Wednesday 18 September 2019

An Airfix Stuka for Blitzkrieg 1940

The 1940 Blitzkrieg Handbook for Chain of Command introduced Stuka bombardments to the rules. Much like a pre-game barrage these are dealt with abstractly to represent events taking place prior to the game or off the table. Of course, there is no need or requirement to represent the Stuka with an actual model, but I think you all know how this works.

I haven't made a model of an aircraft for a while, but when I saw that Airfix had released a new tool JU87B-1 in 1/72 I thought it would be a nice distraction and give me something to illustrate those AARs that featured a Stuka bombardment.

I had made the Revell 1/72 Stuka JU97 G/D tank buster several years ago, but all my aircraft models are boxed up in storage and it seems to have gone astray. Anyhow it would have been the wrong mark of JU87 for a game set in 1940. It's a lovely model nonetheless.

Revell JU87 G/D

Revell JU87 G/D

The Airfix Stuka is one of many new tool Airfix models released in the last few years. These are really gorgeous kits and I've made quite a few of them. I particularly like their Hawker Typhoon, which comes with an option to have the ammunition bays open for re-arming.

The new Airfix Stuka, as with all their new kits includes great interior detail, a lot of which will be obscured unfortunately by the canopy, nonetheless I went to the effort of painting the crew and the cockpit interior.

I was very happy with the finished kit and it will no doubt be making an appearance over one of the Gembloux Gap scenarios in the not too distant future. That said I haven't yet worked out how best to suspend it over the table for the pictures in the AARs.

The observant of you will notice I haven't added the aerial wires on this kit mainly because a feature that delicate is unlikely to survive the handling and transportation that a gaming model undergoes.

Having made some markers to show unexploded bombs I now have something to show the means of their delivery.

While I'm on the subject of aircraft I've dug out pictures of some of the other models I've made in recent years. It's often when comparing models in the same scale that you realise the difference in sizes between various aircraft or vehicles. So while we are on the subject of Stukas here is a comparison between a Fokker Dr1 triplane and the JU87.

The Dr1 is a lovely little kit from Revell and when I say little, I really do mean little. Remember this is 1/72 scale and that's a regular size tin of Humbrol.

You can't make a biplane without attempting to add the rigging. I've always loved the Fairey Swordfish and I made several of the Matchbox kits back in the 70s. This is the same kit but now released through Revell and one I made only a few years ago (since then Airfix have produced an absolutely magnificent version of the plane in 1/72 that I've promised myself I will get around to one day).

Talking of Airfix, their best selling model of all time was their original 1/72 Spitfire Mk1 and why shouldn't it have been, surely it was THE iconic model plane for every boy in Britain to want to make in the 60s and 70s? Airfix produced a new tool of the Mk1 with a lovely interior which I embellished with some photo etch seat belts.

And as you can never have just one Spitfire the Mk1 is joined by a MkIX, also from Airfix.

As a child I probably made as many Hurricanes as I did Spitfires and I've always liked the look of the MkII Sea Hurricane with its all white colour scheme (this particular kit could come from either Airfix or Revell, I can't recall).

Here's the same kit but this time painted up as a Hurribomber for North Africa.

Airfix supply a rather nice set of decals to put their new Kittyhawk into Chinese colours for the Flying Tigers.

Like trying any technique for the first time I've always been a bit unsure about painting metallics on a plane. If you look around on the aircraft modelling sites you will see some quite amazing finishes that you would swear are actually made of metal. The prospect of trying to achieve similar results is a bit daunting. However I picked up the Revell P47 Thunderbolt in a sale and it's a beautiful kit, so I made a first attempt at a metallic finish. I was after something slightly weathered and liked the idea of mixing up the shades on different panels. In the end I was really happy with the way this turned out.

The Allies don't get all the attention and I've also put together several of the classic Axis fighters. First up the Airfix Me109 (after all, if I was going to do a Spitfire it was only fair I should make one of these).

The Focke-Wulf FW190 is another fine new kit from Airfix and gave me the chance to try some fancy work with my airbrush.

Last but not least, the A6M Mitsubishi Zero. I wanted to give this a rather worn look as befitting a plane that has seen lots of service.


  1. Lovely models Mark, brings back a lot of childhood memories.
    cheers John

  2. A very picturesque plethora of planes, top stuff.

  3. It must be at least two decades since I built my last model,plane. Really a matter I should adress rather sooner than later. You've done a magnificient job on all of them. And while the Ju 87 looks absolutely ace I quite like your take on the FW 190 as this was the plane my granddad flew.

    1. Thanks. That's a very interesting bit of family history to have. I did enjoy painting the 190, it allowed me to try some interesting stuff with the airbrush.

  4. Those look magnificent. I confess I have a 1/48 Airfix Stuka in the stash, 2/3rds finished, to go with my 28mm forces and I just lost enthusiasm as it was such a dreadful kit. Yours are terrific. Lovely work.

    1. Thanks Doug. I made that 1/48 Stuka a few years ago and it is a bit of a dog. The new tool Airfix kits are in a different league and unfortunately those older kits from the 70s, which were great in their day, are really showing their age.

  5. Hi, some really neat pieces here. I particularly like the white Sea Hurricane. The Me 109 is my favourite, that just looks superb. Well done and thanks for posting.

    1. Thanks. I really enjoyed making these but I haven’t made another plane since the Stuka. Too many other projects to distract me!