Monthly Archives: December 2019

French Armor for the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of France: Hotchkiss H35 and H39 Light Cavalry Tanks

Mark A. Morin

Amazingly, this upcoming May-June 2020 will mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of France.  I am curious as to how it will be remembered – if at all.  Certainly I would think that both the French and the Germans will likely shy away from commemorating the event for diametrically opposed reasons.  Yet, it is definitely worth remembering it as a seminal event that without question fashioned all of the world’s history since.

I have studied this battle since my days at West Point.  I was fortunate there to study with the then-USMA Department of History Chair COL Robert A. Doughty (now a retired Brigadier General).  I was able to participate in a class (HI498 – a colloquium) with him and just one other cadet during my second semester senior year as part of my concentration of studies in French.  A side note – my class – 1984 – was the last class not to have majors – we had concentrations.  This meant we could choose 8 classes outside of the 44 classes in the core curriculum.  As I love military history, especially French military history, this colloquium was a great opportunity.  We studied Alistair Horne’s works among others.

BG Doughty has authored many books (just check out this list on Amazon), many that focus on France from WWI to WWII.  I recently got two excellent books on the subject that he published after I graduated that I have not read: The Seeds of Disaster: The Development of French Army Doctrine, 1919-39, (which discusses how the French Army came to set themselves up for disaster) and The Breaking Point  (dealing with the pivotal Sedan breakthrough in 1940).  I also plan on rereading Alistair Horne’s To Lose a Battle: France 1940 as well.

The reason for all this reading and research is (well, besides for pure pleasure) to prepare myself to be fully knowledgeable ready to run several tank battle games set in France in May-June 1940 using the What a Tanker© rules.  Obviously, the games will be, at best, an abstraction of what happened.  However, I wanted to have requisite knowledge of the battle and to prepare and build suitable models for both sides to give a proper flavor to the conflict that shocked the world.  I did get an A- in the colloquium, but that was 35½ years ago, I want to refresh!

Previously, I have built French and German tanks and run several France 1940 games described in this blog – but my 15mm/1:100 scale tank inventory was quite lacking in terms of the wide variety of vehicles used.  I aim to remedy that.  I am currently planning on running a game at TotalCon in February, and at HAVOC in April.  I may do others as well, plus club gaming sessions.  This blog post describes the first chapter of my preparation and force building upgrades for those events – four Hotchkiss light cavalry tanks (one H35 and three H39’s).

I will go over a bit of history of the Hotchkiss tanks and then show some WIP shots of the models.  I will then share some eye-candy shots of the finished models.  Lastly, as per usual, I will share the paints and materials used in this project.

The H35 tank was originally rejected by the infantry, who chose the R35 instead.  It was intended to be a light cavalry tank, though it did equip some infantry tank units as well.  Hotchkiss built around 1200 H35’s and H39’s, with the majority being H35’s.  The Hotchkiss company was actually founded by an American from Connecticut, Benjamin Hotchkiss.  He was a Union ordnance engineer at Colt and a munitions builder during the American Civil War.  Finding no US business after that conflict, he moved to France and set up his own company.

The H35 and H39 both had the same  37mm SA18 gun that many French tanks had though the H39 had a longer barrel with better armor penetration (30mm vs 23mm of armor with the shorter barrel).  Given that a Panzer IIIE of the time had 30mm of armor all around, this was not adequate to be sure.  It had a crew of just two, which made it challenging to operate effectively in battle.  Three out of four of the armored divisions’ tank regiments had Hotchkiss tanks (the other one had SOMUA S35’s).  The armor was adequate, but with a range of only 80 miles and a top speed of 17 mph, it was not very cavalry-like.  On top of it all, it was tough to drive and mechanically unreliable.

After France capitulated, both Germany and Italy got Hotchkiss tanks.  Some of these Italian vehicles faced US Army Rangers in Sicily.  After the war, some Hotchkiss tanks served on with the Israeli Defense Force until 1952.

I acquired a 3-vehicle packet from Battlefront Miniatures (#FR020) and one single H39 vehicle from Peter Pig (#PP33).  The Battlefront ones could be either H35’s or H39’s.  In the end, one of the H35 guns was unsatisfactory, so I ended up with one H35 and three H39’s.  In the game, there are no differences statistically between the two types.

1 Hotchkiss tanks at startHere are the models – the Peter Pig one was all metal.  The Battlefront ones had two different engine hatches depending on what version was to be built.  These were relatively easy to assemble and prep for painting.2 Hotchkiss tanks assembledAssembled and magnetized Hotchkiss tanks.  From left to right, Peter Pig H39, Battlefront H35, and two Battlefront H39’s.  3 H35 assembledThe Battlefront H35 gun was drilled in and affixed with Gorilla Glue.  Later, the drill holes were filled with kneadatite (green stuff).4 H39 Bottom Peter Pig assembledThe bottom of the Peter Pig H39 model.  For reinforcement of the tracks, I added green stuff under the chassis.  I also added a magnet to the inside of the turret so my knocked out tank blast markers would stick to an otherwise non-magnetic model.5 H39 Battlefront assembledH39 showing green stuff around the longer gun.6 Hotchkiss tank chassis painting mountsMy mounting arrangement for the tanks.  I did paint and varnish the tracks first.7 Hotchkiss tank turrets painting mountsTurrets ready to paint.8 Tracks first!This shows the H35 after the tracks were painted, washed, and lightly varnished.9 Double Primed showing metal exposureThen the models were mounted and primed.  I had a challenge priming the exposed metal parts as you see here – I needed a few thin coats.9a Double Primed showing metal exposureThe priming issue (exposed metal) was more difficult for the Peter Pig model as it was all metal.10 H35 masked for airbrushAfter priming, the H35 awaits set up for base coat painting.  Protecting the already painted tracks with poster tack was the first step.11 H35 masked for airbrush camoI was not thrilled with the yellow, but I darkened it.  Here, I applied more poster tack to apply a camouflage pattern.12 H39 masked for airbrush camoThe H39’s got their base coats, and then I used an Iwata Micron airbrush to blend in some browns on the green.  As I researched tanks of this era on the French side, I found that there was no standardization of tank painting schemes.13 H35 masked for airbrush camo afterThe H35 under the poster tack for a camouflage scheme.  14 H39 close up after camoThe Peter Pig H39 model showing the added brown color airbrushed across the tank.15 H35 close up after camoAfter removing the poster tack from the H35, this was the result.  16 H39 close up before decals and weatheringI then washed the vehicles with Army Painter Military Shader.  All that was left was adding decals, weathering, and final varnishing.18 Tiny decalsBattlefront decals – so tiny.  I still do not understand why the roundels are two piece decals.

