Thursday, 30 June 2016

Rapid Fire! Contemporary Russian Wars in 1/72nd scale - Russian airforce

Altaya SU-25

Having used most of the plastic model kits of USSR/Russian warplanes for the Iraqi airforce I'm using Die-cast models for the modern Russian Airforce. Most will be Altaya both from Aircraft or Helicopter current collection.

These models are just great. You just need to glue a few parts and they are ready to fly. Of course you may not get the right camouflage for a determined conflict but the Russian army I'm building also covers a wide period of time of some 20 years (1996-2016, and when next January comes a new year starts).

Altaya MIG-29

Altaya SU-27

Altaya MIG-31

Some of these aircraft are really big as you can see from the standing 1/72nd scale pilot.

The only major addition to all models are sitting pilots which Die-cast generally don't have. 

Easy Model and Altaya KA-50

The two lighter colored Hokum are Easy Model while the one in the center is Altaya. The Altaya model doesn't bring any rocket pods so I had to use the spare box. 

The Hokum was first used in Chechnya in 1999 and it looks to have performed pretty well. 

The Altaya model is heavier with metal parts while the Easy Models are entirely plastic and more detailed. I bought the Model Easy a few years ago for 15 euros, so they may be nowadays a little bit more expensive while the current Altaya helicopters are 14 euros in Portugal which just one hour ago defeated Poland and its in the half-finals of the Euro 2016 using 10 players formed in the MİGHTY SPOOORTİNG !!!! Sİİİİİİİİİİ......

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Will MacNally's rules - Brandywine 1777 revisited for the last time (?)

My wargames table is about to leave the rolling hills of Pennsylvania to give way to the Bekaa valley or the Georgian landscape or even the necessary space to build my two Pacific WWII aircraft carriers in 1/72nd scale. But before that happens I took some photos to show the many units and terrain features I built since the table was last pictured.

The Birmingham meeting house is placed at last and the Gettysburg buildings that replaced it can go back to the shelves.  Top right you can see the Hessian Jägers crossing Street Road. 

The Benjamin Ring House is already set...

 ... as well as Chad's house.

The Hessians wait patiently to cross the Brandywine maneuvering back and forth in the Knyphausen sector to create the illusion of numbers.

In front of them the Americans aren't less nervous.  

Here it is the awkward outmaneuver of De Borre which placed the entire American line out of balance.

At the same time close to Benjamin Ring's House, G. Washington looks at this maneuver thinking:"What kind of sawdust De Borre's head is made of ?..."

West part of the battlefield. 

Queen's Rangers preparing to ford...

Already in battle position, all units of Cornwallys flanking maneuver can be seen (if badly...).

Dilworth before the storm of fleeing Continentals.

And a general view. There are some units to be made mostly Continentals, the cavalry and some artillery but for the moment I'm having great fun with moderns so more Brandywine only in a few months.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Lebanon 1982 - QRF 1/100th scale models for the Syrian Airforce

The SU-20/22 was the mainstay bomber of the Syrian Airforce in the Lebanon campaign of 1982. Apparently they attacked with success a number of Israeli AFV columns. This QRF model is made of resin and metal but it's showing its age as it needs some filler here and there.

The Mig-21is a much better model and I presume more recent. The Israelis destroyed many of them after blinding the SAF with the destruction of the Syrian missile and warning ground system in operation Mole Cricket.

Now I'm eagerly trying to get both the Mig-23/27 and the Mig-25 in 1/100th scale. Does any one have some surplus or know were to find them?

The most successful aircraft of the SAF was the Aerospatialle Gazelle equipped with Hot missiles. As usual Syrians and Israelis give different numbers for the casualties inflicted and suffered by these small machines. The QRF model comes quite bare with no Hot missiles nor the dark gray box for target acquisition over the pilots compartment so they had to be scratch built.

Next: more Contemporary Russian Wars in 1/72nd scale  for you to stop biting your nails.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Rapid Fire! Russian Contemporary Wars in 1/72nd scale - S-300 missile system

Modern wars like Lebanon, Iran-Irak and Falklands in the 80ies are part of my imagination during boyhood and to make things worse, there is an incredible amount of models, both kit or die-cast, to portray any of those conflicts and any other up to today. And not only western material as it happened in the 80ies but also Russian, Chinese and others mainly in our beloved 1/72nd scale.  

With the Gulf War in 1990-91 and then with the 2003 US invasion of Iraq I used many models from late 20th century. 

But then what to do with the T-80/90's, Kamov KA-50, BMP-3 plenty of them very nice die-cast or from new plastic brands like ModelCollect and such?

Little by little I managed to build a sizable force of modern Russians. And so it came out the new series 'Contemporary Russian wars in 1/72nd scale' that will start in Chechnya 1996, throughout Georgia 2008 up to nowadays Russian intervention in Syria. So if you want to know more about Yeltsin, Medvedev and Putin's armies, please follow me.

The first models I'll show you are some very nice and easy to build '4D Puzzle Model' ordered directly from China. It took some 20 days or so for the parcel to arrive but both cost, post free, only 8€ each while I've seen some shops asking the double amount in Europe! So I hope a long life to the emperor of China, simultaneously leader of the local party (called Aliexpress, by the way).

The S-300 AA system is the Patriot's rival and some say its superior in many aspects. If you buy the two available you get the missile launching device, the 5P85S, and the radar and communications system, the 30N6E2,  The models are very easy to build and in fact if you are lazy enough you don't even need glue, as pegs can hold all parts in a very good engineering maneuver. I used glue just to strengthen the models. I read in some reviews some nonsense like these models not being able to accept plastic glue and being copies of PST models. Untrue. Normal plastic glue goes just fine and PST model is far more complex to build and 5 times more expensive!

Camouflage of the S-300 systems varied a lot even between batteries, the ones I'm showing you are just some of the most common. The camouflage seen on the radar vehicle is not standard in shape so you can paint the yellow and black as you like. The grey color can be seen in the machines placed by the Russian in Syria after the SU-24 shooting down incident by the Turks.

The only extra parts added were the crew member (this one came from Fujimi), antennae and the mirrors. I never saw the Russian flag in the S-300 system but I think it gives a nice touch.

The basing is for Rapid Fire! and its online modern version.

Next: back to Lebanon 82, but hey, I'll be back to this new issue soon.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Lebanon 1982 - IAI Kfir and helicopters

The two IAI Kfir were transformed from the Fabbri Mirage 1/100th scale (top) and the one at the bottom right is based on the Tamiya model of the Mirage III. Some changes are the extended nose, the two side fins, and the extended central rudder. The Fabbri 'Kfir' is not correct as it is based on the Mirage 2000 and I should have used their two Mirage III that came in the collection. Unfortunately I painted those two simply like Mirage III used in reserve by 1982.

Fabbri Cobra and Huey repainted for the Israelis.

Huey from Roco Minitanks in 1/87th scale.