Medium C Hornet again, but bigger

 

I've redesigned my 1:100 scale model of the Medium C "Hornet" for 1:56 (28mm). That mainly means refining the size of the rivets, adding some detail to the Hotchkiss machine-guns, and a few other bits and pieces.

Renault UE Chenillette (1:100)

 

The Renault UE Chenillette was a utility vehicle designed for the French army and adopted in the mid 1930s. It was never intended as a fighting vehicle, though it was armoured against small arms — it was intended as a light gun tow, and as a resupply vehicle. The cargo bin on the back could be tipped and unloaded from within, without having to expose the crew to enemy fire. Captured examples were widely used by the Germans in a variety of roles, especially in Russia.

This is a 1:100 scale model intended for 15mm gaming, but it should rescale pretty well up to 28mm scales.




I have included three cargo modules that can be printed separately and be slotted into the cargo bin, or not, as the user desires.




It may be possible to print the 1:100 scale model in FDM, but I have only printed it in resin, so I can make no guarantees there.

The STLs are available from wargaming3d.com at https://www.wargaming3d.com/product/renault-ue-chenillette/


Abandoned Lighthouse

Clickupon to embiggenate

I'm not sure who was the author of this model, nor where it originally came from. It might have been Thingiverse, it might have been from one of the Humble Bundles of STLs I've collected over time. All I know about it is that it's named "Abandoned Lighthouse", and it's scaled for use with 28mm figures.

It prints in several parts: one for the island, one for each floor of the tower (of which there are five), one for the roof, and a couple of light options. The one I've chosen is a simple brazier, the other is a sort of magical egg-light.

The tower sections include some interior detail, and it comes apart so that miniatures can be put inside.




I painted the stonework using the "leopard spot" technique.

First everything is painted in loose splotches of  raw sienna, burnt umber, and a sort of terracotta orange. The paint is quite loose, so it flows around and mingles a bit at the edges of the other colours.

In retrospect, I think yellow ochre would have been a better choice for the lightest tone, and burnt sienna for the middle.

At this point it all looks fairly terrible and gaudy.





Next I overpaint it all with a couple of layers of a black wash.

This tones down all the clown colours and unifies them tonally.

It all looks pretty dark now, but there's a variation in tone underneath the black wash that still shows through.





Then I dry-brushed with a cream colour, and highlight with pure white.

This lightens everything substantially, and brings out the surface detail of the model.

In this photo, I've also made the very first start on some vegetation, but at this point it's more like a bowling lawn than a wild weed patch.



Ballista


This is the ballista model supplied with Printable Scenery's ships.

It's quite a nicely detailed model, and it could do with being printed quite a bit larger — a 200% or even 300% print wouldn't be over the top for a siege engine. 

The figure, as usual, is Sergeant Measureby, present for scale.

Ships from Printable Scenery

 

Our AD&D group are about to take to the high seas, and that being the case, I thought it might be useful to print a couple of ships.

They're both from Printable Scenery; the top one is their fluyt, a small square-rigged merchant ship of Dutch origin, and the bottom is a lateen-rigged dhow, an all-purpose Arabic type used from the North African coast right over to India and beyond. I haven't given them any masts or sails, because they'd just get in the way in their use as gaming terrain. We'll just have to imagine masts and sails. I also haven't given them any cannon, since I don't hold with those sorts of shenanigans in my AD&D games. That's what wizards are for.

They've both been printed on my Ender 3 in eSun PLA. The figures are various 28mm fantasy miniatures; I don't have much in the way of actual sailor-men, though I think I've got a few pirates from the last Reaper Kickstarter I went in for; I shall have to dig them out. 

2021-08-16: And More


And now, some more.

The white-primed ones are, from left to right, a brig, a couple of 8-oar longboats, and a skiff.

I still have a sloop and a frigate to print.



I've tried out some masts on the skiff. They're made from 4mm and 6mm dowels.

Even without any other rigging, some simple masts go a long way to making the boats look more like sailing vessels, and they shouldn't impede the playability of the models to any great extent. Additionally, for those ships that have fighting tops, they'd actually be present on the model rather than having to represent them off to the side or something.

