American Republic Armour

After Tuesday’s minor ‘leaving all the orders at the workshop’ FUBAR, we’re back to normal, Friday 13th notwithstanding ! Everything has been safely retrieved and sent – although you may detect a faint whiff of burning when you open your parcel, it seems that someone lit a large bonfire in the farmyard opposite the workshop and the smell has permeated everything !

Onto more mundane matters, and this week’s new releases. One of the forces in our 6mm range that has never really been properly represented in 15mm (apart from a couple of odd tanks) is the American Republic. As you’ll have seen on this blog recently, we’ve got round to rectifying this at last with seven brand new vehicles and variants.

The largest is a new sculpt of the Curtiss heavy tank. This was the very first digitally sculpted model that we released and since then we’ve learnt a lot about the design and production processes, so we thought it was time to give the Curtiss a makeover. This new model has a newly-designed metal turret and gun, rather than the resin one of the original, and improved detailing on the hull.

KochteCurtissRelease

The slightly smaller cousin of the Curtiss is the Kochte MBT. This again was previously available in 15mm, but we’ve replaced the original with a new 3D sculpt – the overall profile of the tank is the same but the detailing is completely different.

The AmRep’s standard infantry fighting vehicle is the Baumann. This carries two crew and six infantry, and is equipped with a light autocannon and missile pod. Infantry dismount through a rear ramp and can engage the enemy through the firing ports on each side. Also available are an AA variant with gatling and missiles, and a heavy anti-tank-missile carrier.

BaumannRelease

Finally, the smallest of the new vehicles is the Oldmann light tank. This is a two-man recce vehicle with a light autocannon – heavier fire support is available from a missile carrier with the same 16-round turret as the Baumann.

OldmannRelease

All are available singly, and the Curtiss, Kochte and Oldmann are also available in discounted Platoon Packs of three vehicles, stowage and crew.

SF15-202 – Curtiss Heavy Tank – £9.00
SF15-203 – Baumann MICV – £8.00
SF15-203a – Baumann AA – £8.00
SF15-203b – Baumann w/missile turret – £8.00
SF15-206 – Oldmann Light Tank – £5.00
SF15-206a – Oldmann w/missile turret – £5.00
SF15-208 – Kochte MBT – £8.00
PP15-202 – Curtiss Platoon Pack – £26.00
PP15-206 – Oldmann Platoon Pack – £14.00
PP15-208 – Kochte Platoon Pack – £23.00

If you’re outside the EU, remember that you don’t need to pay VAT – so the price you pay is only 5/6ths of that shown above, which should go some way towards offsetting the postage costs.

Gruntz Activation Cards

Yesterday was a workshop day, doing metal casting for orders (and stock, we’re already slowly gearing up to Salute – at the moment this just involves doing a few extra castings every time we spin a mould and keeping them to one side for the show). I did have a bit of a brain-fade and managed to leave all of the finished orders behind – so apologies if you placed an order over the weekend or Monday, it’s all done and packaged up, but rather annoyingly sitting in a box at the workshop which I won’t return to until tomorrow 🙁

GRZ-004Today has been spent casting resin items, again a mixture of orders and stock which we’ll put aside for Salute (including this week’s new releases for Friday). However, I did get a nice little surprise in the post this morning – a number of sets of Gruntz activation cards which we’d ordered from Robin a little while ago. So in between bouts of pouring resin, I’ve quickly added them to the website.

According to Robin, “The cards make a game of Gruntz more dynamic, allowing for alternating activation of units using a random determination. It works well for getting more than 2 players into a game of Gruntz because the random nature of unit activation can involve all players, rather than waiting for the traditional I-GO-U-GO turn sequence.

The main Gruntz 15mm SCI-FI rulebook includes rules for using normal playing cards, however the same rules can be used with these cards which also add some interesting chaotic battlefield bonus effects.“.

The cards are in a small format to reduce clutter on the table and are a very useful addition to the Gruntz game.

