufts to break up the shape some more and it was ready.

Back to the plane, I removed the masks on the fuselage windows and added the windscreen to the front of the cockpit. Underneath, I realised that I had lost the tail skid somewhere along the build, so I carved a new one out of plasticard, added it and painted it. It's not very detailed but it won't be seen and holds the tail up in a realistic manner.

So that's it for now, I just have the two crew members to paint and to mount the whole thing on its base and this seemingly never ending project is finished! 

Monday, 24 February 2014

M5 Stuarts

As I mentioned in a previous post I got hold of some Plastic Soldier Company's M5 Stuarts, but they remained on my workbench whilst I awaited some American decals from Dom's Decals. These arrived just the other day so I was able to finish off this group of tanks. 

The tanks were easy to put together and dead easy to paint. I used Brown Violet as the base colour with Khaki drybrushed for weathering.

They were covered in stowage from Command Decision and the decals from Dom.

All in all a nice little kit and they will go well alongside my recent American battalion.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Battle of Jitra 11-13th December 1941 AAR

After the defeat of the Gurkhas at Asun, the Japanese Saeki Detachment continued their unopposed advance down the main road towards the strategically important town of Jitra. Here the British had begun building defences north of the town before the Japanese invasion of Malaya, but these were incomplete when the 11th Indian Division moved back to the position on the 8th of December. It was still in an uncompleted state when the Japanese force attacked in the early evening of the 11th. This attack was initially blunted, but a renewed assault early on the 12th started the battle proper which lasted until the British forces were given permission to withdraw further south to Gurun on the night of 12/13th December.

Monday, 17 February 2014

The Battle of Asun 11th December 1941 AAR

Following the defeat of the Punjabs at Changlun, the Japanese continued their drive towards Jitra, which they assumed would be the next defended position. However, they quickly ran into a battalion of the 2/1st Gurkhas, outside the village of Asun, who had been sent north from Jitra to further delay the Japanese advance. The Gurkhas had wired the bridge north of the village for demolition but the rain had dampened the charges and it remained intact when the Japanese tanks arrived on the field.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

The Battle of Changlun 11th December 1941 AAR

Dean and I started the Malaya campaign that I have been planning since 2007. We started with the Battle of Changlun which was a smaller action in the larger Battle of Jitra, which was a village further south down the main road. The Japanese had already moved through northern Malaya after the beach landings at Kota Bharu on the 8th of December and had engaged the British defenders in several other actions before this one. However, in the Battle of Changlun, a Japanese armour and infantry force faced the 1/14th Punjab battalion supported by two 2lber A/T guns.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Roland CII WIP Pt.4

Slowly, slowly, catchee monkey, right? Well, that certainly seems to be the catchphrase for this on-going project. Bought at Christmas 2012, started in September 2013 and still rolling along well into 2014... This time I present the rigging!

Compared with the Pfalz DIII which I built a while ago, rigging the Roland seemed to be stuff of nightmares. Maybe it would have been a million times easier had I kept the top wings off, something I discovered after putting the top wings on...

I went down the route of the stretched plastic method as it was quicker than using fishing line rigging, even though I had bought some of Bob's Buckles for the very purpose. However, just looking at the tiny buckles sent me cross eyed, so I decided to go with the method I was happier with. It took a few nights of concentration, swearing, getting up and walking away and head pounding frustration, but eventually the bloody thing was rigged... I then painted over the glue smears and scratches and generally tidied up the paintwork and it was time to turn her over and play about with the undercarriage... 

This went together surprisingly easily, I fixed the two outer struts to the fuselage with polystyrene cement, allowed them to dry a little then brought them into position with the wheel cross bar, by gluing this to both struts at the same time. The Eduard undercarriages are not the easiest things to put together and are very delicate, something I noticed with the Pfalz, but this method worked pretty well. OK, that's all for now, I will return to this plane and fix the wheels in place and finish off the remaining parts and start the weathering. Drop back later to see the finished product!!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Vlad and the Lads

I have wanted to get a DBA army for a long time and have always fancied the Wallachians for the simple fact that Vlad the Impaler is their leader, so, as regular readers may recall, I recently bought a Wallachian army from Essex Miniatures and this weekend I finished them off. The Essex figures are lovely, really nice sculpts with good proportions. 

