Yesterday and today I have spent some time painting aircraft. This is a slow progress. Every time referencing some photos and choosing what to paint. But it is progress and enjoyable. It will take still significant time to complete everything.
For aerial wargaming I have been using 1/600 scale models. For putting them on the table, I had used some homemade stands. Consisting of a hexagon shape base plate, with small vertical rod. On top of the rod was a colored bead, with a magnet glued on. On the base was a rectangle for a 7mm D6 dice. (see image below) I have used these for several games, and they work fine. But have the downside, that everything needed to be noted with dice. The speed, height and often an ID marker, to check which unit it was. (with flights of multiple identical planes). So a better way to do this had to be found.
After ordering the new planes, it was time to order some new magnets to base the planes. When looking on the magnet seller site, I noted some long thin magnets. And a new idea sprang into my head. I have seen people using Lego bricks to denote the different height levels. But it might be also possible to do this with magnets. And you can see the results below.
I am very happy with how the finished result looks like. I am still thinking to add a dice frame, for the speed. But will probably play a game first. I hope this helps others too. Now I can proceed on basing the planes, and painting more.
After reading the books on the Ethiopian history and air force actions, I hope to create multiple campaigns. Trying to simulate the different wars and operations. I think I will play most of these campaigns in solo mode. Testing out the Missle threat Solo rules and the Missle threat mercenary air campaign. I have divided the history in the following operations:
- United Nations Operation in the Congo (1960-1964)
- Eritrean war of independence (1961-1991)
- Ogaden war, Ethiopia-Somali (1978)
- DERG period (1978-1988)
- Badme war, Ethiopia-Eritrean (1998-2001)
For most of these periods there were a lot of engagements, but most are not described with a lot of details. Therefore for gaming purposes I will simplify these eras, and create some kind of alternate-history. This enables to use a campaign system and generate some raids and air clashes, from tables.
At this moment I don’t have any planes yet. Therefore more detailed plans will be made when I acquire them. A big inspiration will come from the Cuba Libre! blog. This was one of the reasons with the air wargaming, and also lead me to Lacquered coffins and Missile threat rules. Please check out his work, especially his Phantoms over Havana series.
Last friday the ordered decals arrived. What is very quick, as I ordered them on the 12th of july, and they arrived at the 19th, from US to NL.
It are 12 different sheets (packed per 2) They look very nice, and are recognizable for every country.
I hope to show some of the roundels on the planes soon. For the others I have to order some new planes to test them out .
Last week I played some Missile Threat in the Falklands with my father. As I was painting the house, I did not have time to write this report earlier.
The scenario is loosely based the attack of the HMS Glasgow (type 42) and HMS Brilliant (type 22). Forming a Type 42-22 combo. In our scenario the two ships are patrolling, with two harrier on CAP mission in the vicinity. The Argentinean are planning two attack with two flights of two a-4 Skyhwaks and a flight of two mirages. All equipped with bombs. The Skyhawks are coming in low (level 1) over land, to avoid detection, and mirages are entering on just cruising height somewhat behind.
Because the Harrier where some distance away they would not intercept before the first attack. Therefore the first pair of Skyhawks came in low and fast and took the ships by surprise. Damaging the HMS Glasgow, keeping her crew occupied with saving the vessel. So already the air defense of one of the ships was taken out. The Harriers had closed in, and on of them fired a sidewinder on the first pair, from a large distance. This missile tried to track them but was in the end out ranged, and missed. The second harrier spotted the other two waves and tried to get a advantageous position.
The second wave of Skyhawks closed in too quickly and the Harriers couldn’t prevent the attack. The HMS Brilliant was alerted by the previous attack, and was shooting with Medium AA, but the AA missles were not ready. One of the Skyhawks did attack the already damaged HMS Glasgow, and was hit again, sinking the ship. The HMS Brilliant was hit and lightly damaged.
The Harriers started to get behind the multiple attackers. Performing some advanced maneuvers to align their guns. They got some hits, wounding one of the Mirage pilots. But this was not enough to stop them, and the Mirages sunk the HMS Brilliant on the next attack. One of the Skyhawks was less lucky, and got shot down after it already had released its bombs.
Then the fight was over quite quickly, the Harriers went back to the carrier as there was nothing to defend, and the Argentineans went home bingo on fuel.
This was a good scenario, we had hoped the ships would have a bigger impact with their air defenses and that is why the British lost so much. Therefore this was a mayor victory for the Argentineans, as they only lost one Skyhawk, but sunk to ships.
The Missle Threat rules are very interesting and fun to play. But sometimes a little challenging to remember all the pilot actions. (When to perform a pilot check, and which attacks are allowed on which moment) Only the missiles feel a little strange. IR guided missiles are much easier to fire. And do not perform that much differently than radar guided ones. So it is very beneficial to have IR missiles over radar guided ones. Probably will play more games in the future. Hope to do also some solo campaign with the Ethiopian air force.