woensdag 27 juli 2011

Julius Fučík - WIP 3

Aft superstructure with the exhausts done, and cut out the barges.
Need to do the hoists on the stern, some scribing on the barges and the anchor reels on the bow. I've been looking at my smallest decals but I don't think I can get DANUBE - SEA LINE on them properly, unless you want to see half her hull plastered with em. Maybe I'll just do SEA LINE or DANUBE, or nothing at all. We'll see.

maandag 25 juli 2011

Julius Fučík - WIP 2

A bit more work on the Fučík.

Most of the superstructure is done, decided not to scribe in the detail of the rails for the barges but did do the lift system in the stern. All left now is some minor detailing, maybe a barge or 2 (or 3) and the exhausts, though I think those will get a bit oversized to make sure it all works the way I want to, pinning my thinnest wire in 1mm plasticcard has a rather high failure rate so I'll go with 1.5mm for that part of the superstructure. I might even get her done for paint this week (but more likely I'll be distracted again as usual)

woensdag 20 juli 2011

Julius Fučík - WIP 1

The JULIUS FUCIK was rolling ten degrees with a beam sea. It made life hard on the
soldiers, Captain Kherov noted, but they were doing well for landsmen. His own
crewmen were dangling over the sides with sprayguns, painting over the ship’s
Interlighter markings, preparatory to replacing them with the Lykes Lines emblem. The
soldiers were cutting away parts of the superstructure to conform with the silhouette of
the Doctor Lykes, a U.S.-flag Seabee carrier remarkably similar to the Fucik. The Soviet
ship had been built years before in Finland’s Valmet yard from plans purchased in
America. Already the elevator winch area aft had been painted completely black to match
the American line’s house colors, and a black diamond had been painted on both sides of
the superstructure. Gangs of men were changing the shape and colors of the two funnels
with prefabricated parts. The hardest job remaining was the paintwork on the hull. The
Interlighter markings were made of twentyfoot letters. Replacing them called for the use
of canvas templates, and the lettering had to be neat and exact. Worst of all, there was
no way to check the workmanship short of launching a ship’s boat, something he had
neither the time nor the inclination to do.
"How long, Comrade Captain?"
"Four hours at least. The work goes well." Kherov couldn’t hide his concern. Here they
were, mid-Atlantic, far from the usual sea lanes, but there was no telling-
"And if we are spotted by an American aircraft or ship?" General Andreyev asked.
"Then we will find out how effective our damage-control drills have been-and our
mission will be a failure." Kherov ran his hand along the polished teak rail. He’d
commanded this ship for six years, taken her into nearly every port on the North and
South Atlantic. "We’ll get some way on. The ship will ride more easily on a bow sea."
Excerpt from Red Storm Rising (Tom Clancy (1986))

Aris sent me the blueprints for this ship in November 2009, and I ran into it while cleaning my harddrive a few days ago. As I need a merchant for the scenario I'm building forces for, why not the Fučík? I will keep her in her original scheme though, not the cover she used to sail to Iceland. So the Soviet flag will fly on this one....so much for a "neutral" merchant.  ;)

Start is the same as always. Check the blueprints, check the data online in one of the many ships directories, calculate the correct sizes in 1/3000 and note what goes where and what sizes plasticcard are needed. It's not rocket science, believe me. The hardest thing you have to do is shape and sand the correct bow, for the rest the Fučík is one big box with some superstructure, a barge lift and a open stern. She's a big ship, 90mm from bow to stern.

So here is a teaser pic which shows nothing but the bare hull and the first sanded down coat of filler, I'm trying a new one that is quite light and quick drying.  Not as quick as I hoped so I tore a few chips out of it. Oh well, nothing a second coat and some sanding can't fix.

Don't look like much, does it?  :lol:

zaterdag 16 juli 2011

Monument to the fallen

Monument to the fallen.

My entry for the Guild contest "40mm base" A 40mm base, plus a 20mm GW base, a old Citadel whatchamacallit, matctsticks and brass wire. My apolagies for not adding my usual standard of flock but that is all packed up for the move. As are my paints, all I had for this was a dried up pot of wash, black, white, a brown and a pot of Iraqi Sand that had rolled underneath my work table. It was nice to be creative with minimalist tools though.

