Tuesday 20 February 2024

Churchill NA-75 (15mm)


 On the off-chance that we might get a Battlegroup campaign book for Italy before I shuffle off this mortal coil, I've been messing about with one of the estimable Mr Bergman's designs, a Churchill NA75.

I've done almost nothing to the model itself except to add some sockets to magnetize the turret, but I've added a commander figure based on the one I did for my Humber scout car.


I've got a troop of three printed and primed, and now I just have to remember how I painted the last Churchill I did.


I like the way it turned out, but I painted it some considerable time ago in 2018, and I didn't make any notes. So I'll have to work it out by guess and fading memory.

The commander figures in the left and centre vehicles came (I think) from Battlefront, while the one on the right is one I sculpted myself. It's a tad too small I think, but it'll do.


These are the first batch of commander figures in 15mm scale.

I've enlarged them slightly from the original design, so that they fit better with other commercial 15mm figures.

Sunday 18 February 2024

Bison


I've been messing about with the Sturmpanzer II "Bison" from TigerAce1945's Panzer II Pack, bumping up the detail here and there and refining a bit of the geometry.

His models have been a real boon, to me and to hundreds and thousands of others. Sure, I _could_ make one myself, but then I am very lazy.

The crew figures are a couple of 3dBreed artillerymen that I have edited a bit — I got rid of the loader's Y-yoke, and gave him a better-shaped helmet. Most 3dBreed figures have wide open angry mouths, and I had a fairly limited choice from those that don't.

This will go to give my 15mm Afrika Korps a bit more artillery support. Who knows, one day I may even get that army finished to a state where I could put it on the wargaming table.


2024-02-19

I've printed it a couple of times. The one behind I did before I noticed that it was missing a set of road wheels, so it's actually a bit smaller than it should be. I'll just have to pretend it's further away.

Ah well, I've used less accurate models on the wargames table before I guess; it's still eminently usable, and I doubt that any except the very pernickety will even notice as long as they're not right next to each other.


2024-02-23

I've been fiddling about in Blender, doing a quick procedurally generated terrain to put the model in. It's not really relevant to 3d printing, or at least, not for my purposes. But it's an interesting way of teaching myself a thing or two about Blender's node systems.

Thursday 15 February 2024

Wespe

 

I've been working on a 1:100 scale Wespe in Blender for the last couple of days. I actually started it quite a long time ago, but for whatever reason abandoned it, and I just happened upon the files again in my digital modeling folder.

I've always been quite fond of the Wespe, I like its compact neatness. It's not a blundering bloated behemoth like the Hummel. I saved up my pocket-money to buy a Tamiya 1/35 model of it when I was about 13 — now long gone, alas.

This model has been a bit of a headache, though no more than usual I suppose. I do need to hunt out some more pictorial references though.


I was in two minds about adding much interior detail in the fighting compartment. It does make it look better than an empty shell, but on the other hand it makes putting crew figures in there a bit trickier. The internal clutter I eventually came up with is entirely specious and made up, but it looks okay I think.


When I get a successful test print, I'll do a version in a firing posture with the gun elevated and the back door down.

I've designed it in such a way that the gun and superstructure can be printed separately from the hull, and the running gear as another separate component, so that should (fingers crossed) make printing relatively straightforward.

2024-02-16

I've put the STLs online. They're available at https://www.wargaming3d.com/product/wespe/


It printed well and went together easy-peasy, so that's a win.

I'd think that the assembly of this very simple kit should be fairly obvious, but just in case, I prepared this:

Assembly guide


Tuesday 13 February 2024

Flayed Demon Thing

 

I don't know what this thing is supposed to be, but it looks angry.

I think the design is from Schlossbauer*, in which case I would have got it from Thingiverse. It's been sitting in the painting queue for some considerable time, a couple of years at least.

* Nope, apparently it's a Gormaw from EC3D Designs,

Sergeant Measureby is, as usual, doing sterling scale-indicating work with his Spear of 5mm Increments.

A Mighty Boar


Miguel Zavala (who goes by the name MZ4250 on various online platforms) recently designed a bunch of mounts for TTRPG characters, and this is one of them, a Giant Boar.

The original model was armoured with plate barding, which I removed, and I gave it a more compact base. This is a particularly long-legged boar, and I've made another remix to shorten his legs — I haven't printed that one yet.

Sergeant Measureby, with his Spear of 5mm Increments, is shown alongside for scale.

