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    Avatar photoDave Crowe

    Hi folks,

    Just wondering if you’d like to see my 6mm WWII aircraft? I’ve been building quite a collection over the last year or so.  

    Not sure if this the right place to host a gallery. Let me know if that’s ok. Thanks. 

    Avatar photozippyfusenet

    I’d like to see them. I get inspiration wherever I can. Good looking Spitfire.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    Avatar photoMike

    Not sure if this the right place to host a gallery. Let me know if that’s ok. Thanks

    Go for it.

    Avatar photoDave Crowe

    Thanks folks. I’ll Kick things off with my RAF bombers.

    A pair of Briatol Blenheim IV – Long nose medium bombers.
    By the start of the war Bristol’s Blenheim was already a little long in the tooth. It wasn’t the fastest plane nor the most heavily armed but it was a rugged machine and very useful. Blenheims were flown everywhere. Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Finland, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Yogoslavia, even Romania. The various marks of these versatile aircraft served in every role imaginable, light transport, reconnaissance, night fighters, bombers, torpedo bombers and more. Somewhere near 1,930 were built and served in airforces across the world long after the end of the war in Europe.

    And another pair of Bristol aircraft, an old MkI Blenheim and a Beaufighter. (More on the Beaufighter later)

    These three Fairey Battles of 12 Squadron. (they’re actually Fulmars but I use them as Battles) The code on the leading aircraft PH-K is that of Garland, Gray and Reynolds who were shot down in their attack on the Veldwezelt bridge in Belgium on May 12th 1940.

    Aircraft PH-F is that of Thomas, Carey and Campion who led the attack on a second bridge at Vroenhoven in the same operation.

    There seems to be some discrepancy over the actual success or failure of the mission. Different sources are telling different things. Either way it seems a lot of pilots and aircrew died and its debatable how much the German advance was slowed.
    Its listed in the Check Your 6! Battle of Britain campaign book under the title “Impossible Mission.” Which probably says it all.

    The two largest aircraft in my RAF collection, a pair of Short Stirlings.
    The Short Stirling was the first of the RAFs four engine heavy bombers. It was a powerful and agile design beloved by its pilots and very well armed. Not at all an easy target for enemy fighters. However as the bombs got bigger and bigger the design of the Stirling’s loading bay proved unsuitable and more adaptable airframes like the Lancaster and the Halifax took over as the Stirling was phased out of bomber service and into transport and glider tug roles.

    Dehavilland’s Wooden wonder the famous Mosquito. Had to have one in invasion stripes.
    De Havilland ingenious plan for an all wooden, High speed, high altitude unarmed bomber was just what the air ministry needed in 1941. Construction didn’t have to compete for war materials like steel or aluminium and its clever plywood-balsa plywood sandwich was both light and surprisingly durable. It provided a high level reconnaissance platform that could outrun intercepting fighters and also replaced the venerable Blenheim MkI and IVs to become Bomber Command’s premier medium bomber. They caused considerable consternation for the enemy with their high speed precision attacks and as the war went on its many variants went a long way to enhancing the RAFs contribution to allied victory.

    Next up we have a couple of Vickers Wellingtons. Love these things!
    The Wellington bomber was comprised of a light geodetic frame covered with lacquered canvas. The airframe could absorb crazy amounts of punishment and still fly but it afforded little protection for the aircrew inside. One of Bomber commands first main bombers it dropped the first 4,000lb block-busters in August 1940. As better and more capable bombers took over its many variants saw service in as many roles as could be found, magnetic mine sweepers, torpedo armed submarine hunters and transports. It even saw service right up until 1953 as a pilot trainer.

    And finally for now its the mighty four engined symbol of British wartime Britishness. Its the all-time champion of dam busting, tall-boy toting, grand slamming, block busting and general purpose aerial bombardment, the mighty Avro Lancaster.

    Probably the most recognised heavy bomber in the history of ever. A testament to its seemingly endless versatility and adaptability. It’s large unobstructed loading bay could accommodate the demands of ever increasing sizes of bombs (unlike the Short Stirling) and it was said to have been a remarkably fast and nimble aircraft for its weight.

    And just for the spectacle of it here’s all my RAF bombers in a big group shot.

    Avatar photoCameronian

    Excellent! Keep ’em coming.

    'The time has come" The walrus said. "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings."

    Avatar photozippyfusenet

    Looks good, great work on the aircraft codes and the canopy framing, especially the big complicated greenhouses on those heavy bombers. I’m an RAF fan myself. I’m assembling and puttying (and filing, and re-puttying, and filing some more, sigh) a squadron of Wellingtons right now. I’ll refer to yours for inspiration once I start painting.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    Avatar photoDon Glewwe

    Looks good, great work on the aircraft codes and the canopy framing, especially the big complicated greenhouses on those heavy bombers.

    That’s one of the reasons why I chickened out and went 3mm for WW2.

    Good work meeting the challenge!

    Avatar photoMcKinstry

    Great work. Thank you for sharing.

