|"Algernon Pulls It Off!"
This is the plane that inspired what the RFC called the 'Fokker Scourge' of summer 1915. Not particularly fast nor manoeuvrable, what
set the Eindecker apart was its synchronisation allowing its MG to fire through the arc of the propeller without shooting off its own
In Algy I also apply a -1 modifier for spotting below due to the poor visibility resulting from the wing placement but add a +1 to spotting
above. Having a rotary engine also allows the plane to make a snap turn to the right which is most useful in a turning dogfight.
I added a Peter Pig pilots and repainted the light grey plastic metal bits with gunmetal and touching up the wheels too.
I also added a checked band to one of the Eindeckers as a personal marker.
LFG Roland C.II Walfisch (Whale)
This was quite a tough mid-war two seat reconnaissance and escort fighter.
The nearest plane is a Skyrex Red Eagle metal model kit with forward firing MG. These can be a nightmare to construct though this
one wasn't too bad.
The far plane is a Wings of War plane without forward armament.
I've added Peter Pig crews to both planes.
In Algy I also apply a -2 modifier for spotting below due to the very poor visibility resulting from the wing placement but add a +1 to
spotting above. This was a favourite target of RFC Ace Albert Ball who used the Roland's blind spot, and Nieuport's Lewis gun mount,
to shoot them down from below before he was even spotted.
I was so happy to see that this plane was released recently in the new Wings of Glory range of models.
The Halberstadt D.III was really an up-engined version of the D.II. It was only produced in July and August 1916 and was soon
supplanted by the more famous Albatros, but was one of the first fighters of the newly created JagdStaffeln (Jastas).
I've added fuselage stripe and number decals from Doms Decals and painted the undercarriage hubs.
Wings of Glory, straight out of the box though I removed a the flaking skull motif on the red Albatros of Brumowski.
The Albatros D.III first saw service in December 1916 and though superceeded by the D.V and D.Va, continued in action well into 1918.
Albatri are real favourites of mine and I own almost 20 D.III's alone, with more planned.
Known amongst RFC crews as the 'V Strutter' due to the arrangement of the interplane struts the Albatros was considered easy and
pleasant to fly in spite of some structural issues in early models. The only real weakness of the D.III was when diving. A design
feature was that the main spar was too far aft resulting in twisting in the wing which could lead to lower wing failure.
I repainted the above D.III as one of Manfred von Richthofen's personal planes by washing over the crosses with diluted red paint,
which had such red over painted markings.
In Algy I add a house rule that Albatros D.III's must test for structural failure for a Hard Dive if descending three or more bands.
counting a -1 modifier in any structural failure tests.
The above Albatros D.III are all Aces from Jasta 11. Manfred von Richthofen leads out Karl Allmenröder's white nosed F-toys repaint
and Karl Emil Schäfer's black tailed Wings of War repaint. All three failed to survive the war.
More Jasta 11 'birds'.
Georg Simon's D.III was mostly red with a steel green band and was captured when he was forced to land at a British airfield in June
Sebastian Festner seems to have been unusual in flying a factory finished D.III with no Jasta distinguishing red marks.
Lothar von Richthofen joined his brother's Jasta 11 in March 1917. He took over one of Manfred's personal D.III's which featured a red
band on the fuselage.
Jasta 11 on the prowl Spring 1917
Jasta 'Boelcke' Ace Herman Frommherz was luckier and survived the Great War. His light blue 'Blaue Maus' Albatros D.III is an F-toy.
Other Jasta Boelcke planes in my collection include the D.III's of Franz Pernet and Gerhard Bassenge. These are both Shapeways
planes. The banding was a nightmare to get right requiring, cutting whilst in situ due to the taper of the fuselage, and multiple coats of
Micro Sol, but I eventually got there in the end.
Jasta Boelcke on patrol Summer 1917.
Jasta 'Boelcke' wasn't the happy, elite unit that it once was during this period. It was seen as an unlucky Jasta by the rest of the
German air force and had seen many top pilots lost, or transferred to lead other Jastas.
It was a Jasta in transition but one which was ultimately destined for greater things later in the war.
Adolf Ritter von Tutschek joined Jasta Boelcke in January 1917 and flew a factory finished D.III with a broad white band edged in black.
He later went on to lead Jasta 12 and eventually JagdGeschwader 2 (Jastas 12, 13, 15 and 19).
