Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Nightfighter - Next Steps

With the progress on the core elements of Nightfighter progressing reasonable well it would be time to add a couple more aircraft into the painting mix

  • ISA282 Grumman F6F Hellcat.  Another pack where I want two models out of the six.  The remaining four will join the Pacifc.
  • ISA261 F4U1 Corsair.  From the six in the pack I want two to have a radome added to the Starboard wing for the radar housing.  The rest.....Pacific it is then.
  • ISA248 Curtiss Tomahawk.  I am tempted to branch into a bit of Pacific warfare if not these will go to the Mediterranean.
  • ISA260A P-38J.  For some reason I ordered these on a whim.  They are the late war variant but in 1/600th I can probably get away with some artistic licence.  Not sure why but I do like aircraft with twin booms.
  • ISA827 F7F Tigercat. Another pack where I only want one model.  The rest will go to the spares box unfortunately.
  • ISA144 He111H-3.  Seems a pity to use these as straight black decoys.  As I have some unloved Do17 which could do to stand in for markers, I think these will go to the standard forces rather than Nighfighter games.
  • ISA141a Me109G. From the pack of 6 I want 2 for Nightfighter.  The other four will join my standard 1/600th Luftwaffe Units.
More of Doms Decals on order as well:
  • 600-US-2 which should be the 1942 Star in a Blue Circle only for early US aircraft including the P-70A.
  • 600-PO-1 Polish Markings.  I want these to go on the Beaufighter as well as some other uses possibly on the wellingtons.
  • 300-GE-10b “Other” Markings in pure white for Nightfighters
I am away working for a couple of days so lets hope the postman has these sat waiting when I get home.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Nightfighter - AAR - Scenario 4j Black Widow

This is probably a good introductory scenario on how to use Search Radar and AI in harmony.  The Strength is that it is easy to win and plays very quickly.  The downside is that with only one G4M there is little the umpire can do against the SCR-720A radar on the P-61.  I would play this with 3 G4M in the future and have the Victory set at shooting down all 3 aircraft which bumps up the difficulty somewhat.  But the P-61 is awesome in this scenario Speed of 5 and an 8 Hex range search radar with a 180 degree search arc.

I suppose the other way of playing this one would be to take the later MEW scenario and replace the MEW with the SCR-720.  Still needs to be lots of targets to make the P-61 work hard to get as many kills as possible.  The other alternative would be to set a turn limit.

Game markers needed.  I didn't need the track markers which I tend to use to remind me where I found or think things are.

The SCR-720 Radar Search indicates the target is off to the left

In front or slightly to the left

Contact on Turn 3

The Range 8 AI confirms the presence of "something" which as I know there is only one bomber and it is a G4M that will be it then.

Speed 5 is unbeatable and the P-61 is brought round 180 degrees to maintain the AI Fix.  The SCR-720 just keeps the contact confirmed.  Not really much use for it as I am not going to lose the G4M with the AI

The game being set in the Pacific resulted in Good visibility.  So closed to one hex to visual ID the target and set up the firing solution

5D6 rolled and the Betty appears on a 4.

Maintain the Tally and move in to engage.  No response from the Betty and a 2D6 roll of 11 with +5 for Firepower gives me enough for 4 hits which is enough to splash the Betty.

Post Kill, Pilot was a bit rash and nearly collided with the debris.  A roll of 3 however enabled a split S and away to resume the patrol.

Nightfighter - No.307 (Polish) Sqn RAF Beaufighter Mk IF

I need two Beaufighters Mk IF for Nightfighter.  The game calls for them to come from 25 Sqn or the Fighter Interception Unit.  I couldn't find anything I liked so in the end went for N from No.307 Sqn RAF which was a polish unit.

A simple black scheme for this one.  I am looking at one more Beaufighter in a more adventurous scheme probably desert plus a USAAF one based in Corsica.

Decals are from Doms Decals with the Aircraft codes using the LR-100 pack from i-94 Enterprises. 

Nightfighter - Simple Conversion Do217J-2

Variant 4G for the Himmelbett has II./NJG2 aircraft up against No.77 Sqn RAF.  I couldn't find a Do217 Nightfighter so had to look at a simple mod.

Using two Tumbling Dice models (A-6 Intruder and Do217) I looked at a quick chop shop job to add the solid nose to make a J-2 variant.

  • I took the TD A-6 Intruder and cut the nose off just forward of the canopy. 

