Sunday, December 8, 2019

Ju 88 - Props of Indecision

To paraphrase Mr Eddie from Lost Highway, this is where the search for perfection and excessive freetime really pays off, or not.  Having been impressed by the Zvedza military kits some time ago I bought one of their aircraft.  I was hoping for something compatible with my Wings of Glory WW2 aircraft or at least something I could use to enhance my WW2 miniature games.  Regardless, I always had a soft spot for the JU 88 as it was an early Airfix model that I made and had around for many years.

Initially I constructed the Zvedza plane with undercarriage down and the props as they came in the kit.  Then I changed my mind and cut off the undercarriage and props.  Luckily this was before I painted the plane.

So here we see the plane with the 1/44th scale transfers on the top wing 
(and to be seen on the bottom).  
But this model is 1/200th - 
I measured the wings, 10cm and the real plane had a wingspan of 20 metres.  
Consequently the fuselage transfers just did not fit.

As with all the Zvedza models I have made they go together extremely well, but there always seems to be one fragile or extremely fiddly bit.  In the case of this model I broke the top radio antenna.  I could have replaced it, but yeah, nay.

I thought I would be clever and make spinning discs to show the props in motion.
Fiddly trying to get the discs round as well as building up the nacelles.
After a discussion with my friend Richard, 
who knows a lot more about model aircraft aesthetics than I do, 
bare nacelles is the way to go.

The nacelles were also hand built and the crosses look huge, but at least fit.
Trying to get a straight line was a challenge and this image really brings out the worst.
At least the varnish worked on the underside, if you look closely at the previous images the varnish on the top of the plane has a strange blistering affect.

After all that indecision on the props, 
I'm surprised I just didn't take full notice of the reference book I was using.  
Doh!

Anyway, project complete.  Interesting exercise and much learnt.  Not sure I will do any more, unless I find myself using this in games.  It has also given me a new appreciation of my Wings of Glory planes.

The only thing I might still do is experiment with mounting on  a clear tube.  All three props are built up from pins and so are easy to swap in and out as prop depiction fashion changes.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Light Infantry Remnants

These two units are a kind of "build them and they will field them."  Sadly my confidence that Byzantine army lists were bound to have Light Infantry armed with javelins seems to be misplaced.  The best I could find were the Manichei in the Comnenan list, so ferocious heretic Slavs they will have to be.  Whether they look the part or not I have no idea, but I can claim they have been equipped from Byzantine military stores.


They are actually the remnants of the pack of Old Glory Byzantine light infantry (skirmishers) I purchased earlier this year along with a pack of spearmen.  All done now, so that is good news.

Friday, December 6, 2019

World in Flames 19

What seemed like the endless May/June 1941 turn finally is over.  It was a shocker!

On the last of what must have been six impulses, the Axis finally rolled bad weather.  
However that didn't stop them from taking Smolensk.
(This is the "before" image)

 Losses.  Apologies for the sideways aspect.

Ready for the July August turn.
The USSR had 37 build points (20 from cadres).
This allowed for the immediate build of 11 militia.
The rest was spent on 8 garrison units.
If the Axis go first it is going to be ugly...

In the Far East, the USSR and Japan came to peace.
China feels a little more stable.
That 2-4 cavalry unit near the Red Chinese was put there in error,
it had to go to a city way over in the west of the country.

Bad, but it could have been worse.  There is a break of two weeks until play resumes.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Off to the races

Last night I had the good fortune to participate in one of Dave's famous chariot races using his new rules with no dice as movement is determined by value of cards drawn from a standard playing deck.  And I do mean good fortune.

We're off!

I'm in the lead,
but the field is tight.

About to turn into the final straight.
That's me at the top,
all those in front haven't even completed their second circuit!

The winner!

Friday, November 29, 2019

World in Flames 18

Two more impulses completed of the May/June 1941 turn.  The Axis were blessed with good weather, but a number of poor combat rolls.


Down south the Soviets have lost Kiev and Odessa, but have formed a defensive line behind the Dnieper.  In the north Minsk has been lost and units including a HQ trapped in the swamp, but the Commonwealth have secured the Murmansk area which frees Soviet forces to try and create a defense of the remaining cities.  It looks a bit sparse...  It is hard to tell from the picture, but a number of Axis units and HQs are flipped.


China is doing okay after a failed Japanese attack.  However I feel I handled the USSR Far East badly and have now lost Mongolia, at least the Japanese are now looking over their shoulder at the waking giant...


Monday, November 25, 2019

First and Last Byzantine Skuotai

One (and the emphasis is on one) of the first metal figures I ever painted was this chap, Minifigs PB150, Byzantine infantryman.  Not sure I knew what Byzantine meant back then (mid 70s).

His spear was broke so I made a replacement from a paperclip.
I also cut him off his base as part of my "flat basing" strategy.
But one was all I did and I think all they had for sale in the Pultney Street model shop in Adelaide. 
 I recall the figures were all loose and jumbled in a big barrel.  
No wonder the spear was broken.

 But now I have my sixth legion of Byzantine infantry.
And to mark the occasion I used the same shield pattern.

 Front and rear rank all ready for Impetus.

 Now a days my figures are blessed with much more interesting bases,
and no longer cutoff, but built up with plaster.
All that remains is to add some flags.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Operation Ochsenkopf in 6 inches

After playing this scenario with Simon on Saturday, I was able to play it again with Richard on Thursday.  However I had made a big effort and drew up a 6 inch hex mat.  The previous game had been on my commercial 4 inch hex mat which had proved a tad squishy.

The first of many German attacks on one of the urban areas (C10)
and objective points.

The panzer grenadiers of Kampfgruppe Lang make an attack hoping to clear a way to Beja.

Another attack is made toward Beja, but the British have dug in.

The Germans are having a tough time fighting for the urban area (C10).
It really has become a battle of attrition.

However it is captured and the German infantry press on.

Back towards Beja and the Germans are trying to outflank the British defences.

British counterattacks go in against the urban area (C10).

The Churchills come out to play.

The last desperate counterattack to try and retake the urban area and the critical objective (C10).

The game plays much better on the 6 inch hexes, I just need to redo some of the terrain pieces.

The tactics needed for this scenario still aren't clear to me; a few more plays are required. 

This was Richard's first game of Rommel and he picked it up quickly and seemed to enjoy it.