So That’s It?

Part of the current monthly painting challenge over at Azazel’s Bitz Box is to paint something armoured.  So, as we’re now halfway through April, time to reveal my progress on this!


Yep, that’s it, a stack of half-finished 1/72 and 20mm scale tanks!  Since I’ve actually managed to paint at least a bit on something nearly every night in April, I should have finished at least two vehicles but, so far, nowt’s finished!  To make things worse, some of them have been built and primed for years!

However, it’s got me to the point where I can start to get at least some of them finished.  With the exception of the Plastic Soldier Company A9 Cruiser lurking top left in the picture, they’re all vehicles that will be in monotone colours (either green or grey, if you exclude the brown Japanese Kurogane field car that’s got in with this lot).  That means lining in the details in a shade colour and then drybrushing on a highlight.  Suspension and trackwork are in dark brown and just get drybrushed.

The German vehicles have slowed me down a bit since I needed decals/transfers for tactical numbers and national balkankreuz markings.  My first attempt took me an hour to put markings on one vehicle (a Panzer IVD) which in the end looked crap and I painted them all out!  I’ve decided to drop some of the markings because I can’t get a decent appearance with them.  I’ve compromised and used PSC German decals for turret numbers on two Panzer 38(t)s and black/white crosses on the others where I could get them to fit.  The PSC decals are very good and I marked four tanks in half an hour!

The vehicles shown come in a right hotch potch of forms – there are plastic kits, resin models, 3-D prints and one white metal one.  Apart from the Kurogane, all of them are basecoated now and ready to be put aside and forgotten about, err, I mean finished.  Being realistic, not all of this lot will get finished this month, but they have all got closer to being done!

Last, but not least, are the ten figures at the bottom.  These are WW1 Germans who have had some new static grass added to their bases to hide some very old scatter grass/flock mix that had gone yellow.  I’m hoping to do a round up on my WW1 Germans soon, since they probably sort of qualify for the second part of the April challenge, which is to do an army feature – that’s also Plan B in case I don’t actually finish any tanks!


    • Cheers mate!

      Decals! Virtually never have to use them! Here’s my recent experience:

      1) Plastic Soldier Company German Kursk tactical numbers, crosses and divisional signs – good quality, go on varnish well, stay on with a coat of gloss varnish. Enough decals in a pack to do at least eight vehicles, probably more if you don’t use as many crosses. I think if I needed decals and PSC did the ones I wanted I would always get theirs!

      2) Black Lion German crosses and tac numbers – go on OK but crosses looked scanned on close inspection. A sheet of numbers will not do many vehicles so they end up expensive I think.

      3) Skytrex Japanese tank markings – good range of markings, go on to varnish OK, seal with varnish OK, fiddly to do individual numbers. These were ordered years ago, and differed in application from recently ordered ones (see below).

      4) Skytrex German tank numbers – individual numbers in black-edged-white and red edged white with enough numbers to do half a dozen tanks in each colour easily. These are applied differently from the Japanese ones I had – wet them, put ’em in place, lift off the paper. I found that they damaged slightly if you had to re-position them with the tip of a scalpel blade, but that could be me being ham-fisted! The numbers were very finely done, so I didn’t think I’d manage to be able to correct any hiccups with paint. I’ll use these as a basis for Finnish tactical numbers but overpaint them solid yellow (OK, that’s the plan).

      5) Bison decals (I think) Axis vehicles set – used these for the very large numbers on my Hungarian StuG and they were fine. Got more to use at some point.

      6) Flames Of War Axis markings (Hungarian, Romanian, Finnish) – these are 15mm and you get quite a few markings, but I haven’t used them yet so am hoping they are OK!

      The days when I could paint half decent markings on my vehicles are long gone unfortunately! Hope this helps!


  1. Nice – looking forward to seeing these done. As for decals, I have found that ALL of them need an application of Microscale Liquid Decal film. You can brush it on the decals or airbrush it, but I have found that either way works fine. Just let it dry, and your decals will be amazing. The other suggestion is to make your own decals. I know you’re wedded to 20mm, as I am to 15mm. But with the Bare Metal stuff you can make your own very easily. They also sell the Liquid Decal film as well, but I’d bet that’s available in your hobby store.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the comment and advice, Mark! I’m not sure how much I’ll need to do decal-wise, but I’ll keep in mind everything you’ve said. I’m expecting to move forward through a combination of painting markings and using decals. Need to do these principally for Finnish, Hungarian and Romanian vehicles. In some cases, notably Finnish vehicles, I’ll apply tac numbers with decals and then paint over them in solid yellow to give the right finish. I’ve got 15mm hakaristis that will hopefully be OK – way back in the 80s I made a Sturmi and hand-painted all of the markings, but that is beyond me now (having said that, I have hand-painted the red diamond HQ Squadron signs on the A9 and they look passable)! And if all that fails, I’ve got your Bare Metal link above! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • The nice thing is that you have options today that you never would have had back in the day. Plus, with pigments and weathering decals can be made to look very realistic. I used their product when making my decals for my placards for the Attack of the Warbots game. Very nice to be able to print on plain paper first and size the stuff to your needs.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Well . . . at the time I wrote this, it was nowhere near time to get varnishing, but I have made progress and got to the point where I can hopefully get some stuff finished, varnished, photographed and blogged before the end of the month. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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