  • I have loads of these and the TER with bombs can be recycled onto the A-7 Corsairs for another project.
  • The Do217 had the same treatment removing the plexiglass nose.
  • Drilled a hole into both parts and inserted a piece of brass rod to give the mod some strength.
  • Liberal application of superglue
  • Liquid GW Greenstuff over the join
  • WAIT
  • Once dry then sand down the join.
  • Painted Black
  • Highlighted with 3:1 Black/Black Grey Mix
  • Second highligh with a 2:1 Black/Black Grey Mix
  • Gloss varnish
  • WAIT
I could only find one reference to a II./NJG aircraft and that had an all over black scheme.  No Callsign or ID letters were added due to the black scheme. 
  • National Insignia and other markings applied.
  • Gloss Varnish over the decals
  • WAIT
  • Dullcote to finish

Simple scheme on a simple aircraft.  I only need one of these so don't mind putting the extra little effort in.  I have a couple of Ju88 which need similar treatment to come so have learnt some lessons.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Nightfighter - Scenario 3 - Wellington

With the new order from Dom came 4 Wellington Bombers for use in Scenario 3.  Following my convention for Painted/Black models these will be 1/3.  The painted one is marked up for as an aircraft of No.301 (Pomeranian) Squadron RAF.

I didn't have enough room to get MG for the Squadron in due to the TD detail but the i-94 enterprise LR-100 letters are a good enough match for my use.

Nightfighter - Aircraft Plan (Pt2)

Using the notation for Fully Paint/Black Only, this is now the current painting list in no particular order that I need to work though.  Yellow indicates it is completed.  Orange that I have made a start and am at least 50% of the way through.

1/5 He177A Grief
2/0 He219
1/0 Ta-154A
1/0 Me262B-1a
1/1 V1
1/3 He111
1/5 Ju88A
1/0 Ju88C-2
3/0 Ju88C-6
2/0 Ju88G
1/0 Ju88G-1
1/0 Do215B-5
1/0 Me110C-4
2/0 Me110F-4
1/0 Me110G-4
1/1 Do217
1/0 Do217J-2
2/0 Me109G-6
2/0 Fw190A-5
2/5 G4M Betty
1/0 J1N1 Gekko
1/1 Frances
1/0 Ki-45 Toryu
2/0 F4U-2
2/0 F6F-3E
1/0 F7F-3N
1/0 P-61A Black Widow
1/0 P-70A Havoc
1/3 B-29A
3/3 Halifax
5/9 Lancaster Mk III
1/3 Wellington Mk Ic
1/3 Stirling
2/2 Mosquito NF.XIX
1/0 Mosquito NF.XIII
1/0 Mosquito NF.II
1/0 Beaufighter Mk IF
1/0 Beaufighter Mk VIF (RAF)
1/0 Defiant NF Mk II

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Nightfighter - Shiny arrives

The postman dropped off a box this morning while I was working from home ;)

The Type B roundels and the Hinomaru with white borders have been eagerly awaited.  The Betty and Nick have just had them added and I have just done a Stirling, Lancaster and a pair of Halifax bombers.  

Just back from dullcote

The Betty, which is an O8 Model

The Stirling with A1 Roundels on the Fuselage


 The Halifax Mk III

The Dragon Slayer (Ki-45)

Nightfighter - Aircraft plan

So with this lot arriving this morning

I need to recast what needs doing.  There is a lot of spare metal in these packs which isn't going to see the light of day and I need to decide what to do.

Fourteen Packs:
  • 2 x V1 Doodlebugs.  Raiden models leftovers kindly provided by Dom.  Only need one but having the spare will be useful.
  • 4 x Vickers Wellingtons of which I will need all four models for Scenario 3.
  • 2 x Do217 Bombers
  • 1 x Do217J-2 Nightfighter (came from the Do217 pack and in the process of changing the nose)
  • 3 x Do17z.  I need one to use as a Do17z-10 NF the other two will go off and join by BOB forces
  • 4 x Stirlings.  I have the four I need for Scenario 3a1.  These will be needed for some of the Campaign missions.
  • 2 x G4M Betty.  I have eight of these already.  These two new ones will be used as Flare Droppers for the Task Force Scenario.
  • 4 x Lancasters. These will be needed for some of the Campaign missions.
  • 4 x Halifax MkIII.  These will be needed for some of the Campaign missions.
  • 4 x Ju88. These will be converted into Nightfighter variants.  C-2, C-6, G-1 and G-6.
  • 4 x Me110.  These will be converted into Nightfighter variants with anything left over going back to BOB (unlikely).
To go with the existing collection:
  • 2 x Stirlings
  • 4 x Lancasters
  • 4 x Halifax's
  • 3 x He111
  • 3 x B-29A
  • 1 x Me110C-2
  • 1 x He219
  • 1 x Ta154
  • 1 x Mosquito NF.XIX
  • 1 x Mosquito NF/Intruder
  • 1 x Beaufighter (European)
  • 1 x Beaufighter (Malta/Western Desert)
  • 3 x P-61 Black Widows
  • 1 x P-70A Havoc
  • 1 x Ki-45 Nick
  • 8 x G4M Betty
  • 1 x Ju88C-2 Bomber

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Nightfighter - AAR - Scenario 7 (Serrate)

We played Scenario 7 tonight which took about 20 minutes.  It pits a single RAF Mosquito NF.II up against 28 Royal Canadian Air Force Halifax Bombers and 2 Luftwaffe Ju88C-6.

