Target Locked On
I have done a production line job on the DIY flight stands that I will be using for both Target Locked On! and my proposed Wings at War variant for the Alto Cenepa War. I realised that I'd only need three levels of stand if I used the Flames Above The Falklands system for the Alto Cenepa conflict, so opted for 40mm, 30mm and 13mm panel pins to form the stands. I could have used 20mm panel pins for the lowest level but I liked the 'tree-hugging' look of the shorter 13mm pins, which makes it clear that the aircraft are really at very low, under the radar, hit and run level.I have now almost run out of Humbrol Grass Green spray but may add some more stands if I can squeeze the last drop out of the can. I might even make these 20mm stands so that I could re-use the jungle for Wings at War:Thud Ridge, which has four levels not just the three. For Target Locked On! I'll just be using the 40mm stands, with the dice frame used for an Altitude D6 rather than one for Energy. At this rate, I might even get a game sorted
Unlike the FAE, most of the fixed wing aircraft flown by the Peruvians in the Alto Cenepa conflict are covered in the various lists for Target Locked On! including the Mirage 2000, Mirage III/V and Canberra. The big omission, if you discount the A-37 Dragonfly that I've already worked out, is the Su-22M Fitter, which played a significant role in air to ground and air to air combat, two being shot down by FAE Mirage F1's. So, I've worked out the stats for the Su-22M using the aircraft generation system in the main rules:Su-22M FitterMAN = 4HITS = 5TARGET = 4+SPEED = MAX 36 / MIN 11FUEL = 20RADAR = +1ECM = 4+POINTS = 90*ARMAMENT2 x 30mm NR-30 autocannon / 2 x Pylons (AA-2 Atoll AAM) / 8 x hardpoints(* as a fighter bomber the points value should be 100 but I have decided that the 'fighter bomber' points rating should only be for 'medium bombers' e.g. Il-28's, Canberras etc, whilst proper single seat ground attack jets are just rated as fixed wing fighters, in this case at 90 points. If they are light aircraft e.
I have just ordered some nifty laser etched rotor blades for the Peruvian Hips and Hinds that I magnet based the other day from a company called Lazer Line Designs via eBay. I located these a while back for use with my 1/600th scale Korean War era choppers but never got round to ordering any as I wasn't sure which size would be right. With the modern Soviet helos, however, they are listed by type so it was easy to get four rotor blade discs of the correct diameter and 6mm tail rotors to match. The Peruvian Hinds were camouflaged in a very striking desert scheme, complete with shark mouth and eyes, which will be fun to paint if I can pull it off in 1/600th scale. There's a nice bit of video of the Hinds in action here:
I made some flight stands for Wings at War, which can also be used for other rules including Target Locked On!, Air War:C21 and Check Your Six:Jet Age, with a little adaptation. The basic components are a 30mm x 30mm x 3mm lasercut mdf square, panel pins in four different lengths with the tips dremelled off, a 7mm dice frame (for a D6 energy marker), some Woodlands Scenic foliage and some Humbrol Grass Green spray paint.I've used this method before to make hex stands and a prototype stand for Wings at War: MiG Alley but these are first to try out some foam foliage to represent the jungle tree canopy. They're nothing spectacular but are very quick to make and look the part, especially for ultra low level tree hugging COIN strike missions with top cover. These are destined for the Alto Cenepa project but I'll have to make quite a few more!