The army is listed as IV/65 and has the following 1x3Cv (gen), 3x2LH, 5xPs, 2x3Bw, 1x5Wb. It's pretty lightweight, but I have yet to see how it will fair in battle. Anyhoo, here is Vlad himself (in Blood red, of course...) along with the three Light Horse elements:

The Essex army pack gives you four light crossbowmen along with some spearmen for the Psiloi elements, which makes for a nice mix of figures:

The bowmen and warband elements are equally nice figures:

And of course, no Vlad the Impaler's army would be complete without a camp element made up of impaled men. These came from Donnington Miniatures; I wanted to get the 20,000 Turks Vlad reputedly impaled one time, but I couldn't fit them all on the base...

And continuing the theme, here is the Zone Of Control play aid. It's made from a tower of skulls.

So this is how the complete army looks on the field, I am looking forward to gaming with it.

Vlad and the lads emerge from a Carpathian Forest.

The shield designs were either made up or copied from this great Blog I found.

Now, where's those Turks?

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Vapnartak 2014

I have just come home from York Wargamer's annual show Vapnartak hosted at the York Race Course. Ninjasaurus Rex and Dean came along for the ride (one paid me in, one paid for my lunch in place of petrol money). It was a well attended show and in a good location and a good building. when we arrived about half past eleven the place was rammed, but it had thinned out a bit by the time we left at three. It was packed out with traders and there were some very good display games, although only one appeared to be WW1 related, something I found strange, what with the centenary and all... 

Anyway, I went armed with my camera and here are some photos of some of the games. Unfortunately I didn't get the full details of all of them!

First up was what appeared to be an alternative history Japanese attack on Hawaii?

I particularly liked the Japanese Imperial Airforce Neuiport...

This was a hot Cold War scenario with an attack on Trafalgar Square in London.

Maggie Thatcher defiantly mans the barricade. Hopefully she was captured and hung as a war criminal.

Nelson's Column had fallen!

Next door was a modern Afghanistan game.

The single WW1 game was this early war German-French fracas. 

French cavalry bearing down on the German guns. 

Scratch built German heavies. 

And even heavier... a 280mm Siege Mortar! This was a lovely model.

Then there was a War of the Worlds game, with excellent Martian war machine models.

The view across the English countryside from the Martian POV.

This was a large English Civil War demo game. I think I've seen these houses before at previous shows.

A jousting participation game. 

This was a Medieval battle, I particularly liked was the figures crossing the river, all cut in half as though they were wading through the water. 

An early medieval battle, I think Danes were involved!

I spotted a Banksey on a display model for one of the traders.

An Syrian/Israeli conflict game that involved lots and lots and lots of tanks! 

A Panamanian jungle game, by the League of Ausberg



And the last picture I took, a participation game of Wings of Glory, WW2 with German Heinkels attacking during the Battle of Britain.

There were quite a few other games going on, but I didn't take pictures of everything. There seemed to be a good mix of demo and participation games, which is what a good show should have in my opinion. Overall, it was a good afternoon spent in York and I didn't actually spend my allotted budget, but I did come away with a good stash: 

Two books: The Gas Attacks Ypres 1915 by John Lee, Three Armies on the Somme by William Philpott, some stowage from Reiver Castings, a rectangle of rubberised horse hair and some sets of foliage for making hedgerows from Treemendous, two pots of white Vallejo paints, a die cut MDF building from Commission Figurines and several impaled men and casualties from Donnington Miniatures. These latter will be used for my forth coming Vlad the Impaler army for DBA. Speaking of which, the package from Essex Miniatures arrived on Saturday. Later that day, I went charity shop shopping and picked up the following bits and pieces:

John Terraine's The Great War, David Chandler's Waterloo the Hundred Days, Richard Homes and John Keegan's Soldiers, best of all: Don Featherstone's Advanced War Games. Plus German Cavalry Marches LP and the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers collection. A pretty bloody good weekend!