Wednesday, December 10, 2014

And Now, Back to the Air

As I get closer to running Check Your 6! events, I realize I need to add a few gaming items in order to do several of the scenarios in the Air War Korea scenario book.  As it stands, once I receive my latest batch of planes from Chris G. at I-94, I will be able to recreate sixteen of the thirty-two scenarios published in Air War Korea.  Realistically I could opt to do more, but as I am sticking with Raiden for all my miniatures (with a few CinC exceptions) some scenarios are still out of reach as Raiden does not yet produced the needed aircraft, plus I really refuse to buy nine B-29s!  In looking in greater detail at some of the scenarios I can host forced me to rush over to the Fight's On! website and place an order for some goodies that I am still missing.  I have ordered from Fight's On! one time previously, picking up some damage markers and a parachute marker, thinking that would be enough, but some of the scenarios that I have the full complement of aircraft for call for things like anti-aircraft positions and target markers.  This evening I ordered the required items, along with some game markers that weren't needed but perhaps will be handy to use.  Once the order comes in I will need to paint up the AA positions and target markers, but those will get knocked out quickly enough.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Vehicles

Picture from MiniFigs website...green stars?!
Realizing that the Fox Hill scenario will need little (make that ZERO) in the way of vehicles, I still cannot help collecting a few tanks for the Korean War.  I already have a Panzer Depot Pershing and Chaffee along with a Pithead Chaffee and T34/85, yet today I placed an order with Miniature Figurines for their Pershing and T34/85 models.  I would also order vehicles from Pendraken, but they do not make a Pershing nor a Chaffee and not even a T34/85.  I guess that is a good thing as I certainly do not need additional T34s (not used by the Chinese anyway) or Chaffees (not used by the Marines).  I do plan to throw into the Fox Hill scenario the extremely random chance that a Marine M26 might make an appearance on the table, as the 1st Marine Division had the M26 in their organizational table.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Scoring Books at Half Price

I am fortunate to live within an hour of several Half Price Books locations.  Yesterday I headed to the second closest store and found some great buys, two books being directly related to the air war in Korea.

The first title is Combat Over Korea by Philip Chinnery.  My copy still had the shrink wrap intact, and had no description on the back cover, so I took a bit of a gamble on buying it, but am glad I took the risk.  Normally retailing in the States for $39.95, I picked up this new copy for under a ten spot.  Published in 2011 by Pen and Sword, it is an overall history of the war, with a war in the air focus.  There are many first hand accounts, not of the typical U.S. fighter jock, but also from those who served in air rescues, bombers, and helicopters.  And it is not just an American-centric book as other nations receive their due.  This is a great addition to anyone's library who is interested in the overall air campaign.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Synopsis/Review of MSD Games - Frontlines: Korea 1950-53

Photo from MSD Games' website
I received my copy of Frontlines: Korea 1950-53 just a few days after placing my order via the MSD Games' website.  Excellent service from MSD!

Published in 2004, the book is in standard 8.5" by 11" format with a glossy cover and retails for $25.00.  It consists of ninety pages, of which only twenty are rules (including advanced and optional rules), the remaining being vehicle, aircraft, and boat data, unit organizations, notes and four scenarios (color maps for the scenarios are included at the end of the book).  The text is easy to read with a larger font than most publications.  There are two sheets of clear acetate templates, and three sheets of cardstock charts.  Production value is average - my copy was copied/printed with slightly slanted pages throughout.  

There are ratings for over twenty-five vehicles, thirty-plus aircraft, and four boats.  There are also many types of artillery pieces rated, from mortars to recoilless rifles to naval guns.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Off They Go!

Not too many moons ago I was able to snag some Raiden aircraft that were being sold on The Miniatures Page by Dom from Dom's Decals for a ridiculously low price (thanks, Dom!).  In that mix was four Panthers, two MiGs, and six P-51s, along with several other aircraft for World War II (which I have sent to Kevin Hammond at Miscellaneous Miniatures to have painted).  Today I put the Korean War planes into a box and mailed them off to Chris Geisert, who works at I-94 and painted a slew of other Korean War aircraft for me a few months ago (see THIS post for pictures if his excellent work).  Chris does some excellent work as you can see on the pictures on that post, so I am eager to have him finish up my Korean War air project for me.  Other than perhaps buying some Yak-9s and Meteors, I will have plenty of planes to cover most of the scenarios in the Check Your 6! Korean War scenario book.  This will allow me to host a variety of events with a decent mix of prop and/or jet aircraft.  I recently picked up a sky blue gaming mat with 1.5" hexes, so hosting Korean War air games for the upcoming 2015 convention schedule should be easy to do.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Korean War Memorial - Washington D.C.