    The tree of Life is self pruning.

    Avatar photoDave Crowe

    Sounds like you put a heap more work into prep than I do, Zip. Here’s a better shot from above. Gotta love the old Wimpey.

    Avatar photozippyfusenet

    Mebbee I start with crappier models, Dave.



    Who’ll fly a Wimpey, who’ll fly a Wimpey,

    Who’ll fly a Wimpey over Germany?

    I, said the Pilot, I, said the Pilot,

    I’ll fly a Hercules Mark Three.



    Who’ll come a doing-ing, who’ll come a doing-ing,

    Who’ll come a doing-ing, a doing-ing with me?

    I’ll come a doing-ing, I’ll come a doing-ing,

    I’ll come a doing-ing in our Mark Three.


    I’ll pump the oil, Sir, I’ll pump the oil, Sir,

    I’ll pump the oil, said the first W/op to me,

    I’ll take the rations out to the kite, Sir,

    I’ll get the rations from our Padree.


    I’ll set the course, Sir, I’ll set the course, Sir,

    I’ll set the course on my little CSC

    If you fly in on the course I set, Sir,

    Then we will fly over Germany!


    I’ll shoot ’em down, Sir, I’ll shoot ’em down, Sir,

    I’ll shoot ’em down if they don’t shoot at me:

    Then we’ll go to Ops room and shoot a horrid line, Sir,

    And then we’ll all get the DFC.


    I’ll press the tit, Sir, I’ll press the tit, Sir,

    I’ll press the tit at the first flak we see,

    ‘Cos I don’t like flak, Sir, I don’t like flak, Sir,

    Nothing but bags of height for me.


    Let’s do our air test, let’s do our air test,

    Let’s go on up and do our NFT

    Then we’ll go to Holkham and shoot off fifty rounds, Sir,

    (And save a few for HQ Group 3).


    What about the Met, Sir, what about the Met, Sir,

    What about the Met, it seems dud to me?`

    Let’s scrub it out, Sir, let’s scrub it out, Sir,

    ‘Cos I’ve got a date with my popsee.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    Avatar photoDave Crowe

    Thanks for the comments folks. All very kind. And thanks for sharing the Wimpy song. I’d never heard of that before.

    Time for more aircraft I reckon. This time staying with the RAF but moving onto fighters.

    The Aircraft of NewZealand hurricane ace “Cobber” Kain who fought in the battle of France and became one of the first aces of the war. He died pulling stunts on take-off and the wreckage of his plane was left as a warning to other young pilots not to showboat.

    These are the Hurricanes of 245 Squadron who were stationed at Aldergrove, Northern Ireland (not far from where I live) The Aircraft Marked DX-? is that of Squadron Leader J. W. C. Simpson.

    The Spitfire of Brendan “Spitfire Paddy” Finucane. An Irishman flying in the RAF who, before his death in 1942 was believed to have shot down as many as 32 enemy aircraft.

    Adolph “Sailor” Malan, South African Spitfire ace and one of the highest scoring pilots to have served wholly with Fighter Command during WWII.

    These are a pair of Spitfires of 41 Squadron who saw action over Dunkirk, in the Battle of Britain and on into the invasion of German occupied Europe when they were stationed on the continent until the end of the war.

    A Beaufighter of 252 Squadron Coastal Command also stationed at Aldergrove.
    The air ministry needed an escort fighter to accompany longer range night bombings and the Beaufighter was the result. Its development reads like something out of the A-team where a team of crack improvisers borrow parts from here there and everywhere and botch them together in a shed only to emerge (in this case only 8 short months later) with a fully formed radar equipped night fighter. It also had great success as a torpedo bomber (dubbed the Torbeau) taking out German U-boats. Australian Beaufighters became the scourge of many a Japanese merchant and naval ship earning them the name “the Whispering Death”

    The hapless Boulton Paul Defiant- practically obsolete from inception and pressed into desperate service during the Battle of Britain. Trouble was it was designed as an intercept fighter for combating unescorted bombers (German airfields being too far away for single engine fighters to reach England.) However that was not to be the case and German fighters flying from captured French airfields made short work of them. It eventually found a more suitable role as a night fighter but with only limited success. It wasn’t much faster than most of the bombers it was chasing and with only four 7.7mm Browning MG’s in a turret (no forward facing guns and none pointing down) they could only attack from below and without much of a punch. Churchill had initially wanted as many squadrons of these as Hurricanes and Spitfires but Dowding was thankfully unconvinced.

    Three Fairey Fulmars. These were the first carrier-borne aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm that had any real success against enemy aircraft. Designed primarily for reconnaissance and long range sea patrol they weren’t as fast and manoeuvrable as their pilots might have liked but they had some success against Italian fighters in the Mediterranean none the less.

    And the last of my RAF fighters so far are these two Curtis P-40 Tomahawks. 112 Squadron were one of the first units to field the type in July 1941. The P-40 didn’t perform well at high altitudes but much of the action in the North African theatre happened closer to the ground so it was still able to tangle with the best the Germans and Italians had to offer.

