Picking up those brushes again.

Hi and welcome to the occasional mutterings of Dave Doc, a military modeller and some time gamer. Gaming and model making has given me a real education, History & Geography(obvious really), Artistry, Politics, Economics, Logistics, Project Management -you try building miniature armies without the last 3.

I will use the blog to record my creations & the odd occasion I actually do some gaming.

I have always been inspired by the aesthetic side of gaming. Playing on well constructed terrain using excellently painted units is always a joy.

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

‘Nam 68 - Operation Turkey Dinner. Gaming

 Today saw the a gathering of the Old Guard for a last game of the year . Martin and I had pulled together a Vietnam game using an unofficial supplement called The Earth Was Red. We had a 17x6 table for the US forces to move along to “seek and destroy “ along with find out what was happening in the village of Chi Mi. Martin and I would do NVA/VC forces and inform the guys of the various events . We used our system of random tiddly winks with a range of good and bad events . 

We gave the guys a map to prepare their assault - arriving from the east. 

Damn that teddy bear fur looks the biz in that picture! 
 

John had a couple of units of special forces up near the village already. Angus would air lift in Stgs grunts to the LZ nearest the village and James was driving the APC section with Ian’s grunts..  We had given each of the US players objectives and victory points to aim for . This might be enemy kills , intel , weapons caches , prisoners - promo shots from the embedded photographers - or it could be bad things happening , losing men, the photographer finding bad things to shoot with his camera etc . 

What could possibly go wrong .

The corpsman was kept busy and cas-evac became a priority 

Navy Skyraider saved the day on a few occasion 
Helicopter shot down by an RPG -fortunately the troops had already got out . 




The APC platoon turns up..

The village started to show signs of NVA occupation .
More next time.



Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Musings - Challenge XII

 It’s that time of the year again for Curt to set in train the winter painting challenge . 

I will both be participating and helping admin it as the Friday minion.


With recent events I am a bit behind on planned preparation , but there is certainly plenty of stuff to go at . 

So for those of you out in the blog world who are participating- have a great one 


Thursday, 9 December 2021

Musings - RIP Scotty

Unfortunately a few weeks ago my gaming friend “Scotty” died suddenly at the age of 52. 

After 40+ years of friendship and lots of gaming in various forms over the decades it’s left a major hole in my life and is taking some time to start to come to terms with.

In addition I am also dealing with his wargames related estate for his wife Julie . . After 40 years of collecting stuff / hoarding it /never parting with any thing , there is a lot of stuff to attempt to realise the value of for Julie his widow. I have started with a local show bring and buy (which went very well) , the local club (thanks guys - you’ve been great) and now moved on to e bay .

I have some reflections so far, based on having to sort through mounds of stuff. 

1) the simple option is for your family to hire a skip and bin the lot if they don’t know what it’s worth. Yes  those few bits of plastic/lead can  really be worth £25 /50/100/250/1000s etc  and at volume this adds up . 

2) Talk to someone about what you might want to do with stuff after your  passing - even mention some in elements in a formal will.

3) Leave some guidance to help the person sorting stuff to identify what it is in the box or drawer . Or an opinion of expected value . Have a conversation in advance about someone dealing with your estate .

4) Books are a real problem on moving on . Value is pennies against pounds bought for unless it’s really unusual . 

I feel a rationalisation of my own projects coming on next year .

I have been able to draw on a network of contacts which has helped to ID stuff and enable it to be sold locally or on e bay and it’s been a real help  to me - thank you all .

I am out scattering Scotties ashes this weekend with his wife and family and will reflect on the many happy times we had over the gaming table ..


 

RIP Scotty 
“Your dice rolled low one time too many my friend”



Monday, 8 November 2021

‘Nam 68 - Gaming Hot LZ

 Martin and I met up today  for a Nam game . We used Bolt Action with a few tweaks . We are planning for the big Xmas game with the Scruton lads. Lots of new bits have been added such as tunnel entrances , more casualty figures , terrain items etc. 


We decided on a seek and destroy type mission.

The LZ turned out to be a bit warm with RPG’s flying about 


The VC were hiding in some tunnels near the LZ caused some surprises. RPG landing next to the command group killing the platoon sergeant. Martin has decided to create a tunnel complex piece fur the Xmas game now too.




