Great news – two large boxes landed on Collins Epic Wargames doorstep last week containing around 1600 vehicles and 1200 Power Armour. That means we’ve fulfilled the final part of our contribution to the Polyversal Kickstarter. Apparently we’re the first of the six miniatures companies involved to do so, but I’m sure the others aren’t far behind.
By way of celebration, here’s a photo of some new 15mm tanks in amongst the detritus of other new stuff. These are the Neo-Soviet Vombat and Bars, the former of which is already part of our 6mm range (although this is a modified new design). The latter is essentially the same vehicle but without the infantry-carrying compartment at the rear of the hull. Readers of Miniature Wargames may have seen some CGI previews in the Fantasy Facts column last month. More photos to come as I get them properly painted.
As today’s new release we have a pack of extremely useful new 15mm figures – a set of uniformed starship crew. The set of four includes two armed figures, one with a datapad and a senior officer – the perfect landing party.
I’ve painted up two sets, one in primary coloured tops indicating different crew functions, and a second set in more utilitarian blue-grey uniforms – there are more photos on the product page.
So whether you’re planning to Boldly Go and split infinitives, or are looking for the Last, Best Hope, these could well be handy figures.
A recent release from Osprey Games is the Rogue Stars rulebook. Rather than attempt my own description of how they work, here’s a quote directly from the Osprey website:
Rogue Stars is a character-based science fiction skirmish wargame, where players command crews of bounty hunters, space pirates, merchants, prospectors, smugglers, mercenary outfits, planetary police and other such shady factions from the fringes of galactic civilisation. Crews can vary in size, typically from four to six, and the character and crew creation systems allow for practically any concept to be built. Detailed environmental rules that include options for flora, fauna, gravity, dangerous terrain and atmosphere, and scenario design rules that ensure that missions are varied and demand adaptation and cunning on the parts of the combatants, make practically any encounter possible. Run contraband tech to rebel fighters on an ocean world while hunted by an alien kill-team or hunt down a research vessel and fight zero-gravity boarding actions in the cold depths of space – whatever you can imagine, you can do.
The rules are mainly intended for 28mm figures, but there’s absolutely no reason why they can’t be played with 15mm ones, which is what I intend to do. Some of our figure packs, such as the Human Mercenaries or Alien Bounty Hunters, are perfectly suited to creating a Rogue Stars force, or you can go special forces with our SAS, Spetsnaz or Royal Marine packs. Just about any of our normal infantry figures would make a planetary militia group, or create a team of escaped convicts using our Penal Troopers.
After a minor hiccup with our order, we finally have stocks of the rulebook which we’re selling at slightly less than the RRP.
So that’s pretty much it for the year. We’ve managed to ship out all the sale orders (the UK ones went on Wednesday to catch the last post and the overseas ones on Thursday), plus any other orders that arrived after the sale up to Tuesday – if you placed an order after that, I’m afraid we won’t get to it until the New Year now.
We have one small release to round off the year – two sets of alien beasties, hunter and prey. The hunters are the nasty looking Furoraptors, bipedal carnivores with big teeth and an appetite for anything that moves (and a willingness to go after it, however big it might be).
On the prey side are the docile Shomix, quadruped herd animals that roam the plains of Eta Odin IV, spending much of their time running and hiding from the Furoraptors ! They’re also hunted for food with bow and spear by the native Tolero.
Both come in packs of four, with two poses for the ‘raptors and one for the Shomix. SF15-010 – Furoraptors (x4) – £2.50 SF15-011 – Shomix (x4) – £2.50
The Christmas sale is merrily sailing along (excuse the pun), and I’m going up to the local post office almost daily with piles of orders to be dispatched. It has ten days to run, so you still have plenty of time to make a saving (although be mindful of the last posting dates if you’re hoping to receive anything before Christmas). As things stand we’re pretty much up to date with orders – I have managed to clear the backlog so orders are being turned round pretty swiftly. We have a couple held up by a failed resin building mould that Phil is rapidly remaking, and we had run out of Imperial Skies turn rulers (again). However, new supplies of those were delivered today so they’ll be out the door in the next day or two, and are also back on the website.
We’ve had a cold spell here in the UK, so the workshop is, to say the least, a little nippy – this was the temperature inside the workshop when I switched on the machines the other day. I have a fan heater that keeps the casting room warm (if I don’t then the oil inside the air compressor motor is too viscous and it won’t run), but the main body of the workshop tends to resemble a walk-in freezer !
