Poland has had a fraught time since the creation of the modern state (the Second Republic) at the end of the Great War. Acting as a buffer zone between Germany and the Soviet Union/Russia, it was invaded by both countries at the same time in 1939. It spent then the next fifty years either occupied or as a satellite communist state before gaining proper independence in 1989. Looking into the future, in the Iron Cow universe in which our science-fiction ranges are set, Poland still retains its border status between Germany and the rest of the Organisation of North European Sovereign States (ONESS) to the west, and the Neo-Soviet Union to the east.
Polish troops are forever on their guard and fight constant skirmishes with Soviet forces along the border. Some of these break out into larger battles but attract little attention in the rest of the world, such is their frequency. Beyond the odd abandoned border town changing hands, often several times, nothing much upsets the status quo. The Poles know that they are nowhere near strong enough to take the fight to the Soviets, who for their part are well aware that any escalation in the intensity of the conflict will bring the forces of Britain, Germany and the other ONESS states into action.
Appreciative of the role played by the Poles, Britain and Germany keep their armed forces well supplied and also provide weapons and technology. The main Polish tank, the Maczek, is a combination of the German Thor blower tank chassis with a Polish designed turret mounting the British L23 9.5cm railgun from the Apollo. Likewise, the Suwalski half-track APCs on which the infantry rely, while Polish-designed with indigenous engines and drive-train, mostly mount German-supplied turrets from the Lynx APC family. One or two Polish heavy armoured units have also been equipped with the Woden family of super-heavy blowers to tackle Soviet Mammont tanks.
We have a number of Polish infantry packs covering infantry, support weapons and heavy weapons. There is also an infantry platoon pack of 25 men and a second pack that includes three APCs along with the figures.
SF15-1301 – Maczek Hover Tank – £8.00
PP15-1301 – Maczek Platoon Pack- £23.00
SF15-1360 – Infantry Section (x6) – £2.25
SF15-1361 – Command Section (x7) – £2.75
SF15-1362 – LMG Gunners (x6) – £2.25
SF15-1363 – RPG Gunners (x6) – £2.25
SF15-1364 – HMG and Crew (x2) – £2.25
SF15-1365 – Light AT Weapon and Crew (x2) – £2.25
SF15-1370 – Infantry Platoon (x24) – £8.50
SF15-1371 – Mech Infantry Platoon with APCs – £30.00
The Polish figures were formerly part of the Armies Army range as the Russian Empire.
… which is why it’s taken a little bit longer to get all of our models into production. A combination of a failed temple mould (and a master destroyed trying to get it out of the mould !) and a leaky mould box (which is messy…) meant that a couple of models have been delayed slightly. The Pantheon mould has now been repaired and a replacement temple master has arrived, so it’s full steam ahead again. Below you can see the first casting of the Pantheon, the new master of the temple and, as a bonus, the diminutive Temple of Vesta, the reconstructed ruins of which are located in the forum in Rome.
In the same box which brought the new temple were some considerably bigger offerings. Our new 6mm Desert Dome buildings have been strong sellers since they were released, and we’ve had a number of comments along the lines of “I’d like to see these in 15mm”. Ever willing to please, I’ve scaled up the three smaller models as you can see below. These are the basic structures without doors, windows and details – as a guide to size, the mat they are on has a 1cm grid, and the taller tower is around 12cm high. Although I’ll start mould-making straight away, it’ll take a little while to get all three ready – I simply don’t have enough Lego to make mould boxes for all three at one go !
Painting moved on apace last week, so today we’ve added a further three packs of 15mm figures to the website, all special forces types.
The Neo-Soviets get a pack of eight Spetsnaz figures. As a change from painting green/khaki uniforms, I gave them blue coveralls for variety, and they wear full-face masks.
The British forces get two packs this week. This first is a set of five SAS troopers in gasmasks,one with an LMG.
The second pack are Royal Marines in hardsuits with augmented exo-skeleton. Three Marines have pulse rifles, one a gatling and the last some sort of energy weapon. These lovely figures are real gems that I hadn’t seen before until I started going through the Armies Army moulds.
SF15-163 – SAS (x5) – £2.00
SF15-164 – Royal Marines in Hardsuits (x5) – £5.00
SF15-1263 – Spetsnaz (x8) – £3.00
All being well, this week I’m hoping to paint up the AA Russian Empire figures, which we’ll be releasing as part of our Polish army.
This is the Shaman Firefly. The medium laser in the original Shaman has been replaced by a long-barrelled 22cm discarding sabot gun, with storage for the ammunition in the extended turret bustle. The roof-mounted support weapon has given way to additional sensors and a targeting system is fitted to the turret front.
Fireflies are in short supply and are generally spread individually amongst conventional Shaman units to provide extended range fire support.
If using the Firefly in Hammer’s Slammers:The Crucible, the vehicle has the same basic stats as the Shaman, but the 17cm laser is replaced by the same DS gun as the Sohei Tank Destroyer variant (Sh 1 FP 2/7) and the tank has no remote-turret HSW. I’d estimate points at around 125, but that’s not official!