    The 112th adopted the “shark’s mouth” motif for their P-40s and it soon became a P-40 standard, famously also adopted by the Flying Tigers in Burma. Although it was first used by some Bf-110 pilots earlier in the war.

    Thanks again for looking folks. Do pitch in with corrections or comments. All info and debate is welcome.

    Avatar photozippyfusenet

    For some reason I thought you were in California. Northern Ireland? I guess we won’t meet at any game conventions.

    More excellent work. Corrections? Not likely. You do a great job of researching your models, like on that home-town Hurricane squadron. I mostly just find a profile I like that fits the theater and go with it. Nice variety on your Spitfires. The Fulmars look very crisp and neat. I see panel lines on those Tomahawks.

    One question: the Beaufighter looks dark compared to the Spitfires. Is that just happenstance, or were there dark vs. light versions of the grey-and-green topside scheme?

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    Avatar photoDave Crowe

    Thanks Zip. Yeah Norn Iron, not California, nice as that might have been. Wonder how I gave you that impression dude?

    I think the Beaufighter was one of my first green/grey ones. I think I did a little more layering and weathering on it than I did on my spits. Admitedy, they’re a bit plane (pun intended). I think the photo of the Beaufighter is a bit darker too though.

    RAF paint schemes do have a surprising amount of variation. Mostly in the roundels, you really have to check your dates for those (same for USAAF) There’s also differences between Coastal Command and Fleet Air Arm as well as Bomber Command and Fighter Command. Not to mention trainers and transports. Thankfully there’s lots of info out there for RAF schemes and its in English. My Soviets were much harder to research and the French, Yikes! I’m practically learning French for the sake of accuracy right now.

    Avatar photoDave Crowe

    Now it’s the turn of the Luftwaffe, Bombers first as before. There seems to have been a lot more variation in the Luftwaffe’s paint schemes so mostly I’ve just gone for ones I like the look of rather than any specific groups.

    My first Luftwaffe bomber was this Do-17z. (The Flying Pencil) An early medium bomber it quickly proved woefully under-defended and easy prey for fighters.

    Next up was the Ubiquitous Ju88, probably the most significant aircraft of the Luftwaffe used in virtually every theatre for a wide range of jobs. These three were some of the first German planes I painted. They turned out a little darker than the rest that would follow and the Yellows didn’t come out quite so cleanly.

    The venerable He111 medium bomber. It was an ageing design that proved more and more under-par as the war went on. These account for more of my Bombers than any other type. I’ve done half of them in green and another four (smaller crummier miniatures) in grey.

    Another instantly recognisable airframe the Ju87- Stuka seen here in their later Night bomber black/grey. The classic dive bombers were equipped with howling “Jericho Trumpets” that wail as the aircraft dives down on its target. A potent terror weapon. They were older but still very accurate ground attack aircraft but were quite vulnerable to more modern fighters.

    And I’ll round out the Luftwaffe bombers section with another great big bomber formation, this time with a couple of fighter escorts.

    More German fighters still to come. Thanks for looking.

    Avatar photoDave Crowe

    The next instalment in my aircraft gallery is the Luftwaffe fighters. A few more names and numbers this time and I’ve added a little more description of each type of aircraft too.

    Here is a selection of Bf 109 aircraft. There’s so much variation in the markings and styles I was just picking and choosing ones I liked and famous flyers. So no proper squadrons this time.
    Mescherschmitt’s Bf 109 was the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s fighter force. Very advanced for its time it first served in the Spanish Civil War and then on into the beginning of WW2 hostilities where its combination of speed, agility and deadly firepower was a tall order to match. Through constant development and in the hands of some of Germany’s top aces it remained competitive to the end of the war.

    The classic yellow nosed Bf109 of Adolf Galland. <<+-

    Gerhard Schopfel’s Bf 109 marked 1+1

    One of my favourite WWII aviation stories is of this guy, Franz Stiegler escorting a crippled B17 out of Germany in this Bf109 marked 2+~

    Moving on to the Bf110 which was the aircraft of choice for many top German pilots in the early years of WWII. The German top brass really believed in the Zerstorer concept; the fighter-Bomber, one plane to rule them all or something like that: but the reality of the Bf 110 was a more of a jack of all trades and master of none. Too slow and unwieldy to really cope with more modern fighters and too light and limited in range to carry much of a bomb load.
    Its shortcomings in daylight operations saw it withdrawn to night fighting where its spacious canopy allowed for adaptation to radar guidance and it soon became the bane of many a night bomber.

    This example marked S9+CB is the aircraft of Walter Rubensdörffer who was the leader of ErprGr210 and was shot down in England following a low-level raid at Croydon Airport on 15 Aug 1940.

    This is one of my favourite nose arts seen on the Bf 110 the ‘Wespe’ Tricky enough to paint at 1:300 scale!

    Hans-Joachim Jabs << + AA who flew 720missions both day and night claiming 50 enemy aircraft many of which would have been considered technically far superior to his own ageing Bf 110.

