Sunday, August 1, 2021

Some Luftwaffe Lunacy from Lindberg, three 1/72 scale models


        One can almost feel the hand of Divine Guidance when one contemplates pattern of the decisions of the Nazi High Command during World War Two. The aircraft development process comes to mind, a few different decisions could have changed the course of the war. Most folks are familiar with the mania for dive bombing that lead to the regrettable HE-177 (a four engine heavy DIVE bomber) or the conversion of the ME-262 from a fighter into a fast bomber (never mind the Arado 234 fast bomber already in development at the same time). These decisions deprived the Luftwaffe of crucial, potentially war-winning, aircraft at critical junctures during the war.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

That Warlord ACW Boxed Set, Come play This Saturday using Blackpowder

       Seen on display in the Showcase Table at Bastion Gaming Center the entire Warlords Epic Scale ACW boxed set, painted and ready to game. I will be running a game using these minis this Saturday 31JUL21 at 1pm. Plenty of troops to accommodate up to eight interested players and rules that are fast and easy to understand. Bring your lucky dice (d6s).

this reminds me of the illustrations old Time-Life series on the ACW 
everything in this picture comes from the box-set (except the hills and trees)
the table is 5' x 8'

the tiny miniatures really give you a feel for masses of men on a battlefield


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Battle of Nicaea in 28mm using Triumph! rules

         I have been running into Rod Cain for probably the last ten or fifteen years at various wargaming conventions. At almost every one of them he has been hosting a visually stunning game that featured the TRIUMPH! rules system. It also happened that I was also running a game at the same time as Rod's  and thus have never had the opportunity to actually play in his game or closely observe the game mechanics. His games were always packed and (from the sound of the player-participants) jolly good fun so I have to say I was rather excited when he offered to bring a demo game to Bastion.
large colorful armies are one of Rod's trademarks
excellent terrain always accompanies these armies
(his Battle of Hastings Senlac Hill is stunning)

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Gaming Update! Rod Cain brings his Triumph! game to Bastion Gaming 24JUL21 1pm

      The talented and erudite Rod Cain has agreed to bring one of his demo games of the Triumph rules set to Bastion Gaming Center this Saturday, 24JUL21 at 1pm. He will be hosting six players in a recreation of the Battle of Nicaea, if circumstances permit he will also be providing a demo of the Battle of Hydaspes. Furthermore he is going to have copies of the rules with him for purchase as well as a sneak-peak at the  upcoming Fantasy Battle version of Triumph. 

 This is an opportunity not to be missed, Rod's games are always a feast for the yes and a blast to play!

Friday, July 16, 2021

Blood Bowl, anyone?


OK, so I wimped-out and had them professionally painted,
Rich at Bastion Games took time out of his busy schedule to paint these for me,
Bastion has many ready-painted teams for sale so people like me can just get to playing
       The guys have been talking about running a Blood Bowl League for some time now. Well, here is my entry: the Crud Creek Nosepickers, they have a bevy of "cheats" to offset the fact that they are simply pathetic. Like my Napoleonic Spanish I can use them as an excuse for my failures and the odd (i.e. rare) win will be due exclusively to my genius! Like all the Blood Bowl teams this came from the boxed set and is ready to play right out of the box (aside from assembly and painting). I might just break down and get a troll to buff them a little bit.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

UPDATE! UPDATE! NOTE: Gaming Update 17JUL21 6pm at R.U.P's place

 Like the header says, gaming at R.U.P's place at 6pm this Saturday the 17th of July, Year of our Lord 2021AD.

Doubtless another of his lushly presented games 😀

Saturday, July 10, 2021

"Fill yer hand, you son of a B&%#$" Wild West Shootout this Tuesday at Bastion Gaming


only the Duke could look that B.A. in a pink shirt

 Rich has his Wild West Town and minis at Bastion Gaming Center

I will be running a games this Tuesday, 13JUL21,  2pm through close, so drop on by and give it a go!

 You can find the rules in the previous post.

A Blast From The Past; Really Simple Wild West Shootout Rules

       I went to print these out a moment ago and realized what a pain it is to use Scribd. To fix this I am republishing them right here on the blog. Sorry about republishing old content but this is from 2011 so most of you haven't likely seen it before.  Feel free to made any changes you like. If you come up with something cool please post a link in the comments so we can all enjoy.

