Utility Bird

Back in April, when we released the Demeter Attack VTOL at Salute, it should have been accompanied by a second model, a utility VTOL (think UH-1 Huey in terms of its rôle). However, we had several issues with the other prototype, it would never cast reliably enough to be able to release so we’ve ended up having to redesign and reprint parts of it. We think we’re there now, we’ve run enough test casts to be happy that all the bits now work.

The HU.1 Perseus is, as previously mentioned, a utility type that has a rear cabin for four fully equipped infantry (six over short distances as long as they don’t mind being squeezed in). It has the same chin turret as the Demeter with a 2cm tri-barrel powergun and can also carry a variety of underwing stores so can serve as a passable gunship.

The Perseus is used by three Hammer’s Slammers units as a fast APC flying nap-of-the-earth when in the combat zone, staying down among the weeds to avoid being shot out of the sky. Both the Eaglewing and the Texian 101st base their forces around VTOL transports and gunships, while Guardforce O’Higgins’ veteran Fianóglach company are equipped with a number of Perseus and act as a rapid-reaction unit. In the detachment lists for these three forces, the Perseus replaces the Black Crow VTOL.

The model is a four-part resin kit (body, tail and two wings) with five metal parts (turret, two tail fins, two cabin doors). The separate cabin doors allow for a door gunner (which we don’t yet make but will do).

HS15-2601 – Perseus Utility VTOL – £12.00

CDSU Update

The new Chinese (CDSU) spaceships are coming along nicely, the master castings are all ready to go into production moulds as soon as Phil has finished with unpacking boxes. I’ve painted a set of each model (apart from the two dreadnoughts – I need to save something for the actual release!) for the website so in lieu of anything else to put on the blog, we thought you’d like to take a look. I’ve gone for a lighter green than I’ve previously used – this is Army Painter Army Green from a spray can, followed by GW drybrushes and washes with decals from Dom’s Decals.

I’m tentatively hoping that we’ll have these in production by the time SELWG comes along.

Waifs and Strays

Back in April, we upgraded the cruisers and escorts of the British Aeronef fleet when they were released at Salute. However, not all of our planned releases made the cut – two models, the replacement for the Agamemnon monitor and the brand new Orion class light cruiser, weren’t released at the time because of casting issues. It’s taken a while, but we’ve modified both and they’re finally available for release. It was the tails of both models which were causing the problem – an increase in thickness of just 0.25mm made all the difference, resulting in castings that are getting on for 100% reliable (or as close as we get) as opposed to around 10% previously.

The Orion is a light cruiser design which the British fleet has been sorely missing. It comes in two variants – the basic Orion gun cruiser, fitted with two single and two twin turrets, or the Sirius AA cruiser with four triple-AAA turrets. Both types also have two twin torpedo tubes.

The Agamemnon monitor has two inverted howitzer turrets on the bottom of the hull for surface bombardment, along with some conventional light armament for self defence.

VAN-106 – Agamemnon class monitor – £3.00
VAN-129 – Orion class Light Cruiser – £3.00
VAN-129a – Sirius class AA Cruiser – £3.00

At some point soon (probably after the end of the show season in November), we’ll update the contents of our British fleet packs to take account of the various new releases this year, and the Orion (and Medusa) will filter into these packs.

United in 6mm

Our recent 6mm Hammer’s Slammers releases have opened up a number of new detachments. One of the units that uses the GS-1000 series of GEVs is the United Defence Batteries, an specialised outfit equipped mainly with 8-barrel 2cm Calliopes for air defence. They appear in the story Counting the Cost, which can be found in volume 2 of the Complete Hammer’s Slammers.

I painted some 15mm calliopes last year and I’ve followed up with their 6mm equivalents recently. As an elite unit, the UDB have eight TUs per detachment – five calliopes, two mortar carriers for fire support and a command APC. Like the 15mm versions, I painted them in dark grey (Plastic Soldier Company Panzer Grey from a spray can), drybrushed light grey with a black wash. The skirts were painted light green, again with an appropriate wash. There is an access door on each flank – I painted these white, with a blue triangle as an approximation of the UDB logo. Other than picking out the gun barrels in silver, that was it – this was a very quick unit to get on the table.

The UDB have been added to the ever-growing list of pre-packed detachments we have available –

HSD6-3301 – United Defence Batteries Calliope Detachment – £9.00

Teutonic Towers

One of our more popular releases over the last year or so has been the Modular Castles in the Small Scale Scenery range – one of which is even going to appear in a TV show (of which more another day…).

Today sees an extension to the range with a new set of components for German/Polish Crusader castles, such as the magnificient Marienwerder (now Kwidzyn Castle) and Marienburg (Malbork castle). These were constructed primarily of brick rather than stone so have a distinctive red/orange hue.

As with our previous castle sets, we’ve provided a set of components (walls, keep, gatehouse, towers) that you can mix and match to create a historical prototype or make your own design. They’re compatible with any of our existing components so you can use those as well.

The five new parts are a large keep with corner tower, based on Lochstadt Castle, now in Russia; a barbican (a fortified structure used to protect the far end of a drawbridge or entrance bridge); a new gatehouse design (taken from Malbork Castle); and sets of walls with covered walkways, including ones with small integral defensive towers.

These parts are all available separately, or there is a set available with a keep, gatehouse, barbican, eight towers, three wall sections with tower and eight plain wall sections. You can select different tower types when you order.

I will have stocks of the castle sets at Colours tomorrow, although not the individual components – you’ll have to order those online.

SSS-8119c – Crusader Castle Set – £15.00
SSS-8121c – Crusader Keep – £5.00
SSS-8143 – Barbican – £2.50
SSS-8123d – Crusader Gatehouse – £1.50
SSS-8120c – Covered Walls (x4) – £1.50
SSS-8120d – Covered Walls w/Tower (x2) – £1.00

And finally … Waterloo is back. We had to briefly withdraw the Waterloo Buildings set for remoulding, but that’s done so it’s back on the website again.

First Look

First business for today is a reminder about Colours on Saturday; I’m at the workshop restocking tomorrow, so you only have a brief window remaining for any orders for collection at the show. You can either pay by cash or card on the day (just send us an email), or order via the website (use the Collect in Person option to avoid postage).

As threatened earlier in the year, our ongoing spaceship upgrade programme has moved onto the Chinese (CDSU) fleet. Phil found time between packing boxes for his impending house move to make the master mould for the bulk of the new masters, and I cast up the first ones last week.

The two dreadnoughts, the Longzi and Jiangzi, both now have resin hulls with various metal parts, while the new cruisers and escorts are all metal. Unfortunately they won’t be ready for this weekend, these are still several weeks away from release, . When they do appear, the old designs will be withdrawn, so get in now if you want to top up any existing fleets. Today I’ve been cleaning up the master castings of the smaller vessels ready for production moulds, so I thought it was time for a sneak peek …

For the dreadnoughts you’ll have to make do with some CG images for now, until I get all of the parts together to actually assemble some!