31 May 2008

Paint-fest: Day 9 progress

  • Deeply considered the problem of putting my USMC M60 teams on big bases or small bases, with only 3 figs per base. My big USMC bases have 4 figs each, while the Platoon HQ (with 3 figs) is on a small base. Oh the dilemma...
  • Undercoated said M60 teams (6 bases plus HQ)
  • Progressed the NVA HMG stand and crew - just basing left to go
  • Completed the test jungle section - it came out OK, but a little dark I think.

30 May 2008

Paint-fest: Day 8 progress

The usual weekend domestic caveats (gardening, taking kids to football & scouts, family time etc) account for the reduced productivity:
  • NVA HMG and crew painted and detailed.
  • Started sorting out my USMC weapons platoon...only to find that I either don't have enough figs in the pack, or that the TO&E in the FP rulebook isnt correct...
  • Washed the Duster and PBR
And because I'm really pleased with the way these have come out, here is some pre-emptive eye-candy (just for you evil voice in my ear). Click for larger pics - Peter Pig Vietnam range US Snipers, pictured on a jungle terrain section by Miniature World Maker.

29 May 2008

Guide to painting windscreens

from the FoW website:

Guide to painting windscreens

from the FoW website:

Paint-fest: Day 7 progress

Most importantly, my last Uni essay has been finished and lodged, so thats out of the way now - huzzah! Sadly, that didnt leave much of the day...
  • Second US sniper stand (in Tiger Cammies) finished! Unike the first stand, which was a sniper and spotter, both kneeling - this one is a lone sniper in the lying position. The problem will be not losing them in the terrain when the camo actually works...
  • Undercoated and basecoated the NVA HMG, crew and stand
  • Basecoated the M42 Duster and one PBR
  • Progressed one of the jungle terrain sections as a test case

28 May 2008

Paint-fest: Day 6 progress

  • NVA Rifle Platoon finished!
  • First sniper team finished!
  • Undercoated, basecoated and detailed the second sniper stand
  • Undercoated (in black) the M42 Duster and PBRs
  • Started a NVA HMG emplacement
  • Started some jungle terrain sections using my plastic palm tree collection
  • Started painting up my latex roads
  • Caught up with my mate Owen again!

In the excitement of completing my first NVA platoon I completely blew off my Uni essay, which is due tomorrow. Getting that finished will sadly cut into my day and my model productivity...

27 May 2008

Paint-fest: Day 5 progress

  • NVA - now that the reshaped fig bases fit, they have been glued onto the bases. I should be able to complete the basing tomorrow.
  • Mounted my first Sniper team and started another. Initially I was a little disappointed with the Tiger Cams but they dried a different colour and I like them more each time I see them now. Again, I should be able to finish off the basing tomorrow.
  • Cleaned up the Duster, PBRs and the Zippo M113 for undercoating
  • Planned some individually mounted peasants (to inhabit the hootches I've just done)
  • More time grudgingly expended on frivolous 1:1 painting and Uni requirements...

Also, I've just realised its been a year since I started this Blog and only twenty hits shy of achieving 7,000!

26 May 2008

Paint-fest: Day 4 progress

  • reshaped all remaining NVA figure bases - I can now base the whole platoon tomorrow
  • Major filling, grinding, shaping and sanding for the domestically imposed 1:1 scale project work (grumble...)
  • progressed the insanity of 15mm Tiger Stripes: what was I thinking?
  • received my QRF order (M42 Duster, OH-6 'Loach' Recon Helo, M113 Zippo, and a 2.5ton Truck) so I played with the new toys for a bit.
  • caught up with my good mate Owen (up from Melbourne) - generally inspected all items, discussed modelling, developed cunning scenarios and planned further purchases. Over a few coffees and cold refreshments of course!

And more work on the Uni essay - I shall be free from that burden (one way or another) by Friday.

24 May 2008

Paint-fest: Day 2 progress

  • 3 Hootches finished, the other 3 are half painted

  • NVA rifle platoon - flesh, boots, weapons and webbing painted. Awaiting basing

  • LVTPs - basecoated, washed and highlighted.

  • US Sniper team (rifleman and observer) cleaned-up and basecoated

Also ordered some decals for vehicle markings and watched Apocalypse Now...well, the good bits anyway :-D

Paint-fest: Day 1

I've got 2 weeks off work starting today with an ambitious modeling agenda in mind.
I also have a Uni essay to knock over (the last one!) and the usual domestic considerations but lets see how we go.

