Tag Archives: 1/144 aircraft

Soviet Winter Offensive Jan 1943 Desantny

The Soviet Winter Offensive taxed the Luftwaffe to the limit, with servicability dropping as ground crews struggled in atrocious conditions to keep airframes ready for operations, and airstrips clear for flying.

Tante Ju

One such airfield (Flugplatz Lotti) near VELIKIE LUKIE, was thought to be safely beyond the reach of the enemy. It contained four Geschwäder : JG 54 (Bf 109), KG76 (Ju 88), StG 1 (Ju 87), KG zbV 102 (Ju 52) and a NaGruppe with Uhus.

Flugplatz Lotti

See Phil’s blog for his thoughts on the use of Soviet desantny forces. The two regiments that he deployed brought with them T-60 tanks and the spearhead of the tank and mechanised corps that had broken through from VYSHNY VOLOCHYOK.

The Outer Defences of Lotti are Assailed

Although the Airfield was defended by two reduced regiments of well-armed Luftwaffe ground troops, their morale was simply not up to the task of holding the airfield. An undignified scramble of aircraft and logistic units exiting the base was observed as the unlucky defenders desperately hung on to the perimeter

Logistic Units Scramble for Safety

Before long, Soviets were swarming over the airfield. They have been doing that a lot of late. Casualties were heavy

Game Notes

YesThatPhil got the chance to showcase his new Peter Pig Soviet Scouts. I gave my rebased Luftwaffe field division its second airing. It behaved commendably badly, as one might epect. The air base was laid out in advance and Phil’s brief was:

“commit what you think that you need to take the airfield.”

He finished the job in about an hour of playing, which enabled the whole scenario to be finished from start to finish in about two hours. Coffee, chocolate, cheese and biscuits stopped anyone from starving.

I rated the Luftwaffe division as conscript and the Soviets as veteran.



Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Air Forces, Axis War Diary, German Airforce, Land Battles, Soviet War Diary, Wargames, WWII

Hubert Pölz’s famous Stuka nose art in StG 2

Today was a big day for 15mm Hubert: He finally got his snake (Shlange) painted onto the side of, what is admitttedly, quite a lumpy Ju 87. He is now ready to wreak all sorts of diecast havoc on the Allies when they turn up. His Dyna-flite Stuka is so solid that if Hubert misjudges the altitude, he just bounces. I don’t think that I will write that into the rules!

Hubert Pölz’s famous Stuka nose art  in StG 2 , Ju 87, Not Quite Mechanised. Copyright Chris Kemp 2012


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Air Forces, German Airforce, Modelling, Western Desert, WWII

Quick and Dirty Balkenkreuze*

My stock of transfers has diminished over the years, so rather than wait for the post to deliver, I pulled out the paintbrush to slap on some quick and dirty Balkenkreuze. for Luftflotte 2. No-one seems to provide transfers of Hakenkreuze for tailfins any more since it became illegal in France (and Germany) to wander about in brown shirts with silly moustaches and armbands, so they had to be painted on too (the Hakenkreuze, not the silly moustaches).

Balkankreuze1All 3 stages of painting can be seen above. The ‘Ginga Francis’ markings are to remind me what the Ju 88s stand in as in the Imperial Japanese Airforce

Stage 1: After my previous comments about white paint, I used a Pentel Micro Correct to lay the white background down.

Stage 2: A black central cross followed by the black outer border to the white is blocked out, not worrying about how long the arms are.

Stage 3: The ragged ends to the crosses are painted across by a band of background blue or grey. Sometimes I use a craft knife to scrape a straight line to prevent an excess of thick paint at the end of the cross.

The final effect would look good when applied by a steady hand and eye. Sadly, I have neither, but the effect is not too shabby at battle distances.


Luftflotte 2 drones overhead against the background of a stormy sky (if you half close your eyes!)

*Duty spellchecker Ludger Fischer (Thanks Ludger!)


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Air Forces, German Airforce, Modelling, WWII

KG26 and LG1 nearly Battle-ready

I had no idea that six coats of Tamiya white paint would be needed for the Mediterrranean theatre recognition bands on my aircraft! I’m sure the Luftwaffe only used one or two! It’s no wonder they lost the air war, they could probably barely stagger into the air under the weight of all that white paint. (Random factoid: This statement was true for the Soviet winter white laquer. It was so awful that pilots hated it and some refused to have it on their ‘planes as it knocked a few knots off their top speed). Notwithstanding, here is the progress to date:


This Dyna-Flites diecast Ju 87 from Stg 1 still needs a spinner and some spats, hence the carefully chosen camera angle. Author’s copyright.


