Friday, December 27, 2013

My Axis and Allies War at Sea Aircraft and Fleet

Haguro: Nachi-class Heavy Cruiser, (Imperial Japanese Navy), commissioned 1929

The Haguro played a major role in the conquest of the East Indies and in the Battle of the Java Sea, where she helped defeat the combined fleet of American, British and Dutch navies.

Terutsuki: Akitsuki-class Destroyer, (Imperial Japanese Navy), commissioned 1942

Terutsuki led a short and eventful life. The Terutsuki fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal was sunk by the US PT boat in the same year.

I-25: BI-class submarine, (Imperial Japanese Navy), commissioned 1941

The B1-class submarine was large enough to carry a seaplane in a small hanger on its deck. A B1-class submarine was dispatched to the Oregon coast during WWII to drop incendiary bombs on an Oregon forest.

G4MI “Betty”, Mitsubishi , (Imperial Japanese Navy), introduced 1941

The G4MI was the Japanese Navy, primary land-based, naval attack plane. G4MI “Betties” took part in the attack on Clark filed in the Philippians. Later the Betty was used for torpedo attacks at Guadalcanal.

USS Montpelier (CL57) Clevland-Class Light Cruiser, commissioned 1943

The USS Montpelier served as the flagship of CruDiv under Rear Admiral A. S. Merril. The Montpelier saw action in the battle of Solomon Islands.

USS Taylor (DD 468) Fletcher-class Destroyer, commissioned 1942

The USS Taylor also saw action during the battle of Solomon Island. The USS Taylor went on to sink three enemy submarines and earned sixteen battle stars during WWII.

HMAS Nizam
N-Class Destroyer (Australia),commissioned 1941

HMAS Nizam was paid for by Ali Osman Khan, the ruler of Indian state of Hyberabad.  Although the HMAS Nizam saw some action in the Pacific, she saw most of her action in the Mediterranean.

TBF-I Avenger (US) introduced 1942

The Grumman TBF-I Avenger served as a torpedo bomber and saw action in the Eastern Solomon’s. TBF-I Avengers were credited in the sinking of the Japanese light carrier Ryujo.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

How to Make Arrows for War-Gaming Miniatures

This 4 ½ minute video will instruct you on how to scratch build small arrows that you can stick into the armor, shields, and the ground around your miniature figures. The materials used for the arrows are readily available and the process is very simple.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Two Tutorials on How to Paint a Horse

The Aspen Modeling Company is offering a tutorial on painting one of their S gauge Cowboys(S-23). The 15 page PDF will walk you through the process of painting of their highly detailed resin casting.

The second tutorial “How to Paint a Brown Horse” gives you a step by step instructions on how to paint a 1/72 Zvezda French horse. There a many images showing the transition from a highly detailed plastic casting into a work of art.

Excuse me, but I have go see man about a horse.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dozens of Resources for the Pirates of the Spanish Main and other Versions of this Pirate Game

The Board Game Geek has seven pages of what amounts to dozens of resources, including alternative scenarios, and rules, reference and tracking sheets, wind and compass add-on's, cannon range finders, check lists, and guides, ship and crew cards, keyword lists, ETC.

There so many resources here that will make your game, regardless of what version you are playing, more challenging and interesting.

Terrain Pieces for Pirates of Dave Jones Curse and Mysterious Islands

Although I don’t know when these terrain pieces were first introduced or whether they are still available I thought I would include this related link anyway. These terrain pieces from Dungeon Terrain are cast in resin and include six islands and several palm trees. The palm trees will need to be assembled and attached to the islands. The islands, unlike those supplied with the game, are three dimensional and are highly detailed.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Pirates of Davy Jones Curse-Terrain Pieces

The Pirates of Davy Jones Curse game includes three terrain types: Fog Banks, Reefs, and Sargasso Sea. Each terrain type brings with it a set of attributes.

