Anyone who has been following my blog recently will know that I'm preparing to play more Pulp Alley, specifically Scenario 2 ("Final Flight") from the Perilous Island campaign. That scenario is set at an airport somewhere in Africa, though it could just as well be Latin America, Asia or elsewhere.
I've been collecting figures to make the necessary crowd of agitated civilians (although I think my version will be quite a weeny crowd). However if it's an airport then I'll need something else as well: terrain and aircraft models. Here's the first of them.
The Avia BH-11
This is a 1:48th scale model of an Avia BH-11; a 2-seater Czechoslovakian sports/trainer plane that first flew in 1923. As such, it fits well into my Pulp timeline (interwar, so think Indiana Jones - any time from about 1920 to 1940).
28mm wargaming figures are often regarded as about 1:56 scale. There aren't any 1:56 scale model aircraft! I'll probably regret being as definite about that, as someone may well point out an obscure range somewhere, but generally speaking it is true.
Aircraft modellers stick to either 1:72 or 1:48. The former is really much too small for 28mm figures, though it would probably work well enough to represent craft flying high over a battlefield. 1:48 is a bit too big, but not impossibly so - especially if you stick to smaller real life aircraft.
Most of the pictures in this article show one of my 28mm pilot figures standing beside the plane. Judge for yourself how compatible he is in size.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of 1:48th scale aircraft kits. However, not many of them come from the Interwar period - and those that do are mostly warplanes. The Avia BH-11 model is one of the few exceptions to this, fortunately for me!
This kit is released by SMER and has one overwhelming advantage, at least in terms of being my first 1:48th scale aircraft model: it was very cheap! The model only cost me a few pounds, so if it turned out not to be suitable for gaming then I could afford the loss.
So, how was the kit to build:
- Assembly was easy; parts are fairly chunky and fitted together very well.
- A seated pilot was supplied as part of the kit. I didn't use this as, quite honestly, it was an awful model, little more than a blob of plastic!
- The undercarriage was slightly tricky, though not really difficult. It's probably the most fragile part of the finished model though, so care will have to be taken when this is on the gaming table.
- The wing struts add interest, but without being very complex to assemble. Also note that this aircraft doesn't have any rigging, so no wires and braces are needed!
I've copied a colour scheme, semi-faithfully, from a modern restoration aircraft. For my purposes, it doesn't have to be completely authentic, it just has to look plausible. The decals for the lettering are home made, but based on the original plane. I think it works well enough...
This is a nice, cheap and relatively simple model that will do well for games, as long as it's handled with a certain amount of care. I can see it being the ride for an early round-the-world aviator, or belonging to a rich enthusiast who likes to visit the more dusty and backward parts of the world. Alternatively, it might be the cobwebby, old banger left in a corner of the flying field, just waiting for the hero to use it in his/her daring escape! You decide...
It looks stunning. The bold but simple 2 colour scheme with the large lettering really work well.ReplyDelete
Struts on a low-wing monoplane are a very interesting touch.
Thanks, Steve. I didn't want to paint the plane in Czech air force colours, so I hunted around for a civilian version and this is what I found.Delete
I love it! What a wonderful addition to any collection.ReplyDelete
It has certainly encouraged me to look out for more 1:48th scale aircraft kits :-) .Delete
Simple and very effective with the added bonus of no rigging to worry about.ReplyDelete
I don't think I'm particularly scared of rigging from a model-making point of view. It's just that it might be fragile or get in the way whilst gaming...Delete
I looked at the aircraft and thought Artizan Sky Pirates would go so well with this model..... I love it!ReplyDelete
Possibly a bit small (and unarmed) for sky pirates? But then, maybe they use whatever they can find!Delete
Nicely done. I agree that portraying the aircraft will pretty much have to be the 1:48 ranges. I suppose some bi-planes would also still be plausible having been retired from service.ReplyDelete
Biplanes would certainly be appropriate for the interwar period. I know that there's a DH-9c passenger plane kit available from Roden and it should be possible to find barnstormers such as the Curtis Jenny as well.Delete
I tried to find a 1:56 helicopter and failed miserably ended up buying a 1:48 Wessex, which is a lovely model but way too big.ReplyDelete
This plane is the business C6
Hmm, a Wessex is quite a big craft in real life, so I imagine that an over-scaled one would be huge indeed!Delete
I have some toy helicopters that I've occasionally used for modern wargames, but they're more along the lines of police/news/traffic report machines rather than military or air/sea rescue machines.
A striking looking aircraft. Nicely done!ReplyDelete
Thanks, AJ! It was a fun little model to build - and quite different from my usual fare.Delete
Lovely aircraft from a company I've not heard of before. And, as you say, they're quite reasonable for the size, so should I need a plane in the future, I will know where to look first.ReplyDelete
I think that SMER is an East European company. Their kits are cheap and cheerful; their catalogue has a fair number of old Polish, Czech and similar aircraft (as well as better known craft).Delete
Nearly missed this one. What a stunner! Looks the part nicely. I know what you mean about model kits have been looking for several pieces myself for various periods/genre's and 1/48 is about the only decent looking one size wise.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Simon! I know that there is a school of thought that buildings and aircraft for games should be a scale or two smaller than the figures. I prefer them to be close to the correct scale.Delete
I love the plane Colgar6, if your looking for a pilot I'll leave a link below, I believe they work very well with 1:48 but I've not tried them myself yet.ReplyDelete
I only came across your blog this morning so there might be comments from me on some of your older posts over the next couple of days.
Thanks for the offer, Frank - but I think I prefer to leave this as a "parked" model without any crew present.Delete
You are more than welcome to rummage around and leave any comments, of course :-) . Is there anything in particular which interests you?
Hi Colrar6, I'm a PA player myself & while I use to play it using 40K models I'm at the moment going about changing over to pulp figures.Delete
So when we played out scenario your getting ready for in the Perilous Island campaign I used a Valkyrie for a plane.