We have some very exciting news to announce today. As followers of our Facebook page may already know, we’ve agreed with Ainsty Castings to take over ownership and production of the Hammer’s Slammers range of 15mm vehicles, based on David Drake’s series of SF combat stories. This includes both the Slammers’ own vehicles plus the ones of other forces such as the Thunderbolt half-tracks and Broglie’s Legion blower vehicles, along with decals and other accessories.
This brings both the 6mm and 15mm Hammer’s Slammers ranges under our roof now, and of course many of our existing models already feature in the Slammer’s universe in other mercenary forces.
We’ve already been talking to John Treadaway, one of the authors of The Crucible, the official Hammer’s Slammers ruleset, about further development of the range including additional vehicles for the Slammers themselves and more opposition forces. This will include many of the vehicles that are mentioned in the rulebook but which have never been available in 15mm or 6mm. The first of these should start appearing in the first quarter of 2018.
In the meantime, we’re hoping to start production of at least part of the range within a couple of weeks – our target is to have at least some stock available at Crisis next weekend.
Last weekend I finally managed to try out Rogue Stars, Osprey Publishing’s SF skirmish ruleset (well, they’re a sort of RPG-lite with squads of five characters who can progress between missions). I played a couple of games with fellow members of Maidstone Wargames Society using various 15mm figures (the rules are intended for 28mm but we kept the same distances and ranges but just used smaller figures and scenery).
I managed to find time to make a new piece of scenery for the game – a fast food restaurant built from one of our Advanced Buildings. I used a piece of 3mm acrylic sheet as the base (I have a distrust of plywood, MDF and hardboard as they all seem to warp when painted) – I found a load of largish scrap pieces in a skip near the workshop a while back, offcuts left there by one of the other businesses on the farm where we’re based. This was cut to shape then the surface sanded to provide a key for painting. I had a self-adhesive model railway car park (from a German company called Busch) which I stuck on the acrylic to make a customer parking area, put an offcut of roadway at one end for the entrance and then textured the edges using brown acrylic caulk and sand. The building was painted in the red and white colours of the fast food establishment, and I added an awning over the door made from the splinter screen of a Mantra combat car supported by two of the triangular girder structures from our 2mm Airship Shed. The cunning part was the restaurant’s name and logo, which came from a very old branded plastic coffee stirrer which I’d been hoarding for just such a purpose since the early 1990s! Sadly, although I thought I had several of these I could only find the one.
I used our 15mm Street Furniture set to provide entrance billboards, flower planters around the car park, an automated order point and several sets of seating. The tables were made from scribed plastic card supported by the legs of the aforementioned Mantra’s splinter screen. Two large rubbish bins came from our Skips and Bins set (one blue for normal rubbish, and a green one for recyclables).
The finishing touches were provided by assorted flock and vegetation (Games Workshop and Woodland Scenics) and some signs and posters printed off onto sticky labels.
I always like to leave something new while I’m on holiday and, as mentioned last week, today we’re releasing the 15mm version of our new Neo-Soviet BMP-BM. This is a large APC based on the Bars tank chassis but with a new superstructure with space for six Guards riflemen.
The model is a 3-piece resin casting (hull and two track units) with seven metal pieces – two-piece front hatch, driver’s hatch, two rear escape hatches, turret base and gun mounting.
I’ve recently been putting together a small force of our new Neo-Soviet tanks (and some of the older ones as well). Up ’til now I’ve only been able to paint a sample of each model for the website and display stand, so I was looking forward to assembling a larger army and getting them on table.
Altogether I’ve started with a dozen vehicles (you might spot more than that in the photos – I painted two extra assault guns to use on the stand at the same time). My force consists of three Bars tanks, two Vombats, two Terminators, one each of the new assault guns and a recce section of one Rosomakha and two Laska tankettes.
I’ve based the camouflage scheme on the sample models I painted before Salute, using the excellent Anarchy Models airbrush stencils, but with a slight difference. Whereas my first models had a three colour scheme with two layers of stencils, the main force was painted with a two-colour grey-green utilising the Mini Digi Camo sheet (basically lots of tiny squares arranged in random patterns). This was simply to save time, as two layers of stencils on a dozen vehicles would have taken ages.
