Tuesday, September 11, 2018

"A Bridge Not Too Far"

Several weeks ago a small group of the Jackson Gamers joined in a Wings of War/Wings of Glory WW1 aerial game.  I decided to give one of my newly acquired "giants" an outing.  A Caproni bomber, escorted by two SPAD XIIIs was to bomb a bridge behind German lines to disrupt the flow of enemy reinforcements and supplies to a crucial section of the front.  The Germans spotted the approaching giant and scrambled four Albatross D-Vs to engage the bomber.  The ensuing action was captured by an Allied photo reconnaissance aircraft.

The Caproni and one of its SPAD XIII escorts in the foreground and the four German Albatross in the background.

As an Albatross draws a bead on the Caproni, so does its rear gunner on the Albatross.  Unfortunately the Albatross' machine guns jam!

And down the Albatross goes under the deadly fire from the Caproni's rear gunner.  Unfortunately the Caproni took some hits from another Albatross which wounded its rear gunner.

The SPADs engage the Albatrosses as the Caproni lumbers toward the target,

Reaching the bridge, the Caproni releases its bomb load, but its aim was a little off and it only crated the far side approaches to the bridge.  By this time the front gunner had also been wounded and the Caproni couldn't return any fire on the annoying Albatrosses.

One of the SPADs shoots down another Albatross as the Caproni, with an engine on fire, returns to the dubious safety of the Allied lines.
This was the first outing with a heavy bomber.  Although the target was missed, at least two of the German fighters were shot down.  I think that with more "practice" the bomb aimer can do a better job.

Monday, September 3, 2018

August American Revolution Painting

Three more units joined my American Revolution armies during August, two American and one Hessian.

Please click on the pictures for an enlarged image.

This is the Hessian Grenadier Battalion von Lengerke, composed of the grenadier companies from the regiments Prinz Karl, Wutginau, von Donop, and von Trumbach.  They will join the Grenadier Battalion von Linsingen (see July painting post) and two yet to be painted British grenadier battalions to form the Grenadier Brigade commanded by British Colonel O'Hara.
They are a combination of Miniature Figurines, Custom Cast, and Grenadier figures.

This is the 14th Continental Regiment, originally organized by John Glover of Massachusetts as "Glover's Marbelheaders."  Although they didn't last long in reality (summer 1775 until December 1776), they will form part of the regular core of my Continental army.  The hand-painted Pine Tree flag is speculative for this unit.
They are Miniature Figurines "Marblehead" figures, except for the officer which is a standard MiniFig AWI officer.

And finally, this unit replicates my interpretation of Smallwood's Maryland Regiment.  Although for most of their active service they were clad in hunting smocks, I'm showing them in their Continental best.  The flag is purely speculative, based on some images of surviving Maryland revolutionary flags and the heraldic colors of the Calvert family.  Before and during the Revolutionary War, the Calvert heraldic colors were associated with Maryland.  The stripes are hand-painted while the central blazon was printed, sized, and glued on the flag.
They are Custom Cast figures, 15 metal and 3 plastic.  Yes, I said Custom Cast plastic figures.

These are two of the Custom Cast figures I used.  Can you tell which is plastic and which is metal?

Well, the one on the left is plastic while the one on the right is metal.  Both bear the Custom Cast imprint on the base.
I do not know who actually made the plastic copies of the Custom Cast metal figures.  I got them as part of a large acquisition of figures from a well-known miniature gamer.  The others included gunners and various poses of regular and militia infantry, all matching metal Custom Cast figures.

Only two more units to paint, the 3rd Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers (Loyalist) and the 6th Virginia State Line (American, with speculative units designation).  After tha I'll take a break from the American Revolution and either get back to my Seven Years War imagi-nation 28mm figures or my American Civil War 15mm figures.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Flying the (Not So) Friendly Skies

Col Campbell has gone into the aeronautics business, obtaining a large horde of Wings of War/Wings of Glory WW1 aircraft.  I ran my first game last Saturday with some of our gaming club.  There were six players (3 Allied and 3 German) who each controlled two fighters.  After a brief "basic pilot's school" they went to "Fly the Friendly Skies" of 1918 France.

