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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

P-38 & FW190 Spotlight

by Maurice Kent

For my first WWPD post, I wanted to share some glam shots of a couple of aircraft I really enjoyed painting up for Flames of War: the P-38 Lightning and the Focke-Wulf 190.  Both of these figs are from Battlefront and can be used in mid- and late-war.

First up, the Lightning:

Many gamers may recognize the 'Fork-Tailed Devil' from the classic arcade game 1942.  One of the first overhead plane games, 1942 was definitely the first time I'd seen the cool double-fuselage silhouette.  The Lightning was and remains the coolest WW2 plane.  This is not up for debate.

So cool he gets sidekicks.
Naturally I needed a worthy color scheme to pay proper homage to such a cool aircraft.  Thankfully, the Lightning had quite a few Ace pilots with unique paint jobs.  After some research, I came up with one Capt. Jack Ilfrey, or 'Happy Jack,' as my inspiration.  This guy was part of the first group of pilots to fly from the U.S. to England. He then participated in Operation Torch, and eventually fought over Europe.

Capt. Ilfrey had a host of noteworthy experiences during the war, the best being when he had to land in neutral (but leaning Axis) Portugal due to a lack of fuel.  After taking him captive, the Portuguese asked Capt. Ilfrey to demonstrate how his Lightning worked.  Sitting in the cockpit, he took advantage of the distraction provided by another Lightning coming in to land to gun the engines, dust a Portuguese pilot off the wing, and escape (why yes, that is the throttle).  Awesome.

Using this version of 'Happy Jack's Go-Buggy' as a reference, I went to work.  On to the pictures!

Faked the nose text.  It should say 'Captain Jack's Go Buggy.'

Overall, the kit was a good value.  There was a little bit of warping, as you'll see below.  The plane was also slightly miscast, as the top half of the fuselage was just ever so slightly offset from the bottom half.  It turned out fine after some filing, but was noticeable.

The other bizarre thing was the decal set.  Two of the four provided blue/white star decals were massive.  I couldn't really determine where they were supposed to go.  I'll need to track down another couple of sets to do the underside of the wings, the right wing top and the right fuselage.  Nevertheless, I'm really glad to have one of these in my collection.  The entire process probably took 3-4 hours of work, mainly because I couldn't decide on a grey I liked.

In Flames of War, the Lightning is available to U.S. forces in Mid- and Late-War (mostly during the invasion).  It'll definitely find a role supporting my Tunisia/Italy Rifle Companies and my 29th Infantry coming off the beaches.

Armament-wise, you're looking at a decent cannon for attacking light and medium tanks and your standard bombs.

A couple more glamour shots
Taking in the countryside

Engaging a StuG
Next, we have the FW-190.  This plane served in almost every role during the war, but is overshadowed by the better-known Stuka.  You can use it in Flames of War in Mid- and Late-War on both fronts.  In late-late-war (Nuts) it serves as your primary alternative to the Sturmvogel.

In terms of weapons, it's very similar to the Lightning, but with better bombs.  

The kit was in great shape and required just a little filing towards the edge of the wings.  It was a blast to paint.

Size Comparison 

I have you now!

Thanks again for reading.  Until next time...

"Maurice Kent is a part-time space cowboy and acknowledged addict when it comes to toy soldiers.  Based in the Maryland suburbs of DC, he has edited and translated for a variety of games and comics."  

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