Fog Banks

When any part of a ship touches the fog bank the whole ship must be placed on the fog bank and ships turn ends. Once in the fog bank the ship is considered lost, it cannot fire cannon, be shot at, ram, pin, be boarded or board other ships. A fog bank has the numbers 1 through 6 printed around its edges. On the ships next turn the player must roll a die and exit from the number on the side of the card that matches the roll die.

Using situation cards, I have other ideas for this terrain piece, like being able to enter a fog bank if being pursued by or being fired at by an enemy ship.

Sargasso Sea

This is another terrain piece that will need to be worked into the game, with a situation card. Depending on the roll of the die the player could become entangled in the Sargasso Sea and lose her ability to move or become detangled allowing the ship to continue to make her move action.


When any part of a ship touches any part of a reef, the player must roll a die. The result is the reefs rating until the end of your turn. Compare the result of the die against the amount of masts the ship had when it was constructed. If the reef rating is lower than the number of masts, the ship loses that many masts.

If the ship sustains more damage than she has masts she is wrecked and stays on the reef as a wreck. I am not really sure I will work this terrain piece into the game, yet. Perhaps I could create a situation card for this piece.

Friday, December 20, 2013

12 Weapons That Changed Everything

“History is shaped by technological innovations”. “12 Weapons That Changed Everything” is slide show with some accompanying materials that define twelve weapons that revolutionized warfare in their day. From The Greek Phalanx to the modern day tank, man has looked for ways to perfect his ability to exterminate his enemies (so much like an insect under foot)…so much for the maxim - proximos ama sicut te ipsum.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Vintage Card Reference-Pirates of the Spanish Main Check List

Vintage Card Reference features an interesting page entitled: “Allen & Ginter Pirates of the Spanish Main Checklist”. The article describes a set of 50 collectable pirates’ cards that have become even more of a collector’s item, having been published back in 1888. I thought the article warranted a mention and have added the link to my Pirates of the Spanish Main label. Each card is numbered and has a picture of a pirate and a brief biography of the pirate on the back of the card.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Axis and Allies-War at Sea-General Scenario-How to Win

The first player to accumulate 150 points wins. You can score points in three ways:

  • When you destroy an enemy unit, you score points equal to the cost of the destroyed unit
  • Seizing an objective sector gets you 50 points (There are there 3 objective sector markers on the map)
  • You also score point points when the enemy has no ships remaining, other than Torpedo Boats. (Submarines and Aircraft don’t count)-You get a onetime bonus of 50 points

Check your points at the end of every turn. If both players archive there 150 points at the same time, the first player to obtain the highest score wins.

If, at any time, your opponent has no unit left at the end of phase, the game ends.

Taken and adapted from the Axis and Allies Naval Miniatures Rulebook.

Axis and Allies War at Sea Sequence of Play

The game is played in turns, player 1 and then player two. Here are the following phases:

  1. Initiative Phase
  2. Roll two die and add the result to your best Flagship bonus. The highest score gets the imitative and goes second. This is beneficial because after watching the other player make their move you know where they might be heading.
  3. Sea Movement Phase
  4. You can move ship and submarine the number of sectors equal to its speed.
  5. Air Mission Phase
  6. Place you aircraft squadrons in any sector on the map. Both players can move their aircraft into one sector each turn.
  7. Air Defense Phase
  8. If aircraft enter a sector where a ship resides, the ship may use its antiaircraft guns to attack the aircraft in that sector
  9. Air Attack Phase
  10. Use available Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Bomb, Gunnery, or Torpedoes to make attacks on Ships and Submarines
  11. Surface Attack Phase
  12. Attack enemy ships and submarines using either ASW, Gunnery (each particular, when within range), Torpedo or all three.
  13. Submarine Attack Phase
  14. Attack enemy submarines with torpedo attacks.
  15. Air Return Phase
  16. Return you aircraft to land base or aircraft carrier.
  17. End of Turn
  18. Claim victory markers and check victory points.

