Thursday, August 16, 2018

Operation Pedestal a Go

Based on my research of rules, books and miniatures for the WWII naval operation called "Operation Pedestal," I have determined that I am going to do it [naval wargame fans go wild in the background].

I am looking to run this operation in a single four hour game session.  The operation was from August 9 to 15.  I will run the game very similar to my Arctic convoy game.


My previous convoy game used a variety of rules.  This time I wanted to see if I could just use a single ruleset.  I looked at a number of boardgames to see if they could be used with miniatures.  The best one I found is Second World War at Sea: Bomb Alley.  I tested submarine, aircraft and surface ship actions and all work well.  I don't have the second edition, but my edition should work fine.  So far I did notice I will have to modify the motor torpedo boat rules a bit.


I did not start with many references to the operation, but have been finding a few books to help.  Here are some:

  • Courage Alone: The Italian Air Force 1940-1943.  For Italian air force reference, I discovered this book is good for aircraft colours and squadron OOB.  There are two pages that show all the Italian squadrons, where they were stationed and how many aircraft of a certain type were operational during Pedestal.  I trust this over the Supermarine II scenario book below.
  • Pedestal: Malta Convoy of August 1942 by Peter Smith.  I need to finish reading this book.  Excellent so far.
  • Supermarine II: The Second Part of the Mediterranean War July, 1941 to August, 1942 published by Clash of Arms Games.  The Pedestal scenario in this book is very good.  It outlines the air bases, number of planes and types.  Also it outlines the task forces in more detail than in the Bomb Alley scenario book.


I thought I could use 1:2400 miniatures (i.e. GHQ) for all the Allies and some Axis ships, but found the selection was not great and the models are probably too big to fit on the table (the 4'x6' cloth with hexes during the operation could end up having all the Allied task forces laid out).  I have chosen 1:3000 due to the availability of types of ships and ends up being cheaper.  I've painted up plenty of 1:3000 before, so they should look pretty good.

The aircraft miniatures will be CAP Aero 1:1250.  Nope, not all planes are available by CAP Aero.  I will be going with Tumbling Dice 1:600.

Italian Video

Operation Pedestal convoy action (no sound)

Monday, June 25, 2018

Fully Grown Rice Paddy Terrain Tutorial

For my 28mm Philippine-American War first scenario, I needed rice paddies.  I have made 15mm rice paddies in the past with limited success and the same approach was not going to work for 28mm scale.  I looked at what other people have made online and I am not impressed.  I thought I would take a stab at making something better.  The approach in this blog post is for a fully grown rice paddy.  I will also be making a recently planted and fallow field versions.

For material I recommend using what you have available and what works for you.  The material I used is what worked for me.  I'm sure you can find cheaper or better material.

  • Pre-Mixed Grout (sandstone)
  • Woodland Scenics Realistic Water
  • Rust-oleum Gloss Spring Green spray paint
  • 1/8" hardboard (from old poster frame back)
  • Light brown faux fur
  • Liquitex Acrylic Color: Burnt Umber
  • Optional: Some sort of green flock for the berm

  1. Assemble all the material. Make sure you have enough of the material to finish the project.
  2. Cut the hardboard into a 10" x 10" square. I choose the square shape because I wanted to have multiple rice paddies beside one another.
  3. Using the grout mix, build up the berms around the outside of the square hardboard. I went  1/2" high and flattened the top to give the impression that people can walk along the berm.
  1. When the berms are dry (1-2 days), paint the berms and the inside one or two inches of the rice paddy a dark brown. No need to paint the whole board as the middle part will be covered with the faux fur.
  2. Cut the faux fur into a 8" x 8" square.
  1. Trim the fur around the outside of the square and then use an electric hair trimmer with the 1/2" comb attachment to cut down the fur to about a 1/2" length. The hair trimmer was only about $20.

  1. Lay out the fur square flat and spray the fur with the green spray paint until you no longer see any brown fur. I recommend a brighter gloss green color (i.e. Gloss Spring Green by Rust-oleum) for the spray paint. If you miss a bit of brown fur deeper in the fur, that is okay.  Most of what you see wargaming should be green.
  2. When the fur square is dry, glue it into the middle of the hardboard. Make sure the outer edge of the fur square is flat to the hardboard.
  3. With a small funnel, pour the Realistic Water into the gap between the fur and the berm all around the board. Let dry and repeat the application if not satisfied. It probably won't be perfect. No worries since I don't think it will be very visible when on the table.
  4. The berm can be left without flock if you want, but I chose to glue small green flock on the berms.  I did not glue any flock on the inside of the berm.

That's it, the rice paddy is good to go.  There will be some warping, but I think when you lay it on a wargame mat it will sink into the mat slightly and the warping will not be noticed.

Monday, May 28, 2018

West Wars 2018

Our annual West Wars Convention was held May 19-20.  Another good one and I got to play in three different games.  The photos below are from Saturday events.  I forgot my camera for Sunday events.

360 degree photo 1 link

360 degree photo 2 link

Prehistoric game

The Men Who Would Be Kings game

Prehistoric game

Prehistoric game

Prehistoric game

The Men Who Would Be Kings game

The Men Who Would Be Kings game

The Men Who Would Be Kings game

Vietnam game

Prehistoric game

Sword and the Flame game

Sword and the Flame game

Prehistoric game