Monday 25 May 2020

Corona Virus Project - 2 Series USN a-e: Finally Completed

OK so the better part of the US Pacific Fleet is ready to field (see below, a lot of varnished [Satin Varnish] USN DD and a few more CA and CL, CL/AA): 

Ready for Coral Sea, Guadalcanal and Midway. Just a case of doing the same for the IJN forces!

Sunday 24 May 2020

Corona Virus Project 2e : USN Guadalcanal CA/LC-AAs

Some more 'seemingly' random USN cruisers - which almost finishes off my early war US naval fleet. There is a purpose behind this motley (but much loved) collection as it allows the naval order of battles for USN at Guadalcanal to be marked as complete (see below, nine ships, three more Atlanta's [San Diego, Juneau, San Juan], a Brooklyn and the Iron Bottom Sound trio of USS Chicago, USS Quincy and USS San Francisco - also the really early war USS Houston and USS Marblehead):   

OK with this lot complete it should be across to the IJN (although I do have three remaining pre-war heavy cruisers to paint up and there is the small question of US Battleships which [barring the USS Washington and USS South Dakota I have already painted up] will be needed for the later Pacific War battles) starting with the Coral Sea, to Guadalcanal and then to the (huge) Midway "Invasion Force"!

Saturday 23 May 2020

GW Tomb Banshee "Washed"

Like the Moria Troll this little begger got my attention (see below, tip don't hang around the graveyards at night): 

The Vallejo Brown Wash is but the first step in the painting process

Tuesday 19 May 2020

Moria Troll "Washed"

Again a beastie that stares at me from the library shelf, strategically placed in line-of-sight. Taunted I first primed it in Airfix Grey Acrylic Primer then Vallejo Washed him in Sepia Brown (see below, he looks and angry chap): 

Anybody seen a hobbit? (see below, that is the spear aimed as in the first film at Frodo Baggins): 

Good first step. Watch this space for the next ;)

Sunday 17 May 2020

28mm KV1 (or KV2) - "The People's Heavy Tank"

I put specific boxes on my "computer desk" eye-line to taunt me into "reminding me they are still here". The Warlord Games KV1/2 pack is a case in point. I have already assembled (but not yet painted the infantry) but the beast of a tank remains. On the back of "how easy it was to put together" the Sherman V I though, "Well it's time!"  (see below, I particularly like the strident pose of the tank commander, trucking no doubt in the defeat of fascism): 

The KV1 has an ugly sister, the quite frankly ridiculously looking "land battleship turret" of the KV-2. The Mannerheim Line bunker buster for the Russo-Finnish war. Just fire facing a frontal target or god knows what will happen (see below, freakish and frightening at the same time): 

I still have to get a bog standard T-34 in this scale, early war preferably - although there is always a place in my heart for the T34-85 post Kursk! 

Friday 15 May 2020

Corona Virus Project 2c Update: USN DDs - Gearing Class

The final two USN destroyers is this batch, the Gearing Class (see below, actually they were much more late war destroyers and are subbing in for the big Porter Class I don't [yet] have): 

Thirty of thirty done, all they need now is that satin varnish!

Thursday 14 May 2020

Corona Virus Project 2c Update: USN DDs - Fletcher Class

Probably the famous class of American WWII DDs the indomitable Fletcher Class (see below, PS: thanks to the mega bucket Battle of Leyte Gulf Navwar Battle Pack I have another forty eight of these chaps to paint): 

This makes twenty eight of of thirty, so, so close to finishing this one!

Wednesday 13 May 2020

Corona Virus Project 2c Update: USN DDs - Gridley Class

Another eight USN DDs for the box, this time Gridleys (see below, and in the background a pair each of Fletchers and Gearing in WIP): 

Twenty six out of thirty .. the project should soon be coming to a close!

