Guest writer Mike Everest returns to look at the air element of the Battle of Alfed from Tom Clancey’s Red Storm Rising.

Apache attack choppers popped up right behind the Cav’s positions. They moved south to flank the advancing Russian vehicles, jinking and skidding as they launched their Hellfire missiles into the leading echelon of tanks. Their pilots sought out missile-launch vehicles but found none. Next came the A-10s. The ugly twin-engine aircraft swooped low, free for once of the SAM threat.
Their rotary cannon and cluster bombs continued the job of the Apaches.

Chapter 40, “The Killing Ground” – Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancey

Hey gang, welcome back to part 2 of my Red Storm Rising modelling report. This time we are focussing on air power over Alfeld (I’ll dip my toes into other stuff in this as well).
Red Storm Rising makes explicit use of a bunch of *super* cool aircraft. All of which, like a temptress in a red dress, Lee lured me into Team Yankee with. (Don’t dwell on that thought for too long. Seriously)
These are:

  • A-10 Thunderbolt (our main focus for this article)
  • F-111 Aardvark (Side by side, carrier launched – well when it was designed – low level bomber? Hnnnng)
  • A-7 Corsair II. (These are in the action in Iceland)
  • A-6 Intruder. Again, on Iceland with the Marines.
  • F-19 Frisbee… Now, this is going to be complex and I’ll cover this.

So we got a bunch of cool stuff that crops up in the book that does super cool actions. We are going to mainly focus on The Devils Cross for this article. The A10 Thunderbolt. But I want to raise the other stuff and how to play these in game:

A-7 Corsair II: The last of the gunslingers. Awesome machine that you can easily run as any NATO ground attack piece in the game, Harriers fit well here as they mount Mk20 Rockeye cluster bombs and have their 20mm cannon.

A-6 Intruder: The Iron Tadpole. Those who have played me or seen my posts on the TY facebook pages knows that I run the A-6 Intruders as a Harrier. The Marines had them rated to run the Mk.4 20mm Cannon pod, and that was enough for me to drop 200 quid on an army in Team Yankee…

F-111 Aardvark: An absolute beast. In the book they execute in the chapter ‘Frisbee’s of Dreamland’ an astonishing low level strike with 2000lb bombs on the bridges across the Elbe. Now, an Aardvark is MASSIVE. At 21meters long, that in 1:100 or even 1:144 occupies a lot of real estate. So Lee ventured the idea of the ejection capsule.

We took an STL of an F111 Aardvark, and handed it to wizard of 3D modelling, Mike South. He in turn sliced the ejection pod out, which I 3D printed, then got a printable parachute and did the same, mounting it on an Objective Base. A cool way to show the Aardvark in the area!

F-19 Frisbee… Right so this is weird.
At the time of the book’s release, Clancy, like most, didn’t really know the truth behind stealth aircraft so was aligning with a bunch of theorised concepts, the most famous being the Testor company’s Flying Frisbee. With sleek curving lines as described in the books as to deflect RADAR. Duke Ellington flies in the initial bridge mission and runs repeated missions over Alfeld while at night to attack the enemy positions.
How we model this on the table top is going to involve some head scratching, some clever 3D modelling and a consensus of us saying ‘yeah okay that makes sense’ as to have it as a cool crashed aircraft (they loose 11 in the book).


Now we reach the crux of this article. The A10 Warthog, as referred to by Sergeitov and the Russian soldiers as ‘The Devils cross’ with its similarities at an angle to the Orthodox cross.
In the past I’ve poo-pooed the use of A10’s in game as they get mega expensive really quickly. 20 points for four aircraft who may not arrive is expensive. However, they are in the book, so to stay true to the story, we gotta get em in!

Rather than use the normal 1:144, I again pegged for 1:100. I really like the scale for aircraft, you get some really good looking stuff if you can find it. I’d had a pair of collectible toy style A10’s in that scale.

For painting styles and colours, I trawled the internet with aid from my usual Cold War Warrior brain trust, of Jeff and Lee (Jeff worked extensively with A10’s after switching from a career of gunnery in Tanks. Something tells me that Jeff just didn’t like T72’s), and settled for 91st Tactical Air Colourings so the Warthogs are in two tone green and grey.

The green to my eye looked close enough to VMC German Camo Dark Green as a base. I then used a VMC Russian Green drybrush highlight and a VMC Pastel Green edge highlight.

A10 Warthogs and the older and venerable A7 Corsair behind them. Keep an eye on the navy kit for when we head to Iceland for Operation Polar Glory stuff in Red Storm Rising.

Camo for the 91st had me a bit baffled as to the colours to start with, in a return of one of those tedious ‘what colour is the dress!’ memes, but with Added Rockeye Clusterbombs.

The dark greys blending nearly to black on the Colour photography, and the two-tone green playing tricks on the eye. Even 40 years later, the Camo still working. After a short disaster over the christmas period of not having Gunship Green being rectified, we were back on track!

Ready for the board now, I affixed them onto the sturdy Games Workshop style cruciform flight stands which work really well for 1:100 larger aircraft. I base my stuff all with Acrylpro basing compound (fine texture). I use German Camo Medium Brown then highlight with beige brown then finally Iraqi Sand. A few dabs of tufts and they are ready.

All set! 91st Tactical Air are ready for the Defence of Alfeld.

That’s it for another Red Storm Rising article! Next time hopefully we will get some German action in the offing and get some toys on the table.

2 thoughts on “The Battle for Alfeld: Part 2 – AIR POWER, THE DEVILS CROSS, AND AARDVARKS.

  1. Odd reference of the Corsair as “the last gunfighter” – i’m associating this term more to the F-8 Crusader…
    The Corsair is affectionally called SLUG instead: Short Little UGly.
    And the thing that bugged me the most with Revell’s SnapFit-A10 is the Wingform. I removed some material at the upper parts wing roots and then bent the lower part gently upwards in a more appropriate wing front view.
    But none the less a nice article series – keep us informed on your progress.

  2. Physically, use the F 117 model as the F19. Google search consisting of “f117 1/144 model” shows a lot of choices.

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