This is the first of a series of conversions intended to provide flights of aircraft for tournament and campaign play. Some time back I purchased a bunch of decals for converting a number of Wings of War miniatures into specific squadron aircraft from Dom’s Decals at www.domsdecals.com. The decals look great and he sends instructions with each set explaining the conversions and even specifying what paints are needed and what ratios are needed to mix the colors correctly. That is something that is very helpful for a guy like me!
The weekend before Huzzah I managed to get to the first set of planes done. These are the Fokker DRIs of Jasta 19. The base aircraft model is the Wings of War Rhan DRI. The conversions came out pretty well. The decal application is a tad fiddly as Dom says in his instructions. I managed to mess up two of the decals, but I was still able to use them to make two planes that were differentiated from the rest, but are not historically accurate. I admit that, as I lack a steady hand, I did not bother to paint the fuselage green in the tail section despite the instruction to do so.
The painting was easy. I mixed the paint according to the instructions without difficulty. The color matched very well. I was very happy with the results.
Once the paint was dry, after a 24-hour wait, I sprayed the planes with Krylon acrylic gloss to give the decals a surface to cling to. I put two coats on to be sure.
The next step was applying the decals. This was pretty tricky and I used a large flight stand taped to the side of my game table work area to hold the models sideways while working. This worked fairly well. I used a couple of sets of tweezers to put on the decals, one straight pair and one pair with tips at a 30-degree angle.
The surface was prepped with decal setting solution and then after drying a softening solution was applied. The trickiest part was placing the really small decals. I had a real problem putting the tiny crosses and tiny numbers on the rear of the fuselage on a couple of planes and these were the ones that I ended up fudging. These were the only two issues. The long decals were easier that I thought and I held them in place and then slid the paper away. It was pretty easy to adjust the position of the decals with a paintbrush.
After the decals dried I used a couple of coats of Krylon matte acrylic to protect the them. I had tried the Games Workshop matte spray on a test model and it produced a nasty frosting effect, which really bummed me out. A friend of mine pointed out a couple of forum posts regarding this. I found that spraying the models with a gloss coat fixed it and gave it a matte appearance.
It was nice to get them done before the con. The German aircraft are much more snazzy and it was easy to run the tournament with a mix of Camels that were not modified since the Allied aircraft are rather drab. The match-up that I ran at the convention was Camels vs Pfalz DR1s (a more robust version of the Fokker DRI).
Unfortunately there is no Camel decal set. I purchased a bunch of Camel models to convert and the book British Aviation Squadron Markings of World War 1. I expect that I will be using the white vinyl letters from www.modelflags.com. These worked very well in a prior project. It may turn out that I can add a little flair with some other assorted decals, but I am still figuring that out.
I plan to do Sopwith Snipes and Fokker DRVIIs as well. These will probably be my late war match-up for tournament play. I am hoping that there will be a set of Sopwith Triplanes coming out eventually for Wings of War. (If not I may purchase a bunch of Skytrex 1/144th models if I feel like biting the modeling bullet.)