Friedrich 'Fritz' Kempf is usually known for a unique Fokker Triplane which featured his name and "Kennscht mi noch?" (Do you still
see me?) written on the middle wing. However in Spring 1917 he flew an unusual black bodied D.III which featured a white arrow
along the side, and on top of the fuselage.
Later this plane was given to Wilhelm Prien to fly over summer 1917 who added a white disc to the arrow.
Joachim Bertrab (below) of Jasta 30 was one of RFC Ace 'Mick' Mannock's victims, being shot down and captured on 12 August 1917.
I bought this all black Shapeways plane on e-bay and repainted the wings in three tone camouflage. My reading suggests that whilst
Bertrab's D.Va may have been all black, his D.III had wing camo.
I managed to get my hands on another lovely Wings of War limited Albatros D.III.
Paul Bäumer's Jasta V machine is perhaps the nicest in my collection.
Herman Goering's D.III is another F-toy model. These are lovely pre-painted kits, just requiring the tail to be fixed and much nicer than
the Wings of War/Glory planes.
I touched up the engine and ink washed it to bring out the detail. Removed the kit's pilot and add a Peter Pig replacement.
These are all Wings of War miniatures, though a couple have been repainted and extra decals added.
The Albatros DVa entered service in May 1917 and remained in service until the armstice giving a solid, if unspectacular, performance.
The wing problems of the D.IIII were still evident n the DV/Va infact there is evidence it was actually worse.
In Algy therefore I add a house rule that Albatros D.V/a's must test for structural failure for a Hard Dive if descending three or more
bands, counting a -1 modifier in any structural failure tests.
The purple plane with the skull motif is the mount of German Ace Helmut Rasch aka 'The Purple Helmet' a character which has
featured in many of our scenarios.
These are straight out of the box Wings of War Miniatures.
The Pfalz D.III is one of my favourite planes of the war. I really like the sleekness and in particular the shape of the tail fin.
The Pfalz D.III entered service in Autumn 1917 and, even though inferior to Albatros and Fokker contemporaries, saw wide service
through to Spring 1918. It was particularly strong in the dive unlike its Albatros DIII and DV/Va and Fokker triplane contemporaries.
Fokker Dr. I
The Fokker triplane was truly an iconic aircraft forever synonymous with the 'Red Baron' Manfred von Richthofen. Infact he was flying
a Dr. I when he was killed on April 21st 1918.
Two of the Wings of War planes above are repainted version of Rahn's mount.
Two trial versions were field tested by Jastas 10 and 11 in September 1917 and the first arrived in von Richtofen's JG1 in October 1917.
However, early wing failures saw the plane grounded until December 1917 when teething troubles had been ironed out and
restructuring of the wings had been completed.
That said, the wings continued to cause problems with even von Richthofen's brother Lothar crashing in failure of the upper wing
leading edge and ribs in combat in March 1918.
By April 1918 the fighter was in wide circulation though wing failures were still occurring.
In Algy therefore I add a house rule that Fokker triplanes must test for structural failure for a Hard Dive if descending three or more
bands, counting a -1 modifier in any structural failure tests.
By June and July 1918 the Fokker Dr. I was replaced as a front line fighter by the Fokker D.VII
In Algy the Fokker Triplane isn't fast but is capable of a Snap Turn to the right making them highly manoeuvrable and very dangerous
in a turning dogfight.
Often considered Germany's best fighter of the war, well designed, highly manoeuvrable and easy to fly, Fokker D.VII's appeared in
large numbers in Summer and Autumn 1918. In particular they were strong in design with few of the persistent wing problems of the
Fokker Dr.I, or that of the Albatros D.III, D.V/Va.
It was often said that it could turn a mediocre pilot into a good one, and a good pilot into an ace.
I bought several of the Schafer Wings at War plane and used the decals and details provided by Dom at Dom's Decals to receate
several other Jasta 15 planes (R to L Veltjens, Hantlemann, von Beaulieu-Marconnay, von Ziegesar and Schafer).
I don't own many Fokker D.VII's as to be honest my real interest lies with the period from August 1916 until Winter 1917
Rumpler C. IV
The Rumpler C. IV was a two seat reconnaissance plane which entered active combat service in Spring 1917 peforming a variety of
missions including spotting for artillery, photographing the trenches and occasionally even light bombing.
It was quite rugged and gave good performance and service.
Whilst the plane on the left above is a Skytrex Red Eagle kit, the others are Wings of War miniatures.