    This is the Bf 110 of Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer G9 + EF the port tail fin of which recently sold at auction for £90,000. Schnaufer claimed 121 victories in 164 combat missions.

    Wilhelm Herget M8 + HP – flew over 700 missions as a night fighter mainly against RAF bombers over the western front. I enjoyed painting the shark teeth on this one.

    The long awaited and delayed replacement for the venerable and much maligned Bf-110 came in the form of the Me 410. (The original designation was going to be Me 210 but the prototype and initial production craft had such a poor reputation that the final redesign was given a new designation in an attempt to allay concerns) By the time of its entering service in 1944 It was a case of too little too late for the Luftwaffe as the old Bf 110 had muddled through most of the war and early jet technology was already in development.

    Often considered the very best of the piston driven fighters the Luftwaffe ever developed the Focke Wulf 190-D (the Dora) in the hands of a decent pilot was more than a match for the Spitfire or the P-51. However by the time it was available in large scale use in early 1945 its deployment was limited by serious shortages of aviation fuel.

    This is the FW 190-D of German ace Hans Dortenmann who flew mostly in Russia and in Germany until the end of the war. He painted the entire vertical surface of his tail fin yellow for easy identification.

    And finally for now, the Messerschmitt Me 262 was the world’s first operational jet fighter and at the time of its introduction in April 1944 was the fastest most heavily armed fighter in the sky. It had been a massively expensive project beset with set-backs and difficulties and as a result arrived too late in the war and at too high a cost to have any significant impact on the outcome. The Me 262 was none the less an important pioneer in early jet technologies.

    On the left is the Me-262 of Heinrich Bär. ‘Red 13’
    Heinz Bär was credited with 220 aerial victories, including 16 while flying the Me 262. He was also known for his ill discipline and lack of respect for authority. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring had a particular dislike of him and three times denied him the highest award, the ‘Diamonds’ to his Knight’s Cross.

    Then on the right its another of Franz Stigler’s rides. Franz Stigler, you’ll recall was that B-17 escorting fella. (Well, he escorted one B-17 out of Germany, he was known to have shot down another 11 heavy bombers) “White 3” was his personal jet, flown by him directly from the production line at Leipheim to join Galland’s JV44. Adolph Galland was known to pull rank and borrow it on occasion as ‘White 3’ was considered something of a “hot” ride.
    Here’s a little shot of my CY6! Set up.

    This was a Hurricanes vs Bf-109 dogfight. I think we had 5 Hurris against 4 109’s. I’m using basic flight stands with red dice for speed and black dice for altitude next to each plane. Black pipe cleaner to indicate engine damage and a red one for airframe damage.

    This was the first game I tried and it was fun to learn how the game mechanics work. Tricky enough to get to grips with at first but an exciting game where things can change very quickly. A desperate shot can turn into a lucky victory or a sure kill can be frustratingly illusive. A game best kept small. (despite my increasingly large collection of aircraft)

    Watch this space for more soon. USAAF, Soviets, French and more still to come.

    As ever thanks for looking and all comments welcome.

    Avatar photozippyfusenet

    That group photo of your Luftwaffe bombers reminds me of the gaggle of ‘enemy aircraft’ droning through clouds to attack London in the early part of the movie The Shape Of Things To Come. Menacing.

    More first-rate modeling on your German planes. Inspiring.

    I’ve tried displaying aircraft stats on dice placed next to my flight stands. The problem I’ve had is constantly forgetting to move the dice along with the airplanes, and losing track of which dice represent which planes. Maybe you’ll have less trouble with that in a smaller game. Eventually I bought smaller dice and added retainer rails to some flight stands so I can put the dice *on* the stand and not have to move the dice separately. That works better for me, but stands with dials built in work best of all.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    Avatar photoDave Crowe

    Before I get into my USAAF collection I’ll just add a series of my objective pieces. In all so far I’ve made 5 pieces. Scale-wise they’re much smaller scale than the planes. The CY6! Battle of Britain scenarios call for a 4 hex size factory or a 5 hex airfield. So really I’m just fitting the object into the size I have available.
    I made all of these mostly from balsa wood except the radar towers that are made of some play clay that my kids left out. I flattened it into about a 1/4 inch thick block and cut out the pylon shapes once it had dried.

    First up is the Vickers Factory at Brooklands.

    This is where Vickers built their Wellington bombers.
    On Sep 4th 1940 the Zerstorers of Erprgr210 made a daylight raid on the Vickers factory flying in at treetop level under the radar. 83 workers were killed and many hundreds injured in the bombing.

    The reacting Hurricanes of 253 squadron beat a vengeful pursuit of the raiders all the way out of England.

    This one is based on the radar towers of Britain’s Chain home stations.

    The radar defence system was a massive tactical asset giving Fighter Command a good 20 minute warning in advance of enemy raids to scramble and position its fighters.