1/72 scale Airfix Fairey Battle


         Another addition to the "What Were They Thinking" collection and a moving target for German fighters when we play Check Your Six this very old model of a truly regrettable aircraft shows its age. Giant rivets, poor fit, foggy clear parts, and moving ailerons all scream "1968". But when you are looking for a model of a Fairey Battle your choices are sharply curtailed, it is either this old war-horse or hunt up a copy of the MPM/Special Hobby kit and be prepared to shell out some serious cash. I guess it is "good news" that Airfix has re-released this kit.

       The actual bomber was an unmitigated disaster. Slow, underpowered, under-gunned and capable only of horizontal bombing this flying deathtrap for three brave aviators often encountered 50% casualties per mission (only the Kamikazes had a worse return rate). There is a very interesting Wiki available here.

Gaming Update 10JUL21

 There will be a game at my place 10JUL21 at 7pm

Probably Pike & Shot but maybe airplanes.......

Monday, July 5, 2021

Returning to Normal, Convention Update

         I just found out that the folks at Pro or Con have made the decision to return to the convention circuit on 2OCT21. A jolly good time was had at the last one I attended so I'm looking forward to seeing old friends in person once more!

The sign-up is being handled through Table Top Games which will have a full list of games and times.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Perceptions VS Reality

        One of the big hurdles that wargamers face is the difference between the scale of the figure and the reality of the military formation that it is being used to represent. We happily use a dozen or so figures on a rectangular base to represent up to a thousand men in a long, very thin, line. Recently I had the opportunity to  visit Bastion Gaming Center just as Rich, the Resident Painting Wizard, was putting the final touches on a Warlord Civil War gaming set. Looking at the simply huge number of figures he had painted it occurred to me that there were enough soldiers on his workbench to represent a Union infantry regiment of 600 men at 1:1 scale. We gathered up the minis and a few minutes later had them laid out in a two-deep line on a three-hundred figure frontage. The results were edifying, see below.

the regiment drawn up into one two-rank line;
 six hundred men and one colonel out front on his horse 
note how thin the line is in relation to its length

the ten sixty-man companies as separate entities

an "assault column" mostly used to maneuver, 
notice how much closer the individual companies are to their colonel
 and how much more compact a formation it is to move about a battlefield

          I confess a very limited knowledge of Union battle formations and will look into it further so I might bring the gentle reader more photos of accurate formations while I have access to this interesting resource. I would welcome suggestions from readers with a more profound knowledge than I possess.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Gaming Update 19JUN21 7pm

        We will be gaming on 19JUN21 at 7pm at my place. Probably some early WW2 fighter plane action if things come together! Been itching to use these 1/72 scale models

Friday, June 11, 2021

Adjustable Flight Stands for 1/72 Scale Fighters


       I have been building these adjustable flight stands for some time now (ever since R.U.P. came up with the idea during our long-running VSF campaign). The actual process is rather straightforward and provides a sturdy stand that will happily hold most reasonably-sized models. For those of you who might want to build your own here is a step-by-step introduction to my method.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

1/72 scale Lippisch P-13a by PM

        This one is an entry in the "What Were They Thinking" category. A plywood-built, charcoal-powered ramjet armed only with a pair of machine guns which was incapable of taking off by itself is the sort of thing that only the Benzedrine-driven minds of late-war Nazis could dream up. Wikipedia has further information. The model was simple enough but crude and the parts-fit was sub-optimal. The model consists of seven ill-fitted parts (the worst being that the canopy is too small for the opening) for the aircraft and four for the trailer (did I mention that the Nazis hadn't troubled themselves with any sort of landing gear, just a skid underneath). I wasn't feeling over committed to this build so there are some areas that would have benefited from more work but it just didn't happen. Still, it is a decent looking model of a simply daft aircraft.

Monday, June 7, 2021

KI-27 "Nate" 1/72 scale Haswegawa


       Another addition to the "Spats" collection. I always liked pre-war Japanese paint jobs, they doubtless have some recognition significance but I just like the bright colors on the pale gray background. This kit is the usual standard for 1970's Hasegawa, good outline, light surface detail which is mostly raised, good parts fit. The only concern during the build was that the hard plastic had gotten very brittle over the years and began to crack (shades of old Airfix figures came to mind). But a liberal application of superglue blocked the  cracking and things went smoothly enough. 

