1/72 Battle of Britain

I’ve been working on this for awhile, and we managed to have our first game last night.  We both thought it worked great.  We played two games, each completed in under an hour.  Here is the first vic of Spitfires:


The Spitfires are completely finished.  I have 4 109s that are almost completely finished.  You can see them coming in this crap photo here:


I’ll put up some nicer pics when they are done.

Blood Red Skies is a game from Warlord that has been out awhile.  This year they released an updated version called Air Strike.  The game is played with 1/200 scale aircraft on some plastic stands that come with the game.  I wanted to do it in 1/72 so created some stands that I can put the models on.  In a Wargames Illustrated interview Andy Chambers said they are working on a 1/72 version which should be released soon.  I was very far into making my own stands when I heard this and I’d like to show them off, but if you are interested in gaming this in 1/72, you will probably be able to, with kit from Warlord soon.

I had these bases created:



The base is 3″ in diameter.  It has pointers on it every 45degrees around the base.  These are used in determining front and rear arcs, for firing and being tailed and side arcs for being fired at with deflection shots.  The front pointer tells you the front of the stand and is used when determining whether you are tailing someone.  The round token marks pilot quality (2 through 5 in Blood Red Skies).  The square cut out on the right is for a microdice.  You don’t need that in the game, but I had it added just in case we need to mark something in the future that isn’t accounted for.

The plane sits on top of the stand on a magnet.  It took me some time to figure out how to get the planes to stay on the top of the stand and be manipulated.  In BRS, a plane is in one of three states.  A plane with advantage is depicted as climbing, a plane that is at a disadvantage is depicted as diving, and a neutral plane is flying level.  Pilot actions during the game cause this state to change, so you need to be able to manipulate that easily.

I tried a few things that didn’t work then came across this article from K&J Magnetics: Magnetized X-wing mod .  That looked like it would work so I ordered some components and tried it out.  It’s perfect!  A friend of mine made up the flight stands, 3″ high, and the bases.  I ordered 3/8″ magnets, north and south magnetized, and 3/8″ unmagnetized steel balls.  You can see the whole assembly here:


I glued the north magnets on the sticks with CA glue and the south magnets on the bottom of the plane with CA glue.  The ball just sits in between.  I didn’t take pictures showing how powerful these are, but it takes a bit of pulling to get the plane off.  I have held the whole thing upside down and nothing has moved.  Now it’s easy to swivel them on the ball to make them climb or dive of bank or whatever, but it will take quite a bit of effort to knock them off.

When I paint the planes, I put a mask with tamiya tape on the bottom of the plane to keep a segment of clean plastic for the glue to stick to.




Vexillations of Legio XVI Flavia Firma

These have been painted for awhile, just got around to finishing the bases.  Two cohorts of Legio XVI Flavia Firma, stationed on the border with Persia.  The complete what I need to field my Romans in Mortem et Gloriam.  Hopefully I can get a game in soonish.


Terrible pictures.  I’m not great at photographing miniatures – this time I’m sure it’s because I didn’t add any supplemental light.


These figures are by A&A.  I went with the rectangular shields with the shield pattern from Dura Europis.  I have no idea who carried those shields in actuality, but they look good on legionaries.  My other legions all carry oval shields.


There are two cohorts of 6 stands each.  I only put three figures on a stand – they fill the stand and look good at that density.


FS: 28mm Nikephorian Byzantine Army


I’m selling my Nikephorian Byzantine army for ADLG.  Shown above are 5 stands of skutatoi – front rank armored spearmen, back rank archers.   The stands are 60mm square and there are 6 figures per stand.  These infantry figures are are Old Glory.  In the back you see the three general stands on 60mm round bases.  There are also two pieces of artillery.


There are two stands of Rus/Varangians.  I believe these are by Saxon miniatures.  They are also on 60mm square bases and are 6 figures per stand.


There are two stands of Old Glory Klibanophoroi (fully armored men on fully armored horses).  Again, they are on 60mm square bases, 3 mounted figures per stand.


This is a close-up of the general with a very nice hand painted banner.  The generals are all from Old Glory.


And finally the cavalry.  These figures are by Crusader miniatures with LBMS shield transfers for the shielded cavalry.  There are 4 stands of lancers and 4 stands of horse archers.  All of these are also on 60mm square bases, 3 mounted figures per stand.

So in total there are:

  • 3 general stands
  • 4 stands of lancer cavalry
  • 4 stands of horse archers
  • 2 stands of full armored cavalry
  • 5 stands of skutatoi
  • 2 stands of Rus/Varangians
  • 2 stands of artillery

I’d like to get $1000 for the lot.  I’ll pack them up securely and ship anywhere in the continental US, I’ll pay postage.  If you’re interested, drop me a note at aphillathehun at yahoo dot com.


More work on the Shoho

I need to figure out how to take real close-ups.  Maybe my camera just can’t do it….

I’ve added a lot since the last update.  I started adding delicate PE before I realized I needed a degaussing cable.  The ship had one all the way around the hull.  Dan K on the shipmodel forum provided some close-ups and I used those to put one on my model.  I used plastruct .010″ rod to make the cable.  I mostly tried to follow what was in the photo, but realize it’s not exact.  It’s fairly easy to do using styrene.  I’d prefer a kit to have it already molded on but in cases where it isn’t I feel I can do it myself now.



