Sunday, October 16, 2022

al-Kebab's Growing Army

As previously reported, I have started my fictional country Krapistan for AK-47 Republic campaigns and battles. I initially called my rebel fashion al Jabar but have opted to rename them al-Kebab. I've had fun designing their flag but it's not quite ready yet. I have been slowly building the al-Kebab army. 

Here is a picture of the full army thus far. 

The grunts of the army form three units of infantry armed to the teeth with rusty AK-47s, battered RPKs a smattering of DShKs and lots of RPG-7s. 

Closeup of a command stand. You can tell it is a command stand because there is a gent pointing in a commanding nature. His friend is on his cell phone talking to a telemarketer. Khurasan sculpts.

A couple of al-Kebabis, you can tell who is a follower of al-Kebab because they wear bits of black clothing. Sometimes its just a vest and turban and sometimes its a completely black ensemble. Flashpoint and Khurasan sculpts.

More followers of al-Kebab. I believe both of these sculpts are Khurasan.

More black garb, the guy on the left is ducking and running although it is hard to tell from the angle. Flytrap and Khurasan.

Here we have an elite unit of diehard fanatical jihadists. The fact that they are in very serious-looking all black pajamas lets you know they are elite. These sculpts are CP Models with some Old Glory's FireForce range (command figures and DShK). All of these figures are enormous and don't really mix well with the other ranges in the collection. I was originally going to sell the sculpts off but I opted to paint them up and make them a separate unit.

Another command stand (see the guy pointing?) that includes the spiritual leader of al-Kebab. He's holding a small booklet with all of his favorite recipes for skewers of meat and veggies.

The al-Kebab MartyrCycles Brigade has been documented before but here's another picture of them.

Some of the al-Kebab technicals gathering for another "cars and coffee" event.

Toyota: the choice of warlords around the globe. 

Lastly, the armored fist of al-Kebab, a dusty, greasy BMP-2 aiming its gun right at you, the reader. I think I will add a T-55 to the al-Kebab army.  More to come. Now I need to finish off the Krapistan pro-government faction. 

10mm French Revolution

I've always been intrigued by the armies of the French Revolution. 10mm is my preferred scale and years ago I was able to pickup some of the Pendraken French Revolution packs at discount on eBay.  In 2019, I painted some up and based units on single bases, I even made a blog post about it! Last year, I ordered some more of the figures from Pendraken as well as some figures from Magister Militum to fill in as proxies for some of the gaps in the Pendraken range. Recently, I decided to rebase those previously painted figures for Maurice. I think Maurice is the most ideal choice of rules for me to portray the tactics of the French Revolution (more on that). My armies are based depicting the restructuring made by Dubois-Crance prior to the almagamation.

First up is a former Royalist battalion in their not so splendid white uniforms and tarleton caps. I gave this unit pink facings because one should always use pink when one can when painting historical miniatures.

Here is a closeup of some former Royalists skirmishing. There are two poses skirmishing (one firing and one loading). I experimented with GW contrast white paint on the uniforms, I like the result which is good. I will need this for when I tackle the Austrians opponents.

Here are 3 battalions of French National Guard, "Les Bleus", in attack columns. I plan to rate the National Guard as conscripts but will allow them to use massed formations to replicate the assault columns and allow them to form "groups" with battalions in line formation.

Closeup of a stand of Les Bleus showing some of the chaos in their uniforms. Bicornes worn fore to aft and side to side, phrygian caps, bonnets du police, and lots of striped pants in national colors!

Closeup of the command base for a National Guard battalion. More caps and more striped pants. I drilled out the flag staff on the standard bearer and added brass wire so that I could fit the slightly oversized flags. 

Here we have a battalion of grenadiers. Bearskins, bicornes and more striped pants to show off revolutionary fervor. 

Closeup of some grenadiers, I really like these sculpts. So much character. 

Another closeup of grenadiers but here we have some former royalist grenadiers showing off those white uniforms and pink facings.

The last unit shown is a unit of skirmishers also known as "irregulars" in Maurice. I will probably allow them to form movement groups with regular infantry units.

