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Alternative History Inspiration

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  • Member since
    September 2020
Alternative History Inspiration
Posted by afv_junkie on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 12:40 AM

I was wondering if there are modelers who put kits together in a manner that reflects some perceived alternative History.  I'm a big history buff and I toy with ideas in the vein of 'what-ifs.' Lately I've been inspired to make some kits and make it look like the Germans and the US are fighting along the Mexican border however inconceivable it might be. It's all in good fun

 

Does anyone do the same?

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 1:00 AM

Not as inconceivable as some might think .  .  . During the American Civil War, while we were otherwise engaged, the French were invading Mexico. Contrary to what many think, thats where the "Cinco de Mayo" battle came from.

I've built models of USS Arizona in the configuration of 'if she had survived Pearl Harbor', so we are all subject to the vagaries of fate and the unknown .  .  .

Anything is possible, especially if a sense of imagination is permitted access.

Go for it !!!

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    September 2020
Posted by yess on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 3:01 AM

yes thank

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 3:09 AM

I build quite a few Luft 46 and paper Panzer subjects. As i mostly build diorama's, i always try and come up with a scenario for any build. For German whats if's, the starting point tends to be the Ardenne's Offensive and how things may have progressed if that had been successful.

''I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so''

On the bench: Revell 1/72nd Type VIIc U-Boat

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 5:00 AM

A couple of years ago I read a fascinating book on the death of General Patton. In the course of the book it was mentioned that Montgomery stood ready to re-arm his German prisoners and that things had reached flashpoint between Patton's troops and the Russians. It would make a hell of a story. I've seriously thought about putting it into a book. Could you imagine, the Germans and U.S. troops fighting side by side against the Russians? Talk about Luft 46!

True Blue

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 5:38 AM

Dodgy
Could you imagine, the Germans and U.S. troops fighting side by side against the Russians?

That was you-know-who's fevered dream to his very last day in the bunker....

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 6:38 AM

Not just his, large concentrations of troops holding on in the East believed it too. However I don't want to get political about this. Its an interesting concept and the politics of it would be fascinating. How could the West use German armed forces without de-nazification, how worried were Western leaders about the Soviets? As I say interesting. Units of King Tigers fighting alongside Pershings?

True Blue

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 12:10 PM

While not quite alternative history, I've made some upgraded versions of actual tanks as if they existed. For instance, I've been tinkering with the Dragon MBT70 as if the original concept of the tank worked and it was upgraded as if it had been deployed to Cold War Europe.

I've used an older Bradley fighting vehicle and upgraded the turret as if it fired a conventional cannon as opposed to the chain gun cannon it currently has.

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 12:26 PM

The British and then the French used Japanese troops as colonial police in Indochina in 45-46.

Modeling is an excuse to buy books

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 12:36 PM

I'm building the Minicraft 1/48 XF5F kit, as a hypothetical Marine bomber at Guadalcanal.  The backstory is that the Navy wound up placing an order, decided the Skyrocket wasn't carrier-capable, and handed them off to the Marines.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 1:34 PM

HooYah Deep Sea

Not as inconceivable as some might think .  .  . During the American Civil War, while we were otherwise engaged, the French were invading Mexico. Contrary to what many think, thats where the "Cinco de Mayo" battle came from.

And it was beer company marketing in the USA that took an obscure Holiday in Mexico (think smaller than pretty much any observations in the US such as Armed Forces Day or Flag Day by several magnitudes) and  into party day here akin to St Patrick’s Day.

On the original subject, it is kind of fun to do “what if?”/alternative history builds. It’s particularly fun with modern aircraft that were pitched and never sold to particular countries, or whatnot. There was a guy on here who made some presnt day “confederate Air Force” or Republic of Texas fighter Jets. I seem to remember a Mirage F1C in those markings of his. I built a Mexican Air Force F-20 Tigershark a few years back myself. I have another idea based of the pitched but never bought for a future project.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September 2020
Posted by afv_junkie on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 1:36 PM

the Baron

I'm building the Minicraft 1/48 XF5F kit, as a hypothetical Marine bomber at Guadalcanal.  The backstory is that the Navy wound up placing an order, decided the Skyrocket wasn't carrier-capable, and handed them off to the Marines.

OMG I'm so glad you posted this! For years and years I've always wanted to put one together. I read Chaykin's comic version of Blackhawks and always wanted to make a model with Soviet livery with the idea the US dumped the plane to the Russians much like the Bell Airacobra. And of course, the Soviets made the plane work for them.

