Hawker Hart

To make a change from tanks and trucks and things, I've put together this model of a Hawker Hart light bomber in Blender.

I started this quite some time ago, but I really didn't have a handle on how to deal with smoothly curved shapes in Blender. I'm a bit better at it now, so I've finished it off.

The Hawker Hart was the RAF's best and most effective light bomber of the 1930s, being substantially faster than any of the biplane fighters in service at the time (such as the Bristol Bulldog, for example). It was so good that a single-seater fighter was developed using pretty much the same airframe, the Hawker Fury, and the first biplane fighter to break the 200 mph barrier (223 mph (359 km/h) at 16,500 ft (5,000 m).

Neither the Hart nor the Fury made it into WWII except in a very small way.

I thought that I had been modelling the Hart in 1/144 scale, which is the scale I've been using for all of my other 15mm wargaming aircraft. However, it turns out that it's actually 1:100 scale, which is the scale I use for all my ground vehicles and guns.

I think there's probably enough leeway in the thickness of the various members that I can resize it without too many problems, but I might have to bulk up the struts a bit. We shall see.

This print is 1:100, and it printed OK. Not spectacularly well, but OK. I tilted it forward on its nose at about 45°, so the wing supports were clustered along the leading edges. Unfortunately they also wrapped around the wing struts a bit, and I broke a couple of them trying to remove the supports.

I might try splitting the aeroplane right down the middle and printing it in two pieces; that has worked well for me in the past with aircraft models.

The 1/100 scale model is available printed by Shapeways at http://shpws.me/Rq8O for $US22.00 in their white nylon material, or $US25.00 in black.

If you have access to a 3d printer of your own, you can get the STLs at https://www.wargaming3d.com/product/hawker-hart-light-bomber/

Nashorns Galore

Battlefront's offering,
assembled and painted many years ago
I've been taking advantage of Zachary Kavulich's prolific 3d modelling labour to print some mid- to late-war German tank destroyers.

The Nashorn (pronounced naas-horn), or Rhinoceros, was first called Hornisse, or Hornet. It mounted a honking great PaK 43 88mmL71 anti-tank gun in a fairly lightly armoured superstructure on a Pz.IV hull, and could penetrate the frontal armour of any Allied tank of the war up to 1,000 metres away.

I've printed it in two formats: first, as originally released by Zachary, as a single-piece model, and then in four pieces: hull, superstructure and gun, and left and right running gear.

The multi-part print required much less in the way of supports, gave me better definition in the tracks, made cleanup a lot easier, and dropped the print time from about 14 hours to about 10. Sure, it required post-printing assembly, but that was easy-peasy, and a small price to pay for overall better results.

Now, I don't actually have a pressing need for Nashorns, and I'm very unlikely to need three on the table at once even if and when I get around to wargaming the Italian campaign, but I don't see that as a valid reason not to have some.

One-piece print

Multi-piece print

Interwar Soviets


Here are a couple of Interwar Soviet vehicles I've made in 15mm (1:100). 
The links lead to downloadable STL files for home 3d printing.

The figure is a 15mm plastic Soviet commissar/officer from PSC.

Vickers Light Tank Mk.V (2 pdr)

In the latter half of the 1930s, experiments were made with mounting a 2 pounder anti-tank gun in an open-topped box turret on a Vickers Light Tank Mk.V, to create what would later be known as a tank destroyer.

It would have had the advantages of being relatively cheap, small and easily concealable, and quite fast for its time, and the 2 pounder was arguably the best ATG in existence then. However, it would have been very vulnerable to return fire from virtually anything heavier than a machine-gun.

It was not taken up by the British army, and never went into production. However, that’s no reason not to have a model of it, if only for “what if?” scenarios.

The model comes in separate STLs for three components: the turret and turret plug, and the hull. You can get it at https://www.wargaming3d.com/product/vickers-light-tank-mk-v-2-pdr/

If you don't have access to a 3d printer, you can get the model printed for you by Shapeways at http://shpws.me/Rn3m

The figure is a WW1 British officer from Peter Pig.

T-24 Revisited

I've redesigned my model of the Soviet T-24 of 1932 for home printing, and uploaded the STLs to Wargaming3d
It's a 1:100 scale (15mm) model. It would up-scale to 1/72 OK, but any larger than that and you'd probably want to replace all the guns with something a little more delicate.
The photos shown here are SLS prints. FDM, or especially DLP would, of course, be better, but the SLS print looks quite OK as a wargaming model, and it has the advantage of being nigh-invulnerable. SPOOOON!!!

Component STLs

SLS print from Shapeways

SLS print from Shapeways

SLS print from Shapeways

Note: I've now added optional pieces so that people can, if they so desire, print the hull and tracks as separate components. I know some people like that.

Hobgoblin Archer

It has been quite a while since I've painted any fantasy figures, but this is one.

I believe it's a Citadel figure, and if I recall correctly it's one of a three-pack of hobgoblins. It's quite old; it's been hanging around my painting bench for years and years and years just based and primed.

Well, now it's done. Whether it will ever see any use in a game, only time will tell.


In the background, an Austin 10 staff car. The figure is from Battlefront.
The Bison was a class of improvised armoured lorry, created by the simple expedient of encasing the cab and engine bay in a thick shell of concrete, and putting a concrete bunker on the back. All sorts of trucks were used as the basis for these ungainly machines, and there was no particular standardization about them at all.

I was intending to make myself a model of a Bison, but then I found that a chap going by the name of DeweyCat had already made one in 28mm for free, so that saved me a bit of work. I just had to re-scale it to 1:100 and print it.

