Friday, 28 October 2016

El-Cheapo Terrain

I'm kind of a cheapskate when it comes to wargaming terrain. I hate to spend money on it, but at the same time, I want it to look at least half-way decent.

A long time ago, I found an archive of PDFs of papercraft buildings designed for WHFRP gaming. I don't remember now where they came from, and it's taken me years to get around to actually putting any of them together. They're very simple models, and they don't take much time to assemble, which is a good thing, and they're quite attractive when they're glued together.

They're in "Fantasy-Tudor" style, which perhaps isn't especially suitable for WWII gaming, but I like the look of them and they'd definitely be an improvement on wooden blocks.

I'm experimenting at the moment with scaling — they're intended for use with 25-28mm figures, and all my wargaming is either 6mm or 15mm. This one I printed at 50%, and it's just a fraction too small for 15mm; it's about 60mm tall to the peak of the roof — I'll bump up the next one to 60% and see how that looks.

This is an instance where a laser printer isn't as useful as an inkjet would be, for two reasons:

  1. The laser won't print on anything heavier than about 100gsm paper
  2. The fused toner is somewhat water-resistant, which makes gluing with PVA problematic.

The first issue I can get around by laminating prints to light card with spray glue, but the second is trickier. I can scrape away the toner on the glue-tabs, but that's kind of a pain. I think I may just re-composite a whole bunch of them on to A3 layouts and get them printed commercially on light card; it's not too expensive, and it would save a lot of faffing about.

One thing that's an issue with any papercraft model is that corners and edges tend to stand out like dog's bollocks, bright white against the printed textures where the paper has been cut or folded. It pays to run around these areas with a felt pen to subdue the glare — black is OK, but sepia or grey is less cartoonish.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Bolt Action 2 - QuickRef

While waiting impatiently for my copy of Bolt Action (2nd Ed.) to arrive, I've used what information I do have available to put this together:

Bolt Action 2 QuickRef (PDF, approx. 450Kb)

It's A4 landscape, two pages.

It's intended to be printed double-sided and laminated, so I don't have to keep flipping back and forth through the book to find the information I need when I'm playing the game.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

New and Improved, the One-Man Armoured Steam Battle-Tricycle

Click for enlarged view
Continuing with my present steampunk jag, I've whipped up a one-man armoured steam battle-tricycle in 15-20mm scale. It comes equipped with a state-of-the-art Maxim pom-pom gun.

It's available for sale at No self-respecting Victorian SF army should be without at least a dozen!

Other views - click to enlarge

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


I was forcibly off-line for a while when my internet provider had some network issues, and as a result, had to be productive.

Part of the results of that productivity was this: a steampunk tank-thing.

Now that my digital crack is flowing again, I've uploaded it to Shapeways so it can be given physical form and be birthed into the real world.

It's of indeterminate scale, and could be used with 15mm, 20mm or 28mm figures, at your pleasure. The main gun is a separate component and can be installed at whatever angle you want. On a sprue inside the hull are a pair of pintle-mounted Gatling guns that can be mounted poking out through the slot in the front of the hull — realistically, there would be room for only one, along with its gunner and loader and associated clutter, but I've provided two in case you want to make it look fiercer.

The basic form is based on an uncredited photograph I found on the web of somebody's scratch-built model, but I've jazzed it up quite a lot. So thanks, mysterious anonymous modeller.

Monday, 17 October 2016

WW1 Vickers Teams (15mm)

 These are Peter Pig's early WW1 British Vickers machine-gun teams.

They're supplied three guns to the pack, but for some reason, Peter Pig only include observers/gun-captains for two of them. At first I assumed it was a packing error, but the same occurs with the German Maxims pack, so I suppose it's company policy for some reason that I can't fathom. It's not a big deal I suppose, but it's an irritation.

I think that the Vickers used by the British army in this period would have had fluted barrel jackets, not smooth, as these ones are modelled.

They're based on 30 x 30 mm 3 mm hardboard. I've come around to using thicker bases for these sorts of things because it makes the groups so much easier to pick up and move around the wargames table than the thin steel I used to use.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Vickers Medium Mk.II*

This is my 1:100 scale Vickers Medium Mk.II*, 3d-printed in WSF by Shapeways.

I've painted it in the scheme used in the Middle East, but with no tactical markings (as yet).

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Very Tiny Gun

All of 13 millimetres long.

15mm German WWII Grenadier by Battlefront
Here's the 1:100 scale (15mm) Lewis Gun I had printed in FED resin by Shapeways.

The FED really does render pretty decent detail, and though it is more expensive than FUD, for this sprue of six Lewis Guns and pole-mounts, the difference was only a buck or so.

The trouble with modeling personal weapons for wargames figures is illustrated in the photo of the gun next to a WWII German Grenadier. To suit the figures it really needs to be modeled a bit bigger and a lot more chunky. In true 1:100 scale, it looks far too light and slender next to the figure; more like the proportions of a rifle.

That's something that can really only be determined by trial and error; you just have to find out what looks right with the figures you have.

I may do another sprue of guns in rather more exaggerated proportions for this very reason.

Vickers "Dutchman", 1936

I've uploaded a model of the Vickers Commercial "Dutchman" of 1936, in 1/100 scale for 15mm gaming.

It wasn't taken up by the British army (a very short-sighted decision) but it was sold extensively around the world, especially to the Dutch East Indies, hence its nickname of "Dutchman".

It's available at

I've made it available in WSF, but because of issues with the running gear and exhaust, I can't guarantee that it will print in that material. The default material is FUD resin, and it should be fine in that.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Conversion stuff: Vickers Light Mk.III running gear (1/56 scale)

In response to a request, I've uploaded a model of just the running gear for the Vickers Light Tank Mk.III in 1/56 scale.

It's at

Hopefully this will help people with some conversions of various interwar vehicles. The running gear is usually the trickiest part of any scratch-building project.

Friday, 30 September 2016

White Armoured Car, 1915

After much travail, here is the White Armoured Car of 1915, in 1:100 scale (15mm).

They were built by the French on the chassis of American White trucks, and remained in service right through until the 1940s. The turret mounted both a short 37mm gun and a Hotchkiss machine-gun. In French service they were known as Automitrailleuse White.

It's available at

The travail comes not so much from actually modelling the thing as from wrestling with Shapeways' systems to actually make it available for purchase and printing.

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

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.


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
and in 1:285 scale at

A 5-up sprue of the 6mm version is imminent available now at

1:285 version
1:285, 5-up

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 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.