Well I certainly did not see this one coming! For the most part by this time of year the outdoor boot sales have closed up for the winter. However, in the village there is an indoor version that is held on the last Sunday of each month at the Rayleigh Mill Centre. To be honest it is not great and takes around a half an hour to view the entire thing. I have purchased a couple of things from there over the years but to be honest usually score ‘nil point’ so to speak.
That changed in fairly dramatic fashion today though.
We were almost finished and about to leave when I noticed a box on the floor by a stall near the exit. It was a picture of an upside down biplane - later identified as a Sopwith Camel - which caught my eye. A closer inspection revealed it to be number 60 of the Aircraft of the Aces part work that was released as a ‘Del Prado/Osprey mash up’ magazine with a 1/100th scale die cast model with each issue and was around 1999 to 2001 (according to the internet of things).
I then realised what I was looking at - a complete set of the Aircraft of the Aces part work, sans the models. That is it. All 60 Osprey sized volumes covering aerial combat for WW1 to the Gulf War.
These volumes can still be picked up individually and they tend to go for around £5 a go on Ebay. the whole lot cost me £10....
£10 or roughly 16.66p each. It doesn't matter which part of the universe you come from - that is a bargain!
Each volume is 64 pages and they follow the general Osprey style format so there are lots of colour plates and ideas for paint jobs. If I was being ultra picky I would say there are some notable omissions from the line up - particularly heavy bombers - but this is offset by some titles covering less well known aspects of the air war (Finnish aces anybody?). The main bulk covers WW2 but WW1 has a tidy selection as does more modern air combat starting with Korea.
I am very fond of aerial war games and have played many board games over the years on the subject. Starting with Ricthofen's War, Wings and Aces High followed by Air Force, Dauntless (and the expansion kit) and Air War. More recently I have played Axis and Allies: Angels 20 and am also looking at 1/600th for both WW1 and WW2, for which I have a modest amount of kit.
All in all the above is a really nice addition to the collection and it will serve to give me much enjoyment when undertaking my aerial adventures.