Monday, July 20, 2015

1/100, 15mm Models from Armaments In Miniature

I recently placed my first order with Armaments In Miniature for a couple of 1/100 scale planes for use with my African imagi-nations.  Let say that I am very happy with my order, and will definitely be ordering from them again. 

I received a 1/100 scale T-28 Trojan and  Dassault Ouragan.  The models are exceptionally well detailed and finely cast, as are the separate munitions that come with them.  I haven't painted them yet, but wanted to share my experience and excitement regarding my order.  Here are a few pix:

The T-28...
And the Ouragan...


Armaments In Miniature has a wonderful selection of WWII aircraft in 1/100 and 1/200, a smaller section of post war and modern aircraft in 1/100, 1/300 transports and bombers, 1/144 WWI balloons, vehicles, landing craft, decals airplane stands and gaming accessories.  The castings are beautiful and the price is very reasonable.  Armaments In Miniature can be reached at:

Saturday, July 18, 2015

On the Work Bench (7-15)

My plans for playing my African campaign game have been put off for a week (going to play a game at a friend's house tomorrow instead).  So I thought I'd babble briefly about things that I'm working on. 

This year, I've been bouncing between sci-fi/post-apoc and African imagi-nation projects, and right now my work table is mostly covered with sci-fi and post-apoc stuff. 

For Christmas, I got several Reaper figures, and despite being in the hobby for 30 plus years and having 15,000ish figs, these are my first Reaper figs.  Below are the first two that I've opened to paint.  At first, my thought was that the dude was too tall to work with my generally 28mm figs, but after posing them next to a couple older figs, while he is tall,  I think it was just that he is lean and so well sculpted that it created the illusion that he wouldn't fit. 

My wife isn't a gamer, so ordering figures is always a bit intimidating, but she said that Reaper was great to deal with, and that they shipped really fast at the peak of Xmas season, so I thought that I should share the good word, if a little late.

Next up, I solved a minor problem for my old Imperial Guard vehicles.  I hate sculpting/modeling/creating tires.  Just kind of boring and tedious, so I have been putting off making the tires for my IG scout cars.  While cleaning up, I found two old Humvee kits that were in the box for the last couple of decades, and decided that the wheels would work for the scout cars.  They are just slightly smaller than what I was going to make, but I have the right number of them, and they will save be about four days of building, mold making, casting and cleaning, which translates into like two months of irishserb hobby time.  Here's a pic of the wheels positioned next to one of the cars.

I think that they will work out well.  I just need to build the suspensions now.

Years ago, I painted up a couple of Kryomek Talos figs.  Originally, I saw them as an addition to my old IG figs, then painted them to be part of a sci-fi corporate army, and will probably end up just using them as alien critters of some sort.  I liked the figs, but wasn't crazy about the weapons, so I did some simple conversion work on the weapons. 

Anyway, a couple of years after painting the first two, I picked up a couple of more packs at a convention, but never did anything with them.  I recently came across them  after maybe 10 years on the shelf, and they have finally made it to my work table.  I'll probably modify the weapons similarly, and then try to figure out which gang/faction/army/race they belong to.  Ooh, have an idea, maybe they will fight for my old guard figs after all.

This is a hover-bot that I made a gazillion years ago.  It made it with the idea of using it as a security bot and maybe a sort of probe drone, but stopped working on it after becoming disenchanted with the base coat of paint. 

I still like the concept, but it wasn't well executed at the time.  I think I'm going to strip this down, update it and give it another try.  If it turns out, maybe update the master parts a little, make new molds and give another it another go.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

AAR16: Recharged, Uwanda Tries Again (African Imagi-Nations at War)

First off, I realized just after posting links to three sites that I mis-typed the AAR number in the last battle.  Should have been AAR15, I'll get around to changing it soon.  Now, on to AAR 16...

As Uwanda's attack at B15 failed, a brief, but heated debate took place regarding what to do next.  Against the Army Chief's will, it was decided to use the follow-on forces for the planned attack on B14 in a second attack on B15.

The battle takes place at B15, center bottom of the map.

Survivors of the first attack would also be used in the second attack, and then all remaining Uwandan forces would turn north and attack objective B14, while troops original based at A55 would move to occupy B15.  This second attack gave Mugabia time to move troops and reinforce potential future targets.  Additionally, it would give the Mugabian air force opportunity to respond to the Uwandan invasion.

