Ares Games

Ramblings Over the Front


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Pfalz E.IV

Needing a few more opponents to face off against the Escadrille Americaine I decided to pick up a couple of Pfalz E types from Reduced Aircraft Factory. (isn't it ironic that we always seem to "need" more planes?) I have enjoyed the full color offerings from RAF, especially since the natural full color nylon 12 (MJF) has been added, making full color planes very affordable. While the colors can be somewhat muted, and the planes a bit grainy, these are minor quibbles considering the dozens upon dozens of choices that RAF offers we Wing Nuts - seemingly every month or two Daryl at RAF is adding a new aircraft type. Keep it going, RAF! Maybe some Belgian Sopwith Pups are in order? Hmmm, getting back to that "need" thing again.

I picked up two Pfalz E types, an E.II and an E.IV. I have a thing for the Pfalz aircraft of the Great War...mostly because a large portion of my German heritage is Bavarian, and Pfalz was a Bavarian company, and their machines were often used by Bavarian staffeln. While the Pfalz E types suffered from a poor performance reputation (they were copies of Morane-Saulnier Type Hs built under license), they did make up a decent percentage of the E class aircraft in 1915 and 1916 and were used by pilots destined to become aces (Kissenberth, Parschau, and Berthold, among others). And I think, based on their performance ratings, one might just need an ace skill or two to compensate! The smaller E.I and slightly larger E.II both use the G deck, and while neither are as robust as the Fokker E.III, both have a superior rate of climb over Anthony's vaunted machine.

The Pfalz E.IV, a twin machine-gun version with a more powerful engine, uses the R deck, making it as maneuverable as the Nieuport 16, although with half the climb rate. The E.V, the last offering by RAF for the Pfalz E series, used an inline engine and maneuvers with a J deck, making it a decent fighter, but with a single B gun and mediocre rate of climb it probably would not be a player's top choice.

Regardless of their less than ideal performance, these Pfalz birds are distinctively recognizable on the tabletop due to their white fabric coverings and black edge lines. That would make a nice change as compared to the mostly natural linen colored Fokkers. The Shapeways offerings are a bit muted in color as the white should be brighter and the grays that you see should be black, but overall these are nice birds! The Pfalz Eindeckers are also a welcome addition to my collection, and will make an appearance on a Wright Flight table in the future.

As the production of the E.II was delayed, so too was the delay in getting this post published. When my order arrived, the E.II had a broken wheel. I've requested a replacement from Shapeways.

(Decks mentioned above are unofficial and taken from the Wings of Linen website)

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