Taken and adapted from the Axis and Allies Naval Miniatures Rulebook.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Is 1-250 Scale Impossible Small or Just Fascinating?

Recently, while performing some research I came across the following 1/250 models made entirely out of paper. These are micro-sized models that are a bit smaller than the 1/285. I find these micro-sized models are so fascinating to me.

Seven WW2 Legendary Tanks Paper Models

You will find a whole set of WWII models here.

Sport Fishing Boat

I am particularly interested in this model; I appreciate its lines and study build.

Moon Base

This model might be a start of a Science Fiction diorama. C in C has a line of 1/285 scale SCIFI vehicles that might work well with these paper models.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Artizan Designs' Painting Guides

I recently purchased a copy of Zvezda’s British Machine Gun w/Crew 1939-42. This set includes four 1/72 miniatures, three British soldiers and one machine gun. I have been searching for painting guides for British army figures and came across Artizan Designs' WWII Painting & Camo Guides. Each guide is cross referenced with a general colors and a Vallejo Model paints color.

Friday, December 13, 2013

WTJ Naval Store a Source of Pre-dreadnought Battleships

Not really caring for the quality of Pre-dreadnought battleships found on Shapeways, I recently came across a new source for Pre-dreadnought battleships. WTJ cares a full line of plastic and pewter Pre-dreadnought battleships. WTJ offers ships in the following sizes 1/3000, 1/2400, 1/1800, and 1/1500. Pre-dreadnoughts battleships from various nations are available.

The Steel on Sand Blog wrote extensively on these WTJ Pre-dreadnought's.

Zane Grey

I recently downloaded the following titles to my Android tablet: The Rainbow Trail, The Call of the Canyon, Desert Gold, Riders of the Purple Sage, and the Young Forester, by Zane Grey. These titles will be fodder for my winters reading. It has been a while since I have read anything of Zane Grey, but I do remember reading Grey’s work sometime ago.

Grey brings the imagery of the frontier to your imagination and keeps you interested with his characters and plots. “A hundred miles of desert travel, with its mistakes and lessons and intimations, had not prepared him for what he now saw. He beheld what seemed a world that knew only magnitude. Wonder and awe fixed his gaze, and thought remained aloof.” (The Rainbow Trail)

Grey was a prolific writer and many of his titles were put to film. Zane Grey stands up there with the likes of Louis Amour as great writer of westerns. Project Gutenberg and Feed Books both feature numerous titles by Zane Grey. These titles will transport you back to a time where the American west was still rustic and raw.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Tallman Smokehouse – A HO Gauge Building from Paper

I have wanted to build some type of structure out of paper for some time. Looking through my collection of plans I came across plans for the Tallman Smokehouse. Smoke houses were once common on most farms as they provided a way for the occupants to cure and store their meat products.

The Tallman Smokehouse is a two story structure, and as you can see, is built primarily from stone. Thomas and Hanna Tallman built this smokehouse in 1757 for their homestead in Moorsetown, New Jersey.

Looking through my collection of materials I noticed that I have a couple sheets of embossed paper stone sheets. I also have several different types of paper shingles. The elements, such as hardware and trim could be manufactured from paper. I will use card board for the sub walls and a few pieces of strip wood to give the structure some rigidity.

Materials for Construction.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Several New 1/76 Models Available from Milicast Models

Milicast is purveyor of highly detailed model kits that are cast in resin. Milicast has added several new 1/76 scale models to their line of products. You really must see the detail of these models to truly appreciate their quality.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Big Bear Hunter

Imagine that you are out bear hunting and you have to make a pit stop to relieve yourself and just at the right moment the hunted comes out to see what all fuss is all about. I suppose you can reach for your gun, which is just out of reach, pray, or just hope the bear doesn’t care for the current state of affairs and vacates the premises.

Woodland Scenics manufacturers many fine products in N, HO, and O gauges, including figures, detail pieces, structures, and terrain and scenery supplies. I own quite a few of Woodland Scenics metal detail parts and structures.