You can see some fine photo-etched detail already.  I put the pillars on to support the flight deck before starting on the railings everywhere because I thought there might be some fidgeting to make sure everything was correctly placed – and there was.  But it all goes together quite smoothly with excellent fit.

I replaced the shields on the AA mounts with the photoetch in the hyperdetail set.  I’ve put the searchlights on their photoetched searchlight platforms – very delicate.  I used the 25mm mounts that came with the kit.  They seem nice.  I will examine the ships’ boats that go on the rear deck and compare those to some after market versions I have.

The only closeup that turned out makes me realize I need to clean up the corners of the pieces forming the angles in the degaussing cable.  And that one PE door may need to be straightened.  I’m not sure – it might just be the camera angle as I looked over all the doors to make sure they looked straight.  There are plenty of doors in the kit so if I have to remove this one and put a new one on, there won’t be any heartbreak.


Next up I think will be the railings on the front part of the ship so I can think about getting the front half of the flight deck on.

Progress on Shoho

I was discouraged by the deck that came with the Shoho and it put me off working on this for awhile, but now I’m back at it.  I should be able to post a couple of pictures of the deck in progress soon.  I’ve sanded the raised parts off the rear of the deck so it will take a decal, and I shaved off the excess wood deck planking at the rear.  I’ve decided to paint the word part and mask that off before I continue working on the deck.  Some progress photos on that soon.

But here is a photo of the hull so far:


I spent a lot of time getting the seam off between the bottom plate and the hull.  The forward superstructue then gets glued in.  I add a lot of the PE to it before I attached it – the brass deck you see, the brass front to the superstructure showing the windows, and the brass decking on either side of that.  In addition I put the prominent vent (I think that’s what it is) in the center of that brass deck and a bunch of cable reels.  When I attached it to the hull, the fit was tricky in a couple of places.  I had a slight gap along the metal deck.  I managed to fill that with a little dissolved putty.  It worked pretty well to fill that gap.  I was stressed about how I would do any sanding since the metal deck has a nice treaded relief.  I shaved the excess putty with my X-acto blade and it seems to be nice.  Therewere larger gaps on the decking around the side of the hull.  I filled and sanded those and they are invisible now.  I took close-ups but they just came out as a blur.


There are additional compartments on either side of the hull structure.  Should I call it the superstructure?  The flight deck will go on top….  Anyway there is nothing in the plastic set that these correspond to.  I take it they are taking the opportunity to fix some things with PE.  That large sheet of brass making up the front linoleum deck is a little wider than the original and the shape of the rear linoleum deck (another pic that just came out as a blur) is different and wider than the original plastic deck.

You can also see a couple of the PE doors I’ve attached to the hull.

Flyhawk 1/700 SMS Derfflinger

IMG_4548.jpgButterfly am I.  Something caught my attention about this kit and now I’m on to it.  I’ll do the Shoho also, but I’m on this for now.  I picked up the Gold Medal upgrade which has way more parts than I will use, but I do intend to use a lot of them.  The hull is mostly done now.

From the Gold Medal upgrade set I used PE attachment points for the torpedo net booms.  There is some detail on those, but I don’t think that’s ever going to be very visible.  At some point, I’ll probably do some weathering on the hull and an oil wash might bring out some of it.  I used the turned brass booms.  These also have some very fine detail on each end.  I think they look better than the plastic parts but the detail is really quite small.  I attached both of those to the hull with diluted white glue.

I didn’t like the plastic anchors in the kit.  The PE ones didn’t build up to something that was really convincing.  On photos of the ships the anchors are quite bulky.  I ordered an IJN anchor set from Nano Dread and used the battleship anchors.  I’m not sure about the details of the shape, but they look big and bulky like the ones in the photographs of the ships.

The only remaining things to be done on the hull will be to add the chains on the torpedo net booms.  I’m not sure what to use for that – stretched sprue or fine caenis line used for rigging.  I’ll not do that until later.  Once I add the deck I’ll attach the rolled up torpedo netting.  I plan to take the torpedo nets from the gold medal upgrade set and roll them up.  We’ll see how that goes.  They include a string in the set you can cut to length.  I’ll figure out what looks best.

After attaching the metal parts, I painted the whole hull with automotive primer and then two coats of Tamiya XF-83.  I spent a lot of time looking at my gray paints trying to figure out something that would be appropriate on the hull and then on the superstructure.  I’ve settled for XF-83 on the hull and Mr Hobby 334 for the upper superstructure.

For now I don’t plan to do a boot topping.  I intend to depict her as at Jutland and the post battle damage photos show the boot topping as quite worn down if not away.





Equites Sagitarii

My friend Joe painted these for me – a unit of Equites Sagitarii for my Middle Imperial Roman army.  These figures are Aventine Parthian horse archers, with Roman heads, and painted in a semi-uniform manner: offwhite with blue borders.  These are awesome figures!



I’ve played a few games of Mortem et Gloriam.  It’s an interesting game.  The armies are considerably larger than for ADLG.  Two of the armies I have that are large enough for ADLG are Middle Romans and Sassanids.  I think I need a little more cav still for the Romans.


I can’t wait to get these onto the table for a game!