Guardforce O’Higgins

Guardforce O’Higgins are, as their name might suggest, a mercenary unit that specialises in security and enforcement assignments.

Most of the Regiment-sized formation is made up of mechanised units trained in police actions or defensive scenarios. Because they are generally not deployed directly to the front line, the pay rates are commensurately lower than in other outfits who are often at the sharp end of a conflict. The quality of GFOH troops is, in the main, fairly average – in The Crucible they are rated merely as Trained. Behaviour has been an issue in the past – one company had to be completely disbanded at the orders of the Bonding Authority following a breakdown of discipline while on furlough.

Line units are split into Infantry and Armoured companies. The infantry ride in Brollachan tracked APCs – these are cheap and cheerful ‘battle-taxi’ types built on the drive train and powerplant of a commercial all-terrain explorer vehicle. The basic model carries a twin MG turret or a hatch with a pintle-mounted flechette gun, support versions have light missile systems.

The Armoured companies are mainly equipped with Fragarach light tanks carrying a wide variety of turret mounted weapons. The anti-tank vehicles have a pair of railguns, while an infantry support version has twin heavy gatlings instead. There are also light artillery, air defence and scout variants. The Fragarach has the same track units as the Brollachan but with uprated transmission and power plant.

The one exception is the Fianóglach. This is a Veteran, rapid reaction force equipped with HU-1 Perseus VTOLs, used as troubleshooters or to reinforce line companies at short notice. They are drawn from the best troops in the other line companies – which does nothing to help the standards in those units, but the increased pay and bragging rights does give the ordinary Guardforce grunt something to aim for.

The unusual blue-grey scheme of the vehicles pictured is used on assignments where the Guardforce is stationed in or near active civilian populations. It is felt that the non-military colour makes the vehicles less threatening and can help to quiet dissident elements amongst populations that may otherwise react badly to having foreign mercenaries patrolling their streets.

Both the Fragarach and Brollachan are available now from our website. Both are available with a number of different turret options beyond those shown here, which are illustrated on their respective pages.

HS15-3701 – Fragarach Light Tank – £8.00
HS15-3702 – Brollachan APC – £8.00

Utility Bird

Back in April, when we released the Demeter Attack VTOL at Salute, it should have been accompanied by a second model, a utility VTOL (think UH-1 Huey in terms of its rôle). However, we had several issues with the other prototype, it would never cast reliably enough to be able to release so we’ve ended up having to redesign and reprint parts of it. We think we’re there now, we’ve run enough test casts to be happy that all the bits now work.

The HU.1 Perseus is, as previously mentioned, a utility type that has a rear cabin for four fully equipped infantry (six over short distances as long as they don’t mind being squeezed in). It has the same chin turret as the Demeter with a 2cm tri-barrel powergun and can also carry a variety of underwing stores so can serve as a passable gunship.

The Perseus is used by three Hammer’s Slammers units as a fast APC flying nap-of-the-earth when in the combat zone, staying down among the weeds to avoid being shot out of the sky. Both the Eaglewing and the Texian 101st base their forces around VTOL transports and gunships, while Guardforce O’Higgins’ veteran Fianóglach company are equipped with a number of Perseus and act as a rapid-reaction unit. In the detachment lists for these three forces, the Perseus replaces the Black Crow VTOL.

The model is a four-part resin kit (body, tail and two wings) with five metal parts (turret, two tail fins, two cabin doors). The separate cabin doors allow for a door gunner (which we don’t yet make but will do).

HS15-2601 – Perseus Utility VTOL – £12.00

United in 6mm

Our recent 6mm Hammer’s Slammers releases have opened up a number of new detachments. One of the units that uses the GS-1000 series of GEVs is the United Defence Batteries, an specialised outfit equipped mainly with 8-barrel 2cm Calliopes for air defence. They appear in the story Counting the Cost, which can be found in volume 2 of the Complete Hammer’s Slammers.

I painted some 15mm calliopes last year and I’ve followed up with their 6mm equivalents recently. As an elite unit, the UDB have eight TUs per detachment – five calliopes, two mortar carriers for fire support and a command APC. Like the 15mm versions, I painted them in dark grey (Plastic Soldier Company Panzer Grey from a spray can), drybrushed light grey with a black wash. The skirts were painted light green, again with an appropriate wash. There is an access door on each flank – I painted these white, with a blue triangle as an approximation of the UDB logo. Other than picking out the gun barrels in silver, that was it – this was a very quick unit to get on the table.

