Friday, 30 September 2016

Reinforcements

I've been looking at the forces I've assembled so far for both Timonistan and Pumbaaskaya and realised that I had some gaps in both capabilities and models that I wanted to fill, so I placed an order for some reinforcements with Fighting 15s for some more Oddzial Osmy figures:
WBR-613 Universal Carrier
SA-677 GAZ69 all-terrain utility car
The TO&E on the blog's Timonistan & Pumbaaskaya pages have changing fairly regularly recently. One change definitely staying is putting company command stands on 2p peices and adding a universal carrier or GAZ-69 to the base to identify it. I have definite ideas how to use these, but for now, armies with flexible western style command - Timonistan - will have 2 command stands in a company and those with rigid soviet style command - Pumbaaskaya - will have 1 command stand in a company.
WBR-628 Morris C8 field artillery tractor
SA-611 120 mm mortar + GAZ 66
Timonistan has a support level of 8 (on scale of 1-10), so although I'm not going to model artillery units, I thought it should have some kind of on-table support, so after scouring the Oddzial Osmy figure list, I settled on the modern russian 120mm mortars. This comes with 6 GAZ-66 trucks that I'll use in the Pumbaaskayan forces and replace with the Morris Quad in pack WBR-628.

With Iskanderan making frequent announcements about their air force and its quality, I really needed some AA capability, so I got this to split between Timonistan and Pumbaaskaya:
WBR-624 Bofors 40mm and Morris
With 6 pieces in the pack, 3 will go to each nation. The Timoni Bofors will have Morris Quads as tow vehicles.

And then, for Pumbaaskaya, I have ordered these:
SA-670 MT12 100mm anti-tank gun
SA-640 BTR152
WSU-607 Russian Infantry x2
Given the problems that the Pumbaanish MBTs will have against the Timoni heavy tanks, it seemed logical for them to get some heavier AT weapon - hence the MT12 - and finally the BTR-152 and infantry are to add another Pumbaanish infantry company.

So the arms race continues!

PS - painted the Pumbaani infantry last night; will hopefully sand the bases over the weekend and make a start on the terrain

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Painting the little blighters

As I said in my last post, I made great progress with the forces of Pumbaaskaya and Timonistan over the weekend and more last night. This is how they looked after Sunday night's painting:
But before the 'after' pic, I'll tell you how I've painted them.

First, I'm not a great painter and I'm certainly not about to enter any competitions let alone win them, nor would I want to. With my 28mm miniatures, I block paint them and then add magic dip & a final coat of satin varnish to tone down the gloss and I'm more than happy with that. I want to get the figures ready for a game and the less time spent painting them the better.

Right, with that disclaimer out of the way, on to my 3mm painting. The main thing to remember is that 90% of the time the miniatures will be seen from arm's length - a distance where you can't even see a window on a 3mm vehicle or an infantryman's face, let alone tell if a) it's been painted or b) what colour is.

Just before I started this project, I'd been painting some 3mm 80s cold war mini's and I'd tried a number of colour schemes with them - including 3-colour camo schemes that make the minis look a complete mess - and arrived at a method that works for me. One side has vehicles in a single colour and the other has a 2-colour camo. My 80s cold war Soviets have Coat d'Arms (CdA) Russian Green & Russian Brown, which when dip has been added, looks like this:
Their US opponents have a single colour paint job (no pics atm). It provides a good contrast between the sides and enables the vehicles to be easily identified.

Painting 3mm infantry: I initially painted flesh on the face & hands .. not easy I can tell you! After doing this & finishing some infantry bases I found that you couldn't see the flesh at arm's length.  So I decided that - for me - the time it took trying to get the flesh in the right places was simply not worth it. As a result, painting infantry now consists of:
  1. glue the mini's to their base, then undercoat
  2. paint their weapon black - I originally tried both dark grey and gun metal, but found the contrast was not great enough
  3. paint the rest of the figure in the uniform colour you have chosen
  4. rely on the dip to show the detail on the figure - which with Oddzial Osmy figures is excellent
The results of this can be seen in the 80s Soviets pic above - those are 1cm squares so you are likely seeing the picture with the mini's at larger than life-size and probably closer than you would when playing a game.

