Wednesday, January 16, 2013

VBCW Aircraft

Finally a new project to talk about.  I've developed an interest in starting Very British Civil War (VBCW) gaming, and some of the first items to roll off the worktable are aircraft:

These planes are 1/72 Airfix kits that run between $7-10 locally.  They are a bit under scaled for 28mm figures, but for airborne craft I think it looks better than 1/48 and also lets me get away with smaller bases.

First up is a Gloster Sea Gladiator for my British Union Fascists:

Sea Gladiator
From the box, this is an older issue kit, and it really showed.  There was a lot of flash, the panel lines didn't match up well between the two halves, and decals were minimal.  I had originally hoped to paint this in the 1937 RAF aluminum color scheme, but felt that it would really reveal the kit limitations.  As such, I went for a later (1940 if I remember correctly) Sea Gladiator camouflage scheme to hide some of those defects (though the kit didn't include arrestor hooks, so that is now a bit off).   I also scavenged some decal from other kits to make it look a bit more complete.  The roundels were originally from a WWI biplane kit (Russian, I believe) and I painted in the lighting bolts over the center.  This was a bit of a challenge, as the decals were old and started flaking during painting, but I think I have them fairly well sealed now.  The kit didn't come with any detailed rigging instructions, so I did my best from the box art using some black plastic line I picked up at an Osaka hobby shop many years ago.  Sadly I broke two drill bits during the process.

Next up is a Supermarine Spitfire Mk I:

Spitfire Mk I
From the red box, I believe this is a newer kit, and it was much better than the Gladiator.  The pieces were crisply molded, fairly well detailed, and the fit was good during assembly.  It also comes with a ton of decals, some of which are so small I'm not even sure people will even notice them.  I was worried that the plastic aerial would snap off easily (and I no longer had the small drill bit to make a hole for the line), so it was replaced with a bit of metal paperclip.  The paint scheme is from 1938, so fits in perfectly for the desired time frame.  I decided to use the standard British roundels so that I could get away with using it for either Edwardian or Georgian forces (or for WWII). 
Finally there is my Hawker Hurricane Mk IIc:

Hurricane Mk IIc
Another red box kit like the Spitfire, and it is also a quality product. Now this variant is a bit late for VBCW (I believe it entered service in 1941), but I couldn't find a Mk I version locally (I like to support brick and mortar shops when I can).  So I'm just going to convince myself that in this alternative history, Hurricane production development proceeded at a more rapid pace than reality.  I've assigned this craft to my Scottish forces.  The paint scheme was one used in the UK in 1941, but I've swapped out the roundels for ones used in East Asia, painting over the pale blue centers with white. I also used some Navy markings on the underside, painting the black stripes blue.

The bases were made from 1/16" brass rod and some 3" wooden disks from the local craft store that have been double stacked to 1/4" in height to help stabilize the rods.  I was a bit worried about the planes being top heavy and tipping over easily during gaming, so about a dozen pennies have been glued to the top of each base (the older ones work better, as they are heavier).  I can now get up to a 20-30 degree tilt and they'll still pop back to upright.  The bases were finished with Liquitex resin sand texture gel and some real rock, then painted in what I call "British rock quarry", a style that I came up with for my Doctor Who figures.  This is intended to allow it to blend into both rural and urban settings.

Overall I was very happy with how they came out.  Now I just need to get some ground forces painted up so they have someone to strafe.


  1. Excellent models! Nicely done. This is the kind of thing that would tempt me to get into VBCW if I had the time and resources to spare. :><

    I was just wondering if you'd mind if I got the camo scheme and markings on your Sea Gladiator recreated in War Thunder. I'd love to see how it looks in-game. Let me know if that's okay with you.

  2. Thanks Tom! Feel free to use anything you find useful.