    They were often the target of Luftwaffe bombing raids like on 16th August 1940 when Stukas of StG2 fell upon the Chain Home station at Ventnor, only recently restored to operational condition following an attack on the 12th. It would remain out of service following this attack for over a month.

    This little bridge is (very) loosely based on one in Vroenhoven Belgium.

    One of the bridges in the mission I detailed above in the Fairey Battle’s blurb; when the RAF attempted to destroy a series of Belgian bridges in an effort to slow down the German advance.

    I built a little pair of German anti-aircraft guns for each side of the bridge but they mostly just throw the scale out and make it look like a much smaller bridge. Still I’m pretty happy with it.

    Lastly we have a pair of airfields, complete with balsa wood command buildings, hangars, barracks huts and bunkers.

    They even have a pair of light anti-aircraft guns each to defend against low level enemy bombing raids.

    As ever, thanks for looking.

    Avatar photozippyfusenet

    Great work. I’d bomb any of those. I’m amazed that you made those radar towers out pf Playdough.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    Avatar photoRod Robertson

    Dave Crowe:

    Excellent miniatures and interesting terrain accessories. It isn’t every poster here who inspires Zippy to recite poetry as an homage to a miniaturist’s work! Well done indeed, sir! Now Comrade, perhaps you could explain to me the lack of Migs, Yaks, and Laggs in your collection? Why no love for the Red Army Airforce? Or are you a reactionary counter-revolutionary who is disgracefully enamoured by the decadent aircraft of the running-dog, capitalist warmongers?


    Rod Robertson.

    Avatar photoDave Crowe

    All in good time comrade. Painting some Po-2’s soon so I’ll share all my Soviets when those are done.

    i’m going to look into adding dials to my bases too, Zip. The dice do get confused. Some kind of elaborate office stationary based solution must be found.

    Avatar photocmnash

    Very fine work indeed! Especially the radar towers, they’re very impressive.

    My grandfather worked at the Vickers factory in the stores – a reserved occupation.  He and his stores were dispersed to Bedford though & I don’t know whether that was before or after the raid you mentioned …


    Avatar photoRogerBW

    Hmm, what sort of dials do you need? I feel a 3d design/print project coming on…

    https://3d.firedrake.org/ has some stuff I’ve designed for boardgames.

    Avatar photoCameronian

    The 3D targets make an amazing difference. Well done sir.

    'The time has come" The walrus said. "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings."

    Avatar photoDave Crowe

    Thanks folks. Lots of fun making those. I love a good objective. Makes all the difference to a game. Made loads of single hex ones for Battletech too.

    CmNash – very interested to hear more about your grandfather. Did you ever hear tell of a charity/morale project where workers at Brooklands built a Wellington from beginning to end over a weekend in their free time? It seems the Brooklands factory was a real tight community with a lot of heart. I’m sure your grandad remembered it fondly.

    Roger, I’m imagining two rings with arrows (like the male symbol) that would sit around the spike on my bases. One red, one black, one slightly bigger than the other so when they’re stacked you can still see them both. Then I’d just paint numbers 1-6 around the base to point them at.



    Avatar photoRogerBW

    So something like this, maybe?

    Prototype arrow for 3d printing

    (That’s a 5mm hole in the middle, 2mm thick, roughly 25mm shaft, and I could run them off for about 10p each.)

    Avatar photoDave Crowe

    Sounds good but I’ll make a few measurement changes if that’s ok?

    Can we try a 3mm hole with just a 5mm shaft?

    Then the red ones 3mm thick and the black ones 2mm thick? So a red one can still be seen  under a black one?

    I feel like a real diva giving out such specific requests.

    Avatar photoRogerBW

    No worries, but shall we take it off the thread? 3dprint [at] firedrake [dot] org will reach me.

    Avatar photoDave Crowe

    Spot on Roger. I’ll be in touch.

    Alright tiny plane lovers. Something a bit different this time. I’ve got here four 1:300 scale Curtis P-40 Tomahawks from Scotia Grendel and I thought It’d be fun to do a kind of painting tutorial with them.

    First time doing anything like this so here goes…
    Kicking things off after a clean up with a primer in black. I’m using army painter Matt black aerosol in case you’re interested and finding it perfectly adequate. Once it’s dried I scrape a little patch underneath at the balance point back to clean metal and glue on a magnet for the stand. Nobody needs to see a picture of a tiny plane in black primer with a magnet on it so instead here’s a selection of some of the paints I’m working with.

    And the four planes I’ve done for this tutorial.

    I’m going to do these guys in Flying Tigers colours. The Flying Tigers were an American Volunteer group who went over to China to train Chinese airmen in the use of the Curtis P-40s that China had bought to help in the fight against Imperial Japan. They were painted in a green/brown earthy camo pattern with Chinese national markings.

    This is the first step in the proper painting then, I opted to use the brown for the initial base colour. So the whole top surface of the aircraft got a tan/brown base coat followed by a brown/black ink wash, followed by a lighter shade dry brush in tan/brown. The last dry brush takes some of the shine out of the inked surface too. I’m going for a nice and even if a little weathered look.

