There is a set of rules in Skirmish Sangin I haven’t had the chance to really use and that’s the helicopter rules (introduced in Dispatches 2 and Day of the Rangers). Part of this is down to the missions I’ve played (if adding the vehicles boosted up the points, adding a helo is something else entirely) but the other thing is due to lacking suitable models to hover around the board, dealing rockets and miniguns.
For 28mm models, 1:48 is the accepted scale for helicopter kits (sadly 1:50 scale kits don’t exist or are exceedingly rare). Now, aircraft are big – its amazing just how much bigger than most vehicles they are! So the idea of 1:48 aircraft for a long time seemed like a bad idea lacking the space to carry them or store them. There are also other issues: whats the best way to setup the rotors so they are fit for wargaming, how best to set them up and base them and how to make them look cool flying around; the list goes on.
However, now I have a bit more space and after watching too much Blackhawk Down I think its time to get some rotors spinning. Of course, there is only one aircraft to start the ball rolling.
The Little Bird.
To begin with, I’m making an AH-6 in order to provide some fire support. The first part was picking up the base kit, in this case an Academy Tow Defender. To make it into an attack chopper, I have ordered a conversion kit from which will give me the rocket pods, miniguns and other bits I need. Once that’s arrived, I’ll then have to work out a flying stand. Currently leaning towards a method on the Lead Adventures forum that uses a telescopic inspection rod to let you adjust the height. This will be great for two reasons: making multiple helos look cool flying together and also MH-6s coming down to land on the rooftop. It will also involve magnets because it makes everything easy to transport.
I’m a little worried about this project – there is a lot to worry about and lots of places to mess up. I’m gonna have to do stuff like painting components before assembly (which I hate) and also drilling into the plastic bodywork so I can place the magnets. However, if it works it means I can add a load of extra dimension to my tabletop games. Helicopters on the board really make it stand out and if I was to take a game to a wargames show, a helo is something to have on the board.
Also once the AH-6 is up, I’ll then start looking at other helicopters. Obviously, MH-6s are the next port of call (probably two of them so I can have cool simultaneous landings). I also have an Airfix Lynx that needs building but I’ll be waiting until I can get some crew figures and then see if all this helicopter malarky is worth it. And then we start moving on to brand new things like UH-1s, Blackhawks, Apaches. Heck, maybe even a MV-22!
In the mean time, here are some more painted figures!