Now, I would like to share the finished vehicles – eye candy (at least I hope you find them nice to look at).

Battlefront H35

1 H35 left sideRight side view, Battlefront H352 H35 frontsideFront view, Battlefront H353 H35 right sideLeft side view of the H35.  The number is helpful for tabletop ID, but is historically correct.  The unit insignia is from the 4eme regiment de cuirassiers, part of the 1st Light Mechanized Division (DLM).4 H35 rear viewThe roundel on the back right.   1a H35 left sideHow I planned the paint job – I am hoping to get better tan/yellow tan paint for future French use, but after washing/shading, I think this is fine.  Do you?

Battlefront H39’s (two)

5 H39 (B model) left sideBattlefront H39 “#8” left side.  6 H39 (B model) left front sideBattlefront H39 “#8” left front side.7 H39 (B model) left rear sideBattlefront H39 “#8” rear view.8 H39 (B model) right sideBattlefront H39 “#8” right side.5b H39 (B model) left sideMy plan for the “#8”.12 H39 (D model) right sideBattlefront H39 “#64” left side.  This was the only Hotchkiss tank I built with a number on the right side of the turret.  Again, markings were definitely not standardized.13 H39 (D model) right front sideBattlefront H39 “#64” right front side.14 H39 (D model) left sideBattlefront H39 “#64” right side.15 H39 (D model) rear viewBattlefront H39 “#64” rear view.12a H39 (D model) right sideHow I modeled the vehicle.

Peter Pig H39

9 H39 (C model) left front sidePeter Pig H39 “#21” front left view.
10 H39 (C model) right sidePeter Pig H39 “#21” right side view.  After weathering was added, the side looked similar to the Battlefront models.9a H39 (C model) left front sideI did not have a #41!11 comparing Peter Pig vs BattlefrontThis is a side-by-side comparison of the Battlefront (left) and Peter Pig (right) H39’s.  I like both – though my preference is for the Battlefront models – which are resin and metal.  However, many of the models I need for this project are hard to find and not made by Battlefront, and sometimes with some manufacturers you need to buy up to five vehicles.  With Peter Pig, I can just get one  vehicle (QRF with metal models sells one at a time as well – and you’ll see some of their vehicles soon too).  Old Glory usually sells 3 vehicles (all metal) in a pack.

Group Shots

16 Group Shot16a Group Shot

This concludes my very last post of 2020 – and the beginning of this project.  (I will be doing a 2019 round up of course – but that will be coming later this week).

More Battle of France vehicles (French and German) will be coming and I hope that you will find them interesting.  If you have any feedback, good, bad or otherwise, let me know in the comments section – I do appreciate knowing what you think.

Thanks for looking and Happy 2020!


  1. Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol 91%
  2. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  3. 1/8″ neodymium magnets
  4. Green stuff (kneadatite)
  5. Gorilla Glue
  6. Poster tack and ¼” square wooden dowels on plastic plates
  7. Reaper MSP “Black Primer”
  8. Vallejo “Black Grey”
  9. Vallejo “Surface Primer – USA Olive Drab”
  10. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  11. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  12. Vallejo Model Air “Pale Green”
  13. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  14. Battlefront “Army Green”
  15. Army Painter “Military Shader” (shade)
  16. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  17. Vallejo Model Air “Rust” (71.080)
  18. Vallejo Model Air “Matt Varnish”
  19. Vallejo Model Air “Sand Yellow” (H35 only)
  20. Battlefront “Army Green”
  21. Vallejo Model Air “Dark Brown” (H39’s only)
  22. Battlefront “Oxide Red”
  23. Vallejo Model Air “Glass Varnish”
  24. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  25. Microscale Micro-Set
  26. Microscale Micro-Sol
  27. Vallejo Weathering Effects “European Thick Mud”
  28. Vallejo Weathering Effects “European Splash Mud”
  29. Vallejo Weathering Effects “Crushed Grass”
  30. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”

from Mark A. Morin
from Tumblr


Additional Munchkin Units Painted


The focus the last two weeks has been on family holiday activities; however, in the mornings while other slept I did manage to get a few more Munchkin units painted — minus the mounted leaders which I do not yet have. These last units were painted almost exclusively with Contrast paints, as an experiment. I am happy with the results.

Colonel Sourdough’s regiment.
A slightly closer view of Colonel Sourdough’s regiment.

There are four named regiments in the Munchkin army: Colonels Ticktock, Sourdough, and Hardsole plus Zoraster the Wizard’s body guard.

Munchkin Landwher, which make up the bulk of the Munchkin army.
A closer look at the Munchkin Landwher

Note that Munchkin and Quadlings infantry regiments carry a national color as well as a regimental color.

A frontal view of Zoraster’s Body Guard.
The rear of Zoraster’s Body Guard.

I host a New Years Eve game for my gaming club, the Harford Area Weekly Kreigspeilers (HAWKs). Our second game tonight will feature the under-development Wars of Ozz rules in a Santa themed game. We will use those figures from the Blue Moon line that we have acquired, but most of the units will be filled by ersatz figures. I will try to post pictures of the game tomorrow.

from Buck’s Blog
from Tumblr


Townsfolk Milkmaid: Bones 4 Figure

Chris Palmer

This past week, with all our Christmas preperations going on, I didn’t have a lot of time for painting; so I selected the Milkmaid from the Bones 4 Core Set Townsfolk II group to work on.
     I prepped the figure in the usual way, soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.  I then glued the figure to a black-primed 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then placed the figure in my painting grip.