    The next stage is the second camouflage colour. In this case a drab green. Following a colour scheme painting guide image I found online I applied a thin base coat green according to the areas of the pattern followed by a green/black ink wash and a dry brushed dull drab green on top to take the shine off. Now that both colours on top are complete I’m able to do a flat grey base coat underneath, taking care to get nice clean lines along the side where the top and bottom colours meet. Lastly for this stage hit the whole thing all over with a thinned down black ink to tie it all together, making sure to fill any little cracks to bring out the details in the sculpt.

    Now that the main pattern is done its time for detail. At this stage for me one colour is my go-to paint. Vallejo’s Game Color – Ghost Grey. These planes get a band around the rear fuselage, a white number on each side, national roundels in four positions on the wings and a couple of other markings. Hells Angels squadron marking, Flying Tigers group marking and kills markings. These last three are tiny and I’m only really adding a blob in roughly the right shape in the right locations. The cockpit gets a delicate base of ghost grey at this stage. Hit each glass panel carefully to keep the edges crisp and clean. The nose also gets a nice grey spinner and the shape goes on for the tiger teeth. Notice the black portion painted on top of the white mouth. The roundels also then get a blue ring around the outside, about at the halfway portion leaving the centre white.

    Lastly its colour detailing. For this I’m mostly using red ink. Not thinned at all, paint it strait over the rear band, nose cone and white portions of the mouth. Also dot the iris of the tiger’s eye in red. The kill markings also get the tiniest spot (for the red in the Japanese flag) and the Hell’s Angel gets a light red coat, leave her wing white. The tiger gets a yellow ink coat with a smattering of skin-wash “stripes” honestly just more dots at this scale. (I mean can you even see the tiger and the angel in this picture?) The cockpit gets a very thinned hawk turquoise just to tint the windows a little. Then its onto the face. Dot the tiger’s pupils in black and then its back to more white detailing (or ghost grey) with the teeth top and bottom. Finally, twelve tiny triangles around the centre spots in each of the Chinese National Roundels. (Infuriatingly tricky) and you’re done.
    Wow, that’s a whole lot of description for something the size of a postage stamp!

    More importantly- this is the aircraft of Charles Older- A Marine Corps Reserve Pilot who resigned to join the American Volunteer Group, the Flying Tigers to fight the Japanese before America officially joined the war.
    By the end of the war he was a Lieutenant Colonel and a triple ace. He would go on to fly B-26 Invaders in Korea following which his career in law saw him the Judge in the trial of Charles Manson in 1971.

    Avatar photokyoteblue

    What talent you have!!

    Avatar photoDave Crowe

    Thanks Kyoteblue. Happy to be able to share them with folks that appreciate my enthusiasm.


    While working away on my French aircraft I was looking into some early 30s Dewoitine d.510s that were bought by China and it got me thinking. So here it is.

    An early French fighter of the 1930’s the Dewoitine d.510 that first saw combat with the Chinese Air Force fighting Imperial Japan.

    On the 4th November 1939 Captain Shen Tse-Liu flying his D510 over the Lanchou area managed to destroy a Japanese G3M in a head on assault.

    As the D.510s came around to attack from behind defensive fire from the Japanese bomber formation damaged Shen’s engine forcing him down. He was injured in the crash but soon flew again.

    But what’s a Japanese G3M? I hear you cry! It’s one of these.

    The Mitsubishi G3M was a contemporary of the old D.510 being first flown in the Second Sino-Japanese war of from 1937. By the time Pearl Harbour was hit the G3M (allied reporting name “Nell”) was considered a bit long in the tooth but was none the less a common sight over the Pacific theatre.

    They saw use as long range medium bombers and torpedo bombers until eventually being withdrawn to serve as glider tugs, aircrew and paratroop trainers, and transports for high-ranking officers and VIPs.

    Other Sino-Japanese news of the day is that Flying Tiger ace Charles Older now has a fully painted wingman.

    P-40 Tomahawk #47 flown by R.T. Smith of the Third Pursuit Squadron — Hell’s Angels. Smith once buzzed Lord Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander, South-East Asia who was giving a pep talk from his jeep on the airfield. The extremely low pass of Smith’s P-51 going at over 450mph almost took his hat off.

    They no doubt chased down their fair share of G3Ms in their time.

    I’ll drop in a few more Japanese aircraft quickly, though I’ve not got quite so many yet.

    First up its the Pacific Theatre icon that is the Mitsubishi A6M “Zero”

    When these bad boys appeared in the skies of the Pacific Theatre they were faster and more manoeuvrable than any of their USAAF adversaries. Speed was very much their armour though as their light weight airframe couldn’t take much punishment.

    This is the Zero of Petty Officer Tadayoshi Koga whose final mission ended in a crash landing on the North Pacific Alaskan island of Akutan. In July 1942 the plane was found mostly intact and was the first flyable Zero the United States had gotten a hold of. It was considered a prize beyond value in the fight to defeat the Imperial Japanese forces and was quickly tested and evaluated by the USAAF. They learned a lot about its capabilities and limitations but mostly confirmed what many of their pilots in the pacific were already learning the hard way.