Tuesday 12 May 2020

Corona Virus Project 2c Update: USN DDs - Livermore Class

A block of USN Livermore DDs (see below, I an getting to quite enjoy painting the sea, for some reason I am finding it both soothing and satisfying): 

A closer look (see below, at this scale the detail is much more suggestive than specific (see below, I have not opted for distinctive camouflage patterns but more getting wargaming counters on the table - although I was relieved to get the US CVs decks kind of right): 

Eighteen of thirty and counting!

Sunday 10 May 2020

Corona Virus Project 2c Update: USN DDs - Mahan Class

Next up six Mahan Class DDs (see below, scittering across the Pacific on the lookout for the IJN): 

Now ten of thirty!

Saturday 9 May 2020

Corona Virus Project 2c Update: USN DDs - Farragut Class

The first four USN DDs have been put through their paces on the painting tray. These are four Farragut class (pre-war) destroyers (see below, all done and dusted bar a satin varnish which everyone will get at the end of the USN Destroyers project)

Four done, twenty six more to come, next class Mahan DD!

Friday 8 May 2020

VE Day Celebration: British Sherman V in 28mm

The Warlord Games British Sherman V (I originally bought it as armour support for my US infantry only to find out it was "the wrong type" [not used at all by the US] so I decided rather than "take it back" I had to go get some British Infantry to make as well - that is a current WIP project) has been luring on the shelf for far,far too long. Being bigger than my normal 20mm area of expertise, I suspected it was going to be a harder to make .. flashbacks to those 20mm Airfix Shermans of my youth perhaps .. but no it is a perfect low fuss wargame build (I was fearful of the Tamiya 1/35 fine scale modeller syndrome to be honest too). It reminds me of a PSC style build and only after I completed it did I notice the Italeri association (see below, the kit as per build instructions, I went for the basic Sherman not the Cullen "bocage strimmer" that could be useful in Chain of Command): 

Looking long and hard at the box art and some internet photographs (of a wargaming nature), plus several conversations with fellow 28mm wargaming Chain of Command friends who know far more about British Armour of WWII it was decided that the .50 calibre turret mounted HMG had to go. The clincher for me was more for aesthetics (using the HMG seemed ergonomically awkward - scenes from the battle of Caratan in Band of Brothers showed the, albeit US tank commander, standing on the rear engine deck firing the .50 cal HMG) and practicalities of painting the commander figure. There were  (see below, the Sherman V, minus the HMG-AA, but with ease of access to the tank commander for the paint brush): 

My eye now falls on the KV1 Russian tank which could come in useful at the up and coming (post-lockdown) restart of the Battle for Stalingrad Chain of Command campaign. 

Tuesday 5 May 2020

Lego Harry Potter Game from the Loft

Rummaging around in the loft and I came across this little gem I had completely forgotten about. I think I originally just got it from a charity shop as a cheap source of Lego pieces and forgot about it, saving it for a rainy day or rather a Corona-virus Lock-down! First of all it has a nice Harry Potter Hogwarts feel to it but secondly it has an innovative playing surface, completely smooth and shiny on one side which allows flat Lego pieces to slide around on it as the "maze" changes. In this way it reminds me of one of my favourite kids games Labyrinth! (see below, complete with original "Harry Potter game box-lid"): 

A close up of the game itself, there are sixteen sliding pieces contained within the walls of Hogwarts. Four teams compete to grab four items and make it back home to win (see below, the only hassle I see  are the relatively fiddly pieces to a cumbersome fat-fingered adult hand):  

It literally is another "game in a box" almost like Bob Cordery's 'Portable Wargame in a Pizza Box' game

Monday 4 May 2020

10mm Pendrakon Western Desert Italians Storage

Finally with several layers of PVA'ed breakfast cereal cardboard reinforcing the bottom of the empty chocolate box the Italians have a secure home (for storage purposes at least, their lifespan on a wargames table against the Matildas of the 8th Army may be open to conjecture). Internally the ever useful coffee stirrers garnered from coffee establishments when they were open become excellent dividers (see below, infantry divided from armour and supports and subdivided into:  various types of armour - infantry v infantry support - anti-tank assets, recon and HQ): 

Altogether a nice excuse to treat the family to chocolates and then put the "upgraded firm bottomed" box to good use.