Friday, June 4, 2021


        We will be gaming this Saturday at 6:30pm at R.U.P.'s house. 

        Arab-Israeli air combat using Check Your Six rules.



                                 PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF LOCATION

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Fortified Places Fort Watagua

 satellite view of Fort Watagua from Google earth
I (rather inexpertly) erased the modern amphitheater from the picture

       A recent trip took me into eastern Tennessee, always on the lookout for places of historic interest (there are more than a few in that area) I took the opportunity to visit Fort Watagua, a reconstruction located in the Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park. The park alone is well worth a visit but the interpretive center and reconstructed fort are top-notch. The rich history is explored through the visitor's center displays and multi-media presentations and is most evocative. This link to Wikipedia provides a good background to the development of the area in Pre-Revolution times.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Death Or Glory brings Warhammer 40K tournament this Saturday at Bastion Gaming


       Death or Glory will be bringing their tournament play of 8th Edition Warhammer 40K to Bastion Gaming this weekend. All the competitive slots are filled but please stop by and take a look at the cool minis and terrain. This stuff is inspirational. Take a look at the pictures below for a glimpse of the event they ran earlier this year.

Tom, the intrepid leader and brains behind Bastion Gaming

Goodies from halfway around the world


a couple of additions to the "spats" collection, a couple more for the "Polish" collection 
and a big "What were they thinking" with a Caudron CR 714

        I find it odd that when I am digging through Ebay  that I can often find cheaper kits and MUCH lower shipping when I look at sources overseas. I located these brand new models coming out of Poland from a source called Sukceno with an average price of $5.50US and shipping in the same amount they were cheaper than old kits for sale here in the 'States. Service was excellent, each kit was bubble wrapped then put back in the box which was wrapped and sealed in plastic-wrap the whole groups was then packed in another larger box and well padded with styrofoam and bubble wrap. Shipping took less than the three weeks that were suggested at the time of the order and he combined the shipping costs saving me even more! I highly recommend this service.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Not Even Half-way Finnished

        Having built a slew of Russian aircraft last week I pushed ahead to try to complete a portion of the opposing Finnish force. The air force that served Finland in the Winter War and in the Continuation War was a polyglot accumulation of aircraft that were secured from a wide variety of  sources. A good many planes continued to served well past their "best if used by " date simply because there was no alternative.  I have but a few of the types that flew with the Finns but will continue to add to the collection as opportunity allows. As it stands now I have a pair of Fokker D XXIs and a single Curtiss Model 75 (known here in the States as a P-36).

I reviewed and built the Revell P-36 here,
 it is a nice little model that goes together very well

A way to conduct hex-based movement without hexagons

        My recent efforts into building air forces for pre/early WW2 air combat has me looking at rules sets. Almost all of these operate with hexes as the unit for controlling movement and weapon ranges. They are also unified in the idea that the game will be played with 1/300 scale models. Being as my collection is 1/72 scale models adjustments will have to be made. To begin with nobody makes playing mats with 5" hexes, thus I would have to have them custom-made. Secondly there would be no other use for said mats and third I would have to find some place to store said items. On top of all that I would have to pay for them! This simply would not do. Another method would have to be found.

       At first I though of some sort of appliance, such as is used with Star Wars X-Wing or the cards from Wings of Glory. These free the game from the constraints of hexes with it's odd 60 degree turns but pose logistical complications in fabricating the many different maneuver markers (as well as the issue of handling and storing these large items). One of the things I liked about Check Your Six was the chart with the possible moves that a plane could make clearly laid out in the corner of the player's sheet. These show the path and orientation of the aircraft making the maneuver. How to reproduce that movement on a table without hexes was the trick.

       At first I thought of using hexes cut from MDF (I'm sure that there are a couple dozen places that would be happy to do that for me). The problem being the expense combined with the bulk and weight, additionally I'm not a patient fellow so I didn't care to wait for them to arrive. Casting my eye about the workshop I spied a pile on card discs that were left over from a arts& crafts project with one of my granddaughters. Circles stack into hexagon patterns naturally (see a honeycomb as an example) so there had to be a way to make them function as hexes.....

       Then it came to me............

