Construction of Simple Bomber and Fighter Stands

Construction of Simple Bomber and Fighter Stands

Construction of stands to hold 1/285 and 1/300 aircraft and indicate altitude.
Tom Sparhawk (

This short article presents one solution to creating large numbers of stands to hold 1/285 and 1/300 aircraft when playing the "Blue Sky" rules set. These work especially well for four engine bombers as the greater weight of the base means that fewer bombers fall over when the table is bumped.

The only tools needed to make these stands are a 1/16 inch drill and something to cut piano wire. I use a Dremel tool to both cut and sand the resulting stand.

Bomber Stands

Materials needed (per stand)

Number Item  Cost
1 Fender Washer 1 5/8 " x 3/8" .20
1 Fender Washer  11/2 " x 1/4" .15
1 Fender Washer 1" x 1/4" .10
1 1/8 oz. "Bullet" weight .08
1  Poker Chip .02
1  Piano wire (1/16 diameter) 6" .10
-- Glue, paper, paint .10
Approximate total cost .75

Items are put together in the following fashion:

Construction of basic bomber stand
Component  Directions
Step One - Attach Fender Washer to Poker Chip Place washer centered on top of poker chip and glue.
Step Two - Place Bullet Fish Weight. Put a 1/8 oz. "Bullet" weight in center of hole on washer and glue in place onto the poker chip
Step Three - Add second fender washer. Glue a 1 1/4" x 1/4" fender washer on top of the larger washer with fish weight centered in the hole. Glue to both larger washer and bullet weight.
Step Four - Cut Piano Wire. The six inch piece of piano wire is cut into three lengths (1", 2", and 3") to indicate various levels of flight.. These fit into the "Bullet" weight. If they do not fit re-drill the hole in the bullet weight.
Step Five - Create Altitude Indicator. Make as many copies of the indicator as needed. Insure that they will fit on the fender washer (below). A set of indicators is included with these instructions and may be enlarged or reduced to suit your needs.
Step Six - Attach Altitude Indicator to Fender Washer. Cut each indicator out larger than the 1"x1/4" fender washer and glue the indicator on. This will fit loosely over the bullet weight.

Additional directions and suggestions:

  • The poker chip is a strong and readily available base. Many other things may be substituted for this, such as thin plastic, wood, or even paper. Two things to keep in mind though - don't make the base too high or it will be unstable and there will be considerable pressure on this base from the piano wire stand, so some strong material is recommended.
  • The glue should be able to stand up to knocking around and a degree of twisting. I find that "Liquid Nails" (clear) works better than the various "Super Glues."
  • The "Bullet" weights vary by brand to some extent in internal and external diameter. Always check first. If the internal diameter is too small drill it out using the same drill bit size as used on the plane model.
  • Two washers are used to give weight to the base to make tipping over less likely. The second washer may be omitted, but this is not recommended.
  • Numbering the bases: It is very useful to number each base for aircraft identification in a game. I print out numbers and then affix them on the base outside of the area covered by the altitude indicator.
  • Always place an "arrow" or other indicator that shows the direction that the aircraft is facing.
  • More altitude levels can be indicated by modifying the altitude indicator. It can be divided into eight, ten, or twelve segments.

Construction of Fighter Stands

Materials needed (per stand)

Number Item  Cost
1 Fender Washer 1 1/4" x 3/8" .15
1 Fender Washer 3/4" x 1/4" .10
1 1/32 oz. "Bullet" weight .07
1 Poker Chip .02
1  Piano wire (1/16 diameter) 6 .10
-- Glue, paper, paint .10
Approximate total cost .54

Fighter base construction is almost exactly the same as a bomber base, but only one fender washer is used (skip step three) and the components are different sizes (as shown above). You will need to adjust the size of the indicator as they are glued to the " x " washer.

I hope you find these useful.