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"Basing 1/600 planes." Topic

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Comments or corrections?

zenturtle16 Jul 2015 3:44 a.m. PST

What wire or rod do people base their planes on.
Im looking for some stiff wire to use that wont bend but the only one I can see is Albion Alloys and for the 100 planes I have, it will be a very expensive route.
Is there an alternative in the UK. Any suggestions

John Armatys16 Jul 2015 3:53 a.m. PST

Antics Models have the Albion Alloys piano wire at £5.25 GBP for a pack of 5 or 6 one metre pieces – with 100 planes this gives you about 50mm or 2" per plane…

I'd be interested to see if someone has a cheaper suggestion.

zenturtle16 Jul 2015 4:51 a.m. PST

thank you John. what gauge would you recommend ?

Prince Alberts Revenge16 Jul 2015 6:23 a.m. PST

I used clear acrylic rod found at a hobby shop. Super glued a rare earth magnet to one end and another magnet to the plane. Used varying lengths of rod to represent different altitude levels.

zenturtle16 Jul 2015 6:58 a.m. PST

Thank you PAR. I usually favour the magnet approach everything howver im looking to make these more practical and old school looking.

I have to admit I never knew piano wire was rigid. Should have paid attention in gcse music. looking at it the piano wire seems to be the cheapest option but not sure what the sizes required are.

Mako1116 Jul 2015 10:52 a.m. PST

Piano wire is very thin, stiff, and sold in long lengths at some hardware stores, and in model railroad shops.

It's also referred to as spring-steel wire.

1mm wire works well, but depending upon the height you want to fly them at, and the minis size, you may go even thinner than that.

0.6 or 0.8mm might work well too.

The hard part is drilling out the minis, in some cases, to accept it. Buy extra drill bits, and have patience.

zenturtle16 Jul 2015 11:06 a.m. PST

Thank you Mako11. They are 1/600 biplanes so very small. I think 0.6 will be fine if rigid.

Mako1116 Jul 2015 11:52 a.m. PST

Yea, for the little fighters, that should be good, even with fairly long wire.

John Armatys16 Jul 2015 1:04 p.m. PST

I tend to use 1mm or 0.8mm.

I agree with Mako about spare bits – use the right size for the wire (Antics sell them singly rather than having to buy a pack of assorted sizes).

HistoryPhD16 Jul 2015 3:56 p.m. PST

I've done a variety of posts on my blog about how I make my own flight stands. Go to the topic list on the right and click on "flight stands"

Mako1116 Jul 2015 5:58 p.m. PST

Clean the bits regularly, while drilling. Helps a lot.

Yep, a pin vice is the only sane way to go.

zenturtle17 Jul 2015 2:22 a.m. PST

Thank you everyone.
I have sourced 1 metre lengths of piano wire 0.8mm for $1 USD each from a local model railway shop.
This should be usable for my larger planes (Gotha V) and my modern C-130s.
I have an Archamedies Drill that I use for all my models and plenty of drill bits. Now to sit and drill the bases and planes. Photos of this project will be on my FB site rather imaginativly called…
"Generic Tabletop Wargame Site"
Thanks all.

zenturtle17 Jul 2015 2:24 a.m. PST
Dexter Ward02 Dec 2015 2:47 a.m. PST

I use a short bit of piano wire in the plane, and another in the base. I cut lengths of thin aluminium tube in varying lengths (1", 2" and so on up to 6").
The tube slots snugly over the wire, and you can change lengths to change altitude.

Windward04 Jan 2016 9:02 a.m. PST

I use the Litko flight stands, they are reasonably priced and with dice trays quite handy. To see what they look like look a my write up on a '73 Arab Israeli game using 1/600ths.

TMP link

Mako1101 Sep 2016 10:25 p.m. PST

A bit late, but I did/do the same as Dexter, only using brass tubing instead.

Not sure which is more robust. Need to conduct a crush test, I guess.

NKL AeroTom02 Sep 2016 11:52 a.m. PST

Also I bit late, but I use cheap 1mm wire from your local hardware store.

I used sheetmetal for the bases, (acquired for free from a roofing company I asked if I could have some of their scrap off-cuts and they were happy to give me some out of their bin) cut into squares with some heavy tin snips, edges rounded off with a powered bench grinder, then drilled with a 1mm drillbit.

I used a drill press to drill a 1mm hole in the bottom of each aircraft (after they were assembled), and then superglued all the wires into the stands, then once those were set, I glued all the aircraft on.

Some finished aircraft:

NKL AeroTom02 Sep 2016 12:45 p.m. PST

We use 2 6-sided dice on the base of each aircraft: one for altitude, and one for air speed.
The bases are large enough to accommodate 2 standard sized D6 (They're about 1.5" square) so it works nicely, you can hold the stand and move the aircraft and the dice easily. Those are all 1/600 aircraft from tumbling dice by the way.

If you're interested I wrote a rule set for WW1 air combat which is quick and deadly:

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