All planes have crew changes with Peter Pig for the WoW Rumplers and Reviresco for the Skytrex one.
It will be of no surprise to those that know me I just had to a Gotha bomber. I am a huge fan of bombers of any period.
This Wings of Glory model is sold as a Gotha G.V but I think its actually a G.IV. Nevertheless it is truly spectacular in its scale with a 7"
wingspan, and lovely looking, but really expensive at £25-£28. After the initial bomber I bought two more to repaint and found them
cheaper in the States, with postage, than in the UK without.
My rationale for owning three is it makes for a better game with mutually supporting fields of fire from the gunners and whilst £75
might sound a lot in effect its at least what I'd pay for a small army for most rules.
Gotha G.IVs were heavy bombers which were first deployed in March 1917 with the intention of bombing London.
During the summer and autumn of 1917 several daylight raid were launched on London and the South-East, but also targets across
French and Belgium.
Having two gunners on permanent watch mean that Gothas were hard to sneak up on.
In Algy I therefore add a modifier of +1 to spotting.
The 'Aschoff' Gotha model comes in the factory finish light blue/grey fuselage with lozenge wing surfaces of
Kagohl 3/Kasta 17 day bomber unit. A bonus is that there are however no unsightly aircrew 'blobs' modelled with this kit and so its an
easy task to remove the MG's and add Peter Pig crews and MGs.
With the two repaints I painted the fuselage sides first with a medium grey to help cover the existing decals.
I then used Vallejo Pale Grey Blue which is pretty much a perfect match for the pre-paint scheme.
Additional decals were obtained from 1/144 Direct on e-bay.
These are quite expensive, especially when you don't really need the wing decals.
Gotha 600/16 features the plain factory finish whereas plane 602/16 sports a green serpent.
I think you'll agree that the addition of Peter Pig crews really makes a huge difference visually.
Lets face it chums, women are right, size does make a difference.
I recently added another two Gothas to my collection (I know, I know) and repainted them also.
405/16 sports a diagonal fuselage stripe whilst 406/16 has R.G. on its sides.
The Albatros D.II appeared in November 1916 and immediately began to challenge the RFC's air superiority which had existed since
the DH4 and FE2 had wrenched it from the 'Fokker Scourge' of 1915 and 1916.
Well armed and fast, in the hands of the likes of Oswald Boelcke's Jasta 2 the Albatros was a formidable scout.
The D.II differed from the D.I (below) by having a lower top wing staggered slightly forward to improve visibility above, and from the
D.III by having a full bottom wing and parallel interplane struts.
Three of my Shapeways D.I's are early variants with Windhoff 'Ear' radiators which were banned from front line D.II's.
I only own one Shapeways Albatros D.I, then again only 50 were actually produced.
They arrived at the front at the same time as the Albatros D.II.
Shapeways are 3D printed and require some simple preparation before painting. The material feels rough and is very absorbent.
After a quick wash in detergent and a gentle scrub to remove excess powder I soak planes in a 'bath' of neat Klear/Pledge
Multi-Surface Wax for about 5 minutes. The planes are then removed and allowed to drain and air dry. For particularly rough finishes
perhaps a second 'bath' is required.
Once the planes are dry I spray on a couple of coats of primer and allow to dry fully.
In the pictures surfaces still look rough but in reality photos of wargaming models are very unforgiving.
On the table the planes look very nice indeed.
The Shapeways stuff is considerably cheaper than the Wings of War/Glory repaints, much easier than making 1/144th metal and resin
kits and has a greater variety which is continually being added to.
The DFW C.V is a most underrated and oft forgotten plane of WW1. A two-seater that fulfilled a variety of roles the DFW C.V was the
most numerous German aircraft in its class in WWI with almost 4,000 produced during the war.
For its type it was relatively fast, manoeuvrable, and being easy to fly and land, was popular with crews.
It first entered front line service in October 1916 and served up until the armistice.
This big and chunky plane is another Shapeways.
Albatros Flugzeugwerke though well known for its scout planes also manufactured two-seaters during the first World War.
The C.III was the most numerous of these operating in a variety of observation, reconnaissance and light bombing roles.
The C.III came into service in December 1915 and by August 1916 there were 354 at the front.
It continued through the first half of 1917, but by the turn of the year had mostly been replaced by the DFW C.V, AEG C.IV
and Rumpler C.IV models.
