Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Chaco War - Revisited

From time to time I come to the realization that I have far too many interests and far too many figures within those interests to contemplate ever completing.  The Chaco War is a perfect example.  While I have a great interest in doing the ground war in 15mm, using both Khurasan and Irregular miniatures, and have purchased plastic trucks and tanks, along with figures from both the aforementioned companies, painting more infantry just doesn't appeal to me.  Add in terrain considerations and my restricted gaming space takes another hit.  However, air combat projects are easy to work on as I already have a gaming mat for Check Your 6! and smaller scale aircraft are very easy to store and transport.  While the Chaco War doesn't offer a lot of air combat scenarios of any notable size, there are enough details available to create recon and bombing scenarios, as well as the occasional dogfight that most gamers seem to love.

To that end I have been revisiting the Arctic Skunk Shapeways shop, going over his offerings in 1/144th and 1/288th scale.  I have a slew of 1/144th scale aircraft for Wings of Glory, but I am not that enamored with the gaming system to take it beyond The Great War.  I do have, in 1/285th scale, several aircraft for Korea, and my Check Your 6! "terrain" and accessories are scaled for 1/285th, so using 1/288th scale Chaco War aircraft would be ideal.

But there lies the rub; while Arctic Skunk offers just about everything one could want in 1/100th and 1/144th scale, while the offerings in 1/288th are far fewer:

IW01B - Curtiss Hawk II
IW03B - Potez XXV
IW12B - Junkers W34
IW13B - Junkers K43

Missing are some of the more common types, such as:

Fiat CR20
Curtiss Wright 14R Osprey
Breguet 19A2
Vickers 143 Scout
Wibault 73C1
Curtiss Cyclone Falcon
Vickers Type 149
Fokker C-Vb

In terms of numbers, the amount of front line or combat aircraft used in the Chaco War was rather small, making this a very doable project.  Here are the numbers by type of some delivered aircraft, many being older types that may have only had a few examples left flying by the time the war started:

Curtiss Hawk II (includes Sea Hawk version) - 12
Vickers 143 - 9
Fiat CR20bis - 5
Wibault 73 - 7
Breguet 19A2 - 7
Curtiss Cyclone Falcon - 9
Curtiss Wright 14R Osprey - 20
Junkers K43 - 3
Vickers Type 149 - 9
Potez 25 - 16

There were many other types of aircraft available and/or used during the war, usually in quantities of one or two.

I have reached out to Arctic Skunk to see if his 1/144th and 1/100th scale Chaco War aircraft are available in 1/288th.  To do the most basic dogfight scenarios the Fiat CR20, Vickers Type 143, and Wibault 73 would need to be produced.

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