GRZ-004-1

GRZ-004 – Gruntz Activation Cards – £9.00

Yanks and their Tanks

Do you remember the postie turning up last week with, amongst other things, some new 15mm American Republic SF vehicles ? We haven’t wasted any time with these and they’ve already been cleaned up and moulded.

PrimeAll

Since the plastic masters are very difficult to photograph and the details hard to see, here’s a second look at a first set of assembled castings in a coat of primer (I’d used red primer as it will be the base colour in their camouflage scheme, which is why it’s already been drybrushed). As soon as this post has been finished I’ll be off with the airbrush to do the next colours.

And here they all are, swathed in blutack as a mask for the camouflage (regular followers will have seen this before, but here’s a link about Blutack masking).

PrimeBlutack

(Thanks to Zac Braham for the title of this post, he used it when posting the AmRep masters on TMP and I liked it so much I thought I’d use it here !).

Slamming Maidstone

A couple of weeks ago Maidstone Wargames Society had the privilege of hosting a 15mm Hammer’s Slammers game run by John Treadaway, co-author of the rules. The game pitted my recently painted Sulewesi National Army who were fighting alongside two detachments of Terran Authority Starmarines (fielding their Komodo heavy tanks for the first time), against the Slammers themselves in uparmoured Blower tanks plus detachments of the Stewart regiment and the West Riding Yeomanry.

John has written an AAR of the game which appears on the Slammers’ site alongside a number of photos. There are more photos by Mike Proudlock on the Maidstone site. Below are a selection of the ones I took, mostly from my perspective as the Sulewesi commander so viewed from the (victorious, it has to be said) end of the table.

Mail Call – again !

The postie came Friday (several posties and couriers in fact, it was a busy day for deliveries !). The most exciting of these, notwithstanding the shiny new plastic storage boxes, was a small package from the 3D printers. Now you know I get all excited by new models and like to show them off as soon as they arrive (Phil thinks this is a little strange, but what does he know …). Today is no different, so with the usual apologies/excuses about the difficulty of photographing the 3D prints, here is some new stuff …

These tiny little beasties are 6mm versions of the Raeside grav utility vehicles that came out in 15mm last year. There’s a flatbed, turreted and plain utility version, and also a separate sprue of turrets that didn’t make it into the picture. To get a sense of scale, the grid on my rather well-used cutting board is 50mm square, and the vehicles are about 1/2″ long.

RaesidePreview

The rest of the new models are 15mm – more replacements for older sculpts, and something completely new (at least in 15mm) as well.

Firstly, this is the print of the new 15mm AmRep Kochte tank we showed off in CG form a little while back. It retains the same basic shape as the older model but the styling and detail is much, much improved.

KochtePreview

This is the new Curtiss heavy tank. The older version of the Curtiss was the very first 3D designed and printed model we released and we’ve given it a bit of an update with new styling on the turret, some lift-fan detailing on the skirt and just an overall better model. Several years of working with 3D prints has taught us quite a bit about designing and producing models this way, and the new Curtiss benefits from this.

CurtissPreview

Lastly (for now), we’re rounding out the AmRep with 15mm versions of the Baumann MICV and Oldmann light tank. Both are armed with turreted autocannons, while the Baumann has a missile strapped to one side of the turret. There is also an AA turret for the Baumann, and a multiple-missile turret that fits both hulls.

BaumannOldmannPreview

Look for the 15mm models to be released sometime in March with a bit of luck (we like to be flexible with our release dates). We don’t have a firm date for the 6mm vehicles just yet.

Blower Killer

Today’s new releases are additions to the popular 15mm PacFed range. The Angelshark was shown off late last year (we even sold a few pre-production models at Crisis and SELWG) but has been waiting for a suitable release window. The arrival of the Komodo heavy tank is a perfect opportunity to pair up the two models and release them together.

AngelKomodoRelease

The Angelshark is a one-man attack VTOL with chin turret and missile launchers in the wingtip engine pods. Perfect for fast attack pop-up missions.

