Saturday 30 April 2022

WW1 Palestine project gets wings

A WW1 Albatros aircraft has been added to the Turkish forces and a S.E.4a is being made for the Commonwealth forces. I am continuing with a scratch building approach for the various vehicles I plan for this project. This time I am using balsa wood and wire.

Latest addition to the Turkish forces

A side shot. The fuselage took a while to shape.

A view from the top.

To help get the right shape, particularly the wings, I printed off a couple of copies of blueprints grabbed off the internet. These are sized to 1/72 scale (or as near as possible) before printing. The wings and tail pieces are cutout and stuck to 1 mm sheet balsa wood. Once dry these are cutout.

Blueprints from the internet proved very useful.

The printed blueprints were cutout at stuck to a sheet of balsa wood.

The most time consuming part of making these models is the shaping of the fuselage from balsa wood. The blueprints help as the shape is gradually carved out. When attaching the wings I cheat somewhat and use some balsa wood to pack the gap between the top wing and fuselage. This adds to the model's strength and wire is used for the struts between the top and bottom wings.

Shaping the fuselage takes time.

Wings and tail pieces are added.

The propeller is a disk cut from 1 mm balsa wood sheet. This is much easier than making a propeller, but take I bit more to paint later on.

The whole model gets a think coat of PVA glue followed by artists gesso primer. The model is then ready for painting.

Next up will be some scratch built palm trees.

Thursday 28 April 2022

Adding some Arab units and an armoured car

Progress continues on the WW1 Palestine Campaign project. I have been able to keep focused and not get distracted. Units have been added to my growing Arab Rebellion force and yesterday I finished a simple scratch built Rolls-Royce armoured car.  

The recent arrival of a Rolls-Royce Armoured Car

I used paint to highlight details rather than any modelling skills.

Cardboard was eventually used for the wheels after some trial and error.

The armoured car is made from bits of wood beading, dowel, cardboard, and green-stuff. It took a while to make as originally I used round dowel for the wheels, but this made the whole thing far too wide. Instead I reverted to using cardboard for the wheels. 

When I finished the modelling I was a bit dubious on how the simple shape was going to turn out. I used paint to show various details rather than modelling them. Painting fortunately hides and disguises many faults.

The armoured car before the painting took place

The Arab Rebellion forces are gradually increasing. Some cavalry arrived recently and will soon be added.

Arab Rebellion force. Cavalry will soon be added.

I am sure the armoured car will be seen supporting any Arab attacks on the Turkish forces.

Monday 25 April 2022

WW1 Tank added to Palestine campaign

As the Palestine project has progressed two fellow wargamers have been kind enough to digout and scan  some scenarios from an old ruleset and also rules from old magazines. A quick thank you is due to to and Rob. These have both been very useful.

One of the scenarios covered part of the Second Battle of Gaza which I have reworked for a One-Hour Wargame style game with influences from scenario 14 - Static defence. One unit type I was missing for the scenario was a tank. So this weekend I found some time to quickly scratch build a WW1 British heavy tank.

New addition to my WW1 Palestine campaign project

A very basic model for my very simply painted figures.

The tank is made from wood, various square and rectangular dowel, and MDF sheets. I used blueprints found online as a guide for getting the shape as best I could.

The tank is made from bits of wood and MDF 3mm sheet stuck together to make the tracks.

The model gets a coat of artists gesso which helps provide a good undercoat and fills in any small gaps.

A base colour is applied.

Lighter and darker colours to the base colours are used to highlight and shade to give impressions of details, for example, the tracks and hatches. 

The sponsons used highlighting and shading around the guns.

