A blog about miniatures, wargaming, and the people driven to ruin by them....

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Shipwreck! The Liaoning Unleashed!


As part of my summer resolution, I listed three gaming mileposts... the first of which was to finish my current PLAN forces (though I am not quite done, as you shall see).  Everything in the following images is 1:3000 from NavWar.

The Liaoning.... I finished this centerpiece of my fleet, and I think it came out well.  I saw several different deck marking configurations, from one photo to the next, so I went with what I thought looked ok.
This Kuznetsov miniature from NavWar is a fine looking piece... the Liaoning may be years away from full time duty, and I doubt that she will run as well or be as capable as say the Theodore Roosevelt CVN, but I think this is a very handsome ship... and dangerous enough....  hen hao!
I also finished the remainder of my surface elements, a pair of Jiangwei II and a pair of Jianghu III, shown here as escorts for the Liaoning...

I had previously finished my undersea elements, even using one in a game, but never announced their completion.  Here they are, 3 Han SSN and 3 Ming SSK... and boy oh boy are the USN quaking in their boots about those Mings :)  On the other hand, I don't think they were too concerned about the Han either... at least until our last game...
The NavWar aircraft are very, very affordable.  They do sit flat on their own bases, so no nice looking "flying on posts" miniatures... and I have to admit, the lead strips they arrive in required some labor to cut apart (it is very thick lead).  Still, like I said, they are very affordable, and for the scale, have a decent amount of detail.  They were super easy to paint, too.

The problem is, there are not many aircraft for the Chinese available from most sources, and none from NavWar (except for the Soviet clones of course).  I didn't want just a bunch of MiG-15s and 21s, so I had to get a little creative...

I bought a pack of 15x MiG-23s, using 9 of them as JH-7s (they have a similar look, at this scale anyway), and 6 of them as J-10s... they don't really look like J-10s, but I painted on some pectoral fins, painted on a slightly longer nose, and "blue skied" over the anterior parts, and with a squint (and at 1:3000 scale!) they will pass as J-10s.  I just wanted a little variety.
A little easier, I bought a pack of 9x Tu-16 Badgers, which obviously work perfectly for the Chinese clone, Xian H-7s.  I marked 7 of them for H-7s... then marked the last 2 as Shannxi Y-8s.  They don't look anything like Y-8s, but I need the aircraft, and I think my USN opponent will understand.

Same problem with helicopters.  I bought a pack of 15x Ka-25 Hormones... but the PLAN helicopters are several different things.  I painted 6 of them for duty with the PLAN, simply marking them "KA" with the intention of using them for every helicopter I need... honestly, at this scale, I probably should have bought a pack of US Seahawks or something (which might look closer to some of the PLAN helos), but I plan on using the remaining 9 as their true selves (Ka-25s) for my Cold War Era Soviets. 
Effectively my PLAN fleet is DONE!  Plenty of people have pointed out that I can purchase newer Chinese craft (with better electronics, detection, weapons, etc) from sources such as Shapeways, and I probably will do this in the future, but for now, I have more than enough to work with, even if it is not the "best"... my complete Chinese fleet under way towards... Japan?  Taiwan?  Guadalajara?

I still want to buy specific aircraft for the Liaoning.  I'd like to get some Su-33 for the J-15 (or Su-27 or Su-30), and another helicopter type that would work better for at least some of the Chinese helos I should be using.  I also would like to get 1 or 2 Il-76s.  Since I likely will be working on that Soviet Cold War era fleet sometime, I might decide to look at the 1:2400 offerings, which are more expensive, and won't match up perfectly with my 1:3000 aircraft... but I realize I can't fake the J-14.  In 1:2400 I do have more options... and maybe the 1:3000 sea skimmers will look ok next to flying 1:2400 (the perspective would work in my favor).

So I'm not QUITE done just yet with the PLAN...

Tremble you running dog imperialists! The Chinese fleet on the prowl...
and in port....

Thanks for all of the helpful comments as I worked towards completion, I will be sure to share future game reports!


  1. Great looking stuff, I love the chinnese fleet... and that carrier is tops!

  2. My Indians are about two painting sessions away from completion - then I'll start my PLAN.

    I like the way yours have turned out and the Liaoning looks the busy. Nice work mate.

    My home port is likely to be a shortbread tin :-)

  3. Er, looks the business ... looks the business. Whilst I am sure she is busy, she does look the business!!!

    1. Ha ha, they are most definitely hen mang, hen mang... but, thanks, they do look the business! Yes, the Indians would likely make a much more "equal" foe to fight, and let's face it... they are a realistic foe too. If someone in our local club wants something for current Pacific, I will definitely suggest India (with Japan as a 2nd option).

  4. Nice work.... my Reds are also ready !


    1. I like the higher bases you use... sevral people do that, probably is a bit easier to pick up.

      What's interesting about your fleet is looking at that one carrier of yours (nicely done, btw)... looks familiar....

  5. Great to see the fleet finished, they look brilliant especially the liaoning.


    1. Thanks Ben, I'm glad to have them done. When I go to the Cold War Soviets, I will try more for your darker, oily, water tones.

  6. Very very cool, you've one amazing job on the bases too. I want to do a plan fleet in 1/2400.

  7. You might want to consider 1/250 scall for the aircraft. Cap Airo got a huge selection and it's pretty up to date. There's also 1/600 scale that a friend of mine uses.

  8. Ha, yes, 1/250 might be a "tad" big :) Yes, I will sort through a few options, the more I think about it, as long as the larger air craft are on flight posts, they would look fine with the smaller "on the deck" air craft.

  9. These look great, to bad I went with 1/6000 scale miniatures. Than again I may be forced to create a small USN group. Are you only doing current Chinese Navy, or are you will to game back to the 80s.