The down-side is that installing the masts is going to be kind of a pain in the arse.




2021-08-19: Sloop

Here we have the sloop, a single-masted vessel, 300mm (about a foot) long, not including the bowsprit.

Nearly done with the actual 3d printing, just the frigate to go. Apart from that, it will all be just messing about with bits of dowel and some rudimentary rigging.




And later that day...

The first two sections of the frigate have completed printing.

It's a rather patchwork affair, as I ran out of the black filament and swapped over to finish off a spool of this light blue: in truth, that wasn't the best idea as that blue is pretty bad filament, and its inter-layer bonding is not great, resulting in a rather weak print. I haven't had great success with any coloured filaments at all apart from white, grey and black.

However, it will probably do okay for this purpose, though I've swapped it out for some grey PLA+ for the stern component.

The stern will take as long to print as these two pieces together; about a day and a half.




2021-08-21: the Brig

In scale, this would be a pretty tiny brig. The crew complement of a Napoleonic brig-of-war was about 130 men, and cramming 130 28mm figures on to this model would be challenging, to say the least.




2021-08-22: the Frigate

Now the frigate is finally finished printing, and a good amount of time it took too. It doesn't look all that much bigger than the little brig beside it, but it is longer, broader, and much taller, and whereas the brig's two components took about a day to print, the frigate's three components took more like two and a half days.

I've got it primed and pretty much ready for painting, but when that will happen I don't know — I'm getting kind of sick of these ships now.

Basilisk

 

The basis of this model is an old sculpt of Miguel Zavala's, that I have taken into Blender and sculpted a bit to add detail. He's actually updated his basilisk model since this one was originally designed, so it wasn't really a necessary job, but it gave me a bit more experience at organic sculpting in Blender, so that's all to the good.

The skin scale texture is a bit more even than I would have liked, and the limbs could have done with some more muscle and skin-fold definition, but never mind. It will do.

The thing's face reminds me of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, though nastier.

Mausoleum #03

 

This is the third in the Printable Scenery Hallowed Mausoleum set. So far I've just printed and primed it, and since I'm going out of town for a week or so, that's as far as it will go for a little while, but I thought I might as well make a start on it.


Bronze.....

...or stone?

This one definitely needs a sarcophagus in it I think. Fortunately I have some that I got in the very first Reaper Bones Kickstarter.

Printable Scenery Ruin

 

This is the front half of a two-part ruin from Printable Scenery, printed on my Ender 3. It's scaled for use with 28mm figures.

I had originally intended it as a vehicle for using my new static grass applicator, but that turned out to be such a useless piece of junk that I reverted to my old favourite, foam flock. There is a bit of static grass on there, but it was applied via the old sprinkle-and-blow method, rather than via this new-fangled static electrickery.


This is the back half. It's a bit less architecturally interesting than the front, but it has its moments.


And here they are, both together.

Photo Stage Paddock

 


From time to time I have an urge to photograph my models on a more naturalistic background than a plain white, grey or black background. So I threw this little photo stage together.

It's on a 180mm circle of heavy card that I had lying around that I had cut for some other, now long forgotten, project. I painted it with blotchy mud-brown acrylics, and then went to town with various grades and colours of foam flock, and a few tufts and patches of static grass. There's some actual dead leaves on there too, fairly thoroughly pulverized in a small blender I keep in my workshop for that sort of thing.

The 28mm Sergeant Measureby is there, as usual, for scale.

Mail-Order Junk

 

This static grass applicator arrived for me from China via Bangood today.

It is absolute shit. Not only does it not work very well, it doesn't seem to work at all. The power source is just a couple of AA batteries, and even if everything else was top-notch (it's not), they just don't generate enough current to do the job.

D-, Would not recommend.

Another 3d Printed Ruin

 

This ruin, again from Printable Scenery, was printed in two parts, and took about three days of printing all up. You can see a big gap between the front and back sections; I haven't yet decided whether or not I'll fill it or leave the model in two pieces.

