Sandbox Skirmish


Black Ops Choppers

I was up in the loft this afternoon looking for the 1/76th scale Airfix Churchill Crocodile kit, with no luck at all, when I uncovered three of these 'Snap Together' 1/100th scale Blackhawk 'Black Ops' helicopter kits. I can't remember where or when I got them, although The Entertainer is on the price sticker, but I only paid three quid for each kit, which isn't half bad. They are very basic but moulded in durable plastic and have some perfectly decent detailing. I particularly like the fact that the canopy and windows are solid plastic and moulded into the airframe itself. The rotor blades are also pretty chunky and will not snap off like a normal scale model would do, so they are ideal for wargaming. I will add them to my stockpile of Peter Pig modern US infantry and APC's, which I will using as an adjunct to the Sandbox Skirmish project, as and when I get around to it. In the meantime, I need to complete the 1960's era British vehicles and infantry, not to mention the rebels and their cadre of mi

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Wash and Go

I was very busy yesterday with various DIY and garden activities, so the workbench was neglected, apart from adding the camouflage and gunge washing to the 15mm APC's for the Sandbox Skirmish project. I left one of the Saracens in overall sand to add a bit of visual variety and to speed up the painting, but the rest of the vehicles have the green camouflage pattern as well. I now need to paint the tyres and stowage after I've first highlighting the sand and green areas, which may or may not get done today.

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Sandbox Skirmish Scout Patrol Done

I finished off the two vehicles that I was using to trial a painting approach today, with some decals from the spares box and a coat of Army Painter matt varnish to seal it all in. The bases were textured and painted to be a near enough match to my terrain board, although it's not quite spot on.After the summer holidays, I will add the rest of the patrol vehicles to the painting workbench, which consist of a second Humber Pig, another Ferret Scout Car and a couple of Bedford 3 tonners, leaving the heavy armoured cars and APC's to follow on once I've worked out how to paint the all important infantry.

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Sandbox Skirmish Patrol AFV's Painted

I finished off the two vehicles that I was using to trial a painting approach today, with some decals from the spares box and a coat of Army Painter matt varnish to seal it all in. The bases were textured and painted to be a near enough match to my terrain board, although it's not quite spot on.After the summer holidays, I will add the rest of the patrol vehicles to the painting workbench, which consist of a second Humber Pig, another Ferret Scout Car and a couple of Bedford 3 tonners, leaving the heavy armoured cars and APC's to follow on once I've worked out how to paint the all important infantry.

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Over the Hills

Desert hills now destined for the dustbin!I've decided to replace the resin hills that I repainted for my Sandbox Skirmish terrain with some home made high density foam ones instead. The reason for this is that the resin ones have warped even more than they had before, so now don't sit flat on the terrain board. They've also developed cracks and one has had to go in the bin already as it was beyond repair. It's a shame to bin them but if they aren't useable and are literally falling apart, there isn't much alternative. My DIY efforts won't look so good but I don't think the paint job was up to much anyway, so some homemade hills and escarpments are probably a better option. After my recent success with the coastal terrain, I'm feeling fairly confident that I can make something that will be both durable and useful, designed specifically to match the terrain board that is at the core of the project. I'll start on the scratch building next week, using what's left of my dwindling supply of scavenged high den

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Sandbox Skirmish Go Slow

I've been heavily bogged down with DIY today, so only managed to squeeze in about half an hour at the workbench, during which I painted the tyres on the British AFV's and then dis a little bit of highlighting over the ink wash. I have discovered what will now be my 'go to' shade for tyres, however, which is Vallejo 70995 German Grey. It's spot on for that faded rubber look and will be even better after a drybrush to weather it in. The QRF models have fairly ropey tyres to start with, which makes it difficult to paint them accurately but I think they look okay. If I can find the time, I'll do a bit more on these vehicles tomorrow including the stowage, headlights and so on.

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Sandbox Skirmish Paint Shop

I had one of those weirdly disjointed days today and so decided to go off on a tangent and paint up a couple of the 15mm QRF British vehicles for the Sandbox Skirmish project, as a dry run for the rest of the platoon. I started from a white undercoat, adding a base coat of Army Painter Skeleton Bone, a light drybrush of Skeleton Bone and Vallejo Pale Sand, then a camouflage pattern in Army Painter Army Green ( I really like this shade but haven't used it before). The whole lot will now get a wash in my Future based gunge mix that I have used on my What a Tanker! models, before I add some highlights and do all the details. It's coming along fine and, if I don't bugger it up, I think they'll look quite good.

