Planes, ships and tanks

I’ve always been a bit of a history buff. I think I get it from my dad. I have a memory of me asking my dad to explain the history of the world to me, which I think he kind of did, to his credit. One area of particular interest to me (once again, I get this from my dad) is WWII.

We have an area of our garage at home called the war room, because it’s where my dad plays his WWII board game, A World at War, and it also has posters from WWII, news paper clippings, and flags of some of the major players in the war. Most importantly, there’s a case that has some models of tanks, ships and planes of WWII.

As long as I can remember we’ve had a pile of unbuilt models that kept getting bigger and bigger. Occasionally one would get built, but for the most part they just sat there collecting dust. So this Christmas I took half of the models home to Guelph, and my dad and I started an arms race. I mobilized some friends to help me, and we built some quite rapidly. There was a bit of a learning curve when it came to painting them and applying the decals, so some of our early models are pretty rough. I’m assuming they just got knocked around in battle.

Here are the ones I’ve built and finished painting so far, there are still quite a few more to come.

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The first plane I built: the Messerschmitt Bf 109 – one of the most important aircraft used in the Luftwaffe, and the most produced fighter aircraft of all time. At this time, I had no idea how to put on the decals, so I applied them with glue (you just soak them in warm water and they go on fine), which made them look rough and battle-worn.

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My ally built this Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, which I then painted. It was a rocket-powered plane (the only one ever made), so it went super fast, but was also pretty dangerous to fly, and only had a seven-minute flight time. If a pilot missed their landing, they were pretty much screwed, because they didn’t have enough fuel to circle around and try again. Overall, this aircraft was a bit of a dud, only being responsible for the destruction of about 9 allied planes.

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Meanwhile, my other ally was building and painting the Hindenburg. My brother and I each got travel gift cards this christmas, and as part of the present we each got a passenger aircraft – he got a nice Boeing 747 or something, while I got the Hindenburg. It may not be the best way to use my travel gift card, but it’s still a pretty cool model to have.

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This one was super finicky to make and took a lot of time. Apparently pocket battleships are harder to build than planes. It’s the Deutchsland, and I didn’t really do a very good job of painting it. I only realized after putting this beast together that it would be much, much easier to paint all the little parts and then glue them together. Ah well, live and learn.

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I know for some reason we have a lot of German units, but just to prove we’re not Nazis, here’s a British plane: the Supermarine Spitfire. This was one of the most successful British planes, and it played a key role in the Battle of Britain. It was also one of the last ones I painted, so it actually looks quite nice and I’m fairly proud of it.

And now an American plane: the Grumman Hellcat. This plane was one of the best planes used in the Pacific theatre, and I just love the blue colouring. Unfortunately, this model was a very old one I got form my dad, so the decals are quite worn out and didn’t stick very well.

And now an American plane: the Grumman F6F Hellcat. This plane was one of the best planes used in the Pacific theatre, and I just love the blue colouring. Unfortunately, this model was a very old one I got from my dad, so the decals are quite worn out and didn’t stick very well.

I know the title of this post says there’s also tanks, but that’s a lie. There will be though, we’ve got a couple in the making, along with another ship, a bomber, and some more fighter planes. I’ll put up another post when those are done.

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