Sunday, 31 August 2014

The RAF response "Build more Hurricanes, and quickly"

I I decided to embark on the "parallel production principle" (see below):

On the basis that once you have done a successful prototype, mass production should follow. Wings and undercarriage fixed (see below):

Tail planes fixed and they are ready to rumble (see below):

The finished product means the RAF have two flights of Hurricanes. Next up on the assembly line are five Spitfire Mk II's.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Ship Building WIP (Large 1:1 Scale) Queen Elizabeth CV

While on holiday in Scotland recently I passed through Edinburgh crossing the road bridge going north. Admiring the scenery and rather lost in thoughts of Beatty's battle-cruisers the 5th Battle Squadron at Jutland I almost swerved when I saw a strange naval grey shape off to my left. I trailed the family down to Rosyth, they couldn't quite understand my excitement and errant sense of direction. There is something quite magical when "daddy" gets fixated on something, the family give each other curious looks trying to understand "what's got into him. I was determined to get a closer look, but to my disappointment I could not get a good view. Two helpful BAE Systems people told me that you got a much better view from across the river, so I set myself an expedition for the following day (see below):

Can you see what it is? Nothing more than the almost completed CV "HMS Queen Elizabeth". I sat there watching her with my oldest son, eating our McDonald's quite transfixed thinking I should continue my 1/3000 RN naval collection through to the modern post 1945 period.

A project for 2015 perhaps

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

More Revell 1/144 Aircraft (Lufwaffe: Battle of Britain)

Battle of Britain era, Me 109's and a Stuka (see below):

I now have my Me 109 "swarms" (8 planes) and a Stuka flight (4 planes). Time to scramble some RAF fighter production now, some Hurricane Mk I's next up on the assembly line.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

More Revell 1/144 Aircraft (Pacific War/Battle of Britain)

While "in the zone" of putting together 1/144 aircraft, I finished off my single-engined (Pacific War) American planes and started on the backlog of Battle of Britain aircraft (see below):

I know they will come in useful one day! I am still lacking in Japanese opposition (I have two Zero's) but am waiting for the Revell kits to hit the shops in my area. I reckon six in total would be a nice force. Meanwhile I will try and build up the US force to flights of three.

The Battle of Britain forces stand at 8 x Me 109's, 3 x Me 110's, 6 x Mk I Hurricanes and 6 Mk II Spitfire's. It is just a case of making them up and painting them.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Best Ever 1/76 British Infantry - Matchbox/Revell (re-release)

Small holiday purchase!

They may not look much from this picture but I am truly excited. I never had these as a kid and always wondered what they looked like compared to my Airfix figures. As a blog watcher I have been 'teased' by Paul and Al from ANZAC-land from their extensive use of them in their Command Decision OrBat basing. Now turning them over in my hand I immediately want to expand and cover the whole re-release range irrespective of nationality  (I already have the British Commando pack). They are that "good" (see below):  

Still to get, WWII: Japanese, ANZAC, American, 8th Army, Afrka Korp, German.  Modern: British Falklands Paratroopers.

How did Matchbox get it so right so long ago? The figures themselves have a great range of command figures (four different poses) and decent proportion of rifles, Stens, Brens and Vickers HMG. It even had a mortar fro Christ sake! The only qualm I had was the inclusion of a Bazooka instead of PIAT. The figures are small, but in true dimension to the Matchbox AFV range. You could get a wargaming formation (battalion or platoon depending on the rules you use) out of one box!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Books from the Holiday

Extended Holiday News: 

During my tour of Norfolk I managed to spy out a decent second hand bookshop and obtain a few 'bargains' at the princely price of £1 each (see below):

  • Rommel Battles and Campaigns (Kenneth Macksey)
  • Guderian Panzer General (Kenneth Macksey) 
  • The Philadelphia Experiment 
  • The Smokescreen of Jutland (John Irving, one that I had seen and tried to get hold of before)
  • Part 14 of an Aircraft Encylopedia (of specific interest to the Pacific War)
I could easily have picked up a few more but sadly I had pragmatic holiday-car space considerations (couldn't leave the wife and kids behind). The only downside to these purchases is that I am operating a "one in means one out" book policy. I negotiated the exit of some 'lighter weight' non-Wargaming books.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Blue and the Grey

Rummaging about in the loft for me invariably involves moving boxes about and then this usually means opening them up out of curiosity to find out why they were so annoyingly heavy in the first place. Then yes, I get completely distracted by the contents until a querying voice from downstairs inquires what I am doing.

In the most recent foray I discovered my long lost ACW 20mm collection of Revell plastics purchased in about 1992. I acquired quite a lot of these as a model shop was selling off a lot of fire damaged stock (the unopened boxes were sooty). Approximately 20 boxes were purchased all told, 10 Union and 10 Confederate infantry, which roughly gave me 500 troops a piece.They seemed a bargain bumper at the time but alas for the majority of the soldiers the best I did was to get as far as basing them according to a rule set entitled "Stars and Bars". I still have these rules, but no I have not read or played them once in over 20 years of ownership. My ACW outings were always 15mm Fire and Fury (F&F) based and I could not summon up the stamina to consider re-basing the 20mm (and I seemed to be the only one who dared consider using this cake for ACW).

However in 2014 they (potentially) have 'come of age' and have hit the painting tray (see below, for my Conferates):

A relatively few stands (about here dozen), three figures on each, were painted to my "one-colour does it" mid 1990's uninspiring standard. (The three colour technique of  shade, base and highlight was unknown to me then). All told I have two dozen "base primed" Confederates stands (72 figures) and about a dozen Union stands (36 figures). In addition to the basic troops I also acquired Revell's "artillery" and "cavalry" but more of them in later posts. I think these Revell figures can be purchased from IMEX now.

I decided then and there in the loft that they deserved a better fate. Given a recent purchase of a "Vallejo brown dipping wash" I decided to use these troops to experiment on. As the figures were already based on long strips I could not do the full dunk, but more of a heavy uncaring large brush "wash". I decided to "wash them twice" for good measure and highlight, gloss varnish and then matte varnish. The six stands that were just at the undercoat black stage received a PVA gunking to strengthen them (I didn't fancy doing that on the painted ones).

To be continued ...