Buck's Blog

The Stream-of-Consciousness Journal of a Wargamer

Leonardo DaVinci Tanks

At Historicon 2020, the HAWKs are planning to run a large What A Tanker! game, but we plan to use 1:48 scale tanks inspired by Leonardo DaVinci. Most people are familiar with the round tanks from DaVinci’s mechanical drawings. Twenty something years ago, there was a published set of rules, called Leonardo Plus that also featured trapezoidal (and much more practical) tank designs. I had planned to complete all six tanks I signed up to contribute in time to deliver them to Don at Cold Wars, but the push to get all the Ozz figures painted delayed that plan. Since being locked into my house for almost a month, I have been knocking a lot of projects off my to-do list.

I assembled and painted nine of these boards for tracking tanks during a What A Tanker! game.

Below are some work in progress shots of the round DaVinci tanks.

Priming the cannon rings.
The bottom “chassis” is primed, but not the tops yet.
First tank nears completion.
The three round tanks minus their livery. I intentionally painted them in circus tent colors.
Then I added shields on the sides to give them a little more personality.

I mailed these three off to Don last week so that they can start to play test the game and get the HAWKs comfortable with the rules.

For the trapezoidal tanks, Duncan got us all started by building skeletons or frames for them. Then a few hours with an Xacto and some super glue were easy work building over these skeletons.

The Duncan tank skeleton with fonts and backs added to close in the tank.
Another view of a partially completed skeleton.
I made tops for all the tanks. The square piece is meant to be the crew hatch. The round piece is meant to be the cockpit for commanding the tank.
Another work in progress shot.
Trying out some ideas for port hole covers. Eventually I decided to use old slotta bases, thinking that the slot would make a good viewport when the covers were closed.

Then came the fun part of painting the tanks. In this case, I didn’t spray prime them; I just brush painted them.

Partially painted trapezoidal tank.
My technique is to have a couple of projects going at the same time so that when I am waiting for one thing to dry, I can shift to another thing. Here you can see I was working on two Vickers Mk II tanks, two Albedo Combat Patrol LARC aircraft, and the Leonardo tanks at the same time.
This tank is nearly complete, except for the wheels, and is pictured next to a Steve Barber 28mm early WWII US infantryman for scale.
All three completed trapezoidal tanks next to some GW Empire troopers for scale.
A closer shot of the green tank.
A side view of the blue and white tank, showing the 3D printed half wheels that Don made.
A side view of the blue and red tank.
A side view of the green tank.
The port side of the blue and white tank.
The starboard side of the blue and white tank.

These have been packed in a box and are on their way to Don. I can’t wait to see them and the tanks built by the other HAWKs on the table at Historicon 2020 — or whenever the next HMGS East convention is.


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