. . . And Armoured April Activity!

The intention is that this will just be a short post with a quick view of what I’ve managed to get finished for the Armoured April community painting challenge.  To my surprise (rather than to my credit) I have actually finished more than I thought I would!


OK, the picture above was where I’d got to around the middle of the month, with 14 assorted tanks in their basecoats.  And now . . .


Those of you that guessed that my wife’s hidden half of them unless I help with some of the housework chores have guessed wrong!  These are the ones that have failed to make any progress!  In fact, if you look closely enough, you’ll spot that one new incomplete vehicle has been added to the bunch (the German Panzerjäger 1 tank destroyer at top left).  The ones not shown above have actually been finished, varnish included . . .


So, seven tanks finished; they are (back row, left to right) a Panzer IV, a Panzer III, an SU-76 (technically a self-propelled gun rather than a tank), and an A9 cruiser; in the front row, we’ve got a Panzer I (on the left) and then two T-18s.  Those in grey are German vehicles, those in dark olive green are Russian, whilst the camouflaged A9 is British.  They are all the same 1:72 scale – the tanks in the front row are all two-man light tanks and significantly smaller than the others!


Close up above shows the German tanks, followed by the others below.


I’m hopefully going to feature all of these in more detail in the future with some better pictures, but for now I just wanted to get my Armoured April entry blog posted.  Getting this many vehicles done in (what is for me) such a short time is good going, but I think Azazel is due a fair share of the credit for that for setting the challenge in the first place.  Now I just need to wait for the next Neglected Model monthly challenge to finish the rest off!




  1. The cool thing about batch painting is that at some point you suddently have a whole bunch of finished models! While laying down the basecoats might be daunting, doing those final details to 5+ models is always so satisfying.

    You’ve done a great job on these tanks, looks like straightforward but effective paint schemes. And I just love those early mini tanks, they’re so adorable! To think that they actually had two men stuffed inside!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks mate, appreciate that! Having got the basecoats done, lining the details doesn’t always take long – one hour to do a T-18 and about an hour and three quarters to do a Panzer III/IV, although the A9 took about 3 hours! Then weathered and highlighted four of them in about an hour. You’re right, it is satisfying getting them done – 7 tanks finished in 8 days!
      I like early war tanks – the light tanks are about the size of a modern medium-sized car!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers mate, appreciate that! I wasn’t too sure how the rivetted vehicles were going to come out – the two T-18s are 3-D prints with “heavier” rivet detail, so they look a bit darker, whereas the A9 detail is finer (although it has a lot more detail overall) but I’m happy at having got them done!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Azazel’s comments nailed it John, these look really good. I guess you will have plenty to do in May. Certainly you got a lot done in April, I wish that I had! Question – what colors did you use to dry brush these? Very effective- your dry brushing is always distinctive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mark! Oh yes, plenty to do in May! And June, July etc! Once I’ve done the base vehicles (and assuming I’ve painted the suspension and trackwork in a dark brown solid colour) I’ll drybrush the lower parts in Humbrol 29 Dark Earth, allowing this to get onto the edges of mudguards and up onto the bow and stern plates. Because I’ve used a dark brown base, I can put the dark earth on fairly heavily since it really represents a good coat of dirt/dust. At this stage I don’t drybrush any of the upper works except the (intentional) overspill around the trackwork, although I might brush on some where you could expect a lot of feet to have been e.g. rear decking on some tank destroyers where the crew might stand to pass ammo etc.

      I then mix white and dark earth to give a sandy shade and then lightly drybrush the complete vehicle, but with much less paint on the brush. The intention here is to pick out the raised detail and also make the upper surfaces look a little dusty. The trick is avoiding getting too much on the raised detail or it looks too stark. Occasionally, I’ll get the shade too dark and will have to lighten it and and another layer. I thought the Panzer III/IV were maybe not light enough but in daylight they look OK.

      When I’m drybrushing vehicles I NEVER use acrylics, always enamels (Humbrol 29 dark earth is available in both media). I’ve found acrylic dries too quickly and doesn’t give me the same finish, although I do use the same colour mix in acrylic to paint textured figure bases and it’s fine. Humbrol 29 Dark Earth is quite a nice light muddy colour without any significant red tinge to it, so not sure what its equivalent might be from other manufacturers (I’ve never found a match from Vallejo for example). I think it’s probably a darker shade than US Field Drab but not sure.

      Hope this is useful!


      • Thanks John for such a detailed list, it’s nice to gain insights into your processes. I am going to try some of the Vallejo weathering stuff on my latest batch of tanks, as I want to get into my Germans quickly and I’m always up to try new materials. Enamels? Wow. I’m reticent to get involved with anything that’s not water based as cleanup is a bitch – but that is giving your tanks a wonderful look that I really enjoy, let me tell you. Now, I’m also going to confess that for my German tanks I got a new secret weapon that I’m hoping will make camo (especially later War German camo) easier . It’s an Iwata Micron airbrush with a .18mm needle. It should allow me to camouflage my 15mm Germans much closer to the real thing. Or I just bought a $450 crayon, we’ll see! More tanks from you and I’ll do the same!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh, I’ve got no shortage of tanks and vehicles to do, fortunately most of them are at least assembled and primed. Will be good to see how your airbrush performs and that sounds like a nice fine nozzle. Since I’ve always used enamels, I just accept them for what they are. However, I do use them much less now than I used to, mainly for priming, matt varnish sprays and mucky washes when required (although airbrush cleaning would probably be messy, I can see your point). In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that I was low on some of my acrylics, I’d have painted the latest German tanks in acrylics, so I need to stock up on some colours!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks IRO! I’ve actually switched back to painting little people for a change (no, that doesn’t mean I’m starting a Dwarf army) but am planning on doing some tanks in between and the whole lot travels easily to the caravan!

      Liked by 1 person

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