Wednesday 20 July 2011

S&S Models July 2011 Catalogue Update

S&S Models July Catalogue Update with releases from June is now available online:


Saturday 16 July 2011

The Briefing

Good morning gentlemen! I'm Captain Frost, IO, 5 Para and my job today is to brief you on the Borset TAOR. We'll begin with the threat making the most headlines at the momement. The Armed Forces of Independent Wales aka to you and me as the Free Taffs.

 Though an always mobile and increasingly well-armed force, the Free Taffs have no overt military presence in Borset. That said, the OC Borset TAOR is very much aware that his western phase line is the Welsh Border and has deployed a screening force to deter any adventurous raids from the gunned up landrovers and scout cars of the Free Taff Mobile Columns. On the covert front there are reportedly Free Taff agents in Borset probably working on ratlines, infiltration and gun running; Op Dragon Fire netted a number of such agents along with at least one member of a PIRA ASU confirmed – despite rumours of a decision at the upper echelons of the Free Welsh leadership not to cooperate with known terrorist organisations. The Free Taffs are well aware that Borset is a logical jump off point and staging area for any ground offensive into Mid Wales – so it is in their interest to support any anti-government forces active in the Borset TAOR. Intelligence suggests that Borset is the limit of organised Free Taff infiltration into England – unless penetration agents of ostensibly English heritage were put in place during the slide into crisis, which is currently discarded as a possibility.  

Forces present – no more than a scattered dozen, very lightly armed personnel who will seek to avoid contact unless unavoidable.


PIRA and asscoiated Irish sympathisers have extended operations to the mainland  in support of anti-government forces. No doubt they hope to capitalise on the present instability. There are two known ASU cells remaining. One in the environs of Borset here, and the other operating within the Irish community based witin the housing estates of East Felpersham. Deatils of known members, operations and modus operandi are in the folders you have signed for.

Whilst no formal military activity by these ASUs has been identified to date, we can't expect that situation to remain. What is certain, is that they are training and arming local Trots.


Right! Let's look at the Marines.



There are no formed units of Marines operating in the Borset TAOR. To date there have been a number of raids by formations up to reinforced platoon size which have been aimed at disrupting communications and hampering our supply build up.

Patrols have come into contact with small stay behind parties consisting of both Marines and Cadre personnel. It is likely that their role is to provide intelligence, attack targets of opportunity and organise local resistance. Most contacts have been in the Hassett Hills and corridor formed by the A1992.

Again, you'll find more details in your folders. We'll break here for tea and Garibaldis before taking a closer look at the Trot and Trade Union anti-government para-militaries and armed youth movements centred in and around Borset and Felpersham.

If you'll excuse me, 'll just check to see if the corporal has any Ginger Nuts.......



You'll have noticed I've been uncharacteristically quiet over the past fortnight or so. Well, I'm not going to lie, I've been depressed and found even my hobby difficult if not impossible to focus on.

On Monday this week I've was instructed by the work occupational health doctor that I am not fit to return to work and can't expect to return for at least two months. You may think great, two months paid leave!  But that has it's own pressures. I've worked hard over the past two to three years to be taken seriously in the field of organisational efficiency and business improvements, and just as things are coming to fruition, my illness has whipped the carpet from under me. My projects will be given to other people and the increased length of time away also means I score more redundancy points. And If I still can't return at the end of that period, I go onto half pay. I'm desperate to get back to work in the job I love.

I have spent the week campaigning vigorously with senior managers to allow me back to work even part time and or from home. But in a meeting with the head of HR this week it was made clear that no, I have to put my ego in a box and rest.

I have a choice now. I can either give up, or I can fight. I'm going to fight. I'm going to turn the situation round by having a focus to get myself well and do something positive with the weeks ahead to heal me spiritually. Wargaming is after all, chicken soup for the soul.

Bought a copy of the classic British Army Basic Battle Skills booklet from my era on eBay for a few pounds. 

It's pure Winter of '79 goodness as well as being a fond memory. For those of you who haven't served with the British Army, it's exactly what it says on the tin - it was designed to equip the 1970's and 80's soldier with the basics of field craft and personal tactics. Also includes topics such as  map reading, hygiene and NBC defence. All done in a coloured pictorial format. I showed it to Maff who said "Oh my god. That's my vision of Winter of 79!" LOL! If you are into Cold War and Falklands era Brits then a copy of Basic Battle Skills will get you in the right mindset.

Right! I'm off to rough out a project plan to get plenty of  W'79 gaming done over the next month.


Saturday 2 July 2011

Life, the Universe and Tom Selleck's Moustache - Redux

I collapsed at work not once, but twice in April which resulted in a trip to A&E by ambulance and I've been off work since. Since my visit to Neurology at ARI a fortnight ago now, my mojo has been on the wane. Painting, modelling and gaming have all but dried up. The stress of being off work, of losing the ground I've fought to gain over the past three years, the uncertainty about my neurological condition (Ive now had my driving licence suspended) and natural fear of the future has all had an effect.

Looking round my study over the weekend I'm tempted to ditch all my 15mm Sci Fi. In fact everything bar my 20mm Moderns, 15mm & 28mm SCW.

I may just narrow it down further to focus on 20mm Moderns over the next two months to give myself the space, mentally and phyically to bring Winter of '79 to full life. So the loft awaits everything else. Hopefully this refocusing without the distraction of other wargaming periods will help me turn the corner next week and bring back that mojo.

I sprang for a cheap copy of Nick Vaux's MARCH TO THE SOUTH ATLANTIC on Ebay after immersing myself in post Falklands War reports and analysis.What you get is a bloody good read and a no-nonsense,  “diagram of life” as Edmund Blunden once put it, of 42 Commando's war at the operational level. It's a bit light on Mount Harriet and of the sort of wargamer fetishistic detail I was hoping for about actual company and platoon (Troop) organisation in the field. A good book of it's genre which single-handedly demonstrates the effect of 'friction' or just pure bad luck on the battlefield and how it can shape both the outcome of an operation or the fate of an individual.

Maff and I admit that we hate putting together Metcalfe cardboard kit buildings or similar. This has led to a sudden eureka moment where I came up with a cheap, simple but effective solution of creating inner city terrain using model railway 'backscenes' (aka 'backdrops' in US).

Of course Antics Online are currently out of stock.... yes, I could easily make my own, but its cheaper to buy these backdrops than use up printer cartridges which I can then save for one-off specials, or printing brick paper for steet corner side walls etc.

We figured that in riots and low level urban conflict or Geezer style shoot-outs the majority of the action is going to take place on the streets not inside the terraced houses, shops, etc. So why not just make it easy on ourselves and create an urban 'film set' for our games with the 'backscene' houses replacing model ones. As we are no longer dictated by the depth of model buildings, we can cram in an extra road or two. And nothing to stop us creating the odd snipers perch or two. Cost wise, we're looking at two terraced streets plus a T junction for the price of two Metcalfe card houses.