In the dying days of the Reich, as Allied forces drove hard through the heartland, a brilliant halo appeared high above the Bavarian mountains. Operation Sternsprung had succeeded in opening a warp gate: taking the cream of their scientists and technology, die hard forces of the Reich boarded jets, flew through and disappeared.
The victorious Allies and Soviets quickly entered a new arms race; to exploit these rifts which were appearing in the skies in a range of locations. The Cold War became a space war. Within months, both sides had heavily modified their jets to operate in vacuum, and were exploring our Solar system, laying claim to rich mineral asteroids.
In the vastness of space, far from the eye of the public, Soviet and Allied forces clashed in small skirmishes, as the power blocs sought to assert sovereignty over valuable chunks of rock. Space bases were built. Soon, big corporations moved in. Protected by their own national governments and increasingly, hiring private mercenary air forces using surplus jets, the asteroid belt quickly became a "wild west" where disputes were settled with jets and cannons.
...and increasingly, outposts and bases have been destroyed with no survivors. Tensions between superpowers escalate, but - has the Reich returned from the depths of space? The last Nazi outpost in Antarctica fell in 1947, but there is speculation it was in contact with other German forces through the Argentinian rift...
Modified Vampires clash with Horten Ho.229s around an asteroid belt.
These models and asteroids will serve to test my "Vector Strike" homebrew rules. Sadly there are no actual modern jet rules I like. Check Your Six is too fiddly (and screw written orders!), Bag the Hun is too jumbled (I swear it uses 100 different game mechanics); neither allow me to use 4-8 planes per side. Hmm - might be a good game design article: "genres that defy good rules" - (aerial rules and age of sail spring to mind - I've never found a good set and the subject matter seems to defy ease of play) as opposed to genres saturated with decent rules (platoon level WW2-modern-sci fi, for example.)