Help support TMP

"1/144 dogfight gamers" Topic

15 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

Please remember that some of our members are children, and act appropriately.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the WWII Aviation Product Reviews Message Board

Back to the WWII Aviation Discussion Message Board

Areas of Interest

World War Two in the Air

Featured Link

Featured Showcase Article

Cheap Buys: 1/300 Scale Hot Wheels Blimp

You can pick up a toy blimp in the local toy department for less than a dollar.

Featured Profile Article

WWII in the Clouds

Musings on the aesthetics of tabletop flight...

2,025 hits since 18 Nov 2017
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

TMP logo


Please sign in to your membership account, or, if you are not yet a member, please sign up for your free membership account.
Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2017 11:24 p.m. PST

I help run a group of local dogfight gamers playing with 1/144 scale models. Photos of our dogfights get posted to the Yahoo "cy6" group by account zoidburg42, and I maintain a web site to track our progress through the CY6 campaign books and a mailing list to keep us communicating.

I'm sure we're not the only ones playing this scale. Is anyone else on TMP gaming with 1/144 planes?

- Ix

kustenjaeger19 Nov 2017 6:00 a.m. PST


Yes but using WW1 Wings of War/Wings of Glory. I actually played a game at the Warfare show in Reading (UK) yesterday.

My WW2 aircraft are 1/600!


JLA10519 Nov 2017 7:48 a.m. PST

Yes, my group plays CY6 in 1/144 as well.

Timmo uk19 Nov 2017 8:55 a.m. PST

1/144 for WW1 but 1/285 for WW2. TFL rules for both.

Dances with Clydesdales19 Nov 2017 11:39 a.m. PST

We use CY6 as well. For WWII mostly 1/285 1/300, but also quite a bit of 1/144.

Sobieski19 Nov 2017 4:22 p.m. PST

I use the same scale, but home-brew rules. My wife keeps shooting me down.

Ceterman19 Nov 2017 4:48 p.m. PST

We play 1/144 WW1 using Jump or Burn or Algy rules. I have 1/144th WW2 AC also, a lot of them painted, quite a few not. When/If I ever get em finished I plan to do some BoB stuff using Bag the Han… It is a dream, I have…

Max Schnell20 Nov 2017 8:08 a.m. PST

WW1 in 1/144!

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2017 6:29 p.m. PST

Interesting answers.

I'm not at all surprised to see several WWI 1/144 gamers. This has always seemed like the most obvious scale for this period, and all my WWI dogfight gamer friends collect in this scale. I would too, if it were one of my periods.

1/144 for WWII seems like a much tougher sell. There are a lot of nice aspects: the fighters are a nice size for viewing, building, painting, modifying, etc., and make for a really attractive 3D aerial game (our CY6 group frequently gets spectators); the pre-painted "gashapon" models by Sweet, Bandai, Takara, etc. are generally really nice models with good paint jobs; the plastic models come with clear canopies, so you can actually see a pilot inside if you paint and install one, which is a delightful little flourish; nose art is actually recognizable. However, there are also a lot of problems with gaming in this scale:

  • Many 1/144 WWII aircraft production runs tend to be small, so it can be really hard or really expensive (or both!) to build a collection with everything you want.
  • Most of the best models are collectible pre-paints, so after a production run is over, the costs climb skyward.
  • The bombers are generally too big for gaming, especially if you want large formations of 9 or more bombers. (My 1/144 group uses 1/200 medium bombers, and will probably use 1/300 models for the 4-engined monsters.)
  • Many of the fighters barely fit into a 3" hex, and twin-engine fighters overflow them a bit. This tends to make the tables pretty big (the CY6 30x45 hex grid with 3" hexes is especially bad at nearly 8'x12').
  • Some models are only available in cast metal, which tend to be a bit heavy for 3D dogfights atop telescoping rods.
I got drawn into 1/144 scale under duress. I admit the planes are delightful to look at, especially when nicely painted and finished, but I would honestly prefer to game WWII dogfights in 1/200 scale, just because AIM makes nearly everything necessary as tough, single-piece castings with light weight, good proportions and reasonable details, and I really enjoy painting them. However, my local armchair pilots are all heavily invested in 1/144, and I would rather do dogfight gaming collaboratively than provide every plane myself, so I've been dragged into building a collection of my own, kicking and screaming and struggling to find workable storage solutions. I keep hoping AIM will start producing resin WWII fighters in 1/144 scale, but alas, no such luck.

- Ix

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2017 1:03 p.m. PST

What's in your 1/144 collection?

