Not that I've ever really been into gaming with miniatures, but I came across the rules to a WW1 dog-fighting game that looked cool (http://www.eaglesmax.com/index.html). I tested it with my brother using paper markers and decided I wanted to have the game. Thing is, you are only provided with rules and player tracking sheets. Planes, stands, and play area must be found elsewhere.
While model planes are available all over the place, I don't like spending money where I don't have to. And I can be patient, to boot. I made a carving knife some time ago and there is a nice willow tree I sit under during lunch hours (weather permitting) that drops branches from time to time.
With that little intro, on with the story.
Tools and Materials used are shown in this image. Only thing missing: a mm ruler.
*Too late for Pocket-Sized Contest, so I'll have this in the Up contest.
- March 11, 2013: replaced mentions of "ailerons" with "stabilizer" as the latter is correct for the part I am referring to.
Step 1: Finding plans and diagrams
Everything starts with a plan. A good source for vehicle drawings and plans is http://www.the-blueprints.com. A more specialized site is http://www.juniorgeneral.org. I used Junior General for the paper models to test the game.
I found the plans for a bunch of the planes I was interested in and copied their plans to a PowerPoint file. In the PowerPoint file, I turned on the centimeter ruler to use as a guide and scaled the drawings down to the size I wanted (1/144 in this case), fitting 4-5 airplanes per sheet. Then I printed them off for the next step (which I don't have pictures for).
I cut out the side views of the aircraft fuselage and traced them on the side of the blank I was using (junk ends from other projects and squared-down limbs from that willow tree).