An NVA mortar team had set up in the village - they seemed to know their  job . There were some seriously lucky dice rolls.



Overall things worked well for transferring to the larger game , with a few extra challenges for the guys. We made a list of bits and bobs  to add . We will have a 16x6 table to fight over next time.


Sunday, 7 November 2021

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre & International Bomber Command Centre

 This weekend we took at trip to Lincoln to the IBCC and then to the East Kirkby museum for the end of season night time show of the Lancaster “Just Jane” and the Mosquito. 


First we attended the Bomber command centre museum and the war memorial to bomber command. The numbers are very telling with 55,000 dead aircrew. 



 It has a good set of historical films and interpretative displays 


 The Spire Memorial






After our visit we moved on the East Kirkby museum. It’s a historic wartime bomber base that is working to restore a Lancaster to full airworthiness. I do a regular monthly donation to buy a rivet or two .In order to help pay toward the expected £4m total cost it does various public taxi runs throughout the year . This event is the night time run . It is also combined with restoration Mosquito project . So you get to see.both aircraft taxying on the field - and hear 6 Merlin engines thundering away. There were various other vendors and bits of the museum to see along with the end of night firework show. All in all it was an excellent visit . There was a raffle prize of a ride in the Lancaster that night - I suspect Mrs D would have fought me for that - missed it by about 400 tickets ! 


 










The noise of the 6 Merlins on high revs was something to make the hairs on your neck stand up ! 

Season over - it’s back to restoration with the new wing jigs under construction. Hopefully we will be back next year  - I will be looking at options to actually get a ride in it . 


Friday, 15 October 2021

‘Nam 68 - AirPower - Skyraider

 The autumn painting focus is going to be on the Vietnam project. Over the spring and summer I have built up a stash of stuff for both sides . However in a fit of polystyrene glue inspired madness I managed to pick up a pile of 1/48th aircraft/helicopter  kits . Sensibly of course I should have gone down a scale to 1/72 for these ..but no ..go big or go home eh…

The first proper aircraft to add to the US inventory is a USN Skyraider . I think this is the first larger scale aircraft I have ever done , but it was a return to early teens focus and I really enjoyed it . It does have some extra challenges , but also some easier elements too over smaller scale items. 

 

I used a Gringo40s pilot figure fur this . It needed a little modification to straighten his legs but other than that he works fine.


I made up a few universal flight stands for the collection during the summer which are telescopic aerial/backscratchers and some M4 nuts and bolts . They seem to be working well . I added a pile of lead weights to the bases to anchor  then down.
 
 

Anyway . Normal service has been resumed.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Gaming - “Target for Tonight” board game

 I have decided to revisit an older part of my gaming interest - board war games. I have picked up a copy of “Target for Tonight” which is a solo game that sees you running a single aircraft on sorties to bomb the Reich.   I previously owned B17 Queen of the Skies which this is very similar too.. it has a range of individual missions and campaigns to complete . The ultimate being a 30 mission tour. 

There are standard rules for Stirling, Halifax and Lancaster bombers , along with optional Wellington and B29 Washington’s . In terms of system it’s very dice driven with little actual personal choice input. It does however allow a narrative to build up with lots of extra details.


 

I decided to start at the beginning with campaign #1 “Harris takes over” using a squadron based at one of my local airfields RAF Leeming.  

Mission #1 The campaign kicked off 8/9th March 1942 with a fresh novice bomber crew in a new Stirling mk3 . The briefing revealed the target was to be Lubeck. At dusk the bombers hurtled down the runway . MG-A the still un-named aircraft seemed to be struggling with engine number 3 developing a fault and the pilot could not get the fully laden bomber off the ground. It crashed through the runway barriers .. mercifully though it was brought to a halt and nothing more series happened. The plane was handed over to the fitters and is out of action for a few days . The mission does not count toward your totals . 

Hardly a great start with some pretty extreme rolling ! But they will fly again.