Saturday 10 February 2024

PzJg38 Hetzer

 

A perennial favourite, the PzJg 38 Hetzer. This is a vehicle that for some reason I haven't owned or fielded since my early wargaming days in the late '70s. Now it has distracted me from all the other things I really should finish off.

This model is, once again, based on a design by the prolific Mr Bergman that I have tidied up and added some detail to. I have the first test print printing right this moment, so hopefully it will all be well, and I can add it to the ever-extending paint queue.


Later...

I'll call that a win I think. The test print went well, so if I ever find I need more than one 15mm Hetzer I know I can get them.

Sunday 4 February 2024

Kit Printing Possibilities

 

I haven't bothered printing my models on my Mars Pro as a kit of components, because the water-washable resin I was using was so dimensionally unstable that the components never, ever fitted together properly.

However, the spirit-based resin I've started using has been behaving very much better, so I thought I'd give kit-printing a go again.

The benefit of printing a model in multiple parts is that I can adjust the angling of each component on the print bed to maximise the benefit of supports, without those supports interfering with other parts of the model. Also, if an individual component fails, the reprinting time is usually much shorter, and there's less waste of expensive resin.


The Wirbelwind hull on the left of this photo was printed in one piece, and you can see that the dense mass of supports required for all the little nooks and nubbins of the running gear has interfered severely with areas of the model geometry. 

Some supports went right through important parts of the model, while others broke away parts of the tracks as they were removed.

The model on the right was printed with the running gear as separate components, and a much better result was achieved.

I'll certainly be less definite about printing models in one piece in the future.

Friday 2 February 2024

Wirbelwind

 



Back on the ground again, and this time I'm working on a 1:100 (15mm) Flakpanzer Wirbelwind, mounting a 20mm Flakvierling. Mr. Bergman has given us a 37mm Ostwind, but this particular flakpanzer has been lacking until now. At least, as far as I've found.

The hull is taken from a Panzer IV-J (by Bergman I think). I've added a bit of detail refinement, and replaced the running gear with some by TigerAce1945. The crew are some figures I sculpted some time ago, and the turret and flakvierling are done from scratch, using one of the Bradford 1:72 drawings as reference. The armament is done pretty much by guess and memory; it's not all that visible in this scale, so I haven't busted a gut over accuracy. We'll see just how much that gnaws at me.

If I wanted to do a version with the guns elevated in their AA role, I'd have to completely redesign them. That's maybe a task for another day.

I might tinker with it a bit more, but it's in a usable state now.


2024-02-03

I reverted to a somewhat simplified running gear module as it would be easier to print, and would still look decent enough on the table top in this small scale.



I extracted the original running gear from the Pz.IV hull and set to work on it.

As usual, I discovered that it would have been more straightforward (and probably quicker) to have just built it from scratch, but by the time I decided on that I was too far through the process to stop and start over. Hey-ho.


I made a set with some track face detail as well.

Whether it's worth the trouble of printing it or not remains to be seen.


2024-02-05

Here's a comparison shot: the red primed vehicle on the right has running gear modules with just plain bars to indicate track links, while the raw grey resin one has some more indented detail.

The more detailed tracks definitely look better close up, but at tabletop distances there's not a lot to choose between them. The little nubbins running around the edges of the tracks are more visually important in suggesting links than the face detail.

In future, unless the track run is more exposed, I don't think it's really worth the extra effort to detail the track link faces. However, I've done this one now, so I might as well use it.

Saturday 27 January 2024

A Horde of Hurricanes

 

My latest Blender effort is a bunch of Hawker Hurricanes in 1/144 scale.

  • The tan one is a Mk.II-D tankbuster, with two 40mm cannon under the wings. It only kept two .303 machine-guns for sighting the cannon. It has a tropical air cleaner/scoop under its chin.
  • The blue one is a Mk.II-C, armed with four 20mm cannon, and sometimes six .303 machine-guns as well.
  • The green one is a tropicalized version of the cannon-armed II-C.
  • The pink one is the basic airframe, armed with eight or twelve .303 machine-guns.

They all have a 2.6mm diameter hole under the fuselage, for mounting on a flight stand.

The STLs are available at https://www.wargaming3d.com/product/hawker-hurricane-1144/


The model on the left was printed in FDM on my Ender 3, the one on the right is resin from my Mars Pro.

The resin model is a bit crisper, but on the other hand it's less sturdy and more trouble to print. Also, it seems to have been compressed slightly longitudinally.

Both of these are destined to join my Desert Air Force.


2024-01-28

I’ve added optional STLs for aircraft with visible ribs on the fabric-covered fuselage rear. In truth, the ribs are hugely over-scale, and in this scale should be barely discernible, but I think they do make the aeroplanes look more Hurricane-ish.