Not scaled to any size in particular, it is meant for 20mm but fits in fine with 28mm as well.

vrijdag 15 juli 2011

German Early War force for Barbarossa, part 6

Progress report on the Panzer IV's. Been busy converting 2 PSC Panzer IV's into the D model, with sofar the following steps:
-removed top turret detail and added new detail plus handrails (needs more work)
-set back the turret hatch a few mm's, need some milliput to add the curve
-removed the grill detail and filled in the slots, propably needs another smoothing layer
-added round headlights
-cut down the barrel by a few mm's, it looked too long
-cut out the hull to create the set back mg station
-built a new exhaust system, added smoke candles on top of it (can't fit 5 sadly so did 4)
-added a bit more detail to the roadwheels, sprocket and rear idler (needs more work on the idler)
-opened up the gunsights one one of em (needs more work)
-trimmed down and filled in the turret doors (needs more work)

Good thing I only need 2 for starters, though now I'm eyeing Tauchpanzers as well......but on the bright side, my bookkeeping in Excel (a wishlist plus what I've spent or earned per month) is starting to pay off, as at the moment I've sold more then what I spent, and I'm thinking long and hard (and rummaging in my spares bin) before I'm buying now. And I got even more creative in the process :)

dinsdag 12 juli 2011

Fire in the North - Shipwreck Testgame 1: Picket Duty

Had a short test of the Shipwreck rules lastnight (purely on paper so no piccies I'm afraid), put a Dutch Van Speijk class on picket duty, with a Sovremmeny roughly 80 nautical miles out and closing. Weather was bad, fog and rain, so the helos stayed on deck.

First few turns were uneventfull, with the Sov closing on the Van Speijk. Van Speijk then lucked out with a spotting roll and noticed the Sov and went on active radar. She then fired 4 Harpoons at Long range which would arrive in 3 combat turns. But turning her radar on meant that the Sov had an easier time spotting her, and so she did. 2 SSN-22's left the tubes straight away. Uh oh.

With the Harpoons at Medium range the Sov spotted 2 of them and prepared her defences. The VS spotted both SNN-22's and armed her defences as well.

Missiles are now at Short range and the Sov hasn't spotted the other 2 missiles so fires 2 SA-7's at each spotted missile and deploys chaff. 1 of the spotted Harpoons is destroyed, and 1 of the unspotted Harpoons is decoyed by the chaff never to be seen again (well, maybe by a lonely fishing vessel). The VS fires 1 AA mssile at each of the incoming missiles and destroys one, her chaff not fooling the other.

The remaining Harpoons bear down on the Sov but one gets taken out by the 30mm guns. The other one.....misses! <faceplant> The VS takes out the last SSN-22 with her main gun. Great shooting!

VS then launches her remaining 4 Harpoons, and prepares to turn tail after this (out of missiles). The Sov then unloads a full container os SSN-22's, and 4 of them streak across the water towards the VS. Uh oh.

In the next few combat turns the Sov again fails to spot all of the missiles, only spotting 2, but destroying those with SA-7's. Her chaff looks pretty but does nothing, and her 30mm guns just saturate the water with hot lead. Could this be it? 1 mssile misses (....!) and the other one hits. Light damage. Scratch the torpedoes amidships. Aargh!

The VS does what she can, decoys, guns, missiles, the lot but only manages to take out 1 with 3 of them passing through the barrage unscathed. 1 misses but 2 hit. A 1 and 2 means she is destroyed without any question. With the seaconditions as they are what survives of the crew won't have much hope, but the NATO fleet is warned.

The Sov, lightly wounded and smoking, pulls back. It took 6 missiles to take out 1 FF and she has only 2 left meaning she has to turn to port to reload and repair. There will propably be more NATO ships around soon anyway.

Pretty brutal, 7 turns till the end, took less then an hour to resolve it, most of the time was spent reading and rereading if I was doing things right (propably not, but hey). NATO 0 - Soviets 1 (but with a DDG going up against a small FF, could it have gone any other way?)

For my next test I'll put a Zwaardvis submarine on the tail of the wounded Sov that is trying to reach a friendly port. Can she avenge the loss? We'll see.

maandag 11 juli 2011

German Early War force for Barbarossa, part 5

Package in the mail today.

Yup, 12 of them. Been looking at various Panzer IV's over the years as I prefer to field these instead of Tigers and Panthers and was well taken with the good reviews these got on the web. I'm looking forward to giving them my special treatment, and I'll start with converting 2 of them for Barbarossa. The Airfix ones made good excercise and might one day become wrecks, who knows.

I'm still waiting for the last models for this build, some armoured cars and a Blitz bus, which sofar have failed to turn up. I've mailed the store about that a few times now but sofar no reply. But I've got plenty of other stuff to do so don't worry.

