Giant of the Tundra

Today sees the release of another new addition to the Neo-Soviet arsenal, the Mammont heavy tank. This is an unusually configured vehicle with two independent track units on each side and twin main guns in a huge main turret. A secondary turret is fitted next to the commander’s hatch, usually mounting a tribarrel gatling but with other options available.

The kit consists of six resin and seven metal pieces, and is available with three different types of main gun plus three options for the secondary turret.

The Mammont features in the recently updated detachment lists for the Zaporoskiye Regiment which can be found on the Hammer’s Slammers website, along with a detailed modelling and painting guide and picture gallery.

SF15-1202 – Mammont Super-heavy Tank – £10.00
SF15-1202a – Mammont with Gatlings – £10.00
SF15-1202b – Mammont with Particle Cannon – £10.00

PP15-1202 – Mammont Platoon Pack – £29.00

Stats Update

We’ve released a fair number of new spaceships and Aeronef in recent months, so last week I sat down and updated our gaming support pages with stats for Aeronef and Starmada X. This includes all the new Nef released since the Imperial Skies kickstarter, and the latest British and Neo-Soviet spaceships.

Aeronef stats can be found here, while the spaceships are here.

The Grand Fleet Arrives

Following on from the arrival of the new Victoria and Albert class battleships, the rest of the British capital ships get a similar makeover this week. The Agincourt and Benbow battleships plus the Audacious and Britannia battlecruisers have all been replaced by new resin-hulled models with separate turrets and metal parts.

The Benbow, the original of which was the first Aeronef model we ever made, has three twin turrets of a new design and carries several scout fighters launched from a catapult amidships.

The Agincourt is the heaviest of this batch, does away with the aircraft and instead has four main turrets and a heavier secondary battery.

The Britannia battlecruiser has two main turrets, one triple and one twin, again of a new design.

The Audacious is similar to the Britannia but with two twin turrets and a four torpedo tubes.

We’ve revamped the existing British fleet packs with the new models, including the British Grand Fleet pack. The two new turret types are also available in separate accessory packs.

VAN-101 – Benbow class Battleship – £8.00
VAN-109 – Agincourt class Battleship – £8.00
VAN-111 – Britannia class Battlecruiser – £7.00
VAN-114 – Audacious class Battlecruiser – £7.00

VAN-7016 – British Battleship Turrets (x10) – £1.50
VAN-7017 – British Battlecruiser Turrets (x10) – £1.50

ROBIN of Nottingham

Our first show of the year is coming up fast – ROBIN, held at the Nottingham Tennis Centre, is on Sunday 11th of February.

Hopefully this year will be a little warmer, as the heating failed last time ! 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 with a list and pay on the day. Pre-orders need to be with us by Tuesday next week at the latest (Feb 6th) in order for us to have a chance of getting them ready.

Building a Harbour

Two new Small Scale Scenery items have arrived on the website allowing you to make a more extensive harbour layout. The first is a pack of four resin Jetties, two plain and two with buildings moulded on. The pieces are 5mm thick and have detailing all the way round so that they can be used as jetties or piers projecting from land or as stand-alone islands.

The second item is aimed at scratchbuilders and is a set of metal harbour front pieces that match the detailing and height around the edge of the jetties. The height of 5mm means that you can use standard thickness foam card to make the body of the dock and then edge it with the metal harbour front pieces.

SSS-8104 – Jetties (x4) – £8.00
SSS-8105 – Harbour Fronts – £4.00

Architectural Assortment

We’re moving down the scales from 15mm to 6mm SF for this week’s new release. We have a real assortment of 6mm buildings, one in each of four of the different styles that we currently make.

In the Desert Buildings range we have a medium-sized tower with three segments and roof-top aerials.

The Advanced Buildings range gets a new Industrial/Commercial unit, which is the first new model in this range since their initial release almost four years ago.

The Research Base gets the Large Garage unit that came out in 15mm last year.

And finally, the Moonbase gets a second structure, a landing pad.

We’ve had a bit of a reorganisation of the contents of our range of 6mm building packs to take account of these and other recent releases, and also try to normalise the prices of the packs which makes life easier at shows. There are one or two new packs as well – we’ve listed all of these below. You’ll also find that we’ve changed the prices of some existing buildings – down as well as up – although I haven’t attempted to list all of the changes here.

B300-110 – Medium Tower – £3.00
B300-210 – Industrial Unit – £3.00
B300-506 – Large Garage – £1.75
B300-602 – Landing Pad – £2.50

BP300-101 – Desert Dwellings Pack – £15.00
BP300-102 – Desert Town Buildings Pack – £15.00
BP300-103 – VTOL Airfield – £15.00
BP300-104 – Large Desert Dwellings – £15.00
BP300-105 – Desert Towers Pack – £17.50
BP300-106 – Desert Industrial Zone – £15.00
BP300-107 – Desert Walled Compounds – £15.00

BP300-201 – Advanced Buildings- £15.00
BP300-301 – Colony Bases- £5.00
BP300-401 – Desert Domes Pack #1 – £15.00
BP300-402 – Desert Domes Pack #2 – £15.00
BP300-501 – Research Base Set – £15.00
BP300-601 – Moonbase Set – £17.50

Getting Inked

When we recently released the new counter sets for Imperial Skies, I mentioned that I’d post about a simple method for colouring in the etched markings on those and the turn rulers. This technique was passed on to me by James at Beadspoke Designs, who do the acrylic cutting for us – I take no credit for it.

