Brand New for 1926, the A1E1 Independent from Vickers!

I'm building my 15mm A1E1 Independent (a British experimental tank from the 1920s-30s). I'm quite fond of these old rivet-studded land dreadnaughts.

The STL is available at


I printed the turrets and hull separately, as I wanted to use line supports and a support roof for the turrets, and tree supports for the hull.

The hull has been split into two pieces, fore and aft, and printed vertically. I find this tends to give me the cleanest detail in the running gear, and on sloping panels which would have very pronounced layer lines if printed horizontally.

Here the two parts of the hull have been cleaned up (I'm getting a fair amount of stringing at the moment.)

The turret has had a magnet glued into the base of its turret plug, and a nail head is glued into the bottom of the socket. This allows the turret to rotate freely, but it won't just fall out if I turn the model over.

The MG sub-turrets will just be glued in place; it's not really important for game purposes that they be able to rotate.

I'm keeping some of the tree supports (to the right of the photo) and I'll turn them into dungeon terrain pieces.


Assembled and primed, now all that's needed is the final paint job.

I replaced the exhaust pipes with lengths of wire, as I broke one of them off when cleaning up the print. The down-side to printing the hull vertically is that elements like these, which would be quite strong if laid down horizontally, become a bit fragile.


I've used Vallejo ModelAir 70013 Yellow Olive to represent the British peacetime military Deep Bronze Green.

I've tried it before and not been that happy with it, but I realised that's because I sprayed a matte-coat over the top. The peacetime vehicles were always finished in a satin or high gloss finish, for smartness rather than concealment, so I've given this one a satin finish as well. It makes a much better Deep Bronze Green this way.

It's been given a very light dry-brushing with a much lighter yellow green of my own recipe, and it's been pin-washed with Nuln Oil. There are no markings (as yet); the original vehicle has none except for serial numbers and the like. 



Record Keeping

 I have never been good at keeping track of process notes. It was a requirement at art school, and I did it fairly well there, but then I got out of the habit again. It's something that I've seen recommended again and again, but for one reason or another (mainly laziness, if I'm being honest) I just haven't done it.

Now I'm making a conscious effort to be more organised in that respect, so that I don't have to reinvent the wheel every time I do something. My memory isn't terrible, but neither is it perfect, and having the specifics of a project written down is always handy if there's any chance at all that I might want to repeat it some time in the future.

I've used a wire-bound A5 sketchbook with decent heavyish cartridge paper pages that will take paint and glue without too much show-through. I really don't like wire-binding, but it does have the advantage that the book stays flat when it's open, and if I need to get rid of a page I can just tear it out without affecting the rest of the binding. The A5 size is convenient; the pages are large enough to fit a decent amount of information, but the book doesn't take up too much room when it's open for reference.

3d Printing All Over The Show

Now that my printer's back in action, I've been expanding my 15mm WWII catalogue a bit, though without any particular care about a consistent theme.

In the foreground, and up on the wooden block, are a pair of German sIG-33 150mm infantry guns. The grey vehicles are Italian Autoblinda AB-41 armoured cars, and on a painting stand at the back is a spare turret to turn one of them into an AB-40. And the khaki-green thing on the other painting stand is another Bren carrier.

The quality I've been getting from the printer has dropped off a bit, and I need to do a bit of maintenance on it. I'll put on a new nozzle for a start, and check the Bowden tube — that may need renewing too. If they don't take care of the issue, perhaps a spacer on the extruder spring might be in order, but first things first.

Firing Arc Protractor

This might be of use to somebody, if you have access to a 3d printer: it's a simple protractor for determining if a target is within your firing arc.

BEF Bren Carrier

Here's a 3d-printed 15mm (1:100) Bren Carrier. This is one of the predecessors to the Universal Carrier, which removed the need for several dedicated vehicles for specific roles.

The original model was designed by M. Bergman; I've added rivet and track detail, and a couple of reasonably detailed crewmen. It's an acceptable print in FDM for a wargaming model, but it would be a lot better if printed in resin on a DLP or SLA printer. I don't have access to one of those, so what I've got is what I've got.

I'll probably print a couple more at some stage, because why not, but I actually already have enough metal Universal Carriers to equip a full battalion, so they're not really strictly necessary for my wargaming needs.

New Zealand Pattern Wheeled Carrier

This was a New Zealand assembled version of the Indian pattern carrier. It differed from the original Indian vehicle by being welded rather than riveted, and it had larger wheels. It shared with its progenitor the flaws of being under-powered, and having quite poor off-road performance, and the New Zealand carrier didn't see overseas service at all until the Korean War, when it was employed as an artillery observation vehicle.

The Indian pattern, on the other hand, saw service in North Africa and in the Far East, and I have painted this one up as one of those in the desert theatre, in a camouflage pattern from about 1942-43.

The model is a 1:100 scale (15mm) 3d print, designed by M. Bergman and printed by me on my Ender 3.

Flak 36

Since my 3d printer crapped out, I've been painting some of the stuff I'd already printed and then put aside, in this case because it's really not a very good print.

The crew are 15mm German artillerymen from Peter Pig, and they too aren't the best. Peter Pig produce a wide array of figures, but their faces do all look like they've come straight out of Munch's The Scream, and in this case, they would be better suited to a smaller, lower gun than the 88. However, they're what I've got, so they're what I've used.

The base is 3mm MDF with a variety of home-made sawdust and foam flocks.

4.5cm PaK (t) auf R-35 (f)

 I whipped this up mostly out of digital bits and pieces I had left over from other Blender projects. It's a German hodge-podge of a...