We’re taking a look at customising your Blood Red Skies aircraft with propellers. Nuno Cabeçadas shows us how with this simple guide.
What You’ll Need:
- A Compass (preferably with a locking system)
- An enlarging Tool
- Printable Acetate Sheets
- White/PVA Glue
- Varnish (Optional)
- Propeller Sheet JPEG file (See Below)
The first step is determining the size of the propellers you wish to make. A 16 mm propeller is suitable for most early war single-engine fighters in Blood Red Skies’ scale of 1/200. However, planes with bigger engines, including some fighters such as the P-47, have larger propellers. In these cases, the propellers were almost 4 meters in diameter, which would translate into a 20 mm circle.
A little bit of research may be required to determine the correct propeller sizing for the aircraft. Be mindful about using the correct number of props blades!
How to convert to 1/200
- Convert meters into Inches
- Then divide result by 200
- Convert that into mm
Example Propeller Diameters
Spitfire I – 9 ft 8 in (2.97 m) = .58 in or 14.8 mm at 1/200
Spitfire VI – 10 ft 9 in (3.27 m) = .64 in or 16.3 mm at 1/200
P-51D – 11.2 ft (3.4 m) = .67 in or 17.0 mm at 1/200
Bf109 G – 9 ft 10 in (3 m ) = .59 in or 14.9 mm at 1/200
Zero – 10 ft 2 in (3.9 m) = .61 in or 15.5 mm at 1/200
Once you’ve worked this out, you will need to resize the JPEG file to the correct proportion. Some software has a tendency to resize images, and every printer is different. It is always a good idea to conduct a test print on plain white paper to test that the sizing is correct.
Making the Propellers
When you are happy with the size of the propellers, print out on an acetate sheet. A fully filled sheet will give you the means to making a decent number of propellers. Using a compass, set to the correct size, cut the propeller from the acetate. This needs to be done with some care, in order to avoid damaging the sheet; but doesn’t take too long.
Next, cut the central hole using an appropriate enlarging tool. The size of this hole again depends on the aircraft you are working on. The propeller needs to fit snugly on the propeller cone of the aircraft. Secure it with some white/PVA glue. When dry, you can mask this by applying some varnish to the cone.
The tips of many propellers were adorned with yellow or red paint. You can, of course, add these details to the propellers. You’ll need a delicate hand and a fine brush.
Here you can see a finished example using Warlord Games’ Messerschmitt 110s.
Get Started Dogfighting
Blood Red Skies is the World War II mass air combat game from Warlord Games, written by renowned game developer Andy Chambers.
Packed with everything you need to play this fast-paced air combat game, the Blood Red Skies starter set does what it says on the tin. Plus once started you’ll have the extra rules to introduce the play cards that really bring your fighter aircraft to life, allowing you to fly them just as they would have been by the Aces of WW2!