A few pics of the Korean War Memorial from my honeymoon trip earlier this year.  I should have posted these months ago!





Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fox Hill - Rules and Order of Battle

Rules


With winter approaching I thought it might be a good time to start delving into my Fox Hill/Toktong Pass project.  Determining what rules to use will determine how to organize the forces, but in looking at the Marine strength on Fox Hill (239 men), it is apparent that a small scale set of rules will be needed.  I have played GDW's Command Decision rules numerous times but the scale in CD is too large - a player typically runs a battalion.  Fox Hill was one company, so I would like to have U.S. players command a platoon, so my stands will need to be fireteam to squads in size.  ODGW's Mein Panzer is organized on the squad, which means a player would have 4-6 stands to control.  That isn't bad, but I have never played Mein Panzer so I am not certain if a platoon is enough for a player to command.  I have the Korean War supplement for Mein Panzer, but haven't dropped the thirty bucks on the core rules.  Perhaps readers of this blog can share their thoughts about Mein Panzer.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Pithead - Time for An Order

It's been quite some time since my last post, and most of the posts on this blog have been about the air war (and I have even more aircraft now that need to be painted and decaled, but that is a future post).  It's time to get the ground game moving forward again, and what better way to do that than by placing an order with Pithead?

Mentioned in a previous post was the release of Pithead's supporting weapons and new infantry packs for Korea.  Having only Chinese infantry at the moment, it is time to cobble together an order for some of those new releases, in this case Chinese support weapons, U.S. infantry in parkas, and U.S. support weapons.  Pithead also has British infantry and support (in parkas) released, but as much as this might come as a shock to those who follow my other blog, I do need to focus, so I am, for now, staying with Chinese and American winter troops for Fox Hill.  However, if Phil at Pithead ever release North Koreans, I might have to buy those and summer U.S. troops of the Pusan perimeter fighting with the 1st Marine Brigade.  So, for this order, I am sticking to the following:

six packs of Chinese support weapons
six packs of U.S. support weapons
two packs of U.S. infantry in parkas

Not a huge order by any stretch, but bear in mind that the Marines on Fox Hill numbered 239 troops, and one can always recycle Chinese (and I have 140 of them already).

If you look at the Pithead website, you will be tempted to buy from Phil's exhaustive World War II range.  Greeks, Norwegians, Slovaks, all sorts of trouble to get into.  I'm still resisting, focusing my 10mm efforts on Korea, but you never know when I may cross to the dark side!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Yes, Even More Toys!

Oh man, oh boy, oh bliss!  Got a little box in the mail yesterday from I-94, and it contain some of the most wonderfully painted planes I have ever seen.  Chris Geisert, who does painting gigs for I-94, painted and decaled these little beauties for me, and I am more than pleased with his work, and the pricing.is superb!  I do not have the patience to do such small decal work, so having Chris add some character to these babies was well worth the cost.  Depending on the amount of paint and decals, the prices ranged from $3.50 to $4.50 per plane.  Add to that the base cost for a Raiden model, and you can have such great work for under $10.00 a plane.  I almost do not want to tell you how good these are as more work for Chris means more waiting for me!  But, I cannot help but to give props where it is due.  Chris was easy to work with, communicated very well, and the turnaround time was about six weeks (I was fourth in his work queue at the time).

As you can see by the photos, I had several planes commissioned.  One MiG-15 in North Korean colors to go along with the three I bought painted from Zippy off of a Bartertown ad, and two MiGs done up in Soviet markings.



Add in four F9F Panthers, probably my favorite Korean War airplane at the moment, from both a design, color, and Check Your 6! performance perspective.



Six, count 'em, six F-86s, four in 51st Fighter Wing and two in 4th Fighter Wing markings.  The amount of decals Chris added to these are stunning.  I now have John Glenn's MiG Mad Marine in three scales!






And let's not forget four Marine F4Us!  Again, just great work!



Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pithead Miniatures - Chinese Infantry Pack Composition

Yes, I am behind in getting the land war portion of this dual project moving forward.  I've had these blasted Pithead Chinese for a couple of months now, and until today hadn't done a darn thing with them.  So today I did open all four packs and sorted out the poses to take a look at what a pack comprises of (in this case all four packs are code NK1 - Chinese Winter Infantry Korea - each pack contains thirty-five figures).