     I began by painting her skin with Reaper MSP “Tanned Skin”, and then her dress with Reaper MSP Bones “Tropical Blue”.  I then painted her apron, shirt, and bonnet with Americana “Grey Sky”, and after that I did her bucket with Ceramcoat :territorial Beige", and the rope handle with Folk Art “Barn Wood”.

     After the paint had time to dry, I applied a thinned wash of Iron wind metals “Dark Blue” Ink to the dress.  When that was dry, I did a coat of Citadel “Reikland Fleshshade” wash to her skin, and when it was dry, a coat of Citadel “Nuln Oil” to her apron, shirt, and bonnet. I followed with a coat of Citidel “Agrax Earthsahde” to her bucket.

     When all the washes were dry, I painted her eyes, and then highlighted her face with Reaper MSP “Tanned Highlight”, and I mixed in a little Americana “Shading Flesh” to paint her lips.

     Next, I highlighted her dress using, first, the base “Tropical Blue”, then Crafter’s Acrylic  “Tropical Blue”, and finally Crafter’s Acrylic “Cool Blue”.  I then highlighted her shirt, apron, and bonnet, using Americana “Snow White”.  After that, I did the highlights on the bucket using Folk Art “Butter Pecan”, and the rope using the base “Barn Wood”.  Lastly, I painted the entire base with Americana “Mississippi Mud”.
      I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish. I then used some white glue to glue some fine sand to the base.  When the sand was dry, I painted it with a coat of Americana “Raw Umber”. When this was dry, I drybrushed the sand with the “Territorial Beige”, and then with some of the “Butter Pecan”; lastly I drybrushed it with a little Americana “Bleached Sand”.
      Another overnight dry, and I sprayed the figure with Testor’s Dullcote".

     Considering it was a very quick paint job, squeezed in here and there as time permitted, I am pleased. 

via All Bones About It
from Tumblr



Mark A. Morin

Back in March of 2017, I learned that the UK-based War Games Supply Dump Miniatures was closing after thirteen years of business.  My problem at that time was that I had wanted to get more of their fun-looking retro-sci-fi figures.  I had already very much enjoyed painting the Khang Robots I got from WSD for my Warbot platoon that serve as squad leaders in that unit.  I had also seen many of WSD’s Dirk Garrison sci-fi line figures on Buck Surdu’s blog.  I needed to get some while it was still possible to add to my forces for Combat Patrol™ retro-sci-fi games.

As time was limited (as was Roger’s remaining inventory) I placed a sizable order with Roger for several groups of 28mm scale figures that would be suitable for building platoons – including Khanopians, Valkyrie Space Pirates, and miscellaneous items such as Space Munchkins and my Robo-servo Guns that I posted about here previously.  After finishing my Macron unit, I decided that it was time to get some of these languishing WSD projects painted, starting with the Retrovians.

By the way, many of you who follow this blog may recognize Roger as the author of the blog “Rantings from Under the Wargames Table” – a fun blog that unfortunately Roger ended in April of this year (you are indeed missed Roger!).

I was not able to order all of the Retrovian models, but a decent assortment of ones of different poses.  I got the following 34 from Roger to build a Retrovian platoon:

  • 3 DG-07 “The Bra’sheer” figures/three-legged vehicles
  • 1 DG-11 “Garkkon” figure (Retrovian Monster)
  • 2 DG-50 “Retrovian Captain w. Sword & Pistol” figures
  • 3 DG-54 “Retrovian Trooper Aiming Blaster” figures
  • 15 DG-55 “Retrovian Trooper Advancing w. Blaster” figures
  • 4 DG-56 “Retrovian Sniper w. Vision Enhancer & Needle Blaster” figures
  • 6 DG-56 “Retrovian Two Man Sonic Cannon Team” crew figures (one had a sonic cannon, one had a pair of sci-fi binoculars – 3 of each)

In deciding how to construct the platoon, I needed to consider how to build something that would be useful as a unit – and that would have some sense as to its build.  I also have been watching a number of early 2000’s Star Trek “Enterprise” episodes (that I never saw when the series ran).  I have become very fond of the Andorians – and Jeffrey Comb’s portrayal of Commander Shran.  The Andorians had not been much seen in the Trek universe since the original 1960’s Star Trek.  I decided that in homage the Retrovian platoon would be completed as blue skins and with some Andorian names.

Andorrians (2)I had these dudes – less antennae – as color inspiration.

As far as structure, I had enough to create three line squads of two teams.  There would be 10 figures in a squad: a squad leader, an A team of a team leader and four troopers, a B team of a team leader (the binocular half of the Sonic Cannon team), a Sonic Cannon gunner, a marksman/sniper, and a Bra’sheer Assault Pod.  The Bra’sheer I envisioned as having an automatic weapon and mechanical claws that could tear apart obstacles, walls, or enemies’ heads and limbs.

That left me with enough figures to make two other sections.  The first is an HQ section (composed of a platoon leader and a platoon sergeant).  The second is a Garkkon section (reporting to the platoon sergeant or platoon leader) with a marksman in control of a giant Garkkon monster suitable for melee.  The Garkkon is a hybrid of a fish, a lizard, and a giant chicken – it’s quite amusing to look at.

Retrovian Unit OrganizationThe Retrovian Platoon organization.  Each die represents an element that can be activated in a Combat Patrol game.  The platoon therefore has 9 possible elements that could be activated.

I will share how I assembled and painted the Bra’sheer pods and the Garkkon, then go into the infantry.  Then I’ll share some eye candy that I hope you will like, as well as a glimpse into some of the play aids I made (with help from Buck Surdu) for these in club or convention game play.  Lastly, I will share a list of the paints and materials used in the making of this platoon for those interested.

