And now, my little air force

I put the finishing touches on this little bunch of planes for the Channel Dash.  It’s 16-six Spitfires, six Beaufort bombers, and four Whirlwinds. Together with the Betty bombers, that’s twenty planes and a good way to start the new year.

The Raiden planes were all purchased for the Enfilade project, but the Bettys were all quite old, so it’s nice to take the occasion to get some old stuff done too.

Just as a general review, the Raiden planes were the nicest 1/300 miniatures I’ve ever painted.  The Beaufort in particular, one of the newest Raiden planes, was incredibly well detailed, solid, really a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend them.

I also want to offer props to I-94 for their improved British decals.  As I stated in my previous post, working with decals can be hard.  Some of my friends, commenting on my post, have suggested it is too hard. I-94 replaced their BR-100 decal sheet with two new sheets, BR-107 and BR-111.  I believe I put on something like 144 separate decals from the BR-111 sheet.  I liked so many things about them, but the three biggest are: 1) the color is vastly superior to previous sheets, 2) these sheets offered a wide variation of roundels and tail flashes not previously available, 3) they were extremely easy to use, sliding off their transfer sheets within seconds. Just really good stuff, and highly recommended.

I’m done painting planes for the time being. But I really enjoyed doing them. I don’t know that I’ve ever been so happy painting anything as when I finished these planes for the Channel Dash + Bettys.

I reorganized all my painted planes to better care for them and I’ve included pictures.  Basically my planes fall into a few categories:

  1. Taiwan vs. Peoples Liberation Air Force.  50 jet aircraft for a hypothetical conflict between Taiwan and China in 1995. Includes a few American planes in case of intervention.
  2. Cuban Missile Crisis–I put together a project I ran at Enfilade back in the ’90’s.  Look for the current 25 planes to get much larger in the next year as I take another stab with much better miniatures. Many of the American planes are now available from Raiden–my current crop are from the old, disappeared and not lamented Skytrex range. Also some long forgotten SDD miniatures, including a pair of British F-4K Phantoms and Buccaneers before the RN fleet carriers went away.
  3. Fleet Air Arm–40 planes, all Scotia miniatures.  Most I painted for an Enfilade game I hosted in 2001.  They were painted with Polly S paints, that sadly I can no longer get. So when I thought needed some more Fairey Barracudas for our Tirpitz attack, I went with a different camo scheme.
  4. Channel Dash–I’ve written ad nauseum about these planes already.  This box has 25 planes including five Scotia Lancaster bombers with Grand Slam bombs, just in case the Tirpitz is lurking nearby.
  5. The Rising Sun–I have a pile of various Japanese planes.  No real rhyme or reason.  Some A6M2 and A6M5 Zeroes, Nell and Betty bombers, early war Claudes, Franks a Nick and a host of other young men just begging for something to do.  33 planes
  6. WWII Americans–another box of random planes, but lots of them.  A PBY Catalina, a B-25, B-26, B-17, a navy PB4Y-1 Privateer, perfect for one off suicide missions.  Australian P-40K’s, AVG P-40C’s, a bunch of P-39’s, a couple of A-20G’s.  F4F’s and F6F’s and Avengers in navy blue.  But my favorite are the Devastators in pre war colors (just because they were fun to paint. And shouldn’t that be the point?) 25 planes in all.

I have lots more to paint.  Tons of Spanish Civil War planes-lots of Navwar/ROS planes I’m not sure will ever get painted.  More WWII, including some Germans–you might have noticed the lack thereof in my collection.  More jets, more American WWII planes.

I broke one of my own rules and actually counted my painted planes.  It comes out to about 210.  I don’t often spend tons of time painting airplanes, but given how much I enjoy it, I should spend more time working on them.

What’s Next?

Today I’ll put my planes away and return to work on 14 IRA gunmen from my Irish Civil War project. They are kind of dragging along and I want to finish them and tuck them away because there are other things that are making me itchy:

  • I should soon have a small order from ROS/Heroics with my Swordfish torpedo bombers and a pair of Siebel ferries. The Swordfish go with the Channel Dash project, I will have four Siebel ferries to finish, together with a 1/600 V and W destroyer and a German torpedo boat that is needed for the ship attack portion of Channel Dash.
  • I’ve been bitten by the Dragon Rampant bug.  My next post will be a fairly lengthy overview of my thoughts and plans for this project.

Music to Paint To

There’s not a ton of music to come to America from Australia and achieve a lot of commercial success.  ACDC for sure, Colin Hay’s excellent Men at Work for a short time, The Little River Band for your pop music fix.  But one band that is sadly overlooked is The Divinyls.  Really the Divinyls was just a twosome, vocalist Chrissy Amphlett and guitarist Mark McEntee who surrounded themselves with a rotating crew of backing musicians.  You might remember them from MTV (when MTV did music videos) and their 1991 naughty hit song “I Touch Myself.” Amphlett’s unique vocal performance and her utterly sensual stage performances, together with McEntee’s New Wave inspired guitar style produced some solid pop music.

What a Life!

I’ve always really liked their music style, and listened to some of their stuff on YouTube and MP3’s.  So when I ran across a $7 copy of 1985’s What a Life!, I grabbed it.  There are some solid songs there, with “Pleasure and Pain” about BDSM, and public apathy about protecting missing young girls in Australia in “Good Die Young.” The music throughout is mid-80’s New Wave influenced pop.  McEntee’s guitarwork is solid and never overdone, always lending a bit of an edge to Amphlett’s memorable vocals. It was a wise. buy.

I’ll almost certainly pick up a copy of the Divinyl’s first record from 1983, Desperate.  I know where it can be had for a fair price.  Unfortunately, their best record, The Divinyls, with their MTV hit, is really hard to get on vinyl because by 1991 the industry was making its way to CD’s and was never pressed as an LP in the U.S. That means a foreign purchase with all the expense of shipping. Ick.

Just as a side note, as I was researching a bit for this writing I learned that Amphlett died in 2013 of breast cancer after fighting for years against multiple sclerosis. She was 53.  Good die young.

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