Sunday, 24 June 2018

Blood Red Skies - Battle Report - Dogfight over the English Channel.

Blood Red Skies is a tabletop miniatures game where you command formations of fighter aircraft in battle. Action in the game is fast-paced - with six or more planes per side, a thrilling dogfight can be fought in forty-five minutes or less. 

Blood Red Skies Battle Report.
Dogfight over the English Channel

It's 1940, the Battle of Britain rages on, the Luftwaffe increase their attacks on the Isle of Great Britain. The R.A.F Spitfire pilots are given the order to "Scramble", and soon the Spitfires were in the air.

The battle report was played with just the contents of the Battle of Britain starter set.  
At the time of writing the Blood Red Skies basic rules are available free from the Warlord games website here.


Raiders- Luftwaffe - German BF109's  x6

Element 1 = BF109's  x3
Pilot Skill - 5, 3,2

Element 2 = BF109's  x3
Pilot Skill 3 x2 and a 4

Luftwaffe Element 1

Luftwaffe Element 2

Action Deck:

Trait - Great Climb x3, Great Dive x3
Ace Card -Lightening Reaction
Doctrine- Seasoned Pilots
Theatre - Clear skies, Poorly Trained Opponents

Defenders of the Isle - R.A.F  British Spitfires MK2 x6

Element 1 = Spitfires MK2  x3
Pilot Skill - 5, 3,2

Element 2 = Spitfires MK2  x3
Pilot Skill 3 x2 and a 4

R.A.F Element 1

R.A.F Element 2

Action Deck:

Trait - Tight Turn x6
Ace Card - Accurate
Doctrine - Defensive Tactics
Theatre - Radar Support, Home Advantage

The player that receives more Boom chits than they have aircraft remaining in the squadron it then retreats from the table at the end of the current turn, and the last player to have aircraft on the table wins. Boom chits are given when an aircraft is hit even if it dodges. 

Set up and starting advantage.

Luftwaffe played the Theatre card Clear Skies causing two clouds to be removed. The R.A.F played Radar Support and now have the jump on the Luftwaffe raiders and four out of the six Spitfires start advantaged.

Clear Skies over the Channel.

Luftwaffe starting advantage

First Turn

The clear skies help the defenders to see the approaching BF109's and the Spitfires break formation
BF109's close in on the spitfires

The Rookie and the Pilot Spitfires cross each other with their Tight Turn ability
Spitfires gain advantage as they approach the splintered 109's
The Luftwaffe Veteran hides in the clouds as the advantaged Spitfires approach. 

Nobody was outmaneuvered by the attacking BF109's, and all of the 
R.A.F Spitfires finished the turn in the advantaged position. 

Second Turn

The Spitfire Ace Tight Turns and picks off a rogue BF109. 

The BF109 is shot down by the Ace and crashes into the waves. 

Luftwaffe Pilot splashes down in the English channel.
The Luftwaffe is given 2 boom chits.

The Veteran Spitfire takes the chance and takes a head-on shot against the German, but is unable to get a shot on target, the German hits back and scores a hit and reduces the advantage level of the Spitfire Veteran. 

Head on return fire

All three Spitfire attacks miss the lone BF109, and the return fire is devastating, landing 3 Boom chits on the R.A.F squadron.

Adding further insult the Spitfire Ace also gets tailed from a Luftwaffe Rookie who gets a hit but the Doctrine card Defensive Tactics a with a Tight Turn card makes it just a deflection shot (side on) and the Ace is still in the air. 

End of Turn Boom chits - Luftwaffe - 2  R.A.F - 4

Third Turn

The Spitfire Ace has the Veteran Luftwaffe pilot on his six and he can't seem to shake him, the Spit gets riddled with bullets and it's still in the air. Another boom chit for the R.A.F.

The British start using the clouds for cover. 
Spitfire Pilot gets a 109 on its six. 

In a quick-thinking move, the 109 manages to tail the Spitfire Pilot, hitting its target but unable to take it down. Another Boom chit for the R.A.F. 

The tailing BF109 Pilot gets tailed too, by a Spitfire Rookie.
Seeing the chance to make a name for himself the Spitfire Rookie relieves his fellow pilot and but couldn't land a hit. 

End of Turn Boom chits - Luftwaffe - 2  R.A.F - 6

Fourth Turn

Only one more hit and the R.A.F will call the withdrawal.

           The Spitfire Ace takes another hit, the Luftwaffe Veteran tailing furiously,                      another Boom chit, but the British play Home Advantage and ignores the Boom chit.
                                                  The R.A.F are still in the game. 

The Spitfire Veteran takes a pot shot at an unlucky Luftwaffe pilot and the rest of the squadron watches on as the BF109 plunges into the water.  

Another 2 Boom chits for the Luftwaffe, only four more of the raiders left. 

The clouds act as a quick respite for the Spitfire Ace. 
                             End of Turn Boom chits - Luftwaffe - 4  R.A.F - 6

Fifth Turn

One more hit for either force and they'll withdraw from the battle.

Dogfighting over the English Channel at the end of the fifth turn.
The Luftwaffe Pilot bursts from the clouds behind the Spitfire Ace and manages to land a hit. No serious damage but the R.A.F makes a tactical retreat. 

The R.A.F Ace takes the 7th and final Boom chit and orders the squadron to withdraw.

Final Boom chits 
Luftwaffe - 4 
R.A.F - 7

Dogfight Winners

The Raiders lost two aircraft whilst the R.A.F were shot up a lot. enough to make them retreat. The R.A.F did make the shots count by downing every BF109 they hit.