The Bra’sheer

I believe the Bra’sheer were sculpted by Brad Shier – given their names.  The three Bra’sheer figures were, like all of these, great sculpts.  As I had three, it made sense to assign one per each squad on the B teams.  Assembly-wise, I did have a good amount of filing and filling with green stuff to do on these.  Also, the process of assembly was a bit difficult as I wanted to get the legs in position such that the chassis were level.  I ended up needing to affix one leg at a time and check if they were level.

1 Assembled Bra'sheerThe Bra’sheers in front of the 2″ steel fender washer bases – that also had 1.25″ steel fender washers, .5″ stainless steel fender washers, and polystyrene card as part of the base.  The Garkkon is on the right (more on it later).2 Assembled Bra'sheer with green stuffClose up of the assembled Bra’sheer3 Assembled Bra'sheer with basingI took the multi-washer bases and scribed the leg positions on them in pencil.  Then I added Apoxie Sculpt, and some Army Painter flocking (see materials list at end of this post).  Once this had hardened overnight, I affixed the Bra’sheer with E6000 to the bases.  Here, these look like bad cookies…4 Bra'sheer with poster tackHere you see a primed Bra’sheer with green stuff additions to the chassis and some poster tack on the crewman.  I needed to add green stuff to fill in gaps and make the legs structurally strong.  There were mold lines on the legs that short of obliterating the detail I could not get rid of – so I dealt with these later with painting.  The poster tack was to protect the crewman from being painted with the pearlized blue paint I used on the chassis.5 Bra'sheer after base coatAfter painting the legs and the chassis.  The legs were heavily shaded after the pearlized paint was applied to mitigate the mold lines.5 Bra'sheer after washes and painting basesThe model is in the final stages here – I used multiple paints and products on the bases alone.  The Bra’sheer were the only Retrovians with “veiny” heads

The Garkkon

1 Garkkon unassembledThe Garkkon as received.  I do not know why it came with an anchor, but I decided not to use it on the model.  It, like the Bra’sheer, had similar assembly challenges.2 Garkkon unassembled with washerHere’s a better view of the base I used – it’s pretty heavy!3 Garkkon unassembled with pinsMultiple drill holes and pinning were needed, plus green stuff to stiffen the structure.4 Garkkon assembly set upAs the E6000 hardened overnight, I had this Rube Goldberg way of stabilizing the model.5 Garkkon assembledGarkkon assembled.6 Garkkon with baseI used green stuff here on the limbs and on the base.  I chose to do the other bases with Apoxie Sculpt.7 Garkkon base coatedThis is early and fairly gaudy in the painting process – on purpose.  My hope was to use contrast paints and let the light blue here to be the same color as the infantry flesh.  As you will see, I needed to adjust my plans.  I also wanted to adjust the yellows here.7a Garkkon base coatedSide view of the previous stage picture.8 Garkkon applying Aethermatic BlueI added Aethermatic Blue Contrast Paint to the blue – and ended up with a look that was more green than blue.  This is mid-painting to show the difference (the head has the contrast paint at this point).  I ended up finishing the Garkkon blue with the contrast paint, and finding another path for the Retrovian infantry’s flesh color.8a Garkkon applying Aethermatic BlueThis is after I finished the Garkkon’s initial flesh color.9 Garkkon after painting baseAfter some more shading, some highlighting, and some glazes, I moved on to the Garkkon base.

Retrovian Infantry

1 Retrovian Platoon startGetting organized…2 Retrovian Platoon ready for paintingInitial mounting on fender washers after filing and cleaning.  I used slightly larger bases for the Sonic Cannon Gunners and the Marksmen out of necessity.3 Retrovian Platoon after basing with Apoxie SculptAfter I added Apoxie Sculpt on the bases and let it harden for a day.4 Retrovian Platoon aftermounting for paintingHere you see the platoon ready for priming and painted as mounted on the specimen jars with poster tack.5 Retrovian Platoon after Talassar BlueI used Talassar Blue on the boots and the tunics.6 Retrovian Platoon after Akhelian GreenThen I used Akhelian green on the pants – and each squad got a different contrast paint color on the shoulder pads.  Here, first squad had Nazdreg Yellow  – which ended up looking leather-like.7 Retrovian Platoon further progressSimilarly, 2nd squad and third squad got Gryph-Charger Grey and Volupus Pink respectively.  The platoon leader (Commander Schran) got Blood Angels Red, while the platoon sergeant and the Garkkon controller got Ultramarines Blue.  I found that these contrast paints needed a few thin coats to be useful.8 Retrovian Captain progressCommander Schran mid-stage.9 Retrovian Sonic Cannon Gunner progressThe Sonic Gunner from 3rd Squad’s B team mid-stage.10 Retrovian Platoon before washesFor ease of play on the tabletop, in addition to the different shoulder pad colors, the leaders had different colors on their helmets.  Red indicates the platoon leader, blue indicates the platoon sergeant and squad leaders, and green indicated the team leaders.  Others just got a metallic black helmet.11 Retrovian Captain progressAs discussed above, the flesh color on the Garkkon was not what I wanted on these guys.  The faces are very cool, and I ended up using Army Painter Quickshade Blue Tone over the light blue – and I was very pleased with the result.  This is Commander Schran again, and I also wanted to make these swords special – so I brush painted them with the same metallic blue as the Bra’sheer chassis – and called them “Frostblades” – giving them a minor anti-armor capability.12 Retrovian Platoon further progressClose to the finish with the bases remaining to be done.13 Retrovian Platoon before base drybrushingReady to dry brush the bases!15 Retrovian Platoon Team Leader after layer 1 base drybrushingA 3rd Squad trooper with base complete and ready for varnish .16 Retrovian Platoon complete in boxCompleted platoon in the transport box!

