Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cracking the Plastic - Airco DH-2 and Morane-Saulnier Type N for Wings of Glory

The new release of the Ares Games Wings of Glory miniatures included two I have been waiting for.  First up, the Airco DH-2.  This represents the first pusher aircraft for the Wings of Glory (and its precursor Wings of War) game line.  That alone makes it something to get excited about.  While I’m more of a Farman fan, the DH-2 is pretty distinct and a neat addition to your early-war air battles.  
There are three minis for the DH-2.  Hawker (shown in the photo), Saundby, and Andrews.  The metal miniatures are pretty good – though the struts are a little thicker than I would have expected.  Then again, anything less and the miniature (while more accurate) would have been too fragile.  The paint job is good, but I noticed that one of the red wheels bled into the black tires.  Honestly it’s no big deal.  Most die-hard fans of the series like to repaint these anyway.  I touched mine up with a Sharpie. 
The DH-2 uses maneuver deck P.  I was hoping it would have some different performance but it appears that the folks in Areas Games released essentially two maneuver decks with this release – T and P.  The Morane-Saulnier Type N gets to use deck T. 
Now the other mini I’m reviewing is the French fighter-scout Morane-Saulnier Type N – a French monoplane to put up against the new Fokker E.III’s in this release.  Having just finished writing a book on Bert Hall – I knew he flew in the Morane-Saulnier’s at one point – though I don’t have the paint scheme for his aircraft.  Needless to say mine is going to get repainted in the next few weeks to be Bert’s plane. 
With this set you get Navarre’s Type N, Gilbert (shown in the image) or Chaput.  The mini’s are crisp with a lot of unweathered detail. 
Note:  The League of World War One Aviation Historians journal, Over the Front, ran a great article not long ago on the Morane-Saulnier’s.  It is well worth checking out (and joining if you haven’t already).   
Recommendation?  Look, if you play Wings of Glory/War you’re going to pick them up anyway so go on and get it over with.  If you wait, you run the risk that the minis will go out of production (as used to happen on the Wings of War line) meaning you get scalped on eBay.  I give the DH-2 four-and-a-half out of five stars.  The Morane-Saulnier gets five out of five.  

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