The acrylic tokens that were used were created by the talented  Buy-The-Same-Token you can find them on Ebay here 

I hoped that you enjoyed the battle report. 

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Blood Red Skies - Painting The BF109E Squadron

Blood Red Skies - Painting The BF 109 Squadron

With the arrival of the Blood Red Skies starter set and getting the Adlertag set from Warlord games, I now have thirteen BF109's, two squadrons of six planes and the Ace Aldolf Galland.

A few of the research pictures of possible paint schemes. 

With the scheme I went off to the LFGS and picked up the colours need, I've chosen to use GW paints on this occasion, as I usually stick with Vallejo for WW2 miniatures. 

The Paints I purchased. 

Caliban green - (To be mixed with a little black) for the top and wing "triangles"
Dawnstone -  for the other "triangles and base grey. 
Fenrisian Grey - for the underside
Flash Gitz Yellow - for the nose and tail marking.

I started by giving them a spray coating of black. 


The underside was given a base coat of Fenrisian Grey and then washed with Agrax Earthshade, then brought back up to Fenrisian Grey leaving the panel lines. I didn't bother highlighting further as you're not going to see the underside that much. To finish the underside I picked out the wheels in black. 

Wings and Fuselage

After looking at the reference pictures I decided to go with the triangular pattern instead of the mottled design for the wings. The black and Caliban Green mix was added to the upper sides of the wings and the top and sides of the fuselage. Then following the triangular design pattern above from the reference pictures. I've used Dawnstone to paint on the markings, just on the wings.  

The fuselage I went for the mottled pattern, as in the reference images. then drybrushed up with Dawnstone over the Black/Green mix across the whole miniature. I added a little bit of white to drybrush over the Dawnstome wing section to bring out the paneling and details. 

The Nose and Rudder

   I base coated them with Zamesi Desert and then gave them a light wash with Agrax Earthshade. Once dry, lightened them up to Flash Gitz Yellow leaving recesses dark. The spinner was painted back to black and given a small highlight of Dawnstone. 

Windows and Canopy

These were base coated Lothern Blue and given a wash of Drakenhof Nightshade, then once dried, highlighted back up to Lothern Blue and a small final highlight with some white added to the blue. The frames of the canopy where picked out in Dawnstone. To finish off I added a coat of  gloss varnish over the glass areas

The first six Painted BF109E's before the decals

I really think that the BF109's come to life once the decals are applied. They were god quality and very easy to apply. Once applied I gave the transfers a coat of Matte varnish to help seal them in. 

Decals are from 1/144 Direct

Next up was the
Fighter Ace - Adolf Galland

My reference picture

Then it was decided  an attempt on the yellow wing tipped fighters, I'm only wanting to make a pair. 

The Black Buzzard

In the usual fashion as the Soviet Yak-1 article I've chosen a cover of a Commando comic to paint up an Ace or Squadron leader.

The Commando Comic cover by Benet

Oberst Von Regner. 

The Black Buzzard and his wingmen


In Jet Mode

In BF109 mode. 

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Blood Red Skies - Painting The Yak-1 Squadron

Painting the Yak - 1 

Miniature Quality

I'll be leaving the rules and components for possibly another time, but I want to mention the miniatures. So far I'd only seen these online in battle reports or unboxing videos, so I'd never seen them in the flesh, so to speak. These are 1/200th scale. which doesn't mean a great deal to me, but I was surprised how big the miniature were, I was expecting them to be smaller aircraft. but they are sizeable, this should make painting them easier. 

When they arrived in the post, the box was quite a bit mangled and squashed, so I was worried, however apart from a few popped out tokens the contents were fine. 

Choosing the Colours

A quick internet Google search offered me many options for great colour scheme for the Yak-1, and it wasn't easy, it was a toss up between the light grey/green and the winter white with red. In the end I went for the white. 


Base Colours

The Yak-1 arrived as dark green plastic, so a quick spray paint of white. 

Next I did the shading by using the citadel paint Dawnstone (or Codex Grey for the old schoolers) Lining in the detail with slightly watered down paint. I normally use Citadel paints so I'll be referring to them.

Just bringing out the details. 

I then started on the red bits and the cockpit. I always feel dangerous painting red over white. I started with a dark red (Khorne red) over the back of the tail and the nose spinner. 

Then went over the cockpit windows with a light blue (Lothern Blue) with a little wash of dark blue (Drakenhof nightshade), once this has dried, highlighted back up to light blue. 

I then focused on the engines in black and highlighted with the grey again.

I then went over the cockpit and brought up the white frames and the gave the glass a gloss varnish. 

The red areas were taken up to a more vibrant red to contrast with the white more. 
 and to finish it of a pure white edge highlight was applied to the model. 

The finished Yak 1 squadron flying over a calm sea

The Squadron Leader

This cover was my inspiration for the squadron leader. I know its not a Yak-1 (It's a Mig 3) but I really like the colours. I did change a few things, such as I didn't add the black lightening bolt and added more red to the tail to keep in line with the rest of the squadron. 

Just need to add the decals.


In the beginning when I found out that stickers would be included for use in the squadron boxes, I thought it'd be a good idea, a nice fast way to get the aircraft ready for combat and I do still agree with this. However the colour scheme I've chosen means that the Soviet star is only placed on the fuselage and the stickers are far too big to be used for this purpose. So I'll have to wait and order some aircraft decals. 

I did have a few decals spare from the T34-85 kit from Warlord games, so I used the star to get a good idea how these finished planes will look like. I'm very happy as to how these turned out.

Soviet Star Decal added. 

Now just need to do the rest........