My Malta vision continues to come into focus as my painting plan is executed. I currently have 124 finished planes, finishing, six Fiat BR20 bombers, and eight Hawker Hurricane IIC fighters over the labor day weekend.
Heroics and Ros Fiat Br20 Cicogna bomber. These bombers made numerous, mostly ineffective bombing raids on Malta
Scotia Collectair Hurricane Mk IIc’s. They became a slightly more effective defender of Malta than the earlier Hurricane Mk. 1’s with its improved engine and four 20mm guns. The Scotia planes aren’t as nice as the GHQ variant, but they do cost about a third the price.
I received my really big Scotia Grendel order two weeks ago, with the remaining 70 or so planes I need to finish the project. I got super service from the UK based company, and I can’t recommend them highly enough. Planes are cheaper than Raiden, about equal in quality, and they have a broader range of planes at this point. Postage wasn’t ridiculous
That said the painting goes on, and Dave and I have this fond hope we’ll be able to get started on a series of games involving Malta. The Axis attacks on Malta were aimed at targets either in the Grand Harbor of Valetta, or at the several airfields west of Valetta. Eliminating the pesky RAF forces covering the harbor would eventually lead to invasion and submission of the tiny island.
I have the beautiful Tiny Wargames mat of Valetta. Now I need a mat to represent one of the RAF airfields. I’ve picked up the felt which is a nicely mottled brown, and it’s time to think about what to put on it. I’m thinking I’ll paint on the lopsided X of Hal Far airfield. I’ve perused potential miniature purveyors for some 1/600 scale buildings usable for the hangers, barracks and other buildings necessary at an airfield. Struck out. GHQ, PFC, Heroics and Ros, all struck out.
However, scaling the whole business down means I could use Pico Armor stuff, particularly the RAF fighter base set
It’s very reasonably priced. Add a couple of larger hangers housing bombers, also available from Pico, and a set of Bofors guns, and it’s a pretty representative collection of buildings. I have a variety of scaled down terrain bits, and it should work well .
Some scenarios we’ll want to do will also include attacks on convoys. Malta was dependent on seaborne cargoes for supplies, so British warships and cargo vessels will also be needed. The island fortress also launched attacks on Axis convoys headed for North Africa, so the ships can play both ways. At this point, the best source of 1/700 cargo vessels is Heroics and Ros. In terms of future purchases, these are high on my list.
On the Painting Table
I’m just trying to clear some of the excess off my painting table before beginning the Philippines project. I was productive in August, and through Labor Day weekend. During the summer I completed all of my 50+ 28mm longbowmen, 24 of those in August. I also finished a fair number of planes, including the CR 42’s, and the previously mentioned Cicognas and Hurricanes
I have 24 28mm Woodland Indians on my painting table, where they’ve hung out since last November. I’ve begun working on the first twelve and am nearly finished. I’ll be trading off between the natives and planes until they are finished. Then it will be the Philippine project trading off with planes between units until the Malta project is done. I have six more BR 20 bombers begun, and they’ll be followed by some Beaufighter Mk. 1’s.
I anticipate beginning the Philippine project some time in September. I’m aided by the fact that my union has voted to go out on strike. I could be wrong, but I don’t expect it to end quickly. I still have to assume picket duty, but my late afternoons and evenings are free. Painting time.