Big Dragon

Although we still have a few new items lined up this year, we’re starting to look forward to releases for 2015.

Since their debut our Pacific Federation grav vehicles have been one of our more popular 15mm forces, so they are an obvious candidate for expansion. There are a number of 6mm vehicles waiting to be upscaled to 15mm, of which the largest is the Komodo heavy tank. I’ve pretty much done the 3D work for this and thought I’d preview it to whet your appetites. To keep down the cost (and weight !) the hull and skirt will be a one piece resin casting which will become our largest 15mm vehicle, just edging out the Sohei. The turret has gained a four-round point-defence missile launcher at the turret rear and the styling matches that of the existing PacFed vehicles. Release should be sometime in January next year.

Komodo-1

South African Support

Following up from last week’s South African release, we have new turret options for the two APC types released today. We have a support turret with a low velocity infantry gun that fires heavy HE or squash-head shells for clearing out enemy strongpoints. To keep the skies clear, there’s an AA turret with a single rapid-fire autocannon coupled with two twin Boomslang light AA missile launchers. The turrets fit both the Buffel and Wildebeest and all four versions are available from our website now.

SupportRelease

As well as these four new vehicle options, we also have a new, half-sized version of our cargo container available.

ContainerRelease

SF15-603c – Buffel Support – £8.25
SF15-603d – Buffel AA – £8.25
SF15-607a – Wildebeest Support – £8.75
SF15-607c – Wildebeest AA – £8.75
SF15-915 – Small Cargo Container – £1.75

All Washered Up

BasesHeader-2

You may remember a while ago I posted about some 15mm resin fireteam bases I made to suit figures based on coins (1 euro-cent and 2p UK coins in particular). We realise (and it has been pointed out to me many times) that, depending on your location, these coins aren’t necessarily easy to obtain – 1 cent coins can be hard to come by even for those living in the eurozone. To rectify this and make the bases more useful wherever you live, we now stock M8 (15mmØ) and 25mmØ penny washers which make excellent alternatives. The one downside of using washers is that the magnets, for which each base has built-in holes, don’t really work any more, but I guess you can’t have everything :-/

The bases have been moved to their own page on the website – I’ve also made some new formats which we’ll be adding to the page soon (as soon as the masters arrive and I make moulds !).

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A Sticky Lesson

In the last year or so we’ve increased our 15mm range by leaps and bounds, both vehicles and buildings. We’re now casting more and more pieces in resin and learning new lessons about the material, one of which I think it could be very handy to pass on.

B15-300

At the centre of our Salute stand was the 15mm colony base, a model with which I was extremely pleased. The display model was only finished in the last days leading up to the show. What’s not obvious from the photos is that the top surface of the building modules are a little shiny and somewhat sticky. I’d made the mistake of leaving the model in its box in direct sunlight for several hours and it had got a bit warm – the day was not all that hot, maybe low to mid 20s centrigrade, although the temperature in the corner where the colony base sat probably got into the 30s in the sunshine. This somehow affected the resin and made it ooze through the layers of primer, paint and varnish. The garage module, which I’d painted as a separate piece, suffered really badly, and the paint came off in one or two places when I touched it.

I’d also had a similar problem before when priming some advanced buildings – it was a chilly evening at the workshop so I used a small fan heater to help them dry. This ended up making them ‘sweat’ and some of the primer (Halford’s car primer, which usually sticks to anything) came off.

So the lesson is – don’t let your resin get hot! And especially don’t let resin items sit in direct sunlight for any length of time. They could end up sweating and oozing, even through multiple layers of paint and varnish.

E6912_240701_00_PP_300Wx300HThe situation isn’t necessarily fatal, though. In the case of the colony base I gave it a coat of undiluted PVA glue. This dries clear, if a little shiny, so it had to be revarnished, but it looks ok. Obviously the PVA is quite gloopy and is like putting a very thick coat of varnish on, but it did dry clear and, in the end, it’s better than having a sticky, ruined, unusable model. I used a PVA from a DIY store (Wickes) designed for mixing into plaster and also sealing dusty walls, it’s probably a slightly different formulation from the type you buy in hobby shops and so better suited to stopping seepage.

New 15mm South African Releases

After debuting at Crisis last week, the 15mm Hippo truck and Buffel APC are now on the website and available for purchase.

The Hippo is a six-wheeled flatbed load carrier capable of hauling very heavy loads across rough terrain. Although unarmed, a pintel weapon could be added to the cab hatch if required.