Bar the addition of a serial and a hakenkreuz these Ju 88s from LG 1 are ready for battle. Author’s copyright.


My two He 111s are taking shape from KG 26 . Author’s copyright.

Leave a comment

Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Air Forces, DAK, German Airforce, Modelling, Western Desert, WWII

Axis Airstrips in the Mediterranean – Castel Vetrano

CASTEL VETRANO airfield on Sicily was a pretty simple affair. A single runway with aircraft parked alongside make it an easy strip to represent with a piece of flat card, and is presumably typical of a hastily built airstrip. Here is a picture copyrighted to the Imperial War Museum as picture C 4183  “showing Junkers Ju 52 and Savoia Marchetti SM 82 transport aircraft, January 1942.” :

I can count about 68 aircraft parked around the perimeter, give or take a couple, so that’s two NQM aircraft models on the table. Here is CASTEL VETRANO in the mid-afternoon sun:

tankers 007

Zvezda Ju-52, scratchbuilt tanker, air traffic control van is an Austrian wooden children’s toy, two ground crew stands and a Liberator converted into a Z.1007bis Alcione

Leave a comment

Filed under Air Forces, German Airforce, Regia Aeronautica, WWII

Luftflotte 2 (MittelMeer-Afrika)(Nov 1941- Jan 1942)

My rather generic 1/144 Luftwaffe models don’t yet give the feel of the Mediterranean theatre, so here is a quick look at what needs to be done to rectify the situation, with my current cheerfully impressionistic (aka unfinished) air fleet, and some rather better paint jobs from folk who have done the work and research. What is clear from even a cursory search of the web, is that many aircraft fought initially in their North European camouflage, being overpainted as they moved their operating airfields to North Africa. Many of the Stukas and transport aircraft remained dark green, with a white theatre band as the only concession to their new home. I should stress that I’m not trying to get scale accuracy, just something that reflects the look of the Gruppen. Update Dec 2012 : The models are coming along but not quite there yet. I’ve updated the pictures.

GELA (Sicily) – JG 26/271 Bf 109E (4)

Die-cast Bf109 copyright the Author

When they first arrived from Sicily, the 109s from JG 26/27 were in a grey scheme as shown on the WW2Aircraft.net forum below, so I have some painting to do.

Copyright Wayne Little – posted on ww2aircraft.net/forum/aircraft-markings-camouflage/

CATANIA (Sicily) – LG11 Ju 88A (2), 1 Ju 88D (2)


My Ju 88s (above) still need some work to get LG 1 into the air (as seen below)

http://wp.scn.ru/en/ww2.  Original copyright Clavework Graphics

The scheme above is North European, but clearly in the Mediterranean theatre as the white band on the fuselage shows. The scheme below is more recognisably North African.

 http://wp.scn.ru/en/ww2. Original copyright Michel Martraix

(North Afrika) – StG 2 –  2 Ju 87B (2)


Hubert Pölz’s famous Stuka nose art  in StG 2 from http://wp.scn.ru/en/ww2 (top) and my 1/144 Dyna-Flite diecast version (above).

 A later StG 2 Stuka at Alamein from http://wp.scn.ru/en/ww2.

TRAPANI (Sicily) – Stg 1 2 Ju 87R (2)

This useful page gives a large number of schemes  including those above: http://www.afwing.com/gallery/ju87.htm Copyright Nowi scans 1999 Weal


This diecast Ju 87 is rough-and-ready, as is the painting, but it is starting to look the part. Copyright the Author

COMISO (Sicily) – KG262 He 111H-3 (2)


I had a bit of bother finding sources for Kg26 on the web, so these He 111s are still a work in progress. Copyright the Author (above)

11may1216320_stg3screeny (1)1024

Leave a comment

Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Air Forces, German Airforce, Orbats, Western Desert, WWII

V Squadra Aerea (Italian 5th Air Fleet)

When compiling orders of battle for NQM, my first step is to collate sources (often unreferenced) by comparing them to referenced works for anomalies. My first stop is usually Nierhorster.