Friday, May 7, 2021

Gaming Update, 8MAY2021, 7pm

 We will be gaming this Saturday 8MAY21 at 7pm at my place

More Finns to halt the Communist Imperialist agression

        Having built more Soviet fighters I decided it was time to switch sides and add some weight to the Finnish Air Force. I have one Fokker D XXI ready to go but that isn't enough for a game. To remedy this I am adding another Fokker D XXI and a Curtiss 75 (known in the 'States as a P-36). Both are old kits (from the 70s) but were a breeze to build. I'm just starting getting paint on these birds but they will soon be ready to defend their tiny homeland from the Soviet invaders.

these old kits are not going to be any IPMS prize-winners 
but they are simple and fun to build plus they are perfect for my uses

at times I think that I'm spending too much time on the crew figures

they are both set up for magnetic flight stands,
 now I just have to finish the paint jobs

        I am currently battling my inner demons of messing with rules. I like the speed of play that card-movement systems like Wings of War provide but cannot abide with aircraft moving in only two dimensions, I also like the granularity  of  Check Your Six damage assessment. Then there is the question of finding a playing surface marked in 5" hexes to accommodate my flight bases......

Monday, May 3, 2021

Three Polikarpovs Fly Into a Bar........


this weekend's efforts....three Polikarpovs (one in Chinese colors) and a Corsair

       In my efforts to get a sufficient force together for a game of Check Your Six (or something to that effect) I decided to stop pussy-footing around and get into production mode. I broke out two of my old Revell I-16 kits, a Heller I-153 and an old Testors Corsair kit. The Revell I-16 has been reviewed previously as has the Heller I-153  and both are pretty straightforward builds. Dating back to 1953 the Testors Corsair kit is a weird combination of engraved panels lines and poor casting. As a static model it would be much better because little effort was made by the designers to make the parts fit in a "wheels up" mode. It is a primitive kit but will do the job as air-support. 

        The Revell I-16 kit benefits from having a complete set of "wheels up" landing gear doors while the Heller I-153 has all the parts but leaves you to figure out the assembly in the retracted position on your own. One of the I-16s and the I-153 were painted for the Russian Front in the period of 1939 through 1942, medium green and bold red stars. The remaining I-16 was painted in nationalist Chinese markings of dark green upper surfaces, a striped tail and roundels on the light blue underside. The Corsair got the all navy-blue colors for the Korean conflict (it is destined to my friend Rich's collection).

       Now I just need to get some opponents finished........

How much is too much?

        I will happily admit that I have a fascination with aircraft that have spatted landing gear, I also like ungainly and unusual looking aircraft. So far I have constrained myself to single engine aircraft but the field of the ugly and ungainly gets ever larger when you add extra engines.The worst part is that there are kits in 1/72 scale of some of these flying abominations. Witness this; the Handley-Page Heyford, a multi-engined bomber that was the mainstay of the British bombing force in the mid-late 1930's. The last of these were only retired from front line service in 1939!

yes Timmy, that is a REAL airplane

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Gaming Update, 1MAY21 1900hrs

 We will be gaming at my place this Saturday May 1st, 2021AD at 7pm.

Rumor is that The Housemartin will be rejoining us after his long hiatus.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Photo Survey, Tellico Blockhouse, Tennessee

a look at the blockhouse from our friends at Google Earth
the left half is the original military fort, 
the right half is the rather ramshackle civilian trading post that grew next to the blockhouse

       Built in 1794 to "protect" the Cherokee from encroaching settlers the Blockhouse served as the official liaison point between the United States Government and the Overhill Cherokee people. The Blockhouse stayed in service from 1794 until 1807. Today it is surrounded by water from a TVA dam built in the 1930's it originally was near the top of a large ridge. Several significant treaties were signed between the Cherokee and the U.S. government and the Blount Conspiracy was initially exposed there as well. You can find further information on this Wiki post and on the State Park's website.

