The Older Giant

Start here


Flames of War v4 – DAK army – “Reinforcements”

After losing again to the British playing v4 mid war I decided to follow advice and diversify and get some supporting units.

Some scouts, artillery, more AT and AA were in order.

The AA should help defend my artillery and AT guns. The artillery would be good for smoke and possible pins against the enemy artillery. The scout vehicles should be able to move quickly to cover exposed flanks as well as be able to increase the deployment area in some cases. The AT guns are to help shore up my one platoon that needed to be able to take care of a number of British tanks.

Building and Painting.

1 x 4 105cm artillery guns.

1 x 3 5cm AT guns.

1 x 4 221/222 light scout vehicles.

1 x 4 2cm mobile AA guns.

The build was pretty straightforward and mainly consisted of supergluing wheels to resin scout cars and pretty easy plastic guns to bases. No real issues though the 5cm gun rails are a bit fragile IMO. Another one snapped while cleaning the remains of a piece of sprue off it.

Painting followed the same regime as the earlier article, though I have the ink shade wrong and need to correct it before going any further (always test it out first before going all out with the big brush!)



Update – Team Yankee Soviets “Reinforcements”.

Following my first Team Yankee game some reinforcements were in order.

I felt I needed more drops (so i don’t get out-flanked too easily) and more diversity.

I chose long range multi-firing AA to help with the air threat.

A salvo-firing artillery battery for coevring larger targets and for smoke.

Some longer range AT threat.

An Observer in BMP1 to spot for the artillery.

Four BMP2’s to transport a small company of infantry (I already have the infantry though the bases need finishing off).

Construction and Painting.

To that end I have so far basecoated the following.

1 x 3 Hail Artillery Battery (4 points)

1 x BMP1 Artillery observer (1 point).

1 x 3 Storm Anti Tank platoon (3 points).

1 x 2 Gecko SAM platoon (4 points).

4 x BMP2 infantry transports (part of 8 point company).

The construction was pretty straightforward with only minor cleanup.

The Storm and Hail batteries were very easy although two of the Hail trucks had an end of the front bumper broken off. Its only a couple of mils and i have chosen to ignore it.

The Gecko’s have some heavy metal to Superglue on and I am not so keen on these. The BMPs are a lovely clean plastic kit and look great once painted. No issues here.

One note: I found it essential to use  a pair of 1mm x 5mm neodynium magnets to keep the Hail rocket launchers in place and also the Gecko SAM launchers. Both are heavy and will not stay in place without these.

Painting will follow the same routine as per my previous article.


Team Yankee – first Battle Report

This game was over by the end of Turn 4 so it’s not going to be a battle report.

Dan and I played 100 points of his BAOR Chieftain formation v my Soviet T-64’s formation.


2 x HQ Chieftains (no stillbrew) (12 pts)

2 x 3 Combat platoons of same. (18 pts each)

3 x swingfire AT (6 pts)

4 x Abbot artillery. (6 pts)

1 x FV432 mech platoon (7 pts)

4 x Scorpion recon (4 pts)

2 x Scorpion recon (2 pts)

1 x FV432 Forward observer.(1 pt)

2 x Spartan SAM (3 pts)

4 x TOW Lynx (12 pts)

4 x Harriers (10 pts)


1 x HQ T64 with songster missile (7 points)

2 x 7 platoon of T64 with missiles (39 p (3 pts each)

2 x BMP2 scouts (3 pts)

2 x shilka AA (2 pts)

2 x Gopher AA (2 pts)

1 x BMP2 mech platoon of infantry (8 pts)


Dan’s setup of the terrain was fantastic and his well painted armies are always a pleasure to play against.

TY 100pts Sov v BAOR g1 (4).jpg


We both went for an Attack stance and rolled the Free-for-all mission. Dan won the roll for attacker and later won first turn. I got to deploy first and put my two Recon BMP2s in the middle and made a spearhead drive forward behind the big oil tanks and the wall. That unit never achieved anything further in the game.

As he had more drops (units) than I did he got a significant advantage over me when it came to waiting to see where I deployed my tanks and two AA units.


I got lucky at the start my right wing T64 Company didn’t take any damage from the Chieftains at the back.

I moved my centre and right tanks up but also managed only to bail out one chieftain.

TY 100pts Sov v BAOR g1 (8)TY 100pts Sov v BAOR g1 (9)TY 100pts Sov v BAOR g1 (12)TY 100pts Sov v BAOR g1 (16)

Dan then got his Lynx TOW helos onto the table and all hell broke loose. Pretty much all 8 chieftains and 4 Lynx laid into six of my exposed T64s and killed 5 of them and bailed one.

The last T64 on the other side of the wood had failed his cross check and missed the battle. He turned tail and ran back to Mother Russia.

In the centre I didn’t get to hit anything as the only target were the three ATGs on the hill at the back needing 6’s to hit.

Later that unit would take out my centre AA.

TY 100pts Sov v BAOR g1 (24)

On the left side, the battle for the objective never got off the ground as both sides seemed to bog down.