Here are some of the pictures I took during the game.  Please click on them to get a larger image.

A British Sopwith Snipe smokes after taking fire from a German Albatros.

The "Red Baron" dodges Rickenbacker's SPAD XIII while another Albatros seeks a foe.

One of the first casualties, a British Sopwith Snipe

Planes speeding by each other as they try to outmaneuver the foe.

Rene Fonck's SPAD XIII goes down.

More swirling planes trying to get a bead on the foe.

The Allies are starting to look outnumbered in this "furball"

And Rickenbacker goes down with an engine fire and severe rudder damage.
It was a learning game for everyone, including me as game master, but everyone seemed to have fun trying to outfly their opponents.

We'll definitely be trying this again, maybe using either some 2-seaters in a light bombing or recon role or some of the "giant" bombers I got.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

July's American Revolution Additions

Well, I fell a little short in painting this month due to various and sundry real-life issues.  But I did get all of my artillery gunners, guns, and a limber painted as well as another Continental regiment.

As usual, please click on the pictures to get a larger image.

The 16th Massachusetts Regiment is composed of Miniature Figurines from several different countries.  The firing figures are a mix of pre-1780 and post-1780 Continentals, British, Brunswick dragoon, and French.  I figured I could use all of them since the Americans would get whatever uniforms they could.  The Pine Tree flag is from War Flags and is a purely speculative use for this regiment.

The American artillery park consists of two 6-lbr and four 3-lbr guns and a light howitzer.
The crews are a mix of Miniature Figurines,  Custom Cast, and Musket Miniatures figures.
The two "batteries" (light howitzer and 3-lbr gun) on the left are painted as if they were from the Rhode Island Artillery Regiment. including a gunner carrying the regimental flag (from War Flag).

The British artillery park consists of two heavy and two light 6-lbr guns, two 3-lbr guns, and a light howitzer.
As with the Americans, the crews are a mix of Miniature Figurines, Custom Cast, and Musket Miniatures figures.

The Hessian artillery park consists of two light 6-lbr guns.
The crew of the left has three Miniature Figurines and one Hinchliffe figures
while the crew on the right is all Wall Miniatures figures.

My only limber (for now) is from Custom Cast via Iron Brigade Miniatures and the Lost Battalion Miniatures.
Finally I thought to show you a modification I made to several Miniature Figurines castings to act as battery commanders for some of my American and British "batteries."  MiniFigs has in its AWI line a casting (AWI-31, Glover's 14th Continental Marine [sic] officer) that is reloading a pistol, holding it directly in front of him.  Lord Sterling, my good wargaming buddy, had modified this figure into an officer holding a telescope.  I emulated his idea by using a pair of pliers to straighten and reshape the pistol into a telescope and to bend the arms up so it appears he's looking through the telescope.  I think they turned out rather well.

That's all for this month.  Next month I hope to get the 14th Continental Regiment painted to complete my initial goal of 12 infantry units per side.  Then I've got the von Lengerke (Hessian) Grenadier Battalion and Smallwood's Maryland Regiment in the painting queue.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

June's American Revolution Additions

I'm continuing to work on my American Revolution forces, concentrating on my Continental Army.  My immediate goal was to bring that force up to 12 infantry regiments by the end of June.  But due to a lengthy flare-up of my allergic rhinitis and a sinus infection, I wasn't able to paint as much as I needed.  So here are the regiments I completed in June.  All four are composed on vintage Custom Cast figures.  Please click on the photographs for a larger view.

1st Rhode Island Regiment
(with a hand painted flag)

2nd Virginia Regiment
(with a hand painted flag)
[unit was just expanded from 12 to 18 figures]

3rd Virginia Regiment
(with a hand painted flag)
[unit was just expanded from 12 to 18 figures]

Haslett's Delaware Regiment
(with a paper flag glued over the precast metal one)
I also painted some additional Hessian gunners to fill out a gun crew and several artillery pieces to add to the "multi-national" artillery park.

