Search This Blog

Monday, 30 May 2011

The Assault Group WW2 USMC

Just finished off some more of my lead mountain of WW2 stuff.

I've got about another dozen USMC to paint to complete the platoon.

The Higgins boat- style landing craft was a plastic toy I repainted.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

28mm MoFo 1990s Delta

1990s Delta from MoFo, bought from Gripping Beast. Lovely figures and I wish they did more in the range.

Solido VAB

A French VAB 4x4 armoured vehicle picked up on eBay and given a new lease of life.

It's a generic enough shape and colour scheme to be used to approximate a number of vehicles and I'll use it as part of the relief convoy in my Black Hawk Down scenarios.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

New buildings- compound and two storey building

More cork tile buildings. A simple compound with two removeable roofs and a two storey building that can actually be used as two single storey buildings, with a choice of recessed roof or one that sits on top (not shown).

Shanty buildings

Matakishi's site has everything you need to know about making buildings out of cork tiles:

Here are my first shanty buildings built along the same lines. I used a cheap (£1.60 for 3 or 4 A4 sheets) pack of corrugated card from Hobbycraft and made my roofs removeable. I'm going to add some 'bricks' and old tyres to the roofs as many similar shacks have stuff up there to stop the roof blowing or sliding off.

Civilian vehicles

Getting civilian vehicles suitable for 28mm wargaming is surprisingly difficult.

The commonly available vehicles in 1/43 scale might JUST be ok for 'heroic' figures like Britannia, Devil Dog and TAG, but look silly next to the far smaller proportioned Empress and MoFo figures.

I've decided to treat Force on Force as a 'fun' game which means I still like things to 'look' right, but I'm not going to get too anal about exact scale and compatibilty issues. This is partly due to model availability, partly due to cost (cheap Chinese kits can be had for peanuts whereas a more accurate resin model can be very expensive), and partly because I'd never get a game going if I took too long over everything.

The answer seems to be to find cars that are made to 'fit the box'. It's also very difficult to get 'everyday' generic cars as most toys seem to be Ferraris, Porsches etc- hardly the typical Mogadishu or Baghdad traffic!

I found these models at a local toy collectors fair. Three cars and the VW van cost me £10 (US$16) total, so I was quite pleased.

New Ray vs Forces of Valor Blackhawk comparison

I bought a very nice Forces of Valor diecast Blackhawk in 1/48 scale for £50 (US$80) a few months ago.

I think there was a metal, more detailed one (the one I have) and a plastic one with less detail in the 'Bravo Team' range, which I've never actually seen and may not have been available in the UK.

The Blackhawk comes with a choice of weapon and drop tank loads and a choice of the short or extended load carrying side 'wings'. It also features a nice clear plastic 'flying' stand that is very easy to detach but supports the model securely once in place.

The Blackhawk shown with MoFo 28mm US Delta Special Forces. The model also features crew and door gunners, sliding side doors and opening engine covers, but I'd avoid fiddling about with these too much as they could get damaged with continual opening and closing.

The Forces of Valor Blackhawk is considerably bigger than the New Ray 'Sky Pilot' range Blackhawk. Either one works fine with the more 'realistic' 28mm miniatures such as MoFo or Empress, but the FoV version would be better for 'heroic' miniatures such as Devil Dog, TAG and Britannia.

A downside of the FoV model is that two of the rotor blades have to be clipped in to the rotor hub but aren't that easy to remove, and I'd be worried about breaking them. The New Ray model has a very good system where one set of blades can be pulled up on a spring loaded shaft and rotated to lie parallel with the other pair of blades, making storage far easier.

For some reason my New Ray casevac Blackhawk didn't come with a 'flying' stand but my 'standard' Blackhawk did, as did my New Ray Apache. Both New Ray stands were made of black plastic and featured the name of the chopper in white writing. I'd prefer a clear stand, but it's good to have a stand included anyway.

Overall, the FoV model is great for the sheer 'shock and awe' factor of such a large, detailed model, but at less than half the price, more robust and easier to store I'd definitely consider the New Ray models for wargaming.


Air support has arrived!

I've just received a big box of helicopters from the States that I bought through ebay.

I got hit for the customs charges (fair enough) and almost the same again for a 'handling fee' (grrr!!!), and the rear tail fin stabilisers were broken on both Blackhawks (easily mended with Araldite glue) but I was very pleased with them and think they were excellent value.

I originally just wanted two Blackhawks, but added a Chinook and an Apache when I worked out that the shipping and customs fees were going to be about same for two or four choppers.

All four birds on the LZ!

Delta hit the ground running from a Blackhawk

Mission accomplished, fighting withdrawal to the Chinook

An Apache provides close air support

Insurgent eye view of the Apache!

All the models are from the 'Sky Pilot' range made by New Ray and are listed as 1/55 to 1/60 scale- perfect for the more 'realistically' proportioned 28mm miniatures. I've used MoFo miniatures from Gripping Beast in the photos above.

I got my helicopters from Phil's Hobby Shop in Florida and highly recommend them- great response to enquiries, best shipping quote by a long way and really fast, safe delivery. The couple of minor breakages were entirely due to the New Ray packaging where the vac formed 'bubbles' supporting the tail in the box must have been putting slight upwards pressure on the tail stabilising fins.

Other great features of these choppers for wargaming include that they are quite robust, the rotor blades easily fold back along the fuselage on hinges so the model can be stored in little space, and all but the Blackhawk casevac came with a 'flying' stand'. All could be 'detailed' more for wargaming if you wanted to, but I'll probably just use them as they are straight out of the box.