How come Ecuador gets all the cool planes?As there is no data for the FAE aircraft in Target Locked On! I've had to work out the relevant numbers myself, using the system in the rulebook and some basic research. I've knocked 10 points off the A-37B Dragonfly and BAE Strikemaster to take account of their light aircraft design and COIN role. I've not added any additional points for ordnance, countermeasures or stores apart from the flare and chaff dispensers scabbed on to the Jaguar ES (you can add these onto the other aircraft as required but they were a permanent bit of kit on the FAE Jaguars). I've also left off details of the armament apart from the cannon, AAM's and number of hardpoints, so that different loadouts can be configured based on mission profiles and the scenario.SEPECAT JAGUAR ESMAN = 4HITS = 4TARGET = 4+FUEL = 20SPEED = MAX 38 / MIN 13ECM = 4+ RADAR = +1ARMAMENT = 2 x 30mm DEFA / 2 x Pylons (Matra Magic AAM) / 5 x HardpointsPOINTS = 90DASSAULT MIRAGE F1JA MAN = 4HITS = 4TARGET = 4+FUEL =
I have had a busy day doing other stuff but grabbed an hour at the workbench this evening to base up some helicopters for both the FAE and FAP / AEP. I added a second Mil-Mi8 for the Peruvians, as I thought one was a bit stingy, then balanced that out with two Super Pumas for Ecuador. These aren't mentioned in the online article that I'm using as a key reference but I've seen more than one photograph of troops being air landed from Pumas during the Alto Cenepa conflict, so I'm sticking to my guns.I also worked out how to base the smaller Tumbling Dice helos using 5mm diameter thin magnets that I pinched from a Battlefront tank kit, where they are used for traversing turrets. These are wide enough to bridge the gap between the skids, which would otherwise prevent a normal magnet from attaching properly. Thus equipped, I added a Gazelle and a Bell UH-1 to the FAE helicopter line up, these being used as FAC's, for SAR missions and even ground attack. I finished off by assembling the Hercules for the FAE, althoug
I didn't have much time today, so only achieved a fraction of what I set out to do, but have cleaned up and magnet based both the FAE aircraft and a handful of FAP extras as well. In the end, I scaled back the FAE to four Jaguars and two IAI Kfirs, leaving the Hercules for another time as it was big and scary. Instead, I prepared four Mirage V's for the FAP, a couple of Mil-Mi24 Hinds and a single Mil-Mi8 Hip. There are no rules for helos in Target Locked On! but they would play a role in any Wings at War variant that I came up with, so they have been added on. I'll add some helos for the FAE later.
I'm on a bit of a roll with the 1/600th scale planes and have already completed the Peruvian aircraft for the Alto Cenepa War, so I have decided to now do the other side in the conflict, the Ecuadorian Air Force. I had already prepared some of these aircraft ages ago, when I first came up with the Alto Cenepa air war idea, so have the Tumbling Dice Mirage F-1's, Strikemasters (cool!) and A-37 Dragonflies magnet based and base coated.The rest will get sorted over the weekend, alongside my 1/2400th scale ironclad scratch building, as they won't take long to assemble and should be ready in no time. Incidentally, there are no helos as they don't feature in the Target Locked On! rules, but I may well do some later if I go down a Wings at War variant route? The Canberras are also an added extra, as they had been retired by the 1990's, but I like them!
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.
I'm glad to see the back of these 1/600th scale jets, to be honest, as they've been hanging around on the workbench for months and have blocked the way to other projects. I finished painting the bases this morning then added the tiddly decals, although I have cut some corners to simplify the insignia for some aircraft as they just wouldn't fit. Anyway, after a brief varnishing disaster and a quick respray in Army Painter matt varnish to save the day, they are now ready for action. I quite like the way the F100's and F16's have turned out, but the F5's, the F86D's and the two black night intruders are a bit of a let down, especially after the varnishing mess up on the latter. Never mind, I can now get started on the 1/2400th scale ironclads for 1864. I'm hoping that this will give my eyes a rest and be a little less fiddly?
I've been doing a quick bit of tidying up on the ROCAF fighters for Target Locked On! this evening but, due to my dodgy eyesight and lack of focus, I'll probably have to go back and tidy up the tidied bits again! I added tail stripes to the F100's, F5's and F86D's, together with some touching up of gaps here and there. I'm hoping to get the bases painted then add the decals tomorrow, if I get the time, clearing the decks for some 1/2400th scale naval painting instead.
I watched Top Gun last night with the family, as there was nothing on telly and the other half wanted to see it again. I haven't watched it for years and then only in snippets, as I got bored by the bits in between the dogfighting. It's very cheesy but the action sequences are great, even if they aren't particularly realistic. The "MiG 28's" are laughable but then the film was made before the advent of CGI, so there you go.Anyway, I have the urge to get some F14's now for Target Locked On!, which is no surprise. These will be from Tumbling Dice rather then Oddzial Ozmy, so that they can be used against my existing PLAAF MiG21's and MiG19's. A bit unfair I know but they will be heavily outnumbered and have rules of engagement to make things complicated, not to mention being gas guzzlers especially when they go for the afterburners!
The latest revised and updated edition of Target Locked On! is currently discounted to less than seven quid over at Wargames Vault. It's a really neat system and fast play, with minimal book keeping and straightforward mechanics. I've made a couple of ...
I spent a few hours today finishing the paintwork on the Tumbling Dice 1/600th scale ROCAF aircraft, although the bases will have to be done over the week along with the decals. I'm not too pleased with the end result, especially the F-16's as th...