The Brits used their swingfire AT I think to kill one BMP2 transport and later used their light vehicles (scorpion recce x4) to brass up the Soviets infantry and killed one stand. The artillery then dumped smoke in front of the BMP2s to keep their toy cars safe from 30mm cannon reprisals.

The best the Soviets did was to bail out one vehicle.

The Brit infantry spent the game in the wood defending the poor artillery from nothing and brewing tea.

TY 100pts Sov v BAOR g1 (21)

In the centre the Soviet T64s rolled forward but suffered from cross fire from the Chieftains and the Soviet right flank.

In the end they managed to kill two swingfire AT vehicles that had been bugging the Soviet AA. The last Brit vehicle stoically made his last stand test and failed to run off and give up a point to the Soviets.

Finally, the Chieftains and Lynx turned in to help finish off the Soviet HQ tank.

TY 100pts Sov v BAOR g1 (28)

In that same turn the harriers came on board to finish off the last platoon of tanks. The Formation was already now doomed as the HQ and one combat platoon were dead leaving one not in Good spirits. However Dan got a great photo opportunity.

With the Soviet tank formation gone the support units melted away and the Brits won the day. Huzzah for the BAOR.


A great day for the Brits. Thanks to Dan for the game. Lovely table and model as always.

I learned a few things about TY.

  1. Don’t split your force. I tried to fight on two flanks and got taken apart piecemeal. Concentrate your force. Dan did and won.
  2. Don’t leave your AA in easy to kill places.
  3. It would be better to keep to one side of the table allowing the infantry and AA to better cover the whole army rather than stretch out in a line.  I even had Dan’s objective placement in my favour here. He put one on my left and one in my centre. I could have stayed on the centre left and swung over for a big strike.
  4. Helicopters get a Gods-eye-view of the battlefield. They can target things like my HQ tank with impunity.
  5. Consider taking some helicopters of my own. Hinds would make a good anti-Lynx option.
  6. Very important this. HAVE more unit drops at deployment.
  7. Where ever I put my tanks Dan always had the advantage of more units to deploy so could afford to wait and place his 8 tanks to block up my advance with his slower Chieftains (then bring in Lynx and Harriers again no doubt).
  8. Take more units of AA and also consider ranged AT missiles and Artillery for pinning and smoke to cover an advance or block a line of sight for a turn.

There you have it. I learned a lot from that first game. Thanks Dan.

San Fransisco visit – Liberty Ship SS Jeremiah O’Brien

This summer my family and I found ourselves lucky enough to travel the USA (briefly) calling in Atlanta, St Louis, San Fransisco, Yosemite and Carmel.

While in SF we came across this pleasant surprise docked a stones throw from Fisherman’s Wharf. It was a welcome relief to board her and get away from the crowds of other tourists. A family ticket cost $45 dollars. Small beams compared to some of the entry fees we paid on the holiday. The money goes toward the upkeep of the ship to keep her sea worthy (she

Was it worth it? Oh yes indeed. The ship is beautiful. Don’t believe me then go down into her engine room and tell me you are not impressed. Steam….

I am not going to mention the ship’s history and vital stats. You can find it all on wikipedia… here.

On deck the wind was blowing enough to make you hang onto your hats as you tried to climb onto the AA guns. Yes, you could work the aft gun – my kids loved it and I have to say so did I.

One thing you should do when on the deck… take a panoramic view of San Fransisco. It’s the best view of the area in my opinion. You get a good view back to the City and across to both Alcatraz island and the Golden Gate bridge (the latter) over the tops of the dockside warehouse. Fantastic.

You can see the topside cranes and also access the cargo holds where there is a museum inside this living museum. the crew quarters and engine room are also accessible.

There are no crew area pictures (sorry) as the light inside the ship was a little too low for the phone camera (you can see that from the engine room images that struggle to come out in focus).

A lot of work goes into maintaining the ship as can be seen by fresh paintwork and grease  as well as the works in progress as maintenance and repair goes on. A lot of volunteers help keep her this way.

Two hours around the ship was enough to take it all in and was well worth it.

10/10 score for this attraction. Recommended to all – young and old, wargamer and/or modeller.

Note: I will put up another post about the scale model of the Omaha Beach Normandy Landings found in one of the ship’s holds. Too many pictures!


Link to Model post.



Normandy landings – Omaha Beach Model

This fantastic display model can be found onboard the SS Jeremiah O’Brien residing in San Fransisco harbour a short walk from Fisherman’s Wharf.

The scale is around 1/72 and it is kept safely enclosed in a large glass case. The model was donated to the ship by the people of France. The beach sand is actual Omaha beach sand.

Well worth a look around the rest of the ship too!


Team Yankee – Soviet Armour – gameable

The base-coated tanks had some Vallejo Game Color (VGC) Khaki applied as per the pictures in the Red Thunder book and were then dry-brushed with VGC Ghost Grey.