Ohhhh I'm so glad you brought this up. Now I'm off looking for a kit.

 

  • Member since
    September 2020
Posted by afv_junkie on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 3:37 PM

I also had in mind a diorama of close combat between US and Soviet infantry in a hypothetical Russian invasion of Alaska.  But I get ahead of myself. Need to focus on building the T-55 first, not start a collection!

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 3:55 PM

stikpusher

And it was beer company marketing in the USA that took an obscure Holiday in Mexico (think smaller than pretty much any observations in the US such as Armed Forces Day or Flag Day by several magnitudes) and  into party day here akin to St Patrick’s Day.

Quite happy they did!  Super fun festive event indeed.  My Mexican friends do point out that a) it's not Independance day and b) not a big deal in Mexico

 

Thanks,

John

Ain't no reason to hang my head, I could wake up in the mornin' dead 

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 4:39 PM

Actually, I've known people of Mexican decent in the San Diego that did think it was their independence day, and others outside of SoCal that had never even heard of it.

The truth of it is, that it was not actually a Mexican victory; It was a hot day and the French didn't feel like doing battle in the heat, so they just simply went around the town of Puebla after a very minor skirmish and continued on. Now if you go by the old standards of battle, where whomever holds the field at the end of the day, wins, Then I guess you could call it a Mexican Victory. So what the heck; hand me a cerveza mas frio and relax.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Nashotah, WI
Posted by Glamdring on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 6:04 PM

I read a lot of alternative history novels, and while I don't model the subjects as depicted in the books I am usually inspired to build our timeline's equivalent subject...if that makes sense.  For instance after reading Harry Turtledove's Great War trilogy for the 3rd or 4th time, I had to dig out a Mark IV from the stash, but with the standard Brit markings rather than a Confederate tank on the Roanoke Front.  

Or any of the multitude of novels about the Soviet invasion of Europe in the 80, 90, or today usually make me grab a modern NATO armor kit to scratch that itch.  Though after my last Red Storm Rising read through, I broke trend and built a Soviet Heavy Cruiser.

Maybe someday I'll do that CSA build....and get a German WW1 tank for the USA.

Robert

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." 

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Denver
Posted by tankboy51 on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 6:43 PM

I've read few of them,  civil war,  WW1, WW2 , Post War stuff,  interesting, but it doesn't inspire me do any models.   Well, maybe the USS  Hillary Clinton.  Who read those books?

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 10:34 PM

tankboy51

I've read few of them,  civil war,  WW1, WW2 , Post War stuff,  interesting, but it doesn't inspire me do any models.   Well, maybe the USS  Hillary Clinton.  Who read those books?

 

That ship name sounds as abhorrent as the premise behind The Man in the High Castle...

 

I remember at one point thinking about building one of the M1s from Team Yankee.

We did have a Red Storm Rising GB on here several years back. I built USS Chicago for that GB.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, September 17, 2020 12:12 AM

I find alternative history to be an exercise in "what if", and "what if" is really "what wasn't".

As a reader of history, it has no interest to me.

Take Luft 46. Losers.

Anyhow, the real world has so much more to offer in terms of "what could be".

USS Hilary Clinton. I have no issue with that except she was never a President, Congress person who steared $B to her district, or a battlefield, or Secretary of Defence.

Abhorrent would not occur to me. USS DJT would. So far two Navy Secretaries and one CVN commander notched. One convicted SEAL war criminal pardoned over the objection of the service. Oh, and the McCain thing.

There's been a lot of thought put into what constitutes an exploration of alternative history. One serious test is plausibility. If something does not pass that test, it's as real as Mickey Mouse vs. Road Runner as far as points of fact that can get rearranged.

US and Germany vs. USSR? 

Our Germans were better than their Germans. And Erich Hartmann. Von Braun.

Read the March of Follies. Or do a search for any other topic including Folly and War.

A lot of ripe topics. Alexander doesn't get sick in India. Hitler gets killed in WW1. But there's always a germ of fact.

 

Bill

 

Modeling is an excuse to buy books

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, September 17, 2020 9:12 AM

GM is right about the plausibility level.  The more plausible the counterfactual, the more enjoyable the story can be.

The problem for anyone drafting a what-if story is that you can start with a single incident in history, propose changes to specific details and take your story from there.  But the further you move from the original details that you set, the harder it is to say what would have happened.