    Next up its the venerable Mitsubishi Ki-21 “Sally”

    These were first deployed in 1938 flying bombing missions over China proving their worth as reliable long range medium bombers.
    They underwent numerous upgrades including a remote controlled ‘stinger’ tail gun, larger loading bays and engines and control surfaces however by 1942 they were becoming increasingly obsolete.

    Originally designated the code name ‘Jane’ it was changed to “Sally” due to General MacArthur’s objections, Jean being the name of his wife.

    That’s all for now. As always thanks for visiting the tiny planes gallery.



    Avatar photoMike

    This is all pretty cool.  I will try and have a proper read of it tomorrow.


    Avatar photozippyfusenet

    More excellent work. I’m very interested in the Sino-Japanese War, especially the war in the air. It was when I saw you paint the RCAF White Sun national insignia on that P-40, sun-ray by sun-ray, that I understood how much you like painting.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    Avatar photoDave Crowe

    Yeah, Zip. Its a real labour of love sometimes. I don’t know a whole lot about the RCAF so if you have any advice as to the most common types of aircraft they used, bombers, fighters and others, I’d maybe look into expanding my collection in that direction.  Its a bit of a commitment on the old white sun roundels though. I’m just glad they only had 4 on each plane.

    Avatar photoJozisTinMan

    An inspiring collection, thank you for sharing and great brushwork!


    Avatar photoPatrick

    Inspiring indeed, as I have 60 Scotia planes waiting for me for BoB and Midway. And along with inspiring, not a little bit demotivating. 🙂


    Looking forward to seeing more!

    Avatar photoDave Crowe

    Yes, I’d have to say Scotia collectair 1:300 scale planes are really excellent. The vast majority of what’s on display here is from Scotia Grendel. And all of my USAAF and most of my Soviets too are Scotia.

    The only others are from Museum miniatures- Defiants, Fulmars, Fw190D, Bf 110, the Blenheim MkI and the big He111 (I think they’re a little on the larger side of 1:300)

    I’ve also got some randoms from ebay I’m not sure of. Most havn’t made the gallery yet.  I’m also working on a batch from H&R right now that I’m very excited about.

    But still I’d say Scotia are my go-to supplier for this project. Their selection is HUGE! The quality is excellent, sculpts are top notch (and easier to paint I’ve found. the deeper lines make for better detail) and they don’t cost the earth and they usually deliver fast.

    Avatar photoPatrick

    This was my first order with them and I was extremely satisfied. My first batch, a few years ago, were from Heroics and Ros. I liked the models well enough, but when I went to order more the price of postage within the EU was enough to kill the deal. Fortunately Scotia are much more reasonable in that area, and to my delight I find I even like the planes more.  Highly recommended!

    Avatar photozippyfusenet

    In 1937 the most common Chinese fighter was the Curtiss Model 67 (Hawk III). China took delivery of 52 Hawk IIs and 102 Hawk IIIs, and they were the main fighter flown in the 1937 Shanghai-Nanking campaign. The Chinese AF had one squadron of Martin 139 (B-10) heavy bombers and two of Curtiss Model 60 (A-12) attack bombers. Several other types were flown in smaller numbers.

    In 1938 the Soviet Union transferred hundreds of I-15 and I-16 fighters and SB-2 bombers, and these became the predominant RCAF types until the United States began supplying more aircraft in 1942.

    Raiden makes Hawk IIIs and B-10s in 1/285. I don’t know where you’d find an A-12 in 6mm scale, maybe Shapeways. The late-30s Soviet planes are available from several manufactuerers.

    I haven’t found much published in English about the Republic of China Air Force. The Osprey “Aces of the Republic of China Air Force” is 96 pages of solid gold.

    Material of varying quality can be found on the internet. Here are some links I’ve collected:





    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    Avatar photoDave Crowe

    Well Zip, much of that is very doable. I can see that happening in the future. In a small scale kind of way. Thanks for the info and ideas.

    Avatar photoDave Crowe

    Welcome back folks. Here I have my collection of Soviet fliers ready to show. I’ve got the usual mix of common and notable aircraft with a few odd stories along the way. So hold on to your ushanka it’s Soviet Saturday.

    Not surprisingly I’ll kick this off with the ubiquitous Ilyushin Il-2 “Shturmovik” which comrade Stalin once famously stated was “as essential to the Red Army as air and bread.”

    Such high praise from Uncle Joe is hardly surprising when for every 90 tanks the Germans fielded the massed Ilyusha flights of the red army could claim as many as 270 in a matter of hours.

    Apparently it doesn’t matter if your plane is over-heavy and woefully inaccurate so long as you can build in excess of 42,000 of them and grossly exaggerate their effectiveness in your post-battle reports.
    Another monster of mass production was the Yakovlev Yak, the various models of which (1, 7, 9 & 3) numbered some 37,000 produced.