Wargames Atlantic Lizardmen in 28mm

        Another addition from the seemingly tireless crew at Wargames Atlantic these Lizardmen are perhaps the most versatile so far. Usable either in High Fantasy, Victorian Science Fiction,  Post-Apocalyptic or Regular Science Fiction this box is bursting with options. Cast in a firm gray plastic they are flash-free and nearly devoid of mold lines. The detail is crisp and carefully rendered with fourteen heads and a choice of weapons ranging from swords and spear through to modern-looking assault rifles on each of the eight sprues. At less than two dollars a figure these are a must-have for anyone building an army of the lizard persuasion. I got my set from Michigan Toy Soldier who would be happy to sell them to you in person or by mail-order.


cover art

1/72 Curtiss Goshawk II by Monogram

        Yet another addition to my collection of aircraft with spats this one also falls into the "Yellow Wings" sub category. There was a period of about fifteen years when a desire to be the most garish air force on the planet overcame the U.S. high command. Flying surfaces were painted a bright yellow-gold and many tailplanes were painted to match ot decorated in even louder colors. This all ended when we joined the party of the Second World War but it certainly makes for some fancy-looking models. 

       One of the last U.S. carrier biplane fighters the Curtiss Goshawk II was the culmination of a long line of Curtiss biplanes that served the armed forces. It never saw combat under U.S. colors but a number saw combat under Colombian colors and fifty-two fought for the Chinese against the Japanese in the early years of the Sino-Japanese War. A detailed Wiki can be found here.

the hazards of Ebay, it looked OK in the cellophane
 but upon arrival I found that it had gotten wet and moldy

Friday, April 23, 2021

And There Goes Flintcon!

Thanks to the Decrees of the Madwoman of Lansing we won't be enjoying Flintcon this year:



Rodney Cain <>
To:anton ryzbak
Wed, Apr 21 at 9:26 PM
We had to call it off again, the restrictions do not look like they will be lifted in time so I had to call it off.

We will try again for next year in February.

Hat Industrie 20mm 1/72 scale Austrian Infantry; Marching, In Action and Command

     Finally someone has done Austrians in my favorite uniform, the 1798 regulation with the classically inspired helmet. As with several of their recent releases HaT has provided a box of Command, a box of soldiers marching, a box of soldiers "in action" and then a sampler set with one sprue of each type in it.

         The sampler pack is a great way to get the figures and be sure that they are compatible with your other models plus it gives you a good look at what to expect from each box. All four sets are cast in a firm but still flexible yellow plastic that reflects the detail very well. There is a small amount of flash on some of the figures that will need cleaning with a fresh razor-knife.

        All of these sets are cast in the same type of plastic and have an equal level of detail (which is very good), style and anatomical accuracy so my comments apply equally across the range.

the usual above-average artwork

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Not Dead Yet!

the Nylian fleet begins to take shape

        I confess that I have been remiss in generating posts of late. That does not mean that I have quit the field entirely, just that I have too many things that are making very slow progress. I did dig out a long-shelved project and return to it in preparation for Flintcon on 15MAY21, in fact I expanded that scope of the operation (big surprise there?). The photo above hints at the direction I am headed, a post soon to appear on the Epicurean Wars blog will explain further.

Monday, April 5, 2021

1/72 Fujimi KI-36 "Ida"


the classic old Japanese kits always had such cool box-art

       After the trauma of the Airfix BV 141 I needed something simple to restore my sense of balance. I entered The Vault and randomly selected a kit (knowing that it was unlikely that any of them could be worse than the nightmare that the BV 141 kit had been) and found myself with this tiny plane as my next project. Funny how different a model can be. Both kits were of single-engine multi-place recon/light bombers and as kits and aircraft they were about as far apart as is possible. the KI-36 was a simple aircraft  of conventional design; the kit was straightforward, well-designed, finely-detailed and the parts fit perfectly. What a relief!

       The real KI-36 was an army cooperation/recon/light bomber that performed satisfactorily but was outclassed as time went on. It served out its years flying over the "safer" Chinese front. A short Wiki can be found here.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

What is that THING!?!

mine was all marked up with sale stickers 
so I borrowed one from the web has a wonderful selection by the way

       There are certain things that are so unsettling that they make you look again to be certain that what you thought you saw really WAS what you saw. This abomination  (and a lot of other Blohm & Voss aircraft) is exactly one such thing. Looking a great deal like a bug that got caught in a window fan or perhaps something assembled with spare JU-88 parts this bizarre addition to the annals of flight is the product of B&V's habit of building asymmetric aircraft. It seems like they were trying to prove a point of style; but all it got them was a series of rejected ideas. A fuller description of the development and use of this odd bird can be found on Wikipedia.  I do have to think that the strutting little Nazi in his smartly turned-out uniform had nothing like this in mind when he wrote the specifications of a single-engine, multi-seat reconnaissance plane (doubtless he had something much more mundanely functional like a Henschel HS 126). One look at this aircraft would be enough to pop the monocle right out of your eye!

