Sunday, 2 October 2011

Osprey Issue Harrier Units and Tojo Aces Books

Osprey Publishing have released two new aviation books this month.

First off is AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, "The AV-8B is the only tactical aircraft that can deploy with Marine forces on amphibious assault ships and provide air cover and close air support separate from large deck aircraft carriers. When Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, a coalition of nations launched Operation Desert Shield in order to defend Saudi Arabia, and the Harrier II was among the first tactical air assets to be deployed to the region. During Operation Desert Storm, the five units flying the AV-8B in-theatre became some of the top tactical squadrons of choice by air mission planners because of the pilots’ skill as well as the plane’s vertical take-off ability. The previously untold story of the AV-8B in this conflict is vividly brought to life by the author through first-hand accounts and period photography sourced from those that were there and official archives. This will be the first of three volumes on USMC Harrier IIs in combat, with follow-on titles covering the jet’s operations in Iraq in 2003–08 and Afghanistan in 2001–2009."

The second book is Ki-44 ‘Tojo’ Aces of World War 2, "The Ki-44 ‘Tojo’ epitomises JAAF air power in defence of the homeland, but was also used extensively in the skies over China. The introduction of the Ki-44 was noted with concern because of its departure from the performance and tactics previously associated with the JAAF. It was a fast-climbing, heavily armed point-defence interceptor that was used successfully in slashing hit-and-run tactics that caught Allied pilots by surprise. Amongst the numerous aces that flew Ki-44’s were Major Akira Watanabe of the 33rd Sentai, Captain Yukiyoshi Wakamatsu, the ‘Red Nose Ace’ of the 85th Sentai and Warrant Officer Rikio Shibata also of the 85th Sentai, a leading ace with claims for 27 aircraft. This book tells the complete story of all of Japan’s ‘Tojo’ aces."

Plane of the Week: Vultee A-31 Vengeance

Colin Nash suggested this week's plane, the Vultee A-31 Vengeance. Largely forgotten, this American dive bomber saw combat operations with the RAF, IAF and RAAF in the Far east during WW2. Scans of an interesting article on the plane from Flightpath magazine can be found in this thread.

8 Squadron, Indian Air Force:

An interesting article on the Vultee Vengeance in the Indian Air Force can be found here.

21 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, Nadzab, New Guinea, 1944:

Other Australian schemes can be found here.

1 Grupo de Bombardeiro Picado, Força Aérea Brasileira, Santa Cruz Air base, 1943:

GB I/17 "Picardie", Forces Aériennes Françaises Libres, Morocco, 1943:

(all pictures Wings Palette)

Friday, 16 September 2011

Plane of the Week: Boulton Paul Defiant

This week's plane is the wonderful Boulton Paul Defiant (nicknamed Daffy) a turret fighter designed as an interceptor but after initial success, notably over Dunkirk, the Defiant was found to be vulnerable to the German Bf 109. The Defiant then switched to night-fighting duties before moving on to use in air-sea rescue, air radar and target tug capacities.

Defiant Mk I, 264 Squadron, July 1940
Defiant NF Mk I, 307 (Polish) Squadron 1941

Defiant ASW Mk I, 276 Air-Sea Rescue Squadron 1942
Defiant TT Mk I, 11th Combat Crew Replacement Centre, 326th Bombardment Squadron, USAAF

 (all pictures above from Wings Palette)

And apologies to purists but I couldn't resist including this:

Super-Defiant of Red Squadron Rebel Alliance
(picture from Clavework Graphics)

Friday, 9 September 2011

Plane of the Week: Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk

This week we are showcasing the Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk at the request of Tommy Boyd. The Sparrowhawk was a parasite fighter designed to be deployed from the US Navy's airships USS Akron and USS Maconas part of the navy's Airship HTA (heavier-than-air) Unit. 

Whilst none of the eight Sparrowhawks constructed saw active service it is a novel design and the parasite plane concept one that will interest air wargamers who dabble in hypothetical and pulp inspired games.

Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk, USS Macon, 1935
(picture from Wings Palette)

Der Kampfflieger produce a useful 1/48th scale card model of the Sparrowhawk in twelve different paint schemes.. The scale can be reduced in scale when printing if desired.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Wings of War Gets New Owner (and New Name)

Following the demise of Nexus International, the future of Wings of War has been up in the air. Today Ares Games released the following press release:

Ares Games reaches an agreement with Andrea Angiolino e Pier Giorgio Paglia to publish the game "Wings of Glory"

The best selling game of WWI and WWII aerial combat comes back with a new name

Camaiore, Italy – September 1, 2011 - Ares Games, a Tuscany-based games publisher recently established, announces an agreement with Andrea Angiolino and Pier Giorgio Paglia, the authors of the best selling game that recreates aerial combat during the WWI and WWII, formerly published with the name "Wings of War".

Ares Games will publish the game under a new brand, "Wings of Glory". Wings of Glory will be published with a new rulebook, while maintaining compatibility with the previous Wings of War products already in the market.

"We are happy to be partnering with Andrea and Pier Giorgio to bring this wonderful game system to market." said Christoph Cianci, CEO of Ares Games, "Thousands of fans worldwide will be pleased to know that their planes and maneuver cards from Wings of War will be compatible with the new Wings of Glory."

Initially, Ares Games will focus on developing new miniatures for the game, but also plans to release new starter sets.

"This game has a very strong and loyal fan base around the world, which gave and will surely continue to give a great help to the success of our game with their support and creativity. They have high expectations of it, in spite of several attempts to imitate it with other settings and chrome," stated Andrea Angiolino, co-creator of the game. "We chose to partner with Ares Games because we believe they understand our game, and that they will take care of the wishes of its fans, as well as be respectful of its creators."

