Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Air Force

The supersonic B-47 bombers can fly in at speeds of over mach 1. They can drop their bombs and fly out again at the same speed.

These air men are learning first hand about the effects of a massive bombing raid on the ground below.

Naturally, radio contact is maintained by the ground forces with the plane.

Safety teams wear yellow. When live firing there is always the possibility of unexploded munitions. Crews need to be there to determine the safety of the scene.

As you can see, the solid, bare flat desert terrain has been chewed up into a tangled mass of earth.
Figures by Tim Mee air force set and MPC. Jeeps and truck by MPC.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

60mm Weapons Testing

While the rest of the Atomic Testing Base is working on atomic war, the Air Force is testing the use of regular bombs in large numbers.

The B-47 bomber is designed for atomic war, but it can drop regular bombs too.

This test area was hit by a several dozen large size bombs and these Air Force men are here to survey the damage. Pilots visit the scene to learn first hand the nature of the destruction their weapons can create.

The radar trailer told them of the approach of the bomber and the exit of the target area. The bomber can attack from such a tremendous altitude that you can't even see them from the ground.

Air Police will guard the perimeter while the testing site is evaluated. You never know where the Reds will be out trying to spy on American weapons test.

Monday, March 29, 2010

WWII German Soldiers

Caesar and Ykreol both make a WWII German soldier in 1/72nd scale in soft plastic.

They are wearing long coats, helmets and holding a machine pistol.

They are very different in detail. The Ykreol figure has his gas mask in front, that indicates he is probably a motorcycle troop, the side car rider would often wear it in front like that. He is also wearing the type of coat worn by motorcycle troops.

The Ykreol solder is standing at the ready, the Caesar figure more at attention. The Caesar figure is wearing the standard cold weather greatcoat.

Both are good solders, both are in my collection in large numbers, and they demonstrate why we have so many sets of WWII Germans and I feel we still need a few more.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Unpainted resin Paul Heiser Models JS-II Soviet Heavy Tanks from World War Two.

I got a few metal machine guns to dress up some of them. The PHM model does not come with the MG and they do look okay without it.

The JS-II was a new tank late in World War Two so I have not added much extra gear on them. Many were not in service very long, because with the heavy fighting they were knocked out rather quickly. Panzerfausts destroyed large numbers of these in Berlin.
If you have never built a resin kit before, Paul Heiser Models offers a large number of generally easy vehicles to build. Resin kits can be difficult but the PHM ones are often very few parts and they go together easily. I used two part epoxy glue on the larger parts and superglue on the tiny bits. Two part epoxy is very easy to use too. Simply squeeze out two equal amounts, mix with a toothpick and then apply like any other glue. I use the five minute working time epoxy so it dries quickly.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tanks and Anti-Tanks

In the background a few Roco T-34/76 tanks. They were used up until the end of World War Two, on my recent visit to Berlin they display two of them on plinths and claim they were the first to Soviet tanks into Berlin.

These big yellow monsters are the JS-II from Paul Heiser Models. Excellent resin kits in HO scale for late war Soviet offensives.

This is the Italeri 76.2 mm gun in 1/72md scale. They Russians used about a gillion of these in World War Two. I am building up two Soviet tank corps and so I need a lot of these bad boys. They will join their companions from Lyzards Grin and get mounted on trays in the future.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Red Tow Trucks

An overhead view of the T-34 armored recovery vehicles. Take a Roco T-34 tank, remove the turret and you are almost done. Then plate over the top with a bit of sheet plastic. I added various tools, wire reels, gas cans, and such to the top and sides of the tank hulls. I also built a small box on the front or the rear of the T-34's.

An array of extra gear is stowed on the ARV's. Bicycles, spare tires, tank road wheels. I took an old T-34 with some mis-molded wheels and cut the track part off. That gave me some extra road wheels. Never throw spare parts away, there is always a use for them. The Mir T-34/85 tanks are air brush painted in a two tone light and dark olive drab scheme.

Model train shops are great sources of cool bits. I got some diamond plate and glued it to the back of the ARV's.

Poor photo, but it shows a tarp rolled up and glued to the side of one of the ARV's. The tarp is a tissue that has been soaked in Superglue. Then ends were then tied with thread.

Each tank company has a different combination of markings. Overall dark olive with red numbers over white rectangle and red star. The other company is light and dark olive sprayed on with airbrush.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


The Russians were always known for their love of heavy artillery. Here some modified Airfix Russian Infantry have transferred to the artillery.

