Monday, 26 September 2016

Tančík vz. 33 (15mm)

This is my 3d-printed model of the Tančík vz. 33 in 1:100 scale (15mm), printed by Shapeways in WSF nylon. The figure, for scale, is a Battlefront 15mm German Grenadier.

It's available at http://shpws.me/MgdR

I made this model in response to a request rather than for my own interest. There's a 1:72 (20mm) version as well.

LandCrawler - WiP

I've got the basic shell of the cab sorted. I decided to go for a faceted look rather than a rounded, organic form, but that may change.

Anyway, now I have to start adding bits and pieces of Galacto-Junk to it to make it look all futury and such, and maybe an observation dome up top.

LandCrawler

Tracks, tracks galore
 I'm playing around in Blender at the moment, building a science-fictionish machine, a tracked LandCrawler.

So far I've got the chassis pretty much done, though there may be a bit of tinkering here and there still to come. I'm building this pretty much as it grows, and I don't have much of an idea yet what the superstructure is going to look like.

Whether this will ever see a 3d printer is doubtful, but you never know.
From the rear quarter

Ground level

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Peerless Armoured Car

My next 3d-printed model is the Peerless armoured car, of 1919.

It's available in 1:100 (15mm) scale at http://shpws.me/MIvy
and in 1:285 scale at http://shpws.me/MIwP

A 5-up sprue of the 6mm version is imminent available now at http://shpws.me/MIGS.

1:285 version
From
1:285, 5-up
Wikipedia:

During the First World War, sixteen American Peerless trucks were modified by the British to serve as armoured cars. These were relatively primitive designs with open backs, armed with a Pom-pom gun and a machine gun, and were delivered to the British army in 1915. They were used also by the Tsarist Russian Army as self-propelled anti-aircraft guns. 
After the war, a new design was needed to replace armoured cars that had been worn out. As a result, the Peerless Armoured Car design was developed in 1919. It was based on the chassis of the Peerless three ton lorry, with an armoured body built by the Austin Motor Company. 
The Peerless lorry was a relatively slow and heavy vehicle but was reckoned to be tough, with solid rubber tyres and rear-wheel chain drive. The armour for the vehicle produced by the Austin company was based on an earlier design created for the Russian Army, which had been used in very limited numbers at the end of the war in France. The original Austin design, however, was shorter than the Peerless and the resulting combination was awkward and difficult to steer in confined spaces. In order to reduce the problem, a duplicate set of driving controls was installed at the rear of the vehicle. 
The most common variant was a twin-turret design fitted with two machine guns. However, a number of other variants were developed, including a vehicle armed with a 3-inch gun and an anti-aircraft variant armed with a 13-pounder AA gun. 
Poor off-road performance hampered the vehicle but it still saw considerable service, notably in Ireland. A few were still in service with the British at the start of the Second World War. Seven were in service with the Irish National Army during the Irish Civil War and used by the Irish Defence Forces up until 1932. The type was not popular in Irish service. One was taken to Cork City on board the SS Avronia as part of the sea-borne landing force but took a long time to unload. The car was reliable, but slow, heavy, unstable, and unsuitable for poor roads - effectively meaning that its deployment by the Irish military was almost exclusively restricted to urban areas. (See Rolls Royce Armoured Car.) In 1935, four Irish Peerless armoured hulls were mounted on modified Leyland Terrier 6x4 chassis. A year later their twin turrets were replaced by a single Landsverk L60 tank turret. This new vehicle was known as the Leyland Armoured Car and remained in Irish service until the early 1980s. The 14 old Irish Peerless turrets with their Hotchkiss machine guns were fitted in 1940 to 14 Irish-built vehicles and designated the Ford Mk V Armoured Car.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

A1E1 Independent (15mm)

This is my model of the A1E1 Independent in 1:100 scale, 3d printed by Shapeways in WSF sintered nylon.

I've always wanted a model of this tank for wargaming, and now I have one. I suspect it will be more effective on the games table than it ever would have been in real life.

And I see, now that I've photographed it, that once again I've forgotten to paint in the headlights.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Frosted EXTREEEEEEEEEEME!!!!!!!!! Detail

I just got another box of goodies from Shapeways, and among them is the first thing I've ordered in their Frosted Extreme Detail material.

These are Lewis guns and pole mounts in 1:100 scale.

They're pretty tiny. It's difficult to see just how well the material has captured the detail in the file, but it looks pretty good at first glance.

The difference in price between FUD (Frosted Ultra Detail) and FED for this particular model is only a buck, so I thought I might as well give it a try.

And here's the rest of the stuff in my usual WSF.
I'm gradually building a fair interwar arsenal in 15mm.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

A Battery of Bishops

Next up in the micro-scale desert war is this battery of Bishop 25 pounder SPGs, in 1:300 scale from Heroics & Ros.