My collection is built for collaborative gaming, so I tend to have only 1-2 flights of each plane, in either threes (for planes flown in vics) or fours (for planes flown in finger four). I should only have 3-4 of each model, but of course it's hard to resist overcollecting such cool toys. :-)

Right now I have mostly fighters in 1/144 scale. I have a Pacific War collection of Zeroes, Oscars, Tonys, Corsairs, Wildcats, Hellcats and Lightnings. I just launched a North Africa collection, so I own or have ordered RAF desert P-40Es, Bf-109Es, Bf-109Fs, Bf-109Gs, a couple Bf-110s, a set of 4x Shapeways tropicalized Spitfire VCs, Stukas, Hurricanes and Macchi C.200s. I also have a few BoB Bf-109Es I've never built.

About 60-70% of my planes are F-Toys and Bandai pre-paints, and a growing percentage are Sweet kits. I have a few True North Bf-109Gs I'll finish, but I probably won't buy any more of those, unless they start casting them in resin and/or scribing in more detail. I also have a few Minicraft and Arii kits I'll try to finish, but the remainder of those I started with is being sacrificed to painting experiments or given away. They are truly awful.

I haven't yet just glued together a pre-painted kit and started playing with it. I feel compelled to weather and "age" them before the clearcoat goes on, so they get exhaust and powder and oil streaks, chalking on painted upper surfaces, washes to bring out panel lines and add "dirt" to the patina, a very dark wash inside scoop mouths to bring out the shadow, and so on. Does anyone else suffer this compulsion?

Since I noticed the pre-painted models aren't actually saving me all that much work, I decided it's not too much more work to put on the initial paint too, so I've started buying Sweet kits for any model they make. I really like Sweet's models the only thing I can find not to like about them is that they don't come with pilots. I wish they'd expand the range.

I'm still looking for a good source of seated pilot figures to glue into my cockpits. I bought several sprues of these Decapod pilots from Shapeways, but I'm not entirely happy with them. The Shapeways plastic is a bit brittle and the prints are almost devoid of detail. I create literally all the features with the paintbrush helmet, goggles, straps, life vests, even facial features. This looks fine inside a closed canopy, but I would like to find something better if I get to painting open cockpit planes (e.g. early Italian fighters). Any advice on this front would be appreciated.

- Ix

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2017 1:20 p.m. PST

This scale is notoriously devoid of correct models for particular applications, so for some projects I'm starting to acquire and modify what the market has to offer.

I want desert-cammo Bf-109Es. There are some excellent 3D prints from the Shapeways shop H-Werke, but on eBay I found a seller listing Bandai pre-painted kits really cheap, so I just bought a batch of four Bandai Bf-109 Emils prepainted in European green/gray cammo with yellow-noses. I'm planning to overpaint the upper surfaces in desert tan and then mottle with green blotches, carefully leaving the crosses, yellow nose, and lower surface "himmelblau" intact. This might be a stupid idea. Wish me luck :-)

I'm also looking for models to make into desert cammo P-40Fs, but nobody produces an actual P-40F model. The P-40F was essentially a P-40E with the Merlin engine, and was missing the scoops on the top of the cowling, so my thinking is that a P-40E with the top scoops filed off would work. A solid casting would probably be the best starting point, so I'm currently considering trying this with a Reviresco P-40E. A True North P-40E might also work, but I find those castings pretty featureless and difficult to make nice. Later P-40Fs were lengthened, so I might be better off starting with a P-40N model, but I only know of styrene P-40N kits, which have the extended canopy.

Has anyone else done any kitbashing or modifications to get something specific?

- Ix

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2017 1:45 p.m. PST

I have been sorely tempted to buy 8x of the new F-Toys Hawker Tempests. I have absolutely no gaming use for them, since they were a late war plane mostly used in ground attacks, but they're cool. So far I've resisted buying any. Must…. Not…. Buy! <urgh>

This is one of the biggest problems I have with 1/144 scale – I am tempted to get a lot of models just because I love them, and then find a use for them. This is not a problem unique to this genre (it's an affliction of miniatures gamers generally), but some scales/periods seem to particularly exacerbate the temptations. What am I going to do with Tempests? Display them? Yech. I'm a wargamer, my models aren't nice enough for that.

- Ix

Bernhard Rauch21 Nov 2017 2:34 p.m. PST

I live near Raleigh NC and am looking for players.

SouthernPhantom05 Feb 2018 8:45 a.m. PST

I'm ramping up a 1/144 postwar/Cold War project; all of my models are fully scratchbuilt from pine, balsa, epoxy putty, and cardstock. I'll probably wind up using my backyard for games; a 1/144 B-36 is the better part of two feet wide!

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP20 Feb 2018 1:49 p.m. PST

A fully scratchbuilt 1/144 B-36…. <POP! head explodes>

I would love to see pictures! The B-36 is one of my favorite extreme designs. I get excited every time I see one. I've been to Pima a few times just to see the one there – restored WWII warbirds are boring by comparison.

- Ix

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.