Monday, July 21, 2014

Alien Dungeon Trenches WIP

I got these from Alien Dungeon as part of their All Quiet on the Martian Front on the left is the trench and bomb poof part of the trench set as the come out of the box.  It almost looks good enough to use as is but...
 not quite.  I primed black and they gave the dirt part a coat of Valspar English Tea Party that I got from Lowell on the clearance rack. I over estimated the amount of paint I would need but it will work for some other projects as well.
 I then used Vallejo leather brown on top of the dirt...
 and Vallejo natural wood on the support breams and duck boards
I plan to use these with FOW fortified companies and if it proves active in my area FOW Great War. Naturally they will also get use in the occasional All Quiet on the Martian Front.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Check your Six at 3 Trolls

As my lady was working today I was able to make my way to 3 Trolls for a rare Saturday morning game.  They were playing a game called Check your Six I was flying two Petes a Japanese float plane fighter defending a sea plane carrier.
The US is attaching from form two directions we choose to try and head off the Dauntless Dive Bomber hoping the Avengers would take too long to get in and get hits. My planes are the two in gray. 
Hear come the Avengers... seeming to have a free and clear run...
 I've got my eye on two Dauntless dive bombers...
But in turn turning in be hind them I find myself in the cross hairs (actually latter in the game it was remembered that a Dauntless with a bomb has only a range of 1 with its forwarded MGs, oh well)
At least this benefited my survivor. My dice rolling is terrible I got a few hits but never rolled enough damage to hurt a single US plane.
The US take a lot of hits but break through and land one torpedo on the Seaplane carrier they manage some damage but not enough to sink it so the day ends in a draw.  

More pictures here:Fencing Frog Gaming Adventures

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Great War by Flame of Wars my sight unseen take.

As anyone who any interest in History realizes we are fast approaching the 100 anniversary of the start of the Great War (10 days from the day the war began as of this writing).  I've had an interest in the Great War since reading John Keegan's excellent single volume history of that conflict.

A few month ago I like many other heard that Battle Front would be doing a Flames of War Great War supplement.  The news excited me though I was disappointed some time after to learn they would begin with 1918 not 1914.    I've looked at what has been released on the Flames of War website and the excellent information available on the What Would Patton Do Website. 

I will reserve final judgement until I actual get to play or at least read some AARs but over all I do think that Battle Front has again made a workable product.

There has been some griping about the "tank-fest" potential on the FOW 1918 yahoo group but I think its based more on fear than any actual knowledge.  Tanks were an important part of the battle plans in 1918 (as Phil Yates of Battle Front has said on the group, and bravo to him for joining the discussion) and they should be part of the Order of Battle.  

Lets face it tanks are fun and cool looking models are one of the reasons we play war games.  The tanks do look cool they also seem to be vary vulnerable and even subject to getting stuck and or broken down.  We probably will see tanks in every battle just like we see too many Tigers, Tank Destroyers and IS-2s  (just to name a few).  After all even if its ahistorical for every German Army A7V why shouldn't my army have one.

The initial armies are British (I would have preferred to see French but I can't realy fault the choice) for the Allies and the Germans for the Central Powers (any one who doesn't agree with that choice is silly).

1918 also makes sense from a business stand point for Battle Front as many Americans realy prefer to play Americans.  I do hope that BF will quickly follow on with French, Italian, Austro-Hungarian Empire and Turkish Army lists and that we will see them soon.  Followed quickly by 1914 because its the last time you could go to war dressed like this!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

