Tiny Stewarts

My next Crucible detachment is the third that replicates a 15mm force – this time the Stewart Regiment. These use a combination of our British Apollo tanks and Artemis APCs, along with some co-opted Soviet Kunitsa tracked APCs (one with a mortar). What makes them slightly unusual is the addition of two Tyche towed anti-tank guns. We don’t make this model in 6mm, so instead I used two EuroFed CAC-41 guns.

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The colour scheme in this case is very simple – after priming (in white this time), they were airbrushed with Vallejo desert sand, drybrushed with GW Terminatus Stone and washed with GW Sepia. I couldn’t find any suitable decals (the 15mm variants have Saltires as unit markings) so I hand-painted markings on one or two vehicles.

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A quick word about primers. I always use Halfords automotive primer in one of its various colours (Red Oxide, grey or white) depending on the colour that’s going over the top of it. There are a number of spray paints aimed specifically at the wargaming/modelling market that purport to be coloured primers and can be supposedly be used straight onto bare models. This may be true on plastics, but in my experience using these on unprimed metal or resin doesn’t always work. On the occasions when I’ve tried this, the result has been paint that either rubs off easily with minimal handling, or in the worst case simply blistered and peeled off a set of metal Land Ironclads. So I always use a proper primer paint designed specifically for the purpose, and Halfords’ is the best that I’ve found. I realise this isn’t much help if you don’t live in the UK and can’t get hold of it, but the principle still applies, and wherever you live there should be an equivalent. It’s worth spending the money to buy a decent quality primer – Halfords is a bit more expensive (£8 for a large can, although that can holds twice as much paint as a normal spray can) but will spray 100+ models so compared to the money you’ve already spent on the models, the investment isn’t that steep.

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Tiny Yeomanry

Following on from the TAS, my second 6mm Crucible Detachment is the West Riding Yeomanry. They match my equivalent 15mm force, with four Montsabert hover tanks and three Tassigny APCs (one an AA variant) each carrying an infantry element for a total of 10 TUs (although all of the Montsaberts are gun tanks since there’s no 6mm version of the gatling variant).

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The models were primed with Halfords’ grey automotive primer, which was used as the base colour. Green and brown camouflage patches were airbrushed on, then the vehicles were highlighted and shaded with a combination of drybrushing and washes.

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The infantry on the other hand were primed with Red Oxide primer which again served as the base colour, then drybrushed and washed with brown before details were painted in. The three infantry TUs are all of different types – one normal rifle section, one support and one anti-tank. Although I used the appropriate figures for each type (rocket launcher figures in the AT section for example), to make identification on the battlefield easier without a microscope I’ve adopted a system of coloured dots on the rear edges of the infantry bases. Normal rifle sections are green, anti-tank sections red and support blue.

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Micro Slammers – the TAS

If you’re an SF gamer, you’re probably aware that a number of our 15mm models have been adopted as various mercenary forces in the Hammer’s Slammers universe for The Crucible ruleset. Since many of our models are also available in 6mm, it follows that it’s possible to recreate many of the detachments in the smaller scale as well.

Lately I’ve been having a bit of fun painting up some 6mm forces to use in The Crucible. Detachments tend to be quite small, generally 8-12 elements or Tactical Units (known as TUs – generally a vehicle or infantry section) so they’re very quick to put together.

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The first finished detachment also happens to be the first I painted in 15mm as well – a unit of Terran Authority Starmarines (TAS). Because the TAS are an elite unit, detachments are only 8 TUs (smaller units are easier to control). It consists of two Wombat APCs each carrying an infantry TU, two Ocelot light tanks and two heavier tanks – I’ve painted two extra elements so that I have some flexibility and can choose between Cougar or Komodo tanks.

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Painting was pretty straightforward – after priming, they were airbrushed with two-tone blue camouflage stripes using Vallejo Air paints. After a quick drybrush, they were then washed with a GW blue wash, and the last little bit was to pick out some details on the skirts in bronze and gold. The infantry were based on coins which were then textured with PVA and sand. I washed black ink straight over the grey primer, then picked out the helmets in blue and the weapons in black. Finally the bases were painted brown and drybrushed pale stone, and finished with flock after varnishing.

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Keep an eye out for more Crucible detachments during the week.

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Sheds and Widgets

We’re currently finishing off the last bits of casting for the Imperial Skies pledges this week, along with casting up the several hundreds of buildings required for our part in the Age of Tyrants Kickstarter project – and all this alongside our normal daily orders from the website. In between we’ve still managed a new release this week, this time in 15mm.

The first item is a small outbuilding for our Advanced Buildings range – useful as a shed, utility hut, storage facility etc.

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The second item is a set of five useful ‘widgets’ (we couldn’t think of a better name) in the Desert Buildings range. There’s a control console, a unit with two A/C fans, a conical beacon thingy and a couple of other useful bits. All great for adding an extra level of detail to your buildings.

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B15-210 – Small Utility Building – £4.00
B15-139 – Building Detail Widgets – £3.00

Town planning

Since I was quite happy with the results of my test desert building I decided to take Tony up on his challenge of making a town comprising of ten bases in a similar style. I’ve not finished them yet but thought I’d offer a peek of the current progress. The first five are upto the point where they are ready for painting with a few more still at the cutting and glueing stage. Must admit that I find the cutting and glueing more fun than the painting as it feels much more creative.