We’ve managed to stay on plan this year, so I’ve spent the majority of the last couple of weeks casting, packing and posting orders. I’ve also managed to find time to do some design work on new releases for next year and we have some interesting new bits lined up – there are new releases planned in the spaceships, Aeronef, Small Scale Scenery, 6mm and 15mm SF ranges for the first three months of next year. For now, here’s a preview of the hull of a new 15mm tank I’ve been working on…
We utilised the club’s Pegasus Bridge WW2 terrain boards, but replaced all of the Normandy houses with ones from our resin SF ranges. The game saw the Slammers, supported by the 101st Texians in their VTOLs, racing to take a bridge held by a combined force of the Stewart regiment, Waldheim Dragoons and some Terran Authority Starmarines.
Below is a selection of photos from the day – John has more of his own on the HS website.
As this is published, I’m just stuffing the last few bits in the car ready to drive to the EuroTunnel for the journey to Crisis in Antwerp. I’m pretty well stocked, with plenty of Aeronef, spaceships, Celtos figures, 6mm and 15mm tanks, tiny 2mm buildings etc. There was also the added bonus of three stray copies of the Imperial Skies rulebook, found in the bottom of a box where they shouldn’t have been (we thought we were completely out of stock), so I’ll have these on sale along with the turn rulers and dice.
We’re closing in on our final new releases of the year now, and today we have a new vehicle for our 15mm Mercenary Brigade force, the Shinigami (‘Death Spirit’) Combat Car. This vehicle was the precursor to the Mantra Armoured Cavalry Vehicle, and is in effect an extended Wizard hover jeep with armoured sides and two tribarrel gatling gun positions, one on either flank. The basic vehicle comes in four parts – resin hull with metal hatch and two tribarrel guns. Our existing combat car crew figures fit perfectly in the back as gunners.
I’ve had a bit of fun customising one with crew, stowage, a radio aerial made from a paperclip and a commander figure taken from our PacFed infantry command set, cut off at the waist and fitted to the open hatch.
Following on from our initial release of 6mm Hammer’s Slammers’ vehicles, we have some additional support vehicles released today. The one that gets nearest to the frontline is the mortar version of the A21 jeep, diminutive but with plenty of indirect firepower.
Further behind the lines you’ll find the cargo and ambulance variants of the M9 combat car. The cargo version in particular is also used by other mercenary units as a transport hauler or as a gun tractor towing anti-tank weapons.
The Lightning Division are a mechanized unit of brigade strength. They are veteran troops originally from Mittel Europa on Old Earth and – in the late 330s TW – they decided to upgrade the motive power sources and transmission systems of their vehicles.
The M2A7 Blower employed by the Lightning Division from 349TW onwards is based on the M2A4F version, the command tank used by Hammer’s Regiment. This is equipped with a 22cm, discarding-sabot rail-gun and the rear of the turret bulge mounts a small turret with a 1cm gatling rail-gun.
Infantry are carried in up-armoured M9 Command Car, the M9A14 Crew Car. This has frontal reinforcement compared to a standard Command Car and has two roof mounted 1cm gatling rail-gun turrets mounted offset so that they can both fire forwards and backwards with little impedance.
The Lightning Division also use the standard A21 hover jeep, and we have a pack available with four each of the tank, crew car and jeep, plus four sprues of infantry figures.
Lately we’ve very much been on a VSF theme, with the completion of the Imperial Skies Kickstarter, the release of the rules and the new models. And before that it was lots of 6mm SF, with new figures, buildings and vehicles which culminated with the release of the official Hammer’s Slammers models (of which there are still more to come). However, the rest of the ranges deserve some attention too, so it’s time for something different. Today we have a new 15mm model, a PacFed grav bike complete with rider. It’s a three-part metal model (bike, handlebars and foot rest) and come in packs of two.
We will of course have stocks of these at Blast-tastic! tomorrow. We have had to make some slight changes to what we’re bringing tomorrow – we’re unable to bring the full range of individual models with us for Aeronef, Spaceships and 6mm, although we do have some (including a good array of Aeronef capital ships) We also have a full line-up of fleet packs, army packs, company packs etc. See you in Bristol 🙂