Last week or on the weekend past I painted the wooden shed roof with Hawk Turquoise as per last time, but the shed walls got Regal Blue. This was in order to differentiate between the two for all players.

I haven’t been able to do anything else with it as it’s been really humid here all week and it’s going to continue into this weekend.

If tomorrow or sunday turn out to be drier, then all the ironwork/steelwork will get some red and I can get the gutters and drainpipes done, then commence the last fiddly bits of details like outside lamp fitting and noticeboards.

The basics will then be complete and I can move into weathering and protecting.


My resin EBay Horchs or Steyrs plus that heavy truck were all finished on wednesday. I’m waiting for the humidity to go so that I can protect them with Dullcote and let you have a look at some photos.

251’s are coming along well.

Opel Blitz has has extra black applied to cover bare plastic that was exposed during assembly when cutting parts from sprues or filing to ensure good fit/remove excess.



Part Four has involved applying Scorched Brown to the roof tiles and Bestial Brown to the ventilation section between the two roof layers:

When that’s dry, I can work on the small wooden shed on the rear and the details.

I bought Scorched Brown on the weekend and it came in a new-style pot, thus:  . Nor enjoying using it because the lid doesn’t stay open at a horizontal or more than horizontal level. Having the lid at those levels is important to me because 97% of the time I only want tiny amounts of paint on my brush. After all, I’m working on 20mm stuff (and sometimes 15mm stuff), not 30mm or bigger items like standard Warhammer stuff. I don’t want to dip my brush into a deep reservoir of paint – just a shallow one like I do with the current (well, now old-style) lid.

I also tried to unscrew the lid to see if I can empty the interior and use it again as a mixing pot. I tried two different pots, even employing long-nose pilers…and couldn’t get the lid off either time. So I can’t use these new-style pots for making my own mixes, either!

A letter to Citadel is in order.

I’ve been doing some research for Truck Month and by far the most helpful website about the Opel Blitz/опель блиц that I’ve found is the Oldtimer Gallery’s Opel Company section run by Andrei Bogomolov.

The gallery is a gallery of photos (approximately 120 of them), many in black & white but a few in colour (from Signal magazine or private collections), from the period or close after.
It is comprehensive, showing as many models and variants as possible: truck bodies, bus bodies, Sanitätskraftwagens, Kastenlieferwagens… very useful for dioramas, but for us wargamers, for seeing paint schemes and camouflage patterns.


The Roden Opel Blitz kit I’ve been working on has been delayed but yesterday I had some free time and caught up. Parts of the chassis are complete, I’ve done the majority of the tray and have made inroads with the cab. I’m now going to paint all the remaining pieces of the cab while they sit on the sprues, as I won’t be able to later…the brush can’t reach in to the the seats, the floor and parts of the cab interior.

The steam engine/locomotive shed has had to wait while I got more Scorched Brown – I ran out trying to make some homemade brown ink and need two coats of Scorched Brown for the roof tiles.

I’ve also been working on those resin Horch or Steyr heavy cars plus a platoon of  Italeri 251/1s, so there is a lot of half-finished stuff to be juggled on my hobby tables at the moment. Still, Truck Month has priority so the Opel Blitz is what I’m trying to spend most of my time on.

Now to apply a layer of Citadel’s Terracotta onto the exterior brickwork. This is done using quick, long, horizontal strokes. To make sure the brickwork is painted properly, there will be another layer applied later using vertical strokes. For now, use the horizontal strokes and whilst doing so get into all the corners, nooks and crannies and make sure they are well coated and finish them with horizontal strokes – probably won’t bother to go over them later with vertical strokes, the darker colour due to the undercoat will provide nice shadowing.

The eBay 1/76 scale Wespes rolled off the production line at Tankoberg yesterday. To try to simulate snow and ice stuck to the treads and lower hull areas, I dabbed on Skull White paint, applied a protective coat of Testors Dullcote matt varnish to seal and protect the entire vehicle, then finally dabbed on Citadel ‘Ardcoat where the snow & ice had been applied, so that it would appear as glossy and shiny. The glossiness hasn’t show up in the accompanying photos, but is visible when you see the vehicles at closer range: . You can also see two new thickets in the photos – one a very long one that is meant to represent a boundary hedge or, in a pinch, bocage – the other a standard patch of what is generally known in wargaming circles as ‘bad going’.

My winter whitewash/winter camouflage technique still needs work. I think it needs further experimentation as well as further surveying of what other wargamers do. Techniques used by professional modellers are useful but very involving – I’m looking for a personal happy medium of techniques.