Eye Candy of painted Retrovian Platoon and Combat Patrol™ Game Aids

Platoon HQ:

1 Commander ShranCommander Shran, front view1a Commander ShranCommander Shran, rear view

2 SFC Thelev

Platoon Sergeant, SFC Thelev

Garkkon Section:

4 SSG Ushaan-TorSSG Ushaan-Tor, Garkkon Controller5 GarkkonGarkkon front4a Garkkon BackGarkkon back view3 SSG Ushaan-Tor and GarkkonGarkkon SectionRetrovian Unit data Cards (2)Unit Data Card for the Garkkon Section

1st Squad:

6 1st squad leader SSG Kumari1st Squad Leader, SSG Kumari11 1st squad A team trooper #41st Squad Trooper (A Team)13 1st Squad B Team Sonic Cannon Gunner1st Squad Sonic Cannon Gunner (B Team)14 1st Squad B Team Marksman1st Squad Marksman/Sniper (B Team)15 1st Squad B Team Bra'sheer1st Squad Bra’sheerBra'sheer vehicle data cards (2)Bra’sheer Vehicle Data Card.  The numbers in red circles refer to armor factors.  These would be the same for each pod.7 1st Squad1st Squad

2nd Squad:

16 2nd squad leader SSG Talas2nd Squad Leader, SSG Talas

19 2nd squad A team trooper #2

2nd Squad Trooper (A Team)

23 2nd Squad B Team Sonic Cannon Gunner2nd Squad Sonic Gunner (B Team)24 2nd Squad B Team Marksman2nd Squad Marksman/Sniper (B Team)25 2nd Squad B Team Bra'sheer2nd Squad Bra’sheer (B Team)8 2nd Squad2nd Squad

3rd Squad:

26 3rd squad leader SSG Aenar3rd Squad Leader, SSG Aenar28 3rd squad A team trooper #13rd Squad Trooper (Team A)33 3rd Squad B Team Sonic Cannon Gunner3rd Squad Sonic Gunner (Team B)34 3rd Squad B Team Marksman3rd Squad Marksman/Sniper (Team B)Retrovian Unit data Cards (4)Unit data card example – 3rd Squad35 3rd Squad B Team Bra'sheer3rd Squad Bra’sheer (Team B)9 3rd Squad3rd Squad

Retrovian Platoon (group shots):

5 Command GroupCommand and Garkkon Section6 Bra'sheer groupAll three Bra’sheers10 Retrovian Pano 1Retrovian Platoon!11 Retrovian Pano 2Retrovian Platoon (top view)

This project took a bit longer than I expected it to – about 3-4 weeks – but it was rewarding.  I do hope that you found it interesting and fun to look at – so let me know in the comments section – good or bad.  Did you pick up on any Andorian references here? 

On to the next challenge!

As an FYI, I have updated the Lost Minis Wiki with shots of these figures.  And, to boot, I am entering this platoon in Azazel’s Destino December ’19 Community Painting Challenge – it meets the criteria!

Thanks again for looking – and until next time, all the best to you and yours!


  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. E6000 epoxy
  3. Small paper clip wire
  4. 2″ Everbilt steel fender washers ( bases for Garkkon and Bra’sheers)
  5. 1¼” Everbilt steel fender washers (added to Garkkon and Bra’sheers on 2″ steel fender washers; used as bases for Retrovian Marksmen/Snipers and Sonic Cannon Gunners)
  6. ½” stainless steel fender washers as fillers in bottom of 2″ steel fender washer holes (Garkkon and Bra’sheers)
  7. Evergreen polystyrene #9020 card (0.020″ thick) on top of 2″ steel washer holes (Garkkon and Bra’sheers)
  8. Green stuff (kneadatite)
  9. 1″ steel fender washers (used as bases for remaining Retrovian infantry figures)
  10. Apoxie Sculpt
  11. Army Painter “Battlefield Rocks” flocking (put into Apoxie Sculpt on Bra’sheer bases)
  12. Army Painter “Black Battlefields” flocking (put into Apoxie Sculpt on Bra’sheer bases)
  13. Poster tack to mount figures to specimen jars for painting
  14. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black” (on exposed steel and polystyrene on bases)
  15. Vallejo “Surface Primer – White”
  16. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  17. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  18. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Talassar Blue”
  19. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Akhelian Green” (except for Bra’sheers)
  20. Vallejo Game Air “White Grey”
  21. Vallejo Mecha Color “Fluorescent Yellow” (Garkkon eyes)
  22. Vallejo Game Air “Moon Yellow” (Garkkon claws and teeth)
  23. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Blood Angels Red” (Platoon Commander)
  24. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Ultramarines Blue” (Platoon Sergeant and Garkkon Controller)
  25. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Iyanden Yellow” (1st Squad)
  26. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Gryph-Charger Grey” (2nd Squad)
  27. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Volupus Pink” (3rd Squad)
  28. Citadel “Lamenters Yellow” (glaze)
  29. Vallejo Mecha Color “Sky Blue”
  30. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Aethermatic Blue” (Garkkon only)
  31. DecoArt “Festive Red” (Platoon Leader’s helmet)
  32. Vallejo Mecha Color “Metallic Blue” (Squad Leaders’ helmets)
  33. Vallejo Mecha Color “Metallic Green” (Team Leaders’ helmets)
  34. Vallejo Model Air “Black (metallic)” (all others’ helmets and weapons)
  35. Createx Airbrush Colors “Pearl Blue (0304)” (Bra’sheers’ chassis, legs, and Frostblades)
  36. Citadel “Drakenhof Nightshade” (shade on Bra’sheers’ legs)
  37. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Iyanden Yellow”
  38. Polly Scale “WWII German Armor Green” (2nd Squad)
  39. P3 “Cygnar Blue Highlight” (Bra’sheer crewmen)
  40. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Magos Purple” (infantry weapons)
  41. Army Painter “ Quickshade Blue Tone” (wash on all Retrovian flesh)
  42. Army Painter “Quickshade Purple Tone” (wash on infantry weapons)
  43. Tamiya “Flat Aluminum XF-16” (dry brush on Bra’sheer claws)
  44. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (shade)
  45. Citadel “Astrogranite” (on bases)
  46. Citadel “Astrogranite Debris” (on bases)
  47. Citadel “Druchi Violet” (wash on bases)
  48. Citadel “Daemonette Hide” (dry brush on bases)
  49. Citadel “Warpfiend Grey” (dry brush on bases)
  50. Citadel “Slaneesh Grey” (dry brush on bases)
  51. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”

from Mark A. Morin
from Tumblr


Colonel TicToc’s Regiment


Despite a lot of business travel and preparations to move households, I managed to complete another regiment of Ozz figures from Blue Moon. This is Colonel TicToc’s regiment. These will be released for sale in March. In the meantime, development of the Wars of Ozz rules continues apace. This regiment is missing the mounted Colonel TicToc, but that will come soon.