With the imagi-nation project vehicles, Pumbaaskaya has the single colour scheme and Timonistan has a 2-colour scheme. Painting the vehicles, I did in these steps:
  1. glue the vehicle to its base & undercoat
  2. paint tracks/tyres, any external MGs and main gun if it's small calibre (e.g. autocannon on a Bradley) black. As with the infantry's weapons, dark grey or gun metal does not stand out enough 
  3. paint the rest of the vehicle in the scheme you've chosen
  4. apply dip to the vehicle to show the detail
It's just occurred to me that I should say that I don't actually dip the mini's - I apply the dip - which for me is Army Painter's Strong Tone - with a brush.
Do this to the side of the tin not above it! Having to find a mini
that you've dropped in a tin of varnish is not fun ...
Anyway, here is a group shot of the mini's after dip has applied:
(I've used CdA Russian Brown for Pumbaaskaya and for Timonistan, a base of CdA Horse Tone Dun with CdA Red-Brown stripes; continuing that theme the Timoni infantry have CdA Horse Tone Dun uniforms and CdA Red-Brown helmets, but the Pumbaaskayan infantry is not painted yet)

And a not particularly good pic of the unfinished Timoni tank company HQ and overall force command base: (those are 1cm x 1cm squares in the pic)
You certainly can paint windows on trucks, boots on infantry and all kinds of wonderful details as the figures are definitely detailed enough to take it, but in the end is all that effort and time taken really worth it? for me it isn't ... but that's my opinion and your mileage may vary.

Monday, 26 September 2016

ISKAF

ISKAF F84 Thunderjet

I mentioned previously that the Iskanderanian Air Force (ISKAF) emerged from the Not Just a Brush War campaign generation process with an unexpected upgrade to 1957 levels of equipment and technology. This threw a spanner into the gubbins of my best laid plans, which involved the use of some spare Tumbling Dice F51 Mustangs left over from my Bag the MiG project. It did, however, open up all sorts of possibilities from the handy toolbox of surplus 1/600th scale aircraft.

ISKAF A26 Invader

I'm still keeping the F51's in the ISKAF orbat, as second line ground attack fighter bombers and escorts, but have now decided to add a squadron of shiny, only slightly used F84 Thunderjets as the front line fighter component. So far, so good, especially as I'm also keeping the A26 Invaders on strength as light attack bombers for battlefield interdiction and strikes against hard targets. These are tough cookies, very useful for ground attack and can hold their own in air to air combat.

Para-Commando C119 Fairchild Boxcar

However, I also thought why not add some transport and airborne capability in the form of some C47's, which will allow my elite para-commando troops to drop onto the battlefield rather than walk. I have ordered a couple of packs of these from Tumbling Dice and also found a single model of a Fairchild C119 Boxcar, which I was thinking abut using as a AC119 Spectre gunship! This would be very cool as a battlefield air support asset but would also make a very juicy AAA target.

Para-Commandos in Action

To finish off, I have also decided to add a flight of Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw and/or H-35 Choctaw helicopters for an air mobile capability, again to use with my para-commandos when they need to be dropped behind enemy lines or collected from imminent encirclement by the forces of Pumbaskaaya or Timonistan. This seemed like a fun idea but I'm not sure how practicable it will actually be in wargaming terms. The models are really nice, however, so why not?  

Not that there's an arms race going on or anything....???

Getting closer ....

I made some excellent progress with my new toys over the weekend, managing to paint everything except the Pumbaanish infantry as I'd run out of space when undercoating so they'd missed out

Unfortunately, I forgot the cable that connects my camera to the PC, so although I've got pictures I'm unable to share!

So, hopefully, pics tomorrow!

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Iskanderan Air Defence


In response to the recent acquisition of jet fighter bombers by the Timonistan Air Force, the army of Iskanderan has mobilised an anti-aircraft artillery battery of three 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns, complete with towing vehicles. This unit will be attached to the existing armoured and mechanised infantry forces as mobile AAA cover during military operations in defence of Iskanderanian territory. In other words, I found a handful of spare Oddzial Osmy 3mm AAA guns and trucks in my bits box and thought they would be a handy addition to the existing army, although what use they'll actually be in shooting anything down remains to be seen!

