Monday, 24 November 2014

HELICOPTER STANDS (New-Ray Die-cast 28mm)

With Richard Clarke of 'Too Fat Lardies' fame, working on an adaption of his WW2 Chain of Command rules for the 'Modern Afghanistan' conflict, I have been inspired to work on some more of my collection for this period.

In future posts there will be more painted vehicles and figures for the Insurgents, British Infantry and USMC. I will be making a lot of buildings and terrain for this period in readiness for when Richard releases the new version of these rules.

Hopefully the terrain and buildings will also be suitable for my North West Frontier and Sudan collections and I have the Perry WW2 Desert War stuff in the pipeline which I can use this for.

I will start off with showing you what I have done with my helicopter stands. The helicopters are from a company called New-Ray and they are Die-cast 1/56 and 1/60 scale, which are perfect for 28mm. They are also excellent value as they come ready painted and you can pick them up on ebay brand new for about half the price of an unpainted 28mm resin/plastic tank/vehicle. The Apache I picked up for £12 with free postage and the Black Hawkes were £15 each.

The only problem with these helicopters is, being die-cast, they are quite heavy.  I have read about people making 'Flight Stands' for their model aircraft using clear plastic rods and magnets or retractable car aerials, which is all well and good if you are using a plastic model or it is of a smaller scale.

 If I was to go down this path I would have to probably make a tri-pod stand, with quite a large base if I wanted to give the chopper some height from the table surface and for it to still be stable (could you imagine the damage what one of those things would do to your lovely painted figures and terrain if you happened to knock it over.) 

You would also still have the problem of attaching your helicopter to your new made stand and in the end I decided to stick with the original stands that each model comes with. They have a lug on the top of the stand which slots into the underside of the chopper and a reasonable size base which makes it nice and stable.

The down side with the original stands are that they are black and also only gives the chopper about a four inch ground clearance. If they had been made of clear plastic, I could have used them as they were but as you will see, I have now upgraded them to blend in more with the table.

I started off by covering the base in white PVA glue and then dipping it in your favourite basing material, sand/scatter/ballast. When dry, spray the whole stand in white primer and then when dry, spray in a suitable desert colour. I used Bolt Action German Dunkelgelb spray paint which I happened to have at hand and the colour would do at a push.

I then got some of that white packaging that Perry Miniatures used to use for packing their figures in those little black boxes and dipped this very lightly into PVA glue and then again dipped very lightly into suitable basing material, scatter or sand.  When dry, give a light spray with Dunkelgelb and when dry fit this over the stand and tease it out to give it the effect of the down draft of the chopper kicking up a sand storm.

Enough of my nattering and on with the pictures.


Friday, 7 November 2014

A WW2 Train Station for Too Fat Lardies XMAS Special

This is the project that I was working on and mentioned in a previous post. As you can see, it is my attempt at making some suitable terrain to represent a railway station to be used for my WW2 gaming.

If you are interested in a step by step guide on how I went about collecting, making and painting this layout, including the buildings, track and rolling stock, then you will need to visit the 'TOO FAT LARDIES' website and purchase their XMAS SPECIAL 2014 when they bring it out.

Richard Clarke of 'Too Fat Lardies' came around my place today and we played a game of Chain of Command on this terrain using a new scenario that Richard has come up with to bolt onto the end of his West Wind Campaign that he did in his Summer Special 2014. 

I have attached a few pictures of the terrain and the game that we did today but if you want to see more pictures, then get yourself the excellent value Xmas special when it comes out. 

The Game.
Russians are from Richard's collection.  

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Blitzkrieg Platoon plus CoC Campaign

This post I was supposed to be showing you something special that I had been working on but this is now going into the 'TOO FAT LARDIES' CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 2014. I will post something on the next blog to give you the heads up on what it is about, along with a couple of pictures of the special scenario (maybe) that I will be doing with Richard Clarke of TFL who is coming around for a game on Friday.

In the meantime, I have now finished the platoon and supports for my early war Germans. They are all Warlord Miniatures, both from their metal and plastic box set.  I was going to show you these in batches as I finished them but I managed to crack on and get them all done, so here they are.

And the usual staged/action shots.

Dave Green also came around yesterday and we had another three games of Chain of Command for our campaign using the West Wind Russian Campaign that is in the Too Fat Lardies Summer Special 2014. Up to this point the Germans have won two of the three games.