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More Holiday Reading

I have two days of work left before I'm officially on holiday, but we're not off to France straight away for a change, as the rest of the family are all away for a week camping or on school activities. This means that, in between a bit of DIY around the house and walking the dog, I will have a few days all on my own to play around with. One thing I will be doing is some serious background reading for my various current projects, including the Sandbox Skirmish 15mm post colonial thing.As I mentioned earlier, I've just expanded my modern US forces for this to build a full platoon with support options, so I thought that this book would be excellent inspiration. I'm not planning to wargame Mogadishu itself but it's very much along the asymmetrical lines of my 'imaginations' contextual setting of the project, for the British, the US and also the French forces that I'm planning to assemble in the longer term.

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Sandbox Skirmish

You probably think I'd abandoned this 15mm post-colonial / modern skirmish project, judging by the lack of posts about it for a while, but it's still very much ticking over in the background. In fact, I re-sprayed my British APC's and transport vehicles the other day in Halfords matt white undercoat, having had a re-think about the best way to paint them. I've also just expanded my small lead pile of 15mm Peter Pig US infantry, with some packs of squad leaders, medics, LMG gunners, AT4 launchers and a couple of Humvee's, to add to the handful of figures and M113 APC's that I already have. The latter are actually Israeli but they look the part and are lovely models, laden down with stowage and very much 'on campaign'. The idea is to set up a platoon sized force for No End in Sight and also Rory Crabb's Firefight:Modern rules, squeezing a bit more mileage out of the terrain I've been collecting together. There's no specific 'real world' conflict in mind, although Mogadishu is the mood music, so it wou

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Here Comes the Summer

I'm planning ahead for the summer with some ideas for projects to add to the ones I already haven't finished! I am still working my way through the What a Tanker! US and British models and also have the Sandbox Skirmish 15mm post-colonial project to be getting on with, but the lure of something new is hard to resist. At the moment, I'm about to start basing up some 28mm late war Germans for squad level skirmish games but the appeal of this has waned a bit after I realised that Chain of Command is just not feasible with what I've got in the lead pile. So, rather than start something that will hit a brick wall in a few weeks time, I think I might switch to a more realistic project for the next couple of months.The current thinking is to assemble a couple of forces for The Men Who Would Be Kings, either in 15mm or possibly in 28mm using plastics, as they are much more affordable than lead. I have a couple of boxes of Perry Miniatures Mahdist Ansar that I can put together for a 'Fuzzy Wuzzy' army and a box of the

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Sandbox Skirmish

I'm reading this now, in a nod to my 15mm post-colonial Sandbox Skirmish project, which I'm planning to pick up again in the Summer. It's a really fascinating account which includes both military patrols in Somaliland and the actual fighting in Oman, the latter being something that I've read quite a lot about but the former being more akin to something out of Kipling or Kitchener. It's all good stuff and, hopefully, will give me some more ideas for my 'Imagi-nations' take on the retreat from Empire. I was quite taken by one of the modern skirmish games at the Lard Day, which used Chain of Command with some tweaks, and I think it could be another rules option for the Sandbox Skirmish project with only a light dusting required to make it fit? Just an idea.

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Plans are of Little Importance...

...but planning is essential.So, said Winston Churchill, apparently, so I'm going to take his advice (not Bojo's) and do just that. The planning bit involves extending some of my existing projects into 2019 and starting a few new ones, but the latter will definitely be outnumbered by the former. I will once again focus my efforts on both naval and air wargaming, although I'm sure other things of a more terrestrial or even extra-terrestrial variety will pop up. If they do, it will be very much at a skirmish level, rather than anything too grand.In the air, I'm obviously going to be focussed on the 1/285th scale aircraft for the 'Come And Have a Go If You Think You're Lard Enough' event in March. If that goes according to plan I might well do another Bag the Hun project in the same scale, with an eye on the Winter War for Blue Swastika Rampant. If not, then I'll definitely be expanding my 1/600th scale efforts but only after I've finished the MiG Alley / Bag the MiG and Corsairs and Cavaliers projects first. If

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Goodbye 2018

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

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The War That Never Was

I really enjoyed reading In the Service of the Sultan, which has given me some really good ideas for the fictional back story of my Sandbox Skirmish project. In particular, I now have an identity for the rebel movement, who will be officially known as the Jebali Popular Liberation Front or JPLF, and unofficially as the 'Adoo', which translates as 'enemy' in Arabic.To give me some more inspiration, I'm now reading this book, which is about the clandestine involvement of ex-SAS soldiers for hire in Yemen in the 1970's. I'm not a big fan of these Who Dares Wins type books but this one isn't as Gung Ho as usual, so might actually be worth the time. I might even include an SAS team in the project, albeit a very small one.

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