I don't normally base vehicles, but these are an exception because of the limber; just having it attached to the Bishop by a glue point would be asking for it to break off and be irretrievably lost somewhere.

In fact, the Bishops are only attached to the base by a magnet which grips a little square of steel. The base itself is also magnetic, for secure storage and transport.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

2 pdr portee

These 1:300 2 pounder portee models are from Heroics & Ros. The models come with only two crewmen moulded in: the driver and the gunner. I've added some more from the spares box.

Guns! Guns! Guns!

These are the first models I've designed specifically for 1:285 (6mm) scale, rather than starting out with a 1:100 scale model and down-scaling it. As a consequence, they're very much simplified in terms of their geometry, and I've had to make no real changes to accommodate Shapeways' 3d-printing material limitations. So, hoorah.

They're available from my Shapeways shop at http://shpws.me/MGqB for $17 ($22 for the super-duper detailed resin).

In the early part of WWII, British medium gun battalions were huge: twelve guns each. That didn't last all that long; though able to bring down a frightening amount of firepower in a very short space of time, the twelve-gun batteries weren't flexible enough in use, and they were split up into more manageable sizes.

However, if you want to represent an early battery, you need a lot of guns, so here they are: twelve early-model 25 pounders with their limbers. The guns are represented in firing mode, and I haven't yet made a model of a quad tractor — when I do, I'll probably make another sprue with the guns and limbers in travel mode. But that may not be for a while; it's not a big priority for me.

Monday, 12 September 2016

CMP Caunter


These Ford CMP 15cwt trucks are from Heroics & Ros, with tilt-frames and a tilt added by me from copper wire and Green Stuff.

I like the Caunter pattern camouflage scheme. It's a pity it didn't last longer in service. I don't know enough about it to know why it was superseded, but I imagine there were good reasons.

The Vallejo triad I use for the Caunter colours are

  1. GameColor 72.034 Bone White (lightest tone, Light Stone)
  2. ModelColor 70884 Stone Grey (middle tone, Silver Grey)
  3. Panzer Aces 318 US Army Tank Crew (dark tone, Slate)

I started out using ModelColor 70830 German Fieldgrey WWII as the darkest tone, but in this scale it was just a little too dark. The lightest tone, Light Stone, should be a warmer pale yellow-ochre shade, but again I've lightened it because in this small scale it just looked wrong.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

2 pounders (1:300 scale)

Among the models I got from Heroics & Ros recently were these 40mm 2 pounder anti-tank guns. It was, in its day, the best anti-tank gun around, and the British used it to arm just about everything; though it was obsolescent by quite early in WWII, it was kept in service past its use-by date mainly because it was logistically expedient. It was eventually replaced by the 57mm 6 pounder.

I'll be using these to haul them around the battlefield. I'm not sure precisely what they are or who made them, but I think they're more H&R models, and the word "FORD" is engraved on their underside along with a product number (now unreadable, as I've glued magnets under there).

I assume it's meant to represent one of the variants of the CMP 15 cwt truck.

I don't know if they originally had separate canopies, but if so they're long gone. So, I'm adding tilt frames out of copper wire, as on the one on the front-left.

Later on....

I've finished the tilt-frames, and made a tilt for one out of Green Stuff.

I found it quite difficult to keep the putty tilt square and sharp, and I think I'll probably have to artificially enhance its geometry with paint. Nevertheless, it's a good enough result for my purposes.

And now for some paint. I'll do them in Caunter, I think.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Tiny Rommel

This is the Rommel Personality Set in 1:300 scale from Heroics & Ros, plus a SdKfz 250/1 converted into a 250/3, GREIF, one of Rommel's command vehicles.

I'm not that happy with the aerial — the connection points are pretty blobby. Maybe I would have been better soldering it rather than relying on superglue gel. Ah well, too late now. In any case, my soldering is crap.

So, now Tiny Rommel is going to get to be personally in command of every single tiny battle and skirmish forever more, no matter how trivial or insignificant it might be.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

New bits from Heroics & Ros

2 pounder portee
2 pounder anti-tank gun and crew

A small package awaited me when I fought my way through the storm to the letterbox today — my most recent order from Heroics & Ros. I bought some bits and pieces to fill out my forces for the WWII .desert war.

As well as the things I've photographed here, I got some kneeling German artillery crews to man the crewless German guns I already have, and some 8th Army infantry in desert dress with their knees showing — plus some British heavy weapons teams to give them some support.

The main reason I've photographed these at all is because I recently got a cheap Chinese ring-flash for my camera, and I wanted to try it out. Its performance is not stellar, and its communication with the camera is rudimentary, but it fills a niche. I shall have to attach a Minimum Safe Distance prong to it though; the camera focuses to a closer distance than the ring-flash can illuminate evenly.
Bishop 25 pdr SPG

Rommel personality set

Peter Pig speed-painting

15mm early WW1 Germans advancing from Peter Pig
I've had these guys sitting around unfinished for far too long, so I thought I'd accelerate them with a speed-painting experiment.

