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"Easiest startup for modern air?" Topic

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Pvt Snuffy24 May 2019 2:52 p.m. PST

Checking out "Missile Threat" and got me thinking about the easiest way to get started with some modern jet aviation wars.

What's the cheapest / easiest way to get the planes? Was thinking about 1/144 scale models which seem plentiful but they are a bit large for a table game, measuring in at about 3"x6" long. the 1/350 seem like a friendlier scale for a table game and are also plentiful as they are used for other model kits, like aircraft carriers.

Any particular period have more models than another?

Missile threat covers the following 11 Conflicts: Vietnam, Arab-Israeli wars (Six-Day, Yom Kippur and 1982 Lebanon war covered), Indo-Pakistani Wars, South African Border War, Ogaden War, Iran-Iraq War, Falklands, 1991 Gulf War, Bosnia / Kosovo, Eritrean-Ethiopian War, and the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis

Falklands seems like it might have plenty of interesting action, planes, etc.

Have to admit, don't know about a lot of the other air conflicts.

Also, would be OK with a "Might have happened" conflict.

Not interested in spending hundreds of dollars, hoping to find some inexpensive models, already have some nice sea mats.

Thanks in advance!

Buckeye AKA Darryl24 May 2019 4:29 p.m. PST

My standard answer is using Check Your 6! with 1/285th Raiden aircraft. There are scenario books dedicated to Korea, Kashmir, Arab-Israel, and Vietnam (I am sure there might be others). Good support on a Yahoo group as well. Even if you don't use their rules, the scenarios should translate well for you.

Each player typically handles two aircraft, so a four player game would only require 8ish planes, at around $3.00 USD-$4.00 each for fighter aircraft. There are also a variety of scenarios for different conflicts in the Jet Age rules.

I-94 Enterprises is a one stop shop for the rules and Raiden aircraft.





Major Mike24 May 2019 5:36 p.m. PST

I'd go with 1/600 Tumbling Dice/Vapor Trails aircraft.

Prince Alberts Revenge24 May 2019 6:27 p.m. PST

I'd second the Vapor Trails range from Tumbling Dice. They are small but good for jet combat especially with missiles. The range is pretty darn comprehensive too and they are always adding to it. Sounds like you settled on a ruleset but I'm a huge fan of their Wings at War series of quickplay rules.

Lion in the Stars24 May 2019 7:29 p.m. PST

1/600 scale is a very good one for jets, puts most of the fighters at about 1-2" long.

Thresher0124 May 2019 11:27 p.m. PST

Yea, 1/600th scale is great, especially when you want lots of maneuvering room on the tabletop.

1/300th scale is very good too. Scotia and Heroics and Ros both make nice aircraft for reasonable prices in this scale.

Some use 1/350th too, but it's surprising how much smaller these little aircraft are compared to the 1/300th scale ones. Generally, more expensive too, from what I've seen, and the selection of aircraft can be a bit more limited in this scale.

AirWar:C21 is a great set of rules for jet age combat. It's only two-dimensional, but it works very well, for fast-play games.

EssPee25 May 2019 3:36 a.m. PST

Target Locked On is a good simple set too- get it through Wargames Vault.

dwight shrute25 May 2019 3:42 a.m. PST

trumpeter do a large range of 1/350 aircraft , amazing detail .

Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP25 May 2019 5:56 a.m. PST

I use a mix of 1/600 Tumbling Dice and Pico Armor.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP25 May 2019 9:14 a.m. PST

Check out Armaments in Miniature, Dave has aircraft from 1/300th up to 1/100th, as well as flight stands and other items.

chironex25 May 2019 6:45 p.m. PST

1/350 is difficult for certain sides, but not others. For example, I have two Tamiya sets of USN aircraft, which include Corsair II, Intruder, Viking, Phantom,Hawkeye, and Hornet airframes, and a couple of rotorcraft between them. Dirt cheap.
On the other hand, finding any opposition for them means a rare and titanically expensive purchase from Shapeways, as the few plastic ones from Trumpeter, sold in small quantities, are very difficult to find.
You could find modern counters in the right scale on Wargame Vault, until you have managed to find enough models.
1/700 may be an option, as, aside from the usual USN aircraft:
there are also Eastern Bloc airframes:
along with USAF, JMSDF and JASDF. Thanks to that manufacturer there, not only is modern better covered, but any WW2 gamers who want a non-Pacific theatre game are also better served. Although the market for some of their products is hard to define; you obviously can't land a C-5 on a carrier deck…
Freewargamesrules has links for a whole load of free air combat games, from the simple Dawn of the Jet Age to Phantoms. Airwar: Vietnam would suit a staring game more than Phantoms; the Phantoms download includes Intruders and other supplements making it a huge document.

