Tiny Mercenaries

Our 6mm range is pretty big – something like 250 product codes. That said, we haven’t added much to it other than buildings and scenery for a little while, concentrating on the 15mm range, and I think maybe some of the smaller scale gamers have been feeling a little left out while the bigger guys get all the fancy new kit. Fear not – 6mm is back with a bang !

We’ve taken the 15mm Mercenary range, expertly designed for us by Zac Braham and Kirk Alderfer, and transmogrified them into miniature versions of themselves (although the Sohei is still a brute in 6mm !).

They’ve been scaled to 1/3rd the size of the 15mm originals, and you can see the comparison in the photo of the Shaman. The only model we don’t have from the 15mm set is the Mantra, as I haven’t worked out how to do the top screen yet. I also have my doubts at how well the Warlock will cast, that may need a redesign as a 2-part turret, but we’ll see.

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Valet Parking

Where does the well-heeled tank commander park his steel monster ? Why, in our new Tank Garage of course ! Air-conditioned with four bays, plenty of room for maintenance and re-arming and protected against anything other than a direct hit, all the top armies are opting for these this spring.

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And if you need somewhere for the crew to bunk down, how about our new Vaulted Dwellings ? It’s usable either as a small military barracks or as civilian dwellings, with a small roof terrace and access stairs.

Finally for this week, we have another small house, this time set up on a plinth with stairs to access the front door.

B300-130 – Plinth Dwelling – £1.25
B300-131 – Vaulted Dwellings – £2.25
B300-132 – Tank Garages – £5.00

All models are single-piece resin castings and are available from the website now.

One Month and Counting …

I like days like today – it’s a brisk spring day, not too cold, so I can do some resin casting outside (but not so warm that the resin sets too fast, which can be a problem in the summer). The cat’s basking in the sunshine on the deck and the bantams are ruining the lawn looking for worms while I create ever more stock in advance of Salute – which is now exactly one month away.

So to the point of today’s post, which is more Salute previews. This time we have some new 15mm vehicles, more scale-ups from the 6mm range. Our range of 80+ models encompasses grav, GEV, blowers, wheeled and tracked vehicles – and now half-tracks. We’ve created 15mm versions of our Polish Suwalski range of half-tracks, which have a very Eastern-European feel to them (mixed with a bit of Wehrmacht). Like their 6mm cousins, the Poles use a lot of German weapons and technology and the vehicles are mainly equipped with similar turrets to the Lynx APC.

This is the basic APC with a twin MG turret, roof hatches so the infantry can fire from cover and a rear exit door.

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Secondly, here’s a turreted version with an autocannon. The back of the hull is sloped and carries a spare wheel.

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Alternatively, this can also carry a missile turret

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The final version is the fire support model, which has a built up superstructure over the troop compartment and is armed with either a light infantry support howitzer or an long-barrelled anti-tank gun (note that the AT gun isn’t properly fitted into the model, I didn’t want to force it in too tight and damage the master !).

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For heavier firepower, the Poles use the Maczek medium tank. This is a German Thor hull with a new turret, fitted with the same 9.5cm DS gun as the British Apollo but with Polish sights.

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As if that wasn’t enough – here’s another gem. This is an up-gunned version of the popular Mercenary Shaman tank. I’ve given it the DS gun from the Sohei, extended the turret bustle by doing away with the stowage rack and added an extra sensor bubble where the remote gun mount was. It’s known as the Shaman Firefly … This is a photo of the first master on a painted hull, but unfortunately this is a duff print (the back of the turret has sunk a bit) so we’re waiting on a new copy before it can be moulded.

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Relative Size

Over the weekend I had a couple of requests for size comparison photos of some of our models – one for a shot comparing our new 15mm AmRep tanks with their 6mm counterparts, the other relating to the size of our new 15mm infantry compared to our tank crew and Power Armour. It has occurred to me that it might be handy to share these photos here on the blog, so here they are.

The first shot is of the new 15mm AmRep tanks, (from l-to-r) the Kochte, Oldmann and Curtiss. In front of them are a selection of 6mm tanks.

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The next two shots are comparisons of the Kochte and Curtiss with their 6mm equivalents.

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And finally, a shot of three of our new infantry figures, two tank crew and two Power Armour figures.

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The Colossus of Spaceships

For this week’s new release, we have more additions to our ever-popular British spaceship fleet.

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The Colossus class battleship is of similar size to the existing Churchill, but instead of the latter’s all-round turret firepower, the Colossus has heavy fixed-forward armament comparable to the much larger Fisher dreadnoughts. The model is supplied with the same weapon sprue as the Fisher, with optional Maser, Mass-driver or Torpedo weapons.

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In addition, we’ve created a missile turret option for the existing Battleship and Heavy Cruiser models to create the Wellesley class Missile Battleship and Kent class Missile Cruiser. The turrets are also available separately for conversions and scratchbuilding.

SFS-100a – Wellesley class Missile Battleship – £7.50
SFS-103 – Colossus class Battleship – £7.50
SFS-120a – Kent class Missile Cruiser – £3.50
SFS-7051 – British Missile Turrets – £1.50

PBI

Salute 2015 is now about five-and-a-half weeks away. Loads of time, aeons. That said, the show edition of Miniature Wargames has just dropped through the letterbox which reminds us that we’re getting ever closer. We’ve been planning our show releases since before Xmas, although as always we’ll be panicking up to the last minute I’m sure ! It’s time to start previewing them, which we’ll do over the coming 3-4 weeks.

