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?