Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Just A Reminder

       The venerable gaming event Pro Or Con returns from it's Covid-induced absence the first Saturday in October at the Elk's Lodge located at 31117 Plymouth Rd, Livonia, MI 48150, USA. A schedule of games can be found at Table Top Events. Take a look and sign up for something,, better yet sign up to run a game! 

         I will be showcasing my WW2 air combat rules so drop by and join the fun flying a nimble KI-27 or a rugged I-16.

         Don't miss out on the fun and take the opportunity to catch up with old friends. Also remember that the there will be the usual flea-market to either get rid of your spares or add to the pile.

1/72 Curtiss Hawk II in Nationalist Chinese colors


the old Revell kit from the 1960's but it goes together like a dream
 the overall olive drab is a striking, if sober, color scheme

       Taking a break for a second from the Russo-Japanese conflict at Khilkhin Gol I decided to build a model that I knew would be a breeze to build (having built one already). The molds to the Revell kit has been through a few hands over the years but they still make a lovely model that has near-perfect fit. I pirated the decals from the Encore Polikarpov I-15 that I had just finished and gained a quick addition to my Chinese Air Force.

Monday, September 27, 2021

1/72 scale Encore Polikarpov I-15bis


       In my endless quest for more aircraft with spats I managed to acquire two of these little gems. As usual with Encore kits you get a good-quality decal sheet with a nice choice of options and a faithful reproduction of some other manufacturer's kit; in this case an old ICM mold. The kit went together just fine until it was time for me to install the upper wing when a combination of my fat fingers and vague instructions made things a bit dodgy. But, in the end tube cement and careful adjustments brought things together in a satisfactory manner. This first one joined the Soviet Air Force (of course) I'm still trying to decide on Chinese or Spanish for the second one. Of course nothing is stopping me from rounding up another one and doing both!

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Data Book for the KI-15 "Babs" for Red Stars and Rising Suns


       Fast and lightly built the KI-15 was used as a reconnaissance aircraft and light bomber by the Japanese Imperial Army and Navy. At first its speed made it almost untouchable but as the war progressed it was relegated to second-line duties.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Size Comparison between Wargames Atlantic Late Romans and Gripping Beast's models


ahh, yes.......the usual suspects, indeed

        One of the reasons that people go on about the metric system is that it so my experience there seems to be either a significant growth in the size of a millimeter or a problem with its application in the world of toy soldiers. Thus we are forced to use highly unscientific instruments such as the MK. I Eyeball when measuring our models. My work around is to simply stand them up side-by-each and take a look. It has worked well for me in the past so I present a photographic record of my efforts for perusal .

Wargames Atlantic 28mm Late Roman Infantry


the box front
       Wargames Atlantic has gone and done it again. I have already built and painted the Gripping Beast Late Roman Infantry (which look like they are from a slightly later period than this latest release) so I didn't really need these, but need is such a subjective concept. Let's just say I wanted them and leave it at that. Inside you will find twenty-four beautifully sculpted and detailed plastic multi-pose figures that provide a mind-boggling number of assembly options. Completely free of flash and nearly devoid of mold-lines these figures are cast in the softer gray plastic that is common these days, it takes the detail well and is easy to trim and modify (which means I will be spending simply ages making different poses out of these guys).

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

KI-27 Nate data book for Red Stars and Rising Suns

         Here is the other workhorse fighter for the Japanese; this one belonged to the Army. The KI-27 was an elegant aircraft that was lethal in the hands of the highly trained Imperial pilots. It only met its match when confronted with the armored, more heavily armed and much faster P-40. When facing the Russians and Chinese prior to 1940 this was a very effective aircraft.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Data Book for the Polikarpov I-153 Chiaka, for use with Red Stars and Rising Suns

        I really should be working on the databook for the KI-27 Nate but this one is already finished so I will go ahead and post it now. Plus this is one of my favorite aircraft in that it combines the relic of being a biplane with the cutting-edge (for the time) feature of retracting landing gear. 

          Highly maneuverable if somewhat slow the I-153 was the pinnacle of biplane fighter development and a dead-end at the same time. Its encounters with modern monoplanes in Span and Manchuria showed that the age of the biplane fighter was over. 

Data Book for the A5M4 "Claude" for use with Red Stars and Rising Suns


         Having published the data book for the Polikarpov I-16 when I posted the beta version of the rules I now present the data book for one of its most common adversaries over the skies of China (the KI-27 is still being worked on, please be patient); the A5M4 Claude.  

        This data book is set up to be copied and printed out in the same way all of the cards are JPEG format and can be easily copied by right-clicking on the image and then pasting it into your word processor.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Playtest Opportunity


         Anyone brave (or foolish) enough to allow themselves to be employed as guinea pig for my rules testing is cordially invited to drop by Bastion Gaming Center this Tuesday, 21SEP21 between 2pm and 8pm. I will be on hand with the rules and aircraft so that you can give the rules a try and provide feedback without delay or typing.