Unfortunately for Col. Chuma, reinforcements would not arrive prior to the Uwandan return.  But by the time of the Uwandan second attack, Mugabian forces had been reorganized with ULF fighters assigned to fill losses in the regular infantry squads.

As Uwanda's troops advanced, both air forces had already begun fighting for control of the sky.  The stage was set for the second attack.

Mugabian defenses consisted of  about 75 infantry, two SU100, one T34/85, one 85mm AT gun, two 82mm mortars (which had been utterly useless in the first battle), and the hope of air support.

The Mugabian view looking west.

Uwanda attacked with a recce section of 3 Ferrets, seven Fireflies, and infantry company in 13 M3 halftracks, and the remaining 6 Saracens and a couple of Wombats in landrovers.  Six M7 Priests would support, and if air superiority could be maintained, maybe air support.

The Uwandan view looking east.

Mhina peered over the sandbags; he thought that he could hear engine sounds to the west, "Oh Lord, please don't let them return.  I cannot do this again."  He had survived multiple volleys of artillery in the first battle, but had seen his squad members disintegrate before him. He hunkered back down and prayed.

The Uwandan scouts dismounted their armored cars and slowly advanced through the brush, Overhead, the sky filled with contrails, and the occasional boom.

The air battle started with a few aircraft, and grew into the massive air battle that both countries wanted to avoid, with fighters joining in twos, threes, and fours. When it was done neither side could afford to command the air, 18 aircraft having been shot down. 7 Uwandan, and 11 Mugabian. 

The ground battle started off with Uwandan artillery pounding the center and left side of the Mugabian first line of defense.  Mugabian infantry took a terrible pounding, but most survivors still stayed at there posts. 

Uwandan artillery dominated on the battlefield.

Uwanda infantry advance through the forest to the Mugabian left, eventually making contact with dug in enemy infantry.  A terrible firefight ensued, resulting in significant casualties to both forces, but Uwandan numbers won out, and eventually the Mugabians withdrew. 

Uwandan Fireflies working their way through the trees,
infantry are advancing in the upper right of the view.

Mhina was one of the first to see the oncoming Uwandans, well hidden behind sandbags and brush, his heart pounded as he fired at the enemy. He saw two men drop, heard a scream from his left, popped another clip into his AK and fired.  Then he felt a sharp stinging burn, that knocked him over backwards.  "Oh God it hurts", he thought as he squirmed to find a way to reduce the pain.  The pained seemed to numb, he felt chilled, and then everything went black.  He woke to the barrel of an M16 in his face, a Uwandan medic knelt down, as he pushed the other man's M16 away, and began to explore the wound, the world went black again.

Uwandan scouts brought down artillery on the Mugabian right, with the Mugabians breaking, and abandoning their positions.  In time the scouts began to advance and were backed by Uwandan FIreflies.  As they cam into view, a MugabianSU-100 engaged, but managed to kill only one Firefly by the time, the Uwandans finally spotted the SU100 on the rise to the Mugabian right.

The Uwandans advanced on the Mugabian center, with Fireflies backed by Saracen born infantry.  The Fireflies were finally sighted by the Mugabian T-34, but artillery destroyed the Mugabian 85mm gun before it could fire, and forced the T-34 to withdraw after only tracking a single Firefly.  Colo Chuma's command vehicle was also hit, and he and surviving staff tried to get into the town to regroup.

The T34/85, 85mm in front and to the left of the T34, and the
SU100 further forward and a little more left.  Still offering hope. 
Then the artillery began again.  And hope was blown to pieces.

The infantry battle on the Mugabian left continued as the Uwandans advanced, and hit successive layers of Mugabian troops, but supported by the M3 halftracks, and poor Mugabian marksmanship (crappy die roles), the Uwandans  continued to push back their enemy back.  A couple M3s got hit by the other SU100, but it too had to eventually flee the Uwandan artillery, and simply could not get into a position to engage.

Uwanda advances.

As Col. Chuma and surviving infantry withdrew, they continued to get pounded with artillery and now fire from Fireflies and the Uwandan halftracks' machineguns.  The withdraw turned to all out retreat, as the Uwandans simply overran the the objective.

Muabagians in retreat.  Col Chuma can be seen near the center of the view,
 the second man back behind the center BTR152.

Col Chuma and a small number of Mugabians managed to escape north taking a few BTR152s, a captured Saracen from the first battle of B15, and the lone surviving SU100. A number of vehicles and other equipment were left to the Uwandans.

The village abandoned, as found by the Uwandan army.

