Converting Wings of War Prepaints. (2) Sopwith Camels
As discussed in a previous post I am trying to make up flights of aircraft from the same squadron by converting the Wings of War prepainted miniatures – but without doing a complete repainting job.
I tried to do some research on the British but all that happened was I got confused. There were all sorts of combinations of letter, numbers and stripes that changed several times through the course of the war. The solution, I decided was to make up a fictitious squadron.
Biggles, Algy and Ginger set out to bag some Huns.
These models are based on the Wings of War model of William Barker’s Sopwith Camel. To convert it to Biggle’s Squadron colours I painted out some of the stripes on the rear fuselage and the heart painted on the tailfin using Humbrol 75, Bronze Green.
Then I added some large recognition letters on the upper surface of the wing using waterslide transfers I found in my local model railway shop, Harburn Hobbies in Edinburgh. It was quite hard to find transfers that were both the right size and not too modern looking so many thanks to the assistant who spent about fifteen minutes searching through their extensive stock of transfers before finding these ones, originally meant for British diesel locomotives in the 1950s and early 60s.
Notes (added 10th March, 2008): Thanks to Tim who, in a comment on this blog, reminded me that Captain James Bigglesworth (Biggles) was said by his creator, W.E Johns, to be in the fictitious 266 Squadron RFC. Looking around the numerous Biggles sites on the Internet I find that while Algy fought alongside Biggles in the Great War, he did not meet up with the famous Ginger until after the war. That must be another carrot-top flying with him in the picture above.
My rather limited reference books for this period and the numerous web sites devoted to WWI aviation suggest that most British planes carried identifying letters on the sides of the fuselage rather than on the top of the wing. Indeed I have not yet found a single example of this being done by a squadron equipped with Camels. All I can say is that some squadrons put letters on their wings, that 266 Squadron are unusual and that it works better that way when you’re playing a game.