Sunday 3 May 2020

Corona Virus Project 3: The Knowles Collection of 28mm is started

Inspired by the milk bottle tops as 28mm figure holders I super-glued some of the Eric Knowles 28mm Malburian collection I picked up. These were a packet of loose spares so are perfect for a starting project (see below, the only question is - Red, White, Blue or even Green Coats?):

This will be a slow parallel burner of a project that I intend to enjoy.

Welcome Bankinsta Glad You Popped By!

Just a note to welcome an old friend from my London Exiles Wargaming Days .. hello Bankinista glad you joined my followers I hope you and your loved ones are doing well!

Stay safe!

Saturday 2 May 2020

Strange Habits in Strange Times: The Corona Virus Diaries (Continued)

I talked to a fellow blogger (naming no names but it was Renko) about the passage of time in the Corona Virus lock-down in the UK. Measurements of days seem rather meaningless, particularly when working from home as the days blur into "one after the other". Measurements of packets of cereal, butter and I kid you not the level of cinnamon in a jar seem more tangible, as they are linked to specific events such as when you next have to do the awful "Supermarket Run". I also seem to have taken to hoarding things that have wargaming uses .. read on!

Butter Containers (see below, we seem as a family of five to go through a lot of butter, the upside being they are perfect for storing Chain of Command 28mm Squad - the lot below should see me package up the British Infantry Platoon, repackage my 8th Army from clumsier circular Fat-Free yogurt pots and make a good start on the US Infantry and Airborne):

Plastic Screw-Lid Milk Bottle Tops (see below, perfect for holding a 28mm [particularly metal Malburian figure] in place while painting it, am actively experimenting whether superglue, Evo-Stick or PVA works best):

Cardboard Thin Chocolate Boxes (see below, as first sight they are the perfect packaging solution for 6mm and 10mm figures, but once striped of their plastic inserts they becomes a bit "wobbly, so cutting up cereal boxes to the right size to fit as inserts - slapping on some PVA glue - weighing down with tins of Baked Beans and heavy wargaming reference books atop - leaving overnight to dry is the skills I learned from my teenage years spent watching episodes of Blue Peter):

Thus ends this week's episode of "Wargaming Blue Peter Style!" And before you ask, of course "Here's one I did earlier ... "

Friday 1 May 2020

Corona Virus Project 2c - WIP: USN Midway Destroyers (DD)

Onto the painting tray, flash metal trimmed away, based on hard cardboard and sea textured with the spreading of a DIY flexible sealant and the US Destroyer is well under way (see below, a flotilla of thirty "boats" should see all my early war needs fulfilled, and courtesy of the "Navwar Leyte Gulf party pack" I bought way back when - I have another fifty mid-late war Fletcher class DDs to add at some point in the future):

It is also nice when a 'sensible storage solution' comes along as the same time as a collection takes shape. The BAs, BBs, CVs, CVLs, CVEs, CAs, CLs and CL-AAs of the USN pacific Fleet have a variety of small plastic boxes to fit into, but I was struggling for something for the DDs, things were just not the "right size". Then a magazine shipping package" (akin to  a very thin pizza box) I had kept for no better reason than I thought "one day it might be useful", on closer inspection was "just what I needed" for the destroyer flotillas' home (see below, TF8, TF16, TF17 destroyer contingents - along with four WWI era four-stackers I needed for the Battle of the Java Sea I did a while back):

Following the basing and texturing, the metal was covered in Airfix Gray Acrylic Primer (01) and the sea base around the ships received the same ad-hoc mixture of Anita's Acrylics as the previoys projects (see below - Navy Blue, Jungle Green and Midnight Blue in approximate thirds - forming the dark sea-base):

The last stage of the "shade coat priming" is to give the destroyers a Vallejo "Black" Wash all over (see below, the darkness of the resulting shadows makes the painting of the grey base and subsequent highlighting stage much easier):

Next stage: Grey hulls-superstructure and blue decks.