Friday, 27 February 2015

Great Gallic gun guddle - AMX Mk.61 - part un

Despite the pace of the arms race which is Little Cold Wars, my forces still lack much by way of self propelled artillery.  Casting around for a 'quick win' bodge I hit upon a photo of the SP gun variant of the trusty AMX-13.  This mounted a 105mm gun in a fixed casemate on a pretty standard looking AMX-13 hull.
Not only do I have quite a few Solido AMX-13s, but the 'fleet' includes a few broken DCA (self propelled AA) variants.  A pair of turrets was duly removed.....
...and a couple of bits of insulation foam cut roughly to shape.  The wrong shape as it turns out - but more of that later.
Plastic guns and shields were added...
...along with top hatches.  An initial base coat of paint followed.
The casemates were glued on using PVA.  They were weighted down overnight while the glue dried.
I mentioned the shape of the casemate.  Turns out that the front is angled either side of the gun mount.  I suspect, however, that the vehicle is sufficiently obscure that few people will know any better then I did.  And let's be honest - I don't much care!

(Guddle: a fine Scottish word for a mess, muddle or confusion.)

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

ConSummation 3 - games event in Sheffield 28/02/2015

Your attention is drawn to this games event - to be held in Sheffield this coming Saturday.

ConSummation3: Help For Heroes fundraising event  aka The Old Contentible's 60th
All welcome! Come and play boardgames, buy & sell games, eat cake and stay for the ceilidh!
Access from 08:00 for set up.
Bring & Buy  10:00-16:00
Trade Stands (Bill's Books & Games, Outpost, Patriot Games)  10:00-16:00
Bake for Heroes 16:00-18:00
Real Ale Bar 18:00-23:00
Ceilidh 20:00-23:00

Organised by:  Jerry Elsmore
Who is Jerry Elsmore?
It really doesn't matter. you're invited to come along and find out! This is an open invitation event to anyone who wants to spend a day playing Games. All sorts of games: Boardgames, Cardboardbox Simulation Games, Fluffy games, Free-form games, Lawn Games, Matrix games, Roleplay games and Silly games. There will even be a dollop of Wargames thrown in for good measure. Even if you don't know us, please feel free to turn up and play. All gamers are welcome, especially those who play, sing or dance in the English Tradition...
The Twist
Well, more of a Right Hand Star, Dip and Dive and Strip the Willow… In addition to Traditional English Beer, there will be Traditional English Song and Dance in the evening. Reception will become the Smoke Free Real Ale Folk Bar, the Lounge will become the Olde Worlde Barn where the Ceilidh will be held.
Musicians and callers are very welcome: there will be beer!
Cake for Heroes
Bake, donate, buy and enjoy! 

Link to Eventbrite page

Link to Googlemaps

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

US 107mm mortar

These chaps were assembled some months ago but have only recently seen paint.  Actually after painting so much US Woodland camo they suddenly seemed like an easy option.
Like many of these Tamiya kits the age of the moulds has has no adverse effect on the parts and the whole thing went together well - discrepancies between the box art and the finished models are entirely down to my bungling!
The 107mm (4.2 inch) M30 has a rifled barrel* and entered US service in the early 1950s.  This one will serve as a battalion support asset.

*obviously so does my model - you just can't see it in the photos....

Monday, 23 February 2015

Mi-2URP 'Salamander' - part 1

I always find helicopters a bit tricky to build.  In scales from 1/1200 to 1/72 they cause me no end of trouble.  So having survived the build of the ghastly Intech Mi-2 a few months ago did I really want to build another?  Well yes actually - but my hopes for this kit were rather higher.  Like my recently completed Mi-4 Hound, this was a Hobbyboss kit and my (limited) experience of the brand has been pretty positive.
Initial impressions were good - the fuselage halves above were nice crisp mouldings which actually fitted together.  The large transparent bit is the nose section of the Hoplite - a much less fiddly process than the Intech horror.
Lots of parts.  Some of which I actually used.
The pleasing box art showing the Mi-2 loosing off a Sagger.  Which was another reason I wanted this kit.
So far so good - the main body parts all assembled.
Even the undercart was pretty straightforward.  Before securing the clear nose I added a weight.
The rotor blades assembled at more or less the correct angles...

Thursday, 19 February 2015

USA for LCW via NZ - part 4

These chaps - for those of you who haven't seen the earlier posts they are 1/35 scale hard plastics - have now had a light black wash and a spray coat of varnish.
Given that this is my first attempt at painting complicated camo in this scale since about 1977 (and that didn't go well) I am quite pleased with them.
 6 figures = 1.5 platoons for Little Cold Wars.  With my other US figures I now have nearly two companies.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Cossack combo

Behold my newly completed 1/35 scale Ural M72 Red Army motorcycle combination.

Looks familiar?  It should do.  Happily the Sovs copied several German motorcycle designs after WW2 so the hardware was the easy bit.  
The crew were already obligingly wearing greatcoats and jackboots so a quick helmet swap and the addition of a couple of folding stock AKs transforms the look of the thing.

