Over the last few weeks I’ve been dutifully working my way through a mass of Gauls in preparation for the Too Fat Lardies latest “Infamy Infamy”. Having done a number of the key units and a couple of supports this culminated in tackling a dozen or so French tackles to complete two units of naked fanatics. With the Romans still to do I decided I need a little diversion and on the basis of “a change is as good as a rest” cast my eye around for some inspiration.
This inevitably came from Twitter and featured Mr Clark (from the aforementioned Lardies @toofatlardies) pushing WW1 biplanes around his patio table in what looked like a mash up of “What a Tanker” and the episode of Blackadder IV with Flashheart in it. “That looks great.” I thought. Immediately followed by “…..it would be fantastic in 6mm”.
My initial port of call was Heroics & Ros but to no avail (they are getting back to full production after the initial C-19 disruption and the full range will be available again soon) similarly Baccus 6mm and Magister Militum were scratches. Feeling none too hopeful I checked on Irregular Miniatures and - lo and behold – Irregular offer a surprisingly comprehensive range of Great War miniatures including a reasonable selection of planes. £16 later I’d ordered four Sopworth Camels, four Albatrosses and a pack of flight stands.
After a short break on Anglesey I returned home to find a little gift to myself. A jiffy envelope containing these little gems (wrapped in the traditional Irregular newspaper like postal order Fish & Chips);
To be honest I’ve always had a bit of a “love / hate” relationship with Irregular and find the inconsistencies in quality between some of the ranges frustrating but on the whole they paint up well and have some absolutely unique products, like their brilliant 2mm range.
The planes themselves come in two parts; the fuselage and the wings. The idea being you bend the wings apart to enable the fuselage to be positioned in place and then squeeze the wings back together to ensure a snug fit and for the glue to dry. On the whole this system worked well. I did manage to break the wing struts on one Albatross and the wings did get bent into some slightly weird angles which I will try and sort out when the superglue is cured (…in a week or so’s time then.) This tended to be a problem with the German planes and their more angled wing design as the Camels went together without a hitch.
Needless to say, these being Irregular Miniatures there was a bit of flash to be cleaned, particularly on the wing sections of each of the planes which, I should imagine, would be a real pain in the rear to cast. Having said that the tidy up was not particularly onerous and the fuselages were largely flash free. The only other comment I’d make on was that on some of the fuselages the details on the tail planes were a bit soft but again not a show-stopper in this scale.
In total it took just under an hour (working carefully and taking the odd picture) to assemble all eight of the planes and mighty fine I think they look. Here are the four Camels;
….and here are the four Albatross;
So there we have it. A new project begun and hopefully, an interesting topic to blog on. As and when the Heroics & Ros planes become available I will also post a comparison. I’ll keep you posted as I move onto painting (if my caveman style of daubing could be described as such), the painful process of applying decals (maybe) and the agonies of getting the minis mounted on their flight stands .