There are quite a few stringing boogers remaining, and normally I'd scrape them all off, but in this case I intend to use them as the basis for some creeping ivy on the walls and pillars.

Unlike the mausoleum I completed recently, this model is going to have a whole heapin' helpin' of grass and moss added after the painting of the stonework is complete. That's going to be a while away though, because I want to mainly use static grass, and I'm waiting for a static applicator to arrive from Canada — and that's probably a month or six weeks away, under current conditions.


A couple of days later...




I've applied some limited colour to the ruins with various washes and glazes, and until the vegetation goes on, that's about all the colour there will be.

As well as some grasses and bushes around the base, I want to add some mosses and things growing on the stones of the ruins themselves. I find this tends to seat the structure within the scene, rather than making it look like it's just been plonked down on to a scenic base.

Several days later...


I've made a beginning on applying some vegetation to the ruin.

At the moment, the glue is still quite wet, and I'll let it dry out completely before I go any further as the colours will change a bit, and I want to be able to see just what is going on.

I'll probably have to knock back some of the more lurid colours by spraying a filter over them, but we shall see.

Most of the ground cover is foam flock. The mossy patches are static grass, and the bushes are lichen of some sort.

Power Grid Resources

 

Power Grid is probably our most-played boardgame. I have a bunch of expansions for it, and it constantly results in surprising and exciting play — no game is exactly like any other. It's immensely replayable.

Today I made a tray out of plywood to organise the resource tokens, which until now have been kept in another little rimu box I made, but which was inconvenient to get the tokens out of. This should be easier.

In truth, it's bigger than it really needs to be, but not by much. The yellow tokens (garbage) are the problematic ones; they're a lot bulkier than any of the others, and there are a lot of them, so they take up more space.

I have a plan for a magnetic lid. I'll probably do that tomorrow.

Mausoleum

 

Here's another terrain piece from Printable Scenery, this time a ruinous mausoleum. It's one of a pack of three (one of which is in two parts).

I have not yet decided whether to leave the mound bare and stoney, or to put some grass flock on it. I'm leaning towards leaving it though; I think it adds to the Gothic atmosphere of the thing.

I printed it on my Ender 3; it took about 28 hours I think.

As usual, Sergeant Measureby is there with his Spear of 5mm Increments, for scale.

Ocker Eyetie

 

For certain reasons I had to do a test-print in resin of my 1:100 Fiat M13/40 model today.

I already have sufficient of them for my Italians, printed in FDM on my Ender 3, and I'm quite satisfied with those prints as wargaming models.

Therefore, I thought I'd paint this one up as one of those captured by the Australians, like this one here.

The vehicle in this photo looks quite dark, and I'm not sure if that's because it was still in its original olive green, or if it's painted in the red-brown used as one of their disruptive camo colours.


I worked out an easy way of painting those Aussie kangaroos in a series of simple geometric shapes, but I never actually put it to the test in real life.

Now's my chance to put my money where my mouth is.

Skeleton Crew

 


The skeletons are printed from a digital model by Tom Tullis at Fat Dragon Games. The necromancer is a miniature from Reaper.

Strength

 

I've heard murmerings, from time to time, about how "unrealistic" the minimum required strengths listed in AD&D for using various weapons are.

The two-handed sword, for example, is commonly brought up as an example. In real life, they tend to weigh somewhere in the region of seven to ten pounds, though their listed encumbrance value (from memory) is 25 pounds.

Let's ignore the encumbrance value for the moment, since as well as its raw weight that's also supposed to take into account the fact that a two-handed sword is a big, awkward thing to carry around all the time. The minimum strength required just to use a two-handed sword without penalty is (again, from memory) 15.

"15 STR needed just to swing an eight pound sword?" I hear them cry. "Ludicrous! I can swing an eight pound wood axe easily, and I'm puny!"