SF15-704

The Komodo on the other hand is a true beast of a tank (see the photo below comparing it to the Cougar tank). With twin 14mm ECAP weapons, it throws out a prodigious amount of firepower.

KomodoCougarComparison

My first couple of Komodo models saw action against the Hammer’s Slammers a couple of weeks back in a Crucible game and proved themselves to be very potent against even uparmoured Blower tanks. You can find their stats on the Slammers’ website.

TAS Advance

SF15-702 – Komodo Heavy Grav Tank – £10.50
SF15-704 – Angelshark VTOL – £8.00
PP15-702 – Komodo Platoon Pack – £30.50

Back Again

Computer Error

We seem to have had a bit of a glitch overnight – this blog, the forums and the website front page, which are all PHP-driven, were throwing an ‘Internal Server Error’. The rest of the website was unaffected, but without the main page it probably looked like the whole thing was fried. However, everything seems to be back to normal, so carry on as you were…

In the meantime, here’s a picture of some tanks…

TAS Advance

The Sulewesi National Army

The latest of our 15mm models to be co-opted into the Hammer’s Slammers background by John Treadaway are the South African wheeled vehicles. They represent the National Army of Sulewesi, a Malaysian mining colony riven by civil war. John has paired the SAC tanks and APCs, our new EuroFed 4×4 and 6×6 utility vehicles and Ground Zero GamesColonial Defence Force figures to create a fully wheeled force (except for the scout troops on horseback !).

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I’d already started painting an SAC force when John told me about his plans for the Sulewesi, so I ordered a few extra infantry, added the scout cars and created a force of three 10-element detachments.

I decided to kit the vehicles out with plenty of accessories – crew in open hatches, lots of stowage including external fuel tanks and pintel machine guns. I created a command Rhino using aerials and a spare radome from a PacFed AA tank.

After undercoating, the models were airbrushed using Tamiya paints – Deck Tan with Nato Green stripes. They were then drybrushed overall using one of the new Citadel dry paints, Terminatus Stone.

It was at this point that the project stalled for a month as other things (notably our Christmas sale) took higher priority. I picked from where I’d left off in January by painting the details – crew, stowage, weapons, lights and vision blocks. The very tedious task of painting the 70+ wheels of the 14 vehicles was left until last to avoid scuffing the paint. Lights were painted with a simple jewel technique, highlighting the bottom and adding a white dot to the top corner, followed by by an ink wash.

Once painted, the next process is the Army Painter Strong Tone dip. In preparation I stuck all of the vehicles to scraps of foam card using PVA. These were glued to the bottom of the hull to lift the wheels off the ground, ensuring that the dip wouldn’t pool at the bottom of the wheels and stick them to the board. Turrets were removed and put on greaseproof paper, again to ensure they didn’t stick. The dip was applied using a brush and given 24 hours+ to set.

The final step with the vehicles was to airbrush a clear flat coat over the high-gloss dip – again this was Tamiya, XF-86 Flat Clear. My experience with Army Painter’s own spray can varnish isn’t good, it seems to react with their own dip on large flat areas and crazes.

So there we have it – four tanks, two 6×6 heavy APCs, four smaller 4×4 APCs and four scout cars.

The infantry were individually based on coins – one eurocent coins for single figures, 2p coins for heavy weapons and 1p coins for the cavalry. You could always use equivalent washers (15, 25 and 20mm respectively) if you can’t get hold of the right size coins . I painted up enough of our resin bases for the whole force so they could move as teams, including some base types that haven’t been released yet (but will be soon).

After undercoating with Halfords’ primer, the figures were basecoated in Tamiya Buff – to save time I managed to get hold of a spray can and did the whole lot at one go. I then came up with a very simple colour scheme that consisted of just five other colours per figure

  • green for the shoulder and thigh pads, helmet and backpack
  • dark grey for the weapons
  • dark brown for the boots
  • a lighter brown for the bedding roll under the backpack
  • a dark flesh for the face and hands (I used two shades for different troops for variety)

Bases were painted Tamiya Matt Earth and drybrushed with Terminatus Stone. This was then followed by a coat of Army Painter and a matt clear top coat (from the Army Painter spray can this time, as it works OK on smaller areas such as figures – work that one out !), with the final touch of some GW flock. The resin fireteam bases were painted to match.
 