More Dangerous Ramblings While Writing Rules; or; Red Stars and Rising Suns, air combat over Khakhin Gol


       I blame this whole thing on Covid-19. If I hadn't been locked down I would never have gotten around to building those old 1/72 scale Interwar aircraft models and this would never have happened! But that aside I have long held an interest in the fighter aircraft of the period 1930-40. It was an era of very rapid development with significant improvements coming on an almost daily basis. And, to be honest, I just like the look of aircraft with fixed landing gear. 

Thursday, September 9, 2021

4 x Polikarpov I-16 Ratas and one A5M4 Claude ready for action


yes, I know that one of the I-16s is flying itself, I'm still tracking down a pilot for it

              It took a lot longer than I thought but it was still much faster than building them one at a time. I'm finally out of I-16s to build and paint! Two in Chinese colors, one in Republican Spanish and five in Soviet colors. Now I have to tackle the biplanes; two I-15s, and one each of I-152, I-153 and I-3 (I'm still tracking down an I-5 at a reasonable price)., The Claude got included with these guys because I had started it a while back and it had been waiting for decals for a long time. After the last of the Russians I will get started on the Japanese and Chinese (anybody got a KI-10 -or two- in 1/72 scale that they want to get rid of?).

a distressingly large number of manufacturers don't include pilot figures

and then there are the ones that include a freakish mannequin that looks like a blow-up toy

       If I really keep banging away I might have the Russians and Japanese ready in time for a Khalkihn Gol game at Pro Or Con on October 2nd!

1/72 scale I-16 Ratas waiting for matte spray

the Claude snuck into the formation by benefit of needing decals 

        I tried to get them done today but the gloss was taking forever to dry and I only got as far as setting the decals. Tomorrow morning they get a blast of matte spray and I can get down to business on the biplanes. In the end I opted for two Soviet planes, one Nationalist Chinese and one Republican Spanish. Having no decals for the Spanish I was forced to hand-paint the colors which was a bit tedious but I think it turned out pretty well.

it was nice to do something entirely different with the Spanish paintjob

I have another Nate and another Claude on the way 
my Far East air-combat dance-card will be filling up pretty quickly

Monday, September 6, 2021

The Rata Pack, build complete and ready for paint

the factory floor gets messy at times

       Having painted some minis I gave myself permission to go back to building airplanes for the Labor Day holiday weekend. Tired of the serial builds; one of this, one of that I decided that I would build all of my remaining Polikarpov I-16 Ratas in one go. Three of the kits were the classic Revell kit and the last was an IMC kit that was much newer. I knocked together the Revell kits in about 90  minutes (having built several in the past year they were dead-easy) but the IMC kit suffered from a bizarre pattern of sectioning of the parts combined with tons of flash and more than normal parts warping. This one kit took longer that the others to build and required a fair amount of filler and sanding. Be that as it may, I plugged along and got them all assembled, filled and sanded (as well as adding a steel slug in the fuselage to allow for the use of magnetic stands)

a coat of primer and its off to the races for painting.

       Now I have to decide what colors I should give them. One will be in Nationalist Chinese, at least one more will bear the red star of the Soviet Union, and I am pretty sure that one will be set up for the Spanish Civil War. The fourth could go either Russian, or Spanish, or maybe even Finnish.....not sure, not sure.  As I wait for the paint to dry on these I will try to be working on the I-15 series; two I-15s, and one each of an I-152 and I-153. I have no idea what color these will carry.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Digging about in the Lead Mountain, 28mm TYW pioneers

       Having added the Warlord Games Engineers Working Party to the "completed" list jogged a synapse in my old brain and I remembered that I had other miners and sappers types somewhere in the Pile Of Shame. A bit of digging about soon produced some (Dixon, I think, judging from the enormous hands) figures of early Lace Wars Pioneers. Looking at these I remembered that I had also converted some old Wargames Factory infantry into sappers as well. Another dive into the Pile (on the shallow end because there are only a few thousand unpainted plastics) rescued these lads from obscurity. This motley lot soon made their way onto the painting bench and, in a burst of painting unseen in many years, I got them finished in a couple of days. It seems that I will have to concoct a siege-related scenario to give them a sense of purpose.

I went with gray for the coats because so many nations used gray coats

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Gaming Update 4SEP21; The Second Day at Gettysburg, updated with photos of the game


         Bastion Gaming Center will be hosting the Second Day at Gettysburg this Saturday, September 4th starting at 1p.m.. The game will be played with Fire & Fury rules and use 15mm figures. All are welcome to drop by and try their hand at capturing Little Round Top or the Peach Orchard.

instead of attacking piecemeal as Longstreet did the Confederate commanders
 coordinated their assault and turned the Union left flank taking Little Round Top