The first batch of masters has arrived ready for moulding – and we have to admit to being quite excited by them. Although we have a few packs of figures in our 15mm range (some lovely PF aliens and bounty hunters, our Power Armour and some very useful tank crew) we don’t have any straightforward, ground-pounder infantry. So we’ve got together with Martin Baker and he’s sculpted us some really excellent figures, based around some 3D designed and printed weapons. These are straight out of the package that came in the post this morning, and will be off for moulding tomorrow so I haven’t had long to get them photographed. Click on the photos for larger versions if you’d like to see more.

As you can see we have a number of infantry poses, plus command, support weapons (SAW, grenade launcher and rocket launcher), snipers and heavy weapons crewmen. The gunners will be paired up with tripod mounted versions of our pintel weapons (unfortunately I didn’t have any to hand when I took the photos). They will be sold in packs of eight figures (or equivalent), although we haven’t finalised the exact contents just yet. Having these available will also allow us to create platoon packs of APCs with crew and infantry and we’ll also create complete army packs of tanks, APCs, infantry and support vehicles.

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After Tuesday’s minor ‘leaving all the orders at the workshop’ FUBAR, we’re back to normal, Friday 13th notwithstanding ! Everything has been safely retrieved and sent – although you may detect a faint whiff of burning when you open your parcel, it seems that someone lit a large bonfire in the farmyard opposite the workshop and the smell has permeated everything !

Onto more mundane matters, and this week’s new releases. One of the forces in our 6mm range that has never really been properly represented in 15mm (apart from a couple of odd tanks) is the American Republic. As you’ll have seen on this blog recently, we’ve got round to rectifying this at last with seven brand new vehicles and variants.

The largest is a new sculpt of the Curtiss heavy tank. This was the very first digitally sculpted model that we released and since then we’ve learnt a lot about the design and production processes, so we thought it was time to give the Curtiss a makeover. This new model has a newly-designed metal turret and gun, rather than the resin one of the original, and improved detailing on the hull.

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The slightly smaller cousin of the Curtiss is the Kochte MBT. This again was previously available in 15mm, but we’ve replaced the original with a new 3D sculpt – the overall profile of the tank is the same but the detailing is completely different.

The AmRep’s standard infantry fighting vehicle is the Baumann. This carries two crew and six infantry, and is equipped with a light autocannon and missile pod. Infantry dismount through a rear ramp and can engage the enemy through the firing ports on each side. Also available are an AA variant with gatling and missiles, and a heavy anti-tank-missile carrier.

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Finally, the smallest of the new vehicles is the Oldmann light tank. This is a two-man recce vehicle with a light autocannon – heavier fire support is available from a missile carrier with the same 16-round turret as the Baumann.

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All are available singly, and the Curtiss, Kochte and Oldmann are also available in discounted Platoon Packs of three vehicles, stowage and crew.

SF15-202 – Curtiss Heavy Tank – £9.00
SF15-203 – Baumann MICV – £8.00
SF15-203a – Baumann AA – £8.00
SF15-203b – Baumann w/missile turret – £8.00
SF15-206 – Oldmann Light Tank – £5.00
SF15-206a – Oldmann w/missile turret – £5.00
SF15-208 – Kochte MBT – £8.00
PP15-202 – Curtiss Platoon Pack – £26.00
PP15-206 – Oldmann Platoon Pack – £14.00
PP15-208 – Kochte Platoon Pack – £23.00

If you’re outside the EU, remember that you don’t need to pay VAT – so the price you pay is only 5/6ths of that shown above, which should go some way towards offsetting the postage costs.

Gruntz Activation Cards

Yesterday was a workshop day, doing metal casting for orders (and stock, we’re already slowly gearing up to Salute – at the moment this just involves doing a few extra castings every time we spin a mould and keeping them to one side for the show). I did have a bit of a brain-fade and managed to leave all of the finished orders behind – so apologies if you placed an order over the weekend or Monday, it’s all done and packaged up, but rather annoyingly sitting in a box at the workshop which I won’t return to until tomorrow 🙁

GRZ-004Today has been spent casting resin items, again a mixture of orders and stock which we’ll put aside for Salute (including this week’s new releases for Friday). However, I did get a nice little surprise in the post this morning – a number of sets of Gruntz activation cards which we’d ordered from Robin a little while ago. So in between bouts of pouring resin, I’ve quickly added them to the website.

According to Robin, “The cards make a game of Gruntz more dynamic, allowing for alternating activation of units using a random determination. It works well for getting more than 2 players into a game of Gruntz because the random nature of unit activation can involve all players, rather than waiting for the traditional I-GO-U-GO turn sequence.

The main Gruntz 15mm SCI-FI rulebook includes rules for using normal playing cards, however the same rules can be used with these cards which also add some interesting chaotic battlefield bonus effects.“.

The cards are in a small format to reduce clutter on the table and are a very useful addition to the Gruntz game.

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GRZ-004 – Gruntz Activation Cards – £9.00

Safe Harbour

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We have more new items in our Small Scale Scenery range today. The first is another in our growing collection of coastal fortifications, Fort St Mawes. This small cloverleaf castle is a Device Fort, built by Henry VIII to protect the Carrick Roads near Falmouth, Cornwall, from the French (most fortifications along the English south-coast are there to fend off the French !).

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And if we have something to defend our anchorage, what about the harbour itself ? So the second release this week is set of walls, ideal for making a medium sized fishing harbour. Or you can combine multiple sets to make a harbour for larger vessels. The set comprises ten pieces – three 50mm straights, one 90° elbow, three 45° corners and three end pieces. One of the end pieces has a slot for fitting one of our small lighthouses.

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All are available from the website now, and Pico Armor in the USA also have stocks.

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SSS-8029 – Fort St Mawes – £2.00
SSS-8052 – Harbour Walls – £7.50