This week I’ve mostly been occupied with casting up dozens and dozens of 15mm Slammers vehicles and 6mm buildings for Scale Creep Miniatures to stock in the US. Add that to more work on preparing Salute releases and I haven’t been left with time for much else, so there’s no new items as such today. However, I have been slowly bevearing away on new Hammer’s Slammers packs for the website, to make it easy to buy an entire detachment at one go without having to pore through our website working out exactly which models to buy. This week I’ve added the three different types of Hiroseki National Army detachment; Heavy Armour, Mechanised Infantry and Planetary Warfare. I’ve also made two variants on the Heavy Armour and Planetary Warfare packs with different vehicle options. The Hiroseki use our Mercenary Brigade models designed by Zac Braham and Kirk Alderfer, along with PLA infantry figures. Each pack also includes resin infantry bases, packs of stowage and radars, aerials or radomes as appropriate for command vehicles – and all at a discount over the price of buying the models separately.
As always, we’ll be bringing lots of new releases to Salute this year across many of our ranges. Obviously Hammer’s Slammers will be big part of this and today we’re starting off with some previews of the first casts of a number of new 15mm models. Our aim is to provide new versions of some vehicles that feature in several detachment lists, and make it easier to field several forces that use them.
The Centurion family of armoured transporters is based on a modular chassis with multiple ‘segments’ per vehicle that can result in anywhere between 4 and 10 pairs of wheels, the largest of these being the articulated howitzer and mortar carrying 4H6 and 4M6 used by the Poplar Regiment, Bushmasters and Heliodorus Regiment. Other forces to deploy the Centurion include Foster’s Mercenaries, Guardforce O’Higgins, Greenwood’s Archers and the Thunderbolt Division.
The Broadsword is a heavy 8-wheeler multi-role armoured fighting vehicle, used as a missile launcher, artillery vehicle, infantry carrier and many other roles. This particular version is a tank destroyer deployed by the Apex Dragoons. The Broadsword is used in over a dozen other configurations by the Han Black Banner, Hindi Army, Hashemite Nation, Bartels Armour and the Firelords.
The Odyssey is a smaller 6×6 APC which can be fitted with several turret or pintel weapon options. The versions show here have a gatling remote turret and crew-served tribarrel. The main users of the Odyssey are the Apex Dragoons, but they’re also fielded by the Hashemites.
Finally for now, this is a hybrid tank unofficially known as the Barzon. One of John Treadaway’s brainwaves, it combines the turret of the Neo-Soviet Bizon tank with the hull of the Bars MBT. I took John’s idea a step further, fitted it with the 9cm railgun and gatling remote turret of the Lightning Division’s M2A7 Kurt blower tank (after a bit of fettling and filing to make the gun mantlet fit the turret) and it became a new version of the LD’s Kraus tracked tank.
Following on from the 6mm Slammers bits on Tuesday, today we have a miscellany of 15mm items. The most important of these is probably the release (at last !) of the 15mm A21M Mortar Jeep, which fits in the ToE of several forces besides the Slammers themselves. It consists of the standard resin jeep model with an extra metal sprue of pieces including the mortar, two ammo cases and a small radome (which very handily hides the mounting hole for the tri-barrel).
Next to the jeep is an M9A3 Combat Car of Harris’ Commando – this is identical to the standard M9A1 used by the Slammers, except for the armament; instead of three tri-barrels, the M9A3 has two gatling railguns on the flanks and a light laser forward. The model includes crew figures and an etched brass splinter screen. This is something you could have made by buying the basic M9A1 plus some accessory packs from us, but we’ve made it easier by doing it for you.
Speaking of tri-barrels, we’ve remastered the standard 2cm weapons fitted to most Slammers vehicles. All models will now have these included instead of the old version and we’ve made a separate pack of nine available in our 15mm Accessories range. And on the subject of etched brass (and Accessories), there’s also a pack of stowage baskets to fit any vehicle in need of a bit more storage room. Lastly, the two cranes from the E8 Wrecker are available separately in case you’d like to create your own recovery vehicle.
Anything you still can’t cope with is therefore your own problem.
I love the English weather. In the space of 48 hours we’ve gone from sub-zero temperatures and mounds of snow to ten degrees and watery sunshine – and this being England, it has of course rained a bit as well (which fortunately has washed away the slush).
I’ve been beavering away at the workshop and have shifted a good chunk of the order backlog which built up while I was snowbound – another solid day’s work tomorrow and it’ll be cleared completely.
Phil was also snowed in for a few days so has been ploughing through moulds like there’s no tomorrow – so in celebration of our hard work, here’s some new stuff.
In 6mm we have more options for other Hammer’s Slammers:The Crucible mercenary units. The Lightning Division get the M9A16 Calliope version of the combat car, while the Waldheim Dragoons finally come to 6mm in the form of the M2A2 and M2A5 tank and command versions of the Icarus blower tank.
The weather is still pretty grim here – we’ve had more snow with another bout forecast for this afternoon. I haven’t ventured to the workshop at all since Monday, although main roads are clear the back routes are still tricky to negotiate. So, if you have an outstanding order with us (anything placed since last Sunday) then there will be a bit of a delay. The forecast is for a bit of a thaw from Sunday – the temperatures should at least climb above freezing – so I’ll get back to the workshop on Monday and should have the backlog cleared in a couple of days.
