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Thread: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

  1. #1
    Veteran Sergeant Imperator Mos's Avatar
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    WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    Edit- I’m going back through and replacing photos that no longer work because of photobucket. I don’t have them all so the continuity of this plog is somewhat less than it could be. Thanks for your patience-

    I recently became tired of the 40K grind and decided to branch out. After a few rounds of Dust, my usual gaming partner and I were inspired to tackle a large scale WW2 air combat project. I remembered seeing a Games day picture of Aeronautica Imperialis being played with 40k scale models and the rest has been a work in progress. Anybody familiar with that system will understand what I'm trying to accomplish here, but I am still adjusting the rules and stats as we get more games in.


    The aircraft so far- 1/48 scale by various companies. Paint in progress
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    The difficult part of this project has been the flying stands. 7" square wood bases from a local hobby shop, drilled out and inserted 36" extruded acrylic rod (3/8 inch, or 1/4 inch), with a 1/4 inch rare earth magnet to hold the plane. The B-17 uses a larger base and 3/4 inch rod inserted into the fuselage. Direction of flight and firing arcs are marked in sharpie for now, I will probably paint them later. Speed and Altitude will be shown on numbered dials currently in the mail from Litko.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sample aircraft card. I've used historical data to make the planes stats unique, I can quickly create a card if I know max speed, service ceiling, unloaded weight, and armament.
    (Can’t find the original photo)

    And the one action shot I have of game play as seen from the B-17. You can just make out the Mitsubishi and Dornier fighters some 20 ft away! This was a bombing mission, with the target represented by a printed photo on the other side of the yard. You can also see the chart and dice table, with the maneuver cards spread out on the ground.
    (This one is lost too)

    Anyway thanks for reading this far, I'll be happy to answer any questions and I highly encourage trying something like this yourself if you need a new challenge!
    Last edited by Imperator Mos; 08-07-2020 at 05:20.

  2. #2
    Modsticker Codsticker's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    Awesome project. It seems you have overcome finding a decent sized surface to play on. No shortage of relatively inexpensive models either.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salty
    What the Modsticker said.

  3. #3
    Veteran Sergeant Imperator Mos's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    Thanks. Yeah, for the same price as a GW Rhino I got a MFing B-17! And they go together in like minutes especially if you don't care about the interiors. Get any plane you want, there are literally hundreds to choose from and all kinds of variants. You can easily play inside if you scale the movement correctly.

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    Chapter Master Boreas_NL's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    Wow! That actually looks pretty cool! I will be keeping an eye on this...
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    Chapter Master mrtn's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    1/48 for aircraft? Crazy!
    mrtn's painting blog

    Photobucket are bastards.

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    Chapter Master Easy E's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    Sweet! I bet the neighbors give you some wierd looks!

    I think the Hits and Thrust might be too high for your fighters. If a Thunderbolt has 4 hits, how many does a B-17 have!?! You may want to further abstract the stats abit more.

    Also, 4+ Ammo? Is there some special house rule here similar to Necromunda?

    I think this si a really cool project, and am now tempted to do somethign similar since 1/48 scale aircraft are cheap and easy to source! Plus, I have a huge, open backyard!
    Do you like free wargames?
    http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Veteran Sergeant Imperator Mos's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy E View Post
    Sweet! I bet the neighbors give you some wierd looks!

    I think the Hits and Thrust might be too high for your fighters. If a Thunderbolt has 4 hits, how many does a B-17 have!?! You may want to further abstract the stats abit more.

    Also, 4+ Ammo? Is there some special house rule here similar to Necromunda?

    I think this si a really cool project, and am now tempted to do somethign similar since 1/48 scale aircraft are cheap and easy to source! Plus, I have a huge, open backyard!
    Hits are based on the aircrafts unloaded weight, the P-47 was a big fighter and extremely durable. The Fortress has 12, and the Luftwaffe estimated 15-20 20MM cannon rounds to bring one down if you didn't attack head on.

    Limited ammo is an advanced rule. I've already updated stats so that card is obsolete.