Picture from Pithead Miniatures website
After sorting all four packs, I realized that there is not much rhyme or reason to what figures are included, other than you will receive at least one of each pose.  This may be troublesome to some, but since I have four packs (do I really need 140 Chinese?) the total numbers came out just fine.  One will receive officers, buglers, riflemen, figures with submachineguns, and at least two light machinegunners, within each pack.  I have nine light machinegunners, thirteen officers, and eleven buglers, the remaining figures are riflemen and submachinegunners.  Perhaps not the ideal mix, but plenty to work with.  I think I will be placing a bugler and an officer on each command stand, depending on what rules I go with (next post I will go into rules a bit).  Regardless, being that the figures are 10mm, most likely the figures are going to be mounted a few to each stand.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

New Air War Toys!

I was able to purchase some wonderfully pre-painted planes from Dave at I-94 Enterprises at the semi-recent Check Your 6! event in Dayton, known affectionately as OxleyCon.  Several weeks ago I attempted to attach magnets to my purchases and get them ready for the table, but my fingers are far too large to handle the tiny magnets that come with the Noble Minis flight stands, so after getting glue in places I shouldn't, I gave up.  Then I remembered seeing some sort of magnet tool on the Corsec Engineering site.  I immediately placed my order and after a couple of weeks of waiting I received this magnet tool in the post, got out my planes, and after a few mistakes in polarity and still getting a bit of glue on the fingers, I now have some toys ready for action.  The F-84s are Raiden, but I am unclear as to the Skyraider (I believe it is Scotia). 








Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Land War - Part II: The Armor

I've had these little beauties for a few weeks, and decided to get some pictures posted here on the blog.  In deciding to go with 10mm for the land war portion of the Korean War, I had to be able to find some sources for vehicles.  Pithead Miniatures offers a huge list of American vehicles for World War II, most are rather suited for Korea, and considering that they are the company of choice for the land war project, I ordered an M24 Chaffee and a T-34/85 with my infantry order last month.  Both vehicles are very easy to assemble, as they have two tracks, a hull, and a turret.  They are not bad castings, a bit of flash to clean, a few moments to glue together, and they you have it, armor for Korea.  Well, of course I will need to paint them, but both vehicles will have fairly simple paint schemes and a few decals for national markings.  As for cost, the Chaffee comes out to be $4.36 and the T-34/85 was $4.19.  I am guessing the cost of the Chaffee is higher as it is a limited edition for Pithead.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Check Your 6! Air War Korea

I went through the CY6 Air War Korea scenario book tonight to determine what would be the maximum number of the aircraft needed to create each scenario.  The numbers are...impressive.  I do not believe I will aspire to collect them all as this is simply too many aircraft to comprehend, especially the number of B-29s one would need.

Aircraft # Needed
AD-4 4
B-29A 9
F4U-4 4
F-51D 6
F-80C 8
F-82A 3
F-84E 8
F-86A 6
F-86E 6
F-86F 4
F9F-2 8
F9F-3 4
F9F-5 7
IL-10 6
La-11 10
Meteor 2
MiG-15 8
MiG-15bis 8
RF-86A 1
Tu-2 9
Yak-9P 9


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Check Your 6! Game Day - Updated!

Check Your 6 and Check Your 6 Jet Age Game Day, June 28, 2014


From Tom Oxley....

Meet at the National Museum of the US Air Force as they open at 9:00 a.m. and wander through the museum – those who want to take a shuttle bus to the Presidential and Research & Development hanger should get signed in for that as soon as we get in to avoid missing a morning run.

Meet for lunch in the museum cafeteria at 11:30 for a quick lunch, then take time in the museum gift shop to look at toys, books and stuff there.

At around 1:00 p.m., we will head to Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1541 South Smithville Road and start setting up games, and start rolling the dice as soon as possible thereafter. 

Directions:

Click on picture for a larger version
Tentatively there are eight games scheduled: four World War II (Battle of Britain, Rabaul, Guadalcanal, and the Med), one Korean War, one '56 Arab-Israeli, one '65 Indo-Pakistani, and one Iran-Iraq War).

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pithead Miniatures - New Releases!

Oh my!  Phil from Pithead Miniatures was kind enough to send me photos of the new Korean War releases this weekend, and these little gems should whet your appetite to start gaming this war in 10mm!  As mentioned in a previous post, Pithead will be coming out with not only Chinese support weapons, but also Americans and British, infantry and support weapons, in winter gear (actually, one can order these figures now).  This just might push me over the edge and go full bore into 10mm (well, I was 90% there anyway).  I really think those 15mm Eureka North Koreans are excellent castings, but as Pithead has released these additional figures, ones that I can use for perfectly for Fox Hill, then I no longer see a reason to ponder 10mm vs. 15mm.