The Bear Hunter is one such detail piece that helps the model railroader to complete a scene. Just add the three pieces to an empty turfed area on your layout. In the back ground, add a tree or two and let your visitors admire your “bear hunter” (“snicker, snicker, snicker, ahum!”).

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Santa and His Helpers

The Magic of Christmas

There is small little train that makes its way around Santa's magic ball. Santa is checking his lists and checking them twice to see if you were naughty or nice.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Pirates of Mysterious Islands Situation Cards, Version 1

I have often thought how I could make Pirates of Mysterious Islands more challenging and came up with the idea of creating situation cards. There are, if you remember three unique actions, a move, shoot, and explore actions.

I created situation actions for explore, and move actions. There are thirteen actions each, for the explore and move actions. I will divide the cards up into red and black desks and tie each situation to numbered card. Ace through 10, the Jack card is 11, the Queen is 12, and so on

There good and bad situation cards for each action. Some situations require a roll of a die or point to the rules for certain game pieces. The cards will be read at the beginning of your turn for these actions and the situations implemented during that action.

Explore Action

  1. You meet the inhabitants of the island and they are die hard cannibals. You lose one crewmember. Burp!
  2. You search is in vain and you find no treasure on this island.
  3. You can dock and explore as a free action.
  4. The inhabitants of this island attack your ship and you are unable to explore for treasure on this turn. If you should decide to stay roll die on your next turn. If you roll a four or six you your crew triumphs over the inhabitants, you can now explore the island. If you roll anything else you lose a crewmember to the fighting, but you still can explore and pick-up treasure.
  5. There are several crewmembers that have come down with the scurvy; you must stay on this island for another turn in order to nurse your crew back to health.
  6. You have fine weather upon arrival, but a storm keeps you from departing until your second turn on this island.
  7. You and your crew have no problems. Explore as you would normally.
  8. You may choose as many treasure pieces as your ships capacity will allow you. (Turn over twice your ships capacity in gold pieces and choose the highest rated pieces).
  9. No impediments here
  10. This island has the necessary materials for repairs; you may repair one mast per turn on this island.
  11. Upon approaching the island you accidently run aground. Roll a die, if you roll a 3 your ship wrecked and you and your crew are marooned on this island. Anything other than a 3, you sustain some damage (remove a mast), but your ship is still operational.
  12. It takes you two full explore actions to discover treasure
  13. You can dock and explore as a free action.

Move Action

  1. You enter a fog bank. Follow the fog bank rules for your next action
  2. You crew mutinies-do a 180’ turn.
  3. You are driving into the wind you lose half your default movement
  4. You have favorable winds and seas add a Short to your default movement
  5. You encounter a strong storm you make no headway at all (do not make your basic movements)
  6. Lightning strikes and splinters one of your masts (remove a mast)
  7. Because of a storm you find that your drinking water has been contaminated. Travel back to the last island you visited and refill your water barrels.
  8. You encounter a sea monster, roll a die and follow the rules for this monster to see what the outcome is.
  9. One of your crew hooks a large sea creature while fishing, add a Long to your basic movement
  10. One of your crew hooks a large sea creature while fishing, the creature takes you back the way you came. Do a 180’.
  11. You are becalmed. You movement is reduced by half.
  12. The captain becomes delirious and has the ship going in circles. Turn your ship 180’.
  13. You have favorable winds and seas add a Short and a Long to your default movement.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Two Interesting Resources for the WWII Naval Historian and War-gamer

British and Commonwealth Navies at the Beginning and End of World War II

As the “British and Commonwealth Navies at the Beginning and End of World War II“ title indicates the page lists the size and vessel types of the British and Commonwealth counties at the beginning of the war. The page goes on to list the losses by the Royal Navy by the hands of the axis navies and visa averse, it lists loses of the axis navies by the hand of the Royal Navy.

