I figured I would follow Q's advice and build my own painting thread for 2022.
In 2021, I had a remarkable productive year with painting something like 300+ miniatures! 2020 was 150+, and 2019 was around 150+ as well. Those are all banner years for me! Over that time, I have completely emptied my Pile of Shame. I am hoping 2022 will be around the 150 mark.
For 2022, I have the following painting goals: - Paint a Communist and USAF contingent of 1/600 Tumbling Dice aircraft for the Korean War - Paint a 60 figure army of Dark Age Irish - Paint a 60 figure army of "Archie" Persians - Possibly paint a 50-60 figure force for some other system/historical genre
That would put me around the 150 for the year and my goal.
Here are some of my "greatest hits" from 2021 for reference......
An army of Early Etruscans for Wars of the Republic....
A force of 160 Romans for various Republican eras......
Some space mecha.....
Vikings going a Viking......
Hopefully, I can keep this painting trend going for 2022!
First thing I finished was a Nativity scene for a gift. Better late than never!
Busted out the new Orange30 Resin Printer and gave it a whirl too. I was pretty nervous about using it, as I am not a technical type and have no real idea what I am doing. However, I found some 1/1200 Greek Triremes from Capt Ahab, and gave those a whirl as my first prints. Eventually, I will need about 50 for games of Poseidon's Warriors to compliment my Victrix Greek land forcesin land/naval campaigns. Here is a start!
The nice thing about small scale models is that they paint up really quickly!
Supposedly, the initial Russian fighter units painted their planes with the distinctive red engine coverings. However, this seems suspect considering what lengths the Russians went to try and hide their involvement in the war. Russian pilots had to learn key aviation phrases in Korean, were forbidden to fly over the ocean, and other complex rules of engagement to keep their participation obscured enough for plausible deniability.
In addition to the Russian pilots that were rotated in to fly frontline missions, the Soviets were actively trying to train up Chinese and North Korean pilots to fly the Mig-15. This led to a skill gap in MIg-15 pilots. Many of the Russian pilots were experienced pilots from World War II, with the leading, surviving Russian Ace of the war as the initial unit commander. The North Koreans and Chinese did not have this base of knowledge to draw from.
It is also important to note that the MIG-15s main adversary was NOT the USAF F-86 Sabre. The primary target of the Mig-15 was the B-29 Superfortress. Many cite the kill ratio of Sabres to Migs when talking about the Korean Air War. However, that is a bit of a misconception for two reasons:
1. The Mig's main target was intercepting bombers, and not air-to-air kills vs Sabres. The Mig was better off trying to avoid Sabres to fight another day, and only fight when they had the advantage.
2. Many US plane losses were written off as mechanical failures rather than actual combat losses. This gamesmanship was intended to inflate the kill ratio between the Communist and UN pilots.
These Migs will be a good start to the Communist forces over Korea.
Here is two squadrons of 5 Fast Triremes to represent the Athenian contingent of the allied fleet.
Normally, a Trireme would lower their masts and sails before engaging. However, I left them up on these Fast Triremes for easy identification on the tabletop.
The rest of the fleet are the slow "Cataphract" style of Trireme so the masts will differentiate between the two types going forward. I do not plan to use the mast versions for the rest of the Corinthian or Spartan Fleet.
I am undecided if I want to try to add any sails as of yet. Maybe for the admiral's ship?
To oppose my Communist air force, I painted up some USAF early jets as well.
Here, we can see the the F-84 Thunderjet in the left front, the F-80 Shooting Star in the right front, and the famous F-86 Sabre to the rear. The Sabre planes have the distinctive Yellow lines all Sabre models seem to sport in the artwork, models, and many photos. The others I went with red as well based on actual squadron and aircraft pictures I could find from the era.
The F-84 and F-80 proved to be inadequate platforms for dealing with the Mig-15 threat. However, the F-84 went on to be the leading strike aircraft of the USAF during the war. It went through various design changes, and saw a long service life with Air National Guard units. There was even a swept wing design called the Thunderstreak, but it never saw service in Korea.
