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Air War - The Battle of Britain

I always wanted to do a historical air wargame and have now decided to do one based on the Battle of Britain.

I look at varies scales, rules and size of games and decided I like the idea of a skirmish air battle and I like my aircraft to mounted on telescopic flight stands.

I am currently still developing the game, but here is what I done so far;

 

Miniatures

The one thing which have stop me developing a game is that I did not like the idea of painting loads of miniatures aircraft.  So when I discovered that a number of company's do make a range die cast aircraft, I started to collect.  Most of my aircraft I purchase are from Corgi Toys which are about 1/100 in scale.  The Corgi 1/72 scale aircraft are a bit big for what I wanted to do and would cost me allot for the amount of aircraft I wanted.

I got the Corgi Aircraft from Toy Shops, Corgi Mail Order and eBay, they work out about 5 each which is pretty good for the excellent paint job they have.  So I ended up with with enough to form squadrons of Spitfires, Hurricanes, Messerschmitt Bf109s and Stuka's (Ju87).

I also wanted some German Bombers.  I search the internet for some which was near to 1/100 scale and found out that not many manufactures make 1/100 scale aircraft. Most wargamers use either 1/300 or 1/144 scale aircraft, through there some miniature manufacture do make some 15mm (1/100) scale aircraft miniature (unpainted!) to support 15mm ground wargames (they cost more then Corgi Toys).  I wanted either a squadron  Junker's Ju88 or Dornier's Do17 or Heinkel's He111.  I found out an American company called Model Power made a 1/98 scale Junkers 88, but they had stop making it, then I checked eBay and somebody had some in stock at 10 each, I ordered some.

I would of like some other types of aircraft which took part in the Battle of Britain, but as yet not found any 1/100 scale pre-painted Messerschmitt's Bf110s, Defiant's 1, Gloster Gladiator's II or Bristol Blenheim's 1.  Through I think I have now got enough now for a good game.

 

Flight Stands

My flight stands are built from telescopic aerials which are mounted on 10cm squares of blocks of wood (see pictures below).   Replacement telescopic aerials are available from a number of mail order suppliers, but check out the postage before you buy, I got mine from a 3rd party dealer on Amazon at 2.20 each with free postage.  .

To connect the aircraft to the stand (and for storage) I am using Neodymium Disc Magnets (6mm diameter by 3mm thick, found a good supplier on eBay),  Through use a good two part epoxy glue and clear off any excess of the face of the magnet, even when dry it can stick the magnets together (by experience).

The die cast German Bombers I purchase are heavy, so the aerials are not good enough to hold them up so to construct a stand I purchase some 10mm steel tubing from a DIY shop which I cut into lengths for each height I want the aircraft to fly at (with a 10mm diameter by 5mm thick magnet on top), and then constructed a 20cm square base which the tubing will slot into.  See pictures below.

 

Books Recommendations

The following list of books I have picked up over the years which have proved useful in setting up a Battle of Britain game. 

  • Battle of Britain by Len Deighton (1980)
  • The Concise Guide to British Aircraft of World War II by David Mondey (1982, Reprinted regularly).
  • The Concise Guide to Axis Aircraft of World War II by David Mondey  (1984, Reprinted regularly).
  • Fighters 1939-1945 by Kenneth Munson (1969, Reprinted 2012).
  • Bombers 1939-1945 by Kenneth Munson (1969, Reprinted 2012).

Battle of Britain by Len Deighton have been the most useful for a wargames point of view, but now hard to find and the rest are just more details about the aircraft involved which do come up regularly in bargain book shops.

 

Rules

  I have decided to use the Sturmovik Commander rules (1.5) which are available free to download from the web.  They work really well and are fun to play.

Sturmovik Commander (v1.5) is designed for smaller scale aircraft (1/300), so I have double all the ranges so to make them work with the larger scale aircraft (1/100).  Through the table dose get a bit crowed with aircraft, even on a 6 by 8 foot table, so I do not use any more than 12 aircraft a side as the rules recommends.

Because the aircraft are mounted on 10cm square bases, there is plenty of room to put stuff on them, so I do not use record sheets and use dice for speed and altitude, counters for ammo, black pipe cleaners for damage and made up order cards instead of writing them down on record sheets.

I have developed 1/100 scale reference sheet (v2) for the game.

The 2nd edition of Sturmovik Commander are due to published soon, but the new rules have been designed for bigger battles so they will work better with 1/300 scale aircraft miniatures or smaller.  I will not be using them with my 1/100 scale aircraft and keep using the 1st edition (I like the idea of orders cards).

Other rules I have looked into using are;

Thunderbolt

Check Your Six

Bag the Hun

 

Links

Postage Stamp Planes UK - A British Supplier of the "Model Power" die cast aircraft.

Bag the Hun Web Site - A fans webs site which supports the "Bag the Hun" WWII rules, including some interesting scenarios.

Dinger Aviation Page - An interesting page on Aircraft, check out the pages on the Spitfire and the Messerschmitt (including the Luftwaffe Fighter Tactics).

Battle of Britain Wikipedia Entree

 

Edmund Proctor  2003 - 2012