    One of the smallest and most agile fighters of the war the Yak1 was able to hold its own against invading Bf-109’s and Fw-190’s providing vital cover to allow Soviet attack aircraft like the Il-2 to operate.

    The Soviets weren’t the only airforce that had women pilots but they were the only one to allow their women pilots to operate as front line combatants. This is the Yak-1 of Lydia Litvyak. Known as ‘the White Lily of Stalingrad’ in the Soviet press. She had flown 66 combat missions and had 12 victories to her credit before she was shot down in the Battle of Kursk.

    First lieutenant Mikhail Baranov, leader of the 183rd Fighter Regiment was a prominent and inspiring ace who became a national hero; his skill and service earning him the Title of Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin before his death in a test-flight accident. He painted the legend “Death to Fascists” on his plane. Hey Woody Guthrie, Mikhail Baranov called, he wants his guitar back.

    And the last (but by no means least) of my Yak-1 aces is Aleksey Alelyukhin who’s years of service from 1938-1985 made him one of Russia’s most highly decorated Major Generals. Twice awarded the order of Lenin and Twice named a Hero of the Soviet Union he flew this Yak-1 in 1942 as commander of the 1st Squadron of the 9th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment.

    Next up in the Soviet hall of fame its a biggie. The Petlyakov Pe-8 was the only four-engine heavy bomber produced by the soviets during the war.

    Limited numbers saw use in propaganda bombings and high visibility political trips. There was simply little need for more long ranged heavy bombers when the enemy was right on your doorstep banging your door down but it always looks good to have a bigger plane with a heavier bomb load than the other guy.

    What the USSR did need was a fast and versatile light bomber which it found in the Petlyakov Pe-2.

    It proved a deadly accurate dive bomber and capable ground attack aircraft with production figures in excess of 11,000 that saw variants produced as reconnaissance platforms, fighter-bombers, light bombers and night fighters making it one of the most ubiquitous and successful twin-engine combat planes of the war.
    In addition to the Soviet Air Force the USSR maintained an Anti-Air Defence Force as a separate military branch. It operated in 13 strategic Zones. Their forces consisted of Anti-aircraft guns, searchlights, troops and intercept fighters like the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3 seen here in a white winter scheme.

    The MiG-3 had a troubled and difficult career. It was a fighter designed for high altitude operations but much of the fighting on the eastern front took place at lower altitudes where its performance suffered badly.

    This is the MiG-3 flown by Capt Ivan Zabolotny in defence of the Moscow region, February 1942 which bore the slogan ‘For Stalin!’ He’s another of these hard-nut fighter pilots (like ‘the Swede’) that was known to ram the enemy when he’d run out of bullets.
    Now for something completely weird. The Zveno project conducted in the 1930’s was a composite-aircraft experiment consisting of a “Mothership” bomber with smaller fighters mounted either on top or under each wing. It was primarily concerned with defensive formations which proved largely unsuccessful but in August 1941 an offensive formation, the Zveno-SPB, comprising a TB-3 with two I-16 fighter bombers attached was used with some success against ground targets in Romania.

    Each of the I-16 fighter bombers carried a pair of 250kg high explosive bombs. (normally an I-16 can only take off with a maximum bomb load of 100kg) and were equipped with a drop fuel tank for the return flight. Inbound they would be fuelled by the TB-3. Using the TB-3 increased the operational range of the I-16 by up to 80%.

    Both the TB-3 and the I-16 were older 1930’s aircraft which couldn’t really stand up to the more modern fighters of the Luftwaffe and the Zveno was especially vulnerable while the three aircraft were combined in the air due to reduced manoeuvrability. Success relied heavily on the element of surprise and the enemy’s lack of appropriate air defences being so far out of range of more conventional fighter bombers.

    The programme operated five such composites at its peak but was denied any expansion due to significant Soviet Airforce losses elsewhere at the time. In all the Zveno-SPB flew at least 30 combat missions.
    And just for good measure, or perhaps propaganda purposes, here’s a group shot of my massed Soviet aircraft.

    Be inspired fearless comrades! Loathful fascist invaders beware!

    And finally, joining my collection a little later than the rest (coming from Heroics&Ros, the rest mostly being Scotia, the I-16s were unknown eBay rescues) its another symbol of winged Soviet people power. With production figures exceeding 20,000 its beyond ubiquitous. The low cost, all purpose, message running, ground attacking, bomb dropping, pilot training, recon running, supply delivering Polikarpov Po-2. (Also known as the U-2)

    One of the most famous operators of the Po-2 was the all female 588th Night Bomber Regiment known to their german enemies as the ‘Nachthexen’ (Night Witches). Their pilots like Yekaterina Ryabova and Nadezhda Popova, (who famously flew eighteen missions in a single night.) were notorious for daring low-altitude night raids on German rear-area positions. With engines throttled off there was little warning to the sleepless nerve wracked enemy below as the bombs fell from the whistling shadows gliding low overhead.

    As ever folks, thanks for looking and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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