HippoRelease

SF15-608

The Buffel is a lighter, four-wheeled counterpart to the larger Wildebeest APC. It comes with a choice of top hatch with MG, light twin MG turret or triple light missile mount (the same turrets as the Wildebeest’s forward mount). Further more heavily-armed variants are on the way in the near future

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SF15-603

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SF15-603 – Buffel Light APC – £8.00
SF15-608 – Hippo Heavy Truck – £8.50

Slammed Again

About four months ago I put on a game of Hammer’s Slammers:The Crucible for Maidstone Wargames Society’s Open Day. At this distance the details are a little hazy now, but to be honest I don’t want to recall them too closely as I was handed my head on a plate by my opponent Dave Sime, who had never even played the rules before ! Although in my defence he was using the Slammers regiment, against whom it’s always hard to win (or, as I discovered, hard to even knock out one of their tanks !).

The game saw a large Slammers contingent (8 blower tanks, 8 combat cars, eight jeeps) taking on a combined Stewart Legion and Terran Authority Star Marine force which were defending a small communications base. Very early on I managed to knock out a blower (with, I think, a TAS Cougar grav tank) – this proved to be the high spot of my day. My Stewart power armour did tear some holes in the HS infantry for a while, and a bunch of Firefly combat drones caused consternation but no real casualties apart from a jeep, but that was about it. Several of Dave’s blower tanks had armament or mobility hits but I was just short of knocking them out each time and they’d soon be repaired and back on the battlefield.

So, without too much more dwelling on my comprehensive defeat, here are some photos …

(Slammers vehicles by Ainsty Castings, infantry and skimmers by GZG. TAS and Stewart vehicles and power armour by Brigade Models, TAS infantry and grav bikes again by GZG, Stewart infantry from Armies Army. Buildings and civilian vehicles by Brigade Models).

New for Crisis

Last post before I go off to Crisis (in fact I’ve already left, this is a timed post !). We have a number of new items at the show in several ranges, which I’ll quickly summarise below.

Phil sprang a surprise on me this week by turning up with some new Belgian figures for the Great War range. We have kneeling NCOs and buglers for all of the infantry types, including ones wearing a side cap (some infantry units wore side caps instead of Shakos early in the war). These are so new that there are no photos, you’ll just have to come and find us tomorrow.

GW28-1140 – Infantry NCO in Shako – £1.50
GW28-1141 – Infantry NCO in Side Cap – £1.50
GW28-1142 – Carabinier NCO – £1.50
GW28-1143 – Grenadier NCO – £1.50
GW28-1144 – Infantry Bugler in Shako – £1.50
GW28-1145 – Infantry Bugler in Side Cap – £1.50
GW28-1146 – Carabinier Bugler – £1.50
GW28-1147 – Grenadier Bugler – £1.50

In 15mm we have the South African Buffel light APC and Hippo truck which have moved into full production and should be on the website early next week. The Buffel is available with the option of a hatch and pintel weapon, light MG turret or missile turret. Support and AA versions should be following shortly. We also have a few pre-production Angelshark VTOLs (literally just a couple left) if you would like to get one before the full release.

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SF15-603 – Buffel Light APC – £8.00
SF15-608 – Hippo Heavy Truck – £8.50
SF15-704 – Angelshark VTOL – £8.00

You’ve already seen Bonn Station and the Atlantic Wall in 2mm, and these will all be available.

Bonn HBF

AW Release

SSS-8042 – Bonn Hauptbahnhof – £3.50
SSS-8043 – Atlantic Wall Set #1 – £6.00
SSS-8044 – Atlantic Wall Set #2 – £5.00
SSS-8045 – Grand Bunker – £0.50

Plus of course we have the new Aeronef released at the end of last week.

VAN-513

VAN-214 – Herring class Biplane Light Bomber (x6) – £1.25
VAN-417 – Ader class Monoplane Fighter (x6) – £1.25
VAN-513 – Oryol class Biplane Bomber (x3) – £1.00

See you tomorrow ! If you can’t make it, then any of these items that aren’t already on the website will be added in the next week or two.

Crisis Last Call

So it’s just a few days until Crisis. We’re still able to take pre-orders, you can place them up to the end of Wednesday and we’ll do our best to have them ready. Last year due to space restrictions we did not take individual stock of Aeronef, Spaceships or 6mm SF vehicles, and it will be a similar case this year. We should have a good selection of starter and army packs from each of these ranges, and we plan to have individual stock of the extremely popular British spaceships, but for anything else it would be best to get your orders to us in advance. We won’t be taking Land Ironclads or Iron Stars at all, historically they don’t sell well at Crisis, so again if you would like anything from those ranges then you’ll need to order in advance.