On a side not, I picked up a Seacobra and a Wessex today for my Marines (1 for USMC, 1 for UK) and set those aside.

woensdag 6 juli 2011

Fire in the North - The Navies - More Soviets

Managed to get quite a few bits started this week, based, cleaned and updated 2 Alligators (removed 2 cranes, trimmed the funnel, added cargo hatches and masts), a Kresta II ( new guidance radars, new missile mounts (still way oversized sadly) and trimmed off the shopper and put it on a base so it looks like it is about to land) as well as a start on a Udaloy and HMS Fearless (trimmed and opened up the stern so I can place a few landingcraft around and in it. When and if I find them, can't find the little blighters anywhere! And yes, I know she's not a Soviet vessle :)

I've added more ships to my wish list, some Yank destroyers as well as more Soviet landing craft, and it looks I'm in the market for some of Odzial Osmy's Ka-25 helos to round off this part of the fleet before I go and start stuff like the Kiev and the Moskva. Need to get more NATO done before that anyway, but I'm missing a few bits for that as well so a mini order to Navwar might be in order. But first sell more stuff to fill up the wargames chest.

I've been doing plenty of other stuff as well, mostly 20mm, but I'll divulge more about that next week.

vrijdag 1 juli 2011

Fire in the North - The Navies - Boris Chilikin WIP

Just a quick shot of the progress on Boris. updated her a bit with brass wire and trimmed off the mould lines as good as I could.

Wondering what I am going to do with the 2nd Boris I have. I keep reading it's a spin off off a civillian tanker, but sofar found no imagine of a supposedly civvy one. Ah well, nothing wrong with keeping her in stock. I can always turn one into a wreck later.

I'm not dead yet :)

Just a tad busy. Well, a lot really. Real life intervened a bit with the end of my contract and a last minute extension for another 3 months, so you can imagine the hobby had a little less attention.

But what have I been up to? Well, several things:
  • Been reading up on Freeplay '88 that arrived last week, picked out Scenario 2 - Opening engagement as my starter scenario due to the forces involved. I'll need a Sovemenny, the Evertsen, HMS Illustrious, 4 Harriers and a merchant vessel  in the 2600-5500 range. It also mentions a AEW helo near Illustrious.I have everything here and ready to be painted except Illustrious, cause all I have is the HMS Ark Royal when that name was carried by the Audacious class carrier. Must learn to read next time, so need to order one for that. Good thing Navwar service is really quick. Scenario is a weird one, the Sovs deploy either the Sovremmeny OR the cargoship, and NATO is assuming it is a Sovremenny so has to attack. How fast is up to NATO. If I'm to cautious the Sov can sink us, if I'm not cautious enough I might blow a neutral merchant out of the water. Oh, and since the Evertsen is so close to the Sov it might get bombed by the harrier flight instead. And did I mention the thick fog? Should be fun and a nice learing curve for me.
  • I've been working on a scenic item that has just passed the 3 meter length mark. That part is now fully finished, just awaiting another delivery of bases so I can finish off the remaining 50-100 cm's and expose it to the public.
  • Since I'll be moving in with my gf in the near future I've got time to plan out my new workspace and make it as optimal to my needs as I can. I picked up 2 paint racks with room for 100 vallejo bottles each, so I can actually see my paint instead of keeping it all spread over several boxes. 
  • In preparation for that I'm going over all of my Vallejo, cleaning the heads, adding beads and a few drops of acryllic thinner to improve or restore the flow of the paint.
  • I've been allocated a certain amount of space in the house by my dearest (bless her) which will involve me thinking long and hard about what I want to bring over. And I'm still thinking :)
  • I discussed my gaming budget and future for my projects with Piers, and the end result was rather surprising..... I'm going to try out a 100 euro budget for July and August, and a 0 euro budget after that. That doesn't mean I won't spend any money but that if I want to purchase something I have to make sure I sell stuff to fund those purchases. Still means I need to keep tabs of what I do though, as after calculating a bit I found out I've been living on a 250 a month budget for the last 2 years (not counting what I sold in that period) which was a bit of a Yikes! moment.
  • I made a bit of progress with my stock count and cleaning and basing all of the vehicles I've purchased in the last 2 years.(that I want to keep). Looks like I have enough in stock to keep me going for years.
Pretty busy. Much to do. Oh, and the next planned purchase: About 50 of these guys (meaning 50 headswops....aargh)