Monday, 10 June 2013

Armee de l'Air - 1940 and beyond!

Time for some aviation eye candy now.  But remember - too much can be bad for you.
When I began building my 20mm forces there were no 1/144 scale French aircraft available.  Even now there aren't many, so I'd ask you to take that into account when judging the following crimes against accuracy....
Humble beginnings.  My first effort was this Dewoitine D-520 which sadly still bears a striking resemblance to the old Revell Spitfire on which it is based.  Better luck next time...
Next time.  This Potez 630 was based on the plates in one of the old Funcken books and began life as a Bf-110.  I know, you'd never have guessed....
Things improved (for both the real A de l'A and my version) with the arrival of the Hawk 75.  This one is a Reverisco metal kit.
The most numerous modern French fighter in 1940 was the Morane MS.406.  These are True North metal castings painted by Wg Cdr Luddite.  The Morane in the background is clearly planning ahead as it is already wearing the colours of the post-armistice Vichy administration.
A Megablitz game a few years ago generated an urgent need for a couple of French bombers.  Both were finished in time for the game with several hours to spare....  First was the Bloch 131 above which I produced by mangling a kit of a Japanese Yokosuka P1Y 'Ginga'.  It has French markings - that's close enough...
he Bloch's stablemate (well not very stable really) is this Amiot 354.  This was the result of another hacked-about Jap kit.  I rather like it.
More recently a degree of professionalism has crept in - in the shape of this pair of diecast models found on ebay.  First is the splendidly antiquated Bloch 210.  Actually this isn't as old as it looks - deliveries only began in 1936!  A few were supplied to Republican Spain and Rumania.
Finally we have the very modern-looking Liore & Olivier LeO 451.  These continued in French, German and Italian service throughout WW2.  Production was resumed postwar and the last French versions served until 1957.

19 comments:

Phil said...

Very nice models!
Phil.

Tim Gow said...

Phil
Thanks - the look good parked on airfields, which is all they've ever done!

Wg Cdr Luddite said...

"they look good parked on airfields"
Indeed. As my memory serves they usually end up as lovlely targets for Stukas

Stephen Beat said...

Really nice stuff, I think you are too hard on yourself. Very nice collection indeed, mon ami! :)

Tim Gow said...

Wg Cdr Luddite
Only because les salle Anglais abandoned them in the game!

Tim Gow said...

Stephen Beat
Merci rather a lot.

Stephen Beat said...

Just a quick comment - I think we Brits can traditionally a little negative about the performance of the Allies during the Battle of France and in particular the French.

The battle for France had cost the Luftwaffe 28% of its front line strength, some 1,236—1,428 aircraft destroyed.

The French Air Force put up a dogged show. Edmond Marin La Meslee (GCI/5) is generally credited with 16 kills and the top 10 French aces took a toll of approx. 112 German aircraft among them (mainly in Curtis H-75s)! No slouch!

So Tim's little air force isn't just Stuka fodder!

Chris Kemp said...

These planes are just as kitbashed wargames models should be - slightly bashed about. Nice stuff Tim!

Tim Gow said...

Stephen Beat
Wg Cdr Luddite's comment and my reply referred to a Megablitz game a few years back. Despite many calls for French air support and the presence of several models, no such support was forthcoming. It was a device I used - rather successfully as it turned out - to make the French army players feel let down and abandoned!

Tim Gow said...

Chris Kemp
Thanks Chris - I wonder if this lot will even achieve sortie rates like my Romanians?

Stephen Beat said...

Tim...

Ahhhhhhhhh! Apologies, reading out of context. :)

Al said...

Awesome collection Tim, probably the best I've ever seen in this scale, great stuff mate1

Uncle Brian said...

Great looking aircraft! - now I am starting to think about doing WW2 aircraft in 1/144 as well as in 1/72!

Paul said...

Thats quite a fleet Tim!

The bodging looks convincing which does you much credit.

More please!

Tim Gow said...

Al
Thanks - it was many years in the making!

Tim Gow said...

Uncle Brian
Go on Brian - or do I have to produce even more outrageous models to convince you?

Tim Gow said...

Paul
More? You glutton for punishment!

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Reminds me of the time I picked up a plastic kit of an early war French bomber in 1990 and I put it back on the shelf .... argh .. foolish child!

Tim Gow said...

Geordie
As I recall, Heller did quite a range of French aircraft in 1/72 scale.