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We will be carrying full stocks, both individual models and packs, of our 15mm SF range, Celtos, the 2mm buildings, Magpie Miniatures, Great War Belgians and a good selection of dice and bases from the accessories range. We’ll also have our ranges of SF buildings in both 6mm and 15mm, plus everything we have left in our range of Shapeways 3D printed items (if you saw my post a while back about the very significant increase in Shapeways’ prices, you’ll realise that we won’t be getting new stocks of many of these items, so get them while you can). Having said all of that, I have a slightly larger car than last year so it might be possible to squeeze in more stock, in which case I’ll try and bring as much as possible.

Now we haven’t had quite so many new releases lately due to the show schedule, but there are a number of new bits and pieces that should be ready for Saturday. In 15mm we will have the South African Hippo truck and Buffel light APC, and as at SELWG I’m hoping to have a small number of Angelshark VTOLs. There will be several new sets in our Small Scale Scenery range, which we’ll preview later in the week – I just need to paint some samples (you can see one of them below). We will have the new Aeronef releases from last week, and maybe one or two more. We may not have huge stocks and we won’t take pre-orders on these new items, so get there early if you want to snap some up.

Bonn HBF

We will be unable to take credit cards at Crisis – our credit card reader only works in the UK, so it’s cash sales only (or if you have a mobile phone that allows you to do so, you can transfer money by PayPal).

cash_only

15mm Légion Étrangère

Another model making the move from 6mm to 15mm is the Catroux, wheeled APC of choice of the EuroFed Légion Étrangère. I’ve just completed the 3D modelling on the hull, wheels and the remote weapon system mount which you can see below. I might still do a bit of tweaking and add more details (in writing this post I’ve spotted a couple of changes I’d like to make). I’ve tried to retain the same detailing and style as existing EuroFed vehicles so the national resemblance is clear. Like its 6mm counterpart, it will be available with a number of other turrets from the Tassigny APC – MICV cannon turret, missile, and AA will all be available immediately, with a command variant and possibly engineering and ambulance later.

We’re hoping to release it later this year – we have already ordered prints for the wheels and the remote gun so that they can be cast in metal ahead of the resin hull.

Catroux CGI

Catroux CGI-2

Catroux CGI-3

Catroux Prints

No-new Release Friday

I’m afraid that the current sequence of shows has thrown our carefully crafted release schedule into a bit of a tail spin, and once again this week’s planned new items aren’t quite ready.

However, a package arrived from the 3D printers this morning, which is always exciting, so instead of something you can buy this week, I thought I’d show off some of the items you can buy in a few weeks (much shorter in some cases). So, with the usual apologies about the difficulty of photographing translucent white plastic, here we go…

First up, a follow on from the post earlier this week on the new Charlemagne battlecruisers – here they are in all their blurry, washed-out glory. The sharp-eyed will spot that one of the hulls has already lost a gun barrel, which are a bit fragile, and I’ll have to replace it before they go in a mould.

Charlemagne Prints

Next we’re onto 15mm items. This is the hull for the Buffel APC previewed a week or two back, the first print was flawed (= I cocked up) so this is the replacement. It’s carrying a support weapon turret which will be available as an option and also fits the Wildebeest. Sorry, this really isn’t a great photo but trust me, it looks good in the plastic. The Buffel and Hippo will be available very soon, they would already be out had I not sent the wrong hull model to the printers first time round.

Buffel Print

This little piece is a 15mm heavy weapons tripod, designed to carry the range of pintle weapons we came out with recently – the sample is posed with a tribarrel gatling. And before anyone asks the obvious question – yes, they will come with crew (in fact Martin is sculpting them as I type).

Heavy Weapon Tripod Prints

Lastly, some new spaceships. The British fleet has been selling as fast as we can churn them out, and we thought it was about time for an addition to the fleet. This is the Swiftsure pursuit cruiser (left), next to a Halifax light cruiser hull.

Swiftsure Prints

Last, but by no means least, as with the older Aeronef models we’re going to be doing a slow rolling replacement of worn out spaceship moulds with remastered models. This is the CDSI Shanzi class fighter carrier (minus the lower hull, which is going to be a resin piece) – the deck is two part but the join should be neatly hidden under the new, extended bridge section.

Shanzi Print