They're very simply block-painted, and then brushed with ArmyPainter Quickshade (Dark Tone). That stuff dries (very slowly) to a high gloss, so I gave them a squirt with Vallejo matte varnish; the middle chap in the group to the left has had some bits missed in his crevices. If I remember, I'll include him in a later batch for re-spraying, but the chances are good that I won't remember.

The QuickShade finish is quite crude, but it is certainly quick (apart from the drying time), and it provides a shading finish that I'm happy enough with for gaming purposes. I wouldn't use it for display models.

I rather like Peter Pig figures. The only real issue I have with them is that the range of poses in a set tends to be quite limited, but that's not a big problem when they're going to be used simply as playing tokens.

Oh, the white beads glued to the figure bases by their feet are what I use to indicate a figure's weapon load. My eyes are getting steadily more and more decrepit, so it's helpful for me to have an indicator that means I don't have to keep bending down to figure-level and squinting to see what'what. The white beads mean rifles.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

A1E1 Independent (15mm)


This is Shapeways' WSF material render,
with all the turrets on sprues.
The model is available now at http://shpws.me/MERL
There were two tanks I couldn't get hold of in 1:100 (15mm) scale, that encouraged me to get into digital design. One was the Vickers Medium Mk.III, which I made my very first project in Blender. The other was the A1E1 Independent.

Now I have designs for them both, and if I can get Shapeways to print this one (they're being obstructive at the moment; I think somebody has "improved" their website again) then I'll have physical examples of them as well.

High port front

High port rear

High starboard front

Plan view

Side view

Thursday, 1 September 2016

T27a tankette (1:285)

Here's the diminutive interwar Soviet T27a tankette in 1:285 scale. It's small enough in 1:100, but this one is only about 9.5mm long.

It's at http://shpws.me/MDlJ

They really need to be used in swarms, so I may have to go back on my resolution to delay sprued multiples just this once. I'll have to find out something about the composition of the units they were used in to determine the optimal number to put on a sprue.


OK, so it turns out that the pricing sweet spot for this one is for ten tankettes on the sprue. The single model is $11, while this lot — two whole platoons of tankettes — is only $15.

I couldn't find precise information about the Soviets' use of tankettes specifically, but I did find out that light tank battalions used five-tank platoons right up until they were disestablished in 1943, and I'm making the assumption that tankettes were organised similarly.

The ten-up sprue is available at http://shpws.me/MDzT

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Lancia (1:285)

Here's the Lancia armoured truck in 1:285 scale, based on the 1921 version used in Ireland and elsewhere.

I should probably also put out a version with the anti-missile cage frame mounted over the back, though it would look a lot chunkier in this scale than it actually was.

You can get it at http://shpws.me/MDfo

I've decided to hold off on putting out any more multiple-model sprues until I can be sure that the single models will print successfully. It shouldn't impact too much on my clientele anyway; I don't recall very many people buying other than the single models, which indicates to me that they're being bought by collectors rather than gamers, since the sprues are all so much better value for money if you're wanting more than one.

And here's the version with the anti-missile frame, as used in Ireland. It would have been covered in wire mesh, to ward off grenades, bricks and other missiles (though I doubt that it would have been any use against the contents of chamber-pots).

That's as thin as I can make the framing, but remember that although it looks like it's made out of telephone poles the members are actually only 0.6mm thick.

You can get this one at http://shpws.me/MDhT

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Austin-Kegresse in 1/285

This is the next on the list of miniaturizations — the Austin-Kegresse half-track, based on the Austin-Putilov armoured car.

This one was a bit of a nightmare to re-scale; it needed a lot more work than usual to make it printable. I think I've got it now... fingers crossed.

The single model is available at http://shpws.me/MD4g

The five-up sprue is at http://shpws.me/MD4i

(I've temporarily withdrawn the five-up sprue until I've had a successful print of the single model).

Monday, 29 August 2016

More Shrinkage

Next up, the WW1 and interwar Russian/Soviet Garford-Putilov. It's an ugly thing, but somehow endearing.

The single model is at http://shpws.me/MCK5

The four-up sprue is at http://shpws.me/MCK6

Honey, I Shrunk All The Things

In response to a request, and coincidentally with my own reawakening interest in 6mm gaming, I've started on a programme of re-scaling a whole bunch of my digital 1:100 models to 1:285.

I've started with this one, the Kfz 3, because it's easy and required minimal redesigning for the smaller scale.

The single model is available at http://shpws.me/MCH9, the four-up sprue (much better value for money if you want more than one) is at http://shpws.me/MCHI.

More to come, imminently.