       But enough about the plane, what about the kit? Frankly, it is horrible. First released in 1971 it shows it's age; huge rivets, thick plastic that is badly warped, poor parts fit, thick glass (and this bird has a lot of glass) and thick, stiff decals that are off-register (and after forty years are a medium amber color). Not one of Aifix's high points!

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Heller 1/72 PZL 23 Karas review and build


bought while I was working at Squadron Shop late 1970's-early 80s  this is a classic

        First proposed in 1932 when the Polish Air Force was heavily committed to the idea of armed reconnaissance the PZL 23 was an advanced design for the time. By 1939 the rapid progress in engine and design had left this sturdy aircraft in a state of obsolesce.  Circumstances being as they were the PZL 23 was used for reconnaissance and as a light bomber, in fact it had the honor of being the first Allied aircraft to drop bombs on the Third Reich, striking a factory in Ohlau on 2SEP39. Further information can be found in this very informative Wiki.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

A simple post for my simple skills


So Having gone through and gotten all of my Japanese and Chinese Flames of War paraphenalia squard away I began thinking about an inexpensive and simple ways to ever so slightly expand the gaming reach of the collection.  I do not want to wander off down the FOW rabbit hole as it is very easy to fall into the "for a few dollars more ..." paradox.   And that is when I stumbled upon this simple idea.  The Brits had oodles of Universal carriers and used them in EVERY theater.  Since the British and Japanese fought in Malaysia, Singapore and Burma quite intensely in 1941-2.  I thought this could be an inexpensive way to alternate the opponents.  And since all the tanks are not really armored at all, it would still make for an "interesting game.  Unlike Anton I am NOT a modeler and do not like building models, so simple builds are paramount to me.  I like to play games, NOT glue my fingers together!  

Monday, March 22, 2021

A Quick Comparison of 28mm Napoleonic Figure Sizes

        Several readers have asked about the size comparison between various 28mm plastic figures; specifically the new Wargames Atlantic 95th Rifles and the products of Warlord and Perrys. To satisfy this query I dug deep into the bowels of The Vault and drew forth some sets of plastic minis that I had picked up over the years. I assembled a figure from three different sets and took photos using the same set up so that the readers may judge for themselves. I then assembled one of each of the poses from W.A. 95th Rifles set and took pictures of them as well.

hardly a scientific instrument but you can see how it works
the grid on the index card is in 5mm increments

A Little Something That I Whipped Up; 1/72 Panzer I Breda

a massive up-gunning from a pair of 8mm machine guns!

       I am afraid that my dear friend The Housemartin has known me far too long. He knows how to casually let something drop in conversation and then let the seed of an idea germinate in my head so that I think that the idea was mine. I have fallen for this a few times in the past, and will likely do so again in the future. Most recently he was bemoaning his shortage of Fascist armor for the 20mm SCW game that he has been collecting for the last couple of decades; specifically Panzer I and Panzer I Breda. He is aware of the Plastic Mountain that lives in The Vault and guessed (quite rightly) that there were a few stray Panzer I kits lurking in cobwebbed corners. He also knows me well enough to surmise that all I needed was a bit of goading to make good on his shortfall. Needless to say I rummaged around and found three Panzer I kits. I built two straight from the box and the the third one I built a Panzer I Breda turret for (as well as the standard turret). 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Monogram 1/72 P6-E Hawk


not the original box, but an old one

       I have built this kit several times in my lifetime. In every attempt I let the simplicity and excellent parts-fit trick me into assembling the kit all in one go and then trying to paint/decal it after the fact. Needless to say those efforts turned into a bit of a mess. U.S. Air Corps paint jobs in the late 20's/early 30's were a celebration of the fact that we had no nearby enemies and were unlikely to acquire any soon. To be kind they were garish. They certainly made for a different-looking aircraft. The model is molded in the alarming bright yellow that the U.S. applied to all flying surfaces at the time. The decals are old, thick and annoyingly translucent. But, armed with a full array of Micro-Scale products, I resolved to push on with my "Straight Out Of The Box" rule.