Tank Redoubt Scenario - 2nd Battle of Gaza

This game was played using One Hour Wargames Machine Age rules. There were a couple of modifications:
  • Units are eliminated after taking 17 or more hits.
  • Units have to activate to move or shoot. Roll D6 and multiply score by 4. If this total is greater than the hits a unit has accumulated, then it performs the action. If less or equal, no action is performed by the unit this turn.
  • Artillery units have to spend one turn of ranging fire to target a unit before shooting. I use explosion markers to show which units have been targeted. No hits are caused by ranging fire. Once a unit is targeted shooting is as per the rules, even if the unit moves it remains targeted. A change of target will require artillery units to spend a turn to range again.
  • I used event cards from the One-Hour Wargames book.
Tabletop with the initial troop deployments. (Tank Redoubt was named after the battle)


The defending Turkish forces are to hold both redoubts. Commonwealth forces have been ordered to capture and hold either redoubt. 


  • 4 infantry units
  • 1 infantry unit with supporting machine gun
  • 1 artillery unit
  • 2 infantry units with supporting machine guns
  • 1 infantry unit
  • 2 artillery units
  • 1 camelry (mounted infantry) unit
  • 1 tank

Special Rules

  1. Two Turkish units must remain within 12" of each redoubt.
  2. Commonwealth can target 3 units with an opening artillery bombardment (no ranging required).
  3. Wadi Sihan is impassable except at two crossing two areas.
  4. The tank unit moves 6" and shoots D6+2 at targets within 6" range. Any failed activation and the tank has broken-down (eliminated).

Game Length and Turn Order

The game ends after 15 turns and Commonwealth forces start the game.

Victory Conditions

Commonwealth forces must hold one of the redoubts by turn 15 with no Turkish forces within 6". If they do not hold a redoubt then it is a Turkish victory.


This scenario is based on a scenario from the Last Crusade WW1 rules called "Tank Redoubt - Second Gaza, Palestine, 19th April, 1917". Not having the quantity of units required, the scenario has been scaled down to a One-Hour Wargames sized game and influenced by the "Static Defence" scenario from the book.

Game Report

Commonwealth forces decided to make Tank Redoubt their primary objective and used their preliminary bombardment to target all units in entrenched positions.

Following the initial bombardment Commonwealth forces move on the primary objective supported by the tank unit which draws the majority of Turkish fire.

The "enemy panic" event card is drawn for which I treat as an aircraft attack. A single Turkish unit in the open is attacked. The camelry unit moves to support the right flank attack.

The tank unit fails and activation and is destroyed. However, the supporting Commonwealth units remain unscathed and continue their attack on Tank Redoubt.

The Turks defending Tank redoubt are taking casualties as their position is attacked by all available Commonwealth units.

Success for Commonwealth forces which take and eventually drive off Turkish units.

An enjoyable game. It was pleasing to see the tank unit performed well in its first game. How often do recently painted units get to the tabletop only to be removed quickly from play? As for the rules, I am still tinkering with them and may yet convert them to use D3 dice rather than D6 dice.

Sunday 17 April 2022

WW1 Palestine troops and terrain

Most of my hobby time this week has been spent on the WW1 Palestine project finishing the Commonwealth forces, starting the Arab Rebellion forces, and making some terrain. The terrain will allow me to soon start playing a few One-Hour Wargaming scenarios with the Machine Age rules.

British cavalry

British cavalry

Having finished enough Turkish and Commonwealth units for a few One-Hour Wargaming I have now started on the Arab Rebellion forces. First up was a unit mounted on camels.

Arabs on camels

Another view of the camels

The next items on the list was the creation some suitable buildings and trenches for the scenarios. The buildings are made from blocks of wood and dowel which are then painted.

A game with the new buildings

Three builds, a minaret, and well.

A closer view of one of the smaller buildings.

The larger building with painted brick work

The trenches were made from multi-use insulating foam board stuck on to 4 x 2 inch pieces of MDF, which were then shaped. They were then painted, sprinkled with sand, and sandbags added made from green stuff.
Infantry with supporting machine guns.

Infantry behind trenches and artillery in the background.

The shaped multi-use insulating foam board. A pen was used to mark the boarding.

Trenches from the other side.

Next for the project, other than completing the Arab rebellion units, is to add some aircraft, armoured cars, trucks and a tank. I am thinking about scratch building these items.

