Painting Table

Good enough for the wargames table - In an effort to clear the amount of things that need painting, I am moving towards a faster style of painting, with block colours, inking and then highlights followed by a mat varnish.


The Zvezda quick build 1/100 (15mm) vehicle kits are ideal for the wargamer wanting to build models for low density games without having to endure the joys of modelling such things as separate suspension points, 10 and more wheels and attempts at getting tracks to sit properly. 

The example here is built with just five parts, is a tad over 45mm long (compared to 70mm for a Panther) and has enough detail on it to satisfy the gaming the table. The only negatives are that the track facing lacks detail (application of mud will hide that if it bothers you) and you don’t get decals, though 15mm decals are easy to pick up.

The models come as singles and Zvezda produce them to support ther line of ‘The Art of War’ game series, which when one considers their general accuracy and the tooling costs is pretty impressive. They are a ‘snap together’ build, though I always use a bit of glue.

I have been paying £3.50 for mine, which is a good price if you just need one’s and two’s of a certain model. If you need a full platoon of five tanks, then going for one of the five packs by Plastic Soldier Company or Battlefront may be the better prospect .... that is of course if they do the model you want. I have just picked up a couple of Zvezda Elephant tank destroyers, which is as much as I will ever need and in anycase, I have not seen them in boxed sets by the other two producers.

For this picture of the completed model, I have perhaps zoomed in a little too much, at normal gaming distances, this is a small vehicle and that details looks just right.

Anglo Danish Hovel

15mm self assembly model from 4Ground. This is something that I picked up at the Phoenix Wargame show (Cumbria UK) from Colonel Bill and I think was around the £6 mark.

It is one of their pre-paint kits that has the double skin construction and detachable roof, though I always glue multi tier buildings together. It was one of the fastest MDF builds that I have done.

This design supplies a strip of felt that is PVA’d onto the roof and then more PVA is scrubbed into the felt and then it is combed down with a toothbrush. The idea being thaht you get a colour and texture that is closer to thatch.

As usual, digital photography does not really do it any favours, but it looks a nice piece on the table and importantly me for me its has a small footprint (60mm x 40mm) that easily fits into my Kallistra hex terrain.

I picked up a second hand resin 'N Gauge' model of brick stables from a model rail shop and mounted it onto a cardboard cup coaster, then added a walled enclosure to the rear with two of the Pendraken corner pieces from their resin high wall set. 

A few dabs of Green Stuff helped fix joints and an application of GW's texture paint (Armageddon  Dunes - though this texture was probably too heavy for the piece, or I should have mixed it with some paint) to the interior courtyard and to the outer edges of the scenic, just helped enhance the rustic appearance. A bit of touching up, inking and dry brushing unified everything. Finally flocks were sparingly added.

It should give a good representation of a walled farm, adding some variety to my Quatre Bras battlefield. The 4" (100mm) coaster is a tight fit on my Kallistra hex terrain, but works as intended.

Total cost Building (second hand) -  (£5), half pack of walls (£1.50), coaster (free), texture, inks, paints and green stuff (lets go made and call that £1), so the little scenic cost around £7.50


Three 10mm resin buildings from Battlescale (dot com), painted up, but still on their handling blocks while they await a coat of mat varnish.

Click on the picture to see a bit more of the detail. My iPad camera is letting me down here, they look nicer in real life than this shot suggests.

The Russian Church model has plenty of presence, but has the advantages of a relatively small footprint. The cafe has a small notice board to the left. I made a small poster for the menu board, so that it looked like a chalked text and then printed it out on an inkjet printer. It just adds a bit of charm to what is already a charming building.

The models take paint very well, they are not primed, just block painted and inked. I have a few more buildings (and a very nice bridge) from this range, so feel quite motivated now to get the rest done.


Pendraken 10mm

Three more vehicle types have joined my mid war east front forces

Soviet BA 64 - BA-64 introduced March 42 and was machine gun armed. The B version was introduced in 1943, improvements included a wider wheel base (lower centre of gravity) to improve stability.

German Hetzer (JagdPanzer 38) - Successor to the Marder III, a sloped armour (60 degrees from the vertical), carried a reasonably powerful 75 mm gun, was mechanically reliable, small and easily concealed. In production from April 1944; about 2584 were built until the end of the war. First entered service in July 1944 with Army Group North Eastern Front.