Mission #2.  12/13th March , the squadron is tasked to Hamburg. This time the heavy bomber gets off the ground with no problems . Its positioned in the middle of the bomber stream at high altitude. As it heads across the North Sea there is an area of 100% cloud to deal with and a collision is avoided. Further across the North Sea toward the enemy coastline the clouds clear.

 Tailgunner Sgt Cooke with his sharp night vision suddenly announces fighter 6 o clock low .. and fires his 4 .303 Browings . The bomber had been picked out by a Kamhuber line radar and it had vectored a Do217 night fighter to intercept. The fighter fires and only does superficial wing damage before coming around again to try again , again from 6 o clock but level this time . Sgt Cooke again sees the fighter coming and is on target this time as he follows the stream of tracer toward the fighter  inflicting wing control surface damage. This puts the fighter pilot off his aim and he misses the bomber and breaks off returning to base .  

Moving across the coastline toward the target again the bomber attracts the attention of a night fighter .this time a Me110 with a veteran pilot approaching from 6 o clock low . Again Sgt Cooke picks it out of the dark , this time Pilot Thompson  announces he’s corkscrewing the plane to try and avoid the fighter . This throws out the bombers gunners aim which misses. The fighter fires and hits the rear fuselage with minimal damage and then the bomb bay - this luckily only  destroys the bomb aim autopilot . The fighter stays with the bomber coming back around from 12 o clock level . The nose gunner doesn’t see it coming and the fighter   shoots  up the front turret knocking the guns out and then the wireless operators oxygen supply is blown up. The fighter again sticks with bomber , avoiding a close collision as he comes around from the rear again. Sgt Cooke again spots the fighter lets off the quad turret brownings. As he does so cannon shells explode in the turret , somehow he’s unscathed but his guns are wrecked. However the fighter had found his target well and truly with hits across all areas of the bomber as he walk his cannon fire across it . Both wings take superficial damage , then the bomb bay is hit again - this time the cannon fire hits the bombs and there is an almighty  explosion as the full bomb load explodes the Stirling and it’s full crew of 7 is obliterated. 

The veteran flier returns to base to paint another bomber downed onto his fuselage. 

Well that was eventful and fun . Even after two short missions I find myself drawn into the dialogue and investing in the crew .  A fair bit of page flipping for charts. I have downloaded some other player aids from Boardgamegeek site which helps to streamline things . 


Game laid out with battle board , crew deployment , and records sheets .

More to come -with a new crew 



Sunday, 8 August 2021

Gaming - Napoleonic - Battle of Borodino

 This weekend I was invited to a friends birthday gaming bash to refight Borodino hosted by the good lads at Legendary Wargames near Bradford. The battle bunker had 2 tables 24x6 with more quality miniature than you can wish for. We were using Grand Manner rules 

It was a typical Borodino hard bruising fight. As ever with these very large multiplayer fights you get wrapped up in the fight in your own area and lose track of what happening further along the line . The only indication may be shouts of joy or groans of despair. I have Davouts Corps which was a sizeable chunk of the French army to attack the Fleches and woods west of Utitsa. I would receive additional cavalry support early in the game too.

Anyway her is a selection of action shots .

 
Classic Grand Manner large cavalry melee action .. my Empress Dragoon’s dishing it out to various Russian Kuirassier in style ! 

 
Starting the French Adance.


Moving up the woods-,veteran battalions lead the way

The Grand Redoubt  looms  large.

Russians have succumbed to first attacks and are on the back table 



The French advance through the woods pushing the Russians back 

 
The attack on Borodino goes in 
Two divisions of Daviut have taken the 3 Fleches and are advancing supported/protected by the Empress Dragoon’s.


A cracking weekend has been had . It was declared a French victory - somewhat historical overall .

I was great to be back doing big games with a bunch of great guys








Work in hand

The RULES!

No more than 3 things on the PAINTING table at once. Nothing new added until something is finished.

PREPARATION work is done when I don't fancy detail painting. Cleaning up, converting, undercoating etc.

PLANNING is expressions of interest or things that have inspired me to be created with no definite timescale as yet.


On the PAINTING TABLE
15mm Terrain bits
15mm WW2 Germans

On the PREPATION table.
28mm Sudan.

In the PLANNING
15mm Napoleonics .