I won’t go through the full step-by-step process this time – you can read my previous article for that. However, as a quick summary, the process was:
Spray with grey automotive primer (Halfords)
Drybrush primer light grey
Airbrush Vallejo Russian green over entire vehicle
Drybrush whole vehicle light green
Remove stencils (be thorough here – it’s easy to lose some of the stencils)
Touch up any areas where the stencils have pulled up the primer or green has leaked under the stencils with a small brush
We’ve had this new version of the Yenpalo Xarledi tank ready for some time, but just haven’t got round to releasing it – originally I just hadn’t had time to paint one, but then I finally managed to get that done. It was then supposed to have been rolled in with last week’s release of the Neo-Soviet tank hunters, but again was somehow missed off (the vehicle got onto the website, but news of it was missed from the blog post). I blame this damn summer cold I’m suffering from…
Anyway, it’s a support version of the Xarledi grav tank, armed with a short barrelled fusion cannon in place of the mass driver. It’s available now from the website (and in fact has been since last Friday !).
The Neo-Soviet Union armed forces are continuing the rollout of their new series of heavy armoured vehicles. The ISU-135 Mech and and ISU-175 Volk are the latest generation Tank Hunter and Assault Gun respectively. Based on the common Bars chassis, both feature the same fixed superstructure but carry different weapons – the Mech a 135mm long-barrelled DS gun, the Volk a massive 175mm low-velocity howitzer for clearing fortifications and strongpoints.
Both have a choice of secondary weapon – tri-barrel gatling, twin missile launcher or long-range sensor pod.
Also available is a 5-piece armour kit to upgrade vehicles from the Bars/Vombat/Terminator/Mech/Volk family. Includes sideskirts (fit any vehicle), bow armour plate (fits any tank) and two turret cheek armour pieces (Vombat or Bars).
It’s the new garage module for our Research Station set. Yes, we know, the Research Station already has a garage block, but that’s a smaller twin-bay affair with room for light vehicles only. This new model is a bigger building with space for larger ATVs and explorer vehicles, along with an attached side building for storage or admin.
The most popular of our new releases at Salute were the 15mm tanks – the Neo-Soviet Terminator (and the Vombat and Bars, both released not long before) and the Yenpalo Xarledi grav tank (I think the Terminator outsold the Xarledi by one model – there was very little left of the big pile of hulls I’d cast up before the show). The Yenpalo went onto the website a couple of weeks ago, and today it’s the turn of the Neo-Soviet assault tank.
The Terminator is a heavy assault vehicle armed with two tri-barrel gatlings and four missile tubes. It also has a compartment in the rear for four Guards infantry, allowing it to transport them right up to the front line under cover.
The model has a three-part resin body (hull plus tracks) with metal turret and hatches.
Today sees the first of our Salute releases hit the website. The new 15mm Yenpalo Xarledi grav tank is now available, along with the support railgun and mortar teams.
The Xarledi is a very alien-looking heavy grav tank with remote mass-driver turret and two twin railgun mounts on either side. It has a resin turret and one-piece hull with metal guns and other fittings.
The support weapons come in packs of two teams, each with a 2-man crew and 2-piece weapon.
There’s a bit of an alien theme pervading our Salute SF releases this year – we’ve already previewed our first 6mm Yenpalo models and then followed them up with some nifty 15mm support weapons. Well, having made the 6mm tank, did you really think we wouldn’t make a 15mm version ? And now it has a name as well – the ‘Xarledi’.
It has a resin hull and turret with metal main and secondary guns, hatch, steering vanes and rear plate. The base isn’t included – it’s simply a 50mm round plastic figure base with the post from one of our flying stands fixed in the centre, then textured and painted.
Once again I have to credit Anarchy Models for their stencils, this time a hex pattern, without which I wouldn’t have been able to create the colour scheme.
SF15-1110 – Xarledi Grav Tank – £9.00
I have noticed that some of our photos of the new stuff are a bit ropey. Time seems to be running away fast at the moment, so most have been taken on my phone and aren’t up to our usual standard – I’ll have to go back and take better ones with the camera as soon as time permits.