Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Air support update

As a further update to the last post I've maanged to paint and base the first of the models.
I'm an old time fan of the Thunderbolt so these were the first bases I completed.
The smaller size of the 1:600 allows you to get more than one model per stand. I got out the soldering iron to join the pre-glued brass wires together.

A10's in the European Lizard scheme
 The models come up quite nice and the pre-cast underwing ordanance is not that hard to paint.

So how do they scale?

Bbbbrrrraaaapppp
For the original Thunderbolt with a bit of imagination (and some skilled soldering) I managed to get 4 to a base.

I managed to solder this with no burnt fingers.
 And again, with targets.


I'm quite liking it

Saturday, August 17, 2019

An update from the bench

Last post, Ski commented

You're right about the very hard metal. I've given up on trying to drill it and instead use small magnets glued to the planes and the flight stands to keep the two together during games. 

 While I've read the story's over the years about how hard the Oddzial Osmy metal is, I've just put it down to pampered wargamers not being able to deal with anything outside lead or plastic. In another life as a railway modeler I've dealt with all sorts of metals. Hell, I've even managed to work with cast bronze, and that's a metal that's best when someone else works with it for you. So, I now report my scientific investigations this afternoon on the properties of the meta.

-It is not melted by a soldering iron (this was quite an eyeopener)
-It won't take solder (even more of an eyeopener as I've managed to solder piano wire before)
-It is tarnished by phosphoric acid (no idea what this means, I only really do Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen in my day job).
-My mini drill doesn't seen to do small diameter drills, nore does there seem to be a chuck available locally to do the job. (not a scientific observation, just a frustrating one. back to the hand tools).
-The metal is indeed quite hard. I made up a jig with a couple of bits of wood to hold everything steady-ish while I used my hardcore twist drill to make a hole.



-Drills snap quite easily if you are not overly careful about bending them while drilling. 
-drills snap off flush in hard metals (fortunately I could dig it out, so I didn't lose the P-47)

So, after all that, I must confess that I know not what the metal is. I had thought it would be some sort of pewter, but I'm now leaning towards a Zamak (zinc alloy, possibly with aluminum. I'd have to toss some of the flash into some strong acid at work to see if it fizzes).



The result of the afternoon. The IL-2 was a sacrificial model that I tried a few things out on as I could live with loosing one.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Its review time.

I've looked at 3mm models for a while now. More of a "I'd have to be mad" than "cripes that's a good idea". What normally stops me is the sunken cost of the 6mm pile and my eyesight not being what it once was. That and the website photo's were not that great.

Last weekend I was shown a bag from the Page strategic lead pile which contained a bundle of 3mm aircraft from Pico armor and Tumbling dice. These looked good in the flesh and it gave form to an idea that had been wandering round the back blocks of my brain for a couple of years. I sent off the order and 8 days later...

Size comparison with GHQ P47D
Side on
Top and bottom detail
Typhoons compared with GHQ
I also brought some IL-2's but don't have a size comparison for those.
The typhoons and IL-2's have bombs cast on, with nothing on the P-47's.

In the order I also purchased some modern aircraft. Pico armour do NATO and WARPAC ground support packs where you get 2 each of 3 different models. Much more useful than 8 models. The underwing ordanance is cast on, which saves me having to glue stuff on.

A10 compared to an old Kiwimodels A10
F16, A10 and F4
Su25, Mig 27 and Su17. The Mig 23 is cast in 2 parts.
 I also brought some helicopters. Hind D, AH-1 and OH-58D. The rotor discs and also supplied.


So, the plan is to use the models for air support in SH and MSH. I should be able to get at least 2 planes to a stand, and possibly more. The models come in packs of 4-8 (depending o the size) for US$4.25. Postage is a standard $16 so it pays to get a bigger order together.

The metal is rather hard, so it will be interesting to see how hard it is to drill holes it it. There are starter marks in the bottom of the aircraft so hopefully its just a question of more power. I picked up several packets of decals (other companies do a wider range) to save me trying to paint small stars on the damn things.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

A weekends gaming

Last weekend was the annual Warlords convention "Call to Arms". My plan to get down early Saturday morning was torpedoed by having to replace the racing slick tires on my car. Several hundred dollars poorer I finally made it to Wellington after lunch.

Call to Arms is the biggest convention in the lower North island. the numbers run to 150 odd gamers in a variety of competition and demo games.

