Indo China / Vietnam


Summer Naval Projects

I have a half term break in a couple of weeks time, so have been thinking about holiday projects. I am still working away at the 1/2400th scale ironclads so will be tied up with that project for the rest of the month, but in the longer term I have plans for more naval wargaming projects for the summer. One of these is to re-base my 1/3000th scale French WW2 fleet to match my blue sea cloth and to paint up another fleet for the opposition. I have set aside some British and Italian ships for this but also really like the idea of a 'what if?' clash with the Imperial Japanese navy in September 1940.I played a Victory at Sea scenario based on the invasion of French Indochina at the club a couple of years ago and it was great fun, so I thought I'd add some Japanese warships as an alternative to the usual RN and Italians. I have ordered a 1940 battle pack of 1/3000th scale Davco ships from Navy Models and Books today, adding the aircraft carrier Hiryu as it was involved at the time, so have a really good basis for a

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French Armour in Indochina

I've been looking forward to this new Osprey book on the use of AFV's in the French Indochina War, and I have to say that I'm not disappointed. Not only does it cover the expected tanks, armoured cars and amphibious vehicles, it also includes armoured trains and landing craft, which is brilliant. There are numerous photos, many of which I haven't seen before, and some excellent artwork. One thing that is a plus as far as I'm concerned, is that the coverage isn't focussed on the M24 Chaffee, but also includes really interesting detail on the early war use of ex-Japanese and British vehicles, for example, which is great. Highly recommended!

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French Indochina Armour

This is out in February and I think I might pre-order a copy. Whatever you think of the vagaries of the Osprey Publishing series, the Vanguard titles are some of the better ones, hopefully including this book. It's not going to be a comprehensive study at only 48 pages but if the colour plates are up to scratch, it will be a useful painting guide for my 15mm and 10mm French AFV's. This is what the blurb says:French experience with armour in Indo-China dated back to 1919, when it sent FT-17s to the colony, followed by a variety of armoured cars. After World War II, French troops were equipped with a motley collection of American and cast-off British equipment until the outbreak of war in Korea saw an increase in military aid. This included large numbers of the M24 Chaffee light tank, along with amphibious vehicles such as the M29C Weasel and LVT4 Buffalo, to conduct operations in coastal and inland areas that the Viet Minh had previously thought immune to attack. France's armour was a key part of the battle ag

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Jungle Skirmish Terrain Board Finished

I had a go at painting the small skirmish board that I textured the other day, using a combination of cheap artists acrylic paints, some almost empty rattle cans and a lot of dry brushing. The end result isn't too bad and not far off what I was aiming for but it needs a coat of ultra matt varnish to tone it down a bit I think. This may or may not get used for jungle themed games including lost world safari and dinosaur hunting expeditions, or for historical skirmish actions in Vietnam and Africa. It's now going to be set aside, however, so I can get back to the Sandbox Skirmish project.

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Mini Skirmish Terrain Board

 On Saturday I found a boxed picture canvas in the local charity shop, very similar but much smaller than the one I turned into a desert themed terrain board a couple of weeks ago. This board is only a fraction of the size, at 55cm x 47cm or just under 2' x 2', so only really useable as a skirmish board or for smaller scale games. I decided to texture it but had to remove the stuck on felt circles and stitching first. The felt circles just pulled off but the stitching had to be sanded down, as it just wouldn't unpick and had to be left in place. I managed to cover it up in the end but it was a bit of a saga and hasn't completely disappeared from view.To cover it up, I added a thick coating of acrylic paste, followed by a mashed in coating of sand, small stones and scenic dead grass fibres. It has now set and will be overpainted once I've added a bit more texturing. I haven't decided how to paint it yet, with several possible options on the table including tundra for 15mm WW2 Commando raids, 10mm 'Cold Wa

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Project Update

 I have had a bit of an avalanche of stuff arriving in the post, much to the annoyance of SWMBO, who has now banned me from ordering anything more until after Xmas. I pointed out that I haven't actually bought that much and haven't spent much either, but to no avail. Anyway, I have more than enough stuff already to get on with the Sandbox Skirmish project amongst other things, so it's not a problem. I also have lots of other projects in the pipeline for which I am fully equipped, so 'Bah Humbug' to her indoors! (just don't tell her I said that).First up, the road sections and terrain templates arrived today from Supreme Littleness Designs. The road pieces will take no time at all to texture and paint, so that I can have a whole network of dirt tracks for the 15mm armoured vehicles to patrol along, with some of the templates possibly being used for stream sections or dry ditches as well, if I have enough. I also now have a 15mm version of the desert ruins that SLD produce in 28mm, albeit actually an 18/20

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New Indochina Osprey

I pre-ordered the latest book in the Combat series from Osprey Publishing a while back and have been reading it over the last week or so in bits, when I can grab the time. It's focussed on the French Indochina War and, no surprises, the French Foreign Legion and Viet Minh. It's a shame they couldn't cover some of the Colonial or North African units but I guess that's what sells these sort of books to the customer base. On the plus side, it isn't about Dien Bien Phu for change but instead includes three fairly representative skirmish actions from the start and mid-point of the war, which is a really good idea. The colour plates and photos are good, while the text is stuffed full of details on uniform, weapons and equipment, as well as unit organisation and training. It's definitely worth a look if you are interested in wargaming the French Indochina War.It's been on my 'one day I'll actually do it' project wish list for years!

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War for the Hell of it

I haven't read any aviation related books for quite a while, so picked this one out as it looked right up my street, even though I have no plans to wargame the Air War in Vietnam. The Wings at War: Thud Ridge rules are probably the closest I'm going to get to wargaming the conflict but who knows? Anyway, I'm always interested in reading first hand autobiographical accounts, as they invariably give you a 'feel' for the period, even if they are highly subjective. I'm looking forward to getting stuck into this one over the weekend.

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