Jackboots of the Skies

One of the things it's really not necessary to have on the wargames table, but which I want to have anyway, are aircraft models. A case might be made for including models of dive-bombers and other ground-attack aircraft, but having models of strategic bombers cluttering the place up is really pretty pointless.

That, naturally, has not stopped me.

I found this model of a He 111 on Thingiverse, at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3317489 by someone called T1ckL35. The model is produced at 1/200 scale, and I've re-scaled it to 1/144 to fit with my fighter models.

The Heinkel 111 wasn't particularly large as far as WWII bombers went, but it's a monster compared with my 1/144 fighter models, most of which are by Zvezda, as is this Me 109 F.

Zvezda do their wargaming aircraft in two scales: 1/144 for fighters, small fighter-bombers and the like, and 1/200 for bombers. That leads to some odd anomalies in sizing: for example, their 1/144 Fairey Battle is quite a bit larger than their 1/200 Bristol Blenheim. I prefer to have all my models in a constant scale if at all possible, but I can certainly understand their rationale for the decision.

 The model prints in two pieces, split along its vertical axis.

There are no locating pins or sockets, so some care will be needed to make sure that it glues together squarely. I've found that by squeezing the front and back of the tail fin between finger and thumb of one hand, and top and bottom of the fuselage between fingers and thumb of the other, I can get a pretty reliable alignment of the two halves.

Because I have a glass platen on my 3d printer, the matching surfaces are perfectly smooth, which is ideal for getting the strongest possible bond with cyanoacrylate glues. I will need to be using one with a little bit of working time though, just to make absolutely sure I have everything perfectly aligned before the glue goes off.

Upper surfaces
The two halves are arranged with their ventral surfaces facing each other on the printer platen, which is good — that means that any printing travel artifacts are on the ventral surfaces, which will generally not be particularly visible. The whole thing will need a bit of sanding to smooth it off in any case, but this will minimise the amount of work I will have to do on the visible dorsal surfaces.


Lower surfaces

Next day....

I've got it assembled and airbrushed with its basic splinter camouflage scheme.

I'm not at all familiar with Luftwaffe colours so I've just found some pictures on the internet and used a couple that look OK together to me: VMA 71011 Tank Green and VMA 71013 Yellow Olive.

I'm even less sure about the undersides, but I think a generic pale grey-blue will do the trick.

I will have to draw on the panel lines, and for that I'll see if I can find some fine waterproof medium-grey and light-grey fibre-tip technical pens. I could use black at a pinch, but that can look a bit cartoonish.


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