Armoured Infantry Carrier

Our Neo-Soviet ground forces have recently been receiving all sorts of upgrades, with new types of tank and assault gun in both 6mm and 15mm scales. The one thing they needed to support these new vehicles was an armoured infantry carrier capable of keeping up with the tanks. Well, today that arrives in the form of the new BMP-BM.

This vehicle is based on the chassis of the Bars tank, with a new superstructure capable of carrying six fully-equipped Guards riflemen. The rear-engined design precludes doors at the back of the vehicle, so access is via a two-piece hatch at the front next to the driver’s station. There are also two hatches at the rear of the superstructure for emergency exit over the engine deck or for use as firing ports. The position of the hatch means that the BMP-BM needs to be carefully positioned by the driver before exiting under fire.

The BMP-BM has a crew of two – a driver who sits at the front right of the vehicle, and a commander seated directly behind him. Armament consists of two tri-barrel 3cm autocannon in a turret controlled remotely by the commander.

Today we’re releasing the 6mm BMP-BM – the 15mm one will arrive next week, although I will have some on the stand at Colours tomorrow if you want to get in early. The release also includes a Guards Infantry Company with eight BMP-BM, a Lisa command vehicle and 48 infantry. There is also a new Guards Army Pack with 12 Bars tanks, 4 Terminators, 8 BMP-BM, command vehicles and infantry.

SF300-1214 – BMP-BM – £1.25
IC-1203 – Neo-Soviet Guards Shock Group – £36.00
IC-1220 – Neo-Soviet Guards Infantry Company – £14.00

View from a Bridge

A distinct gap in our Small Scale Scenery range is the lack of bridges – it’s no good having roads and railways if you’re stopped dead at the first small watercourse !

So today we’re taking the first (but not last) steps in rectifying this with the release of a pack of four girder bridges. Good for the 19th century onwards (the world’s first iron bridge – in Ironbridge, Shropshire – was erected in 1779), these will serve for both road and rail traffic. Each bridge is 40mm long and the roadbed is 7mm wide, and they come in three pieces – the base and two sides. If you wanted to make longer or wider bridges then you could attach the sides to a plasticard base.

SSS-8097 – Girder Bridges (x4) – £4.00

Colours Fly Away

The shows come thick and fast this time of year, with Colours at Newbury Racecourse coming up on the 16th of this month.

As always, we are taking pre-orders for any of our ranges – you can either place an order and pay in advance using the collect in person option on the website, or just drop us an email and pay on the day.

I will have the following list of items with me. If there’s anything else you’d specifically like me to bring, just drop us a line.

  • Celtos (individual figures, unit packs, army packs)
  • Spaceships (fleet packs, rulebooks, individual models of our recent releases)
  • Squadron Commander (blister packs, starter packs)
  • Small Scale Scenery (all models)
  • 15mm SF (army packs, platoon packs, rulebooks, individual models and packs of figures)
  • 6mm SF (army packs, rulebooks, company packs and building packs)
  • Aeronef (fleet packs, flotilla packs, starter packs, a selection of battleships in blisters)
  • Imperial Skies (rulebooks and accessories)
  • Magpie Miniatures (individual figures and blister packs)
  • 10mm SF (individual buildings)

Sleeping Satellite

Ages ago we used to have a couple of small satellite models in the spaceships range, but they disappeared due to issues with the production moulds. This week we’re releasing a replacement model, an all new design that will serve as either an orbital communications or surveillance satellite, or something more military. It is also ideal as a Battlesat, a weapon system in Starmada (carried by the German Pommerania class amongst others).

Each pack contains four satellite models with detailed solar panels, 12mm long and 20mm across. Each has a mounting hole in the bottom for a stand, but I wanted mine to be at varying angles. So I clipped the nib off the top of a plastic flying stand and used a round needle file to create a groove in the top of the post. The circular body of the satellite sits neatly in this groove and can be glued at any angle that takes your fancy.

Painting is straightforward – I painted my pale grey, followed by a wash of thinned-down GW Nuln Oil (neat Nuln Oil is too dark). I then drybrushed them white, before giving the solar panels two coats of GW Drakenhof Nightshade (a blue wash). Then they just need a bit of tidying up with white to delineate the edges of the panels, and whatever areas of spot colour you fancy (I went for some red rings around the nose).