For once the visible printing layer lines are actually advantageous, as they look like cast concrete. Bonus!

King Worm Mk.III

 I was doodling idly in Blender, and I decided to give my King Worm some legs to go with his arms.

The model is about 120mm long. The STL is at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3755934

Medium C "Hornet"

The Medium C, nicknamed "Hornet", was designed towards the end of WW1, intended as a replacement for the Medium A "Whippet". It was much superior in every respect to the Whippet, but it was too late to see action in WW1. It remained in British army service until the mid-1920s.

I've made this model available before on Shapeways, but now it's available as a STL for home printing from my shop on Wargaming3d at https://www.wargaming3d.com/product/medium-c-hornet/

The model shown here has been printed horizontally, sitting on its tracks, in eSun PLA+ at a layer height of 0.08mm. It is 1:100 scale for 15mm gaming, but it can easily be scaled up or down in your slicer for other scales.

Brute Squad Base

 I designed and printed a 90mm x 60mm sabot base for my 15mm Brute Squad (they're actually 10mm Warmaster ogres I got on sale from a cheap bin).

The figures are based on 16mm (5/8") washers and the sockets are sized to accommodate those, and the base includes square cavities for two 5mm or 6mm dice at the back to keep track of casualties or morale or whatever. These are intended for my fantasy variant of Hail Caesar.

The STL is available free for download from Thingiverse at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3744480

See the dice?

Painted, flocked and finished.

Here it is with the Brute Squad in place. I epoxied some stones on either side, to make it easier to pick up and move around, and a few more scattered about just for the look of the thing.

The figures stay in place reasonably well as long as you don't fling the base about, but I've put a little blob of BluTak under each one, which holds them quite firmly in place while still allowing them to be removed and replaced at will.


The Bishop was a British attempt at a self-propelled gun, mounting the excellent 25 pounder gun-howitzer on the chassis of a Valentine tank in a big steel box. It was not entirely successful; the gun couldn't reach its full elevation, so range was impaired, and the very high silhouette made it very difficult to conceal in the desert. Very little ready ammunition could be stored in the vehicle itself, so it towed an artillery limber for its immediate use.

This is one of Bergman's 1:100 scale (15mm) models which I printed some time ago, but have just now got around to painting.

It's not likely that I'll actually use the limber on the wargames table; there's no benefit to it under the Battlegroup rules, and it would necessitate basing the whole shebang, which I prefer not to do with vehicles.

A15 Crusader in 15mm

I've uploaded some STLs for WWII British cruiser tanks for the desert war in North Africa to Wargaming3d

The Crusader II, with and without the MG sub-turret

... and the Crusader III

The models have been created at 1:100 scale for 15mm gaming, but I think they should scale up easily enough. Scaling down might be more problematic, as the 2pdr gun is a very slender item already. For 1:150 or smaller, I would probably just replace it with a short length of wire.

Test Prints and Things

The Crusader II test print was printed horizontally, with the tracks and the base of the turret right on the print-bed. As expected, the very gently sloping upper panels all show a lot of layer lines, but a bit of scraping and judicious painting will minimize those. At tabletop distances, I very much doubt they'd be noticeable in any case.

The Crusader III I split up, fore and aft, both the hull and turret, to print vertically.

This certainly ameliorates the issues with layer lines on the upper panels, though there is a bit of post-print assembly necessary.

The only real issue with this method is that the 6 pounder gun barrel, when printed vertically, was very fragile indeed, and it broke off almost immediately. I replaced it with a new one made from a length of bronze brazing rod. I've done this a lot with metal/resin models, so it's no big deal.

I've since modified the split-turret STL to remove the gun entirely, and to replace it with a socket. That should make adding a metal gun barrel a very simple matter in future.

British WWII Desert Colours

Left: a Bishop 25 pdr SPG in 71-143 Light Stone
Right: an A9 Cruiser Mk.I in 71-288 Portland Stone
Vallejo have introduced a couple of colours to their ModelAir range that I will find very useful for my early WWII British desert stuff:

  • 71-288 BSC 64 Portland Stone — the basic arid-country colour for pre-war and very early war vehicles, and the background colour for the "Caunter" scheme, and
  • 71-143 UK Light Stone — a darker shade, but similar in hue, that overlapped with and then replaced Portland Stone.

Up until now I've been using 71-075 Sand (Ivory) as a stand-in for Portland Stone, but as you can see in the swatches below, it's a much more creamy-yellow colour. 71-288 looks a lot more like how I remember the ancient and venerable Humbrol 8th Army Desert Yellow that I used to use in my far-off youth.

I have no idea how long these colours have been available from Vallejo, but I only just found them. I haven't found any explicitly Silver Grey or Slate Grey colours, so I'll just have to carry on using my equivalents for painting Caunter.

The Bigger They Are....

Huge, but silly
 I've uploaded my 1:100 scale (15mm) model of the monstrous, but somewhat ridiculous Char 2C to my shop on Wargaming3d.

When they went into production, these things were the biggest, heaviest, and on paper at least, the most powerful tanks in the world. About a dozen were eventually built, and they were sent into action against the Germans in 1940, but none of them actually made it into battle.

Does my bum look big from this angle?

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 https://www.wargaming3d.com/product/a1e1-independent-15mm/


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. 



Hawker Hart

To make a change from tanks and trucks and things, I've put together this model of a Hawker Hart light bomber in Blender. I started ...