There are some good authors out there.  Read Robert Ferrigno's "Assassin" novels.  Or Robert Harris' "Fatherland".  Or Harry Turtledove's books.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Thursday, September 17, 2020 10:26 AM

Hmmmm;

   What If's? That's okay I guess. I have a model that could be considered a " Paper Panzer" Being as how only two were supposedly built, and only one survived the Eastern Front. Yeah the " Dicker-Max " Self propelled Gun !

    Now as to ships. There is a good group of stories called the Destroyermen. The Destroyer ( The " Star") finds herself in a weird storm. Afterwards she finds herself in an alternate world much like the one she left. But with amazing changes in the peopling of the story!

   Now what if is okay to get away from serious reading. I have read anough serious( After Battle Reports) to like "What if's" to a degree. Especially when the Good Guys almost lose, but keep it together and " Give em hell" type thing.

 Otherwise in "What If" terms I'll take Space-Ships and Alternate Galaxies or Society in the Far,Far Future!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Thursday, September 17, 2020 10:29 AM

Here's one for you.

 I thought the F-104 was not used by anyone after we shut them down. Then years later I find the West German Luftwaffe flew them with Aplomb! For some reason they had no problem with them apparently!

    When I saw one in West German livery I thought it was a What-If !

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Thursday, September 17, 2020 11:41 AM

Tanker-Builder

Here's one for you.

 I thought the F-104 was not used by anyone after we shut them down. Then years later I find the West German Luftwaffe flew them with Aplomb! For some reason they had no problem with them apparently!

    When I saw one in West German livery I thought it was a What-If !

 

Far more F-104s were used by everyone else, and also built overseas, than were ever used by the USAF. And they were used for far longer! Most of NATO, Japan, Jordan, Taiwan, and Pakistan all flew the F-104. The Italians did not retire their F-104S, a much more capable updated version, until after the turn of this century! 

To Bill, I‘ll just quote my favorite POTUS that I served under, “There you go again...” Anything more in a counterpoint statement would delve way too deeply into the VERBOTEN political arena on here.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, September 17, 2020 11:44 AM

Well as I keep building Japanese paper projects I've thought about linking them together in some sort of fictional history. 

Maybe Dr. Robert Oppenheimer terrified of handing the world another horrible new weapon sabotaged the Trinity A-bomb project. Soon the other scientists and engineers found the problem but still the confidence in the project had eroded among the 'brass hats' enough they decided to push ahead with Operation Olympic- the invasion of the Japanese home islands. Which lead to a lot of Japanese paper projects to be build and oddball Allied weapons like the T28 to enter service. 

 

As to my personal after-the-bomb scenerio I borrow liberally from the movie 'Six-Gun Samurai'. The Cuban Missile Crisis led to a full-scale atomic exchange between the Free World and the Soviets. The only US city spared was Los Vegas. Performing there was Elvis Presley who used his charisma and fame to pull together what was left of the US under his leadership. Hail to the king baby!!!  

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by PFJN on Thursday, September 17, 2020 3:19 PM

Hi,

Although I enjoy building what-ifs and will play wargames like MBT which revolves around the concept of what-if NATO and the Warsaw Pact came to blows in the 1980s, in reality I think that I am more interested in "alternate worlds" or "alternate Earths", where you are't really tied too closely to how things are specifically in our world, rather than "alternate histories".

Specifically, for the Steam Punk/Other Punk group build I ended up kitbashing a vehicle into something from some unnamed vauguely 1930-ish country involved in some sort of unnamed conflict rather than trying to fit into any specific timeline or setting too close to our world like "What-If the Germans had won WWI" or "What-if the Roman Empire never fell" or anything like that.

Vehicle

Pat Stick out tongue

1st Group BuildSP

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Thursday, September 17, 2020 5:39 PM

One of the classic what if books was Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising, really enjoyed that one. Not to mention the Jack Ryan series later when he later became President.I can't remember all the titles, but the conflict with a united Iran-Iraq,skirmishing with India, being Allies with Russia vs China, some real cool scenario.

years ago in FSM there was a gallery of what ifs, I clearly remember an Isreali A-10 and an Australian F-16

  • Member since
    July 2019
  • From: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posted by Bobstamp on Thursday, September 17, 2020 6:57 PM

Dodgy

A couple of years ago I read a fascinating book on the death of General Patton. In the course of the book it was mentioned that Montgomery stood ready to re-arm his German prisoners and that things had reached flashpoint between Patton's troops and the Russians. It would make a hell of a story. I've seriously thought about putting it into a book. Could you imagine, the Germans and U.S. troops fighting side by side against the Russians? Talk about Luft 46!

