Belgrade Or Bust!

Following my very brief post showing the two tanks I’d managed to get painted for the Neglected But Not Forgotten challenge, I thought I’d try and get some more pictures taken and some words to go with them!

The two tanks painted for this challenge are shown above, a Czech S-I-d tankette on the left and a French R35 light tank on the right. The S-I-d is 1:72 scale and the R35 is 20mm (1:76), so they’re similar scales and both reasonably small vehicles.

Actually, I painted two S-I-ds (both shown above) but only the one on the left qualified for the challenge (I bought it in March 2019, while the other one was bought in February this year). Both are Shapeways 3-D prints, but in the time since I bought the first one, the model has been upgraded and the material changed, and this brought with it some decisions on how to paint them. The older model (on the left) is in the grainy strong, white and flexible material (which I like) and the newer model is in the fine detail material that I’ve had issues with in the past! To be fair, though, the detail on the new one is nice and this presented me with a problem – it has very small rivet detail which the older model lacks.

I’d normally shade around rivets, but in this case decided not to and just let the drybrushing pick them out. This proved the correct decision I think, since the two models look fine together (although the newer one is fractionally larger). I had to add vision ports and a machine gun to the original model and would have modified the new model to match, but I thought that might damage the rivets so I didn’t bother. They’re painted in similar colours to my 1940 French tanks, but with a green ochre shade representing the cream colour used on Czech pre-war vehicles.

Eight S-I-ds were delivered to the Yugoslav army and they saw service during the German invasion of that country in 1941 (actually, the 80th anniversary of the start of the invasion is tomorrow, so this is quite a well-timed post). Some photographs show them without machine guns fitted, but I’m unsure whether they were delivered in this condition and had guns added, or vice versa.

The other model that qualified for the challenge was the R35 (shown on the right in the first picture). I can’t remember how long this model had been sitting built and primed, but it’s a few years at least. It’s a metal model (from SHQ I think) and one of the nicest models of this tank that I’ve seen. I opted for a plain olive green finish without any markings, since that lets me use it as a later French vehicle or a Yugoslav one (again, these saw action against the Germans in 1941). I wasn’t sure about the monotone finish at first, but I quite like it now it’s done. I’ve also got a Paint & Glue Miniatures R35 still to paint to go with it.

Last vehicle shown here is a Russian BA-27 armoured car (shown above). This is also a Shapeways 3-D print. The model comes as one piece, with the turret attached to the underneath of the hull. After I clipped the turret away from the connecting piece, and put it in place on top of the hull, I thought it looked too small so I trimmed off the gun mount and added plasticard sheet to the turret base and sides to bulk it all out. A bit of filling with greenstuff and some filing to shape got it looking about right, so I glued the gun mount back on and added a machine gun from scratch. The turret shape is not quite regular, but it’s not obvious unless you look close and overall it’s a nice model. The BA-27 was still in Russian service in small numbers at the start of WW2 and makes a nice change to the heavier BA-6 vehicles.

Since a lot of the scatter terrain I use in pictures is in use in a game that’s set up at the moment, I’ve just dropped these models onto some small spaces in that game and taken pictures as best I could. I haven’t actually got any 1941 Yugoslav infantry figures to go with the S-I-ds and R35 to show their sizes, but the S-I-ds are very small models as far as tanks go!

30 comments

  1. Fantastic work on the vehicles as they all look excellent. My mind is blown by you picking out those tiny rivets! That must have taken a steady hand to accomplish! πŸ™‚

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      • That is a good strategy if you don’t want to pick them out with a steady hand! Drybrushing is something that is a bit of a fine art in and of itself so don’t downplay your accomplishment too much! πŸ˜€

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  2. Again nice camo pattern on the Czechs. I do like what you did with the rivets too – nothing says 1940 like rivets! But the gem is the BA-27, which I bet will find Nomonhan service at some point. I will need to keep an eye out for one (I have a lot of BA-6 and BA-10 models but no BA-27). The turret work that you did was excellent – looks like it was made that way. Superb post and write up per your normal habit !

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    • Thanks Mark! πŸ™‚ It seems that Russian armoured cars seem to steal the show whenever I post pictures of them in amongst other stuff! You could get a Shapeways BA-27 in 1:100 scale but it probably wouldn’t be cheap, but I’m sure a model will come along for you!

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  3. That Czech pair looks bloomin’ rad, John! Great choice of colours; pastel may not be quite the right word, but it’s a very soothing combination as far as camouflage patterns go. It’s high time you hit Lancashire Games says I, as I’ve always thought Royal Yugoslav uniforms quite snazzy, what with their high collared, double-breasted tunics. And you might as well go the distance and become the first gamer I know of to game the campaign, as short-lived as it may have been. You know you want to!

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    • Thanks Veroo! πŸ™‚ Nice to hear from you! I agonised quite a bit over the colours for the S-I-d and had loads of different shades painted all over the place! In the end I used the same colours I’d used for French 1940 tanks but switched the sand/cream shade. You’ve helped me out there as well – I’d completely forgotten that Lancashire Games do 20mm Yugoslav troops, so I’ll be ordering some now (just a couple of squads for now to go with the tanks). I’ve still got another R35 and an FT17 to do as well!

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      • Very much looking forward to that future post, though you’d better make it soon as there’s no telling when I might kick the bucket given the plague’s increased reach in these parts. Now don’t let the copyright police catch you with this, but here’s an immeasurably helpful tome to consult besides Mollo’s: https://cupdf.com/document/spec-jed-ju-voj-u-apr-ratu.html

        Too bad the assault battalions apparently saw no action during the invasion, as they’d look terrific on the tabletop! I wonder how you would go about modelling them though?

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        • The future post is already there (https://justneedsvarnish.wordpress.com/2021/04/27/chinese-challenge/)! Hope you manage to stay safe in these difficult times!

          That looks an interesting publication indeed. Not sure the best way to model some of those figures. Thanks to you being a bad influence I’ve already ordered a couple of squads worth of Lancashire Games Yugoslavs, who appear to be in Czech helmets rather than Adrian helmets (but I’ve also found a colour plate on-line that appears to show a Yugoslav infantryman in a Czech helmet). I suppose if I don’t paint too much in the way of arm of service colours they might also pass for slovaks in Russia (although they had the helmet rim painted blue if I remember correctly, and there’s every chance I don’t)!

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          • I reckon you can always pressgang their French, who uniquely amongst the 20mm ranges out there are portrayed without greatcoats and so would work at a pinch for khaki-clad troops. That reminds me, Stonewall Figures has an Operation Marita range of Ustashes and Bosniaks. Perhaps worth sampling, as the latter could possible be attired in ex-Yugoslav uniforms (in which case all you would need to do is remove the fezzes; or better yet, putty them up into busbys)?

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          • Good amount of info there, Veroo! πŸ™‚ I have some Lancashire French, who are mostly WW1 Romanians, but if I can find some spare I could use them. I also have some Stonewall Croatians in fezzes for late war (and some Airfix Italians painted in the early 1980s as Ustashi Black Legion – they’re due to be tidied up at some point in the future). Since a reasonable amount of later Croat and Serb troops wore the Czech helmet, there were maybe reasonable stocks of them around. Of course if I’d been thinking properly, I’d have remembered that I have some Lancer Miniatures Balkan War Serbians still to paint and they’d probably do for both periods, with some Lancashire command and LMG teams added! I’ll get there!

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