Friday, 23 September 2016

First Recruits Arrived & Unpacked

The Magister Militum delivery was on the doormat when I got home yesterday, and I managed to find time to unpack and clean the figures. This first pic shows the Timoni packs:

While this one has the Pumbaanish:
Once out of the packs the major surprise for me was the size of the Timoni Conqueror compared to their other AFVs. I knew it would be bigger, but quite how much bigger it is than the Saracen, I had cenrtainly not expected! Also, the British infantry pack has some weapon stands, so I'll make one infantry section in each Timoni platoon a heavy weapons section. Here is the Timoni equipment unpacked:
My only surprise with the Pumbaanish models is the infantry; the plan I outlined in my last post about using some modern WP infantry won't work - they're too different (for me), so I'll be getting at least one more pack of infantry. The unpacked Pumbaanish stuff:

And finally, following the recent announcement by the Iskanderanian regime regarding the modernisation of their air force, the Timoni air force has confirmed reports that they will be acquiring some slightly used former Royal Air Force de Haviland Venoms.

The spokesman went on to say, "There is no truth in the allegation that the Timoni government is buying these aircraft because they look so cool. Absolutely none. None at all. Honest guv!"

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Iskanderan Responds


Having read Colin's ToE for the armed forces of Pumbaaskaya and Timonistan, I thought it would be a good idea to do a bit of a response to the militarist posturing of both of these nations. In the alternate 1960 of the campaign, Iskanderan is emerging from relative isolation to become a key strategic player, with oil revenue to spend and the USA keen to supply weapons and equipment to contain a Soviet Communist domino effect and deter post-colonial British interference in the region.

The Iskanderanian armed forces have, therefore, recently been modernised and re-equipped with slightly obsolete but still effective tanks, armoured vehicles and aircraft under the US Military Aid Program (MAP). The technological time lag for the army puts most of its kit in a 1947 bracket but the air force is far more advanced, being equipped with relatively modern 1956 stuff, only four years behind the times. This translates into a US military support strategy in which air power will be the basis of the Iskanderanian deterrent.


I've used the following packs from the Oddzial Osmy 3mm modern and WW2 US ranges for the main elements of the army. This will include two companies of M47 medium tanks, one of M41 light tanks, one of mechanised infantry in M2 half tracks, one of recon jeeps with recoilless rifles and one battery of 155mm howitzers. The M47's may not be that effective against Colin's Conquerers (eek!) but I think they'll be a good match for his T54's and Saladins.
  • US655 - M47 Patton (2 packs)
  • US656 - M41 Walker Bulldog (1 pack)
  • WUS-622 - M2 Half-track (1 pack)
  • WUS-619 - Jeep (1 pack)
  • US-695 - M38A1C Jeep with recoilless rifle (1 pack)
  • WUS 651- m1-155mm-howitzers (1 pack)
  • WUS-604 - GIs with hand weapons (1 pack)
The air force was originally going to be equipped with F51 Mustang fighter bombers and A26 Invader light attack bombers but, with the 1956 modernisation upgrade now in place, the Mustangs will be augmented by more up to date F84 Thunderjets. There will be two squadrons of six fighter bombers and one of six light attack bombers, together with some C47 Dakotas for air re-supply. I may also add a commando special forces unit equipped with H-19 Chickasaw transport helicopters.

All of these models are from the excellent Tumbling Dice 1/600th scale range.

First Recruits ...

To start off these fictional wars, I've ordered a bunch of 1/600th miniatures by Oddzial Osmy (OO) via Magister Militum (MM). As I type this, I'm away from home for work and have been since the start of the week; this is a great pain, as I got the email from MM last Friday saying the miniattures had been dispatached!

Anyway, hopefully waiting for me on my doormat when I get home later today will be the first recruits for Timonistan & Pumbaaskaya. As Timonistan is backed - definitely not propped up! - by the United Kingdom they will be having British kit; specifically these OO packs:
UK 637 Conqueror x15
UK 628 Saracen x15
UK 629 Saladin x15
WBR 665 Mosquito FB x8
WBR 608 Infantry x15
The Mosquito models I'm going to use as a Timoni-built derivative of the Mosquito Mk XVIII - aka the Tsetse - which had a 6pdr cannon installed that could fire semi- or fully-automatic . The Timonis have further developed this and now have a very effective ground support aircraft. I won't use all of the models as actual aircraft - maybe 6 and make 2 into wrecks as scenery/objective markers.  As the benchmark year for the start is 1960 (and as they're 3mm figures!) I'm using WW2 British infantry for the Timoni infantry sections.

