No, I haven't switched games :). But since Naval War also includes air strikes, carrier battles and air combat, it was about time I looked into getting some plane miniatures.
First consideration would be scale, so I ordered some 1:1800, 1:1200 and 1:600 planes to compare with the 1:900 War at Sea planes.
Second criteria would be availability and third would be cost.
1:1800 planes are pretty hard to come by, Mongoose has made a few, but they are on very impractical thick stands which obscure most of the plane and just ruin the look. Furthermore, Mongoose seems to have shelved their naval mini's line for the coming years. So 1:1800 is out.
1:1200 is readily available, but in my opinion is very, very small. The scale is also a bit too close to 1:1800 (my ship scale) to be able to distinguish the fact that they are actually a bigger scale (leading in my opinion to some confused minds). Also, the small size would in my opinion demand that more planes go to one stand, requiring a couple of hundred planes to stock the 4 carriers I've currently got in my shipyard, becoming pretty expensive. One thing I also noticed is that 1:1200 planes are the same cost or even more expensive than their bigger 1:600 counterparts, which I found surprising, maybe it has something to do with the small buggers being harder to cast or something.
1:900, the war at sea scale, was my scale of preference. I've already got a pretty big stock of planes from War at Sea, making it a bit of a no-brainer at first. Still, upon close inspection, I still needed quite a lot of planes to fill out my carriers calculating at ratio of 6 reallife planes to one stand. After a few months trying to buy planes on e-bay and the forumini, I kinda gave up on the effort. Some planes are just unobtainable at reasonable prices. Shapeways is a no-go for planes in my mind because the Frosted Ultra Detail, while nice, is too brittle for the little planes, and WSF, while sturdier, is just a pain to paint and with the best efforts will still not look good to me.
So finally I've ended up with the 1:600 scale, much bigger than I was initially comfortable with... Still, there are some major advantages: They look very recognisable at tabletop distance, which is a plus in my account since I plan to demo the game at conventions etc. They are pretty cheap, and almost every plane possible is available (Still looking for the H8K Emily though).
I've put in two orders, one with Magister Militum for Oddzial Osmy aircraft and one with Dom's Decals for some Tumbling Dice planes and some decals. I do have to remark though that the Oddzial aircraft seem to be of a higher quality than the Tubling Dice planes, requiring far less cleanup of moldlines etc. One pretty big downer was that the Tumbling Dice PBY Catalina is barely resembling the plane it is supposed to represent and quite some cutting was nessessary to the mini to make it look a bit better (still too fat though). I plan to put 2 planes on one stand for the smaller planes, and 1 plane per stand for the bombers. I've got a custom order in with Litko for flight bases with the name of the plane on it and holes for 2 off-center pegs, quite an investment, but since I'm saving quite some on the planes themselves compared to smaller scales or WaS auctions, I consider it worth the cost.
Soooo, on to the painting station!!!
Oddzial Osmy planes
I'll post my progress both for the planes and the ships as I go along...