What I’ll do is take you through the marking of a turn ruler step-by-step. You’ll need the following items: your turn ruler, a POSCA acrylic paint pen (or similar) and (wait for it) a wooden clothes peg. POSCA pens can be bought in the UK in hobbycraft and other art shops, although mine came from eBay (I bought several sizes as I wasn’t sure what I would need). They aren’t expensive – I bought four for a tenner or so. You can choose your colour – I went for white on an orange set of rulers, but yellow would work just as well. Make sure you have a work surface that doesn’t matter if you get some paint on it – the pens can spatter splightly.

Peel off the backing sheet from the turn ruler (if it’s still on there) and then make sure it has no traces of finger grease or other contaminants. I gave it a quick clean with a kitchen wet-wipe, then dried it on kitchen roll.

Once it’s dry, give the pen a thorough shake, then test it on some scrap paper or card to make sure the paint is flowing. Then carefully ink in the ruler ID letter, the numbers and the lines that mark each point of movement. The lines may take a bit more effort to fill in as they’re etched a bit deeper. You should find that the paint adheres well to the rougher surface of the etched areas. You don’t need to be super-neat, but ensure that the etched areas are fully covered in paint, even if you go over the edges a bit – we’ll tidy this up later.

Now leave this for a few minutes until the paint is touch dry. In the meantime, dismantle your clothes peg – a quick twist will separate the two halves, and the spring can go in the recycling.

Once the paint is dry, we get on to the clever bit. Using the end of one half of the clothes peg, carefully rub away any paint that has gone over the edges of the etched areas. The soft wood won’t mark the shiny surface of the plastic but will remove any overspill, and the paint should stay in the recessed areas. If you get this right, you should be left with a neat set of etched markings on your turn ruler. If it isn’t quite perfect, just repaint and repeat.

It’s not a long process – I did a full set of five turn rulers in an hour, which included taking the photos and writing this up !

Whisper it quietly…

Don’t say it too loudly or the website gods might hear us, but I think I’ve fixed the shopping cart bug (woo-hoo !). It helps to have been a programmer in a past life…

So hopefully it’s all back to normal, please feel free to flood us with orders ! However, if anyone does encounter any residual issues, please let us know – I had to make fixes in several places so it’s possible there’s another example that I’ve missed. You might have to refresh your browser (F5 on a PC) to force the new shopping cart code to load.

I’ve spent far more time than I wanted to fixing this, so I’ll hold this week’s planned new releases back until early next week.

New Slammers

Notwithstanding the irritating website bug, today sees the slightly-later-than-planned release of the first of our promised new 15mm Hammer’s Slammers models. The uparmoured M2A4FUA command tank fills a gap in the Slammers’ TOE and allows later Slammers/Friesland Defence Force units to field the correct version of their command tank. Slammers logistic units get the M9A10 Cargo Car, an open flatbed version of the standard Combat Car which is also used by Harris’ Commando.

The Lightning Division also gets two new vehicles that allows them to field full detachments. Both are also based on the combat car hull, the M9A14 Crew Car being a variant of the command car with two roof mounted gatling turrets and room for an infantry team. The M9A16 Calliope Car pairs the cargo car chassis with an 8-barrel 2cm calliope system for anti-aircraft/anti-missile defence. The latter vehicle is also used by other mercenary units. With the release of these vehicles, the Lightning Division now also get two Detachment Packs which make up full units to match those on the LD Detachment Card. These packs include vehicles, infantry figures, stowage, infantry bases and other bits and pieces so that they are a complete force in a box for the Hammer’s Slammers:the Crucible rules system.

Finally, the M12 Tank Destroyer is used by both Broglie’s Legion and the Flaming Sword of the Holy Brotherhood. This is a large, low-slung blower-hulled vehicle with a fixed 15cm powergun.

We’ve also started to roll out new metal parts for some of the vehicles. All blower tank variants now get new castings for their main gun, tri-barrel and the mine clearance plates, and the rear hatch of the command car/crew car and top screen of the uparmoured combat car have also been replaced. Finally, we’ve cleaned up the masters and made new moulds for the Lightning Division and Waldheim Dragoon blower tank guns, Lightning Division gatling turrets and the crane from the E8 Wrecker.

HS15-111c – M2A4FUA Uparmoured Command Blower – £9.00
HS15-112b – M9A10 Cargo Car – £3.50
HS15-1712 – M9A14 Crew Car – £4.50
HS15-1712a – M9A16 Calliope Car – £5.00
HS15-2011 – M12 Tank Destroyer – £8.00

HSD15-1701 – Lightning Division Tank Detachment – £63.00
HSD15-1702 – Lightning Division Infantry Detachment – £34.00

“Things don’t appear to be working at the moment. Please try again later.”

Our website shopping cart system, which has been working fine for ages (since the last time a bunch of changes by PayPal broke it) has started playing up again. I’d been wondering why we’d had a very quiet (ie dead) weekend for orders, until a prospective customer very kindly let us know what had been happening. It appears that you can place one item in the shopping cart and everything is fine, but if you try to place any more in it then this rather helpful error message appears:

I’m guessing that once again PayPal have made some changes to their system, and hopefully (as they have in the past) the problems will suddenly resolve themselves in a day or two. In the meantime, if you want to place an order with us, you can send me an email and I’ll get back to you with a PayPal invoice (hopefully they still work !) as soon as I can.

*UPDATE* 19/01/2018 – hopefully this is fixed and we’re back to normal…