An anti-aircraft artillery battery. These are Roco WWII trucks on Lend Lease to the Russians. A few Eadai German 88s and an instant Russian mobile anti-aircraft unit.

This makes a pretty good Russian 85mm anti-aircraft gun.

I have a five gun battery with a sixth truck for ammunition and supplies.

I have taken all my old Airfix Russians and converted them into artillery crews. I cut off the guns and some of them have been given larger bases, so they stand up better.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Red Iron

Here you can see one of my Russian quad AA machine gun mounts. Actually, my only one so far.

My towed Russian artillery is mounted on Evergreen Plastic sheets. Each gun on it's own little bit of plastic. It helps keep the rather fragile lead guns together.

If you look closely at this photo and the previous one, you can see both Airfix Russians, Esci hard plastic Russians, and Tomy Russian all impressed into the artillery branch. The hard plastic figures are nice because it is easy to glue range finders, and artillery shells on them.

Russian T-34/85 tanks, the near ones from Roco the others from Mir. Both are nice plastic models, durable, easy to build.

These are my T-34 armored recovery vehicles. Each one has a small box at the end. The tools, and boxes inside are removable and can be set up as repair depots and supply dumps.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Red Guns

I provide flags, radios, ammo dumps and fire direction centers for my artillery.

Here is an ammo dump for Russian artillery battery "A" and their fire direction center and their flag.

I took a Fujimi tent, added Evergreen Plastic sides to the tent so soldiers could stand up inside and then put a little plaque on the front designating it as belonging to RA.

This fire direction center takes the information from the forward observers or from higher headquarters and uses it to direct the guns.

Inside the tent is another strip of Evergreen Plastic. It is the floor for the tent. On it I put a few oil cans, with a tabletop of plastic. I added a radio and a couple vodka bottles and a map.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Red Super Stars

Red Air Force aces would often decorate their planes with decorations they received. Special Red Air Force units would often get a Guards designation to show they had extensive experience.

Elite units in my wargame units get a 5% to hit bonus on all firing that they do for each level of eliteness. So a Guards unit would get 5% and an ace in a Guards unit would get an additional 5% for a total of a 10% bonus in his chance to hit a target. This reflects his skill, and experience in combat. Experience will prevent buck fever and make for a calmer pilot, one who knows the advantages of his airplane and the weaknesses of his enemies airplane.

This is a Soviet Naval Air Force aircraft. Note the Naval Ensign on the side of the plane and the different camouflage scheme. They support my Pegasus Black Seas Fleet soldiers.

Only a small part of my Russians planes are unpainted, and it is on my agenda to paint them up this summer. I plan on having my Russian WWII aircraft all done by the end of summer.

An ace with 10 kills gets a 5% to hit bonus. An ace with 20 kills gets a 10% to hit bonus and an ace with a 30 kills gets a 15% to his bonus along with a first shot, first kill bonus. My wargame rules use simultaneous firing and simultaneous hits, but when the shooter has three levels of eliteness over his opponent, then the damage he does takes place before his target.

That means he does not have to take return fire if he kills the target. This reflects his tremendous skill and ability to anticipate the enemy. This is how many major aces were able to amass great numbers of kills, they were so much better than their opponent they usually got the first shot and it was usually fatal to the enemy or at least caused the enemy to run for their lives.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Camo Red Airplanes

Like the real Red Air Force, I have a massive collection of World War Two Soviet aircraft. Here are some photos of a few of them.

Russian aircraft were much like Russian ground equipment, not the best, but usually reliable, durable and adequate. Over the course of the war they got better, and so did their pilots. Still, on the Eastern Front, even with overwhelming numerical superiority, the Red Air Force did not establish air supremacy like the US and British did in the West.

Most of my Russian aircraft are actually painted in authentic paint schemes and decalled. I have organized them using different colored spinners. The pointy part of the nose, in front of the propeller. It is red on some, yellow or white or blue on others. My planes are organized in four plane elements for the most part, four of the same type, in similar markings and paint jobs.

There are fighters, bombers, liaison aircraft, reconnaissance planes and even some from the Soviet Red Navy.

Naturally, no Red Air Force is complete without ground attack planes, as shown here. The little circle on the top of the canopy is where they attach to my aircraft suspension system. It looks a little like a radio direction finder antenna.