Little Bits!

In between the e-mail games I’ve been playing I’ve been doing some painting and not getting much finished, but it’s been easier to get some very small things done at least!


First up is a 1/600th German R-boat (above), a WW2 motor minesweeper and general purpose small escort vessel.  Since finishing off my Italian coastal forces recently, I thought I’d get this second R-boat done for my Germans.  The first R-boat is shown behind the new one and dates from about 1995.  Both are Skytrex models and I’ll probably repaint the base on the older one to match my more recent ships.


I also thought I’d get some air support done for my Italians and Germans.  The picture above shows two Italian CANT Z.501 Gabbiano flying boats, 1/600th models from Tumbling Dice Miniatures.  I opted for a plain grey finish without marking so that I could use them as either Italian or Romanian aircraft (the latter operating over the Black Sea).  Wingspan for these models is only about an inch and a half (40mm-ish)!


The Germans get two BV 138 flying boats (above), also 1/600th models by Tumbling Dice.  Since my freehand skills are not what they were, I used some Plastic Soldier Company 1/72nd scale German tank crosses for national markings – maybe not quit correct, but they look OK I think!


I also dug out a 1/600th FW 200 Condor painted about 25 years ago!  This had all of the markings hand painted – close inspection shows they could be better, but they’re not too bad!


Have been making some progress with Franco-Prussian War figures, those above being 20mm scale French Dragoons by Irregular Miniatures.  I normally just paint a dark base-coat and lighter highlight and find that OK for 20mm figures.  I basecoated these earlier in the year and left them aside to be finished later.


Having finished the riders, I wanted to check the colour of the horses.  Normally I paint one horse in a unit black and most of the rest brown.  I mix a very dark brown for the base-coat on the brown horses, but it’s very close to black, so to tell which one is the black horse at this stage I usually paint a black dot on the top of the base texture somewhere so I can tell it apart (see picture above).  I was pretty sure this was a black base-coated horse, but I just could not see a black dot anywhere on the base!


And that’s because it would appear that I changed the way I marked up the bases for black-painted horses with a much more obvious method!  I don’t usually do work-in-progress posts, but thought this was worth sharing for a laugh!  Doh!


  1. Its always cool to see the airplanes and boats you’ve painted as you do a great job with them and the ones you showed above are no different. Do you use transfers for the symbols on the airplane wings? I think that’s what they are but whatever they may be, they look really nice!

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    • Thanks Dave! 🙂 I’m quite pleased with the dragoons so far! They’re Irregular Miniatures figures, so they come out on the smaller side of 20mm figures and I find them more tricky to paint. Since the riders are done, I’m leaving them temporarily while I get some Prussian hussars started and then move on to painting all of the horses in one go.

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  2. Those flying boats are magnificent. I wouldn’t worry about the decals, I’ve used WW2 crosses on my Teutonics and they seem to work!
    I love how crisp your painting style is. I too put markers on the mini’s bases and then promptly forget what the cross or circle means!

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    • Thanks Mike! 🙂 I think I’m all for taking easy shortcuts these days to get stuff finished so applying the 80/20 rule seems to work well! I was surprised that I didn’t have to go back and touch up too much with them.
      And I’ve noticed that the Prussian hussar unit base-coated at the same time as the French dragoons also has a guy with “black” painted on his base – I normally use black horses for officers where there is no noticeable difference between figures, but in the hussar case I actually painted the officer’s white gloves to distinguish him anyway!

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  3. I really enjoy seeing all the bits and bobs people have on the go – like a news roundup. A good range of projects here from land, sea and air. Of course I really like the French Dragoons by Irregular – very nice figures!

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      • I find it harder to keep coming on to WordPress, but I will. Every time I come on I am lots of posts behind and struggle to keep up as my passion is painting atm and find it takes a lot of my time.

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        • Well, I’d say if you’re enjoying your painting keep at it! WordPress will still be there whenever you want to dip in and take a look! I’ve generally just been writing complete garbage anyway, so you’re not missing anything here! 😉

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          • I tend to disagree John, I always enjoy looking at your paintings, they are so good. The battle reports don’t pull me in as much simply because I don’t play and don’t really understand it, but I always enjoy your comments on my stuff too, I hope to have a post up this week, if I get good photos maybe 2..
            I will be around for a while yet, my models may take a back seat shortly as my gallery phoned me the other day and let me know a couple of my pictures have sold this week and he want a few more, I already have some done but not too many so may have to build up my reserves, we will see.

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    • Haha, thank Pat! 🙂 If you look closely though, you’ll realise that I haven’t done the horses yet! The plan is to finish both French and Prussian riders first and then tackle the horses! I’m probably repeating myself, but horse got a lot easier once I discovered Vallejo Flat Brown, which is a great horse colour without any mixing required!

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  4. Ooh. I do love the teeny tiny boats and planes. I always had a soft spot for the ultra-small scales, but no-one to play with/against. Fantastic work on the wee planes – the soft colours and the way you’ve picked out their panel lines makes them look almost as though they’re animated (in a good way).

    As for the horse, I think you’re a bit confused there, mate – the base is clearly painted brown, not black.

    Liked by 1 person

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