Civilian Runabouts

This weekend just gone I ran a Hammers’ Slammers game at my club’s Open Day (more of the game in a later post).

To provide a bit of scenery and colour, I painted up some of our Raeside grav utility vehicles in civilian colours. I went for a pallette of industrial orange-yellows, since the vehicles were placed as part of the colony base. I started by assembling them as normal, then dressed them up with various stowage items – jerricans, crates, boxes, tool lockers etc. One even got a Soviet external fuel tank bolted to the back (I wasn’t sure if the superglued join would be strong enough, but it’s holding up so far !).

After a coat of grey car primer (which annoyingly went a bit grainy – it was a warm day), they were airbrushed in Tamiya paints – two in yellow with a touch of red added, the other in an orange shade I mixed up specially.

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Then it was just down to brush painting the details – black skirts for one, black details for the other two, and various colours for the stowage items. Next was the infamous Army Painter Strong Tone dip – applied with a brush, I don’t go for dunking the model in the tin! Decals were applied on the still shiny dip, before a final airbrushed matt coat to flatten everything down. Decals came from various sources in my copious spares box – there are GW Tau and Imperial Guard markings, a few warning signs from a large Rafale aircraft kit and a number plate from a 1/76th German truck. What I really wanted was a decal that said ‘Survey’ for the orange one, but I couldn’t find anything suitable.

The end results are pretty effective and add nicely to the clutter on the table.

Super-heavies

This week’s release is a much anticipated set of 15mm models, the German Woden series. There are three models, led by the Woden heavy tank. This is a turreted heavy battle tank armed with a Rheinmetall 15cm railgun, backed up by a tandem autocannon capable of high angle fire. A secondary turret carries a pair of gauss guns for anti-infantry defence.

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The Helheim is a specialist urban combat vehicle. The twin gatlings can sweep any street clear of enemy infantry and make a mess of light armoured vehicles. It also carries a two pairs of Abrißbirne rockets. These unguided, short range weapons are designed to reduce buildings by passing through walls and detonating inside with a delayed fuse.

SF15-302a

The Fenrir is a dedicated tank killer, with one of the largest guns of any armoured vehicle, carried in a fixed superstructure. As with the Woden, anti-infantry defence is provided by a twin-gauss secondary turret.

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Also available is a set of white metal sideskirts that will fit any of the vehicles.

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SF15-302 – Woden Heavy Tank – £11.00
SF15-302a – Helheim Urban Assault Tank – £11.00
SF15-302b – Fenrir Tank Destroyer – £11.00
SF15-302s – Woden Sideskirts – £2.50

To give you an idea of the size of the Wodens, here’s a comparison with a Shaman.

ShamanComparison

Mercenary Reinforcements

The Shaman hover tank is one of the more popular of our recent releases but at the moment it’s rather alone as the only available model in the Mercenary range. However, Zac and Kirk, designers of the Shaman, have come up with some new vehicles to accompany it which we’ll be steadily adding to the Mercs’ armoury.

First up is the Sohei heavy hover tank. It will be available with a choice of gun barrels including gatling, laser and conventional battle cannon.

Slide1

Next is some transport for the infantry. This is the Magnus APC, a battle taxi type rather than an IFV, equipped with two remote light gun mounts.

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For fire support there’s the Ontos, based on the Shaman but with a fixed casemate carrying a fearsome load of six plasma guns.

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There are more, but that will do for now 🙂 . Production on these should start soon, so hopefully we’ll get the first of them released in short order.

New Desert Construction

As previewed (and painted) recently, there are three new items available today in our 6mm Desert Buildings range. The first, and largest, we’re calling the Repair Station, and it’s where the local colonists go to have their speeder bike or grav truck fixed when the hydro-exhaust blows a plasma gasket. The Munitions Bunker is used on military bases and airfields to store bombs, missiles and explosives and make them secure from theft or attack (and in the worst case, contain any internal explosion to minimise damage to surrounding structures). Similar bunkers are also used as accommodation on front line bases – although spartan, they are preferable to anything else when the shells are dropping. The final model is a slightly more primitive dwelling – lacking the roof dome with its climate control system, instead there is a roof terrace where the occupants can enjoy the cooler part of the day.