The German's really knew how to build solid performing two-seaters. Typically the Albatros C.III was comfortable, easy to fly and once
withdrawn from the front served as a trainer in flight schools.
In Algy the C.III is quite an effective plane with a rate of climb 2, where most British two-seaters of the same period are only ROC 1.
With robustness of 3, a forward firing Spandau and an observer operated Parabellum on a ring mount the Albatros C.III is no easy prey
to tackle for Algernon Carpet-Byrnes and his RFC chums.
My Albatros C.III comes from the range offered by Shapeways 3D printers and is painted in a style suitable for 1916.
Another two-seater well liked by its crews was the Albatros C.VII. This saw limited service through late 1916 until mid 1917.
This possessed a greater ceiling, more speed and increased manoeuvrability over the Albatros C.III and C.V two-seaters.
In Algy I rate this as Speed 6, Manoeuvrability 4, Ceiling 10, Rate of Climb 2, Robustness 3, Size 3, with forward armament 2 and
rear/left and right also 2.
I bought a Kette of three Shapeways C.VII's to be used mostly on light trench bombing missions, though they mostly served as
reconnaissance and observation aircraft.
I added a black/white/black leader's streamer between the struts of one plane. This is a very simple task but really adds a nice touch.
Friedrichshaven FF.33 Float Plane
Sea planes have a special place in many aerial gamer's hearts and I'm glad to say I count myself amongst them.
There is just something very appealing about planes with floats on them. I bought my sea planes as a 2012 Christmas present to
I own several float planes for 'Bag The Hun' so when I spotted them amongst the aircraft that Shapeways offers, it was another no
Aerial gaming over water, involving ships, really adds another dimension to air games. I use Axis and Allies miniature ships from their
War at Sea range for target practice in Algy and BTH. These are 1/1800th scale and prepainted and look great.
The Friedrichshaven FF.33 was a reconnaissance plane which served throughout the first world war.
Initially unarmed, later variants provided the observer with a ring mounted Parabellum.
Mine is painted a grey blue all over and features marking for a plane of late 1916, early 1917.
I rated the FF.33 for Algy as Speed 3, Manoeuvrability 1, Altitude 6, Rate of Climb 1, Robustness 3, Size 5 with a rear armament of 2.
Albatros W.4 Float Plane
The Albatros Company, as well as making single seat scout and two-seaters, also made float planes during WW1.
The W.4 was essentially a D.II with new wings and tail surfaces, and floats of course.
It served as a scout patrolling the Belgium and Dutch coast, and also in the Baltic through the latter half of 1916 and into 1917.
In Algy I rate this as Speed 5, Manoeuvrability 1, Ceiling 6, Rate of Climb 1, Robustness 2 and Size 3 with a frontal fire factor of 2, or 4.
The wings feature marine lozenge camo which I bought from 1/144 Direct on e-bay. This is provided as a sheet which it is necessary
to trace around the surfaces to be covered then applied.
I have to tell you that this is a total BUGGER to do properly. I spent literally hours of swearing, shouting and fiddling to get the things
to look right. With some surfaces I actually cut and trimmed the decals in situ on the plane, and used loads of Micro Sol. I sealed the
planes with neat Multi-Surface Pledge (Klear of old) to stop the decals peeling.
Admittedly, with hindsight, the end result was worth the hassle but by the gods did I go through it.
Do not attempt this if you've not done major decaling before. I have, and am quite handy but it nearly finished me.
The Hansa-Brandenberg W.12 was a fighter which saw service from Spring 1917 which featured an unusual inverted tail
allowing a better field of fire.
They patrolled the North Sea and coast from naval bases in Ostend and Zeebrugge.
Well armed with either one, or two, forward firing Spandaus and a Observer firing a ring mounted Parabellum, the W.12 was formidable.
In Algy I rate this as Speed 5, Manoeuvrability 1, Ceiling 9, Rate of Climb 1, Robustness 4, Size 4.
These are both Shapeways planes with 1/144 Direct Marine Lozenge camo wings and upper services.
Being slightly bigger than the Albatros W. 4, I found it easier to apply the decals but still not advisable to those unfamiliar with the
Unfortunately, try as I might, I just couldn't get a pilot into the plane. I know its impossible to tell but I KNOW there isn't one and that
will annoy me.
MORE 1/144th GERMAN PLANES ARE DUE TO BE RELEASED SOON FOR THE
WINGS OF WAR/GLORY RANGE SO WATCH THIS SPACE.
You can view my RFC here