Uwanda rounded up prisoners and tended to wounded, both theirs and those of the enemy.

Mhina woke to the barrel of an M16 inches from his face.  A Uwandan medic knelt down, as he pushed the other man's M16 away, and began to explore the wound.  As the pain returned, the world went black again.

The air battle was monumental, and will have a log lasting impact on the campaign.  Mugabian losses leave them with less than half of the number of interceptors possessed by Uwanda, and severely restrict their capacity to maintain air patrols, defend their airspace, and mount attacks.  Highlights of the battle were a Mig17 that got four F5 kills (who was later shot down after running out of ammo), and the first ace of the war, a Uwandan F5A with three kills in this battle.

The ground battle was barely less lopsided, though will no doubt prove to be less significant. There were simply toomany Uwanda's for the Mugabians to deal with,a nd the y had no answer for the merciless Uwandan artillery, which dominated the battle.  Losses were as follows:

3x M3 halftack
1x Firefly (another was tracked and will not make the advance on B14)
9x WIA
15 KIA

Mugabia (Not including captured equipment)
1x SU100
1x T34/85
1x BTR40
2x GAZ66
41x KIA
10x WIA
4x POW

11x KIA

Captured by Uwanda
2x 82mm Mortars
1x GAZ69
4x BTR152
14x POW

Uwanda will now advance north on objective B14.  It will probably be next weekend before I get to that game.  Hopefully, I will get the camera figured out by that time too.  I've been having some troubles with the one that I've been using lately.  And, need to build more trees. A lot more trees.

Friday, July 10, 2015

AAR15: Charging Ahead (A Battle of 15mm Imagi-Nations)

After much debate, the Uwandan Army planned to attack Mugabia's southwestern most region, attacking objective B15, with the intent to take the objective and then swing north to encircle the occupied Pettu territory.

Objective B15 is located just east of the Uwanda-Mugabia
border at bottom center of the map.

Mugabia did not foresee a Uwandan attack into Mugabian territory.  It would be seen as an escalation in the conflict.  Out of character for Uwanda, and unlikely enough, that the Mugabian defenses were maybe not what they should have been.

Mugabian forces were deployed and consisted of an infantry company, 2x 85mm antitank guns, a T34/23 (a local conversion with a ZU23/2 antiaircraft gun replacing the normal turret), 3x T34/85, and 3x SU100. In addition to the 90 or so infantry were 20 local ULF fighters.
Mugabian view looking west.

The Uwandan attack was lead by a recce squadron of 3x Ferrets, and 4x Saladin armored cars, 4x Centurion 3s, a single M42, a mechanized infantry company of 13 Saracens and 118 men, and all backed by a battery of 6x M7 Preists, and possibly air support.

Uwandan view looking east.

The battle actually started in the air, where Uwanda's four F5Es swept  pairs of Mig21s and Mig17s from the sky, despite the Mig17s getting the jump on the F5Es.

On the ground, Uwanda recce moved into position and directed artillery on the gate, watchtower, and right side of the Mugabian line. 

Artillery falling near the gate

Col Chuma grimaced as the first volley of Uwanda artillery fell.  " So this is where they finally attack. Now we'll see if my men learned anything from the Cubans."

Uwanda recce advances.

The impressive artillery display, resulted in few casualties.  As the Uwanda recce advanced, they quickly took loses from RPGs and T34/85s hidden in the trees on the Mugabian right.

T34/85s hidden in the trees.
The Centurions advanced, but could not find the T34s in time to save the Uwanda recce squadron.  They did eventually destroy the T34s, while artillery missed the T34s and most of the surrounding infantry.

The Centurions advance.

While the Centurions then struggled with RPGs, losing two tanks, Col. Chuma ordered his SU100s to advance up the Mugabian left, eventually flanking the Centurions and advancing infantry company.  Initially the SU100s couldn't find the mark, but in time they destroyed a Centurion and several Saracens.  The last Centurion maneuvered to engage the SU100s, but became entangled with  more infantry and the 85mm anti-tank guns. 

SU100s move into position.

Sgt. Jumah slewed the turret around and barked, " Gunner, Sabot, tank..." BOOM "...forward."  As the round left the barrel, the SU100 also fired.  The Centurion's round found its target, while the SU100's did not.

Centurion engages SU100 downrange, just left of the end of the fence.

The Centurion lurched forward, moving behind the customs building, and the driver yelled, "RPG!"  The last thing Sgt Chuma saw, was the wall of the flame from exploading ammo that consumed him.