Where two units only appear to have one model between then, look at the strength points. You can split them down to individual strength points to fly more sorties at once, but your units will be more brittle and fewer will fly home. (remember that a model that is overloaded with hits is destroyed)

V Squadra Aerea (Italian 5th Air Fleet)

  • Battaglione Paracadutisti Libici Fanti dell’Aria (15/01/1940  DERNA defending El FTEIAH airport) – Comd (s3), 1 SM.75 (s1). 1 SM.81 (s2)
    • 1 st Battaglione Paracadutsiti Libici “Fanti dell’Aria”Comd (s3), 4 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), Mor (s3)
    • Battaglione Paracadutsiti National LibiciComd (s3), 4 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), Mor (s3)
  • Group “Pancano”:
    • ?? Second Platoon of Border Guard against tank (4 pieces of 47/32)*
    • 14 th Battery controcarri and light anti-aircraft (12 pieces 20/65) – 20/65AA (s1)
    • elements, 60 th Bersaglieri motorcycle company – MC sidear MMG (s3)
    • Platoon training, The Battalion, 4th Medium Tank Regiment (4 tanks M11/39)*
    (*the small elements ignored by NQM are included for interest)
    • Group II, 10 th Artillery Regiment “Volturno” (8 pieces of 75/27) – 75/27 (s1)

Available at :  (http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanti_dell’aria)

  • Battaglione Paracadutisti Folgore (This became a division later) – Comd (s3), 4 Rifles (s3), MMG (s3), Mor (s3)

Comando Aeronautica del Libya (until 15 July 1940)

Libya Air Command – Settore Est BENGAZI/TOBRUK (  after 15 July 1940)

(quoted  from http://comandosupremo.com/regiaaeronautica.html/3 with additions)

  • 2nd Sahara Recon Squadriglia (EL ADEM) – Ca.309 (s1) Ghibli
  • 127th and 137th Recon Flights (EL ADEM) – Ro.37bis (s2) Lince

  • 13th Bomber Division “PEGASO” (BENGHAZI)
    • 14th Stormo (Bomber Wing)
      • Bombardment Gruppo 44 (6,7 Sqa @ 5 bombers) – 1 SM.79 (s1) Sparviero (Some sources cite SM.81s for this Gruppo reflecting that about 30 a/c of both types were spread between the two squadrons)

        • Bombardment Gruppo 45 (2,22 Sqa @ 5 bombers) – 1 SM.81 (s2) Pipistrelli

  • 10th Stormo
    • 30th and 32nd Bombardment Gruppos (BENINA) – 1 SM.79 (s3)
  • 14th Fighter Brigade “REX”  (TOBRUK)
    • 8th and 10th Squadriglia (@ 25-30 fighters)(TOBRUK) – 1 CR.32 (s3), 1 CR.42 (s3) Falco

Libya Air Command – Settore Ovest TRIPOLI (after 15 July 1940)

  • 1st Sahara Recon Squadron (EL ADEM) – Ca.309 (s3) Ghibli
  • 26th Independent Recon Squadron (HON)- Ca.309 (s3) Ghibli
  • 122nd and 136th Recon Flight (MELLAHA/TRIPOLI) – Ro.37bis (s2) Lince
  • 15th Stormo:
    • 46th and 47th Bombardment Gruppos (TARHUNA) – 1 SM.79 (s3), 1 SM.81 (s1)
  • 33rd Stormo:
    • 35th and 37th Bombardment Gruppos (BIR BHERA) – 1 SM.79 (s3)
  • 50th Ground Attack Stormo:
    • 12th Ground Attack Squadron (SORMAN) – Ba.65 (s1)
    • 16th Ground Attack Squadron (SORMAN)  – Ca.310bis (s2)
  • 2nd Fighter Stormo:
    • 13th Fighter Squadron (CASTEL BENITO) – Cr.42 (s3)Falco

    1st Sahara Recon Squadron (MELLAHA) – Ca.309 (s1) Ghibli

XIX.Deutsch-Italienische Panzerarmee/Armata Corazzata Italo-Tedesca (Flak Div.) Kommando

(Flak Div 19 – see http://www.ww2.dk/ground/flak/19fladiv.htm and http://www.feldgrau.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=13015)

Comd Car (s3), 1 88L56 FlaK 18 (s1) and Sdkfz7 Limber (s1), 1  20L113 FlaK 38 (s3) and Sdkfz10 or Horch Limber* (s3)

  • Flak Regiment 135: as above

*A note on self propelled (SP) artillery pieces in general. They should also have an ammunition  limber, which may be a separate truck or trailer, which gives them the same profile as a towed gun and limber.

Leave a comment

Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Air Forces, Regia Aeronautica, Western Desert, WWII

The Luftwaffe Enters Nord Afrika

After the first successful British campaign in the Western Desert against the Italians, the Deutches Afrika Korps (DAK) entered the theatre. Nierhorster (see reference links) gives orbats for the invasion of CRETE that include 5 Squadra Aerea (air fleet ). The first Luftwaffe order of battle in North Africa, about the time of the attacks on TOBRUK, in March 1941 that I have been able to find from (http://sturmvogel.orbat.com/LWJul42.html) looks like this, supplemented by Dr Chris McNabb’s (2009) Order of Battle: German Luftwaffe in WWII,which itself quotes Sturmvogel, and Nierhorster as references:

The Mediterranean

First to arrive in North Africa in Jan/Feb 1941 was X Fliegerkorps, followed in November 1941 by Luftflotte 2.