This isn't a standard scenario as the Umpire controls both the Luftwaffe and the Bombers.  The RAF job is to determine out of the 30 aircraft possibly on the table which ones are the Nightfighters and shoot one of them down.  The Scenario is rated as Normal which means it is relatively straightforward.

In the programmed learning this one introduces Serrate as a Search Radar, which behaves in exactly the same manner as all other search radars, the exception being that it can only be placed in the Wide Arc rather than anywhere on the board.  The Mosquito is also equipped with AI Radar with a range of two hexes.

There is a special rule in the scenario which affects Tallying.  On a tally a second D6 is rolled on a 5+ you cannot differentiate between German/RCAF so you can engage but you take the risk.  The RAF automatically lose if they shoot down a Halifax by mistake.

The RCAF also treat the Mosquito as hostile!

I elected to enter on Turn 3.  The Umpire had entered the first Ju88 on Turn 2 (it has to enter by Turn 6).  My idea was to scan ahead (and yes the Umpire can create false contacts if no Lichtenstein equipped aircraft is on the table).  Keep my speed down and do some S turns before confirming up the location of first JU.

Things went well and I started picking up serrate indications off to the RHS of the board.  The umpire had selected Red entry hexes and I had started in Column 10.

As I had played Scenario 10 a few days ago I tried to emulate the Intruder "Serrate Behaviour" which sees gradual side slips and increasing speed to firm up.  This seemed to work well and but I kept at speed 3 for a while.

I finally get into a postion where I have an AI fix and a Serrate indication so I placed a NF Marker on the table.

Next turn I accelerated and moved the Serrate counter into my hex to firm up the contact.  Ooops, that is a Halifax on my screen the NF must be just in front of it (or slight off to the RHS).  The Serrate didn't get a contact and showed the emissions still ahead of me.  I changed the fix marker to a Halifax.

Dropping the fix means that the Umpire can move the Bomber to add to the Fog Of War, which he obligingly did when removing it from the playing surface.  I had spent two turns on this contact and the end of the table was rapidly approaching.

As I only had a NF.II the speed is 4* and luckily this turn I could move 5.  Which I did.  Serrate contact and AI Fix directly ahead.

The Mosquito has a FP of 5 which put paid to the Ju88.  The umpire showed my the master map with 22 Halifax Bombers present and the location of the Second Ju88 off to the side.

 Again lucky (and as we still talk through options sometimes it is easy to guess the intention of the umpire (he is only 12!)

Game markers used.

The Luftwaffe AI Fix marker is an old Do-17.  The Ju88 is in BOB livery until my order from Dom arrives to replace with a dedicated NF bird. 

The Mosquito NF.II (really a XIX) in intruder scheme.  Decals by Dom

The Halifax Fix markers. The Halifax has C1 fuselage roundels and Flashes from Dom.  I haven't put the Type B upper roundels on yet.  They are in the same order from Dom as some new aircraft.   Once they are on then a dullcote spray to seal everything in

Good enjoyable game with plenty of tension.  I am quite happy with only having one or two aircraft on the table with the reduced Hex size.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Nightfighter - Terrain Board (Pt 2)

With a quick base coat and some markers made up I played Scenario 3 again.

The Ju88C-2 looking Lonely.  The tiles have been given a quick base coat and then the edge of the searchlight zones have been given a purple dot to enable me to differentiate between them

Early maneuvering againts what I believe are two Wellingtons.  Turned out to be a bit of a bluff by the Umpire as no aircraft had actually entered the area

The Ju88 is prosecuting a contact towards the RHS of the board

 The Searchlight zone indicates a bomber overhead but no contact and I am now risking the Nightfighter by entering a Flak Zone. 

Probably got these the wrong way round.  I finally managed to get a tally on one aircraft and then ran out of space again.  The Blue works fine as a base coat and will gradually have more detail added.  

The next couple of tiles are going to have a Pacific Island or two on them for the Rabaul, Guadalcanal, Saipan and Home Islands scenarios.  I want two with the Searchlight zone and Task Forces painted on as well for some variety.

I have change the colours of the markers to a delicate pink and have all the Radar Counters and Sweep markers made up (I need to do another four sweep markers for the MEW).

Track Counters for plotting fleeting contacts have been started but I have run out of 25mm squares so need a load more from Minibits.

Nightfighter - P-61 Black Widows (Pt 2)

The three Black Widows from Part 1 have been finished as far as I am going.  They have had some simple schemes applied, varnished and given a dusting of dullcote where appropriate.

Invasion Stripes for the 422nd NFS Aircraft I don't normally decal the undersides of my aircraft which doesn't sit with some

National Insignia from Dom

 The Pacific Birds in all their gloss glory

More of Dom's goodness applied