And The Tanks Get Smaller!

Last month’s community painting challenge over at Azazel’s Bitz Box was the Jewel Of July challenge.  I’d like to think, since the model featured here is the ONLY model I’ve finished in July, that it qualifies for this challenge but, sadly, it doesn’t!  Why?  ‘Cause it’s way too small!


This tank is a Russian T-37A light amphibious tank dating from pre-WW2.  The model is a 20mm scale metal kit from SHQ and quite a neat model.  The T-37A was armed with a single machine gun and used by the Russians for reconnaissance and infantry support tasks early in WW2.


The idea was probably sound, since Russia has an extensive river network and some pretty impressive marshlands, so what better to scout these out than an amphibious tank?  Unfortunately, to achieve adequate water buoyancy with a tank it usually needs to be big and/or thinly armoured, and the T-37A was not a particularly effective vehicle.  It manoeuvred in water by means of a small propeller and rudder at the rear of the hull and both of these are represented quite well on the model (not shown on the photos – I stuck these to my hands on a couple of occasions while trying to get them in place)!  As with a lot of metal tank kits/models there was no bottom plate to the hull so I added one from plasticard to make it easier to handle.


This model was sitting unpainted on my board back in April and the only reason it got finished in July was because I needed a “quick win” to at least get one model painted!  It was painted in a similar manner to the not-much-bigger Panzerjäger I that got finished in June, although the base colour was Vallejo camouflage green and not grey (the pictures here seem to have given it a brownish tinge more like US olive drab, but it is more of a true olive green colour in reality).


I thought it was maybe a good idea to add some figures in a picture next to the tank to give an idea of scale.  They’re meant to be a Russian command group and it was only afterwards I thought that maybe they’ve got a red flag to indicate that it is unsafe to go into the water!


  1. Nice little tank mate ,I have just made one up to break up the winter figure painting thing ,I’ve have lots to do when the weather turns and I can put up some posts just to prove I have not been slacking !

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  2. It is only small because it is sitting next to those giants. In its own universe I’m sure it a mighty light amphibious tank of good family and reputation!

    Liked by 1 person

    • See, I missed that viewpoint, and it’s a point well made! If I’d had some 6mm figures to place next to it when it was photographed I’d could have easily justified it being a Jewel Of July! Regardless of size, I think it has quite a bit of character!

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      • Yes, it does have quite a bit of character, I agree. I think you could have easily justified it as a Jewel of July; after all, such things are all in how you market them! 🙂

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  3. For such a bland colour scheme you’ve really managed to bring things to life! What’s the secret to your technique? And would I be correct in assuming that you pin wash first, then drybrush the edges?

    Also, I think it’s about time you bring your Russians out on parade, like what you have done with your Chinese. Now there’s a blog entry I would be eager to see.

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    • Thanks Veroo! There’s nothing clever going on here though! I think I know what a pin wash is, but I don’t use one. I do it the hard way with monotone vehicles – in this case a base coat in Vallejo camouflage green and then paint round all the raised detail and in the crevices with a very dark green (black + bronze green mix) and a fine brush. Sounds tedious but takes about an hour and a quarter for something like a T-26 or BA-6. Trackwork, wheels and suspension get painted a plain dark brown, like Vallejo German camouflage dark brown. After that I drybrush all the lower parts of the vehicle in Humbrol dark earth, including around the edges of mudguards etc – this also works like a first highlight on the suspension over the dark brown (basically, I’m being lazy, but it does work quite well). Then the whole vehicle gets a light drybrush in an earth/white mix which picks out the upper detail – if I get this too heavy it tends to make the vehicle look dusty so I can usually get away with it!
      I’m a bit behind on my blog posts featuring my armies and I hadn’t planned on doing a Russian one since some of my stuff is ancient and not up to scratch but I’ll think about doing one once I get my BT-7s done. Hopefully, I’ll get a Boxer Rebellion Chinese post done soon, to be followed by Alleid forces for the Boxer Rebellion and (not before time) an 1883-85 Sino-French War post!

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