Road to Recovery

Today we have a couple of very useful 15mm accessory packs. The first is a conversion kit for creating engineering or recovery vehicles, consisting of a crane and a dozer blade (which can be one of three types). It also has a converter so that it will fit either of our standard turret ring sizes. We’ve made up several example vehicles showing what can be done with the pack.

The other pack contains one each of the three dozer blades.

We also sell a pack of two smaller cranes (from the Hammer’s Slammers E8 recovery vehicle). These have non-standard turret rings, so the pack now includes converter rings so that they will fit our standard small turret rings, and plates so that they can be fitted to a flat surface such as a truck bed.

SF15-932 – Small Cranes (x2) – £3.00
SF15-938 – Engineering Vehicle Conversion kit – £3.00
SF15-939 – Dozer Blades (x3) – £3.00

Early Slammin’

Today sees the release of the 6mm versions of the M6 Combat Car, used by the Slammers Regiment in its early years before being replaced by the M9 series. These have already been seen in 15mm (that link has a lot more background on the early Slammers vehicles), now it’s the turn of the smaller scale. There are five differently armed variants, along with a version with the roof shutters closed. They fit perfectly alongside the early version M2 blower tanks.

We also have 6mm versions of Guardforce O’Higgin’s Fragarach light tank and Brollachan APC, which snuck onto the website by stealth earlier this year but haven’t officially been announced yet.

HS6-116 – M6 Combat Car – £1.00
HS6-116a – M6A5 Support Car – £1.00
HS6-116b – M6A7 Mortar Car – £1.00
HS6-116c – M6A8 Buzzbomb Car – £1.00
HS6-116d – M6A9 Missileer Car – £1.00
HS6-116e – M6 (Closed Roof) – £1.00

HS6-3701 – RT-14 Fragarach Light Tank – £1.00
HS6-3702 – RT-15 Brollachan APC – £1.00

Still Standing #2

After further measures were announced by Boris Johnson yesterday evening, we thought we’d post a further update.

The Brigade workshop is pretty isolated, being situated on a farm. There are usually only a handful of other people working there in different units, none of whom are close to us, and we both get there by car so don’t need to interact with anyone else. Tony is the only one who will be working there, Phil only needs to pop in occasionally and will do this out of hours. Based on this, we feel it’s safe to keep the workshop up and running without endangering either ourselves or anyone else. However, we will be reducing the frequency of visits to the workshop to a minimum to process outstanding orders.

Post Offices remain open, so we will still be able to send orders. But we will be reducing our post runs to once or twice a week.

All of this, combined with some understandable lag in the postal service as they deal with a number of staff being absent, means that it may take a little longer for your orders to get to you. We will get them out as fast as we can, but please be patient if it’s a little slower than normal.

On a lighter note…

We recently highlighted the Brigada Independência, an elite Hammer’s Slammers unit. They have unique dual-feed infantry support weapons, and we’ve made those available on the Cobra’s own page on the website.

HS15-753e – Dual-Feed Support Teams (x2) – £3.50

Micro Miscellany

Today’s new release is a mix of new 6mm models in the Hammer’s Slammers range – models that have already been released in 15mm and are now making the move down to our smaller scale.

Ander’s Legion get four new support vehicles to complete their ToE. The Machete AA vehicles are based on the chassis of the Rapier heavy tank and come in two variants – one with four tri-barrel powerguns, the other with twin rapid fire lasers and Manta missiles.

The Legion also gets the Kopis Recce vehicle with an open turret mounting twin lasers, and the Astrapi AA variant mounting the same weapons in a high-speed ball mount.

The Slammers regiment themselves get two new variants of the Icarus M2 blower tank. The M2A1 version has a smaller turret than the ubiquitous M2A4 version but still mounts the 20cm powergun. The experimental M2A3 carries a heavy ruby laser in the same small turret; this variant wasn’t adopted by the Slammers but saw service in the Neu Friesland army. The two vehicles pictured below are in the silver/black parade colours of the NF Iron Brigade.

HS6-111d – M2A1 Blower Tank – £1.50
HS6-111f – M2A3 Laser Blower Tank – £1.50
HS6-3611a – Machete P/4 with tri-barrels – £1.25
HS6-3611b – Machete LM/2 with laser/missile system – £1.25
HS6-3613 – Kopis Recce Vehicle – £1.00
HS6-3613a – Astrapi AA Vehicle – £1.00

Smokin’ Hot

The Brigada Independência (also known as the Smoking Cobras or Cobras Fumantes) is an élite mercenary unit that faced off against the Slammers regiment during the Sulewesi War in TW 328. Composed of several battalions of heavy armour, the brigade also had organic rocket artillery and calliopes. A single Slammers combat car (Hula Girl) accidentally ran into a Cobras artillery unit during a night march and caused all sorts of havoc! This all happens in the story Night March in the first volume of The Complete Hammer’s Slammers.

