French Dewoitine D.520
One of the decisions that Battlefront did that I didn’t understand was going with 1:144 scale for their aircraft. Well not that I didn’t understand because it actually does make a bit of sense in some ways. Firstly from a scale perspective smaller aircraft will “look” higher up than if they were true 15mm. Secondly there are lots of plastic kits in the 1:144 scale making it very easy to find aircraft models that aren’t in the Flames of War range.
However one of the downsides of this is if you want to model an actual airfield for Flames of War or use a downed plane as a piece of scenery or an objective. In the forthcoming Vietnam range the helicopters are 15mm scale as they do sit on the battlefield. Ah well.
One range I have found online is Armaments in Miniature that make a wide range of 1:100 aircraft including gliders. They also make a nice range of landing craft too. However as they are US based and I can’t find a UK reseller, it would mean ordering from the US. Not that I mind doing that, and I do do it, however, adding on duty and VAT will double the prices so what are nice models, become very expensive models. It doesn’t help that there are very few photographs on the Armaments in Miniature website.
The traditional scale for model airplanes is 1:72 and this is great if you play 20mm games, however there are very few models in 1:100 the scale for 15mm and used by FoW for their tanks and vehicles.
Since I got into FoW I have been looking for aircraft models to use. The first I found were some Airfix pre-painted models for £5.99, not a huge choice, but you can get the Me109 for example.
I noticed that Revell did some similar kits, but these were of modern planes so not much use for FoW unless you were playing a Final Countdown style scenario. This is now even easier with the new Vietnam range if you wanted to use helicopters and tanks…
I didn’t get any of those, but continued to search and look at model shops to see what I could find.
So I was pleasantly surprised to find in Antics some Italeri die-cast planes from World War Two in 1:100 scale. I haven’t been able to find a list online of the entire range, but I did manage to pick up a Me109, an FW190 and what really pleased me was a couple of Early War French Dewoitine D.520 planes.
The Dewoitine D.520 was a French fighter aircraft that entered service in early 1940, shortly after the opening of World War II. Unlike the Morane-Saulnier M.S.406, which was at that time the Armée de l’Air’s most numerous fighter, the Dewoitine D.520 came close to being a match for the latest German types, such as the Messerschmitt Bf 109. It was slower than the Bf 109E but superior in manoeuvrability.
Now these are die-cast models so the detail is “lacking” and the finish is very glossy, but I think with some work these will look fine.