The first Wings of Glory products to be released will be four airplanes for the WWII game series: the American P40, the Russian Yak-1, the Japanese Ki-61 and the Italian Re-2001 Falco. Ares Games will publish a Starter Set with these four models, containing the introductory rules and all other elements needed to start play. The complete schedule of the next releases will be announced soon.

With this announcement, Ares Games now publishes two important games from Italian creators that have achieved international recognition. In July, Ares Games aquired the rights from Sophisticated Games to publish the award-winning board game "War of the Ring", based on the J.R.R.Tolkien's trilogy, "The Lord of the RingsTM", and created by Roberto Di Meglio, Francesco Nepitello and Marco Maggi. A new edition of the game, in English, will be available this Fall, with other language editions forecasted for Spring 2012."

New WWI and WWII Titles From Osprey

Osprey Publishing have released two new aviation books this month.

First off is Aviation Elite Units 41: No 60 Sqn RFC/RAF, "When No 60 Sqn arrived in France in May 1916, partially equipped with the delightfully named Morane Bullet, there were only two dedicated single-seat fighter squadrons on the Western Front. Operating initially as a utility unit, No 60 Sqn’s duties were mixed. It was involved in reconnaissance, fighter patrols and escort missions, as well as the landing of spies behind enemy lines. In the opening weeks of the battles of the Somme in the summer of 1916, the squadron suffered heavy casualties and it was withdrawn from the front. Rested and reequipped with Nieuport scouts, the unit went on the offensive. Witnessing the exploits of pilots like Albert Ball, who scored 20 victories with the unit before his death, it rapidly became one of the most successful fighter units of the war. This book tells the complete story of the unit, from its humble beginnings to the end of the war."

The second book is Duel 39: La-5/7 vs Fw 190, "Soviet fighter aviation suffered terribly at the hands of the Jagdwaffe in the first year of the war in the east and, with the arrival of JG 51 and its Fw 190s on the Stalingrad Front in September 1942, things only got worse. However, help was on its way in the form of the La-5. Tougher, faster, and with a greater rate of climb than its predecessors, most were flow by a new generation of better-trained pilots led by combat veterans. These new fighters soon found themselves pitted into action on the Central Sector against the equally new Fw 190As of JG 51. From then on, these two fighters would battle it out in the skies over the Eastern Front. This book tells the complete story of the battles between these two important fighters."

Plane of the Week: BAC Strikemaster

This week's Plane of the Week, requested by David Manley, is the BAC Strikemaster a training and light attack aircraft that has seen active service in the air forces of Ecuador, Oman and Yemen.

The Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana utilised the Strikemaster in ground attack duties against Peruvian units in the Alto-Cenepa War of 1995. This aircraft flew with the Escuadron de Combate 2313.
(picture from Latin Air Forces blogspot)

The Sutlan of Oman's Air Force utilised the Strikemaster during the Dhfoar Rebellion, providing air support for the SAS at the Battle of Mirbat in 1972. The planes were flown by contracted RAF pilots during the conflict.

(picture from ACIG)

Thursday, 1 September 2011

3D Printed Airco DH2 From Der Kampfflieger

There seems to be no stopping Der Kampfflieger with a new 3D printed 1/144th Airco DH. 2 model at Shapeways...

(3D print picture from Der Kampfflieger, remember prop attached at rear for printing purposes and needs to be removed and glued in correct position)

Assault Publishing Release Hind Commander Rules

Assault Publishing have released their first set a wargames rules, Hind Commander, a set of modern helicopter wargames rules "designed for smaller scales, like 2mm, 3mm or 6mm, and gives you the remarkable opportunity to lead a strike group of helicopters across the frontline of a modern, hypothetical, conventional conflict. Tank hunting missions, infantry insertions, destroying enemy aircraft to gain superiority over the sky, patrolling supply lines and many more tasks await the brave and cunning commanders!".

More details can be found on their website here.

(photo copyright Assault Publishing)

Friday, 26 August 2011

Plane of the Week: Sopwith Pup

A new feature for the blog - Plane of the Week! Each week we'll pick a plane and post some colour schemes that might pique your interest. To kick off we've picked the Sopwith Pup, recently released by Der Kampflieger in 1/144th. Suggestions for forthcoming Planes of the Week are welcome in the comments box, on our Facebook page or in the Yahoo Group.

"Black Arrow" was flown by FSLt. E.Pierce, 3rd Squadron RNAS, April-May 1917. Pierce claimed four Albatros fighters in this plane.

"Julia" was flown by 1st.Lt. J.A. Shaw during anti Gotha duties at the Walmer Defense Flight in June 1917.

This RNAS Pup flown by Fl.Sub.Lt.Bernard Arthur Smart shot the Zeppelin L-23 down on 21st of August 1917. Nice scheme this and a change from the usual drab RFC/RNAS planes...

(pictures from Wings Palette)

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Der Kampfflieger Release 3D Printed Sopwith Pup

Der Kampfflieger have followed up recent releases with a highly useful Sopwith Pup.

(photo of 3D render from Der Kampfflieger)

Monday, 8 August 2011

New Der Kampfflieger at Shapeways

Der Kampfflieger  have released two new 1/144th 3D printed models at Shapeways:

Handley Page O/400:

Pfalz D.IIIA:

(photos of 3D render by Der Kampfflieger, the props are attached to the back of the model for production purposes, you just snip them off and glue them to the engines...)