Tuesday, 8 December 2015

28mm A13 Cruiser Tank - From Box to Table

Blitzkrieg Miniatures Finest


There is nothing better than having a game to play to get the paint juices flowing and our current ongoing WW2 Desert game had that very effect, sufficient juice was squeezed to get these done.

I am a big fan of the Blitzkrieg Miniatures models, they are normally a very high standard and these early war A13s are no different, great detail with very little clean up work required. Since I last bought from Blitzkrieg they have moved onto turned metal barrels. They are much more sturdy and really look the part.

I have done this post in my usual Box to Table tutorial style mostly so when I come to paint some tanks next year I can remember what the hell I did with the last lot !


Starting with the model straight out of the box, in the picture below, you can see there isn't much to do construction wise. My modelling skills are minimal to say the least so this is my idea of a perfect kit ! I painted 3 models, enough for a squadron in our rules all together as a job lot.



So above we have the model completed and primed. My usual Matt Black Car Primer from Halfords (a UK Car Parts Store) completes the picture. You can see the background changing on the photographs as games come and go whilst I try and get these painted.


With a WW1 Naval Playtest going on in the background I have sprayed the model with Army Painter Desert Yellow to get a good flat coverage of paint to work on.


Next up is a spot of dry brushing on the base colour to add a bit of depth, the model in the distance has been given a heavy over brush of Vallejo Desert Yellow (70977) which is a slightly different colour to the spray paint and adds a bit of life to the model. Then in the middle I have dry brushed the whole model with Vallejo Dark Sand (70847) and finally closest to the camera I have added 50% white to the Dark Sand and used that to add a highlight on the edges of the vehicle.


You could leave the vehicle like it is and detail it as a purely dark sand vehicle however I am a big fan of the "caunter" camouflage scheme popular in the early part of the desert war ( we only play with kit that was in theatre in 1941). Above I have added a second colour to the tank, Vallejo Olive Drab 70889, on the right and highlighted it on the left.


My final caunter colour is Vallejo Dark Blue Grey 70904, which is shown above as a base and then with a highlight. I could off course block in each of the colours first and then dry brush the highlights but I find I get less cross over between the paints when I do it this way. A quick search of the Internet or a dip into a good book will give you a template of a scheme for your model.

I have not bothered using masking tape to get the lines between the colours, I have a reasonably steady hand and prefer the more natural look freehand painting gives. With regard to the colours I have used, you could debate them all day and in fact people on TMP have done so. I know the blue is not an official caunter colour however it is well documented in many veterans memoirs and was a colour that would occur as a reaction to the weather conditions on the original paint. It works for me.


Getting toward the end now, I have added a wash of Army Painter Strong Tone to the tank to bring out the detail. I used a complete wash on the wheels and I have painted the ink into the recesses on the rest of the tank, wiping off any excess. Also done at this stage are the tracks, I use a base of GW Tin Bitz and then highlight it with Vallejo Gunmetal Grey 70863.


Which brings us to the finished model. I have added the red and white stripes on the vehicle again by hand. I started with a base of Vallejo Silver Grey 70883 then sketched in the red bars using Vallejo Burnt Cad Red 70814, then tided up the white with Vallejo 70820 Off White before highlighting the red with GW Mechrite Red. To tone it down and weather the stripes I have dry brushed the area with Dark Sand and then put on a light wash of Army Painter Dark Tone on to bring out the rivets.

For additional details I have added some decals, supplied by the wonderful Doms Decals and a tank commander to two of the vehicles, I have a box of these guys hanging around, I think the pointing one is a Perry's figure whilst the other one is from Warlord.




Three shots of the finished article showing the various angles.

The finished Squadron
And then to finish off the post a picture of the unit in its first action, the eagle eyed will notice that one has already brewed up in the background, remarkably the other two haven't broken down yet. Its a great looking tank but sadly it doesn't work as good as it looks.