Schnee's Schneemann

This 'Schneemann' (snowman) was one of a pair that adorned the tower of U-boat 201 along with the crest of the German town of Remscheid.

U-boat 201 became famous while under the command of Kptlt. Adalbert Schnee, who also commanded the U-boats U-6, U-60, U-121 and U-2511, sinking twenty-one merchant ships on twelve patrols. His last name, Schnee, means "snow" in German and thus the snowman was a natural choice of emblem for his vessel. Two versions of the snowmen were painted during U-201's service. When commander Schnee received his Knights Cross in August 1941, the Snowmen of course got one as well.

In the Ma.K universe this snowman was initially the personal insignia of Lt. Giotto Uffizi who was a member of the Mercenary Army's 44th Armoured Huntsman Regiment. The snowman was originally painted on the breastplate of Uffizi's AFS Mk. 2 during 'Operation Sherbet Garden' (the name of the Mercenary's strategy to capture the port city of Arkhangelsk ). When a winter whitewash was applied to the front of the suit during the campaign, the snowman was repainted on the engine compartment.

Lieutenant Uffizi was eventually promoted to Captain of the First Independent Experimental Fireball Company, subsequently his personal snowman insignia, which he had first used during his deployment in Northern Europe with the 44th Armored Huntsman Regiment, became the emblem of the new unit with the addition of a crescent moon.


A picture of Wing Commander Ian Richard Gleed in his Spitfire decorated with a cartoon image of 'Figaro' the cat swatting a swastika and palm tree, Tunisia, 1943. Gleed was given the nickname 'Widge' – short for 'Wizard Midget', apparently due to his tendency to call things 'Wizard' (like people today describe things as 'Wicked'), and his short stature (he was 5 feet 6 inches / 1.65m). He mentions his RAF nickname in his part-fiction, part-autobiographical book but claimed not to know how he got it (although that may be irony as his commanding officer calls him 'Widget' on the same page).

Ian Gleed adopted Figaro as his mascot for his brand new Hawker Hurricane, P2798, which he was issued on his arrival at 87 Squadron in France in May that year (although he wrote that the mascot was already painted on, which suggests he had used it before going to France).Figaro shattering a swastika with his paw became the then Flight Lieutenant Gleed's unofficial coat of arms. Wing Commander Gleed used the Figaro badge on all his personal aircraft up to and including the day he died. He saved the original doors decorated with his Figaro emblem from two of his Hurricanes, P2798 and Z3779. A fragment of the Spitfire in which he died, AB502, containing the Figaro, was recovered from the crash site by a childhood friend who was also serving in North Africa at the time. All three were kept by Wing Commander Gleed's family until they donated them to the RAF Museum in 1971.

Figaro was a cartoon cat that first appeared in Walt Disney's animated film, Pinocchio. Although a relatively junior character in the film, he seems to have been featured prominently in some of the film's posters.The film was released in February 1940.

A tribute to Gleed's Figaro appeared on the decal sheet that came with the  Ma.K.Combat Scheme Card File from SF3D To Ma.K. #2, only this time he's sporting an Excimer laser.

Big Red - I See Red

Detail washes and flat coat applied. The very first layers of 'dust' have been added using a thin layer of enamel paints heavily diluted with white spirits.

Big Red - Come on Eileen!

All the basic paint work and decals are done now ... next I'll be moving on to detail washes and some heavy weathering to tie the disparate colour scheme together.

Big Red - Blue Man Suit

This second 'base coat' is meant to represent a primer and is a reference to Kow's original Archelon build. 

Big Red - Full Metal Jacket

Underlying steel and rust base colours ... hand brushed Tamiya enamels.

Big Red - 1/20 Wave Archelon

Next Archelon ready to paint. Inspired to push this a little further than I had intended by Paul E C Keefe Jr. 's excellent Gustav internal mechanics on FB. First time playing with Aves epoxy putty ... much nicer than Milliput.

Cold Finger Unchained

I decided to add a tarp/blanket to this suit. Maybe the pilot is trying to keep his engine warm or maybe he's trying to soak up melted snow from the exhaust - actually I've always liked the look of stowage on scale armour kits and just wanted to add a little more olive to the colour palette. The blanket is foil from a coffee can burnished to the contours of the suit.

Cold Finger - Final Groundwork and Weathering

To tie the suit to the groundwork I added some final weathering effects such as additional snow and mud and also finished off the power cables.

Cold Finger - Groundwork

Almost finished the groundwork for this project. The tree trunk was sculpted from fimo while the roots are actual fine twigs from a paper bark tree blended in with putty. The snow was a bit of an experiment, a new recipe - talcum powder and matte gel medium for a dry winter look. The leaves are real leaves that I picked from a dead herb bush in a caffe. Included is a photo I used for reference.

Cold Finger - Detail Wash and Filters

Added detail washes and some olive filters ...

Cold Finger - 1/20 Wave Polar Bear

Decided to finish off this old build that I started in 2008. The base model, a Wave A.F.S Polar Bear, has been modified to include some of the subtleties of the original resin Love Love Garden garage kit ... such as remodelling the breastplate and removing details from the arms and legs. The right arm and manipulator are almost entirely scratch built ...