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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Converting Wings of War Prepaints. (1) Fokker DrIs from Jasta 2

I'm not sure that converting is the right word here, as it's all done with a paintbrush. Anyway, I've been playing Wings of War a lot recently, with my son and his friends and at the wargames club. I don't like using planes from several different squadrons in my games and that's what is provided in the WoW prepaints. Similarly I don't like using planes that are all the same. So I set out to convert some of the prepaints to represent different planes from the same squadron.

First up a kette (flight) of Fokker DrIs from Jagdstaffel 2. Fritz Kempf leads Otto Löffler (back) and Wilhelm Papenmeyer (right).

Looking round the Internet I found that the WoW Kempf prepaint was an ideal candidate for conversion. On the website I found a page with a whole series of pictures of Jasta 2 DrIs from March 1918. All of these are the same base colour as Kempf's plane but with slightly different details. Those of Löffler and Papenmeyer were basically all green planes with different coloured stripes round the fuselage. These planes are also illustrated in Jagstaffel 2 "Boelcke" in Osprey's Aviation Elite Units series.

Looking through my paint collection I found that the Citadel "Knarlock Green" foundation paint is an almost perfect matcjh for the colour of the WoW prepaint. Paint out the details for Kempf, paint in bands of colour for Löffler and Papenmeyer and I was sorted.

But reading the Osprey book and studying the pictures in it leads me to believe that the WoW Kempf prepaints aren't very accurate.
  1. The decals on the WoW prepaints are not positioned properly or carefully, at least on some (probably most) models. In real life the rear end of the white square which surrounded the German cross seems to have been positioned in line with the front end of the tailplane. On the WoW prepaints they seem to be all over the place and are usually in different positions on the left and right sides of the model. This makes painting stripes round the fuselage a bit difficult.
  2. The DrIs of Jasta 2 are described as being in "the usual Fokker streaky camouflage finish on upper surfaces". From the pictures I've seen it looks like that was what is represented on the WoW model DRI for Arthur Rahn rather than the green that comes with Kempf.
  3. The planes of Jasta 2 carried the black and white scheme of their tailplanes down onto the sides of the fuselage, the pictures in the Osprey book show the rears of the fuselage under the tailplane matching the colours on the tailplane, black on the right, white on the right for Kempf, this is not done on the WoW prepaint. Other planes in the Jasta seem to have reversed the colours on the tail and rear fuselage.
All in all it seems that the Kempf prepaint is not particularly accurate models - though I'm quite happy to use the three models I've got for gaming.


Anonymous said...

Great idea indeed! And the result is as great. A very good job! Whenever you feel to do an article about that for you are more than welcome.

At first we tought about putting a decal sheet with each mini to allow people to customize the models, but most of the WWI planes are not too similar to each other and it the end we gave up.

As far as accuracy is concerned, let me do some general considerations (Jasta 2 apart). In our cards and models there could be of course inaccuracies, but we use quite a whide range of sources. Osprey books are good but not 100% free of mistakes themselves. We provide info to Vincenzo Auletta, our artist, who is a professional aviation illustrator contributing to books and magazines and working for museums. In the end, he has the last word on every detail. His interpretation of each model may differ from others - so you have a Rahn's Dr.I that is different from the replica in the USAF Museum, for example. But please compare our cards and models with photos, more than with drawings: each drawing is just an interpretation, as our cards and model are, and interpretations may differ. Besides, some of the most minute details have to be simplified on the models because of scale, even if we tried to keep as much as possible.

Congratulations again for the impressive patrol!


dmchodge said...

I agree with you re the drawing being interpretations but it is looking at the old B&W pictures in the Osprey that made me think that the Rahn model represents the Fokker factory colour scheme (over which any other scheme was painted) better than the Kempf model.

I might well put together an article for the site. Thanks for popping by.

Anonymous said...

I agree the Rahn model forms a better start point for conversion. I have six waiting for new decals.

Andrea – I think a great shame you decided against giving seperate decal sheets. For example Jasta 19 (Rahn) would have worked extremly well in this context given that most extra markings are white. As it is I'm hoping that Doms Decals who is possibly offering these sheets hits the requisite 20 required votes to ensure these deacls are made.

Also worth noting that the Red Baron Dr1 is not correct either! it appears in a very popular conjectural scheme that one of his Dr1s almost certainly never wore.

Henry Durand said...

Excellent job!

Thanks for the tip on the knarlock green paint. I bought a pot of it to use on my own conversions (pictures hopefully coming soon to the WoW Yahoo group) and it works great.