JuneRelease

B300-125 – Repair Station – £2.25
B300-126 – Munitions Bunker – £1.00
B300-127 – Primitive Dwelling – £1.00

Pimp My Shaman

With the release of a number of add-on packs for our 15mm range recently, I thought I’d have some fun upgrading one of our vehicles with some of them. I chose a Shaman hover tank which I’d decided to paint up as part of an as-yet-unnamed Belgian mercenary unit that I’m planning to raise as and when we release more vehicles for the mercs.

I wanted to make a command vehicle so I replaced the remote gun mount with a Neo-Soviet sensor unit and fitted a pair of aerials to the turret roof. The sensor unit was just glued over the top of the mounting hole for the gun, while the aerials were attached to the flat of the turret roof – I drilled and pinned them for a bit of extra strength. The turret bin was filled up with a selection of stowage items – jerricans and a storage box – and a crewman in helmet was put in the open hatch. The last addition was one of our forthcoming pintel weapons, a 6-barrel gatling, although I cheated here and used a spare plastic 3D print since we haven’t made a mould of them yet! I mounted this in a short piece of plastic tubing first to bring it up to the right height for the commander.

Pimped Shaman 2

Pimped Shaman 3

The colour scheme echoes that of the Belgian army in 1940. I gave it an overall coat of Citadel Bestial Brown, drybrushed in a lighter shade. The crewman was painted before being glued in place, the stowage painted on the vehicle, then everything was brushed in Army Painter strong tone dip. Decals came from Dom’s Decals and my spares box, with the final coat being Tamiya flat clear (don’t use AP’s aerosol varnish, it reacts with the dip and can ruin all your hard work).

Pimped Shaman

I had a lot of fun with this little project, and I’m looking forward to creating an entire mercenary unit in the same style (so yes, keep an eye out for new models in that range soon).

Painting 6mm Desert Buildings

I was asked about how I painted my 6mm desert buildings on our Facebook page recently. It’s a pretty simple method, and I thought I’d share how it was done using some of the new models I previewed last Monday. My method is aimed at creating battered, weather-beaten structures – it’s not for pristine city buildings !

Stage 1 – the obvious one, which is to thoroughly clean the castings in washing-up liquid (dish soap on the other side of the Atlantic). Leave them to completely dry.

Stage 2 – the base coat. For this stage I’m using Army Painter Bone primer from a spray can since it’s easy. If you wanted to paint them using acrylics, either by brush or airbrush, you’d best undercoat them white first, but with the AP spray can I can skip this since it’s designed to be sprayed straight onto bare models.

Stage1

Stage 3 – shading. I cover them in a GW wash, it used to be Devlan mud but nowadays it’s Agrax Earthshade from the new paint range. A good alternative is Army Painter’s Strong Tone wash (the small bottle, not the big metal can of dip). Make sure you get this into every nook and cranny, you might need to go back and cover up any spots you missed once it’s dry. A good tip is to do a second coat over the bottom 1/4″ inch or so of the models once the first coat has dried, this makes the bottom half of the buildings darker and adds to the shadow effect. I also went round with a small brush, darkening some of the corners and creating shadows under windows after the first wash coat had dried.

Stage2

Stage 4 – drybrush. I used GW Tyrant skull, one of their ‘dry’ paints. But whatever shade of tan/buff you prefer is good

Stage3

Stage 5 – details. There aren’t many on these models, but this is the time to pick out details such as doors, windows, vents and aircon units in whatever range of colours you see fit. This might include shading, highlighting and/or drybrushing.

Stage4

Stage 6 – varnish. Army painter matt anti-shine for this stage, although again whatever brand suits you.