2024-02-01

I figured you can't have a Hurribomber without Hurribombs, so I made some.

The bomb racks are contoured to the under-surfaces of the wings, so they're not really interchangeable. Though I doubt anybody would notice if you accidentally got them the wrong way round.

Just make sure the pointy end is to the front.

Wednesday 24 January 2024

SPAD XIII (1/144)

 

I designed this 1:144 scale SPAD XIII in Blender a couple of months ago, and have now got around to printing and painting it.

It was printed in FDM on my Ender 3. I might try it in resin one of these days, but it's not a high priority — it's adequate in FDM, and a much stronger gaming piece.

It's intended for use in Canvas Eagles, or similar WW1 aerial combat games. I guess you could use it for Wings of War, but you'd have to sort out an appropriate flight stand.

Tuesday 23 January 2024

Henschel HS-123


I recently watched a video about the Henschel HS-123 dive bomber, and I thought I'd make one in 1/144 to help out my ever-so-slowly growing 15mm Afrika Korps.

Apparently it was very highly regarded in its ground-attack role, in spite of its archaic biplane configuration. It was very sturdy, and could take much more battle damage than the Ju87 Stuka and keep flying, as well as coping better with extreme weather conditions on the Eastern Front. The open cockpit must have been a bit of a trial though, flying in a Russian winter.

The harbour in the background is Malta, though the ships are Italian. The photograph was taken when the Italian fleet sailed into Malta to surrender.

No swastika on the tail-fin, because some sites get a bit antsy about that symbol being displayed, even in an historical or modeling context.

The model is enlarged to 1/144 scale from a 1/200 design by Roman Troyan.


Wednesday 17 January 2024

Dead in the water... I think

 


My RPG campaign has been very much disrupted of late.

The last few months of 2023 I was away from home, due to some family stuff (my mother was dying). After I got home in December, we ran into all the scheduling issues that the Xmas period always brings. And this month, January, is also pretty much a dead loss as various members of the group, for one reason or another, can't play on our normal game night. Me included.

I suspect that the campaign is just dying a death, which is a bit of a pity really. Still, these things happen.

Wednesday 10 January 2024

SU-76i

 

This is a 1:100 scale FDM print of Bergman's SU-76i model, slightly enhanced by me with a little bit of extra detail.

The SU-76i was a Soviet conversion of captured German Panzer III, with the turret removed and the Soviet 76.2mm gun mounted in a casemate.

This one is based on a photograph I saw of one that had been recaptured by the Germans, some time in 1943 I think.


A few days later...

Here's another one, this time still in Soviet hands.

Another FDM print from the same Bergman model, though this one was printed before I added the track and grill detail.

Tuesday 9 January 2024

Works in Progress

 

Works in progress on my workbench at this moment: 15mm (1:100) StuGs for Africa, a Soviet PzIII SPG conversion recaptured by the Germans, and a couple of German beutepanzers cobbled together from bits and pieces.

Maybe some day I will actually stick to a theme and finish off an army, but that day is not this day.

The white SU and the yellow StuG are FDM off my Ender3. The two T-26 PaK 97-38 in front are resin, off my Mars Pro. And the red-primed StuG at back left is a Zvezda kit.

Wednesday 3 January 2024

Beute Panzer - T-26 with PaK 97-38

 



This is another of the many, many German conversions of captured equipment. In this case, the chassis of a Soviet T-26 light tank has been married with the 75mm PaK 97-38 anti-tank gun, another conversion from captured French equipment.

The model is designed at 1:100 scale for 15mm gaming, but could easily be scaled up for 20mm or even 28mm games.

A driver figure has been included, but no other crew members.

STL is available at https://www.wargaming3d.com/product/t-26-with-pak-97-38/






I learned that this mash-up had wings bolted on to the sides of the gun-shield, so I added them. Also, at some point a pair of side shields, and also a pair of large bins (for ammo, presumably) were added on the rear track-guards.






Tuesday 2 January 2024

New for 2024, the StuG IIIb

 



My first model completed for 2024.

This is a 3d printed StuG IIIb destined for my 15mm DAK. The water can rack I designed in Blender and printed on my Mars Pro, the tarps and ammo box came from the PSC 15mm German Stowage set.

Apparently the only StuGs sent out to Africa (only 3 of them I believe) were Ausf D, but the Ausf B is what I've got, both in a digital file for print, and in the shape of some Zvezda 1:100 kits. So Ausf B is what they're going to get.