A VGC brown ink wash was also added for some depth and to give worn look. I may go back over the khaki around the gun mantlet.

Decal numbering was added to one side of the tank only. I may come back to that later and add more decals.

I did take the precaution of varnishing the decals with VGC matt varnish and letting them dry overnight before using them. One note: it takes a LOT longer for the decals to separate from the backing paper once in water.


Team Yankee – Soviet Armour – progress

This army is a WIP – 15 x T-64’s plus 2 BMP2’s for recon.

There is also a Motor Rifle Company made to have one extra medium base to give.

Formation Command Team.

One small Company – 7 x AK47 teams, 6 x RPG-7 teams, 1 Gremlin AA team, 2 x LMG teams.

One medium Company – 4 x AK-47 teams, 3 x RPG-7 teams.

There are no transports for the infantry, yet.


All units were undercoated with Halford’s white spray primer.

The vehicles were then brushed with neat Woodland Scenics Green Undercoat C1228 and allowed to dry for several hours. This provides a self-shading basecoat.

There isn’t much to do after this. Some khaki and grey (tracks) and some off-white drybrushing and probably a quickshade dip and a matt varnish. I have some decals as well. A couple of evenings more work on 17 vehicles I think.


Flames of War – Mid War German army

I painted these up a few months back but have not had the opportunity to sit and photograph them except as part of a game. My camera couldn’t quite get the lighting correct so apologies.


Painting was pretty straightforward. A white spray primer then a basecoat fo Vallejo Game Color (VGC) Bonewhite on the tanks and guns and helmets. VGC Cold Grey was used for the tank tracks.

Uniforms were VGC Cold Grey. Weapons were VGC Silver and Beasty Brown. Skin was Formula P3 Midlund Flesh.

A drybrush of VGC off white was used then sealed with Army Painter

VGC Black paint was used as a drybrush to the ends of gun barrels.

The Stuka dive bombers went from white undercoat to VGC Desert Yellow basecoat. Camo was drybrushed blobs of VGC Cayman Green. The underneath was VGC Glacier Blue. Wheels, cockpit and bombs were VGC Black. Propeller cone was VGC off-white.

Finish was with Army Painter anti-shine matt varnish.



Team Yankee – US Armour – complete.

A few months back I took advantage of a couple of ebay auctions to “buy into” Team Yankee, the c1985 WW3 wargame from Battlefront. These are all Battlefront Team Yankee 15mm models.

I ended up with 8 M1 Abrams tanks and two Cobra helicopters.

With the benefit of some advice from the forums I added to this more recently with 4 VADs anti-air vehicles, two ITV anti-tank vehicles and a “new” recon unit (M113 and ITV vehicles).


HQ = 2 x M1 Abrams (16 points).

2 x 3 Combat platoons of M1 Abrams (48 points).

1 x 2 Cobra helo’s (7 points).

1 x 4 VADs (6 points).

1 x 2 ITVs (3 points).

1 x Recon platoon (ITV & M113) ( 2 points) (details here).

Total = 82 points

Note: the VADs / ITVs / M113had magnetised turrets (1mm x 5mm neodymium). The Cobra’s had magnets on the rotors and the base pole.

Painting (hand painting).

Undercoat = Halfords White Spray Primer.

Basecoat = Vallejo Game Color (VGC) Yellow Olive.

Camo = VGC Tierra (Earth), VGC Dead Flesh, VGC Black.

Edge highlighting / drybrush = VGC Ghost Grey.

Decals: Battlefront (better varnish these before you cut them off to use – I didn’t and they were awful for falling apart). Not recommended – sorry BF you need to ditch your TY decal supplier.

Finish: Army Painter anti-shine matt varnish spray.


What’s been happening…?

This is my first post in nearly 6 months. Sorry for that. Following on from the last Kings of War post I took a long hard look at what I really wanted from my wargaming hobby and made a couple of decisions.

First, having failed to really grasp the mechanics of Kings of War I have decided to at least not play tournaments. While I met some really nice players at KoW I found the tournament scene too competitive. I don’t mind the friendly level of play but having half the players caring about their UK rankings meant some games were just leaving me feeling substandard and demoralised.

This came to a head when one player let me down and made me really think about where the game was going (at least in the north of the UK) and where I really wanted to be.

So, KoW is now on a backburner and the UK rankings can carry on with me in about 200th place this year!

I would like to build an army from scratch for the game but its not high priority.

I also took a decision after this to make some money for my summer holiday by selling off a number of armies and also some spare parts (sprues) I have laying around.

So as for as fantasy goes, I have two WFB Giants and one metal Treeman model – that’s all.

In the meantime I have put Flames of War and Team Yankee onto the forefront and bought more into those games.

I will also be getting back to the Altar of Freedom ACW wargame and possibly Dropzone Commander after Version 2 of that game hits the shops.

Other projcts that may be coming back include Epic Space Marine and even a delve back into RPG territory with “Traveller” (a real oldie from way back when).

More to follow very soon… happy days again.