Painted! Finally!

Well, I’ve slowed down even further with getting stuff painted and finished – one tank painted in July has dropped to nowt finished in August – but I’m maybe picking back up again now that September’s here.  My excuse is that the time I’ve spent preparing, priming and basecoating figures will mean I can get some finished more quickly now, so I’m sticking to that!


In a way, it’s a shame that the community painting challenge for September is not for neglected models, because I’ve (finally) painted what must have been the oldest neglected models I had!  Finished off this week are three WW2 Russian T-26 light tanks and an SU-5-2 self-propelled howitzer, all in 20mm/1:72nd scale (shown above with the T-37 light tank painted in July).  All of these models were painted using in the same manner as the T-37, although I think I maybe overdid the final light drybrush.


The T-26s are in resin by Cromwell Models and I bought them in the early 80s.  This was a time when the very early days of brittle resin models with large blowholes in them was passing and some decent resin models were starting to appear.  I can’t remember why I bought the T-26s but have a feeling it was to use them in a WW2 Finnish armoured force that never really got started.  When I got married and down-sized my wargaming activities, loads of surplus models got given away, but not the T-26s!  After all this time, I can’t remember why I hung on the T-26s, but have a feeling it was to use them in a WW2 Finnish armoured force that still hasn’t got started!

So, why have I finally got them painted?  Well, the original plan was to get some early WW2 Russian tanks painted to use against my early Japanese armour (the Japanese and Soviets were involved in some large scale fighting at Lake Khasan in 1938 and Nomonhan in 1939).  T-26s fit into that plan, but since I’ve also painted some early war German tanks then they can be used against them as well.

Now that these T-26s are in plain green they’ll never get to be Finnish, but I have some other models put aside for that project!  I’ve found it difficult to get decent T-26 models in this scale – other resin and metal models are available, but none seem to come without one significant flaw or another somewhere.  Plastic kits are available, but I don’t want to spend hours adding loads of tiny bits and etched brass detail.  If I need any more T-26s in the future I’ll probably try the Pegasus Hobbies fast-build plastic kits, since I’ve got some of their other models, but they can be tricky to get hold of.


Since I had a spare turret from somewhere, I converted that to a KHT-130 flamethrower tank turret (shown above on one of the models).  I made a short, box-shaped, flame projector based on photographs, but a circular projector seems more common.  KHT-130s had the turret mounted on the right side of the tank, whereas gun tanks had the turret on the left – I couldn’t easily cater for both turret positions, so the flamethrower turret will have to stay on the left (unless you know, you can’t tell it’s wrong – in fact the radio-controlled TT-26 Titan teletank had a flamethrower turret mounted on the left, so the model doubles for that reasonably well).


And since I do still hold out hopes of being able to do some alternative WW2 games at some point, I painted a couple of old 15mm ZP sonic projector turrets from Clockwork Goblin Miniatures (produced before the switch to 28mm and the move to the Konflikt 47 range) to use as alternative T-26 turrets.  These turrets were designed to fit 15mm scale T-34s but are perfect for 20mm T-26s!


Last model is the SU-5-2 122mm self-propelled howitzer (shown below).  This vehicle was produced in small numbers before WW2, most being issued to Soviet units in the Far East, so it’s ideal for providing fire support to T-26s operating against the Japanese.


The model is a 3-D print from Shapeways and I was really pleased to find a model of such a rare and unknown vehicle.  The slightly grainy finish is barely noticeable and actually helps the vehicle look a bit more dusty when it has its final drybrushed highlight added.  I’ll have to find some crew for it, but I’m assuming from its configuration that most of them stood on the ground at the rear of the vehicle to pass up ammunition in action.

Anyway, I’m pleased at getting this lot done even if they do look a bit drab!  I suppose the next task is to work out what is now the oldest neglected model I’ve got and think about putting off progress on that for a bit longer!  Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off ’til the day after!


  1. They look good. I agree, perhaps some of the drybrushing might be a little too intense though at the same time on the tabletop in the heat of battle it might work just fine. I suppose you could always go back and tamp it down a little if you wanted.

    I looked at the pictures before I read your post and when I looked at the tank with the sonic projection turret I thought to myself, “Man those guys didn’t mess around in WWII! Glad they were on our side!” 🙂

    Congrats on getting some of your old models done and adding to your tank park for future games.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Nice post John, always a good read. The tanks look great to my eye but if you really think the dry brushing was a little OTT would a quick dusting of weathering powder help? I tend to work on what’s done is done and leave well alone. I find revisits tend to make matters worse! I have no fears on your back log as I am confident retirement will eventually bring you all the time you need! 🤗

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  3. Great work on all the tanks John, and great background on all the variants. If ever using shapeways go for the extra fine, it’s a little more expensive, but you get a smoother finish, though you’ve covered it well with the one you’ve done

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Dave, appreciate that! 🙂 Your comment on Shapeways material is quite relevant, but I’ve had a couple of problems with paint becoming weepy or tacky with the fine detail material. I’ve still got a couple of tanks to do in that material, but I’m trying a different cleaning/stabilising/painting regime with them so will see how that turns out. For fine resolution prints I find the basic white strong flexible material fine (and it is durable) – I was concerned that the grainy finish would be obvious, but it isn’t that bad!

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  4. Well, I’m no painter of military hardware like tanks but I like them a lot. I think the highlights work for me picking out the texture of the metal and the detailing so sharply to the eye. As I say, I’m no tank painter but they look pretty darn good to me for 30+ years old models. 🙂

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    • Thanks Pete! The T-37 looked a bit brown in its previous photo shoot, but they’re all in the same colour and definitely looking more green (it’s the Vallejo green recommended for Russian tanks). I think Vickers 6 tonners look great and I’ve more derivatives still to come at some point!

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  5. Man oh man these are cool John! I’m just catching up on blogs and glad I caught this one. Your dry brushing style works well and at that scale is just fine, no worries. Your style is distinctive – and I mean that as a compliment! The T-26’s are nice and are pretty versatile given how they were used. Even if just green, they could be recently captured vehicles for the Finns. My next tank project will be Nomonhan, but that’s on the back burner (at least at this juncture) until I get some more sci-fi stuff done. Until then, I’ll be vicariously living through your tank projects!

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    • Thanks Mark, I’m glad you like them! I was almost tempted to try them in a Nomonhan game myself, since I’ve got the Japanese tanks I need, but I think I’ll try and get some BT-5s and BA-6 armoured cars done first. I toyed with the idea of painting the coloured lines around the turret of the flamethrower tank to represent its battalion, but didn’t bother in the end (in plain green I can also use the odd T-26 gun tank for my WW2 Chinese as well). And, at some point, I may have a surprise vehicle putting in an appearance, but you’ll have to wait for that I’m afraid! And I still have some more T-26s put aside to (hopefully) paint as 1944 Finnish vehicles at some point!


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