  8. #8
    Veteran Sergeant Imperator Mos's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    On the workbench today is a BF 109

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And an improved base mock up including magnetized speed and altitude dials. I'm planning to paint the bases black and mark out firing arcs in white. The dials are a little small but visible from 5-6 feet away.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Imperator Mos; 24-05-2020 at 23:22.

  9. #9
    Commander Sparda's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    WOW! I admire you for going in 1/48 I got a B-17 in my basement and I'd never think to use it in a wargame lol. About how many planes are you looking to use per game?
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    Veteran Sergeant Imperator Mos's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparda View Post
    WOW! I admire you for going in 1/48 I got a B-17 in my basement and I'd never think to use it in a wargame lol. About how many planes are you looking to use per game?
    Thanks, there are lots of tabletop flight games but I like big ass models. Well I only have 9 stands built currently. If I can recruit players willing to make their own then who knows! The down side to this is not being able to go down to the lfgs and picking up a game lol.

  11. #11
    Why is the rum gone? Darnok's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    Wow...

    From a painting point of view, 1/48 is surely nice. But for gaming? Hell, that sounds like some serious parking space wars!

    Have you thought about using the X-Wing ruleset? It makes for intense dogfights, even with only a few models. The rules are available for free, check them out here.

  12. #12
    Veteran Sergeant Imperator Mos's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    Here is a finished base. I tried to use stencils and and a paint marker but it bled into the wood and I had to do a lot of brush touch up. It's a bit sloppy so I might try to find stick on letters and arrows. Anybody got better ideas???

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The more I look at the pic the more I want to spray over it. But you get the idea of what I'm trying to accomplish here.
    Last edited by Imperator Mos; 24-05-2020 at 23:23.

  13. #13
    Chapter Master Easy E's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    I would love to see all of your cards when they are done.
    Do you like free wargames?
    http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
    Veteran Sergeant Imperator Mos's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy E View Post
    I would love to see all of your cards when they are done.
    If you provide me an email I can send them to you plus my stat chart to make your own.

    Ok, so here is what will most likely be the finished product. I think it looks a lot more professional.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    C&C welcome
    Last edited by Imperator Mos; 24-05-2020 at 23:24.

  15. #15
    Veteran Sergeant Imperator Mos's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    The assembly line picked up some speed and I finished all 4 bases with a .25inch rod. Decided to make the rear movement guide white so hopefully I don't run out of red tape. The bomber base might end up with blue or yellow.

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    And a finished base with a PiP Thunderbolt.

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    Anybody want to play?


    Edit- I need a good name for this system also. Right now leaning towards Wings of Destiny (settled on Aces High). That's probably already taken.
    Last edited by Imperator Mos; 07-06-2020 at 18:24.

  16. #16
    Veteran Sergeant Imperator Mos's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    Last one for today. Bomber stand done for Memphis Belle!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Imperator Mos; 24-05-2020 at 23:29.

  17. #17
    Chapter Master Easy E's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    Looking good.

    How detailed are you planning on painting the aircraft?
    Do you like free wargames?
    http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/

  18. #18
    Veteran Sergeant Imperator Mos's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy E View Post
    Looking good.

    How detailed are you planning on painting the aircraft?
    Well my early attempts at 40K style painting did not yield great results. I plan to wash the recesses, freehand the canopies, weapons and custom markings, and use plenty of transfers.

  19. #19
    Veteran Sergeant Imperator Mos's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    Feel like I'm posting to myself here, but whatever. With the bases out of the way I get to start painting planes woooooo!
    Turns out the first one is a BF 109. I love the look of this aircraft, to me the essential starting pont of any Luftwaffe. Not particularly badass in any one area, but the Germans had been flying them for so long that they could keep pace with newer Allied aircraft. The old case of "the man, not the machine".

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I still need to ard coat the transfers and dulcoat the whole model. Tabletop quality and on to the next one! P-47s are calling my name...
    Last edited by Imperator Mos; 24-05-2020 at 23:30.

  20. #20
    Modsticker Codsticker's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Air Combat in 1/48 scale

    Feel like I'm posting to myself here, but whatever.
    No, we are all watching you... even when you don't know it....
    I am eagerly awaiting the next AAR from your back yard.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salty
    What the Modsticker said.

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