Unfortunately I didn’t take any ‘in progress’ shots of the infantry, so here’s are a finished fireteam:


The force saw action at the weekend – so look out for (a lot of) photos of the Sulewesis on the table soon.

Light Tanks

We have four new 15mm vehicles available today, all tanks and on the lighter side.

LegionWarlockBaldurRelease

Firstly, there are the last two of Kirk and Zac’s Mercenary Brigade vehicles, the Legion Missile System and Warlock Support Tank. The Legion is equipped with a heavy, 18-round support missile pod for heavy indirect firepower, while the Warlock has a smaller turret with twin powerguns and two 9-round anti-tank missile pods. Both are mounted on the versatile Shaman chassis. Both turrets can also be fitted to the Turret Bunker installation.

The German Baldur is a much lighter recce tank with an asymmetric turret carrying an autocannon and 4 anti-tank missiles. A dedicated tank-hunter variant carries a second missile pod in place of the autocannon.

Platoon Packs are also available for the Legion, Warlock and Baldur tank. These have three tanks plus crew and accessories, all for less than the cost of the three individual tanks.

SF15-306 – Baldur Light Tank – £6.00
SF15-306a – Baldur Missile Tank – £6.00
SF15-1504 – Legion Missile System – £8.00
SF15-1505 – Warlock Support Tank – £8.00
SF15-1002q – Mercenary Turret Bunker – £9.00
PP15-306 – Baldur Platoon Pack – £17.00
PP15-1504 – Legion Platoon Pack – £23.00
PP15-1505 – Warlock Platoon Pack – £23.00

Legio Patria Nostra*

Besides its conventional land units equipped with Montsabert and Garibaldi hover tanks, the European Federation maintains a number of lighter units for rapid deployment to hot spots both on and off planet. These are typically elite units mounted in lighter wheeled vehicles which are easier to transport and maintain. One of the most famous is the Légion Étrangère (French Foreign Legion), but other countries within the Federation have their own crack units such as the Italian Bersaglieri, Spanish Legión Española and the Dynameis Katadromon of Greece.

LE-Catroux

The primary workhorse of these units is the 10-wheeled Catroux APC in its many variations. The basic APC carries the same turret as the Tassigny MICV variant, and in fact several turrets are common between the two vehicles including the AA and missile-carrier types. One type unique to the Catroux is the Armoured Gun System variant. This carries a heavy railgun in a remote mount controlled by the crew. The APC carries an 8-man squad, whereas the other variants generally have the seating removed to make room for equipment and ammunition.

LE-Utility

General liaison and observation duties are undertaken by the Musareigne, a small 2-seat 4×4. The cargo bed can carry small amounts of supplies or 2-3 troops, while larger loads are lifted by the Lievre, a six-wheeled version of the Musareigne.

LE-Javelot

The armed version of the Musareigne is known as the Javelot, which has a remote turret carrying either twin MGs, a 5-barrel gatling or twin Manta missile pod.

There are lots more photos of each vehicle on their respective pages on the website – click the codes below to go to these.

SF15-406 – Javelot Scout Car with twin MGs – £4.00
SF15-406a – Javelot Scout Car with Gatling – £4.00
SF15-406b – Javelot Scout Car with Twin Missiles – £4.00
SF15-406c – Musareigne Utility Vehicle – £4.00
SF15-408 – Catroux Wheeled APC – £8.00
SF15-408a – Catroux Missile Carrier – £8.00
SF15-408d – Catroux Armoured Gun System – £8.00
SF15-408e – Catroux AA Vehicle – £8.00
SF15-412 – Lievre Pick-up- £4.50

Markings on the vehicles are all from Dom’s Decals – 1/300th Italian aircraft roundels.

These are our final new releases of 2014. Find out why on Monday …

* – motto of the French Foreign Legion