The UDB have been added to the ever-growing list of pre-packed detachments we have available –

HSD6-3301 – United Defence Batteries Calliope Detachment – £9.00

Grease Monkeys

Our latest release is a set of 15mm civilian mechanics and repair crew – the first time in a while we haven’t released something festooned with powerguns or gatlings!

The set of twelve mechanics is split into three types of identical figures with different headgear – four with baseball caps, four with bare heads and four with ear defenders and goggles who would make ideal flight deck crew at a starport or airbase.

The three types of figure are also available separately in sets of four.

SF15-008d – Civilian Mechanics (x12) – £4.25
SF15-008e – Mechanics – bare-head (x4) – £1.50
SF15-008f – Mechanics – baseball cap (x4) – £1.50
SF15-008g – Flight Deck Crew (x4) – £1.50

Flaming Detachments

As promised, we’ve put together 6mm Hammer’s Slammers detachment packs for our brand new Flaming Sword of the Holy Brotherhood models. There are four, for each of the Recce, Strike, Heavy and Protection lists in the FSHB detachment sheet.

FSHB Strike Detachment

And I thought, why stop there ? So I didn’t, and added some more. There are now packs available for the Lightning Division (Tank and Infantry) and also three for one of my favourite units, Foster’s Mercenaries.

Foster’s Mercenaries Artillery Detachment

HSD6-1701 – Lightning Division Tank Detachment – £11.00
HSD6-1702 – Lightning Division Infantry Detachment – £6.75
HSD6-1702a – Lightning Division Infantry Detachment – £7.00

HSD6-2001 – Flaming Sword Recce -£6.00
HSD6-2002 – Flaming Sword Strike -£9.00
HSD6-2003 – Flaming Sword Heavy – £12.50
HSD6-2004 – Flaming Sword Protection – £6.50

HSD6-3101 – Fosters Calliope Detachment – £9.25
HSD6-3102 – Fosters Artillery Detachment – £10.50
HSD6-3103 – Fosters Infantry Detachment – £7.50

Short Swords

The latest new releases on our website today are 6mm versions of the GS series of GEVs used primarily by two mercenary units, The Flaming Sword of the Holy Brotherhood and Ben Mehdi’s Legion (formerly known as Broglie’s Legion and, before that, Baffin’s Legion). There are seven new vehicles and variants, all based on the same hex-skirted hover chassis. They join the existing M12 heavy tank destroyer.

HS6-2012 – GS-1199 Tank Destroyer – £1.25
HS6-2013 – GS-1007 APC – £1.25
HS6-2014 – GS-1141R Mortar Carrier – £1.25
HS6-2014a – GS-1026 Light Support – £1.25
HS6-2014b – GS-1186PG Heavy Support – £1.25
HS6-2014c – GS-1188RG Heavy Support – £1.25
HS6-2015 – GS-1018 Calliope – £1.25

We’re working on a number of pre-defined detachment packs for the FSHB – hopefully they’ll be on the website next week.

The Fall of General Ander

Ander’s Legion is a combined arms mercenary unit that makes an appearance (of sorts) in the Hammer’s Slammers story Paying the Piper. They were fighting alongside the Slammers on the planet of Plattner’s World in the pay of the United Cities, facing (amongst others) the West Riding Yeomanry and the Apex Dragoons. General Ander and his troops should have been dug-in, ready to support Lt Arne Huber’s company of combat cars, but failed to appear to spring the planned ambush, leaving F-company badly exposed. This resulted in the unfortunate General being arrested by his UC employers for failure to follow orders (who, just to be sure, sub-contracted the actual arrest to Major Joachim Steuben and his White Mice field police unit). While in custody, the General chose to take his own life rather than face the Bonding Authority tribunal – or at least, that’s what Major Steuben would have you believe…

General Ander studies his options, shortly before his ill-fated meeting with Joachim Steuben. The general was not seen alive again by any of his unit…

The Legion is a mechanised unit, fielding mainly tracked or semi-tracked armoured vehicles, along with quick-reaction infantry units on one-man skimmers. Following the death of the General, the unit chose to retain its name but re-equipped with newer vehicles. The older Uralvagonzavod Cutlass tanks and Halberd tank destroyers were sold on, replaced by TF Industries’ Rapier MBT and the new Xiphos series of self-propelled guns. The infantry’s Dragoon half-tracks were traded in with Scania for the later Dragoon II model. The scout section was upgraded with Viking recce half-tracks and the brand new Kopis recce tank.