Having a manufacturer committed to an obscure range, in a figure scale, while popular, is far from as common as 15mm, is a blessing that we should take advantage of.  I encourage all of you who have an interest in gaming the Korean War to please go to Phil's site and place orders for these figures.  Financial commitment (in this case via sales) will (hopefully) allow Phil to keep releasing more figures for this war.  It is my wish to see him add to the range with Americans and North Koreans in summer uniform, as I want to game some of the actions around the Pusan Perimeter as well.

The pics:

British Infantry

British Support

Chinese Support

American Infantry

American Support

Phil mentioned to me that he is also working on an M26 Pershing, a Sherman Easy 8, and a Centurion.  What, you still here?  Go place an order (then come back and say nice things about my blog)!

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Air War - Part II: Deciding on Scale and Rules

Scale

MiG-15s - GHQ above, Raiden below
 Wow, there certainly are a lot of options when it comes to 1/285th and 1/300th scale aircraft for the Korean War, much more than I had initially expected.  That is a grand thing, having a half dozen or so companies to choose from (that variety being the spice of life thing).  It also has allowed me to decide that while these two scales are close in size and decently compatible on the table top, I can go with strictly 1/285th aircraft so that my aircraft match perfectly, as opposed to just closely.

Why else am I able to focus on just 1/285th aircraft? There are several reasons.  First, the variety of U.S. and Soviet aircraft covered:

B-29 Superfortress - Raiden
F-84F Thunderjet - Raiden
F-86 Sabre - GHQ, Raiden
F4U Corsair - CinC, GHQ, Raiden
F9F-2 Panther - Raiden
MiG-15 - GHQ, Raiden
P-51D - Raiden
Yak-9 - GHQ


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Land War - Part I: 10mm vs. 15mm

Picture from Pithead website
Over the last few weeks I have had quite the interesting time trying to decide what figure scale to use for the land war portion of the Korean War.  There are plenty of options in 15mm, including those gorgeous new Eureka North Koreans mentioned (with pictures) in a previous entry.  I have always liked those strangely posed Quality Castings miniatures as well, but I think I want something different for Korea.  Going to 10mm means I could use 1/144th scale vehicles (such as from Panzer Depot, Pithead, and Miniature Figurines) and aircraft, including some prepaints.  It also gives me the opportunity to place more troops on the board, giving the tabletop a more realistic look.  But it also means painting up much smaller figures than what I am used to handling.  Terrain?  Well, it is Korea, everything would have to be collected, constructed, and painted, no matter what the scale as I currently do not have terrain that would be suitable.  Most of my current terrain is more suitable for arid and desert areas.  The good news is while Pithead Miniatures only make winter Chinese currently (sans support), they are planning on Americans and British in winter clothing (with support), and will add support for the Chinese as well.  If sales make Pithead happy, perhaps they will also make North Koreans in the future.  They do make a few vehicles that are suitable for Korea, notably the M24 Chaffee and T-34/85.  Panzer Depot has the M26 Pershing covered (along with the Chaffee), and both companies make things like trucks and half-tracks.


Monday, April 28, 2014

A Visit to the National Museum of the United States Air Force

I have been fortunate in many aspects of my life, with one of those fortunate aspects being my proximity to the National Museum of the United States Air Force (still known to me simply as the Air Force Museum).  The NMUSAF has been so within reach all these years that I have not appreciated the museum as I probably should, at least not until more recent times.  The museum has an amazing and ever expanding collection of aircraft as well as numerous displays.  I recently made a trip to see the Korean War gallery and take a few pictures to share with those readers of the blog who might not have had the chance to visit the museum.  Of course this trip was also for perusing their book store, which in its own right is an amazing place for air combat aficionados.  I did pick up two Osprey titles to expand my Korean air war library (F4U Corsair Units of the Korean War and F-86 Aces of the 51st Fighter Wing), and there were some other related items that looked good, but since I have been buying so many books and hobby "stuff" lately I held my eagerness in check a bit.

Here are the pictures from my quick trip:







Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pictures of New Toys

First, here are some pics of the Raiden MiG-15s I recently purchased from Zippy.  Nicely painted, yes?  (as in all my blog posts, clicking on an image will give you a larger version)




And here are the Eureka Miniatures North Koreans!  I do not believe they are on the Eureka websites yet, but if you email Rob at Eureka Minis USA he should be able to take care of you.  As for size, I would venture they are on the smaller side of 15mm, being closer to 15mm than 18mm.  Would mix well I believe with Quality Castings and other smaller 15mm ranges.

Infantry

Officers and heavy machinegun

Mortar and crew
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