To maximise productivity, I'm going to add a few comments each day (mostly for myself) on what I've gotten done and leave eye-candy photos until the end.

The 'to-do' agenda:

2 NVA Rifle Platoons (1 squad done)(Flashpoint figs)
4 Downed aircrew/objectives markers (Peter Pig figs)
US Special Forces and snipers (Peter Pig figs)
2-3 Peasant stands (Peter Pig figs)
start some local force VC units (Peter Pig figs)

2 LCVP (Peter Pig)
2 PBRs (Peter Pig)

6 resin Hooches (Flashpoint)
complete my modular Brown Water river sections and bridge
Make more jungle sections with all the new plastic treees I just got delivered
Cam up my other VC Bunkers
make some weapons cache/supply dump objectives
Paint up my rubber road/track sections

Sort out flying stands for my Helos and aircraft
Make some arty/airstrike impact markers

If time permits
USMC Weapons Platoon (Flashpoint figs)
2nd USMC rifle plt (Flashpoint Figs)
Assemble revell 1/100 AH-1 Cobra Gunship (Revell plastic kit)
PACV (Gomi)

Day 1 Progress

  • Cleaned up and undercoated (in white) the resin hooches
  • Undercoated the LVTPs (in black)
  • base coated 3 NVA rifle squads

23 May 2008

More Acqusitions!

Spurned on by an evil voice in my ear (you know who you are!) I went to Olympian Miniatures today....I now own Flashpoint Miniature's USMC Weapons Platoon - and the evil voice owns the ANZAC Company HQ, Rifle Platoon, Support Company, SAS Patrol and a Local VC Force Cell too!

Not that I needed more lead to paint right now, but since when does that count? :-D

22 May 2008

Allied Air Defence Vehicles in Vietnam

Among other bits and pieces, I've just ordered a M42 'Duster' AA vehicle (from QRF) for my US forces. When the expected North Vietnamese MiG threat failed to materialise over the DMZ, this vehicle was used extnsively in the ground support role where the twin 40mm Bofors cannons (firing AP and HE ammo) were quite nasty.
This wesbite shows not only the Dusters, but other Air defence Artillery units used by the US in Vietnam

20 May 2008

Battle for Hue, 1968

Some very interesting reading here, rearding the USMC's use of Armour in Hue during Tet

During this final phase, M-48 tanks and Ontos antitank vehicles were paired together. This tactic provided an effective combination for dominating the close-in fighting along the tight streets of the Citadel. The tank was used for pinpoint fire and to draw-out the enemy. The Ontos provided an area fire capability as all six tubes unleashed canister shot at close range. This method forced defenders to ground and negated any resistance prior to Marine assaults across streets or open areas. This technique proved so effective that when tank ammunition was exhausted on 17 February, there was a pause in the fighting. Mounted firepower was critical in sustaining the dismounted assault.

For a more detailed account of the battle of Hue, see this:

18 May 2008

LVTP-5 Project commences

Long delayed, I finally got his project started ahead of my imminent two weeks off. I've been looking forward to doing these for ages and after getting a technique I'm happy with with the M48s and Ontos, I'm ready to have a crack at these large beasts. Detailed pics of AMTRACS in country are somewhat hard to find, but I'll generally be going for a look like this one.

The models are by Peter Pig, are resin and come on a precast base (which I'll replace to match my other vehicles). I've cleaned them up and added the usual gear hanging off - 44 gallon drums, jerry cans, crates and stowages are metal by Skytrex, plus some plastic sand bags around the forward turrets too. One beef is the blocky front of the main turret. A metal barrel insert would have been much nicer. I've left one as-is for comparison and carved one off as an expriment.

13 May 2008

Vietnam veterans honoured in Canberra

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson acknowledged that Australia didn't necessarily treat soldiers returning from the Vietnam War with the respect they deserved.

At a Parliament House reception for the veterans of the battles of Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral, Mr Rudd paid tribute to the men who took part in the battles, described as some of the most hazardous of the war.

Twenty-six Australians were killed during the fighting at Coral and Balmoral, which took place during the "Mini-Tet" offensive by Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces in May 1968.
"Tonight, as prime minister of Australia, I want to pay tribute to your service to Australia in this great battle of the Vietnam War," Mr Rudd told the veterans.

"For those whose service to the nation through this terrible war has not been properly honoured by government, I express regret.