Stage5

Stage 7 – put on the table and game with them !

And finally…

Completely off-topic – a fond farewell to Rik Mayall, a comic genius who, along with Ade Edmondson, made me cry with laughter during a performance of the Bottom stage show many years ago.

Rocksteady Crew

You must have spotted the crewmen who have been shyly popping their heads out of some of our newer vehicles. Up until now these have been pre-production models, but today I tested the three production moulds and we’re good to go. I’ve very quickly painted and photographed a set of each (who would have thought you’d need 22 different colours for this little batch of figures!?) and they are now on the website and available for purchase.

SF15-006a

SF15-006b

Sculpted by the ever-dependable Martin Baker, there are three sets with identical torsos and different headgear. Each pack consists of ten figures in five poses. Having separate heads and torsos has allowed us to play around with the posing a little bit and have some figures randomly looking in different directions.

SF15-006c

SF15-006a – Tank Crew in Helmets (x10) – £2.50
SF15-006b – Tank Crew in Beret (x10) – £2.50
SF15-006c – Tank Crew in Soviet Tanker Helmet (x10) – £2.50

VC-5

VC-4

Dismounted tank crew will follow later in the summer.

Across the Serengeti

In the old 15mm range we had just two models from the South African Federation, yet those two consistently sold very well. The old Rhino and Buffel are no longer available, but fear not, their remodelled replacements are just around the corner.

We have new masters for the Rhino (which is a big ol’ tank) and the larger of the SAC APCs, the Wildebeest. The printed masters are not very clear in photographs, so I’ll try to take some photos of primed versions soon so you can see the detail better.

Rhino

Wildebeest

The basic Wildebeest APC has a pintel-mount machine gun (almost invisible in the photo above), so at the same time we’ve taken the opportunity to make up several other pintel weapons. L-R they are a railgun, tri-barrel gatling, MG and six-barrel gatling. These pintel weapons will be available as add-on packs so you can convert/upgrade your vehicles.

Guns

I’ll be starting to cleanup and prep these models for moulding in the next week or so with a view to a release in early August. I’ll try to take

Fresh from the Mould

Some brand new stuff here, some of which might not have been seen before.

I’ve been running several new moulds (I’d have done more if it hadn’t starting raining – the English weather, as usual, is alternating between rain and stifling hot) and thought I’d show the results.

We have half-a-dozen new resin items in 6mm and 2mm. There’s a 6mm repair station, munitions bunker and primitive dwelling for the Desert Buildings range:
DesertBuildingsJune2014

And three French coastal forts for the 2mm range; Fort Louvois (Marennes, about 6 miles from Rochefort), Fort Lupin (on the Charente estuary leading to Rochefort) and Fort Boyard (in the Pertuis d’Antioche straits, once again guarding the approaches to Rochefort, and instantly recognisable to fans of rubbish 90s TV game shows).

FortsJune2014

Behind that is an Aeronef hangar – this model is already available from our Shapeways site (and it’s worth considering as the interior has loads of great internal girder detail). Obviously this resin version is a bit more solid, but it will have separate metal external doors and struts, and is designed to handle one of our Schleswig-Holstein digs.

As always, bear in mind these are early castings from brand new moulds so there’s the odd air bubble and bit that still needs to be debugged. The 6mm buildings are in the release schedule for the next 3-4 weeks, while the forts need a metal mould for additional parts (turret tops and towers, etc) so will be a week or two longer. The hangar is pretty imminent …

Civic Pride

More new releases today – as previewed earlier in the week, these are additions to the Small Scale Scenery range. The Civic Buildings set consists of a Town Hall, library, grammar school and three-part hospital, all modelled on real buildings in the local Kent area. The buildings could also be repurposed for many other uses, as the design style also suits dockyard or barracks buildings of the C.19th.

Available from the website now, and we’ll also have stock (although not much, so get there early) at Broadside on Sunday.

SSS-8036

SSS-8036 – Civic Buildings – £7.50