       Assembly was a breeze, the fit of the parts was nearly perfect. This time through I managed to constraint my enthusiasm and stop along the assembly process to get vital painting and decal  work done before final assembly.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

1/72 SMER Dewoitine D 510


once again I had to grab a photo from the internet as I lost my box

       I bought this kit simply ages ago and never got around to building it. It got dug out the the Plastic Mountain in The Vault and pushed to the front of the line largely because the landing gear. I just thought it looked cool. It was a straightforward build (the undercarriage was a bit tricky but tube cement and patience overcame that). I went with the all-silver paint job because I loved the "Grim Reaper" logo on the side, and it is a nice change from all that camouflage! This lead to the only real difficulty in the build as my primer (Rustoleum flat black) did not pair well with the Vallejo silver and a large spot on both sides of the left wing and a smaller area on the right wing and fuselage pucker and wrinkled up like Nancy Pelosi's neck! This had to be sanded out and repainted with the attendant loss of the fine surface detail in those areas. The decals were very thin and required careful handling. Overall (aside from the paint thing, which is my fault) this was a fun build and a neat model of an unusual aircraft. There is a Wiki that covers the entire D 500 series right here.

Gaming Update Saturday 20MAR21 7pm

        We will be gaming at my place this Saturday, 20MAR21 at 7pm.

 No certain plans as to the game but I'm open to suggestions.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Keep This In Mind! 15MAY21

I got this email from Rod Cain.

Rodney Cain <>
Mon, Feb 1 at 5:27 PM
By now hopefully you all are aware we had to move the date for flintcon and will not be able to hold it this Saturday Feb 6th.

We plan to try again in May so please look at your calendars and see if you can join us on Saturday, May 15th.  Same venue and format as always!

We hope by then to be back to some sense of normal and be able to host the convention safely with all the food and fun we usually have at flintcon.

I hope to see you there and we will keep you posted if things change.

For those that needed more time to prep that game, here you go!


JUST LOOK AT THE PAIR OF THEM! Williams Brothers 1/72 Northrop Gamma


the new winner in the Biggest Spats contest, the Northrop Gamma

        The thirties saw a succession of achievements and advances that laid the groundwork for the vast air armadas of the Second World War. The advances in aerodynamics went from boxy wire-braced biplanes to sleek monoplane racers and airliners in the space of a decade. One of the leading lights is design and development was the Northrop Corporation (one of three aircraft builders founded by the prolific Jack Northrop). The Gamma represented the cutting edge of aircraft design at the time and was used for several record-setting flights. The Williams Bros. kit can be built as either the "Sky Chief" which was used to set a new coast-to-coast record or the "Polar Star" which was used in the first cross-Antarctica flight. I chose to build the Sky Chief. The kit  was straightforward to build but needed careful attention to the instructions and a significant amount of sanding and trimming to get a good fit. 

        Most importantly the aircraft embodied the art-deco esthetic of the mid thirties; clean lines, HUGE spats and simple but noticeable paint schemes. Of course, what sold me was the enormous spats on the landing gear. Probably unnecessary in their size they could have been considerably smaller and still done the job of easing the airflow over the landing gear struts the massive fairings made a statement of style far beyond their  impact on airflow.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Wargames Atlantic 28mm Eisenkern Stormtroopers

       I don't know of Mike Mondragon or Iron Core but I do know a good looking sci-fi stormtrooper when I see one (and maybe, just maybe, these guys can actually hit something they are shooting at; unlike their white-clad Imperial namesakes!). Wargames Atlantic has released this set of twenty minis; molded in a hard medium gray plastic these reflect a very high degree of detail but exhibit no flash or noticeable mold-lines. The surface detail on the weapons and armor (which might even stop a random blaster shot?) is very good. The minis come with fully enclosed helmets (for folks like me who hate painting faces) of a choice of some characterful faces. The proportions and posing of the minis is good and there is room for modification of the poses. An interesting and affordable option in comparison to the "other Stormtrooper" models currently on the market.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Wargames Atlantic 28mm Napoleonic British 95th Rifles

       I have never been shy about my enthusiasm for plastic figures. They are cheaper, lighter, and can be better detailed and more accurately sculpted than metal miniatures. In addition they are more easily modified or repaired. Over the past few years the quality of the plastic soldier industry has gone from strength to strength, with this latest issue from Wargames Atlantic it may be approaching it's apogee, they are simply superb. Cast in a medium gray firm plastic and showing excellent detail, no flash and only the faintest of mold-lines these castings represent the state of the art in modern polystyrene molding. In addition the detail is spot-on and posing of the miniatures is natural and dynamic. Move over Perry boys, Wargames Atlantic has arrived in the big league!