What these carpers and moaners fail to take into account is that the strength required is not just to lift and swing the sword, but to do that again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again.  And again. And do that while ducking and dodging and maneuvering for advantage. And do it with enough muscle to be able to steer the thing with enough finesse to ever be able to hit anything, or to defend yourself from being hit. Exhaustion can set in surprisingly quickly, even when using a much lighter weapon than a two-handed flamberge.

Fighting is tiring, is the point, and swords get very heavy very fast.

British WWII 7.2" Howitzer (1:100)

 

I've been tinkering away at designing a 1:100 scale digital model of Britain's standard heavy gun of WWII, the 7.2" howitzer. It was derived from the WWI vintage 8" howitzer, with a new barrel to cater to heavier charges and new, better ammunition. It used huge chocks in an attempt to keep the gun roughly in place after firing; even so, it was not unknown for the most powerful charges to send the gun right up and over its chocks, presumably to the loud swearing (and peril) of the crew.


This model shows it on its original carriage. It was later put on the four-wheel split-trail carriage of the US 155mm "Long Tom", which was better able to handle the massive recoil generated by the gun's most powerful charges.

The STLs for the gun and its chocks can be found at https://www.wargaming3d.com/product/british-7-2-howitzer/

Figures are Battlefront 15mm Mediterranean British infantry.





I finally got around to printing the huge chocks this thing used to keep it from bounding all over the landscape, and put it on a small base made from an off-cut of an old credit card.

Green Red Horde

 

Quite some time ago, I designed a 1:100 scale model of the Soviet T27 tankette (based on the Carden-Loyd Mk.VI) and uploaded it to Shapeways. Unfortunately, Shapeways 3d printing is still pretty expensive, so though I did get a sample printed, I never went ahead with the numbers that would be required for these little cockroaches.

Of course, now that I have a resin printer of my own, all that has changed. I've printed 21 of them so far, which is enough for between four and seven platoons, depending on how much I want to pay for them in Battlegroup: Barbarossa (it's 25 points for a three-tankette platoon, and an extra 10 points for up to two more).

The thing is, they're pretty pointless on a Barbarossa-era battlefield. They're unreliable, their narrow tracks bog easily, the armour is minimal, and they're armed with just a single 7.62mm machine-gun. They'd been declared obsolete by about 1935, and though there were still some around by 1941 they were relegated to towing light anti-tank guns like the 37mm and 45mm.

They were more common in the Winter War of '39-40, but even then they weren't front-line vehicles, and they didn't deal at all well with the snow.

Still, I've got them now.

A Couple of New Old Models

 I've been gradually working my way through the models I originally designed for printing by Shapeways to make them more suitable for home printing on FDM machines. These are about the last of those old models, I think.


The Peerless armoured car, designed in 1919 to replace vehicles worn out in WW1 service. It was heavy, and its off-road performance was pretty poor, but it was tough and it saw quite a lot of service with the British army, and with other forces as well. It was used a lot in Ireland.

There were still some in British service at the beginning of WWII.

The STLs are available at https://www.wargaming3d.com/product/peerless-armoured-car/

Test print



The Soviet Komintern heavy tractor was based on the chassis and running gear of the extremely unsatisfactory interwar T-24 medium tank, which, among other failings, had a habit of spontaneously bursting into flames.

The Komintern was much more successful, and spawned a much-used lineage of similar vehicles that saw a great deal of service throughout WWII. It was primarily an artillery tractor, but was also used as a personnel carrier and as a recovery vehicle.

The STLs are available at https://www.wargaming3d.com/product/komintern-heavy-tractor-15mm/ and include models with or without the canvas tilt.

Delusions of Grandeur, Maybe

 

I was looking through the Battlegroup: Barbarossa book, to see what extra use I could get out of my Winter War Soviets.

A BT-7 company needs seventeen tanks. That's a lot of printing and painting, and I don't know if I can really be bothered. If I print two more, sans aerial, I'll have enough for two platoons.

Each tank takes a little under four hours to print, so theoretically I could produce six per day, but honestly that's a highly unlikely production rate. Two or three is more my speed, mainly because washing, clearing supports, and and curing is a real pain in the arse.