Do You Want Fries with That?

Last weekend I finally managed to try out Rogue Stars, Osprey Publishing’s SF skirmish ruleset (well, they’re a sort of RPG-lite with squads of five characters who can progress between missions). I played a couple of games with fellow members of Maidstone Wargames Society using various 15mm figures (the rules are intended for 28mm but we kept the same distances and ranges but just used smaller figures and scenery).

I managed to find time to make a new piece of scenery for the game – a fast food restaurant built from one of our Advanced Buildings. I used a piece of 3mm acrylic sheet as the base (I have a distrust of plywood, MDF and hardboard as they all seem to warp when painted) – I found a load of largish scrap pieces in a skip near the workshop a while back, offcuts left there by one of the other businesses on the farm where we’re based. This was cut to shape then the surface sanded to provide a key for painting. I had a self-adhesive model railway car park (from a German company called Busch) which I stuck on the acrylic to make a customer parking area, put an offcut of roadway at one end for the entrance and then textured the edges using brown acrylic caulk and sand. The building was painted in the red and white colours of the fast food establishment, and I added an awning over the door made from the splinter screen of a Mantra combat car supported by two of the triangular girder structures from our 2mm Airship Shed. The cunning part was the restaurant’s name and logo, which came from a very old branded plastic coffee stirrer which I’d been hoarding for just such a purpose since the early 1990s! Sadly, although I thought I had several of these I could only find the one.

I used our 15mm Street Furniture set to provide entrance billboards, flower planters around the car park, an automated order point and several sets of seating. The tables were made from scribed plastic card supported by the legs of the aforementioned Mantra’s splinter screen. Two large rubbish bins came from our Skips and Bins set (one blue for normal rubbish, and a green one for recyclables).

The finishing touches were provided by assorted flock and vegetation (Games Workshop and Woodland Scenics) and some signs and posters printed off onto sticky labels.

15mm BMP-BM

I always like to leave something new while I’m on holiday and, as mentioned last week, today we’re releasing the 15mm version of our new Neo-Soviet BMP-BM. This is a large APC based on the Bars tank chassis but with a new superstructure with space for six Guards riflemen.

The model is a 3-piece resin casting (hull and two track units) with seven metal pieces – two-piece front hatch, driver’s hatch, two rear escape hatches, turret base and gun mounting.

SF15-1214 – BMP-BM – £8.50

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…).

Yenpalo Tank Upgrade (now I remember !)

We’ve had this new version of the Yenpalo Xarledi tank ready for some time, but just haven’t got round to releasing it – originally I just hadn’t had time to paint one, but then I finally managed to get that done. It was then supposed to have been rolled in with last week’s release of the Neo-Soviet tank hunters, but again was somehow missed off (the vehicle got onto the website, but news of it was missed from the blog post). I blame this damn summer cold I’m suffering from…

Anyway, it’s a support version of the Xarledi grav tank, armed with a short barrelled fusion cannon in place of the mass driver. It’s available now from the website (and in fact has been since last Friday !).

SF15-1101a – Xarledi Support Tank – £9.00

Tank Hunters

The Neo-Soviet Union armed forces are continuing the rollout of their new series of heavy armoured vehicles. The ISU-135 Mech and and ISU-175 Volk are the latest generation Tank Hunter and Assault Gun respectively. Based on the common Bars chassis, both feature the same fixed superstructure but carry different weapons – the Mech a 135mm long-barrelled DS gun, the Volk a massive 175mm low-velocity howitzer for clearing fortifications and strongpoints.

Both have a choice of secondary weapon – tri-barrel gatling, twin missile launcher or long-range sensor pod.

Also available is a 5-piece armour kit to upgrade vehicles from the Bars/Vombat/Terminator/Mech/Volk family. Includes sideskirts (fit any vehicle), bow armour plate (fits any tank) and two turret cheek armour pieces (Vombat or Bars).

SF15-1207 – Mech Tank Hunter – £8.50
SF15-1207a – Volk Assault Gun – £8.50
SF15-1254 – Heavy Tank Armour Kit – £3.00

Somewhere to Park Your Snowmobile

It’s the new garage module for our Research Station set. Yes, we know, the Research Station already has a garage block, but that’s a smaller twin-bay affair with room for light vehicles only. This new model is a bigger building with space for larger ATVs and explorer vehicles, along with an attached side building for storage or admin.

B15-506 – Large Garage Block – £7.00

Terminator Freed

The most popular of our new releases at Salute were the 15mm tanks – the Neo-Soviet Terminator (and the Vombat and Bars, both released not long before) and the Yenpalo Xarledi grav tank (I think the Terminator outsold the Xarledi by one model – there was very little left of the big pile of hulls I’d cast up before the show). The Yenpalo went onto the website a couple of weeks ago, and today it’s the turn of the Neo-Soviet assault tank.

The Terminator is a heavy assault vehicle armed with two tri-barrel gatlings and four missile tubes. It also has a compartment in the rear for four Guards infantry, allowing it to transport them right up to the front line under cover.

The model has a three-part resin body (hull plus tracks) with metal turret and hatches.

SF15-1211a – Vombat Terminator – £9.00

Alien Fire Support

Today sees the first of our Salute releases hit the website. The new 15mm Yenpalo Xarledi grav tank is now available, along with the support railgun and mortar teams.

The Xarledi is a very alien-looking heavy grav tank with remote mass-driver turret and two twin railgun mounts on either side. It has a resin turret and one-piece hull with metal guns and other fittings.

The support weapons come in packs of two teams, each with a 2-man crew and 2-piece weapon.

SF15-1101 – Xarledi Grav Tank – £9.00
SF15-1164 – Railgun Teams (x2) – £3.00
SF15-1165 – Mortar Teams (x2) – £3.00

We’ll be rolling out the rest of the Salute releases over the next 3-4 weeks – you can see the releases dates of all of them on the Salute page.

Alien Big Brother

There’s a bit of an alien theme pervading our Salute SF releases this year – we’ve already previewed our first 6mm Yenpalo models and then followed them up with some nifty 15mm support weapons. Well, having made the 6mm tank, did you really think we wouldn’t make a 15mm version ? And now it has a name as well – the ‘Xarledi’.

It has a resin hull and turret with metal main and secondary guns, hatch, steering vanes and rear plate. The base isn’t included – it’s simply a 50mm round plastic figure base with the post from one of our flying stands fixed in the centre, then textured and painted.

Once again I have to credit Anarchy Models for their stencils, this time a hex pattern, without which I wouldn’t have been able to create the colour scheme.

SF15-1110 – Xarledi Grav Tank – £9.00

I have noticed that some of our photos of the new stuff are a bit ropey. Time seems to be running away fast at the moment, so most have been taken on my phone and aren’t up to our usual standard – I’ll have to go back and take better ones with the camera as soon as time permits.

Yenpalo Support

A couple of days ago we previewed the first of our Yenpalo aliens which have been scaled down to 6mm. Today we return to their 15mm cousins, who are gaining some heavy firepower in the form of crew-served railguns and automatic mortars. Each comes in a pack of two teams consisting of a two-part weapon and two crew; the mortar teams also get a 6-round ammunition case.

SF15-1104 – Railgun Teams (x2) – £3.00
SF15-1106 – Mortar Teams (x2) – £3.00

This seems like a good time to post a reminder about Salute pre-orders – with just over a week to go, we’re rapidly running out of casting time to prepare these (especially since we lose two working days to Easter), so we really do need them in ASAP. If you visit the Salute 2017 page, you’ll find details of how to place them (scroll down to the bottom for this).