Sonntag, 27. September 2015

Short interlude - what's your PLAN?

Hello everyone,

I finally made it.
Last time I finished JDS Kongo, but there was still some stuff to do. So I went on with the rest of the task force, the water and the labels.

As the water needed to dry for a few hours (be honest: this sounds somehow ridiculous, doesn't it?) I also started the Chinese force.

First the sanding, cutting and gluing …

… Followed by the application of the base coat.

It was then that I read the rulebook I wanted to use and had to figure out it was recommending the use of “islands” as terrain. What? Where the heck should I get islands from? Can’t buy any now, as they need space which I currently don’t have - and, which is much more important – I don’t have any material to build some, too. I had to choose another approach.
So I went back to my WIP chest to look through all my projects and find something helpful.
During this desperate search for any useful material I stumbled upon a group of civilian vessels seaworthy enough to provide a great alternative to needed terrain.

Somewhere I have got some VLCCs … I am sure I could use those to make the match more complicated and tactical. I know that modern missiles still have got the problem of distinguishing between civilian and military vessels, especially when they are using active radar homing devices or heat signature homing devices. (Using those alone is rather uncommon nowadays, but some missiles still use them – and the radar cross section of a very large crude carrier is way bigger than that one of a frigate).
It could make a great house rule to force the opponents to keep on target with their targeting radar for a few rounds before engaging. That would make the missile more accurate. It’s the same in real: if during the pre-fire-sequence you make a good prediction on the position of the enemy at the time your missile reaches the designated area, you got a better chance to hit the vessel you want to hit.

But back to the Japanese fleet … After having dried they finally were ready to be fully painted, which finally resulted in them being finished:

The Kongo-class will become flagship of the force. Her sides are protected by two Hatakaze destroyers.

Task group 02:

The Hatakazes alone:

I have to state: I don’t like them. They look like fast patrol crafts, not like destroyers. But I guess I shouldn’t expect too much when using this scale.

And the other three:

The Hatsuyuki class got a bit too much acryl gel on its base, which lets her look like she’s going head-on into the waves. I tried to use some water thinned color on her deck to let it look like she went straight through a bigger wave a few moments before.

And that concludes the first part of my little project.

Time to go on with the Chinese warships. By now I have applied the base color, some washes and the naming and identification labels. Don’t worry: The wash is just for a better outline of the shadowed areas. I will paint them in a lighter grey later on.

Their force will consist of:

2x Luhu-Class: two of the first missile destroyers made in China which actually can compete with more modern vessels of Western countries. Originally planned in greater numbers, this class contains only two vessels and is mainly used to implement the experience with this newer type of warship into the training and shipbuilding policy of the People Liberation Army Navy. That for example resulted in the construction of the Luyang class destroyers, which can be seen as an answer to the Arleigh Burke class. In my opinion, those look much more beautiful than their American counterparts. It’s a bit unfortunate I wasn’t able to get some.

Then we have got two Sovremenny destroyers. Both were constructed for the Russian fleet, but sold to China before being finished. They became the foundation of the new destroyer fleet of the PLAN, as the PLAN wasn’t all too happy with their Luhu- and Luhai-classes.
After that two further Sovremennys followed, both heavily modified.
They don’t look that sexy, but they do their job: If you see one coming your way, you know you better should take cover.

2x Jiang Hu II-frigates: fast and agile, but quite old. I can’t say much about them because I don’t know them that good. But I know that they were the foundation for Chinas modern missile frigates (like the Luhu class for the destroyers).

2x Jiang Wei-I-frigates: also fast and agile, but way more modern. If I remember correctly, they already have constructed the Jiang Wei IV frigates … or are they Jiang Kai now? I don’t know.

That makes two more vessels for the Chinese. I would consider it a bit unfair, but given the fact that frigates have less combat strength and less battle endurance compared to a destroyer, I consider it okay to give them two more vessels – and to be honest: I didn’t plan to go into battle with four Sovremenny destroyers … that would be a bit boring.

In conclusion: I haven’t come as far as I intended. The JMSDF vessels are finished, though the progress on the Chinese is less than expected. But that’s okay. It is a lot of tinkering with tiny stuff (especially the waves) which normally would kill all my motivation at an instant – especially considering the “mass”. I am happy I got that far and considering the Japanese are already finished I made good progress, I think :-D
Next time I need to do the water and after that I hope to finish the Chinese warships as well.

See you then!

So long

Donnerstag, 24. September 2015

Short interlude - preparing Kaijou Jieitai for a skirmish battle

Hello everyone!

Once again a years end is approaching fast. First Christmas biscuits are to be seen in the stores in Germany and some of my fellow bloggers are already publishing their first "Secret Santa" posts for this year.

For me this development means two things:

1st - it's getting cold. Especially up here in the north, where the sea is cooling down the temperature a few degrees more. Time to prepare a thicker jacket.

2nd - my friend from Poland is inviting me again to visit him and his family. Can't say how happy I am! We have known each other for more than two years now. The first time we met in Germany, the second time I visited him and his family and this year, I am invited again.

But this time it's different from before. As he has seen some of my miniatures he asked me to bring a tabletop game with me so we could try and play a round or two.

How could I say no to him? So I promised to bring something along to have a nice game.

Still there are some limitations: I am going by plane, which forces me to keep my luggage within a specific weight and requires the material to be rather unbreakable. And it has to be something that is easy to learn but still challenging to keep the spirits high throughout the game.

I looked through all my rule sets and finally fell over a rule set called "Task Force". It is a rather unknown tabletop developed somewhere in Germany. I got it when I bought my Japanese and Chinese warships, but have never tried it. On Sweetwater forum there was an AAR of this game and from that AAR I read that it would be easy to learn but could provide the players with a few challenges.

The next thing I had to do was to prepare some forces. So I grabbed into the box where my modern warships are stored and took six JMSDF ships which I thought to be a solid task group.

I decided to paint those and prepare them for a skirmish before continuing with a similar number of Chinese warships.

First of all, I had to sand them, cut the bases into shape and glue everything together.

After that the battle group was coated with a primer.

Then I began applying the main colors and created the unit cards.

At the moment I have got:

2x Hatakaze-class destroyers

1x Murasame-class destroyer
1x Asagiri-class destroyer
and 1x Hatsuyuki-class destroyer

The last ship has already been finished:

1x Kongou-class missile destroyer:

I am planning to get those five done by the end of the week and start the Chinese warships by then as well. I don't have got much time at home until the visit, so I need to finish the vessels as soon as possible.

I still have to think about the vessels of the Chinese task force. Maybe a Luda-class? Or a Sovremenny missile destroyer? I have no idea ...

Anyway - that concludes this update.

The next one will soon be ready.

So stay tuned!

So long

Montag, 7. September 2015

Qin Army Update - at least ... something

Hey everyone,

Sorry I have been silent again for such "a long" time.

I am occupied with much work (again) and there was nothing that would have encouraged me to paint some miniatures or do some work on the tank.

So this time it's more like "at least I have done something" than anything else, but ... it's progress. True story.

Actually I was able to complete the javelinmen section of my Qin army and then started the thrusting spear unit. I originally planned to finish the last few plastic soldiers before starting the metal ones, but I really didn't have the motivation to do so.

Anyway: let's have a look at the pictures:

It clearly shows how the overall outcome of the thrusting spear unit will be, and I really like it. Let's hope the others will turn out that way as well :-D

More to come - at least I hope so

Stay tuned!