Sunday 27 August 2017

1/56 VSF 'Zeppelin' Bomber Build - Part Two Completed!

During 1878 Italian General Giulo Douhet 'The Senior' spent hours pondering the new steam technologies while spending time with his nine year old son. He had witnessed in a short period of time the advancement in human flight from the employment of uncontrolled hot air balloons to the introduction of the new steam powered Sopwith and Fokker flyers that defied gravity with ease and careered through the skies.

He postulated that if these avionic contraptions could be enlarged enough to carry large quantities of the new high explosive bombs they could blast enemy countries populations into submission through terror and fear! His ideas were frowned upon by the military leaders of the time and universally ignored.

In France though airship designer Santos Dumont read Douhet's essays with great interest and tried again and again to create an airship that would be able to fulfill the Italians prophets ideas.  Finally his Type IX Santos Dumont Airship design looked to fit the bill. It had a range of 250 miles, a crew of three, two rapid fire riles and eight large bombs! To increase this airships ability to successfully traverse long distances and return safely to its base of origin after releasing its lethal bomb load he added armour plating to the envelope.

When Dumont displayed his airship in early 1879 he soon had orders from eight counties for multiple units. It wasn't long before the Type IX Santos Dumont Airship was being built under licence in four countries...Dumont pockets filled with coin at the expense of humanity but he wasn't then only inventor or industrialist in such a position!

This is a period photograph of the German licence built Type IX Santos Dumont Airship, LSMS Seydlitz coordinating with Imperial Army Troops in action in Eastern was taken by SOE Agent Edward Bigger who had disguised himself as an unladen African Swallow to unobtrusively get into a position where he could 'snap the shot'...

Finishing 'Zeppelin' Bomber the build...

I actually finished this build a while ago but I'm still catching up on posting my VSF stuff! i hope this is of interest to you!

Part one of the Build is on an earlier Post here:

I decided to cover the balloon/envelope with individual armoured panels instead of going down the dope and tissue paper option I was considering in my first post on this build. Even though this is easier to do panel by panel than going down the tissue and dope route it takes forever! The most panels I've done in a day is 4 and there's 64 required!

First up I made two 'nose cones' the actually had a sort of keel along their baseline instead of being perfectly circular but I actually liked that!

I then started adding the panels, this was very time consuming and I averaged four a day as I needed to let the glue to set completely on a panel before I could move onto the next one! Here I'm up to...a quarter done...

How each panel is added, they each need to be secured while the glue sets to conform with the curve...

Okay time to start adding rivets to the armoured panels; 

Now I was thinking it would take about 6 rivets a panel to cover the airship...oh no that was way too few here's the breakdown of what was required:

 32 panels of 10 rivets
 16 panels of 7 rivets
 16 panels of 5 rivets

 512 rivets  CRIKEY! Where's Rosie when you need her!

Once the riveting was completed the balloon got a spray coat of black so I could see where to clean up excess glue and 'grout' from the panels then after that the adding of rivets began.

The envelope was then painted and joined to the gondola! I was going to go with a steel finish for the envelope but I've used that on my Martian Tripods so that was out of the question so I used grey like my other VSF flyers for the base colour...grey the colour of Victorian cities...

Okay the gondola finally met the balloon to support the weight of if I have substituted coat hanger wire for what should be flexible 'cables'....

I tried to use a single piece of rod to secure the Airship but the models weight distribution soon led me to using two rods (in a very slight 'V' shape) on a substantial base plate...but I think it's come out alright...

Now I needed to finish the rudder, I was going to add fabric/tissue paper to the steering tail fin but had a thought that I could use this to attach nationality markings...below you can see the Imperial German fin skin Blu-Tacked into place, I have made up British, Russian and French fin skins too, also included in this picture is the addition of the ballast sandbags these still need a bit of paint work...

Last thing to complete this sucker was to detail the base...

Well another project crossed off my list! I hope you like this airship I think it turned out just to work out how to use it in  FUBAR VSF game!

And a note on pictures in posts I forgot last time to mention that all the Blog's pictures are now restored!

Next time: that AAR I think I mentioned last time!

Wednesday 16 August 2017

The VSF British Grenadier Guard is Deployed!

The British Grenadier Guard Regiment was the premier unit of Queen Victoria's Military Forces, it consisted of handpicked men from the army's the best formations and they were led by officers from the oldest families in the Empire! Dressed in the finest uniforms of the era and equipped with the most modern weapons available this Regiment was capable of defeating the best that any other country could put into the field!

Beneath their enormous Bearskin headgear the bright scarlet tunics of the Grenadier Guardsmen concealed coal fibre vests. These protective undergarments safeguarded them from all but direct hits at close range while they could deal out considerable punishment to their opposition with their Mk III Brunel Steam Carbines and Type II Grenade Projectors manufactured by the British EndoSteel Company. The Officers were well equipped with Wobley Revolvers and heavy straight edged Tesla Swords, the 'ZAP' of the electrical charge that could be released by a simple press of the button on the hilt of these fine instruments of death could stun any opposition easing their speedy dispatch!

This elite unit of the British army along with the other formations of the Guard were never shielded from combat and held in reserve they were often the first troops to muck in and give the opposition some curry in fact sometimes they were a bit to exuberant and would charge into close combat with their foes heedless of orders albeit in good order!

This photograph taken in the 1870's on Salisbury Plain during the Imperial Army's summer manoeuvres shows a section of Grenadier Guardsmen advancing in perfect formation led by their Officer! Of interest in the background Captain Darling can be seen discussing the war games with Lord Wotsit  wearing a blue uniform with his trusty Triambulator nicknamed 'Maisey' in the background!

When I saw these Ironclad Miniatures VSF Grenadier Guards I just had to get some! These are good casts of very well scuplted figures. In true VSF theme they are advancing in a good variety of poses and the officer and sergeant are well posed. I like my figures chunky and these fellows are just that and they are very well detailed! The faces are good and there is a plethora of facial hair for the painting! 

In all their glory and sporting my inadequate paint work my section of VSF British Grenadier Guards!

For my FUBAR VSF games their Carbines are the equal of Galvanic Rifles and they're armoured so have a higher saving throw. Their activation levels will be good but not great however unlike other sections/squads they have the advantage of activating as two five man half sections and if they have their officer or sergeant attached will get a positive modifier! Lastly if they ever find themselves starting their turn within charging distance of an enemy unit no matter if its entrenched or a even Steam Powered Armoured Contraption on the roll of a natural five or six when activating they'll muck in for Her Majesty and charge said target! These troops are definitely going to hard nuts to crack when in action...but what else would you expect from Britain's finest!

Unfortunately two figures arrived with broken rifles! Ironclad promptly replaced them and the two damaged figures with a couple of Trenchworx spares became true Grenadiers armed with Type II Grenade Projectors manufactered by the British EndoSteel Company !

A close up of the Grenadier Guard section on Salisbury Plain!

I am so tempted to get some of Ironclad's VSF British Line Infantry clad in Home Service Dress complete with spiked yeah! 

And just so you know I am not on Ironclad Miniatures payroll I just love their stuff!

Next Time, a FUBAR VSF AAR