Tag Archives: aircraft

Tiny Boats and Even Tinier Planes

When I did my first WW2 coastal order to Last Square back in November 2019, well over six months ago now, I added a pack of British Beaufighter/Beaufort and a pack of German Ju88 for the heck of it, chosen because both types of aircraft show up in the maritime strike role for most of the war with various loadouts.

I got them, looked at them, was dumbstruck by the insanely minute size of the things, and put them aside to paint the boats up instead. Having just finished (most of) the second order of Last Square coastal naval boats and being in a get-stuff-finished mood, I decided to have another look at the tiny tiny planes and figure out how to mount and paint them.

I recalled reading about using plastic broom bristles for masts and antenna previously, so I decided to test this out for creating flying stands suitable for tiny planes. I used the same 40mmx20mm thin acrylic bases I’m using for most of my boats, because I’ve got them, and I happened to have a micro-drill-bit in my tool stash almost perfectly the same size as the bristles I harvested off our household broom.

RAF Bristol Beauforts/Beaufighters, two mounted and one left loose. Click for larger.

I kept the flying heights fairly short, about one inch maximum, which means these planes are all coming in at wavetop height, pretty much, which seems to make sense when attacking small coastal vessels and is way, way easier to store than taller possibly more realistic height stands!

Two Beaufighters and two Ju88 mostly done, including recognizable national insignia on these tiny, tiny planes. Click for larger.
Extreme closeup of the unmounted Beaufighter and Ju88. I’m pleased with the look of the canopies, especially on the German Ju88 with their big “greenhouse” canopies covering most of the front end. Click for larger.

Painting Notes

All my current paints are from the Reaper Master Paints series. All six planes got a white primer, and then for the RAF I used Muddy Brown and Military Green for the topside camo; the underside is Heather Blue mixed with Rainy Grey which seems like a good match for the RAF “sky blue” grey-blue underside paint.

The Germans were a mix of Rainy Grey and Muddy Olive 1:1 for the all-over base coat, with two of the Ju88s getting slightly darker grey-green camo added with some additional Stone Grey added to the Rainy Grey/Muddy Olive mix.

I adding some highlighting along edges mostly by mixing a bit of Rainy Grey into the relevant base colour, and the Germans got some yellow recognition patches with Marigold Yellow. I also used some Games Workshop Nuln Oil (black) and Agrax Earthshade (brown) washes, especially along the roots of the wings.

The German iron crosses are Walnut Brown, a lovely almost-black that I use all the time instead of actual Pure Black.

The RAF roundels are Marigold Yellow, Sapphire Blue, Pure White, and Carnage Red.

Windows and cockpit canopies were picked out with Ghost White, a blue-tinted off-white.

For scale, I made sure to take this photo with my thumb “in the way”. That’s a standard CD I’m using to hold the planes, just for additional scale. These things are seriously tiny. Click for larger.
Side views, RAF Beauforts/Beaufighters on the left and Luftwaffe Ju88 on the right. Click for larger.
Tail end view, Beaufort/Beaufighter left, Ju88 to the right. Click for larger.
Forward view, same arrangement as previous. Click for larger.

Aircraft don’t actually play a huge role in most of the engagements coastal naval vessels find themselves involved in, so I don’t think I’ll be adding to my collection of tiny aircraft anytime particularly soon, but these turned out to be fun to paint and they ended up way better looking than I was thinking they would, given the diminutive size of the things!

Russian Civil War Aviation

Rummaging around our local hobby store, I found the Testors Classics line of 1/48 scale aircraft. They’re cheap (under $10 Cdn per kit) and basic little kits, just right (I hope) for wargaming purposes. I got the shop to order a SPAD Type 13 and a Nieuport Type 17 for me, and finally picked them up earlier in the week.

The Spad 13 apparently never made it to Russia (it was only just entering French service when the Russian Revolution occurred) but the very similar, earlier Spad 7 was in Imperial Russian Air Service use, so close enough for wargaming purposes.

The Nieuport 17 was in pre-Revolutionary Russian service, so I don’t have to fudge at all to include it in my RCW forces.

I’ve decided the Bolsheviks will get the Nieuport and the Whites the Spad. I’ll rig both with a screw or something similar out of the belly to attach to a flying stand, and probably use large washers and steel wire for the flying stand, with an alligator clip at the top so the planes are positionable and removable.

For painting, the classic colour for a Nieuport is dull silver, that being the basic dope the French used on them. The Russian website Wings Palette has a huge collection of colour plates of aircraft from all over, and their page on Red Russian Nieuports includes some nice examples, as does Modelling the VVS: Nieuport 17. I’ll probably go with silver doped body and wings, a white vertical tail, red stars on the tail and as many other places as I can stand to freehand a red star… (actually, I should head back to the hobby shop and rummage through their bins of spare and orphaned decals in search of some basic red stars!)

The Modelling the VVS article on the Nieuport 24 also has some great Red schemes. Red tail, red fuselage stripes, red nose and about twelve red stars plastered everywhere? Apparently a real RCW scheme!

The White Russian Spad will likely be either tan or dark green, for contrast to the Nieuport, with Russian roundels (simlar to RAF or French roundels, except with thin rings of red and blue around a much larger central white circle). Again the Wings Palette page on the Spad 7 in Imperial Russian service has some inspiration, as does White Falcons: Anti-Bolshevik Air Forces. I’m torn between a bold Russian tricolour on the tail, and the awesome skull-and-crossbones on a few of the Wings Palette examples!

A Russian Spad VII, with death’s head tail. Image via Wings Palette.

The Wings Palette Nieuport 17 in White Guard service also has some interesting paint schemes — the diagonal tricolour tail is striking.

Anyway, before I tackle airplanes I have whole platoons of 28mm infantry to finish, but I thought I’d share some links and research first!