Flashpoint Alto Cenepa
I've left it a bit late for my usual review of wargaming year but I've done a quick wizz through of what I've done over the last twelve months. In January, February and March I painted shedloads of 1/600th planes for Bag the MiG and MiG Alley, although I still haven't completed all of the extra things I need for the latter, so a game has yet to materialise but is on the cards for 2019. I also assembled some modern fast attack craft in 1/700th, which are still in a box somewhere, and added some more 1/600th aircraft for my Flashpoint Taiwan project.In the Easter holidays I played several games of Target Locked On! which I enjoyed and made up for not being able to get to the club for any games due to the kid's evening activities on a Tuesday night. I then started on a Wings at War: Desert Spitfires project but this was hijacked by the arrival of What a Tanker, which proceeded to occupy the next couple of months with building, painting and weathering 1/72nd scale plastic kits. I really enjoyed this but onl
I've just filled out the Aircraft Control Sheets for the Target Locked On! Alto Cenepa scenario that I have been working on over the last week or so. I had to make up the callsigns apart from Major Orrego's 'Poeta' but I don't think that's a big issue. I've rated all of the pilots as Experienced but with a 3+ rating for Pilot Skill instead of a 4+ as listed in the rules. I've found that this makes for a better game, with a slightly better chance of doing things, and improves the chances of successful gun attacks in particular. I still don't fancy the chances of the Fitter's surviving very long though!?
I've finished off the jungle themed ground targets for use with my Wings at War project on the Football War. I could also use some of them for the Alto Cenepa project but that's pushing it a bit as there were very few vehicles deployed by either side due to the inaccessible terrain. I'm now going to scratch build a proper airport template and an oil refinery, using whatever bits and bobs I can find but at a smaller scale for visual effect, using 28mm size lasercut hedgerow bases from ERM.
I've been working on some ground targets for the Football War project this afternoon, although they some could also be used for the Alto Cenepa project as well. In the Wings at War system, you get to deploy a number of 30mm round targets to represent troops, vehicles, positions and the like, as well as some conflict specific targets such as bridges in MiG Alley or airfields in Flames Above the Falklands. I thought I'd need both types of ground targets for the Football War project but have focussed for the moment on the tactical military ones.In my background reading, most of the ground targets in the Football War were enemy troops, artillery and vehicles, although airfields and oil plants were also attacked. I decided to make most targets generic military units, so have painted up some Oddzial Ozmy WW2 US trucks, half tracks and 105mm howitzers to represent both side's forces. I've also made two airstrips using bocage terrain templates from ERM, which will eventually get some parked aircraft or something simi
I've finished the Mi-24 Hinds and Mi-17 Hips for the AEF this afternoon, adding the Lazerline Designs rotor discs and tail rotors to complete the job. I'm in two minds about these, as they definitely make them look more like flying machines but at the expense of hiding all the paintwork underneath an over thick plastic disc. Anyway, they are now done and dusted so that I can get back to the Salvadorian aircraft for the Football War.
This is the scenario that I will, hopefully, be playing with Target Locked On! at some point over the week, having failed to get myself organised this weekend. The basic set up will be an Intercept mission, using the scenario guidelines in the rules but with the FAP fighter bombers starting on the centreline of the table and facing away from the attacking FAE Mirages. They will not be able to react until the FAE interceptors get a lock on, in order to replicate the lack of RWR and failure to detect the enemy until it was too late. The Mirage will have two Matra Magic MkI AAM's and the Su-22's will have two AA-2 Atoll AAM's. The Mirage also get flares but the Su-22's will have to make do with just evasive manoeuvres. I won't include the FAP Mirage 2000's or the FAE Kfir C2's as they didn't play a role in the historical outcome of the engagement. I will rate all of the pilots as Experienced but using the adjusted ratings for Reaction and Skill that I've adopted for improved playability. The FAE points add
I made some progress with the FAP / AEP helicopters this afternoon, painting in the camouflage, undersides, canopies and stores, then washing the whole lot in my usual Future based gunge solution. On my day off tomorrow, I'll add some detailing highlights, tidy up the wobbly bits and then attempt to paint the shark's mouth markings on the Hinds, if I can summon up the courage? I'll also add the decals and then work out exactly how to go about sticking on the laser etched rotor discs and tail rotors...which should be fun?
I haven't had much time today, as usual, but I have finished modifying and magnet basing the last of the aircraft for the FAH including two T-28 Trojans with added gun pods, two T-6 Texans with added gunpods, two rocket armed T-28 Trojans and five F4U-4 Corsairs with underwing rockets. These will be used to represent the F4U-4's that the Hondurans flew alongside the F4U-5's that I've used unarmed models for, so that the difference is obvious on the table top.I also base coated the FAP helicopters for the Alto Cenepa project, as I now have laser etched rotor discs and tail rotors from Lazerline Design to make them look the business. I will aim to finish these over the weekend, although the scary sharks teeth on the Hinds might be a little tricky to pull off. I'm thinking of using a white basecoat followed by the black and red mouth strips, then adding the white teeth with a very, very small brush?
