perjantai 25. heinäkuuta 2014

Tigers in the Mud manga by Miyazaki Hayao

With the Bridge at Remagen book for Flames of War just out and Otto Carius making a comeback this time in a Jagdtiger, this oldish manga by Miyazaki Hayao was an interesting find. Tigers in the Mud deals with Carius' time in Estonia during 1944. And what's even better it seems to be available translated and totally free. You could get quite a few nice scenarios out of them and even if you don't it's still a pretty nice read with nice illustration and a slightly more animalistic side of the conflict!

The volumes are available through Mangatank:

maanantai 21. heinäkuuta 2014

Hellcat platoons

Well I finished up my Hellcat platoons finally. Didn't get them done in the timespan that I had in mind, but then again the game was cancelled too so not too much of a loss. Final details and decals took a lot longer than anticipated with far too much time going to painting tracks and trying to avoid previous paintjobs in the meantime. And putting in about 70 decals was annoying to say the least. Maybe doing 14 vehicles in a batch wasn't the greatest of the ideas after all :) Anyway fun minis to paint as the Hellcat is one of my favorite tanks of all time. You can't go wrong when you have about 18 tons of steel rolling around at up to 60km/h running with a radial aircraft engine.

I decided to use the decals to make recognition on the tabletop a bit easier to if for example the platoons are situated very close to each other. Half of the Hellcats are named and the M20's have different styled names to mark them for one platoon or the other. Painting wise these Allied vehicles for WW2 aren't too interesting with a the monotone green colour scheme so I tried putting in colour where I could by painting the tracks in a rust colour etc. Not much of it is visible beneath the mud anymore, but at least I tried :)

After these I'll concentrate on finalizing our Winter War demo game for Ropecon that is held next weekend here in Finland. It's the biggest roleplaying and wargaming convention in Finland and my club has a few demo games running including my Winter War table, a Samurai version of SAGA (with rules graciously borrowed from Kurpfalz Feldherren), Force on Force Vietnam and Warmachine all there. Still small touches to add to the table and we're set to go. And after the convention I have a small holiday at our summer cottage so that will probably mean a pause in painting again unless I decide to drag a small painting box with me hidden from the better half.

The four nameless tanks are guided by Suzy and Jane. I only ended up putting the Tank Destroyer badge on one of the tanks as it's actually too large for the Hellcat. I figured trying to fix it for 8 tanks was too much and only left it on one.

Weenie One, Battling Bitch, Blood N Guts and Destruction rolling forward with Speedy and Daring showing the way.

sunnuntai 20. heinäkuuta 2014

Warbirds fly-in

I still haven't finished the Hellcats as they are missing the final mud layer. Instead I've been to an annual air show held in central Finland. The theme this year was Warbirds with a special emphasis on WW1 and WW2 aircraft. There were some very rare planes flying including the only Gloster Gauntlet Mk. II that is in flying condition as well as a few DC-3:s, a Spitfire and much more! The area also had a meeting for military vehicles and there were quite a few tracked and wheeled pieces roaming around. Being a very typical Finnish summer day the show was interrupted for a few hours as a surprise thunder storm made flying impossible and forced most spectators to take cover indoors.

I guess I'll let the images speak for themselves with only short explanations in between. Enjoy!

The airshow started with a memorial jump from a DC-3 in the honour of people who lost their lives in a airplane accident where a plane carrying paratroopers fell down near the airfield in April killing most passangers.

There were 3 flying Great War era fighters. Fokker Dr.I, R.A.F S.E.5a and a FVM Ö1 Tummelisa. The shows included simulated fights between the Fokker and both other aircraft as well as the S.E.5a attacking the airfield and doing stunt flying piloted by Daniel Ryfa who normally works as a stunt pilot for Red Bull.

From WW2 there was a Finnish Gloster Gauntlet Mk. II which was the only flying specimen left in the world. In addition there were 2 DC-3's, 2 AT-6 Texans and a AT-16 Harvard and finally a Spitfire Mk. IX. Especially the Spitfire was an awesome sight fighting a simulated fight against one of the Texans and afterwards performing loops and barrel rolls in a stunt flight.

The day also featured quite a few re-enactors from both Napoleonic era and WW2. There were quite a few WW2 Finns and Germans around and even a few British and US paras. A reenactment group of the Royal Finnish Artillery Regiment from the Russo-Swedish war of 1808 gave a demonstration firing their two cannons.


There were also numerous historical and modern aircraft that were not flying in the shows. Arriving by plane gave you a free pass to the event and all those planes were lined up next to the runways for all visitors to see. The Auster AOP was very interesting to see especially with it's slightly more exotic "Remove Before Flight" tags.

There was also a modelling competition held at the event with scale models of aircraft in various scales. There was also a themed section of Detachment Kuhlmay showing the various different aircraft used by the German unit that was crucial in stopping the Soviet attack in Karelia in 1944.

Finally there was a selection of nice cars and even a small herd of reindeer kept in a pen close to the airfield.