The F-80 was somewhat less successful. The interceptor squadrons were swapped out to other aircraft in 1951. However, it still operated as a ground attack aircraft. At the start of the war, the F-80 was the primary jet interceptor versus the older, prop powered North Korean forces, and it did fine work against such opponents. However, the F-80 was the first jet shot down by a MIg-15, and the F-80 struggled to protect the B-29's from this new threat. By the end of the war, the only F-80s still in service over Korea were photo recon birds.
Applause for not being enslaved to only one force of your games. Use what you like since the specific miniatures don't have to be used. Use "Counts as..." and the nice work you do on painting. GAME ON! and enjoy!
There was no backdoor at the Alamo. Planet Earth doesn't have one either. Fight and win or DIE Earthling!
Next up, I needed to build up the American Bomber force for White Star/Red Star since strategic bombing from B-29's and A-26s was a key UN strategy. The MIg-15's main job was to stop the B-29s from getting through. In this job, they were very successful and forced the cessation of daylight bombing. However, the bombing campaign continued with night raids.
The B-29 is in the back with the A-26 Invaders in the front. The Invaders are in an actual paint scheme I found photos of for night attacks.
The B-29 tried to attack infrastructure, but it was soon learned that North Korea had only a handful of key infrastructure items. Meanwhile, the Invaders were attacking more tactical targets such as troop concentrations, logistical cross roads, etc. Most of these bombers were based out of Japan, and had to travel long distances in order to launch their attacks.
In 2021, I finished painting up a force of Vikings from Victrix. In a fit of craziness, I batch painted all 60 of them all at once over the course of a month or so. I do NOT recommend this approach at all.
However, for 2022 I wanted to create an opponent for my force. I decided on using the Dark Age Irish from Wargames Atlantic for a a couple of reasons:
1. A strong contrast to my Viking force 2. Try a different provided than Victrix 3. Plastic models and inexpensive for two boxes
Therefore, once 2022 rolled around I made an order and got my boxes delivered quick and tidy.
Overall, the sculpts seemed pretty clean with clear, deep details. However, some of the joins on the sprue left some scrapping in hard to reach areas. They assembled easily and without need of instructions, but I felt like I did more scrapping off join waste than my Victrix efforts. However, no serious issues in the making. I used 1 inch round washers as my bases because those give the plastic models a bit of heft and stability. Wargames Atlantic models come with a "puddle" base but no basing beyond that.
Overall, there are three distinct features that make up a Dark Age Irish army:
1. Bare footed and little to no armor 2. The distinctive Shillelagh walking stick club 3. Irish Wolfhounds
The Irish Wolfhound going into battle besides the Irish forces is a staple of wargaming. However, I am not sure how strong a grasp this common Irish army feature has in reality. I decided to lean into it with my skirmishers being half regular troops and half Wolfhounds. As skirmishers it seemed to make the most sense in the army. I also did not get enough slings for what I had planned, so half the two slinger units are just throwing rocks. This makes the army look considerably less professional than their Viking foes, which I have no issue with.
When all 60 troops were assembled, I had 2 units of warriors, 2 units of slingers, and 2 units of skirmishers (with Wolfhounds blocking out their numbers, even though I had enough miniatures of men if I wanted). I normally add the shields after I have them painted, as a final step.
Next steps are to undercoat them by brush white, and then block in the flesh tones. I will be updating my progress here as I go, so let's buckle in and go on a little Dark Age Irish journey.
Next, I turned to the Communists air forces again. This time the North Korean's in the early war will be the focus.
Here we can see the late WWII model aircraft used by the North Koreans. Their air forces was small and mostly focused on ground attack and support. However, it was supplemented by a few interceptors.
To the left is the La-9 (or La-11 in a pinch) with the red cowlings. The right has the Yak-9 with the red nose cones. In front of them is the Yak-19 Maxx which was primarily used as a night-time, nuisance bomber, recon aircraft, and trainer.
The La-9 and Yak-9's would lead the effort in the Air Battle for South Korea in the first month or two of the war. The planes and pilots performed effectively, but were no match for the much larger, better trained, and better supported UN air forces that arrived. The North Koreans lost the Air Battle of South Korea decisively and allowed the USAF almost unfettered control of the air over Korea.
However, the arrival of the Soviet MIG-15 would change the air war yet again.