B-52 Crash site

For their 45th Wedding anniversary (in November) my parents asked us to join them at a home they had rented for the week in Greenville ME near Moosehead Lake. By us I mean my brother, his wife, and son, my sister, her husband and daughter and myself and my fiancee. Its a lovely area if you into the outdoors or just relaxing.  We played many games of cribbage and Rummy and both my niece and nephew loved playing with the pirate ship I gave my nephew for his birthday. Ariana and I also took a few drives and one of them took us to the sight of a plane crash form 1963 on Elephant Mountain.
  The remains of this B-52 have been left (or returned to ) at this location as a memorial to the seven men who died (and in a larger sense to all who died in Strategic Air command during the Cold War.
 The Drive in is a little harry in a small compact car, a Jeep, SUV or truck would have no problem at all.  Even with my Camry it was no real challenge just one stretch that was a bit rough. Once at the parking lot you find the the debris field right away
 Plaque reminding all that this sacred ground maintained by the local RV association. The Following is taken form Wikipedia :
The crew's training mission was called a Terrain Avoidance Flight to practice techniques to penetrate Advanced CapabilityRadar (ACR) undetected by Soviet air defense during the Cold War. ACR training flights had already been made over theWest Coast of the United States on Poker Deck routes. This was to be the first low level navigation flight, utilizing terrain following radar, in the Eastern United States.[2][3]The crew, consisting of two 99th Bombardment Wing Standardization Division crews based at Westover Air Force Base,Massachusetts, and two instructors from the 39th Bombardment Squadron6th Strategic Aerospace Wing at Walker Air Force BaseNew Mexico, was briefed for six hours the day before the accident. They had the choice of flying over either theCarolinas or Maine.[2]The B-52C departed Westover AFB at 12:11 p.m. on Thursday, 24 January 1963, and was scheduled to return to Westover at 5:30 p.m.[4]The crew spent the first 95 minutes of the flight calibrating their equipment. Upon receiving updated weather information for both available routes they chose the northern one. They were supposed to begin their low level simulated penetration of enemy airspace just south of Princeton, Maine, near West Grand Lake. From there, they would head north to Millinocket and fly over the mountains in the Jo-Mary/Greenville area. They planned to turn northeast near Seboomook Lake and southeast near Caucomgomoc Lake to proceed through the mountains of northern Baxter State Park. After crossing Traveler Mountain, the aircraft was supposed to climb back to altitude over the Houlton VOR Station.[2]One hour later, around 2:30 p.m. the Stratofortress crossed the Princeton VOR, descended to 500 feet (150 m) and started its simulation of penetrating enemy airspace at low altitude with an airspeed of 280 knots (520 km/h; 320 mph). The outside temperature was −14 °F (−26 °C) with winds gusting to 40 knots (74 km/h; 46 mph) and 5 feet (1.5 m) of snow on the ground.[4][5]Approximately 22 minutes later, just after passing Brownville Junction in the center of Maine, the aircraft encountered turbulence. The pilot and crew commander, Westover's Most Senior Standardization Instructor Pilot, started to climb above it when the vertical stabilizer came off the plane with a "loud noise sounding like an explosion".[3][5] Having suffered severe damage, the B-52C went into a 40-degree right turn, with nose pointed downward. The pilot gave the order to abandon the aircraft when he could not level it.[2][4]Only the upper flight deck crew members of the B-52C have ejection seats that eject them upwards. The seats of the pilotcopilot, and electronic warfare officer (a navigator also trained in electronic warfare) function at any altitude, as long as the airspeed is at least 90 knots (170 km/h; 100 mph), which is the minimum required to inflate their blast propelled parachutes. The lower-deck crew members eject on a downward track. Hence, the navigator and radar navigator cannot safely eject at altitudes less than 200 feet (61 m). Spare crew members do not have an ejection seat at all. They must use parachutes and jump out of the navigators' hatch after the navigators have ejected or drop out of the aircraft's door.[5] The tail gunnerhas his own unique escape option: he can sever the tail gun and jump aft out the resulting hole in the rear.[6][7]The navigator, who was operating as electronic warfare officer, ejected first. He was followed by the pilot and the copilot; there was neither enough altitude nor time for the six lower-deck crew members to escape before the aircraft crashed into the west side of Elephant Mountain at 2:52 p.m.[4][5]The copilot suffered fatal injuries, striking a tree 1 mile (1.6 km) away from the main crash site. The pilot landed in a tree 30 feet (9.1 m) above the ground. He survived the night, with temperatures reaching almost −30 °F (−34 °C), in his survival kit sleeping bag atop his life raft. The navigator's parachute did not deploy upon ejection. He impacted the snow-covered ground before separating from his ejection seat about 2,000 feet (610 m) from the wreckage with an impact estimated at 16 times the force of gravity. He suffered a fractured skull and three broken ribs. The force bent his ejection seat and he could not get his survival kit out. He survived the night by wrapping himself in his parachute.[2][4]grader operator on a remote woods road witnessed the final turn of the Stratofortress and a black smoke cloud after impact.[2] Eighty rescuers from the Maine State Police, the Maine Inland Fish and Game Department, the Civil Air Patrol as well as Air Force units from Dow Air Force Base in Bangor, Maine, along with others from New Hampshire andMassachusetts and other volunteers went to work. Search aircraft were on the scene, but they searched too far south and east to locate the wreckage before nightfall.[3]After the crash site was located the next day, Scott Paper Company dispatched plows from Greenville to clear 10 miles (16 km) of road of snow drifts up to 15 feet (4.6 m) deep. The rescuers had to use snowshoes, dog sleds and snowmobiles to cover the remaining mile to the crash site. At 11 a.m. the two survivors were airlifted to a hospital by a helicopter.[3][4]
 Wreckage goes up the hill about 300 yards or so.
 Some parts are very easy to recognize like this landing gear
 I believe this was part of the fuselage probably the section just behind the cockpit.
 Official memorial to the fallen
More reminders of the sacredness of the ground and warnings not to salvage pieces.
The story of the flight. More images can be seen at Fencing Frog Gaming Adventures

