Monday, April 20, 2020

My Challenge Project

Zeppelins vs Blimps! Using Aeronef rules

Probably due to watching "Things to come" too many times (an old Raymond Massey movie based on an older book by H.G. Wells) as a youth.  The idea of a Zeppelin game has long rattled around in my head.  In a History class long ago a professor once told me that the Brits were so flustered/scared of the Zeppelins that they experimented with arming blimps to go fight with the Zeppelins.  During basic research for a sub chase game Anton and I have often discussed I discovered specific references to British schemes involving Blimps vs Zeppelins.  So I decided to combine the two into one project and here it is.

In casting about for what is available, I determined that 1/1250 scale would allow me to get Zeppelins, planes and ships all in the same scale, I just needed to find something to serve as buildings, which also quickly fell into place.  The items existed in 1/1200 scale, but not with as many options of zeppelin classes.  In any scale larger than 1/1200 price became too high on all fronts of the project.

So here is the start of the German forces.  My apologies, I could not contain myself and already started nail polishing these beauties.  They seem even more fragile that the earlier models from Shapeways so they are all getting a coat.  From the top we have a German R-type Zeppelin, followed by an L-type Zeppelin.  Last but not least (although it is the smallest) the most common Zeppelin type, the P-Class.  At the bottom, just above the ruler are two sets of Axis and Allies, War at Sea German Biplane torpedo bombers intended for their Aircraft carrier.  However, since the model does not have the torpedo on it, comes painted and has appropriate German crosses already in scale and in place so I think they work out well.  There will be three more Zeppelins added to the German forces shortly as they wrap up production.  These will be a "V" Class and two more "P" Class.  All the Zeppelins come from

Here is the entire British force.  At the top are two German P-class Zeppelins which will double for British R23 Zeppelins.  I can not find an R-23 in any scale, and since the R-23's were reverse engineered from a downed German Zeppelin anyway.  Most British Lighter Than Air Craft (LTAC) were actually blimps and significantly smaller than the German's Zeppelins.  Underneath the R-23's in the center is a version of the North Sea Blimp.  On either side of that are two (total of four) Sea Scout Blimps, the most common of all LTAC.  At the bottom above the ruler are two more stands of Axis & Allies,War at Sea swordfish.  Once again already painted, stickered with rondels, and lacking the telltale torpedo.

Here are the ships I plan to use as part of the game.  They come from a variety of manufacturers including: Navis-Neptune, Hei, and Mercatur.  All come assembled and painted.  They are usually used for collections, but mine will see the gaming table.  I will use some sort of base for them to ease moving them in game.  At the bottom are some submarines, half a dozen each, allied and German, so that both sides can enjoy the 'experience' of getting torpedoed.  Above the subs on the left are a variety of destroyers and torpedo boats.  To the right are some merchant ships.  Above the destroyers are some patrol boats.  At the top on the left are some protected cruisers which allows for events like the 7th Cruiser squadron (or as it was known to its sailors "Live Bait Squadron") debacle as well.  

Building initially posed something of a problem, as the entire purpose of the Zeppelins was to bomb cities so they needed something to target.  Eventually I discovered that at some point some idiot decided to "revitalize" the monopoly game and came up with a variety of things you can build instead of the standard houses and hotels.  I found a set of replacement parts for this perversion of the classic and voila.  The set includes: two different sizes of both houses (beige) and factories (blue).  The set also includes prisons, waste water treatment centers, and garbage dumps (black).  Furthermore, the set includes: water towers, windmills, government buildings, parks and even soccer stadiums!   I even did a little research and discovered that the first modern soccer stadium was built in Scotland in 1910 and it was quickly copied in several cities in England, so yes, even the Soccer stadium works.  I thought about trying for something to represent train tracks but realized that in this scale an entire track set is little more than a millimeter wide, so I gave up the idea.   These will be assembled into blocks so that small urban areas can be built up for target purposes.  

Finally, I decided to try some 1/1200 cargo ships, but once they arrived I realized they were WAY too big.  I might try and use the bottom two from this picture as some "gigantor" freighters, but if anyone needs some 1/1200 freighters let Anton or me know and I will see about getting them to you.  

So this is  what I am onto next.  I also have a few, very few more airplanes to do for some spice in the Blood Red Skies.  But more on that later.  


  1. The "Shapeways" of things to come?

    I love that movie; all of that ponderous "science is good because it is rational" nonsense is so delightfully naive. Plus the special effects were pretty good when you consider that is was all done with models

  2. I always liked how the science people were just as just as stupid in the end and destroyed their own world.