Close shot of the center of the regiment with the command group
The regiment in line
Another view of the regiment in line

An infantry regiment in Wars of Ozz generally consists of five infantry bases, with four figures each, plus a mounted colonel. This gives the table a really nice, old-school look.

I have two more regiments on the painting table that will be completed before Christmas.

When figures are sold, a box will come with a sheet of flags.

from Buck’s Blog
from Tumblr


Bergamot, Halfling Scout: Bones 4 Dreadmere Figure

Chris Palmer

    This past week I painted Bergamot, Halfling Scout, from the Bones 4 Dreadmere Expansion.
    I prepped the figure in the usual way, soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.  I then glued the figure to a black-primed 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then placed the figure in my painting grip.
    I began by painting his face and feet with Reaper MSP “Rosy Flesh” before I realized I hadn’t taken a beginning “blank canvas” photo.

      I then painted his pants Accent “Real Umber”, and his shirt with Apple Barrel “Lemon Chiffon”.  I wasn’t sure about the pleats in his pants and whether they were supposed to be armor…they looked like armor, but I thought it odd for him to just be wearing leg armor. For the time being I painted them like some sort of fancy pants. 🙂  I also painted his vest with Pathfinder MSP “Urgathoa Red”

      Next, I painted his cape with Ceramcoat “Territorial Beige”, and his hair (head and feet) with Americana “Asphaltum”.  After that, I painted his sword belt with Americana “Light Cinnamon”, and his gauntlet with Americana “Faun”.

      I then painted the scabbard with Americana “Cranberry Wine”, and the metal fittings on it and the belt with Americana “Zinc”.   After that, I painted the lamp with Accent “Golden Oxide”, and the grip on the sword with Americana “Raw Umber”.

     Next, I pained the metal parts of the sword and belt with Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey”, and the lamp and vest buttons with Folk Art “Brushed Metal "Brushed Bronze”. I let the paint dry for a while, and then I began with the washes.  First I applied a coat of Citadel “Reikland Feleshade” wash to the face and feet.  When that was dry, I applied Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” to the rest of the figure.
     When all the washes were dry, I began work on the face, painting the eyes and then highlighting all the skin with Reaper MSP “Rosy Highlight”.  After that I highlighted the hair with Americana “Sable Brown”, and then a little of the “Faun”.

     I then highlighted his cape using first Folk Art “Butter Pecan”, and then mixing in a little Americana “Bleached Sand” in to the “"Butter Pecan”.  I then used the “Bleached Sand” to highlight his gauntlet.  After that, I highlighted his shirt with the base “Lemon Chiffon”, and I highlighted his vest and the scabbard with some Americana “Burgundy Wine”, mixd with a hint of Crafter’s Acrylic “Tutti Frutti”.

     Next, I highlighted his pants with some Nicole’s “Brown”, and his belt with the “Sable Brown”.  I then I turned to the lamp.   I first painted the openings with Reaper MSP “Clear Yellow”, then placed an area of the “Lemon Chiffon” in each opening followed by a dot of Americana “Snow White”.   I then worked on the metals, highlighting the frame of the lamp, and his vest buttons with Ceramcoat “Wedding Gold”; and afterwards, highlighting the sword fittings and leg armor with Citadel “Mithril Silver”.  Lastly, I painted the base with Americana “Mississippi Mud”.
      I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock the base.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s “Dullcote”. 

     I’m very happy with how this fellow turned out. He’s a great little figure and full of character.

via All Bones About It
from Tumblr


French FCM 36 tanks

Mark A. Morin

During the Battle of France (May-June 1940), there was an amazing variety of vehicles on both the German and the French sides.  At this same time last year, I began putting together a collection of period 15mm/1:100 scale vehicles for this period.  These were discussed here.  I have previously posted about a couple of games (December 2018 and January 2019) that I ran using the What a Tanker


rules from the UK’s Too Fat Lardies.  I have been hoping to return to this period and add more vehicles to both armies.  I am starting this augmentation by adding 3 FCM 36 light tanks to my fleet.

The FCM stands for Société Nouvelle des Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, a shipbuilder in Toulon who manufactured this 1936 design – and delivered about 100 to the French Army up through 1938.  Cost and industrial manufacturing concerns limited further purchases.  They were a little more than 12 tons, with a crew of two.  The armor was fairly good – welded, and very sloped for tanks of the day.  It also had a diesel engine and reasonable range unlike many other contemporary French tanks.  However, like many other French tanks, it was armed with the weak Puteaux SA 18 37mm gun which definitely had challenges fighting German armor.  Notably, two battalions of FCM 36’s tried to repel the bridgehead that the Heinz Guderian had established across the Meuse, but they were too little and too late.  After the surrender of France, some of the FCM 36 chassis were converted to Marder I’s or self-propelled artillery.  Some of these conversions were involved in the Normandy Campaign of 1944.  Today, only one FCM 36 survives at Saumur.

I thought these would be a good addition to my French early-war tank collection.  In What a Tanker


, these are the cheapest tanks to buy point-wise.  The only source I found for these models was Old Glory.  They are metal, and quite small of course.