Unit Aircraft Total Svcble
X Fliegerkorps
I/JG 27 Bf 109 34 25
III/ZG 26 Bf 110 25 22
Stab/LG 1 Ju 88A 1 1
I/LG 1 35 4
II/LG 1 25 11
III/LG 1 27 11
II/KG 26 He 111H 28 5
III/KG 26 30 12
III/KG 30 Ju 88A 15 6
KüFlGr 506 11 4
I/StG 1 Ju 87 25 21
Stab/StG 3 3 3
Bf 110 4 0
I/StG 3 Ju 87 30 13
Stab/KG zbV 1 Ju 52 2 1
I/KG zbV 1 27 14
II/KG zbV 1 39 19
III/KG zbV 1 41 29
KGr zbV 9 25 9
KGr zbV 172 44 8

McNabb cites 300 (10) Aircraft for X Fliegerkorps rising to 450 (15) aircraft, but on page 80, two tables appear to duplicate aircraft on the same date. I believe at present that a typo has reproduced strengths for Feb-Mar 1941 erroneously as January in the second table. Note that I have converted servicable numbers to 1:30 ratio NQM strength points (SPs) approximating between the two tables below, and this is for the whole Mediterranean theatre. One (SP) is equivalent to a Staffel of 10-12 aircraft.

X Fliegerkorps (Jan-Apr 1941)

GELA (Sicily) – JG 26/27 – 1 Bf 109E (4)

Diecast 1/100 Bf 109 from the Author’s collection

PALERMO (Sicily) – ZG 26 – 1 Bf 110 (2)


CATANIA (Sicily) – LG1 – 1 Ju 88A (2), 1 Ju 88D (2)

JU88Junkers Ju88 (1939) [Medium Bomber] Author’s collection

(North Afrika) – StG2 –  2 Ju 87B (2)

TRAPANI (Sicily) – Stg 1 – 2 Ju 87R (2)

1/144 Ju 87 Stuka from the Author’s collection

COMISO (Sicily) – KG26 – 2 He 111H-3 (2)

HE111Heinkel He111. (1936), [Medium Bomber] Author’s collection.

(Sicily) – KG zbV 1/9 – 1 Ju 52 (3), 1 Ju 52 (2)


Wickepedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fliegerf%C3%BChrer_Afrika) adds the following, supplemented by McNabb:

Luftflotte 2 (MittelMeer-Afrika)(Nov 1941- Jan 1942)

Arrived in November 1941 and took X Fliegercorps under command but shown below in January 1942 by which time Fliegerfuehrer Afrika and II FliegerKorps were also under command

Fliegerkorps II

(Sicily) – KG zbV 1/400 – 2 Ju 52 (3)

GELA? (Sicily) – JG 53 – 1 Bf 109F-4 (3), 1 Bf 109F-4 (2)

CATINA (Sicily) – NJG2 – 1 Ju 88C-6 (2)

Ju 88C-6 copyright Simon Schatz at luftwaffe-aviation-art.blogspot.com

CATANIA (Sicily) – KG54/77 –1 Ju 88A-4 (3)

COMISO (Sicily) – KG26 – 1 He 111H-3 (1) (Transferred from X Fliegerkorps)

  • JagdKommando Kreta


A Model of a rather large and posh Cretan Hotel ought to suffice for this HQ. It should sit unmolested on your dining room sideboard, throughout the game, looking grand! (Photo of Ritz Hotel copyright The Author)

Fliegerführer Afrika(Ägyptenfeldzug)

(Libya) – ZG26 –  1 Bf 110C-4 (1)

(Libya/Egypt) – JG27 –  1 Bf 109F-4 (3)

(Libya/Egypt) – SG3 –  1 Ju 87D-1 (3), 1 Ju 87D-1 (2)

Luftwaffe Kommando Sudost

(copyright Steve Bathy, used without permission)

II Seenot Dienstfuhrer (Emergency Sea Rescue Service HQ)

1 Do 24 (s3) – This could be split into 3 strength points; one at each of the bases below:


  • 15 Seenotkommando (BENGASI)
  • 16 Seenotkommando (DERNA)
  • Seenotkommando (TRIPOLI)

II Sanitats-Flugbereitschaft Bengasi (Casualty Evacuation)

BENGASI – 1 Fieseler Storch (3)

Fieseler Storch Fi156. (1937), [STOL Army Cooperation]. All Fronts. (Tankzone model from the Author’s collection)

Fliegerführer Afrika(Libyen-Tunesien)

  • Verbindungsstaffel und Flugbereitschaft der Fliegerkorps Tunis (Liaison and Army Air Cooperation Staff HQ?)