Sunday afternoon.The great unwashed
I had traveled down to get some gaming time with Peter and Paul. First up was an ECW game in 10mm using the King and Parliament rule set. It had some mechanisms that were new to me, but provided for an epic finish to the game (which is all we really want). The figures look nice and I would seriously consider changing scales if I was not a 6mm die hard.

Scottish defend against the attacking English Roundheads.
After a night spent looking through the Page reserve lead pile, it was time to play some WW2 naval using General Quarters 2. Now I have not played a navel game for 30 years, but thoroughly enjoyed this one. The scenario was a German convoy coming out of Norway at night bound for home in early 1945, with the British looking to intercept. The British started the game with a red hot die run which nailed 1/2 the German forces in a hail of 8" shells.

Star shell illuminates A Navik class destroyer. The night went downhill rapidly from here
.
 The Convoy was scuppered by a group of British destroyers and despite some late heroics from the Prinz Eugen in crippling 2 British heavy cruisers the game was over when the last of the merchant ships went down.
Another star shell finds the British.
So, a couple of days with some good gaming with good friends. I also caught up with others that I had not seen for years.
And why is it that other peoples collections of unpainted lead are far more interesting that your own?

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Confirming my bias'

Last weekend I discovered that Panzershrek was on at a school hall just round the corner from my place. For those of you that don't know, Panzershreck is a local wargaming convention that's in its 19th year. The minus is that its not big and tends to be of the Flames of war persuasion. A mitigating factor was that there was going to be an out of town wargaming supplies shop and I was short on some painting supplies. Thus my gaming buddie and I headed along to have a look and at the very least doing a bit of shopping.
On entering I found a Team Yankee tournament in progress. This is ww2 flames of war transported to the mid 1980's. At this point I had started writing a bit of a diatribe pointing out everything I think is wrong with it (and don't get me started on camouflaged M1's and that's the least of my problems with it). However at the end of the day it is only playing with toy soldiers and  when has anyone in this country seen 40 people playing moderns?
Fortunately the trip was not a complete waste of time as there were a couple of guys playing 6mm. It was some sort of company/battalion level game. I haven't played at this level for 25 odd years with the old WRG 1950-1985 set, and as I've always said "Its not worth getting out of bed in the morning unless theres at least a brigade to command".
However the club meets on Tuesday nights and its 2 minutes down the road. Maybe I can bend a few of them to my will.

Its been a while

Well, the silence indicates that I have not played much Spearhead recently. Gaming activities have been concentrating on In her Majesties name, a set of Victoran science fiction rules that fit nicely with the collection of 28mm figures I've collected over the years.Its a good fun game that doesn't take itself that seriously, and you don't need to have the "right" figures as theres a well thougth out points system.
A British landing party about to have its butt kicked by the Society of righteous and harmonious fists
With all this other work I've also finished the MSH Dutch as well as the 1960's/70's West Germans (pre Marders).  No photos as "Der room" has become somewhat piled up and I'm not sure exactly where they are. maybe the weekend will see me having time to hunt them out.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Game Day

Peter, Paul and Peter (that famous 60's pop group) came north for a large game yesterday. It was nice to see everyone again, abiet with a few more grey hairs. After the usual trash talk it was time for business. The table went up in 7 minutes and we were playing the first turn about 10:30, which surprised me greatly.
The general scenario was a Belgian brigade being attacked by 3 Russian regiments. A US brigade arrived during the game as support.
The initial positions were as follows. 


On table just out of shot on the extreme flank was a US armoured cavalry troop which only contributed M551 aluminum fire starters to the day.
Things got going fast on the Belgian left. Here Peter P consults the rules while Paul waves the magic stick and Luke looks on expectantly.


On the other flank Peter C's battalions slowly bashed their way through the rugged terrain (why you shouldn't let just anyone draw command arrows) laying waste to all before them. Fortunately there wasn't that much in front him and it was a quiet trek along the romantic road. The Belgians did quite well considering they are a bit rubbish. The Russian BTR regiment on the right was fought to a standstill.


The follow up US battalion took up a strong blocking position, securing that flank from further advances. On the other flank 2 regiments had dealt to the Bellgian units, and were about to roll over the US forces on this flank.


At this point after 10 turns we had to call it. Final score was 10 points to 6 for the Russian win.

Finally, how to hide things in plain sight.


This kanone stand survived a long time by hiding under the foliage behind a wood I must do more stands like this. The Russian players kept missing it, and it kept popping up to inflict another suppression. The gap between modules did not look that bad from normal distances, and shows that an 8' by 6' board is probably just a bit big for this system.