Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Insurgency Begins!

First batch of Insurgents/Fedayeen completed.

These are all Elhiem figures. Painted them in a mix of civilian/military clothing. Intend to mix them in with Fedayeen Saddam figures to represent those who wore civilian clothing to resist the advance to Baghdad. Actually though there is reference to Iraqi's wearing black garb when fighting the US Army/USMC, I haven't found any actual evidence that the Fedayeen wore their Darth Vader inspired uniform when actually fighting. Or specifically describes it as being wore in combat. I have read the helmet offered no protection being made of plastic or fibreglass depending on source.

I've gone for an abstract approach to represent the shemagh/keffiyeh. Tried painting dots/stripes etc but the pattern was beyond my skill, and it looked like they were wearing polka-dot hankies on their heads. So in the end I've applied a glaze of colour over a white base then highlighted up with white (actually Deck Tan) to give a semblance of pattern. Looks better when viewed from a distance (honest!).

That's it for now more to follow....

Friday, 13 June 2014

More buildings for the OIF project

Completed two more buildings/structures for my ongoing 20mm OIF project. First up another scratchbuilt house;

Decided to build this one as a single storey dwelling since I wanted to have ago at making external stairs. The stairwell was constructed from an off cut of blue styrofoam. Had to use Milliput on the steps to even them out here and there, but otherwise a sharp scalpel did the trick to carve out the steps. Also had to add a piece of cork tile to raise it up slightly. The actual house is mounted on 3mm MDF base before added to the base proper. I forget to allow for the first base when measuring the dimensions for the stairs. Once again the roof mounted aircon unit and satellite dish are from S&S Models. Built the satellite dish correctly this time!

Next a diesel/oil depot;

A slight flight of fancy with this one. I could not find a any actual examples of such a facility in Iraq. I've imagined it to be a small oil/diesel supply station for domestic use. The design is based more on the small electrical substations you find tucked away in residential areas here in the UK.

Not much actual scratchbuilding on this one, except for the base and wall. The fencing and storage tanks are from a company called Knightwing. They are HO kits for model railways. Lots of very useful pieces, so I'm fairly confident they will be obtaining more of my money, over the coming year! The wall is made from Depron.

Now despite lots of internet searches I'm struggling to find any good sites on architecture, dwellings in Iraq in particular or the Middle East. I'm not constructing these models as true copies of any particular buildings, but the more reference material the better. So if anyone reading this post can point me the right direction I would be grateful. Literature I have helps, plus lots of photos taken by media etc are good starting points. Yet it would be nice to have a little more detail, particularly plans.

That's it for now more to follow.....       

Monday, 9 June 2014


Trumpeter 1/72 scale T-54B medium tank.

This is a nice solid kit to build. More basic than the Revell kits so slightly easier but of course that means less detail. On the flip side it does give one more incentive to convert/scratchbuild should you wish to do so.

The stowage is handmade by me. Having made plenty of sandbags out of Miliput, I thought making a couple of stowage pieces from Greenstuff would be fairly easy. Not so, I struggled a bit with the getting the size right in comparison with the machine, and the straps holding the canvas roles on were a bit fiddly to say the least. The problem was partly compounded by the fact I did not really know what I was doing. But trial and error!

The canvas cover over the gun mantlet is also made of greenstuff. Surprisingly this is not modelled on the tank but is a common site on pretty much all modern Soviet/Russian AFV designs. The Trumpeter vinyl tracks seem to a have reputation of their own. Despite reading they cannot be glued with plastic cement, contrary to the instruction sheet. I did try but no plastic cement will not work. So in the end I used super glue and that did the trick.

So the Iraqi army has another tank to defend the homeland.

That's it for know more to follow...

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Klingons on the starboard bow, starboard bow.....

So last night received a visit from a wargaming compatriot and we settled down to play a game of 'Star Trek; Attack Fleet', over tea and biscuits. This was a new acquisition for my wargaming comrade so the first game was really about getting to grip with the rules.

The basic set comes with three models, an Enterprise, a Klingon warship and a Romulan Warbird I believe. So after a brief discussion it was decided, since I have the larger forehead, I would play the Klingons, and my opponent the Federation. He does have a passing resemblance to Captain Kirk, as played by William Shatner not Chris Pine, but more Bill Shatner in his TJ Hooker days.

Stardate 2371.56

The USS Frustration, under the command Captain Alain 'Snippy' Michaels is on routine patrol along the border with the Klingon Empire. The Federation ship is patrolling that part of space known as the Fetid Brown Nebula, an unusual space anomaly. Suddenly red alert is sounding through out the ship. On the view screen appeared the IKS K'Plunk, under the command of the feared and ruthless Captain G'Kram. Let battle commence....

IKS K'Plunk

USS Frustration

Both Captains manoeuvred quickly towards each other, eager to bring weapons to bear.

The K'plunk attempts evasive manoeuvres! The Frustration locks on phasers! Both ships receive damage in this opening exchange.

Now that's up close and personal! Captain G'Kram believes in taking the fight to the enemy.  Captain 'Snippy' Michaels is clearly worried since his ship is jinking hard. But all his fancy Starfleet Academy flying does not save the Frustration. 

Read'em and weep!

The Klingon phasers tear through the enemy ships shields and hit the hull. Some fast thinking is needed by both Captains.

Cartain G'Kram performs a gut wrenching manoeuvre, to bring his warship about and onto the tail of the Federation ship, but at a price. The crew are unable to perform any other actions and with the engines screaming the Klingons will need to reduce speed to avoid catastrophe. The USS Frustration can still bite back with its rear firing weapons. 

The Federation begin to pull away. Both craft continue to trade fire with the Klingons having the better of it. Captain Michaels attempts some extreme evasive manoeuvring to avoid destruction.

But the distance between the two begins too shorten again. 

G'Kram can smell blood. Today is a good day to die!

The Frustration begins to make ground. But despite it's attempts to outrun it's opponent, the end is predictable.


For his victory Captain G'Kram is awarded the order of the Viscount!

After this we played two further games. A re-match which saw a Federation victory, G'Kram was sent to Sto-vo-kor. Then a battle between the Cardassians and Romulans. I was Romulan which resulted in another victory for me..hurrah!!

Overall this was a great little game. we managed to play three rounds in about two hours. Not only the ships but the captains and crews have different abilities. After moving you then decide actions; cloak, evasive manoevres, lock on phasers and few more. These may add to your defence or attack ability. All ships can perform one action and then one or more actions depending on crew cards. But some cards are one use only. The captain with lower initiative moves first after both players have plotted moves, but the captain with higher initiative fires first. So its Move, Actions, Fire, Bookkeeping, i.e. remove tokens if necessary. Moving is done by the use of different length move sticks, variable based on speed, turn ability for each ship. Damage is worked out by rolling attack dice, and your opponent rolling defence dice. Ships have hit points and once the total is reached the ship is destroyed.

A somewhat abridged version of the rules, but gives an idea. Its using the mechanisms I first encountered in Wings of War and I guess is used in the popular X-wing (?). (I have not played X-wing). Look forward to some further games.

Thats it for now more to follow.....