Following the Sulewesi operations, the Brigada began upgrading with new vehicles from the Indonesian manufacturer PT Pinrang. The ECAP armed T14 tanks give the unit a powerful cutting edge, and the Sugama infantry combat vehicles carry state-of-the-art dual feed cannon capable of shredding enemy infantry and even giving tanks a headache at short range. The updated detachment sheet can be found on the Crucible website.

I’ve been working on painting up several Cobra detachments in 15mm, which recently had their first taste of combat – more on that at a later date… The models are from our range of Indonesian 15mm vehicles, while the infantry are from our PacFed range.

The models were assembled as usual, and I also added small amounts of stowage and extra gear to the outsides. I also added some auxiliary fuel tanks – these were made from the cargo pods from our Fort Linton class spaceship – I will get these added as a separate item so that they can be ordered from the website as soon as I can.

I tried to replicate the unusual red/blue/yellow camouflage scheme on the original Cobra detachment sheet, with mixed results. The vehicles were all sprayed with Halfords red car primer which also served as the base camouflage colour. I airbrushed the blue and then yellow stripes, drybrushing each layer with a lighter shade. This process rather showed up the limitations of my budget airbrush – the yellow stripes were meant to be quite thin to outline the blue, but the airbrush wouldn’t spray a nice neat line so instead they ended up as three equal stripes.

Details (stowage, crew, viewing lenses etc) were brush painted before an overall coat of Army Painter Quickshade (strong tone). Once this had dried thoroughly (several days) I applied decals and airbrushed a final matt varnish coat. I had two issues here – the decals are really the wrong colour (our stock is getting low so I used blue decals, which we have lots of, but these didn’t stand out enough over the camouflage colours). And I used a different varnish for the first time, a Humbrol acrylic one, which caused some problems with white bloom appearing. I suspect I applied it too heavily, so it was probably user error rather than an issue with the product. I tidied this up by brushing a thin coat of Citadel sepia wash over the affected areas, which sorted out all but the worst cases.

I usually base figures individually on washers and use our fireteam bases, but I’d picked up a load of thin wooden discs from The Works so I thought I’d use those for the infantry teams instead. I based them with 2-4 figures on each 40mm disc and I think they look pretty good. They were sprayed with white Halfords primer and then the basic sand colour was done with Citadel Contrast Aggaros Dunes. The rest of the figures were then painted with normal Citadel paints and washes. Since Brazil has a tradition of Gauchos, I included a couple of bases of infantry on horseback which John has added to the Cobra’s detachment sheet as an option. The support weapons were made from Indonesian heavy guns (dual-feed cannon) mounted on the bases of EuroFed remote weapons – these again will be added to the website ASAP.

Construction Codes

We’ve been working for a while on a set of 15mm sci-fi building components for scratchbuilders. The 15mm SF community seems to be a very creative bunch of people who come up with lots of clever items of scenery from all sorts of bits and pieces, and we thought that a set of building parts would help towards this.

Rather than separate doors and windows, we’ve created a set of frontages, all around 70-80mm long, made up of a variety of doors and windows cast as one piece. This means that to create a simple building, you just need to stick one of these pieces to the side of a small box or piece of packaging, and there you have a basic house. If you need more flexibility, it’s a simple matter to score along the lines between each section and snap them apart to separate the individual doors and windows.

The range also includes an all-important set of roof vents for ventilation, along with larger industrial and hangar doors, chimneys, balconies and awnings.

For many of these buildings we’ve used UK-pattern surface mount pattress boxes – these are the plastic boxes that electrical sockets are fixed to. A single box will make a simple house, you can stack them to make a small apartment block or there are double-depth boxes that can be used for garages or workshops. These are a couple of pounds from DIY stores, but if bought in bulk from specialist trade counters (eg Screwfix or Toolstation) they can be as cheap as 50p each. Random bits of plastic or polystyrene packing also make a good basis for a building, or vac-formed blister packaging also works. A further option is to use them to dress up commercial vacform plastic buildings (Amera Mouldings have several North African buildings) or MDF ones (I have a couple of Middle-Eastern buildings from Blotz that I’ll be looking at in the near future). Just use your imagination – I have a pair of hangars I made from a salad crisper box that came with an old fridge!