SFS-6006 – Satellites (x4) – £1.50

Compound Interest

When we released our latest batch of 6mm Desert Buildings, just before the Joy of Six, I mentioned the slight FUBAR I made in forgetting to order the master for one of the three Walled Compounds. The other two have been pretty popular (in the space of a month they’ve become our second and third best selling buildings this year) so it made sense to get the other one into production – and here it is. It’s the largest of the three, with a main building running across the back and a workshop off to one side of the courtyard.

B300-141 – Walled Compound #1 – £4.00

And what’s sitting in the courtyard, I hear you ask ? You’ll have to wait and see…

Vive la France !

The Aeronef revolution continues, as this week we update the French fleet with new battleship models.

The Loire replaces the old model of the same name. In keeping with our other new models, it now has a resin hull with lots of metal fittings – turrets, tail, bridge, masts and funnels. The tail comes in three different variations so, in keeping with French naval practices of the time, no two ships are quite the same.

The new Masséna model represents a family of related but not-quite-the-same battleships. It has a similar (but not identical) tumblehome hull to the Loire, but the top superstructure is a separate metal piece that comes in three different types. The tail comes in the same three variants as the Loire, giving a total of nine combinations on the basic hull. In addition, the main turrets can be single or twin mountings – altogether, we think this gives an impressive total of 48 slightly different variations from a single model.

At the same time we’ve revisited the French fleet packs – the Grand Fleet pack has been reorganised to contain one each of all of the French capital ships (including the existing Charlemagne and Gaulois) plus escorts. The existing Fleet Pack (VANFP-401) now contains a Gaulois and Loire and we’ve created two new packs – Fleet Pack #2 has two different Masséna models, while the Fast Fleet Pack contains two Charlemagne battlecruisers. All packs also include escort cruisers and destroyers.

VAN-410 – Loire class Battleship – £8.00
VAN-419 – Masséna class Battleship – £8.00

VANFP-024 – French Grand Fleet Pack – £48.00
VANFP-401 – French Fleet Pack #1 – £22.00
VANFP-403 – French Fleet Pack #2 – £22.00
VANFP-404 – French Fast Fleet Pack – £22.00

Flags are available separately, and the roundels are from Dom’s Decals aircraft range.

Hereward Ho!

Our next show is round the corner, with Hereward at the Bretton Centre in Peterborough coming up in just under two weeks.

As always, we are taking pre-orders for any of our ranges – you can either place an order and pay in advance using the collect in person option on the website, or just drop us an email and pay on the day.

As this is a smaller show, we don’t bring absolutely everything with us, however we will have good stocks of the list below. If there’s anything else you’d specifically like us to bring, just drop us a line.

  • Celtos (individual figures, unit packs, army packs)
  • Spaceships (fleet packs, rulebooks, individual models of our recent releases)
  • Squadron Commander (blister packs, starter packs)
  • Small Scale Scenery (all models)
  • 15mm SF (army packs, platoon packs, rulebooks, individual models and packs of figures)
  • 6mm SF (army packs, rulebooks, company packs and building packs)
  • Aeronef (fleet packs, flotilla packs, starter packs, a selection of battleships in blisters)
  • Imperial Skies (rulebooks and accessories)
  • Magpie Miniatures (individual figures and blister packs)
  • 10mm SF (individual buildings)

Dropping from Orbit

The Fearless class of Assault Ship is capable of carrying a full Royal Marine battalion plus supporting vehicles, including a company of tanks, through jumpspace into orbit ready for insertion. This task is accomplished by atmosphere-capable craft including the Heracles shuttle and Athena VTOL/dropship. The 750-foot long Fearless has considerable offensive and defensive weaponry including a heavy railgun turret, anti-fighter defences and a battery of orbit-to-surface Kinetic Energy bombardment missiles.

The Heracles shuttle is large enough to carry two tanks or APCs plus their infantry, or as many as two platoons of infantry on foot. The Heracles is fully equipped for orbital or atmosphere operations, and is also used to recover Athena dropships after operations.