The next two American units to be painted will be the 14th Continental and 16th Massachusetts Regiments.  Plus I'll be painting the rest of the American and British gunners and the last two artillery pieces for the park.

After this I will be working on "paired" regiments, one American and one British/Loyalist/Hessian, until I get another 12 regiments for each side.

More later!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

American War of Independence - Newly Units

Well dear readers, it has been seven months (!!) since I last posted here.  I've been on a painting funk of late although I have done a little with my 1:2400 scale pre-dreadnought ships (see Col Campbell's Shipyard blog.

But now in the "merry old month" of May, I've recovered my painting mojo and have begun work on my American War of Independence forces.  The British (and Hessian and Loyalist) now have twelve infantry units, three cavalry units, three artillery companies, and some mounted officers, while the Americans have six infantry units, two cavalry units, four artillery companies, and some mounted officers.  But I've got six more American infantry units being outfitted.

Here are my latest additions.  Please click on the photographs for larger images.

British 43rd Foot Regiment, using vintage "true" 25mm Custom Cast figures, with six bases of three figures each.
The cast flags are hand-painted.
American 1st Virginia Regiment, using vintage 25mm Miniature Figurines figures;
flag from Warflag.
American 3rd Connecticut Regiment, using 25mm Custom Cast figures,
with hand-painted flag.
American 6th Connecticut Regiement, using 25mm Custom Cast figures,
with hand-painted flag.
American DeGimat's Light Infantry Battalion, using vintage Scruby Figurines figures
with a new Historifigs (formerly Scruby) officer.
Here is my British infantry troop box showing all twelve infantry units - five British foot regiments, two Highland regiments, two British light battalions, one Hessian grenadier battalion, the Hessian jager corps, and the infantry of the Queen's Rangers, as well as two British mounted officers.

British troop box - 12 infantry units and 2 mounted officers.

Finally, I also finished, after owning them for many years, the Fife and Drum Miniatures iconic "fife and drum party" set.

28mm (1:56 scale) Fife and Drum Miniatures.
In June, besides participating the our local wargaming convention Bayou Wars, I plan on completing the above mentioned six American infantry units as well as several mounted officers, two guns, and some more artillerymen for both my British and American forces.  My future plans call for painting one American infantry unit for each British/Hessian. Loyalist infantry unit, although some of the Americans will be militia while some of the British and Hessians will be grenadiers.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Visit to the B-17 "Aluminum Overcast"

Last weekend (Oct. 13-15), the B-17G "Aluminum Overcast" paid a visit to the Jackson, MS area.  She flew into the John Bell Williams Airfield in nearby Raymond.  There were both flying tours and static tours available.  I went out to see her since my father flew on one during WW2.  You can see the other posts I made about my father's service by following the "8th Air Force" subject link.

She belongs to the Experimental Aircraft Association who were the ones who brought her here.  She was delivered to the Army Air Force in May 1945, too late to see active service.  But with the exception of a replica top turret, she has been restored to her 1945 glory.  The latter is a shame since that was my father's duty position.

I took a number of pictures which are included below for your enjoyment.  Remember to click on them to see a larger view.

She carries the colors of the 398th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and is dedicated to B-17G #42-102516 which was shot down on its 34th combat mission over Le Manior, France on August 13, 1944.

Poster on display which is cropped and blown up in the three images below.

The tour entered here at the nose.

The nose art

Bomb bay with decommissioned bomb load.

Looking forward through the bomb bay toward the top turret and cockpit.

Ball turret position

Port side waist gun position

Outside showing ball turret with hatch opened to show gunner's cramped position

Looking up through bomb bay into top turret position

I tried to get some other pictures, particularly in the nose bombardier/navigator position and in the cockpit but the glare from the outside was too much for my camera.  Hope you enjoyed the ones I did take.