"We can never repay the price that you have paid, but tonight I say that we will properly honour the memory of those who fell in the actions around Coral and Balmoral."

Dr Nelson, a former defence minister, said the treatment of diggers upon their return from Vietnam was one of the things Australia had got wrong as a nation.

"There are many things in our country of which we are immensely proud but there are some things that we have got wrong," he said.

"The way in which significant elements of Australian society responded to your return to our country at the end of your service and at the end of the war is one example of something we got wrong."

To rousing applause Dr Nelson said: "Whatever we do as a nation facing our future we must always make sure that we work tirelessly to honour the service and sacrifice of men and women who, in our uniform, serve the policies and views of the government of the day of our country."

On Tuesday there will be a national commemorative ceremony at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial in Canberra to mark the 40th anniversary of the battle.


09 May 2008

Realistic Palm Trees

Personally, I love my plastic palm trees- quick, easy and hard to destroy (though it IS possible I've discovered...)

But if you want an ultra-realistic palm tree, I found this great how-to here:

05 May 2008

Eureka Miniature Indochine Range

Nic of Eureka Miniatures has his 15mm Indo-China War range developed from the 300 Club and ready. Its a comprehensive range and Mike Broadbent has done a great job with the sculpting.

French Foreign Legion Indo-China War
Click for bigger pics
(I particularly like the deployed FM24/29 figs)

The figure in brackets denotes the number of variants in the code.

300FFL01 Legionary in helmet with MAS 36 (6)
300FFL02 Legionary in helmet with MAT 49 (2)
300FFL03 Legionary and No.2 in helmet with FM24/29 LMG (1)
300FFL03a Legionary in helmet with FM24/29 LMG (1)
300FFL04 Legionary Officer in helmet (2)
300FFL05 Legionary Radio Operator in helmet (1)
300FFl05a Legionary with radio telephone in helmet(1)
300FFL06 Legionary 30.cal HMG team in helmet 2 figs (1)
300FFL07 Legionary 80mm Mortar team in helmet 3 figs (1)
300FFL08 Legionary 60mm Mortar team in helmet 2 figs (1)
300FFL09 Legionary 57mm recoilless rifle team and 2 crew in helmet (1)
300FFL10 Legionary in helmet with M1 Carbine (2)
300FFL11 Legionary in bush hat with MAS 36 (6)
300FFL12 Legionary in bush hat with MAT 49 (2)
300FFL13 Legionary and No.2 in bush hat with FM24/29 LMG (1)
300FFL13a Legionary in bush hat with FM24/29 LMG (1)
300FFL14 Legionary Officer in bush hat (2)
300FFL15 Legionary Radio Operator in bush hat (1)
300FFl15a Legionary with radio telephone in bush hat (1)
300FFL16 Legionary 30.cal HMG team in bush hat 2 figs (1)
300FFL17 Legionary 80mm Mortar team in bush hat 3 figs (1)
300FFL18 Legionary 60mm Mortar team in bush hat 2 figs (1)
300FFL19 Legionary 57mm recoilless rifle team and 2 crew in bush hat (1)
300FFL20 Legionary in bush hat with M1 Carbine (2)

Viet Minh
Click for bigger pics

300ICW30 Viet Minh with rifles- MAS36, SMLE and Type 99 (8)
300ICW31 Viet Minh with SMG – MAT49, Type 50 and Thompson (4)
300ICW32 Viet Minh with DP LMG (2)
300ICW33 Viet Minh Type 92 HMG -2 fig (1)
300ICW34 Viet Minh Bazooka team – 2 figs (1)
300ICW35 Viet Minh mortar/artillery crew (3)
300ICW36 Viet Minh Bugler (2)
300ICW37 Viet Minh Standard Bearer (2)
300ICW38 Viet Minh Officer (2)

You can find Eureka Miniatures here: http://www.eurekamin.com.au/

Now to go find some TO&E info so I can build some French Platoons!

01 May 2008

Online Book: USMC in 'Nam, 1968

US Marines in Vietnam: 1968 The Defining Year
Tet, Hue, Khe Sahn, its all here, 770+ online pages. Some great reading here

Department of Defense (USMC) Photo A190400Marine infantry advance cautiously under support of the 90mm gun of a M48 tank in street fighting in Hue. Even with the tank support, the Marines found the enemy resistance difficult to overcome in the first days of the operation.