chironex25 May 2019 6:57 p.m. PST

Also the Scotia Grendel Collectaire series, I must say, is comparatively dirt cheap, but looks like it too; only purchase if you have no-one in your games group to say "But that's the wrong version" when they are so crude you really don't issue a rodent's posterior. They're cheap. Buy some minis yerself if you disapprove.

Thresher0125 May 2019 7:14 p.m. PST

There's a free download of C21 on the sites that sell rules PDFs, so you can try before you buy.

Late model F-14s vs. those big, beautiful Sukhois, IIRC.

Worth checking out.

Pvt Snuffy26 May 2019 5:38 a.m. PST

Thanks for feedback.

Ran with the 1/350 aircraft from Trumpeter, they had the exact models for the free download of C21!

Overall, this is looking like a $22 USD project for 12 aircraft, so a 6-player game with each player having a pair of jets. Supposedly, the Trumpeter models come with transfers, so I'm hoping that a quick paint job and transfers and I'm all set except for some flying stands.

Anyone have opinions on flight stands? I was thinking that a hex shaped or square would be easiest to use templates against…

Thresher0126 May 2019 4:40 p.m. PST

If you decide to get the C21 rules, go for the "Max" edition, since it is the best deal.

Round, hex-shaped, or square stands will all work.

I generally prefer the hex-shaped ones myself, but use the round ones since those are cheaper and easier for me to get. I may switch over when funds permit.

Also, as you may already considered, you don't have to be a single-scale gamer, though there are economic advantages to that. The 1/600th scale jets from Tumbling Dice and Oddzial Osmy/Pico are very affordable, and great to game with.

Lion in the Stars26 May 2019 4:57 p.m. PST

Oh, don't forget Fight's On ( ) for targets and other cool things like missiles in flight.

Sundance29 May 2019 1:00 p.m. PST

1/600 is so much cheaper for Moderns – you get a pile of them for the cost of one 1/300. My WWII are mostly 1/300, but for moderns, I went with all 1/600.

Pvt Snuffy30 May 2019 10:39 a.m. PST

thanks Lion.
I dunno – shouldn't 1/600 be half as big as the 1/350 I just got? The planes are 60x40mm so about 30x20mm, which would be fine for a smaller table game.

I'm thinking that the 1/350 are visible even on a 12' table, they're about X-wing size.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP03 Jun 2019 5:02 a.m. PST

I am curious, my suggestion about Armaments in Miniature was totally ignored. Any particular reason?

Pvt Snuffy03 Jun 2019 8:38 p.m. PST

@ nnascati
no, I checked it out.
The 1/300th is all transports and such, and I got a quick 1/350 fix via Trumpeter, at $1.50 USD a plane shipped.

The AiM stuff is also pricey, as in $17 USD for a single AWACS plane. Not needed at this point.

Pvt Snuffy03 Jun 2019 8:45 p.m. PST

OK, there's no doubt about it…

Forget even buying plastic planes. You can just spend $4.50 USD to get "Air Strike: Modern Air Combat for the Whole Family" from Ostfront publishing available at Wargamevault. It comes with airplane images you can print out and laminate. Sure, not as nice as some things, but just to get started…

I played my first few games over the weekend, and it is a BLAST! Best $4.50 USD I've ever spent.

I sent the word to some of my old buddies and I think they did a playtest, too, and loved it. One is going to try it with his wife and kid, he said.

I think that might work.

It could also be a parlor game, or played in bar altho I think you need a decent sized table for maneuver, say, 5x3 or more. I used all my dining room table, which is 3.5' x 6' or so.

Anyway, if you have any interest in modern air combat, or perhaps ANY air combat, GO FOR THESE RULES! I am already thinking of a dozen different tweaks and uses for them.

Guy's a genius!

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