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Gaming Update March 6th, 2021 7pm

        There will be a game this Saturday, 6MAR21 at 7pm at my place.

Be there, or be reviled!

Monday, March 1, 2021

A Little Something I Threw Together

        A while back I built some U.S. aircraft for my buddy Rich who is ding the Korean war, he didn't have any opposition aircraft so I rummaged around in The Vault until I found these two; an IL-2 (pretending to be an IL-10) and a Mig-15. A quick build and paint-job and they were off to provide some unfriendly skies for the Skyraider and Panther.

both were pretty terrible kits; an ancient KP Mig-15 and an even older Airfix IL-2

but for wargaming they certainly look the part

Road Trip, National Air Force Museum Part V other U.S. WW2 Bombers

B-24s over Ploesti

        Following on to the post about the Memphis Belle I have the rest of the U.S. bomber forces. The U.S. built the only bombers with a chance of survival in a daylight scenario and aggressively used them to attack the enemy at every opportunity. There is a decent argument that the daylight bombing of Germany (and the Browning M-2 .50cal HMG) broke the back of the Luftwaffe by forcing it to fight on a daily basis when the German training program could not produce enough new pilots to replace losses. The brave young men who flew in the face of a relentless and determined enemy rode these famous beasts of war into the firestorm of combat on a daily basis and were instrumental in defeating the Nazi war machine.

Wargames Atlantic 28mm Partisans


the front of the box, a nicely done illustration and some beautifully painted minis

       I have to confess that I have been bugging my local Brick & Mortar about this set since I first heard it was slated for production. As soon as they said it was in I ran by and picked it up. I am a huge fan of Wargames Atlantic and their growing line of products but don't let that make you think that I didn't look at these figures with a careful eye. To say the least I am very pleased with what I found inside!

       You will find eight identical sprues of hard gray plastic minis. These are finely molded with no trace of flash and scarcely a mold-line to be found. The detail is delicate and crisply rendered, the proportion and posing of the figures is realistic and convincing, and the weapons are in-scale and accurately detailed.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Wargame on 2/27/2021

I (RichUnclePat) will be running a game of Fisful of Tows 3 this Saturday at 7pm at my house.

It's a very basic scenario with limited "extras" as this will be primarily a teaching game as the majority of people have never played these rules.  I will be using these rules for the modern Pakistan/India campaign that will be run some time in the near future.  SO, if you like micro armor, or just playing fun wargames, please do attend.  

(The scenario is a modified version of the one that appears in GHQs modern Micro Armour®️.)


The Battle of Nuiwa-Shar 16 March 1990

In January 1990, an uprising among Muslim fundamentalists in Indian Kashmir threatened to put an end to the delicate peace maintained by the government in Delhi since their annexation of the province in January of 1957. The Hindu government of Kashmir state resigned, forcing India to declare "Martial Law". There were furious protests from the Sharif government in Karachi. Troops were mobilized on both sides of the India-Pakistan border. There were skirmishes and some shelling of border posts, but cooler heads finally prevailed and war was narrowly avoided. Things could have gone differently. This scenario assumes they did.

 On 14 March 1990 after a concerted effort by both sides to reach some sort of agreement, elements of the Indian 15th Army crossed the Sutlej River Southeast of Lahore and entered Pakistani territory. Encountering stiff resistance, they pushed West-Southwest, crossing the Multan-Lahore Railroad, and erected temporary bridges across the Ravi River (their initial objective). At this point, elements of the Indian 6th Armored Division were thrown forward, taking advantage of a gap in Pakistani lines between Jellum in the North and Lyallpur in the South. Their goal was the small town of Nuiwa-Shar and the oilfields along the East bank of the Jhelum River. Before they could reach Nuiwa-Shar, however, they were met by the Pakistani 2nd Armored Brigade, striking South from Jellum in a desperate bid to block their advance.