Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Up Diddley Up Up...


It's now a little under two weeks till I tie the knot, and things are full steam ahead in wedding planning. Both of us being students, we're doing as much as we can on our own in order to keep the budget down. This was pushed to the extreme when we had a problem with the bridesmaids dresses we'd ordered, and Laur (with yours truly assisting) ended up making the three dresses!

I also had my bucks night in Sydney, and am happy to report that I was not left chained to a lamppost, that both eyebrows are intact, and that I have no new tattoos. That said, a large amount of beer (only good ales!) was consumed, and I was politely asked to leave a pub after - and this is allegedly, as I have hazy memories of the event - dancing on a table.  

So, in-between the hangovers and manic wedding preparations, i've finally managed to put some dullcote on the first few 1/300 scale aircraft for my 2013 Bag the Hun 2 project. As I mentioned in the last post, I was given a whole load of tiny white metal airplanes, a 'full sized' Hotz mat, and a copy of Bag the Hun 2, and Squadron Forward, along with Check Your Six! and the Battle of France and Battle of Britain scenario supplements. I've perused both rulesets, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Lardies ruleset is the one which has 'grabbed' me.

Shiny new Hotz Mat!
My plan is to paint up bits and pieces as I go in order to get progressively bigger and more complex games. I'm coming to this air war thing as a complete novice, and so I've been taking advantage of university holidays by getting a fair amount of background reading in. Alongside James Holland's excellent 'Battle of Britain', i've been reading ospreys and other assorted information on the 1939-40 period RAF, Luftwaffe and Armee de l'Air. The Osprey Aircraft of the Aces series seems rather good, if the quality of the writing does vary from author to author. The Hurricane Aces is in particular an excellent read. I've also ordered the huge 'After The Battle' book on the Battle of Britain, and am looking forward to getting my hands on that weighty tome. I'm also going to get a couple of biographies by British and German pilots. 'Fighter Pilot' and 'Spitfire on my Tail' look to be rather good, though if anyone has any suggestions i'm all ears. 

So, as a result of my reading, it seems that most early clashes during the Phoney War (or Drole de Guerre / Sitzkrieg) comprised a sections or flights of fighters clashing with reconnaissance aircraft or other patrols.  In order to game these actions, I've painted up a few sections and bomber aircraft which can double as recce kites. So, without further ado, on to the pictures. All plane models are from Scotia Grendel, apart from the Potez which is from Heroics and Ros. 

For the Royal Air Force, i've started out with a section of Hawker Hurricane Mk.Is. These will be marked up as No.87 Squadron aircraft, and the red nose denotes a flight leader. I chose No.87 Squadron because they fought with the BEF air component throughout the Phoney War and Blitzkrieg, and then fought through the Battle of Britain with No.10 Group. I also liked the Squadron motto, 'Maximus Me Metuit' (The Most Powerful Fear Me). I've also got a squadron's worth of Spitfires, which will be painted as No.609 (West Riding) Squadron. I've also begun making some cards for characters and to keep track of individual aircraft. I'm using Squadron Forward for No.87, and have generated a squadron's worth of pilots. I've mixed in fictional characters with some actual personalities. No.87 Squadrons (fictional) commander is the dastardly Squadron Leader Hercules Grytpype-Thynne (Goon Show reference anyone?). Decals are from Dom's Decals
Red Section, No.87 Squadron
My BTH2 Cards, I stole the layout from Per at http://persprojects.blogspot.com
I've got unpainted Bristol Blenheim Mk.Is, Fairey Battles, and Vickers Wellingtons, but first i've painted up three Handley-Page Hampdens, marked up for No.44 (Rhodesia) Squadron. I know that they weren't part of the Advanced Air Striking Force (AASF) which was based in France, but as I chose to paint them up as they were involved in Bomber Commands early campaigns. I am planning on trying to adapt the rules to cater for the actions the Nachtjagd, German night fighters, against Bomber command, so the Hampden will enable me to play test some ideas.
For the French Armee de l'Air component, i've started with a section of American made Curtiss Hawk H75As. I've also got Morane Saulnier 406s, Bloch 152s and Dewoitine D520s in the bare metal. These are painted up as SPA76 'Les Cigognes' (The Storks), part of Groupe de Chasse I/5, which flew out of Suippes. French aces Jean Accart and Edward Marin de Meslee were a part of this unit. Accompanying the Hawks is a Potez 63.11 from Groupe de Reconnaissance II/33.
1er Patrouille, SPA76 'Les Cigognes'


A solitary Potez 63.11 of II./GR33
BTH2 cards for SPA 76 'Les Cigognes', GCI/5 of l'Armee de l'Air
In the next update, which will be a brief one and will be along before the end of the week, i'll be outlining the Luftwaffe's finest.


10 comments:

  1. Great planes and great cards!!

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    1. Thanks Emilio. I've been slowly working through creating what cards I need. I'll eventually pdf them and put them up on the toofatlardies yahoo group.

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    2. Please do it. Your cards are better than mine.

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  2. Those Aircraft look brilliant, great paintjobs. Where did you get all those telescopic aerials? Are they fixed on with magnets or superglued on?

    All the best for your big day!

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    1. Thanks Jacksarge. The telescopic aerials are from eBay, a seller called costcocity or something like that. They are 38cm six section, which works well for BTH2. Here's a link to the ones I've used

      http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Replacement-38cm-6-Sections-Telescopic-Antenna-Aerial-for-Radio-TV-/230853941792?pt=US_Radio_Comm_Antennas&hash=item35bff79a20

      The planes are fixed by teensy little 3mm rare earth magnets. I might do a how to on making the stands and fixing the magnets in the planes.

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    2. Cool, a how to would be useful. I have a 1/72 Typhoon and a telescopic aerial liberated from an old r/c controller, and wasn't too sure how to combine them.

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    3. Hey Ben - great job - BTH2 looks like fun.

      On another note, I put my first order in to Ray at Essex a couple of the days ago, Hopefully I'll have my first units of Voltigeurs and Portugese Caacadores on the paint table in a few weeks.
      All the best
      Jeremy

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  3. Ben, fantastic aircraft and stands, mate. You've done a terrific job on the cards as well. I really like the way you've added a fair amount of information onto the cards - that must make them really easy to use in a game. Great stuff indeed. Hope you had a great wedding and honeymoon - all the very best for married life!

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    1. Thanks mate, and thanks for the well wishes. Married life thus far is treating me very well indeed!
      The cards do make it pretty easy to keep track of who is who and what bonuses etc, and I use whiteboard markers on the aircraft cards to mark damage and ammo.

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  4. Hi Ben, you have to check out Derek Robinson's novels, the outstanding author covering air combat from WW1 right throughout to the battle of britain and after. I have over 500 paper backs all covering air combat, and he is number one by some way in my opinion.

    All the best

    Airhead

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