And a closeup of the French skirmishers. Neat little poses.


Wings over Ogaden

I'm a big fan of Tumbling Dice's 1/600 aerial combat ruleset series Wings at War, and a few years back I picked up the Africa at War book Wings Over Ogaden which covers the war between Ethiopia and Somalia back in the late 1970s. Since there was a significant amount of aerial combat in the war, I thought it would be fun to game with a modified Wings at War. Tumbling Dice made the aircraft but the big hurdle was a lack of proper decals for the roundels of the two belligerent nations. Recently Flight Deck Decals released Ethiopian and Somali roundels so I was in business! Here are a few snaps of the aircraft.

First up is an Ethiopian F5E, I used the aforementioned Wings Over Ogaden as a painting guide. I think it came out fairly decent. I only have one desert style flight base finished so it will be in all of the photos in this post.

A few snaps of the F5E firing off a pipecleaner Sidewinder. I copied this technique from Jim over at Jim's Wargames Workbench blog (great site if you are a fan of aerial wargaming or really any wargaming).

Next up is an Ethiopian F5A, these aircraft were relegated to ground attack in the war because they weren't wired for missiles. One of the F5As was painted in a light grey scheme while the rest were painted in the same scheme as the F5Es. I opted to paint all of my F5As grey to differentiate them.

Ethiopian Canberra, apparently these retained the rather unsuitable grey/green RAF camouflage scheme.

Next up is a Somali Mig-17, these were used in the attack role during the war. I did not bother to align the stars on the roundels in the proper position. 

Another snap of the Mig-17. Its one of my favorite aircraft as far as aesthetics are concerned,

Here we have the Somali Mig-21. It should have been a nice matchup with the Ethiopian F5Es but there was a big difference in pilot skill level favoring the Ethiopian air force. 

A slightly different angle of the Mig-21,

Lastly we have a Somali Il-28 Beagle. The Somalis only had three of these and I don't believe they didn't play a big part in the war (other than a half-assed bombing run in the early stages of the conflict). This particular model required alot of work. The engines were cast slightly asymmetric so I did alot of surgery on one engine and wing to make it more even. When it came time to paint I couldn't find a single image of a Somali Il-28. Not one. With the help of The Miniatures Page, I found an account from Tom Cooper himself where he confirmed a Somali he interviewed stated they were painted in a metallic color. Talk about some effort for that Beagle!

I will probably use Wing's at War's Thud Ridge rules for this conflict, need to paint up some SAM sites and some ground targets.


Saturday, October 1, 2022

Playing the Currency Exchange Market...

Lately the British Pound has been plummeting and the dollar is nearly equal in value these days. I decided it was good timing to place some UK orders (especially with my birthday nearing). First purchase was over at Baccus 6mm, where I placed an order for Danish and Swedish army packs for the Scanian Wars and an English late 17th century army pack which will be used to augment the Scanian War armies. I was vacillating between a Great Northern War project and a Scanian War project in 6mm but my trip to Denmark really made me intrigued by the Scanian War. 

My next purchase was over at Pendraken; I had a £150 credit from the Pendraken Painting Competition. I picked up a hodgepodge of figures: late 17th century for my Sedgemoor project, some French Revolution figures, early WW1 French and German heavy artillery (I intended on picking up some Belgian WW1 artillery but forgot..oh well, next time), AWI British Legion and finally some Sassanid Persians.

I have had my eyes on the beautiful Sassanid Persians from Pendraken. I have a heap of Late Romans from my Dux Bellorum Arthurian project and I'd like to make a proper Roman army and have fancied making a Sassanid Persian army for Dux Bellorum. I also think the Persians may be my entries for the 2023 Painting Competition. The Pendraken range is fairly small so I also picked up some additional Late Romans to convert to Persians...but Pendraken doesn't have Sassanid Persian elephants.

I am thinking of making a trip to the Magister Militum site and picking up some of their beautiful Persian pachyderms. Of course, I might as well grab some other items while I'm there....