Thursday 27 June 2024

Mitsubishi Zero - WiP


Inspired by a guy I know (digitally) I dug out an STL of a Mitsubishi Zero, tidied it up and printed it.

I don't know who designed the original STL, but I suspect, from its characteristics, that it might have been CaptainAhab for his 1:300 range of aircraft. I disassembled it and smoothed out all the facets.

The white one was printed in FDM on my Ender 3, the grey one in resin on my Mars Pro. There's not realy that much to choose between them; the resin print is a bit smoother, but as often happens, its wings warped slightly in printing — probably not noticeably on the tabletop. They both took about the same time to print.

CaptainAhab (if it is indeed he) designs his aircraft at 1:100 scale, for the user to rescale to their preferred size. I use 1:144 scale aircraft for my 15mm WWII gaming, so I rescaled the STL to 1:112. Of course. I cocked it up.

In truth, it probably doesn't matter all that much, as the models are really just aircraft markers for my Battlegroup all-arms games, and generally aren't in direct visual comparison with other aircraft. However, if I ever want to use it for a dogfight game with any of my existing models I will have to reprint it at the right scale.

Wednesday 19 June 2024



When I was working on some Churchills recently, I realised that although I have a couple of examples of the Funnies (fascine, bridgelayer, AVRE) I didn't have a Crocodile. 

So I went hunting, and found that WindhamGraves had produced a nice 1:100 STL and placed it online on Thingiverse, so I nabbed it. He includes the actual Crocodile hull, but I decided to just print the trailer so that I can attach it to the back of any old Churchill to indicate that it's a flamethrower.

Bonus: I can also attach it to the back of one of my Sherman V and voila! I have a Sherman Crocodile as well.

The tank in this picture is a PSC plastic Churchill VII.

Edit: When I based this trailer, I canted it forward so that its beam would fit beneath the petrol tank on the back of the tank hull. In retrospect, I think that was an error of judgement. I could rebase this one, but all in all I think it would be easier just to print and paint another one.

Edit: I just remembered that the AVRE vehicles I have are all Centurions, for the Cold War NORTHAG game. Doh! I guess that just means I'll have to get on to doing some Churchill-based ones. 

 This is the FDM version of WindhamGraves Crocodile model. It prints up pretty well, with no supports required, but assembly requires a bit of care as there are no locating lugs or anything. My one will need a touch of filling here and there, as some of the pieces warped slightly coming off the warm print bed into the freezing air of my workroom.

Monday 17 June 2024

Churchill NA75 - finished

 I've finally finished off one of my 3d printed 1:100 scale Churchill NA75 with some oil washes and a properly painted commander.

The other two are essentially the same except that they have different figures in their turrets.

I've painted them in SCC 2 Service Brown, for the Italian campaign. The NA in the name stands for North Africa, because that's where they were originally conceived and designed, using 75mm M3 guns taken from wrecked Shermans, and about 200 were eventually converted. However, I don't think they actually saw service until Italy.

Saturday 8 June 2024

Matilda 1 Update


An update to my 15mm Matilda 1 A11 at

I’ve added files for separate hull and running gear, which should make printing a bit easier. There are two different track modules, one with link detail right round, and one with the bottom track detail flattened out, again to ease printing. The track modules are for the port side only, and will need to be mirrored in your slicer.

Thursday 6 June 2024

Churchill NA75 — under way at last


Here's a project I started quite some time ago, and then just left to gather dust on my painting desk -- a troop of 15mm Churchill NA75 for Italy.

I printed the models from a design by the prolific Mr Bergman, and opened up the top hatch and added some commanders. One of them I built in Blender and 3d printed, the other two are plastics from Battlefront.

The primer coat is a useful dark brown I mixed up from Vallejo surface primers German Red Brown and US Olive Drab. It makes a good base colour for almost anything.

I've panel-shaded that base dark brown with VMA 71.035 Camo Pale Brown, which makes a decent match for SCC2 Service Brown.

It's good to have these under way, after neglecting them for so long.

I've added some basic markings, and given them a light dry-brush to begin to bring out the detail.

Interestingly, the period photographs I've seen of this vehicle from Italy show minimal markings, at least from the front. There's this famous picture of one advancing through an Italian town, and about the only marking that can be clearly seen is the T number on the hull front; I can't make out any tactical markings at all, though that might just be a contrast issue — there might be something on the turret sides, but it's quite indistinct.

I've included the tactical markings simply because I think that British tanks look a bit naked without them.


I've started the weathering by spraying and sponging on some light dust and mud — these tanks are not going to be excessively filthy — but I'm a bit stumped about how I'm going to handle the tracks. They're not very detailed, so there's only so far it's worth going.