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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bolt Action - OXI - Greek Army Project Part 4 - Captured L3 Tankettes from Arctic Skunk


My Greek army continues to find little additions to add to its ranks.  This week I managed to find and add some L3 Tankettes I came across while exploring Shapeways 3D Printing.  The Greeks put captured Italian L3s Tankettes to use against their former master during the Greco Italian War and the subsequent invasion by the Germans.  These little tankettes were hardly a match for the mighty  German Panzers, but were put to good use against the Italians.  The Greeks can take them with either the dual MMG option or anti tank rifle option, or as I call them the Italian StuG.




The L3 Tankette saw service with the armies of around a dozen nations between 1935 and 1944.  It saw combat in China, the Middle East, North Africa, East Africa, the Balkans, Spain, and Italy.  This lightyl armored vehicle could mount twin machineguns, an anti-tank rifle, or flame thrower.  Its crew of two was protected by no more than 14mm of armor which was barely able to stop small arms fire.


I found my L3s from the 3D printing company Shapeways.  Shapeways is similar to Etsy and is a place were people who design items to be 3D can sell products.   While browsing their catalog I came across 1/52 scale L3 Tankettes from the shop Arctic Skunk.  The price was comparable to other L3s on the market at $16 and I was interested to see what a 3D printed tankette would look like, so naturally I bought a platoon for my Greeks.

Arctic Skunk has a variety of items in stock including several other 28mm light tanks, tankettes, armored cars, and trucks that could be used by a variety of nations in Bolt Action.


The L3 Tankettes from Arctic Skunk are printed by Shapeways in flexible white plastic.  The models were very light weight and hallow inside.  I felt like the models had a good amount of detail and were of an appropriate dimension and scale.  The surface texture was a little graining (to be expected of 3D printed items), but not so grainy that it was noticeable once painted.  The models did not have strings or strands of excess printing material.  Since there were no mold lines the only clean up I did was brushing off what I can only assume was excess printing material which was lose and gritty.  There was no assembly and the tankette was printed in one piece.  


Here are my new L3s next to my FT-17s from Trenchworx.  These five tanks will form the core of my Greek "Armor".



Next to my 28mm Greek Infantry.  The L3 was incredible small and two men barely fit inside.  I think the the model from Arctic Skunk matches perfectly with 28mm figures.


I really liked the detail on the tracks and rear deck.





There are many exampled of how the Italians painted their L3s.  Ranging from grey or green to sand in color.  I opted for a mix of sand and green.  I intend to use these tankettes with a future Italian army that will likely be desert themed, but I didn't want my Greeks to have sand colored tankettes.  I think the green dot camouflage pattern looks good and will work for either European or African operations.

I am very please with my purchase from Arctic Skunk and with the service from Shapeways.  My order was processed and printed within a week of order and shipped after that.  Shapeways tracks all orders made through their website so you can check on the status at any time.  All items are printed on demand, which I think is pretty sweet.  Kind of like buying fresh bread.

Do you have experience buying or making 3D models?  Let us know about it on the forum

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