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

US Regulars (2) for Longstreet

The US Regular Brigade preformed to the highest standard with the army of the Potomac so it seemed right to include some in my Union Army for Longstreet.
I wanted to be able to distinguish the two Regular regiments at a glance...
So used the Army Painters autumn leaves to dress the bases so it looks like they are fighting in the woods
Again I put the flags on separate bases so that I can break the two units down to 4 if needed.
I'm not modeling any particular regiment and in some case the Regulars served as company detachments that were amalgamated to for a provisional battalion on the battle field (this was the case at Bull Run for example)

US Regulars (1) for Longstreet

The US Regulars have a proud record in the American Civil war.  Its often over shadowed by the fare more numerous state volunteer regiments but its an important part of the history of the war.
There must have been some debate regarding what to do with the US regulars wen the Civil War began. Many of them were on the frontier (often in company size detachments) and a few regiments like the 7th US infantry had troops in enemy territory (Texas in the case of the 7th) and had to make their way back to friendly territory.
These are the Bluemoon "Iron Brigade firing" set the Iron Brigade used Regular army uniforms.  I think the Iron Brigade is a little over done in Union armies (understandably) so while I wanted this look in my army I decided to go with Regulars not Iron Brigade (though they could work for those too).
To distinguish it at a glance from the other Regular Regiment I used the wild flowers form Army Painter on the bases. I find it a very striking look.
I also mounted the flags on two separate bases with 20 stands of regulars in all I can break the unit down in to four units with 5 stands each should I have the need.

Monday, July 7, 2014

39th Pennsylvania Color Guard

For Longstreet it makes sense to have extra color stands to distinguish new regiments the regular figure stands get recycled a lot.  Most of my initial work has been on regiments from Massachusetts. As most Union Brigades had regiments from many states I want a good mix as a campaign progresses
 So we have the 39th PA the stars and stripes is a design a number of Pennsylvania regiments seem to have had.
 While the regimental color is actually from another PA regiment, still I am confident it must be close.
 Despite what you see in the paintings the officer is often not with the colors as they are trusted to the Sargents.  In this case the party includes a tough gray bearded sargent (maybe he's an older chap or maybe a hard life has made him prematurely gray, you decide)
 I really like the detail of the state seal in the union of the flag.