The Athena is a drop-capable craft which can be deployed from orbit and then can be used as a conventional VTOL once in the atmosphere. It is capable of carrying two sections of fully-equipped infantry (16 men), a light vehicle or a towed gun. One downside of the Athena’s design is that it lacks the necessary engine power to reach escape velocity, except on low gravity worlds, and has to be shuttled back to orbit by larger vessels.

SFS-171 – Fearless class Assault Ship – £7.50
SFS-172 – Heracles class Assault Shuttle (x3) – £1.25
SFS-173 – Athena class VTOL (x6) – £1.00

Soviet Colours

I’ve recently been putting together a small force of our new Neo-Soviet tanks (and some of the older ones as well). Up ’til now I’ve only been able to paint a sample of each model for the website and display stand, so I was looking forward to assembling a larger army and getting them on table.

Altogether I’ve started with a dozen vehicles (you might spot more than that in the photos – I painted two extra assault guns to use on the stand at the same time). My force consists of three Bars tanks, two Vombats, two Terminators, one each of the new assault guns and a recce section of one Rosomakha and two Laska tankettes.

I’ve based the camouflage scheme on the sample models I painted before Salute, using the excellent Anarchy Models airbrush stencils, but with a slight difference. Whereas my first models had a three colour scheme with two layers of stencils, the main force was painted with a two-colour grey-green utilising the Mini Digi Camo sheet (basically lots of tiny squares arranged in random patterns). This was simply to save time, as two layers of stencils on a dozen vehicles would have taken ages.

I won’t go through the full step-by-step process this time – you can read my previous article for that. However, as a quick summary, the process was:

  • Spray with grey automotive primer (Halfords)
  • Drybrush primer light grey
  • Apply stencils
  • Airbrush Vallejo Russian green over entire vehicle
  • Drybrush whole vehicle light green
  • Remove stencils (be thorough here – it’s easy to lose some of the stencils)
  • Touch up any areas where the stencils have pulled up the primer or green has leaked under the stencils with a small brush
  • Brush paint in remaining details – guns, crew, stowage, tracks, lights, sensor lenses
  • Brush coat entire vehicle in Army Painter Strong Tone Quickshade
  • Leave 24 hours (minimum) to dry
  • Apply decals – the glossy Quickshade is deal for this
  • Airbrush acrylic matt varnish (Tamiya Flat Clear) – DO NOT use Army Painter’s own aerosol varnish, it reacts with the Quickshade and will ruin your hard work

This is the first half of my army – the next stage will be the infantry and APCs (if you’ve read this month’s Miniature Wargames, you might have seen a preview…).

City of Dreams

It’s Friday, so it’s new release time again. We try and vary our new releases across the different ranges, and today the wheel has stopped on our Small Scale Scenery range, and what we hope should be some very useful City Apartment Blocks. Many European city centres are built, at least partially, on a block system. The best example I can find to illustrate this is Barcelona’s appropriately named Eixample district – the photo below shows the layout of the city perfectly.

Photo taken from Wikipedia - licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

The blocks of apartments generally have shops or offices on the ground floor with 4-6 levels of apartments above that. They surround a central courtyard which can be a garden space, parking or can sometimes be partially filled with smaller buildings and sheds.

For this initial release we’ve created three sets – a pack of four corners, another of four straight blocks, and a third consisting of two T-pieces and two straight pieces with an archway into the courtyard area, all with flat-topped mansard roofs (although there are one or two areas with flat roofs for variety). All are 1-piece resin castings. Each piece is slightly different so that the look of the blocks is varied. The blocks are built on a 40mm footprint – each corner is 40x40mm with the depth of the apartments set at 20mm. This means that a pack of four corners will create a block 80x80mm, with a central 40x40mm courtyard. Adding straight pieces means that the blocks can be extended in 40mm increments. For gaming purposes, this works perfectly with rules that use 40mm frontages for figure bases (such as Land Ironclads).

If all goes well with these, there’s certainly plenty of scope to add more variety in terms of frontage detail, different roof types, varied number of floors etc.

SSS-8094 – City Block Corners – £7.50
SSS-8095 – City Block Straights – £5.00
SSS-8096 – City Block Ts and Arches – £6.50