This was now the fourth game and third scenario - Gardening in Metgethen.

View of the table from the German base line.
   I found this a tough nut to crack for the Germans because the terrain was very wooded apart from the main road and the village itself, so visibility in the woods was down to 6 inches and the Germans were unable to make use of their superior firepower.

The objective for the Germans was to take the Russian jump off point at the far end of the table located in the grounds of the large house.
I attempted this by sending a squad through the woods down the right flank. As this was a campaign game, both Dave and myself was being very cautious and bringing very little onto the table, neither one of us wanting to show our hand just yet. This was to be my downfall as I sent the squad unsupported towards Dave's waiting Russians. He had placed a squad  near one of his jump off points on overwatch to block my path.
I had to approach within 6 inches before we could see each other, I did this in a tactical movement to make my squad harder to hit but Dave was going to get the first shot in as he was on overwatch. This was followed by his phase and another turn of firing into my squad. Being next to his jump off point he also deployed one of his support options, a scout squad. This was at close range and their SMG's could fire with four dice a piece. My squad was suffering badly but it was now my turn to fire or so I thought. Dave interrupted my phase as he now had a full Chain of Command dice, so his scout squad was able to get another round of shooting in before I could do anything.

My squad had lost seven men and as this was a campaign game, it was going to have a big knock on effect for the next game so I had no choice but to make a voluntary withdrawal and lick my wounds.

Dave played a blinder and did everything right, whereas I went forward unsupported and learnt a valuable lesson.....or so I thought.

 Game five and still the same scenario - Gardening in Metgethen.

The winning Russians get to improve their defences and place a minefield on the main road, just in case I have chosen armour for my support option. (I didn't think the terrain was suitable for vehicles so, unknown to Dave I had chosen an MMG and Sniper team with my six support points) 

This time I tried attacking through the woods on the left flank but with painful lessons learnt, I would do this with plenty of units in support. Unfortunately this meant showing my hand to Dave by bringing on most of my units early.

        Again it was a disaster for the Germans as the supporting units in over watch were unable to assist due to the 6 inch visibility in the woods. Dave used his winning formula again, sitting back on over watch next to a jump off point and a full CoC dice available ready to interrupt and get an extra fire phase on my poor Germans.

The onus was on me to push forward, I just hoped the dice gods would be with me........they weren't and another squad was sent limping back but my platoon leader was on hand and rallied these.
I couldn't afford to back off and had to try again to push through, so my platoon leader brought up the MMG and remaining squads for one big push on this flank. I knew it was going to be costly in men but with this campaign you get one batch of replacements to try and bring your platoon back up to strength and the way things were going, I would be needing them for the next game.

 No such look, not getting the first round of shooting in was becoming a big problem and although I tried hanging on, German morale was reduced to zero and it was another game over.


GAME SIX - Scenario three - Gardening in Metgethen.

This was my last attempt at driving the Soviets back from the village otherwise it would be game and campaign over. The German player has to complete scenario six within nine games to win the campaign, so if I failed this time I would not have enough games left to achieve my goal.

With my replacements used my platoon strength is nearly back up to full strength, ( five men short plus a junior leader with reduced initiative) My morale was also going to be reduced by one.

Plan of action this time was going to be to avoid the woods and go straight down the middle. I hoped to get my MMG on over watch and Sniper in a good position and send my squads in through the park in the centre of the village. This would draw the Soviets to the edge of the woods where hopefully the German firepower would hopefully come into play.

I managed to get the MMG in place and sent one of my squads on the right flank running across the village square towards the park. Unfortunately the dice roll was not good and they were unable to reach the cover of the wall on the other side. Dave brought his Soviets to the edge of the woods and they ripped into my squad causing many casualties once again.

I had a full CoC dice and used this to move a jump off point forward. I was then able to position my sniper near the entrance to the park to cover my squads as the enemy appeared on the edge of the woods. I then sent a squad across the road from on my left flank but again they were cut down before reaching safety.
Things were really getting bad now and my last hope of staying in the campaign was to send my MMG squad straight up the middle and through the park. If I could reach his jump off point I may still pull this off......... No such luck, the last of my hopes dashed over the village square.

A great and fun campaign, even if I didn't make it to the end. It certainly makes you think and play your games differently to how you play one off type games. Something I will hopefully be doing a lot more of in future.