I can imagine that! Especially since they were, nominally at least, allies. Here's something less believeable that actually happened:

In 1945, British Indian troops under General Douglas Gracey — not French troops — entered Vietnam to accept the surrender of the Japanese occupation force, which was immediately incarcerated. Then, after Gracey refused to entertain Ho Chi Minh's desire to end the French occupation of his country, he released the Japanese POWs, armed them, and sent the British Indian troops and the Japanese troops after the Viet Minh.

The Viet Minh didn't have the firepower to fight the combined British-Japanese force, so they retired into the wildnerness of Northwest Vietnam to await a better day, which arrived in 1946 with the beginning of the First Indochina War between France and the Vietminh. And that war, of course, eventually segued into the Vietnam War. Thank you, General Gracey! (Source — The British in Vietnam: How the Twenty-five Year War Began, by George Rosie)

books.google.ca › books
 
 
George Rosie.

Bob

On the bench: Italeri 1/72 UH-34 Seahorse helicopter; Academy 1/72 F-86F Sabre; Revell S.S. Hope, being built as the hospital ship U.S.S. Repose, and a diorama to illustrate the crash of a Beech T-34B Mentor which I survived in 1962.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Thursday, September 17, 2020 7:06 PM

Here is another interesting one

 

The Battle for Castle Itter was fought in the Austrian North Tyrol village of Itter on 5 May 1945, in the last days of the European Theater of World War II.

Troops of the 23rd Tank Battalion of the 12th Armored Division of the US XXI Corps led by Captain John C. "Jack" Lee, Jr., a number of Wehrmacht soldiers led by Major Josef "Sepp" Gangl, SS-Hauptsturmführer Kurt-Siegfried Schrader, and recently freed French prisoners of war defended Castle Itter against an attacking force from the 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division until relief from the American 142nd Infantry Regiment of the 36th Division of XXI Corps arrived.

The French prisoners included former prime ministers, generals and a tennis star. It is the only known time during the war in which Americans and Germans fought side by side. Popular accounts of the battle have called it the strangest battle of World War II.[4]

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Nashotah, WI
Posted by Glamdring on Thursday, September 17, 2020 8:47 PM

Gamera

Well as I keep building Japanese paper projects I've thought about linking them together in some sort of fictional history. 

Maybe Dr. Robert Oppenheimer terrified of handing the world another horrible new weapon sabotaged the Trinity A-bomb project. Soon the other scientists and engineers found the problem but still the confidence in the project had eroded among the 'brass hats' enough they decided to push ahead with Operation Olympic- the invasion of the Japanese home islands. Which lead to a lot of Japanese paper projects to be build and oddball Allied weapons like the T28 to enter service. 

 

 

One of the last books I finished was called MacArthur's War: A Novel of the Invasion of Japan by Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson.  The premise was that during fast tracked atom bomb testing, the uranium accidently went off and took out the majority of the scientists while "tickling the dragon."  This left no option but to invade Japan, with the US using MacArthur's plan retaking the Philippines and going for the home islands, rather than the Navy's island hopping strategy.

The same duo also wrote two novels featuring Erwin Rommel surviving the purge after the successful assassination of Hitler in the bomb plot, surrenduring the Wehrmacht to the US, and then teaming with the Western Allies against the SS units and then eventual Russian expansion.  Therein lies the fun of alternate history, anything can happen!

Robert

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." 

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Thursday, September 17, 2020 8:49 PM

Hi Bill. When it comes to history I consider my self to be reasonably well educated. I'm an avid reader of history and have had the good fortune to visit a number of historical sites both here and overseas, (not near as many as I would like to though). I'm also a fool for a good book and have a pretty reasonable library covering subjects as varied as history, gardening, cooking, modelling and travel and furniture/house restoration, etc. However I also like to indulge in a bit of fantasy when there is a stong thread of truth.

The two incidents I mentioned out of the book about Patton are such things, but there are more, including Churchill's mistrust of the Russians and his wish to 'liberate' the East European countries overun by them. There is also the conflict of the Berlin Airlift. Otherwise I'm happy to leave fantasy in the realms of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

Rob F

True Blue

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