Friday, 25 July 2014

Modern - USMC CAAT Team

My Peter Pig order arrived the other day.  I wanted a mix to give me the most flexibility. PP ranges always have little touches which show some thought has gone into the models and the ranges.  These are no different. You can order the HMMWV with any one of three weapon options: 40mm AGL, TOW, M2 HB. LMG.  you can also order separate weapons either as complete packs or using their special ordering service.  I ordered 2 TOW and 2 Mk19 AGL and a separate pack of the M2. This should give a reasonable mix to represent the USMC CAAT from 2003.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are at least two rear compartment options as well which make mixing the unit up even better.  I also found that in the M2 pack as a closed hatch as well as the four crew mounts.  The M2 packs and the Mk19 crew also have separate heads which really lets you play around with the look of the unit.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Modern - MOPP Suits

One of my USMC squads will be in MOPP suits. The ones from Peter Pig are modelled in normal fatigues, but it did nt take much effort with two blobs of green stuff to add a hood and a respirator haversack on the left leg.  painting BDU isn't something I have done in a while and I forgot the sequencing hence these look to brown. Next ones will be done the right way around: Yellow Brown, Beige Brown, Green then Black squiggles

Modern - USMC in Iraq 2003 - M1A1s

Following up from some cracking modern games the other weekend, I decided to sort out my USMC forces. I have the rough equivalent of a platoon and to differentiate between squads, one is in desert camo with coyote brown web gear; one is in desert camo with green/BDU web gear and body armour and the last squad will be in MOPP gear with desert helmet cover and boots.

To support the platoon, which is mechanised in AAV-7P Amtracks I am adding a CAAT section and a pair of M1A1 Abrams.

I didn't fancy metal M1A1s as they do take a while to clean up and I would still want to add detail to them. So, I picked up a couple of the Zvezda hot wars kits.  These are similar to their art of tactic range for WW2 but are in hard plastic. There has been speculation that the M1A1 kit was sent for tooling too early and the model does have inconsistent levels of detail as you can see below. The turret is very basic while the hull has some good detail but then doesn't have any detail on the side skirts.

I added a M2 and an M240 from Peter Pig's M113 kit and added a BF M113 cupola. Out of scale but it gave me something to mount the M2 on without scratch building the whole mount and I had two left over.

I then added the Combat ID panels and the frame on the turret from Plastruct rod, before drilling out the antenna mounts.

 I also separated the track pads.

I now base all my vehicles so spent Saturday morning texturing and painting 6 bases for the Amtracks as well as the Abrams.

All the vehicles were mounted in one session and then left to dry.

Need to add some stowage and generally make these untidy plus an odd bit of touch up is still needed.

Friday, 11 July 2014

1/600th Aircraft - US Navy F-4s - Part 3

Tailcodes and artwork are going to be the biggest time consumer on this project.  A quick check through the books confirmed this as the only straightforward tail codes are for VF-114 on the Kitty Hawk with a simple NH scheme and then VF-103 and VF-31 on the Saratoga with AC tail codes.  

This is what the end state will hopefully look like once I add it to the model, noting that I can't print white and the yellow and red require white to achieve the colour, so this might have to be a two or three stage decal job with the arrow first on a white background, then paint the rest of the stabilizer in Gull Gray and then add the AC codes.  I have a similar problem with the VF-31 decal (and in fact any of them that need a bright colour :)  )

1/600th Aircraft - USN MiG Killers - Part 2

The text and numbers for all the aircraft has been designed which didn't take too long.  Just playing around with the actual fit of decals vs correct sizes as the TD model detail is exaggerated (as is anything at this scale).  Paul over at TD very kindly sent me the new air frames over this morning so I now have all the metal needed and might spend an hour or so this afternoon cleaning up the mould lines etc.

This is the current state of progress

This is the scaling that I have managed to get to with the decals and gives a rough approximation of the sizes I am using.  I have snap to grid on so I couldn't quite get the guides to match up to the font so the NAVY 6.0 might be an inch either way (at this scale).

I am out for dinner tonight and have family commitments over the weekend so nothing expected before sunday night, but MIGHT get a test print run off in draft just to check I haven't cocked anything up.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

1/600th Aircraft - USN F-4 Phantom Mig Killer project.