Oh and the Cossack name?  This was the brand under which Russian built 'bikes were sold in the UK.  Let me know what you think - not least as I have another of these kits still unbuilt...

Monday, 16 February 2015

Mini Jutland - part 2

So where were we?  Ah yes.  Hipper's squadron are on the run.  Or sinking.  And nothing can go wrong for the RN.  But then again....  Here we see Beatty's battlecruiser gracefully sinking after an unsporting salvo from the German main fleet.  The rotters.
An overview of the game.  Jellicoe is centre bottom, Scheer top left, Hipper centre top and Beatty top right.
Jellicoe's squadron under fire from those naughty Germans.
The battle lines close.  By now this was a real slogging match.
Hipper's cruiser finally expires in a hail of RN torpedoes and Jack Hawkins's pipe smoke.  Jack's DD had taken a bit of a pasting and he was forced to re-light his pipe from the muzzle blast of the 3 inch guns.
Honours were about even - but the RN had more destroyers left.  
Things improved for the Brits when a German battlewagon went down.....
....and victory was sealed when we sank another.

Given the scale of our victory this was obviously a great game!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Mini Jutland - part 1

This was a game run at the Sheffield club by John A and used his 1/3000 ships.  The rules were entitles '1 Hour WW1 Naval Warfare' and were written by John A and Martin R having been adapted from a set they found on the interwebnet AMW Yahoo Group: '1 Hour WW2 Naval Warfare' by richinq.
The 'Jutland' scenario was as follows:
British Grand Fleet
Jellicoe - 3 dreadnoughts, 1 cruiser, 1 destroyer.  Beatty - 1 battlecruiser, 1 cruiser, 2 destroyers.
German High Seas Fleet
Scheer - 2 dreadnoughts, 1 pre-dreadnought, 1 destroyer.  Hipper - 1 battlecruiser, 1 cruiser, 1 destroyer.
Martin R was Scheer, Richard H was Hipper.  The RN has the dubious benefit of being commanded by the 'Two Tims'.  Tim C was Jellicoe while Beatty was played by your humble correspondent - attracted by the lure of dashing around in fast ships without the responsibility of overall command!
Above can be seen my squadron (extreme left and the two DDs on the right).
The German BC was soon getting a proper pasting.  My two DDs are carrying out a Jack Hawkins inspired torpedo attack.
The RN main force.
Things looking grim for Hipper  - top right.
First blood went to my brave chaps - here Hipper's BC goes down while his cruiser limps off.
So what could possibly go wrong for the RN?

Friday, 13 February 2015

USA for LCW via NZ - part 3

Back now to the rest of the US 1/35 figures received from Paul (see here and here).  There was no putting it off any longer.  I had to have a go at painting US Woodland camo.  The chaps were given a base coat of US Field Drab and then I added splodges of Buff, Olive Green and Black.  The result looks a bit bright to me so I might add a light wash to tone it down a bit.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Painting progress

Just a quick look sat the random selection of junk on my table last weekend.  You'll be seeing more of this stuff over the coming weeks.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

USA for LCW via NZ - part 2

As mentioned in a post last month (link) I had decided to focus on the seven largely painted figures first.  Following some repair work and some tidying up of paintwork, here they are.
The dynamic poses and light kit suggest that they have just burst forth from their APC/helicopter/Other Ranks Mess.....

I recognise this chap from the Tamiya Vietnam-era 107mm mortar set.

So that was the easy bit.  For the next batch I have to tackle painting US Woodland camo from scratch....

Monday, 9 February 2015

The generosity of others - part 2

Last Wednesday's second gift followed close upon the heels of the first.  SWS member Tim Walker approached me saying something along the lines of  "I see from your blog that you like building crap kits.  So you'd better have this one..."
The (still shrinkwrapped) item in question was this A-4 Shyhawk kit made by the previously unknown to me company of 'Starfix'.  I wonder where they got the idea for the name...
 A quick glance in the box indicates it to be a pretty basic affair but I'm sure I can make use of it.  Tim W tells me that he recalls picking it up in a shop in Cleethorpes many years and several house moves ago.  I must give some thought to which country's armed forces will be the lucky recipients of this device....

Sunday, 8 February 2015

The generosity of others - part 1

I have had cause - many times - to mention the generosity of other gamers and bloggers.  My visit to Sheffield Wargames Society this week produced a further two examples!
John Armatys had found this batch of Airfix 'Modern' British Infantry in a charity shop and having paid an undisclosed sun for them passed them on to me as a gift.  Though continuing to resist the temptations of 54mm figure ownership himself, John is a keen participant in the developing and testing of Little Cold Wars and rightly assumed that I could find work for these splendid chaps!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Tired Tornado titivating - part 3

The Luftwaffe's latest is this Tornado.  Originally sent from NZ by Paul (see the full sordid tale here), this thing has been lightly repaired and roughly daubed by me.
Oh, and I know what you are wondering.  Do the wings fold out?

Oh yes!