Smokin’ Hot

The Brigada Independência (also known as the Smoking Cobras or Cobras Fumantes) is an élite mercenary unit that faced off against the Slammers regiment during the Sulewesi War in TW 328. Composed of several battalions of heavy armour, the brigade also had organic rocket artillery and calliopes. A single Slammers combat car (Hula Girl) accidentally ran into a Cobras artillery unit during a night march and caused all sorts of havoc! This all happens in the story Night March in the first volume of The Complete Hammer’s Slammers.

Following the Sulewesi operations, the Brigada began upgrading with new vehicles from the Indonesian manufacturer PT Pinrang. The ECAP armed T14 tanks give the unit a powerful cutting edge, and the Sugama infantry combat vehicles carry state-of-the-art dual feed cannon capable of shredding enemy infantry and even giving tanks a headache at short range. The updated detachment sheet can be found on the Crucible website.

I’ve been working on painting up several Cobra detachments in 15mm, which recently had their first taste of combat – more on that at a later date… The models are from our range of Indonesian 15mm vehicles, while the infantry are from our PacFed range.

The models were assembled as usual, and I also added small amounts of stowage and extra gear to the outsides. I also added some auxiliary fuel tanks – these were made from the cargo pods from our Fort Linton class spaceship – I will get these added as a separate item so that they can be ordered from the website as soon as I can.

I tried to replicate the unusual red/blue/yellow camouflage scheme on the original Cobra detachment sheet, with mixed results. The vehicles were all sprayed with Halfords red car primer which also served as the base camouflage colour. I airbrushed the blue and then yellow stripes, drybrushing each layer with a lighter shade. This process rather showed up the limitations of my budget airbrush – the yellow stripes were meant to be quite thin to outline the blue, but the airbrush wouldn’t spray a nice neat line so instead they ended up as three equal stripes.

Details (stowage, crew, viewing lenses etc) were brush painted before an overall coat of Army Painter Quickshade (strong tone). Once this had dried thoroughly (several days) I applied decals and airbrushed a final matt varnish coat. I had two issues here – the decals are really the wrong colour (our stock is getting low so I used blue decals, which we have lots of, but these didn’t stand out enough over the camouflage colours). And I used a different varnish for the first time, a Humbrol acrylic one, which caused some problems with white bloom appearing. I suspect I applied it too heavily, so it was probably user error rather than an issue with the product. I tidied this up by brushing a thin coat of Citadel sepia wash over the affected areas, which sorted out all but the worst cases.

I usually base figures individually on washers and use our fireteam bases, but I’d picked up a load of thin wooden discs from The Works so I thought I’d use those for the infantry teams instead. I based them with 2-4 figures on each 40mm disc and I think they look pretty good. They were sprayed with white Halfords primer and then the basic sand colour was done with Citadel Contrast Aggaros Dunes. The rest of the figures were then painted with normal Citadel paints and washes. Since Brazil has a tradition of Gauchos, I included a couple of bases of infantry on horseback which John has added to the Cobra’s detachment sheet as an option. The support weapons were made from Indonesian heavy guns (dual-feed cannon) mounted on the bases of EuroFed remote weapons – these again will be added to the website ASAP.