B15-901 – Frontages (x5) – £3.00
B15-902 – Balconies (x2) – £2.50
B15-903 – Industrial Doors (x2) – £2.00
B15-904 – Roof Vents (x3) – £1.50
B15-905 – Chimneys (x2) – £3.00
B15-906 – Awnings (x3) – £1.75
B15-907 – Porch and Window (x2) – £2.50
B15-908 – Hangar Door – £1.50

The components are all resin castings. We’re hoping to post some blog articles over the coming weeks about making various buildings from our selection of components, to show what can be done with them.

Ben Mehdi’s Legion

The mercenary unit now known as Ben Mehdi’s Legion has had an interesting past. Naming your unit for its commander is always asking for trouble, as two name changes will testify. Initially known as Baffin’s Legion, the death of Colonel Baffin led to the unit being taken over by Lucas Broglie, a former officer in the Slammer’s Regiment, thereby becoming Broglie’s Legion. Broglie then met his end in the Meridienne War in 334TW, and the command baton passed to Colonel Hussein ben Mehdi, formerly part of Fasolini’s Company.

Ben Mehdi oversaw a major equipment upgrade, with the Legion’s older GD-800 series of hover vehicles replaced by Gull Combat Systems’ GS-1000 series. Their M12 tank destroyers were also upgraded from A1 to A4 standard, with thicker armour and a 20cm powergun instead of the older vehicle’s 15cm weapon.

Their smaller vehicles were also replaced, with the FN A21-series hover jeeps phased out in favour of Gull’s newer GS-700 model. A new vehicle also came into use – the GS-934 Recce Car. This uses a smaller version of the GS-1000 hull with its distinctive hex-patterned skirt, mounting a remote twin powergun turret over the engine deck. The roomy two-man cabin has plenty of space for detection equipment as befits its rôle as a forward scout vehicle.

Both new vehicles have a resin hull; the GS-934 has a metal gun turret, while the jeeps come with two crew figures for the basic version, or one crew plus a mortar sprue for the mortar version.

HS15-2017 – GS-934 Recce Car – £4.00
HS15-2018 – GS-700 Jeep – £2.50
HS15-2018a – GS-710M Mortar Jeep – £3.00

And before anyone asks … yes, I had a bit of a varnish problem with these, hence the odd white spot 🙁

Waldheim Dragoons in 6mm

The Waldheim Dragoons, an armoured mercenary regiment, use the missile armed A2 variant of the Icarus M2 blower tank – the same vehicle that equips the Slammers regiment, but with different armament. These are supported by the lighter M56 Daedalus medium tank along with two slightly different air-defence variants. These models came out in 15mm last year, today we’re following with the 6mm versions.

The Daedalus is speedy hover tank, armed with a 10cm powergun and a 2cm tribarrel on the commander’s hatch. The M564 Calliope carries no fewer than four linked tribarrel gatlings, which in Crucible terms amounts to a massive 12 shots per turn! The M562 variant has the same turret as the M564, but is armed with two rapid fire lasers (still amounting to eight shots per turn) and a pair of Manta light missiles for taking on more heavily armoured targets.

Crucible playsheets for the Waldheim Dragoons can be found on the Hammer’s Slammers website (along with many others).

HS6-1912 – M56 Daedalus Medium Tank – £1.00
HS6-1912a – M564 Daedalus Tri-barrel AA Tank – £1.00
HS6-1912b – M562 Daedalus Laser AA Tank – £1.00

No Show

Some more show news today; SELWG, a long standing event held in the Crystal Palace Sports Centre, has been cancelled, for this year at any rate. They’ve basically reached the end of their tether with regard to the venue – access for traders has always been problematic, with only two doors to the main hall which are reached by a very narrow road and a loading area that is very tight for vans and lorries. Fortunately this should only be a one-year break, as the SELWG club is looking for for a new venue for 2021. You can read their post on the SELWG Facebook page.

Following the cancellation of ROBIN, this is the second show to be culled from our planned roster this year, which is not great for us.

So to cheer everyone up, here are some new upcoming 15mm vehicles, due for release in the next few weeks…

Shot from Both Sides

We recently ran a large Crucible game at Maidstone Wargames Society involving eight players. Six took command of a detachment of Hammer’s Slammers, a mixture of mid-period and late uparmoured vehicles, while John Treadaway and I took the defence with a mixed bag of Solace rebels and regular forces plus a couple of Wolverines detachments to stiffen their resolve.

You can find more photos one the Maidstone Wargames Society website plus a full game report on the Hammer’s Slammers website.