We recently released several new Ander’s Legion vehicles in 6mm, and now it’s the turn of the 15mm models. The Dragoon, Viking and infantry skimmers are already available, and today we’ve released the Rapier and two variants of the Xiphos.

The Rapier is a heavy tracked tank with a long-barrelled 22cm DS railgun, light Manta missile pod and bow gatling. The model features a resin hull and tracks, with a (huge!) metal turret and weapons. There are also two air-defence variants, known by troops as the Machete – one with four 2cm tri-barrels, and another with a mixed laser-missile system.

The Xiphos comes in two flavours – a tank destroyer with a 20cm HI powergun that will give any opposing tank a headache, and an infantry support variant called the Palintone with twin breech-loading mortars. Each vehicle also has three tri-barrel 2cm powerguns, giving it additional firepower equivalent to a combat car! The open superstructure is protected from shell fragments by a beryllium mesh screen that runs on roof rails and can be retracted into the back of the engine compartment, much like a giant roller-blind. The Xiphos model has a resin hull and tracks, a 3-piece metal superstructure plus roof rails and weapons also in metal. The splinter screen is provided in the form of an etched brass piece. This will cover the whole of the open rear deck, it can be omitted to represent a retracted screen, or, if cut somewhere along the length, can represent a partially deployed screen.

As a final note, we have resupplies of our very handy etched brass turret baskets – you can find those under 15mm Accessories.

HS15-3611 – Rapier Tank – £8.50
HS15-3611a – Machete P/4 with tri-barrels – £8.50
HS15-3611b – Machete LM/2 with laser/missile system – £8.50
HS15-3612 – Xiphos Tank Destroyer – £8.00
HS15-3612a – Palintone Mortar Support Vehicle – £8.00

HSD15-3601 – Ander’s Legion Infantry Detachment – £36.00
HSD15-3602 – Ander’s Legion Recce Detachment – £41.00
HSD15-3603 – Ander’s Legion Mechanised Detachment – £63.00

Keen readers will have noticed the absence of the previously-mentioned Kopis from the release; don’t worry, it’s coming. But it arose at the last minute from a brief discussion on Facebook, and there wasn’t time to get a model designed and into production to join the other models. But rest assured, we already have both 6mm and 15mm masters in hand – the resin parts for the 15mm version have already been moulded.

Baby Eaglets

Off the production line this week are these two 6mm Eaglewing VTOLs, the Demeter and the Perseus.

The Demeter is a two-seater attack craft while the Perseus is a utility VTOL with room to transport an infantry squad in the cabin.

The Eaglewing is a Hammer’s Slammers mercenary unit equipped primarily with VTOLs that operate almost as ground vehicles, flying nap-of-the-earth in combat zones to keep out of sight of enemy anti-aircraft weapons. Away from the front line they can fly higher and use their high speed to redeploy quickly as required. They also have a small number of conventional ground vehicles for mortar and artillery support.

Other users of the Demeter and Perseus include the 101st Texian Light Airborne, a fully airmobile infantry unit, and the Fianóglach veterans of Guardforce O’Higgins.

HS6-2601 – Perseus HU.1 Utility VTOL – £2.00
HS6-2602 – Demeter Attack VTOL – £2.00

Finally, just a quick notice that I’m away for a couple of days. We’re up to date with orders to the end of Sunday (15th) and I’ll be back on Friday to deal with any that arrive this week so there shouldn’t be much delay – I just may not be able to answer any emails as quickly as usual.

Anders Plus

We previewed a bunch of new 6mm models for the Joy of Six show – and I managed to get the cooling tower painted and photographed! The first of these have gone onto the website today, along with (thanks to a well timed delivery of etched brass bits) a new vehicle that hasn’t previously been seen.

The Rapier MBT is being phased in by Anders Legion to replace their inventory of obsolescent Cutlass tanks. It’s a tracked vehicle with a large, sloped turret equipped with a heavy railgun and light ATGW launcher.

The Xiphos is a rather unusual hybrid tank destroyer/combat car. It’s an open backed vehicle, with the rear of the crew compartment protected by a mesh splinter screen, similar to those deployed on Slammers Combat Cars. Primary armament is either a railgun (the same calibre as that on the Rapier but with a shorter barrel) or a pair of breech-loading gun-mortars. It also has three tri-barrel powergun mounts – one on the roof operated by the commander standing in the rear, and another pair mounted over the rear wings. Anders Legion are re-equipping with these in place of their current fleet of Uralvagonzavod Halberds. The 6mm model comes with separate tri-barrels and an etched brass piece for the screen – you’ll need tweezers to assemble this one!

