A somewhat lengthy and picture heavy post this one. A discussion over the last few days on the Sturmovik Commander Yahoo! Group about basing little aeroplanes prompted my to document what we use. Whilst I'd love to claim credit for the inspired idea of Lego pegs for basing aeroplanes, I can't; I found it on a blog some while back, but cannot find it now. So if you chance across this post, and do know who came up with it first, let me know so I can credit accordingly.
The basic premise is that you only need to buy one set of bases for your entire collection of little planes - I've got over 60 aeroplanes, but only 10 bases on the basis that I'm unlikely to ever put more than 10 on the table at any one time. This obviously saves on money long term if you intend on having a very large collection.
Okay, step 1:
Go to the Lego Pick a Brick shop here
You're looking for 1x1 'round bricks' in transparent. They're a complete git to find, so use the search facility (left arrow), then filter by clicking on the colour (right arrow)
We use a red brick every 3rd peg to easily identify altitude on the table
You'll also want some bases - we use 'Parabolic' dishes from Lego. Although I'm beginning to think it would be better to glue a peg to a more traditional wargaming base as the bigger planes can be very top heavy, and the direction/fire arcs would be easier to transcribe.
Then get yourself some magnets - I think these are 2mm in the bases themselves. Stick ten or so in some pegs. Take care to ensure you get the polarity the same on all ten...
Then 1.5 - 2mm magnets in the underside of your planes - make sure you get the polarity correct with the bases, otherwise you'll never get them to attach.
You're now ready to swap planes infinitely
Note on the Phantom I experimented with printer transparencies for plane ID, fire arcs, etc. Sort of worked, but they come unstuck with depressing regularity.
The magnets are man enough to hold even the bigger 1/600 stuff upside down - Stirling with 2mm magnet.
Then you're ready to roll - adding or removing pegs as necessary during the game. Just leaving one Speed dice to accompany the base in our case.
We think the overall effect is very good, as you get a clear perception of relative altitudes of all the planes on the table