The Shaman Turret also becomes a further option for the Turret Bunker.
The Rosomakha (wolf) is a multi-purpose Neo-Soviet light tank, fitted with a tri-barrel gatling autocannon or a heavier conventional main gun. In heavy armoured divisions they are used in a scout role alongside Laska tankettes to give extra punch to reconnaissance companies. Fast brigades on the other hand use them as their primary battle tank, having battalions formed entirely of Rosomakhi with a mix of gatling and cannons.
SF15-1204 – Rosomakha – £6.00
SF15-1501a – Shaman Firefly – £8.00
The latest 15mm figures to hit the website are this pack of British infantry. This is a 10-man squad split into two fireteams, each with an NCO, support weapon and three riflemen.
SF15-160 – British Infantry Squad – £3.75
These figures were formerly part of the Armies Army Commonwealth range.
The reason for the slow pace with which we’re adding figures to the website is that we want painted versions of each pack to photograph, and the painting takes time … If there are any particular figures from the Armies Army ranges that you’d like that haven’t reached the website yet, please ask – we have all the moulds so we can produce them.
We had a productive day at the workshop yesterday, stocking up on the last few bits and pieces for Broadside tomorrow. In particular, we were concentrating on producing plenty of the former Armies Army figures that we now own. As well as the models we’ve already added to the website (the Penal Troopers, Chinese PLA, Yenpalo aliens and South African infantry) we did some of the other packs. After our efforts, we will also have stock of some RUSK Guards (infantry, support weapons, HQ and Spetsnaz) and British special forces (SAS and marines in hardsuits (below)). These may not be on display on the stand, we don’t have painted versions of all of them yet, but we will have them with us so please ask.
We steadily working on adding all of the figures to our website – the main stumbling block is that we want painted versions of each pack to photograph, and the painting takes time … If there are any particular figures from the ranges that you’d like that haven’t reached the website yet, please ask – we have all the moulds so we can produce them.
Yet more 15mm figures today (we’re adding them to the website as fast as I can paint them !).
These are Chinese (CDSU) troopers in helmets with enhanced night vision goggles (ENVG). The rifle squad consists of two four-man fireteams with rifles. The PLA (People’s Liberation Army) doesn’t have squad-level support troopers – instead, each team has a remote support drone with a gatling automatic weapon for heavy firepower.
Separate support squads are equipped with heavy automatic weapons and missile launchers – our pack has three of the former and two of the latter.
More Chinese infantry packs are to follow with headquarters and heavy support weapons.
SF15-560 – PLA Rifle Squad (pack of 10) – £3.75
SF15-561 – PLA Support Weapons (pack of 5) – £2.00
These figures were formerly part of the Armies Army PLA range.
We have something a bit different today. These are EuroFed remote weapons mounts, fixed autonomous systems that can be set up and left to rely on their AI to select and engage targets (although the AI isn’t always as discriminating between friend and foe as it should be …). Perfect for defending a perimeter, they’re often used by rapid reaction forces to create a defensive line when air-dropped or orbitally inserted. Four variations exists – a twin-MG, 5-barrel gatling, twin AT missile or 9-tube salvo missile.
They are known as Asterie (starfish) in the EuroFed forces because of their five-legged base, with the larger salvo missile version known as the Oursin de Feu (Fire Urchin) after the spined sea creature.
SF15-413 – Asterie Gun Mount – £1.25
SF15-413a – Asterie Gatling Mount – £1.25
SF15-413b – Asterie Missile Mount – £1.25
SF15-413c – Oursin Salvo Missile Launcher – £1.50
Joining our South African 15mm army this week are these infantry in bush hats – perfect for operations on the plains of southern Africa. The 10-man squad consists of two five-man fireteams each consisting of a squad leader, three riflemen and a support weapon.
SF15-660 – Rifle Squad in Bush Hats – £3.75
These figures were formerly part of the Armies Army Commonwealth range.
As mankind expanded beyond the solar system, if other civilisations were out there then one day we were going to make contact. Inevitably, given the vastness of the galaxy, it turned out that we weren’t alone after all. One of the first races encountered, the Yenpalo, are an aggressive, vaguely reptilian humanoid species. A number of combats have occurred between Yenpalo spaceships and human fleets around disputed systems, but ground combats have so far been fewer and confined to small-scale skirmishes. Reports of these actions speak of fully-armoured troops equipped with energy weapons and some form of personal particle shielding that seems to be effective against normal slug-throwing weapons.
The infantry set has ten figures – two five-man (alien?) sections, each with one squad leader, two riflealiens, a support weapon and a close combat specialist with pistol and energy shield. The support weapons pack has a shoulder launched anti-tank weapon, three assorted heavy weapons and another shielded figure.
The shields are printed on clear plastic. They need to be cut out and stuck on with clear glue after the figures are painted.
SF15-1101 – Yenpalo Infantry Squad – £3.75
SF15-1103 – Yenpalo Support Weapons – £2.00
These figures were formally part of the Armies Army range as the ‘Enemy Unknown’.