All Over By Christmas!

I’m assuming that most people will be too busy recovering from Christmas to read this, so I can get away with blogging about nothing special!


Strelets have produced a nice 1:72 scale model of the Japanese Type 98 20mm cannon, a light, mobile weapon that was used during WW2 in both the ground and anti-aircraft role.  The gun comes with a crew of five men and the box contains four guns with all of their crew members.  I never bothered buying this model, since at the most I wanted one gun, but I then found someone on Ebay who sold individual sprues/guns, so I bought one!

I only bought this model a couple of weeks ago and decided to just get it made and painted in between doing my Zouaves.  One of the crew comes attached to a seat that fixes to the gun mount, but I didn’t think he looked right, so I discarded him.  The rest of the crew go round the gun quite well, as long as the gun is mounted on a thick base to lift it up, so I stuck it onto some plasticard on top of a 40mm diameter washer.  I then trimmed the crew to fit in close to the gun, particularly the gunner, who has his shoulder against a rest and is looking along the sight.



After that, I added some Vallejo basing material around the whole base.


To my credit, I had realised that putting the crew in place round the gun would make them difficult to paint, but painting them first didn’t seem an option, since they proved quite tricky to get into the right positions around the gun.  So, I decided to take a different route in painting them – normal colours overall with a wash to shade them.  Other people do this all the time, but not me!


I primed the whole lot in khaki drill and then painted the gun and crew.  Given the colours, I reckoned a brown wash would do for the whole lot, base and all!  So, out came the Games Workshop Agrax Earthshade wash and on it went (apologies to those of you that have just fallen off your chairs at the shock revelation that I do indeed have a jar of Agrax Earthshade)!

Well, it looked great when it went on, but when it dried it hadn’t really shaded much!  Not sure what to do, I mixed some Nuln Oil (cripes, he’s got Nuln Oil as well, I hear you exclaiming) with some Vallejo Sepia Wash and put that all over it.  This produced much better shading, but maybe a bit much this time (the Vallejo wash is less transparent) so I now thought I’d overdone it!  In the past I’ve just painted all the base colours as highlights, but this was going to be tricky.  In the end, I just highlighted the flesh and that seemed to work fine and match most of my other Japanese figures.



So, it’s not great, but looks fine at anything over a foot away!


Despite what I’ve said I’m actually quite pleased with it, because I’ve always wanted a model of this gun and it’s come out not too bad really by my standards.  The basic model is quite nice and the crew fit in well around it – I could have just added the gunner to the main base and left the other crew on their own bases and that would have made it easier to paint “properly”, but the overall effect of the crew in close to the gun makes it look much better I think.

Of course, I could just claim that it was the best I could do after all of the Christmas alcohol I’ve drunk and no-one would be any the wiser!  Should have thought that one up sooner!  Just don’t listen to people that know me that tell you I hardly ever drink!


  1. Merry Christmas John, your gun and crew has turned out really well, even if it’s not how you would normally paint a model, experimenting can reveal so cool new ways, and as you say you can always blame it on the alcohol if someone doesn’t like it ! LOL

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I think they’re great mate and the wash worked a treat. They look like they’ve been hard at it. I’m a big fan of washes and always used Nuln but agrax from GW is better in my opinion. It makes the model dirtier more then oilier. I find it really impressive that you, Marvin, Pat and others paint 1/72 scale. I don’t think I’d have the patience for that scale.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. An excellent post. You should really do more tutorials, particularly for vehicles ⁠— I greatly admire your treatment for Soviet tanks and would love to able to replicate the magic!

    Certainly looks like you’ve found a perfect remedy for your predicament, though for crew weapons I usually base the figures first then plop the gun or mortar in afterwards. I know I’m probably in the minority here, but I personally find the results of block painting far more appealing, particularly when viewed at arm’s length!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks, Veroo! Nice to hear from you! 🙂 Your kind comments are much appreciated! I agonised over what to do with the crew, but the gunner just was not going to stay put unless he was glued to the gun and it was easier to do that first rather than touch up paint afterwards! And I’d rather have used my standard shade-then-light method, but then again, it’s nice to have a model of this gun!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I wish I had seen this post earlier on John then I could have gotten out of playing bloody scrabble a whole lot earlier! Still you can’t have everything I guess. Nice figures which also make for a neat little stand alone piece too. Am envious of the fact that you had time to do some painting. Hopefully I will make a start myself tomorrow unless I top myself before then! 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Great post mate, thank to IRO I now use Nuln and the other washes as before I made my own,(not recommended ).I’m glad you have a bloke selling the Strelets sprues singularly ,It was only when I stumbled on a retailer here that I decided to use them on my WWII small dio’s ,a smart idea as like your self I’m not going to ever need Four guns. I haven’t used the Type 98 20mm set but the way you have produced them I will keep it in mind when I do some more in the future .One request please John, this basing material you have used, it looks really good, could you tell me a little more about it.Rgds Pat

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Pat! I thought you might like this gun – well worth getting one! The base texture on these is Vallejo Brown Earth (reference 26.219), comes in 200ml tubs, has a fine grainy finish, dries quickly and has a light orangey-brown colour. Normally I paint bases and use Vallejo Rough White Pumice (26.212) which is a coarser grain and dries white – I normally paint that in Humbrol dark earth and drybrush it with a sandy highlight.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Brilliant John, I can’t wait to get some and try it out , I feel it would solve a problem I have when sticking the pinned figures on to the dio with super glue it leaves a shinny area that you only see after taking photos 😲so thanks for sharing a I’ll let Yu know how I go ,Cheers Pat

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Looking great mate. If I paint units I tend to glue them all down first, admittedly In that case it is normally 10 or 15mm. I wouldn’t worry about the Nuln oil and Agrax, I have only painted in Contrast for the last few months 😂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. And it all worked very well! I must admit that the crew based together was definitely the best choice and you made it work perfectly too.