1 FCM 36 in package
The 3 FCM 36’s in the baggie.
2 FCM 36 before filing
I did need to do a bit of filing and cleanup of extraneous molding material and molding lines as you see here.  Yes, these are small!
3 FCM 36 before filing showing turrets pins
The turrets had a small molded pin for mounting on the molded hole on the chassis.  I needed to slightly elevate the turret or the underlying paint on the chassis would be worn off, even with a good varnishing.  I decided to drill out the pins and the holes with a 1/8″ drill bit.  I then used green stuff to fill in underneath the hollow chassis between the tracks and provide a “floor” for the magnets.  The magnets were put in place with Gorilla Glue in the chassis and the turrets.
4 FCM 36 after priming and base coat
You can see here my hodge-podge mounting scheme of the FCM 36’s for painting.  I used a 1/4″ square dowel and poster tack to mount the chassis for painting.  I primed these, and the used a German green-brown as a base coat.  This shot here is after the first camouflage color (blue green) was applied with my Iwata Micron airbrush.  Also, I only put the turrets on a tank when I am painting camouflage patterns.
5 FCM 36 after priming and base coat and more camo
Next, I applied the third color (brown) to the camouflage pattern.
6 Turrets after decal but before varnish
When I paint turrets, I find this helpful (as the magnets in the turrets hold the turrets to the magnets on the washers).  Also, I can easily apply the decals this way, and airbrush on the final two coats of matte varnish.

Lastly, I thought I’d share some group and individual shots and a bit about their debut on the tabletop the day after they were completed.

12 FCM top view
Top view showing the sloped octagonal turrets.


7 FCM 36 left sides
Left side of the FCM 36’s.
8 FCM 36 frontal armor view
Frontal view.

I used a blue diamond, a red heart, and a red club as decals which would also help identify these as different individual tanks on the tabletop.  From my research, FCM’s did not seem to have as many markings historically as other French tanks.

As stated above, these made their game debut this weekend at the December session of the Mass Pikemen Gaming Club.

13 First FCM 36 roll
My buddy Mike Morgan was on the French side, and chose the blue diamond FCM 36 as his tank.  He then rolled a perfect roll of 6 sixes!  The odds on that were 0.01286%!
14 FCM 36 Blue Diamond moves onto the board
Mike’s FCM 36 moves on the road.
15 FCM 36 Blue Diamond duels with a StuGA
His FCM 36 was stalked by a StuG A (player Chris), which kept missing it.
16 FCM 36 Blue Diamond duels with a StuGA, misses
Mike successfully maneuvered his tank to the German’s side, and shot point blank.  The dice deserted him as the StuG A took only minor damage.
17 FCM 36 Blue Diamond duels with two StuGA, who miss it
Smelling an easy kill, the Germans (Chris’s teammate Christine) brought up a second StuG A in the hunt.  It also missed the FCM 36.  Note – as there were only 15 StuG A’s in the German invasion force across France, this would have been highly unlikely!
18 Now the Panzer IIIE joins the fight
Then the Germans brought up even more to the hunt with a Panzer IIIE…
19 Panzer IIIE brews up FCM 36
And Mike’s plucky FCM 36’s luck finally wore out with the Panzer IIIE (Christine) knocking it out.

On the other side of the table, Mike’s teammate Tom managed to kill Christine’s Panzer 38(t) with a SOMUA S-35.  Mike got another FCM 36, and that was killed by Christine’s teammate Chris’s StuG A (in the shot below on the left).  Mike replaced his lost tank with an R35.  Tom drove his SOMUA around the building but frustratingly could not take a point-blank shot at the Panzer IIIE (as his dice roll failed him).  Mike had to leave, and my wife Lynn (no gamer just watching) took over the R35.  Lynn drove the tank to the side of Christine’s Panzer IIIE, and rolled three critical hits – and Christine failed to block any.  This knocked out the Panzer IIIE!

20 R35 avenges the FCM 36 after SOMUA misses
Lynn’s R35 avenges the burning FCM 36 (on right) by knocking out the Panzer IIIE.
21 Lynn is happy
Happy wife, happy life!  Tom and Lynn are all smiles here.
22 SOMUA is hit in rear by StuG A
In a final act, Christine maneuvered her remaining StuG A for a rear shot on Tom’s SOMUA S-35.  She successfully knocked out the SOMUA.

That ended the game, with the French winning a very narrow victory 32-31.  If Lynn had not rolled so well in killing the Panzer IIIE, the Germans would have won.  Thanks to the players for a great and fun game!

I have plans for more French and German tanks for this scenario.  I hope that you enjoyed this post, and feel free to share your thoughts and feedback with me in the comments section!  I have been behind on my blogging efforts and hope that I can share more with you soon!  Thanks for taking a look!

Also, as these were mostly done in November, I would add them as my contribution to Azazel’s MechaNovember painting challenge!


  1. 1/8″ neodymium magnets
  2. Green stuff (kneadatite)
  3. Gorilla Glue
  4. Poster tack and ¼” square wooden dowels on plastic plates
  5. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  6. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  7. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  8. Vallejo Model Air “German Green Brown”
  9. Vallejo Mecha Color “Green Blue”
  10. Vallejo Mecha Color “Brown”
  11. Battlefront “Black”
  12. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  13. Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
  14. Vallejo Mecha Weathering “Dark Rust” (wash)
  15. Army Painter “Light Tone” (shade)
  16. Vallejo Model Air “Satin” (varnish)
  17. Microscale Micro-Set
  18. Microscale Micro-Sol
  19. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  20. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  21. Citadel “Typhus Corrosion”
  22. Citadel “Ryza Rust”
  23. Army Painter “Strong Tone” (shade)
  24. Vallejo “Light Sienna” (pigment)
  25. Vallejo “Light Slate Grey” (pigment)
  26. Vallejo “Pigment Binder” (pigment)
  27. Vallejo Weathering Effects “European Splash Mud”
  28. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”

from Mark A. Morin
from Tumblr


Stone Giant Champion: Bones 4 Lost Valley Figure

Chris Palmer

 This past week I painted the Stone Giant Champion from the Bones 4 Lost Valley Expansion.  Readers may remember that I had painted the Stone Giant Guard back in September, and for this one I figured for the most part I’d just copy how I had done that one.