As I mentioned in my last post, I’m going to postpone this week’s new release until I’ve cleared the order queue. Phil has also been off work for part of this week as his office was closed, so he’s taken the chance to get ahead with mould production so we have more new stuff ready to release.
I haven’t been idle – apart from walking the dog in the snow (which she loved, as you can see) I’ve been painting some new bits – I’ve now finished all of our new releases for the next four weeks. And looking further ahead, Salute is now just six weeks away. As regular readers of our blog will know, we like to have lots of shiny new releases to tempt you with at the show (and to make our overseas customers envious). This year’s focus is firmly on 15mm Sci-Fi and in particular Hammer’s Slammers – if all goes well we could have as many as a dozen new vehicles in lots of variants. We’re working on some important vehicle types that feature in a number of the detachment lists with the aim of making it possible to create those detachments again. The design work for these is mostly done, and we already have the masters for many of them cleaned up and prepped for moulding (a couple have already been moulded in fact). And the hope is that we’ll get as many of these vehicles as possible available in 6mm as well.
It won’t be all Slammers though – there are half-a-dozen spaceship masters on my workbench, some Aeronef in the works and today I’m working on new 2mm scale buildings. Oh, and we’ve commissioned some new (and unusual) 28mm Great War figures – Dib Dib Dib!
Having waffled on about all the new stuff, it wouldn’t be fair to leave you without at least one or two pictures – so here we are…
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.
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.
So the Christmas sale is all over for another year; I pulled the plug at 7am on Monday, allowing a small flurry of last minute orders to sneak under the line earlier that morning.
Assuming all goes to plan, I should just about get all sale orders shipped by the end of this week, although I will be hard pushed to get to any others that arrive between now and Friday. Everything up to December 11th has already gone (apart from one which is waiting on a restock of etched brass parts) and there’s another pile of parcels which I’ll take to the post office later this morning. The one possible fly in the ointment is that I’m obviously burning through metal supplies much faster than usual, and although I ordered more last week, I don’t know when that will arrive – if it doesn’t get here by Thursday then I will run out, and production will simply have to stop until it does turn up.
Thoughts are already turning to the start of next year and the first 2018 releases. Unusually, we’re ahead of the game as far as new models go; we have everything planned from now until March, design work is all finished and we have most of the masters in hand. One of the early releases will be a batch of 15mm Slammers models, filling in a few gaps and increasing the options available to both Hammer’s regiment and other forces. Below you can see a couple of new variants of the standard M9 combat car; on the left is the M9A14 crew car used by the Lightning Division, which is essentially a modified command car with a pair of gatling turrets on the roof.
On the right is the M9A10 cargo car, an open backed flatbed GEV transport. Some units use a variant (the M9A16) fitted with a calliope turret mounting eight 2cm powerguns for air defence – we’ll release this at the same time, I just didn’t have a photo of one assembled. This photo was taken just before the masters went into a mould, so I might be able to sneak out a couple of castings by the end of the week.
As you will have seen from Phil’s post, we had a rather inconvenient internet failure last week. Apparently when our new router was installed earlier in the year, the engineer left the cable to the old one unterminated, which was causing lots of noise on the system and affecting the rest of the street and surrounding area. So last week they fixed the issue by essentially blocking us off, rather than tracing the real source of the problem – and then acting surprised when we complained about losing our service!
However, a new engineer visited yesterday, got straight to the root of the problem and, after a bit of rewiring (accompanied by a modicum of swearing) had us back online within an hour.
I’ve caught up with emails again, placed several urgent orders for packaging and other supplies, paid the bills, processed all the orders that have arrived in the meantime and we’re pretty much back to normal. I’m about 3-4 days behind on sale orders, or, putting a positive spin on things, most (not quite all) orders placed before the 28th have been posted.
I’ve also double checked all orders and issued refunds to three or four people that hadn’t had the sale discount deducted. I’ve also had a couple of orders with the incorrect shipping options selected, so in those cases we will need to issue invoices to cover the extra postage costs.
Onto something a bit more relevant that might actually interest some of you – here’s another of our new models to look forward to next year – or part of it at any rate. This is the hull master of the Neo-Soviet Mammont heavy tank, which is another 6mm model that I’ve scaled up to 15mm. It’s been restyled to match the other recent Neo-Soviet releases, and the hull will be in five parts – the main body of the hull plus four track units. As for the turret, that has already gone for moulding so I’ll show that off once we have castings. Phil delivered a master mould earlier this week, so if I have a bit of time I’ll photograph some of the new bits from that.
The sale has gone off with a bang and a veritable Niagara of orders. I’m trying to keep up as best as I can, but at the moment I’m running a couple of days behind. All orders (with a couple of exceptions) to the end of Monday have been completed and I’m roughly halfway through Tuesday’s ones – although there’s been a slight hiccup with a minor broadband issue that prevented me doing today’s post in time, so they’ll have to go to the post office tomorrow instead. I generally tackle them in strict order of arrival, first-come-first-served, although if I get two orders for similar items then I’ll do those at the same time as it’s generally more efficient to do so.
Since we have no new releases during the sale, we like to post pictures of new items that you can look forward to in the New Year. A box of bits turned up from the printer at the end of last week and one of those was our first brand new item for the 15mm Hammer’s Slammers range. It’s an uparmoured version of the M2A4F command tank (designated the M2A4FUA). I’ve sat it on a standard blower hull for the photo since I didn’t have an uparmoured hull handy. The turret is a brand new 3D designed piece rather than a conversion of the existing command tank turret, and should be available sometime in January.