It has been a while since I did any work on USN aircraft and a spare hour or two over last weekend gave me time to dust off some bare metal and get them undercoated.  Normally I concentrate on one aircraft at a time but that is taking a lot of time so I thought I would batch process the next ones up to try and see if I could produce all the F-4 Phantom Mig Killers from the two Osprey books

Current situation on aircraft as of today (9th July 2014) means that I need 16 air frames to start the project keeping some of the old models (10 B models and 6 Js) which is 6 packs of models, and 20 if I keep the old models and replace them with new metal (11 B Models and 9 Js) which is 7 packs .  The beauty of 1/600th aircraft means that it isn't too expensive :) and I can always find a use for the spare aircraft.....

Old and new scheme for those interested in the differences

Couple of shots of the ones in the new scheme.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Modern - Modelling - Smoke

Force on Force allows the use of smoke for cover as do a number of other rule sets and I also needed purple smoke for some WW2 games as markers so tried out a variant of the the "foam bushes stuck on with glue" idea.  Yep, Foam bushes stuck on with glue and then spray painted.  Base sizes are 20mm x 60mm which fits in with my basing scheme.

Two in a flourescent yellow/green which needs to be toned down a bit, but I am probably not going to bother.

And, the purple one.

I have a couple more in progress for Red, Orange and Green as a random mix of colours

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Modern - DOTR - Eight Souls On Board - Background and setting up.

After looking around the model shop I picked up a couple of MH-60 Blackhawks in 1/100th scale from Italeri.  Diecast lower fuselage and plastic body and uppers.  This meant it was relatively straightforward to carve out the windows and doors to turn two of these models into MH-60 for a Blackhawk down based scenario.

The DOTR book from Ambush Alley Games has a range of scenarios and I fancied trying out my new models on the Super Six One rescue mission which in the book is title "Eight Souls On Board", which is a reference to the crew of Super 61.

I didn't replicate the actual crash but made a generic objective or terrain piece up using one the helicopters.

I did some reading and couldn't quite match the scenario as written with events recorded and depicted in the film "Blackhawk Down".  Film events I could ignore as you have to put up with a lot of hollywood, however there were still some things that I fancied tinkering with.

Super Six Eight is the CSAR helicopter.  The scenario has 15 guys in the Helo fast roping in.  As far as I can tell this is a bit overboard as in reality the ground element arrived at about the same time.  The narrative of the battle (plus the film :) ) indicates a smaller CSAR team based around the two PJs and the CCT with some Delta support (not sure it needs five) and a Ranger security element.  Add to this Lt DiTomasso's team plus a Little bird which dropped to pick up Sgt Busch and it is a lot and would probably overwhelm the defenders (unless the VPs are amended)

So I have changed the scenario (which my opponent doesn't know yet and he won't read this until later :)  )

I am changing it to have:
  • Super Six One on the table with Sgt Busch defending.
  • CSAR Bird will be 2 x PJ, 1 x CCT, 4 x Delta Operators and a Single Ranger team without the M60 addition to Fast Rope in as the game progresses. I don't fancy letting everyone disembark in one turn.  In real life Super Six Eight is also hit by RPG fire as it dropped off its team, so I fancy dropping that in on my opponent as well ;)
  • Ranger 1 will be a Ranger fire team from one edge of the board which will be Lt DiTomasso's team plus a M60.
  • Ranger 2 will be a second Ranger fire team from the same edge but not closer than 12" or something along those lines to the other unit.  This team will arrive after Ranger 1 but not too sure how long after.
For the CSAR team I didn't have any "correct" figures so used a couple of USMC with headswaps as stand ins.  They will do as a first attempt :)

Simple swap using a WW2 Fallschirmjager helmet from Peter Pig Range 8.  I then used a small drill to make an indentation in the top of the helmets (on visible on the PJs)

And then added goggles and knee pads using greenstuff.  Painted them in "Coffee Stain" or DCU camo and painted the web gear and boots in VJ Black Grey.

The USMC Medic set is pressed into service as the medics.  I haven't done the CCT yet though

Last up is to base Super Six Eight as a fast rope bird.

Need to make the base a little bit bigger as it doesn't take much to make it tip over.

Terrain is my standard AA terrain set