    Now back to the booze for me (the festive fun never stops) 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  8. That’s a really nice weapon team John, both the model and the paint job. I’m really impressed that you can do this on 1:72 models! I remember playing around with the infantry of that scale as a kid (who didn’t..), and they’re positively tiny! Still might have a couple somewhere.. Hmm..

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Wow John, I gotta say I am very impressed with this piece. And as for washes, GW is OK, but I own a lot of everything (up to 569 paints/supplies) so have a spreadsheet just to keep track. Back to the gun – very impressive and thanks for sharing the vallejo info with Pat – btw – how will you use the piece in a game?

    Great stuff from you is a standard!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Mark, glad you like it! I was really pleased to get a model of this gun – I can remember scratchbuilding a pretty lousy one in the 1970s from card, using a pin for the barrel and the small spoked wheels from the Airfix French Waterloo Artillery set, so getting hold of a proper model was nice.
      As far as using the gun in a game, it can either function as an anti-tank gun (it fired APHE I think), a heavy machine gun or an anti-aircraft gun (the role it was designed for). I’m most likely to use it as an anti-tank gun I think.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Revisiting this because I tried to get the 26.219 through my local game store, but he couldn’t get it so now I’m going to Amazon. (Like to give my business to the place where I play games but sometimes one cannot.) Anyway, I’d like to do some fantasy miniature bases similar to what you have here and I appreciate how you did a sort of basing tutorial, that I’m going to follow, maybe for some goblins or perhaps Squeaky?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Curses to not being able to edit … sorry for all the posts, but I have another question. I think I recognize the Army painter “winter tufts” you used (got a package of them myself), but are the little green clumps you used actual clumps or just static grass?

    Liked by 1 person

    • No apologies necessary Ann! I had to go back and have a look at this post to remind myself what I’d said! I think you’re right, those big tufts are Army Painter winter tufts – I find the length and colour of them adds contrast to normal green grass. The little clumps are just normal static grass (maybe a mix of GW and Gale Force 9?) – I normally just dot various spots of PVA glue on the bases, cover them completely with static grass, press it all down and leave it to dry!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you about the information on the grass. I received my bottle of Earth Texture in the mail last night. I think instead of priming and painting it khaki (I want to skip the priming step) I’m going to go right to the washes and see how it looks. I did a test on a couple of empty bases, so I can get something I’m happy with before I unleash the stuff on my miniatures.

    Have you tried painting over the texture without primer? It seems obvious that one could mix paint or wash into the wet texture, but I wonder how they stand up to paint unprimed?

    I’m thinking of getting the sand texture as well and maybe trying that out as well at some point, though I plan on finishing what is left of my poxwalkers using the old basing material/method since I want the whole mob to look the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The only reason I painted it khaki drill was because I knew it’d be tricky to paint the figures without getting paint all over the base, and a brown wash over khaki drill would look similar to my usual bases. I reckon it’ll wash and drybrush without a problem, although it’s a fine finish and a dark wash might be too much for it. As you say, testing is a good idea and it makes sense to keep your poxwalkers all the same! I’ll watch your progress with interest! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for the information, John. I did two bases, one thick and one thin. I’m thinking that I’m going to wash one with undiluted Agrax and the other with a 50/50 Agrax wash.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Hi John. The Agrax does seem about right. I did my tests, one with Agrax and the other with 50/50 Agrax/Nuln. One thing I noticed is that you don’t need much Nuln. I think a drop or two in the Agrax would have been enough to darken things up. It looked fine, though I think if I want to try the dark earth texture as well.

            I agree that the Earth Texture does tend to be very orange. I sort of liked it, post-Agrax because it reminded me of the clay deposits that are very common where I lived in Maine as a child, and for miniatures that don’t have a lot of orange tones that sort of base might be good.

            I’m not done yet, but so far I’m really liking the Vallejo textures. They seem to produce good results withi minimum effort and not a lot of skill required.

            Thank you again for your help. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • I’m pretty pleased with the results for the amount of work I put into it, which was very little. Certainly a huge improvement on the results I got from that GW mud when I did a test on a Warlord Soviet guy a few years ago.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I found that the Vallejo base materials “stick” well and keep their shape, whereas others are a bit too runny! I mostly use the Vallejo white pumice mix, which is coarser, and then just paint it as normal afterwards.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, that is something I’ve noticed as well: I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Vallejo products did what you said. I’m certainly sold on them, and they give you a nice, big pot of the stuff for the price too.

            Liked by 1 person

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