Forwards A Bit!

Well, still not finished any more figures or stuff, but I’m still making progress on half-finishing things!  More of that later, but the most important item here is a steam traction engine I wish I’d painted!


This is a 1/76th scale traction engine built and painted by my mate Jim.  We’ve known each other a long time and whereas I make and paint my wargames stuff, Jim has always been a keen railway modeller.  That probably means he considers my efforts barely adequate, but he’s way too polite to say so!


The reason I’ve featured this model is that I’d originally bought it as a white metal kit to use in Boxer Rebellion wargames, but I never really made progress with it, so I gave it to Jim knowing that he’d no doubt make use of it.  He’s recently got it finished, so he sent me the pics and I thought I’d share them.


I just would not have got the colours right, or the paint finish so good, so it really is nice to see this model finished to such a high standard!  If you want to see a few more pictures of the railway layout acting as the backdrop, you can find them here.

As far as my own stuff goes, I’ve managed to get all of the figures prepared that I had on my desk earlier in the year.


The Franco-Prussian War figures are now all base-coated and have faces and hands painted, with the French line infantry remaining blu-takked (if that’s even a word) to their bottle caps for finishing off first!  Well, I say first, but some other stuff’s jumped onto the desk to keep me going in the meantime!  Bottom left is a WW1 Belgian field gun and crew waiting for the latter to be taken off their big base and put onto smaller individual bases.  Bottom centre are two plastic WW2 US Marines painted and based using dead quick methods to see how they look (I’ll probably feature them at some point when I get some more done).

Most recently though I’ve been working on the line of half-finished tanks on the right hand side of the picture.  Bottom right is a WW2 German Grille 150mm self-propelled gun, along with a couple plastic crew figures for it.  This only arrived on Friday, but it’s been assembled and primed already.  I’ve always wanted a model of the early version of this vehicle and this is the Early War Miniatures resin/metal model – it’s got a lot of internal detail that really conveys how cramped it was!

The other vehicles are early WW2 French types, from top to bottom a Laffly 47mm self-propelled anti-tank gun, an AMR-35 recce vehicle and two Hotchkiss H-35 light tanks.  After spending ages researching these, the only thing I’m pretty sure about is the basic green colour to use for them (so they’re in Humbrol 86 acrylic olive green upperworks with tracks/wheels/running gear in Vallejo German Camouflage Black Brown prior to drybrushing in dark earth)!  So far I’ve found references to six different factory-applied camouflage schemes for H-35s and the situation is compounded by the fact that turrets could be supplied by a different factory and therefore have yet another camouflage scheme on them!  And then they could go to infantry or cavalry tank units, who seemed to have their own ideas about vehicle markings!  So, they’ll stay in green until I can get this worked out, but it sounds like it’d make a good PhD thesis for someone!

Maybe I should ask Jim if he fancies painting some WW2 French tanks for a model railway layout!


  1. Hi John,

    Enjoyed the post, but think you’ve overstated my abilities.

    Certainly not up to French tanks !


    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


    Liked by 2 people

  2. I though you had a whole model railway set up hidden away for a moment there. Very nice engine, you friend was the right person to hand it to.

    You’re range of different models in various stages of progress mirrors my painting desk at the moment – it’s good to see you’re inspired and keeping busy.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Very nice post John, you have been busy! As for colors on the Hotchkisses and AMR’s (and any French tank), I strongly recommend three books:

    The choices are wide as not only were there differences between the tanks of the cavalry and the infantry (and the H35 was one that was in both types of units), but throughout the 30’s and even up to the Fall of France, colors and patterns changed. My R40 is totally green for example as it represents a rush of materiel to the front as things went from bad to worse.

    The turrets were indeed mostly manufactured in one place and the chassis in another, further delaying French innovation and production. Of course, the biggest challenge was the faulty doctrine of the French Army that BG Doughty describes well in his work The Seeds of Disaster :

    Sorry for all the references, but just in case others might have an interest! Cheers John!

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s