The second stage of doing the steam engine shed is to roughly paint the whole interior: . I’ve only used vertical brushstrokes for this. The small attached wooden section at the back needs to be redone, too.


The weather here is not very conducive to painting or glueing so activity in the hobby room has pretty much ceased becuase things are taking much longer to dry. However it’s nowhere near as bad as up North.

I made a start on the second locomotive/engine shed on saturday when it was darned hot and dry.  I began here: . As I said in a previous post, I bought this and the one you’ve already seen a few days ago secondhand through a model railways shop. Both of them were extremely reasonably priced: – given that the Italeri ‘country house’ series cost 4-5 times that on average, this was practically free.

Out of the plastic bag, you have the ‘already-assembled and already-painted by the previous owner’ building plus the two doors: I particularly like the little tin-roofed add-on room at the back with the sodium-bulb lamp…really gives a great 1920s-1950s feel to the piece and in my mind grounds it definitely in the period I’m working with.

I was originally thinking about trying to remove the existing paint job but that is a very involving process – also I found with the first shed that simply and carefully applying a good spray-on undercoat covered and sealed the previous paint without any side reactions occurring. Removing the previous paint was thus unnecessary – it wasn’t doing any harm staying there and it’s removal would not add detail to the kit because it is not thickly coating the kit.

I prepared my spraypainting area – a section of cardboard box with extra cardboard to prevent the spraypaint wafting away too far and coating things it is not meant to and commenced undercoating with Citadel’s “Chaos Black” spray undercoat in small steps, first doing one external side: and then the other. The inside also has to be done:  . After painting all surfaces and letting it dry for a good while, I then inspected to see if I’d missed anything or if there was somewhere than needed a thicker coating.

When I was fully satisfied, I was left with this: .

Since then I realised I had to seal up some two holes in the roof that I’d overlooked and also had to cut off some excess plastic. I’ve also installed the missing brace for the fan that at first I thought I’d ignore. The building needs a little bit of respraying just to cover up where I’ve done work since, but as far as this blog is concerned, I’m up to the first stage of painting.

PS: I used Google’s Image search and found out who the manufacturer of these sheds are – Airfix! Have a look at this link. Thanks to DL McCarthy for having the information on his Airfix Model Railways website.

Whilst waiting for glue or various paint applications on the Wespes to dry, I’ve been working on two buildings suitable for railway stations or a rail yard – an engine maintenance/storage shed and a water tank:   .

Here’s detail of the water tank, which was 75% scratchbuilt:    . The ladder, iron/wooden frame and half of the floor of the watchtower/look-out came from the Fujimi House & Look-out set (kit #360379). The rest came from my spares box and my terrain-building materials. The cylindrical tank is PVC pipe left over from when I had to do some plumbing repairs; the roof is sheet styrene which I carefully carved with scalpels to fashion planks and represent wood detail; the floor is just a square of sheet styrene and the pipe is a piece of left-over sprue. I did some grinding to get the angled sheet styrene roof to fit on the PVC pipe, but the rest was straightforward and everything was glued together with plastics glue. Easy!

Why such an angled roof? Well, to prevent snow from building up and crushing it. Straightforward physics. I also hoped it would add a nice Eastern European feel to it…

The engine shed is something I bought secondhand from a model railways shop I frequent. Here’s the detail:     .

Both the engine shed and the water tank have turned out really well.

This is the first time I’ve used a wash. I used Badab Black from Citadel in order to give the roof tiles a more realistic colour and also to give both buildings a coating of coal-dust/soot. I also hoped that it would also bring out the details on the bricks, which are not very distinguishable on this kit. I certainly wasn’t going to try to paint in the mortar separating them! They are too fine and not prominently raised and seperated for such finicky painting detail. A wash did a better job by instead bringing up the shadows.

You’ll notice that I have still done a little drybrushing here and there to represent dust build-up and to provide contrasting. I originally wasn’t going to, but in fact it adds the third dimension to the pieces.

I’ve got a second one of these engine sheds to do and that will be some of the next few posts that I make – how to get the same colour and contrasts as I’ve got here.

As an inventory check, I’ve got enough railway tracks to go over a 6-foot board and a couple of extra feet distance too in curves; I’ve got a bombed railway station; I’ve got a water tank and an engine maintenance/storage shed with another shed having its paintwork commenced in the next day or two. Not bad!