Pacific Naval Battles in World War II

War in the Pacific saw some of the largest naval conflicts in history. Across the huge expanses of the Pacific, “two of the most powerful navies in the world found themselves locked in a death struggle.” Battles were fought in the air, on the sea and on many specs of land. Some of the more memorable battles were the battles of Guadalcanal, Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway.

The site breaks the conflicts down by campaigns. Each battle within the campaign is listed along with its history.

Both sites are educational and interesting. They might add insight and historical relevance to the war-gamer.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Suppliers of 1/87 Scale Horse Drawn Wagon Kits

Although Preiser does manufacturer horse drawn wagons, the wagons are of European prototypes and are prebuilt and are not buildable kits. Here is list of the available buildable horse drawn wagon kits of American prototypes that I am aware of. If you know of other sources please feel free to let us know of their existence.

Jordon Highway Miniatures
1/87 Scale Information

Jordon produces the following styrene kits. These kits’s usually consist of a spruce or two of some very fine machine injected parts, which can be very delicate, so be careful when removing them from the spruce. These models are finely detailed and run in the $5.00-9.00 range.

  • Farm Wagon - With 2-Horse Team & Driver
  • Buggy w/Horse & Driver
  • Buckboard – With 1-Horse & Barrel Load(2)
  • Horse-Drawn Hearse
  • Standard Delivery Wagon
  • Light Delivery Wagon
  • Brougham (Closed Coach)
  • 1912 Popcorn Wagon w/Team
  • Old West Stagecoach w/6 Horse Team
  • Beer Delivery Wagon w/Teamsters & 8-Horse Team

Musket Miniatures

Musket Miniatures offers a nice collection of wagon kits that are manufactured in white metal. Some wagons can be purchased with a horse, mule, or oxen teams. These kits usually come with a horse or horses (2), driver, and load. (Will be indicated in the list).These kite range in price from $5.00-28.00. Most can be purchased for under $10.00.

  • Covered wagon (horse team)
  • Covered wagon (mule team)
  • Covered wagon (oxen team)
  • Open wagon (horse team)
  • Open wagon (mule team)
  • Open wagon (oxen team)
  • Open wagon (horse team)
  • Open wagon (horse team)
  • Buckboard (1 horse, man, woman, and load)
  • Buckboard (2 horse team , man, woman, and load)
  • Farmers loading hay wagon (load and two figures)
  • Wagon loaded with hay bales
  • Settlers wagon (2 horse team, household supplies)
  • Dr. Shockley’s medicine wagon (with "snake oil" pitchman)
  • Delivery wagon with signs(2 horse team, driver)
  • Photography wagon (1 horse; Canvas-sided. With photographer, camera)
  • Wagon loaded with milk cans (2 horse team, 2 figures)
  • Brewery wagon(2 horse team, driver, 9 beer barrels)
  • Lumber wagon (2 horse team, driver, lumber load(resin))
  • Coal wagon (2 horse team, driver, coal load(resin), shovel)
  • Timber wagon (2 horse team, driver, timber load(resin))
  • Stagecoach - walking horses
  • Two Wheel Cart (1 horse)

Selley (A division of Bowser Products)

Bowser-Selley offers a few white metal wagon kits. These kits are in the $6.00 to 10.00 range.

  • Farm Wagon
  • Surrey with Horse
  • Surrey with no horse
  • Buggy with horse
  • Buggy with no horse

Monday, December 2, 2013

Horse-Drawn Commercial Vehicles

Horse-Drawn Commercial Vehicles is a Dover publication, part of their pictorial archive series. The book measures slightly better than eight wide by eleven inches. Inside the covers there are 255 illustrations and black and white images of all sorts of horse drawn wagons.

There is a three page introduction, a wagon glossary, and 148 pages of horse drawn wagons of every description. Another book in this series that I will review sometime is Dover’s Horsecars, cablecars and omnibuses. Both books give you a fabulous glimpse in the past and into the nineteenth century’s stagecoaches, delivery wagons, fire engines, farm wagons, ETC.