Target Locked On
There's some interest at the local club from a couple of players in a game of Target Locked On! at some point in the not too distant future, which is great as I now have plenty of 1/600th scale aircraft to bring along and a good handle on the rules, albeit a slightly rusty one as I haven't played a game since the summer holidays. I'm thinking of using my Cold War Soviet aircraft against the Chinese aircraft for a few 'what if?' games, followed by the Flashpoint: Taiwan option once we've mastered the mechanisms. We also have a talented graphic designer on hand, who has just worked up a new and much improved version of the turn templates and counters, so that the games will really look great!
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
It's been a long while since I thought about my Target Locked On! Flashpoint Baltic project but I am just about to order some 1/600th scale Norwegian and Czech roundels from Dan at Flight Deck Decals to give it a boot in the right direction. The Norwegian roundels will be used for some Oddzial Ozmy F-16's while the Czech ones will go on some Saab Gripens, which is one of my favourite modern fighter aircraft. In the meantime, here's a short but very interesting video clip of a Norwegian F-16 fighter pilot, explaining just what it all involves:
I thought I'd have a go at making some AAM markers to use with 1/600th scale aircraft, similar to the ones that you can buy from Fights On! as they didn't look that hard to do and I didn't fancy forking out for something I can make myself. So, I cut some pipe cleaner down to 12cm sections, stripped about 8mm of fluff off one end, then coated the exposed wires with acrylic paste and superglue. I then sprayed the missile end with yellow spray paint, followed by just the missile in gloss white spray paint, finishing off with a dip in bright red paint. They stick onto the magnets on the underside of the aircraft but tend to be a bit loose, so I may well strip back a bit of the fluff about two thirds of the way along so that the wire is exposed and the magnet will make better contact.
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'm planning to get the FAH aircraft painted this weekend, which I'm hoping will be a relatively quick process as they are fairly basic in terms of camouflage schemes and details. The only fiddly bit will be the wings and tail stripes, which will probably need to be masked to make them as neat as possible. I'm also going to finish the ground target bases by adding the tiny trucks and guns. If I get the time, I'll also texture the Wings at War bases that I made during the week, adding a few more low level ones if my Warbases order turns up, before painting them for MiG Alley or Desert Spitfires. IF all that goes according to plan, I may even get a game of Target Locked On! squeezed in?
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
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.
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.
Local wargamer and all round nice chap, Colin, author of the excellent Down Among the Lead Men blog:https://downamongtheleadmen.blogspot.com/….sent me a link to a decal manufacturer in the USA yesterday called Flight Deck Decals. Despite the name, this range includes a wide selection of 1/600th and 1/300th scale aircraft decals. I've ordered a set of 1/600th scale Indonesian Air Force 'pentagons' and some RAF B1 roundels, which I'm hoping will do as a proxy for FAE roundels for the Alto Cenepa war Ecuadorian aircraft. They've already been dispatched, which was very quick, so I'm now waiting for the postie to pop them through the front door in a few days.Result!https://www.flightdeckdecals2400.com/1-600-scale-aircraft-decals
Having painted four of the excellent Tumbling Dice Su-7 Fitter A's, I thought it would be a good idea to work out the statistics for Target Locked On! I've used the data for the Su-7B fighter bomber variant, rather than the less than successful interceptor and tactical fighter version, simply because that's what I suspect it will be used for. I don't think there's a massive difference in game performance terms between the two, so I'll use the basic numbers for both rather than be too fussy.A) MAN = 4B) HITS = 4C) TARGET = 5+D) FUEL = 18E) ECM = +1F) RADAR = 4+G) SPEED = MAX 40 / MIN 15H) POINTS = 70ARMAMENT2 x 30mm NR-30 cannon4 x Hardpoints (AA8 Aphid / AA2 Atoll / FAB-500)2 x Fuselage Centreline Drop Tanks (non jettison)(This is a typical range of armament options but there were many variations and combinations)
I finished off the Tumbing Dice 1/600th scale Sukhoi Su-7 Fitter A fighter bombers today, adding some Soviet decals and buzz numbers to the painted models. This went mouch more smoothly than the decals on the Su-9's as I took the precaution of brushing on a little Future before I applied the insignia. I'm quite pleased with the way they turned out in the end.I also added buzz number to the Su-9's as I forgot to do so the other day and it does make them look the part. I really should find a way to make underwing stores, missiles and so on, as they do look a bit lightly loaded for strike aircraft? I definitely want to expand the Soviet capabilities a bit further, so will be adding some MiG 21's and MiG-25's at some point in the future.