Left of the blue roofed custons building, is Sgt. Jumah's Centurion,
shortly before it was destroyed.

Despite the loss of an infantry platoon and the last Centurion, the infantry company attempted to carry on the fight.  Meanwhile, Uwandan Strikemasters finally arrived and tried in vain to bomb the remaining SU100s.

A Strikemaster hunting SU100s.
The Saracens' machineguns raked Mugabian infantry in the trees near the abandoned and destroyed T34s, but RPGs continued to take their toll.  The Uwandan's did forced Col. Chuma to move his command post and withdraw into the town. As losses continued, the Uwandan company commander finally gave the order to disengage and withdraw north.

Farthest point of advance, moments before the Saracens
fled the battle to the right.

As the Saracens fled the battle, Strikemasters overhead continued the hunt the SU100s, having little success, while killing a small number of infantry.

A Strikemaster, continuing to have little effect.
As the Uwandan infantry veered north and then west,  Col. Chuma felt a great sense of relief, "They are beaten for now." Turning to his XO, "We must re-deploy immediately.  They will be back."
The end.  Smoke a wrecks litter the battlefield.

The Mugabians rounded up prisoners, tended their wounded and re-organized and re-deployed.   Their success was commended, and replacements would soon arrive. Col. Chuma felt little comfort.

Well, the battle went nothing like I expected.  When the Uwandan Air force destroyed the Migs, I thought that this would end up being a lopsided battle in favor of Uwanda.  But the artillery had little effect, and early on the T34s and RPGs couldn't seem to miss.  Losses were as follows:

2x Ferret
4x Saladin
4 Centurion 3
7 Saracen
11 Taken Prisoner

1x Mig21 killed, 1x damaged
1x Mig17 killed, 1x damaged
1x 85mm D48 gun
2x T34/85 (another was tracked abandoned, and recovered)
1x SU100
1x T34/23
23x KIA

11x Uwandan Infantry
1x Saracen APC

A terrible loss for Uwanda, and possibly a very important victory for Mugabia.  I have to roll some dice, but this may stop Uwanda's plan in their tracks.  We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Patience and Puppet Strings - The State of the Mugabia-Uwanda War

After Mugabia's advances beyond Pettu tribal territory were smashed by Uwandan forces, a brief period of quiet was enjoyed by all parties.  Uwanda reinforced it's positions along the border, as did Mugabia.  The ULF began receiving more weapons and training from Mugabia, and after a brief time, began attacking Uwandan interests. 

Attacks on Uwandan convoys initially saw great success, but tactics quickly evolved, putting the ULF attackers at much greater risk.  Several would be attacks met with no effect on the (now) fast moving convoys, and frequent air patrols greatly burdened ULF movement.  And, somewhat to the surprise of the ULF, popular support was not so great as expected.

In the air, a handful of intercepts took place, with a couple of aircraft lost and a few damaged, but the encounters were rare.  Still stinging from earlier losses, both sides were hesitant to risk air assets.

Uwandan leadership appealed on the world stage for support from the UN or a big brother, but world interest in this conflict was simply lacking, and all parties encouraged finding a non-military solution.  The conflict was a burden on the economy, and popular unrest at the overall lack of activity was growing.  Uwanda's President Danganyu decided that the time had come for Uwanda to take action,   But just what action to take, he was not yet so sure of...

On the other side of the border, Mugabia's President Upepomfuko, touting Pettu tribal unification and even liberation, was content to spend ULF lives to further his cause.  The border was well defended, and  Uwanda's international puppet masters were all spouting "peaceful solution" in the wake of the conflict.

Despite recent setbacks, potential internal enemies and the general population were under firm control.  New weapons were sought to replace losses, and in time new troops and weapons would be brought to bear.  For now, the puppets would be kept busy, their strings being pulled by the ULF.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Mugabian Border Post (Modern 15mm Imagi-Nation)

I finally managed to build the rest of the stuff needed for my 15mm Mugabian border crossing.  In addition to the watch tower that I build previously, I completed two customs buildings, some signs and fences. The buildings and other odds and ends are based on or inspired by various border crossings between Kenya and its neighbors.

The building walls are made of blue foam, the roofs are textured styrene from Evergreen and Plastruct. 

The fence is HO scale Hairpin Fence from Atlas.


The signs were made with Photoshop, printed and sealed and glued onto styrene  and brass sign posts.

With this stuff done, I can finally get some battles on the table top.