The Opel Blitz cargo trucks and the Opel Ambulance (I’ve assembled and painted it to be a mobile HQ) are finished!                               With the camera flash switched off, the colour is more like this:  .

I mentioned in the preceding post that I was trying to paint the camouflage on the Opel Ambulance using pieces of sponge dipped into paint of varying strengths and that things had not gone according to plan.

Well, after some advice from regular readers, I had another go, and managed to correct many of my earlier mistakes. How I did that is recorded in that preceding post’s Comments, to whit: “So far, spreading the paint around with the sponge after application is helping, it makes the whole lot an even layer of paint. Going back to full-strength paint helped too. I pressed the paint-loaded sponge against the model, released it for a couple of seconds, then lightly pressed again and using the very tip of the sponge, spread the paint around ‘inside’ the splotch to make it even.”

So, my technique for painting cammo with a sponge is:

  1.  Dip the torn-off piece of sponge into full-strength paint.
  2. Press it against the vehicle for a moment, moving it around slightly. This is important and must be done each time you reach Stage 2, so that each time, the shape of the paint is not quite the same.
  3. Stop pressing it against the vehicle for a moment.
  4. Look on the vehicle for where the paint is too thick or has bubbles in it. Gently dab the sponge against it to even it out and pop the bubbles.
  5. When satisfied, go back to Step 1.

I did have to correct extra unwanted splatters with the base colour and did “improve” the shape of some paint spots by going back later and working on them with a brush, but only where I felt it was necessary.

So there it is. Good luck with it! If you improve my technique, be sure to let us all know how.

I’m proud of the aerial recognition flag on the bonnet of one of the Opel Blitz cargo trucks:  . It was done by first cutting up a washing instruction tag off one of my old heavy metal t-shirts into the right shape and size rectangle; covering that rectangle on both sides with PVA glue and then affixing it to the bonnet. Next, I had already collected some strings from individual tea bags – I cut them into four pieces of approximately the right length, coated them in PVA glue and placed them at each corner of the flag, connecting them to the flag and to the mudguard. When all was dry, the tag was painted thickly with Skull White. When the paint was dry, a decal of the swastika flag was applied over the top. When that was dry, Blood Red was used to paint over any remaining white. Brown Ink at 50% strength was used to darken the strings so they looked like hemp rope. Done!

With a final black ink wash, what I call the Doug Chaltry technique for painting AFV tracks is done.

I use a mix of 25% Black Ink – 75% water. A previous mix in an earlier post was described as being like milk…well, this mix is like watery milk! Here it is going on the tracks…you can see the raised metal surfaces easily through it – the mix is simply adding some extra shading to crevices etc: and here you can see it pooling together: and to give you another perspective of its strength, here is an almost-dried spilt drop on the upper hull: .

Here are three photos of the final products, all dried: .

With that done, the finishing construction steps in Tankoberg could be undertaken. I glued the hulls onto the lower hulls/chassis, so that I had a whole tank. As the upper wouldn’t sit perfectly on the lower, I used my scalpels to do some trimming on the inside…a major lesson being to ignore UM Models’ assembly advice and not to glue the baggage/stowage that sits on the mudguards until all hull assembly is complete, otherwise it interferes with everything fitting together perfectly! I also had to cut grooves into one side to get a better fit.

I used woodworking clamps to hold the two halves in place for 45 minutes while I waited for the glue to dry.

Having pre-drilled holes in the right place on the hull before assembly, I was able to Zap-a-gap glue in place some 0.022″ diameter brass wire to represent the radio aerials.

Tomorrow: some fine detail glueing (holders for jerry cans etc.)  and some gap filling with putty. Wednesday or thursday…serious detail painting commences.

We’re over the first major hurdles now. In fact, we are pretty much at the middle…one way of reading Doug’s technique for painting AFV tracks would in fact suggest that we are at stage 4 of 6…representing the steel.

I liberally drybrush on my metallic paint, as tracks should appear well-worn unless the vehicle has just rolled off the assembly line or been fitted with brand-new tracks, in which case there would still be plenty of protective grease on them. Here’sa photo of the metal paint going on: . In this photo, one and a half of the visible tracks have been done: and now all done: .

Now I move down his instructions and commence again where he talks about making tracks look dirty. Step 5 is to apply a brown wash again, this one is 50%-50% Chestnut Ink and water:

When dry, the steel paint should be the strongest feature but it should be a bit “browned”, as you can see here: .

The final step is to add a very thin black wash. That’ll get done soon.