The Pumbaanish are Soviet backed and will have these OO packs:
SA 614 T-55 x15 - 2 of these packs
SA 640 BTR-152 x15
SA 633 PT-76 x15
WSU 647 Pe-2 Light Bomber x8
WSU 607 Soviet Infantry Strips x15
Given the date the T-55s will be used as T-54s, after all as the Wikipedia page I linked to in the OO pack above says "The T-54 and T-55 tanks are outwardly very similar and difficult to distinguish visually", so that's handy! I've got 2 packs as a balance to the significantly heavier Timoni Conquerors.  The BTR-152 can carry 18 passengers, so I'll be having 2 infantry squads in each. The Pumbaanish Air Force suffers from a lack of direction, so despite the potential of their Pe-2 light bombers, little has been done to develop them (again, I'll probably use a couple as wrecks). The infantry are again of the WW2 variety, and I'll probably use some of the stacks of modern 3mm warpac infantry I'll have to make the extra squads that I'll need.

As I said, hopefully they'll be on the doormat when I get home!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Updated Map and Iskanderan Joins the Fray

Jim has come up with some details from 'Not Just a Brush War' for his country Iskanderan and those details are on the blog on the Iskanderan page.

Of course, this necessitated an update to the map. The new version is to the left and has Iskanderan as well as a new lake to allow naval/coastal actions between the nations to be fought.

(Jim - need a name for the lake!)

I've also been thinking about the rules that I'm going to use. I said "I'm going to use", which I think needs a bit of clarification. I'm going to play some games between Pumbaaskaya & Timonistan as solo games, so those are the games I'm referring to. Obviously games between myself & Jim - i.e. Pumbaascaya/Timonistan vs. Iskanderan - will use rules that we both want to use!  Anyway, the point is that I've re-read Nordic Weasel's 'FiveCore Company Command' and I'm not convinced that they'll handle the battalion-level (i.e. multiple companies) games that I envisage playing.

They're described as "1 stand equals 1 squad or vehicle. Typical game had 6-12 stands on each side"

That said, they are definitely fast play and I think I'll be dissatisified with the level of detail that they have. Alternatives that I'm considering are Too Fat Lardies' "I Ain't Been Shot Mum!" (IABSM) and Sabre Squadron. As IABSM is a WW2 ruleset and again has a lack of detail, I'm favouring Sabre Suqadron at the moment.

But of course, I'm not even ready to play a game yet! :)  Still, I get back home tomorrow and my new toys from Magister Militum should be waiting for me and I can make a start!

edited: I meant to say, but forgot, that Jim's selected a benchmark year for us, which is 1960. This means that when you look at the country pages and it says, for example, that Armour Modernity is -3yrs then the newest armour that country can have is 1957

Monday, 19 September 2016

Origins ...

The idea for this blog began when I posted on my main blog about how I had been inspired to start a new project by the excellent  Hakuna Matata Wars blog written by Just Jack of the BlackHawkHet blog.

Jim of the superb Jim's Wargames Workbench blog liked the idea and his enthusiasm for the idea fired me up to order the first figures for this imagi-nation project.

At the same time, my mind turned toward where in the world the imagi-nations would be. I settled on Central Asia and looking at the map to the right I decided that the area of Turkemenistan would be ideal. At the time these fictional wars start - an unspecified year (at the moment) in the earlier part of the cold war - the Central Asian nations were part of the USSR and Iran was under the Shah and aligned to the west.

So, after a bit of work, I came up with the map to the left. Pumbaaskaya and Timonistan are the two countries that I came up with. I was a bit stuck with names to start with but decided on these names as a direct homage to Just Jack's Hakuna Matata wars - as I said a huge inspiration for me. The 'Terra Incognita' allows other states to be added - including Jim's - as the fancy strikes. We have a definite idea to add a lake so we can have some 'coastal' warfare as well.

Pumbaaskaya is a soviet satellite, while Timonistan is a British backed state. Using Nordic Weasel's Not Just a Brush War, I've defined the two countries & come up with a limited TO&E for each that you can see on each country's page via the links at the top right of the blog.

I've invited Jim to be an author on this bog, so we'll have to see how that works!