Although we don’t yet have the rest of the Flaming Sword of the Holy Brotherhood ready (a bit of a FUBAR with one of the moulds…), we wanted to get the M12 out as it’s a great little model. The M12L14 tank destroyer is a fusion-powered blower, mounting a 20cm powergun and remote-control tri-barrel. It’s used by the Flaming Sword in their heavy detachments and as the primary armoured vehicle of Broglie’s Legion

Finally for this week, a handy little Radome building which makes an ideal game objective. The dome is the same as our larger radar bunker, so you can create a radar array similar to the Fylingdales Moor installation.

HS6-2011 – M12L14 Tank Destroyer – £1.50
HS6-3611 – Rapier Tank – £1.25
HS6-3612 – Xiphos Tank Destroyer – £1.25
HS6-3612a – Palintone Mortar Support Vehicle – £1.25

B300-144 – Radome – £2.00

That’s all for now – see you Sunday!

Six Specials

We have a some new bits and pieces for the Joy of Six on Sunday – all 6mm scale (of course !). We have a mix of vehicles, VTOLs, starfighters and buildings to try to tempt the moths out of your wallets – none of these have been seen before in 6mm. Some of the models – especially the Squadron Commander starfighters and the Eaglewing VTOLs – will be in short supply as I don’t yet have production moulds so will only be able to bring what I can cast from the master moulds.

First up – a reminder about pre-orders. I finished stocking up for Jo6 yesterday so I will have some time tomorrow to cast up any last minute orders for collection at the show. For details about exactly what I’m bringing and how to order, click here.

So, onto the models. I was hoping to have the 6mm versions of the Flaming Sword of the Holy Brotherhood ready but we haven’t quite managed to get all of them done in time. However, I will have stocks of their largest vehicle, the M12L14 Tank Destroyer. This turretless beast is armed with a 20cm powergun and can go toe-to-toe with a Slammers M2 tank.

At Salute we released a 15mm VTOL, the Demeter. On Sunday we go one better with two new 6mm VTOLS, the Demeter (r) and its cousin, the Perseus. The former is an attack VTOL while the Perseus is a small troop carrier – the equivalent of a UH-1 Huey.

This one is brand new – it’s currently going under the codename of Rapier, although that may change 🙂 It’s a heavy tank used used by Anders Legion, who are rolling it out to replace their Cutlass tanks, and has a heavy cannon plus a missile pod. Expect to see this in 15mm very soon too.

As mentioned, we have two new starfighters in the Squadron Commander range. The first is the AmRep Raptor attack fighter. This has four X-foils with torpedo pods sandwiched between them either side and twin gatlings. The Germans get the Kondor two-seat heavy fighter, with it’s remote rear gun turret. I did make versions of both of these ages ago which never went into production, but these are brand new digital sculpts. Both will be available singly or in flights of four.

This handy little building is a radar dome – a conventional radar dish is enclosed in a protective dome to keep out the effects of weather, sandstorms, small animals etc.

Largest of all is this power station cooling tower. We’ve had a hollow 3D-printed item in our Shapeways shop and we’ve sold a few of these at shows, but this is a much larger resin version – at over 4″ tall, it’s almost twice as large as the 3D printed model.

But, much to my annoyance, I forgot to bring one home from the workshop to photograph, so for now you’re left with this enigmatic silhouette… (I’ll try to remember one tomorrow !).

HS6-2011 – M12L14 Tank Destroyer – £1.50
HS6-2601 – Perseus Utility VTOL – £2.00
HS6-2602 – Demeter Attack VTOL – £2.00
HS6-3611 – Rapier Tank – £1.25

SCR-203 – Raptor Assault Fighter – £3.00
SCP-203 – Raptor Flight – £11.00
SCR-303 – Kondor Heavy Fighter – £3.50
SCP-303 – Kondor Flight – £13.00

B300-144 – Radome – £2.00
B300-145 – Power Station Cooling Tower – £10.00

For those who can’t make the show, most of these models will be trickling onto the website in the near future. For those who can, please come and say hello on Sunday, but be gentle with me – I’ll be at a wedding the day before and although I won’t be hungover (I have to drive to Sheffield from Kent on Saturday evening) I may not have had much sleep…