I had forgotten to take a picture of the figure before I started, so here’s a shot of the model from one of the Kickstarter updates.

     I prepped the figure in the usual way, soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.   Then, after trimming the figure’s integral base a little, I glued the figure to a black-primed 2" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then used some Elmer’s glue to glue it to the top of a pill bottle. I used some green stuff epoxy putty to help blend the trimmed integral base to the washer.
     Then, shortly after beginning, I realized that the buttons on her dress looked faceted, like they were meant to be gemstones; so I decided rather than try and paint them as such, I was going to try and replace them with actual craft gems.  So they got sliced off with a hobby knife.

     The first painting I did was to paint his skin, using an equal mix of part Crafters Acrylic “Storm Cloud Grey” and Folk Art “Milkshake”.  I then painted her dress with Citadel “The Fang”, and then did the handle of her rock-pick looking weapon with Americana “Light Cinnamon”.

          Next, I painted her shoes, belts and straps with Americana “Charcoal Grey”, and then I painted the strings holding the object to her right calf, and holding the skull on her left hip, using Ceramcoat “Territorial Beige”.  I then painted the two bands on her upper arms and her necklace with Accent “Golden Harvest”, and the two wrist bands with Accent “Mustard Seed”. After that, I painted he two rune stones hanging from her belts with Americana “Burgundy Wine”, painted the basket at her hip with Reaper MSP “Golden Brown”, and painted the skull with Folk Art “Butter Pecan”. I moved on to painting the sheath of the dagger on her right thigh with Americana “Asphaltum”, and the grip with the “Mustard Seed”; followed with painting the icon(?) on her calf with Reaper MSP HD “Rich Indigo”.

     I then painted all the metal bits with Americana “Zinc”, and I painted the inside of the mouth with Americana “Shading Flesh”.  I felt at first glance it looked like her tongue was extended, so I painted it that way with the “Shading Flesh”.  I put the figure aside to dry for a while, then when I came back I gave the entire thing a coat of Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash. 

       When the wash was dry, I painted the eyes, and then highlighted the skin with some of the base “Milkshake” mixed with the “Storm Cloud Grey”, and added a bit of the lighter Americana “Dove Grey” for the lighter highlights.

     Next, I highlighted her dress, using the base “The Fang” mixed with Folk Art “Cloudy Day”. After that, I highlighted all her belts and straps using the base “Charcoal Grey” mixed with some Americana “Mississippi Mud”, and I highlighted the basket at her hip using Ceramcoat “Maple Sugar Tan”.

     I then highlighted the skull, first with Americana “Antique White”, and then Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White”.   Next, I highlighted the icon strapped to her calf using a bit of the “Rich Indigo” mixed with some Americana “Snow White”.  I did the dagger then, highlighting the sheath with the “Territorial Beige”, and the grip with some of the “Maple Sugar Tan” mixed with the base “Mustard Seed”.  I also used this mix to highlight the wrist bands.  After that, I worked on the icons hanging from her belts, highlighting them with the base “Burgundy Wine” mixed with some of the “Snow White”.   I then highlighted the handle of her rock-pick using Americana “Sable Brown”
      Now it was time for the metallics.  I painted the arm bands and necklace with Folk Art “Brushed Metal "Brushed Bronze”, and when dry, I went over them doing highlights with Ceramcoat “Wedding Gold”.  I then painted the head of the rock-pick, the buckles and all the various studs, with Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey”, and when dry, highlighted everything with Citadel “Mithril Silver”. Lastly, I painted the base with Americana “Mississippi Mud”.
      I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock the base.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s “Dullcote”.  When the “Dullcote” was dry, I used Gorilla Supeglue to affix a trio of tiny nail gems to the studs on her dress.

     In general I’m pretty happy with her.  I don’t like the way her eyes came out, but you get to a point after messing around with them for an extended period of time that you just have to concede defeat and move on.  😛

via All Bones About It
from Tumblr


Reaper’s Evil Toys Painted

Chris Palmer     This past week I painted up Reaper’s pack of “Evil Toys” to use as treasure tokens for December’s Ghost Archipelago game-slash-Christmas party.  The scenario will be The Island of Misfit Toys, and the players will be trying to gather as many of the toys to “save” them from the island and its evil ruler King Moonracer.

L to R: Evil Rubber Duck, Evil Teddy Bear, Evil Jack-in-the-Box, Evil Cymbal Monkey, My Little Evil Pony, and Slinky Hell Hound. 

      I also painted, to add to the mix, the headless gingerbread-man from Reaper’s “Familiars Pack VI”

via One More Gaming Project
from Tumblr


First Unit of Blue Moon Munchkins: Colonel Hardsole’s Regiment


I have been collaborating with Old Glory to produce a set of rules, The Wars of Ozz, to go along with the beautiful new line of figures that will be hitting the market in the Spring. Most of the testing has been with ersatz figures, but recently I received some pre-production figures of four Munchkin regiments. This one if Colonel Hardsole’s Regiment. I am afraid my painting doesn’t really do justice to these beautiful figures.

The front of Colonel Hardsole’s Regiment in green coats with yellow facings.
A closer look at the regiment.

All infantry regiments in Wars of Ozz are mounted in five bases with four figures each. Shooting and melee are conducted by base, but damage is assessed by individual figures. There is also a mounted commander for many regiments, not pictured here.

Three more regiments, partially completed, on the painting table.

These figures are fun to paint. The rules are coming along nicely and will be released (hopefully) at Cold Wars or soon afterward. In any event, I and those to whom I have subjected months of play testing, will be running Wars of Ozz games at Cold Wars.

from Buck’s Blog
from Tumblr