General der Deutschen Luftwaffe beim Oberkommand der Kgl.Ital Luftwaffe (ITALUFT)

XIX.Deutsch-Italienische Panzerarmee/Armata Corazzata Italo-Tedesca (Flak Div.) Kommando (Flak Div 19)

Flak Regiment 102

1 88L56 FlaK 18 (s2) and Sdkfz7 Limber (s2), 1 x 20L113 FlaK 38 (s2) and Sdkfz10 Limber (s2)

Flak Regiment 135: as above


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Air Forces, German Airforce, Western Desert, WWII

Western Desert Air Orbats – Desert Air Force

Bickers’ (1991) pulls a common pre-internet trick of historians in giving the orbat for the Desert Air Force (DAF) that does not mesh with the date of June 1940 for their antagonists, the Regia Aeronautica. For this orbat, one has to do some judicious trawling of the net. Wickipedia came up with a surprising amount of information, the structure of which is quoted directly below. Nierhorster was useful as always. The numbers below are for a 1:30 ratio campaign, but it would probably be more sensible to use a 1 sqn = 1 aircraft model for the early operations, about a 1:10 or 1:12 ratio. If you do that, then each strength point is represented by a model that is destroyed on its second hit if it has not already sensibly flown off on its first.

Desert Airforce June 1940

Air Commadore Collinshaw




33 Squadron RAF  80 Squadron RAF  112 Squadron RAF   – 1Gladiator (s3)

 No. 208 Squadron RAF – 1 Lysander (s1)

Leave a comment

Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Air Forces, Orbats, RAF and Commonwealth AFs, Western Desert, WWII

Western Desert Air Orbats – Regia Aeronautica

The Orbats that follow are all derived from Richard Townshend Bickers’ 1991 account of the air war in the Western Desert, modified by information from John Ellis’ WW2 Databook, Bill Gunson and Nierhorster’s online orbats. Although Bickers’ book is unsatisfactory in many respects for an operational gamer, being deeply partisan and sounding jingoistic to contemporary ears, it covers a neglected subject and has a useful series of orbats in the rear. He can be forgiven for having been a serving RAF officer and reflecting views that were widely shared in the RAF at the time. (Bold numbers in brackets are the NQM strength point equivalents for a campaign on a 1:30 ratio).

Regia Aeronautica – Libya 1940

Eastern Sector – HQ TOBRUK


10th Army – 73rd Gruppo Army Cooperation (127,137 Squadriglia @ 15 Recce) –  1 RO37 (s3) Lince

14th Stormo

Bombardment Gruppo 44 (6,7 Sqa @ 5 bombers) – 1 S79 (s1) Sparviero

Bombardment Gruppo 45 (2,22 Sqa @ 5 bombers) – 1 S81 (s1) Pipistrelli


10th Stormo

Bombardment Gruppo 30 (55,56,57,58 Sqa @ 5 bombers) –  1 S79 (s2)


Autonomous Gruppo 10 (84,90,91 Sqa @ 15 fighter bombers) CR42 (s5) Falco

Western Sector – HQ TRIPOLI

5th Army – 64th Gruppo Army Cooperation  (122,136 Squadriglia @ 15 fighters)1 RO37 (S3)

2nd Stormo

Gruppo 8 (92,93,94 Squadriglia @ 15 fighters)1 CR32 (S5)

Gruppo 13 (77,78,82 Squadriglia @ 15 fighters)1 CR42 (S5)


33rd Stormo

Bombardment Gruppo 35 and 36 (43,44,45,46 Squadriglia @ 5 bombers)1 S79 (S2)


15th Stormo

Bombardment Gruppo 46 and 47 (20,21,53,54 Squadriglia @ 5 bombers) –  1 S79 (s2)


50th Stormo

Gruppo 12 and 16 (159,160,167,168,169 Squadriglia @ 5 recce)1 CA310 (S3) Caproni


26th Army Corps – (120 Squadriglia Army Cooperation) – 1 RO37 (s1)


Townshend Bickers R. (1991) The Desert Air War 1939-1945. London: Leo Cooper.


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Air Forces, Regia Aeronautica, Western Desert, WWII