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I’ve stuck to my original plan of where I can only using items from our own ranges. I’m trying to work bits from each of our ranges into the models. I’m probably most happy with a fence made up of solar panels from an Iron Stars battleship. Not quite sure at the moment though how I’ll manage to work a 28mm fantasy figure into a 15mm Sci-fi town!

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Since these pictures were taken the buildings have been undercoated and given a base coat so hopefully I’ll have the finished items to show off fairly soon. Obviously “fairly soon” could actually mean several months…..

New 15mm Releases

Some houses in the desert wastelands are built up on high plinths to keep them safe from predators – this is one such design, accessed by a single stairway to a raised platform. This new 15mm building is available today.

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I’ve also been tinkering with some of our recent releases, combining them with other parts to see what I could come up with. In particular, the new Fasolini tracked gun units have all sorts of possibilities. I’ve added a missile launcher and radar dish to the tracked base to create mobile anti-tank and comms systems, as well as a 5-barrel gatling weapon, known as the Lucane (Stag Beetle) family. I’ve also put the single-barrel gun on a ground mount to create a light AA gun (the quad gun was unfortunately a bit too big to fit the base and overbalances). These are listed under the EuroFed.

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B15-130 – Plinth Dwelling – £10.00
SF15-416b – Lucane Tracked Missile System – £4.00
SF15-416c – Lucane Tracked Radar Unit – £3.75
SF15-416d – Lucane Tracked Gatling – £3.75
SF15-416e – Ground-mount AA Gun – £3.75

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One of the most popular 15mm building sets we’ve come out with has been the Research Base. Possibly because it’s a very versatile design that will stand in as a military barracks, PoW or prison camp or general purpose civilian huts. Today we have a new addition to the base, a double hut connected by a central corridor – in other words, an H-Block. In its original guise as a cold weather research base it means that the occupants can move from hut to hut without stepping outside in the cold, which has to be a good thing !

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B15-505 – H-Block – £10.00

Neo-Soviet Conscripts

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As mentioned before Salute, our 15mm Neo-Soviet forces are gaining several new packs of conscript infantry. There are four packs altogether – infantry (9 figures – six riflemen, squad leader, rocket launcher and LMG), support weapons (8 figures – 2-man missile squad, two 2-man gatling teams, plasma gun and sniper) and command (6 figures including a splendidly-hatted Kommissar and a comms specialist with satellite backpack). The final pack is a 32-man platoon which consists of two infantry and one of each of the other packs.

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SF15-1264 – Conscript Infantry (x9) – £3.50
SF15-1265 – Conscript Support Weapons (x8) – £3.00
SF15-1266 – Conscript Command (x6) – £2.25
SF15-1270 – Conscript Rifle Platoon – £11.00

Sculpted by Martin Baker, these figures were originally owned by ArmiesArmy.

Iron Fist

Following hard on the heels of Friday’s new 15mm Fasolini figures, we stay in the same scale but get a bit heavier in terms of hardware today.

Most powerful of all is the Henschel Pz266 Eisenfaust (Iron Fist) laser tank, a large blower tank equipped with a heavy turreted laser and a secondary autocannon in a ball mount on the glacis plate. It’s protected by a sandwich of sapphire and alloy armour, with an explosive close-in defence belt around the hull.

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Much bigger and bulkier is the Schützenpanzer Pz441 platoon carrier, also manufactured by Henschel. Known as the Kastenwagen (Box Van) by the troops that use it, the Pz441 carries a full platoon of 24 infantry in its capacious rear compartment. Access is via two large side doors which drop down to form ramps and allow the infantry to disembark very rapidly (possibly because they would be sitting ducks if they remained in the now open troop compartment !). Armament consists of the same autocannon as the Eisenfaust, mounted on the roof of the driver’s cab.

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Our final model for today is the Gamelin wheeled tank used by EuroFed rapid reaction forces to provide armoured support to the lighter Catroux AFVs. Armour is lighter than a conventional tank, but it still packs a hefty punch.

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HS15-311 – Henschel Pz266 ‘Eisenfaust’ Laser Tank – £10.00
HS15-312 – Henschel Pz441 ‘Kastenwagen’ Platoon APC – £9.00
SF15-407 – Gamelin Wheeled Tank – £8.00

Back to Normal

After the rigours of Salute, we’ve had a relatively relaxed week – the workshop has been restored to some semblance of organisation (as much as it ever is !), all outstanding orders have been shipped out and the backlog of emails and other missives dealt with.

Today we’re adding the first of the Salute releases to the website. These are the Fasolini models and figures to make up another Hammer’s Slammers-themed force. There are two complete detachment packs that match the lists on the HS website, two tracked guns and six packs of figures.

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HS15-401 – Fasolini Company Detachment – £43.00
HS15-402 – Fasolini Support Detachment – £24.00
HS15-416 – Oto Melara Single Autocannon – £5.00
HS15-416a – Oto Melara Quad Autocannon -£5.00
HS15-460 – Fasolini Infantry (x8) – £3.00
HS15-461 – Fasolini Rocket launchers (x4) – £1.50
HS15-462 – Fasolini Command (x4) – £1.50
HS15-463 – Fasolini MG teams (x2) – £3.00
HS15-464 – Fasolini Mortar Teams (x2) – £2.25
HS15-465 – Fasolini Gun Crew (x6) – £2.25

More new items will follow over the next couple of weeks including further 15mm releases (vehicles and figures), the 2mm warehouses and 6mm buildings.