Thursday 14 April 2022

Ancients campaign turn 5 game 2

This battle, part of the ancients campaign, takes place near the town of Ardea in southern Italy, 209 BC. This campaign turn sees the entry of Scipio the Younger on the scene. Can he change Rome's fortunes?

A previous post briefly covers the games setup and campaign background, but for more information of the step by step process for selection of terrain, troops, chance cards and deployment for a battle, see here - setup process

Battle Report

Having deployed their troops first Carthage had the advantage of being able to move first. However, a confusion chance card was drawn which meant they were unable to move the first turn. Rome did not hesitate and used this unexpected turn of events to push forward on their stronger right flank. Soon there after most units in the first battle lines were engaged for both armies.

The armies deployed.

Both armies make early advances in the centre and on their stronger flanks.

Rome pushes on her strong right flank, while Carthage attempt to flank on the other flank.

Mid-way through the battle both sides had used their rally chance cards to shore up their centre. The advantage was slightly with the Carthaginian army as the elephants were still causing problems, but Rome's heavy infantry on their right flank, which had quickly disposed of the Gauls, were continuing to cause casualties and looking threatening.

The elephants are well trained and are continuing to make inroads in the centre.

The battle is still evenly balanced at this point mid-way through the game.

Rome was holding their own and was looking threatening down the right flank. Then they drew two confusion cards in a row. Not being able to move units for two turns meant they were not apply pressure on their attacking flank. This allowed Hannibal to reorganise his units on the right, while continuing his left flank attack with renewed vigour.

Just as Rome's strong right flank looked to capitalise on their advance they are hamstrung with two confusion chance cards one after the other.

With Roman forces confused, Hannibal reorganised his forces to counter the flank threat and renewed the attacks on his right flank. 

The threat from Rome's right flank is countered.

The later part of the battle had Carthaginian unit grind down their opposition. The earlier Roman confusion had presented an opportunity for victory that was capitalised on.

Things are looking bleak for Scipio the Younger.

The battle is all over and a victory to Hannibal.

A Carthaginian victory with fate (in the form a battle setup and chance cards) going their way at critical times. From a Roman perspective Scipio the Younger did not save the day this time.  Rome was unlucky in this game losing the choice of deployment and drawing two confusion cards in a row at the height of the battle which really hurt.

What next for the campaign?

Well, with this defeat Rome cannot hope to win the campaign and so the campaign comes to an end.  Rome will be negotiating a peace treaty with Carthage.

Campaign map at the end showing Carthage's dominance

Campaign Summary

The campaign produced:

  • 5 sea battles using simple rules. These games decided which side, Rome or Carthage, moved first of second. The winner moving second which has an advantage because of knowing the other's moves. I enjoyed these games they were a good lead in to each turn.
  • 11 land battles. Other than the first campaign turn where 3 battles were fought, all other turns produced 2 battles. All the battles were fought solo with variants of OHW including the use of chance cards. These gave good games with chance cards mixing it up from a solo gamer's perspective.

The campaign began in July 2021 and has taken just over 9 month to complete.

I was pleased to have settled on some deployment rules. This was one area of the games I liked as it gave early decisions for the placement of units:

  • Centre or flanks, 
  • 1st, 2nd or 3rd lines

The importance of a unit's position increased when the unit frontage was increased from 8 to 12 inches. Pivoting of units became only practical for units positioned on the flanks and the 3rd line (if the 3rd line remained in place as the other lines advanced). 

Deployment rules

Finalised the approach for tabletop terrain setup. I used terrain cards, but changed the approach I used with my ECW campaign to make sure the about of terrain was limited and would not overcrowd the armies.

Through out I used chance cards and added rally cards replacing no event cards to represent larger forces. This meant all games were balanced in terms of number of units, 7 per side. I will be using this approach in future campaigns where suitable.

At the start of the campaign I increased the number of bases representing a unit from 2 to 3 giving a unit a 12 inch frontage. This had the effect of making units less manoeuvrable and increasing the importance of a well thought out deployment.