This weekend I thought I'd do something I haven't done for ages, namely play a wargame scenario or two! I've been wrapped up in modelling and painting over the Summer and haven't been to the local wargames club for months due to family commitments on game night, so my actual wargaming has been minimal. This is clearly not a good way to go and so it's about time I got myself organised to do some old fashioned solo wargaming.Now that I've finished both the FAP and FAE for the Alto Cenepa War and have the bases and aircraft profiles sorted, I thought I'd play two games with the same scenario, using two different sets of rules. I'm going to have a go at replaying the clash between two FAE Mirage F1's and two FAP Su-22's on the 10th February 1995, in which the Peruvian Sukhoi fighter bombers were both shot down. Not a great outcome for the Peruvians but that's what happens when you don't have RWR!I'll play this out with both Target Locked On! and the Wings at War rules, using Flames above the Falklands as a basis
Mirage F1-JIAI Kfir C2Sepecat Jaguar InternationalBAE StrikemasterCessna T-37B DragonflyBell 212, Aerospatiale Gazelle and PumasAerospatiale GazelleBell 212I've finally finished the FAE aircraft and helicopters for the Alto Cenepa project, with only some rotor discs to add to the latter to complete the line up. I am now ready to try out the Wings at War rules and also set up a Target Locked On! historical scenario with Peruvian SU-22 Fitters against Ecuadorian Mirage F1's. I still need to work out the mechanics for the Alto Cenepa Wings at War variant and produce some ground targets, but otherwise I'm ready to go.
Apologies for the blurry photo but the camera is on the blink again.I finished painting the FAE aircraft for the Alto Cenepa project today, so they now only need the decals to be applied and the canopies gloss varnished to be ready to use. I'm not as happy with these as I am with the FAP aircraft but they will do. I don't have any rotor discs for the helos yet but will order some as soon as possible so that they are complete.I am going to leave the extra FAP aircraft for the moment as I want to do the planes for the Soccer War and also go back to the French ironclads to add another stage of painting. I also have another project that may hit the workbench at some point, which has nothing to do with tiddly planes or ships for a change but which I was thinking about way back at the start of the year.
My copy of this paperback book on the Soccer War arrived in the post today, so I've had a quick flick through and will read it properly at the weekend. It is quite short but packed full of detailed information, cracking photos and some lovely colour profiles of the aircraft involved in the conflict between El Salvador and Honduras in July 1969. It's a gold mine of stuff for air wargaming and very much worth grabbing if you are interested, especially as it's an absolute bargain if you shop around a bit. I am absolutely chuffed with this book as you can probably work out by my enthusiastic review. There are several other interesting titles in Helion Publishing's Latin America@War series and somewhere over the horizon there will be a volume on the Alto Cenapa War too. Excellente!https://www.helion.co.uk/browse-title-series-more/latinamericaatwar-series.html
I've just spent a very happy hour or so painting the camouflage base layers on the Ecuadorian aircraft for the Alto Cenepa Wings at War project. I mixed the light green camouflage for the Mirage F1's, Kfirs, A37's and helicopters using a combination of Vallejo Olive Green and Camo Olive Green, applied directly over the sprayed on Halfords Camouflage Green undercoat. I went a bit freestyle on the choppers because I liked the grey / green / light green camo combination on the Super Tweets, so thought I'd do the same.I painted the camo stripes on the Jaguars and Strikemasters using Army Painter Uniform Grey, but fluffed up the camo pattern on the Jaguars, so overpainted the green areas with Vallejo US Dark Green. The C-130 Hercules ended up going completey pear shaped, however, so it's gone to the boneyard in the sky until I can get a replacement model. I will crack on with the under fuselage areas next then give them all an ink wash before tackling the canopies.
Imagine this scaled for 1/600 as far as the eye can see...or just 6'x4'?I've been thinking about the 6'x4' table terrain for the Wings at War Alto Cenepa project and have come up with three different options. The table layout is a standard 6' x 4' rectangle divided down the middle lengthways by a gently winding river, representing the frontline. The rest of the surface is jungle without any distinguishing features, as hills and ground targets will be plonked on the top. I have found a couple of aerial photos that give an impression of what I'm thinking of, if not the exact design.The river is a bit too wide but this is what the layout would be like.The options I have are to home dye a suitable sheet, paint a couple of interlocking boards or go full throttle and commission a bespoke terrain cloth from Tiny Wargames. The latter would be expensive but I could re-use the cloth for the Soccer War, Thud Ridge or even a Wings at War variation for the Indonesian Confrontation, assuming I don't have a hex pattern prin
I finished blocking in the sails on the 1/2400th scale French ironclads this morning, which was something I'd rather not have to do again as it was pretty fiddly and not a little tedious. They are a bit rough and ready but will be tidied up once I've completed the rest of the blocking in on the decks, masts and spars. I am now wondering if it wouldn't be better to tackle them one or two at a time? I'm putting them to one side for the moment, however, as I really want to focus on the Ecuadorean aircraft for the Alto Cenepa project, along with half a dozen extra planes and helicopters for the Peruvians. I'll be straight back to the ironclads once they are out of the way.