Monday 26 December 2022

Emplacement/Entrenchment Components (15mm)


After working on a 3d-printed gun emplacement recently, I realised that for the most part I would have been better off with printed components that I could assemble with traditional modeling methods into emplacements or entrenchments. So I got to work in Blender and whipped up some basic pieces that I can print and work with.

The main revetments are 60mm long by 12mm high, for use with 15mm figures, and they can be pretty easily cut up, either digitally or physically after printing, to create shorter runs if need be. They're fairly period-agnostic; I think they could be appropriate for any cannon-using wargamer from the 1600s onward.

I assembled them into a complete emplacement that would fit most medium guns, and I'd fill out the glacis with foam and plaster and what-not. The 3d printing just takes care of the fiddly bits. The individual components would be more flexible, but the pre-assembled print is less trouble if what you want is a 60mm square.

I think that for entrenchments, a fire-step piece might be useful, though it might just get in the way of placing figures.

The STLs are available at

I think it likely that I might add to them over time, as I find new bits that I'd like to have.

Saturday 24 December 2022

Gun Emplacement


I think I found this 15mm gun emplacement on Thingiverse. It was some time ago, a couple of years at least, but I've just got around to printing it on my Ender 3.

I doubt very much that 3d printing it saved me any time over modeling it in traditional media, though it did save me a bit of effort by providing the basic forms. I still had to add some ground texture so that the lip of the emplacement didn't look too smooth and regular, and to apply and paint the dirt and vegetation flock.

The gun, a German 10.5cm howitzer, was printed a while ago on my Mars Pro. Somewhere I have some Peter Pig 15mm artillerymen to crew it, but right this moment I have no idea where they are.

The emplacement cavity is 75mm in diameter, the whole thing is 130mm.

Friday 23 December 2022

Blacksmith's House (28mm, WiP)


I have no memory of where this model came from; I suspect it was a Humble Bundle I went for a few years ago. I printed it a year or two ago on my Ender 3, and it's just been sitting around waiting for me to do something with it.

Now I've primed it and glued it to a bit of MDF, and started the groundwork with sawdust and dirt. Where I'll go from here I'm really not sure. It's a bit uninteresting just as it is.

To be honest, I'm not quite sure why I printed this in the first place. I have no real use for it for tabletop gaming. Still, it's something to do from time to time.

Saturday 17 December 2022

Crusader I


I thought, since I was doing Crusaderish things anyway, I really ought to do a model of the first of them all, the Crusader I.

In many respects it's very similar visually to the II and III versions, but it does differ in many details. The two pounder uses an internal mantlet, the same as that seen on some A13s and early models of the Valentine. The long-run sand shields are absent, with the Mark I having deep shields only at the rear. Early production vehicles had the wheels covered with flat steel discs, which were usually removed (or not supplied) on later ones. There are differences in the configuration of the exhaust mufflers. And so on.

The Mark I was terribly unreliable, especially in desert conditions. When it was working, it was very speedy and had a hard-hitting gun (for its time), but there would be a pretty good chance on any given day that it wouldn't be working.

The STLs for this model are available at

Test Print

I've done a test print and primed it in Vallejo Parched Grass surface primer so that I can actually see what's going on — the raw resin is white and slightly translucent, so it's very difficult to make out any detail on it. Overall I'll call the test print a success, though it's not absolutely perfect by any means.

The commander is a plastic BF figure that I bought a few years ago.

I'm tossing up whether or not to paint it in Caunter — not many of them were, but I have (finally) found some photographic evidence that some were painted in that scheme for Operation Battleaxe. I do like the Caunter scheme aesthetically, but it is a huge pain in the balls to paint, especially in teensy 1:100 scale.

Next Step

Next step(s): panel-shading over the Parched Grass surface primer with Portland Stone, which is pretty pale and bright. By leaving less paint in the hollows, and by painting in each panel separately rather than giving it an even all-over coat, it starts to give the model a bit of volume.

I've also painted in the tyres and tracks in mid-grey and mid-brown respectively. The brown is just the base colour for the tracks; they'll change considerably with weathering layers, and become a lot paler.