Brummbär - The Sturmpanzer was a development of the Panzer IV tank designed housing a new gun, the 15 centimetres (5.9 in) Sturmhaubitze (StuH) 43 L/12 developed by Skoda. It fired the same shells as the 15 cm sIG 33 heavy infantry gun. Thirty-eight rounds, with separate propellant cartridges, could be carried.

Production of the first series of 60 vehicles began in April 1943 and it arrived in Central Russia on 10 June 1943 to prepare for the German attack on the Kursk salient. It also saw action at Anzio, Normandy, and was deployed in the Warsaw Uprising. Just over 300 vehicles were built.

(Work in Progress) These are 15mm vehicles from the TANKS system from Gale Force Nine (images enlarged by clicking). The Sherman and Panther are in the base game and the StuG III is an expansion model. These are just waiting for ink to be applied to the mud and their decals to be added, which annoyingly are not supplied with the vehicles, so I have some on order.

I have not painted 15mm vehicles for ages and have tried a few different things here, including chipping which did not really work and adding texture from Revell for weathering and mud. I gave these a good old brushing with Dark Tone ink from Army Painter, which looked good when wet, but once dry made them a bit too dark, so I might water that down to 50/50 mix in future.


The first regiment from the Perry 28mm ACW Battle in a Box are now painted and based.

They suggest units of 18, based at 3 bases of 6 in 2 ranks.

The supplied bases are 45mm wide by 40mm deep, but after much consideration, I have decided to go with 50mm frontages, the extra 5mm does not sound like much when shared between 3 figures, but it seems to help the action based figures breathe a little better, though perhaps marching figures might not need this extra help.

Overall I am happy with how the figures turned out, though wish I could get through them a bit faster, though this might come with practice.


Warlord 28mm Celtic Warriors from their Hail Caesar series. Just one of my ongoing experiments with 28mm, with motivation coming from the Sword and Spear rules. These have been based onto 80mm frontages with a depth of 60mm. I know some systems reserve 80mm for 15mm figures and use 120mm for 28mm, but if I am to get the Sword and Spear rules working on my small table, then smaller bases are the way to go and compromises are what they are.

As always, I have to say that I am not a painter, I just do this to I get figures onto the table, so I cannot do 28mm sculpting justice, but since I generally dislike painting, I was quite pleased at how much I enjoyed a leisurely paint, by just block painting, followed by a wash of Army Painter soft tone ink and then going back in to do do some highlights.

The base is textured with white artists modelling paste (Galleria by Newton and Winsor) darkened with a couple of drops of black acrylic paint to kill the white. This hides the edges of the figure bases, blending them into the ground. Once dry everything is heavily dry brushed, covered with PVA glue and then a collection of sands, flocks and bushes are added.

The shield water slide transfers come with the box of figures, but I had to cut mine up a bit to fit, which was disappointingly fiddly, but I mostly got there in the end.

The box has 40 figures, so 4 of these stands can be made up if I choose to go that way.


Latest batch of 10mm from Pendraken. It feels like I have had these hanging around for ages, so I put in some determined effort to get them done.

Back row is a Stug IIIg and Opel truck. Front row is the tough KV-1 and the Sd fz 222 armoured car.

I forgot to apply my acrylic clear coat (floor polish) before doing the heavy inking, so these have tuned out a bit darker than I would have liked. - though they look OK here.


I can't stop messing around with plastic 28's despite everything I have been doing being geared up for 10mm.

Painted to wargame standard, these paint up surprisingly quickly and I like their character. The digital shots show up some paint errors, but on the table these are none existent, but it does make me admire those who can paint to a standard that survives the scrutiny of digital photography.

The good thing about Perry plastic ACW is that the range is pretty much complete for my own generic needs ..... sounds like I am trying to talk myself into this!


German 88/56 flak used in the anti-tank role. This is a 10mm model from Pendraken, one of several Pendraken items picked up at the Phalanx wargame show.

I base all anti-tank guns with a wall or hedge feature simply to protect the gun barrel from bending from any accidents.

It is quite a big model, so the base is bigger than any of my 10mm tank bases (so far, I have JS II's to build yet). I had a slight problem putting it together, the two rods (no idea what they are called) that sit below the gun barel had to be tilted upwards with pliers to get them to go through the gun shield. But once done, it all mated fine.