Monday, April 24, 2017

AAR25: War in Mugabia, Air Battle at Objective B5 - Part1

As the Uwandan forces prepared to crossed into Mugabia at objective B5, 6xF5As offered air cover against the Mugabian air force.  Initially, the only resistance that could be offered was by three Mig15s, which were ordered to attack Uwandan aircraft if present, and ground targets if not.

Objective B5 is a town just across the border and river 
about three quarters of the way up the map.

The Air Battle at Objective B5: Part1

The F5As were aware of the Mig15s early on, due to ground radar and radio traffic, and were ordered to hunt them down.  The F5s broke into three groups, the first of 2x F5s would be the bait to gain the attention of the Migs, while the second group of 2x F5s took a high northern circuitous route to hopefully gain unnoticed advantage over the Migs.  The last pair of F5s maintained cover over the objective, in case more Mugabian aircraft arrived (it was believed that 4x F5s were enough to deal with the Mig15s).

The F5s in the foreground are  actually 2 "sticks" or about 9000
feet above the Migs (middle group) to the left.  The Migs in turn are
one stick above the F5s farthest from the camera.
Despite the F5s being warned of the Mig15s by ground radar and  radio traffic, the Migs managed to spot the two F5s playing bait first at around four miles out, and at roughly the same altitude as the Migs.   Meanwhile, the Migs chose to climb as they closed on their prey their.  The Migs failed to spot the high flying F5s.

The F5s finally spotted the Migs at about three miles and continued to fly straight and level until about two miles out.  During this the other two F5s at higher altitude had also seen the Migs and continued to close at higher altitude.

The bait began to dive, and so did the Migs.  As both the Migs and F5s cruise speed were similar, the F5s were able to outpace the Migs, making it hard for them to lose enough altitude to get into range.  For the most part, he Migs were too high and too slow to take advantage of their position.  Ironically, the other pair of F5s found themselves in a similar situation, having started their descent too late, they allowed the Migs below to just get within range of the bait F5s, while still being too high to fire on the Migs. 

The Migs are diving and will wing-over to move into position behind the F5s. 
They are still almost 5,000 feet, slightly more than one altitude stick, above the F5s. 

The Bait F5s were more than a little worried, when they began to take shots from the Migs.  But despite one shot finding its mark, the bait suffered no damage, and eventually, the other pair of F5s both managed to fire a Sidewinder each at the Migs.

Just before the Migs performed a wingover, moving into position to fire
at the F5s beneath them.  And, exposing there rear to the F5s nearer the camera.

In all seven shots from the Migs yielded no damage to the F5s, which had pulled out of gun range of the Migs, so the Migs broke off  the engagement with intension of going home to get reloaded.  About this time, one of the Migs finally noticed the inbound missiles, and all three Migs broke into hard turns.

Missiles just before impact, killing two of the Migs.

Both missiles were forces to test to see if they maintained lock on, both did, and in an instant, there were two fireballs in the sky, no pilots were seen to bail out.

The four F5s had been drawn south and east of the objective, and decided to return to the objective to cover the Uwandan advance.  For the time being, Uwanda had air superiority, and their ground attack aircraft were free to attack Mugabian targets.


A hopeless mission for the Mig15s, though they did manage to delay Uwanda's ground attack aircraft for a few minutes, but were out-numbered, and over matched by the F5s.  The remaining Mig15 was too low and the F5s were too far out of position to pursue, and it only had a single burst of ammo left for its guns.  It was successful in its choice to go home.

I still can't get over how hard it is to line up shots and then get lock-on with the early AAMs. I am also considering doubling the "ground" scale in the game to spread out the stands during the dogfight.  It gets very busy in the furball.

Sorry about the terrible photos and relatively bland game, but needed to resolve this before the next ground battle, which is very different from the last.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Armaments in Miniature 15mm (1/100) CH47A (late) Chinook

On Monday, I  received two Armaments in Miniature 15mm (1/100) CH47A (late) resin models in the mail.  Excited, I quickly opened the box, excavated the packing material, and found the two CH47 models.  I was amazed, though I should have known to expect nothing less than amazing.  These are simply beautiful models.  They came as a cast fuselage, and two sprues with rear ramp, landing gear, rotors, etc.

I haven't had time to do any assembly, but as I haven't seen much about these on any of the forums, thought I'd share some photos.

Though it doesn't show up well in the photos, the panel lines
 and side windows and present and obvious if seen in person.

The resin is flawlessly cast, with absolutely no bubbles, and detail is outstanding.  At $21 each, these models are less than half of the price of the only other 1/100 CH47 model that I have seen, which is rarely available on Ebay.

AIM offers the model in early and late versions at $19.00 and $21.00.  Ordering was simple and fast, delivery time was less than a week.  An outstanding model and an outstanding value.  You know you that you need one...or two... 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

New Arrivals 4-9-17

Haven't been doing much for the last couple of months, other than working, but I have had some items come in over that time, with each purchase being my first with the respective companies.

The first order was for 15mm hex bases from Minairons.  These are made per order, so there was a just a slight delay in getting them to the US from Spain, but was still a relatively short ordering cycle.  The bases are as described, priced very affordably, and perfect for my application.  They will allow me to individually mount my fighters for Star Fleet Battles.  Overall the experience was exceptionally good, and I would highly recommend them.

Toad King Castings
This company was recommended to me after in response to a request for 28mm skulls on TMP.   I was looking for some bits to scatter amongst my post-apoc terrain.  Toad King Castings offered outstanding service, with easy ordering, spectacular product (all resin castings), and fast shipping.  Again, a highly recommended company.  I ended up ordering a bag of skulls (which includes quite a variety of different castings), and a pack of  bones debris.  He also threw in a very nice resin chest with the skulls.


Amarillo Design Bureau
Despite having played Star Fleet Battles since the early 1980s, this is my first order with the current owner of the game system, Amarillo Design Bureau.  I ordered a selection of star ships including Federation, Klingon, Romulan, and Kzinti.  The ordering process was very smooth, with fantastic comms and exceedingly fast delivery.  The models are all metal and were generally very nice, with castings simplified from some of the originals forms from back in the day (particularly nice for the Kzinti ships, which used to have lots of little breakable bits).  Most of the castings were quite good, though a couple looked to suffer from some mold ware. 

The Federation Frigates, NCL and CVS have particularly nice detailing, and will stand up well with my older plastic Federation castings.  The Romulan Destroyer variants are very high quality castings, and the Kzini Cruiser and FF are well detailed and as mentioned above much simpler than the older castings.  The Klingon F5s are a different model from the original all those years ago, but similarly sized, and nice models, though the mold had some wear, resulting in some shmootz hanging off of the back of the castings around the impulse engines and shuttle bay area.  Nothing catastrophic, but they do require a little attention.  The Klingon CVS was probably the only real let-down among the 13 castings, as the upper surfaces of the hull with the shoulder phasers extending to the "wings" were a bit rough, kind of "pebbly".  This will require some attention with file and putty, and I may have to re-create the phasers and a little raised detail in the area.  Overall though, I am happy with the models, and service was fantastic.

Klingon CVS and F5s
Two of the F5s have been trimmed, the model to
the right still has flash on the rear of the hull.
Federation FFs, NCL (top) and CVS (in pieces).
Kzinti heavy battle Cruiser and Frigate
Romulan Battlehawk and Skyhawk.