I could leave the whole tank overall Portland Stone, or from here I could go on to add the Silver Grey and Slate Grey areas for Caunter. I still haven't finally decided.

And now, finished

I elected in the end not to go for a Caunter scheme, mainly because I just liked the look of the model in the pale Portland Stone. For a change, instead of painting the unit markings, I used some BF decals, and as always when I do that, I kind of regret it. It made life easy, but honestly, BF decals are pretty crap when it comes to colour registration.

Thursday 15 December 2022

Crusader II


Continuing with my Crusader fetish, this time it's the Crusader II, also in 1:100 scale for 15mm gaming. This version mounted the 40mm 2 pounder gun, and was originally fitted with a bow machine-gun turret, though these were often removed since they were basically worthless. The commander figure is one from a set I bought some years ago from Battlefront.

Speaking of Battlefront, I found that I'd also bought one of their resin and metal Crusader II models years ago, and completely forgot about it. That's it on the right of this photo. It's broader in the beam than my model, but I've double and triple checked my measurements, and I'm pretty confident that I'm right and they're wrong.

I printed my model some time ago in FDM on my Ender 3, before I got my Mars Pro, and at the time I thought it was an okay wargaming model. I guess it is really, since it does look like what it's supposed to be, but since I started printing models like this in resin my quality expectations have risen quite a bit, and now I hold it in contempt — I probably won't even finish painting it. It's like when you go to drinking proper wine out of bottles instead of el-cheapo plonk out of boxes; it's a bit painful to go back once you get used to it.

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Crusader III

This is the British Cruiser Mk.VI A15 Crusader III, the last in the Crusader line. It mounted the excellent 6 pounder gun, replacing the 2 pounder of the Crusader I and II. The 2 pounder had been a very good gun in its day, but by 1942 it was no longer sufficient to deal with the newer German armour. The Crusader III also replaced its old engine with the "Liberty" engine, which solved most of the reliability issues the earlier versions had suffered from.

The model is 1:100 scale for 15mm gaming, and is my own design (you can get the STLs here, or the Crusader II here). This one has been printed in resin on my Mars Pro, but the models have been designed with FDM printing in mind.

The Crusader is one of my favourites of all the British tanks of WWII, for all its shortcomings.

Sunday 11 December 2022

Retro Pig-Faced Orcs


About a year ago I sculpted these two retro-styled pig-faced orcs, based on the aesthetics of the ancient Minifigs orcs of the 1970s. And now, at long last, I've got around to painting them.

I've painted them in a very simple "toy soldier" style, and then slathered them in Army Painter Quickshade (oil-based, dark tone).

I originally intended to do a range of different weapons for them as well; the original Minifigs range basically used the same body and just changed the weapons, so that would have been pretty straightforward. Things like archers would need a whole new figure sculpted, though I could reuse a lot of elements quite easily. If I recall correctly, the officer figures just added cloaks and helmet crests, so again, no big deal there.

However, that burst of enthusiasm has passed, and I never got around to doing any of that. Maybe some day.

Note: these are much too large to fit in with the genuine white metal figures of yore; they'd need to be rescaled to about 60% or thereabouts. These ones are designed to scale with massive modern 32mm "heroic" figure sculpts.

Thursday 8 December 2022

Desert Lizard


This is the Guy Lizard ACV, a British armoured command vehicle of WWII. It preceded the more famous AEC Dorchester, and was neither as spacious nor as comfortable. Most of them were lost in the retreat from Dunkirk, but a few made it out to the desert. I've painted it in the early-war Caunter scheme.

This is a 1:100 scale (15mm) design of my own, printed on my Mars Pro.

I've printed this before in FDM on my Ender 3, and painted that one as it would have appeared in France in 1940.

Tuesday 6 December 2022



This is a 1:100 (15mm) Chi-Ha Shinhoto, the later version with the long 47mm gun, that I designed a while ago for a commercial client, though I don't believe they've actually produced it (yet).

Since I printed it, a few months ago, both the turret and hull have developed some pretty bad cracking, and I'm not sure why. Both components were printed solid, and it may be that the innards have not cured properly, or else maybe the outer layers were over-cured... but really, I'm just flailing in the dark. It could be any number of things.