The Kirin (or Qilin) is a mythical creature known in Chinese, Japanese and other far-eastern cultures as an omen of prosperity or serenity. It’s also the name given to our latest new 15mm release, the Kirin Combat Walker. Designed by Kirk Alderfer with input from Zac Braham, the same pairing that created our range of Mercenary vehicles, it’s a one-man bipedal walker with a fearsome array of weaponry. The two arm mounts carry either a 25-cm laser, 2-cm Gatling or 15mm twin powergun, the same weapons as fitted to the Sohei heavy tank. A twin heavy support weapon turret is mounted under the chin, while the shoulders both carry 9-round Manta missile pods (one of these can optionally be exchanged for a long-range sensor pod, most often seen in command suits).
The model consists of 17 parts, one resin and the rest lead-free pewter –
Two shoulder mounts
Two weapon mounts
Two main weapons
One chin turret
Two shoulder missile pods
One sensor pod
One shoulder mount blank
One hatch cover
There are two variants of each leg with different angles of extension – each model is supplied with a random pair of legs. The main weapons are all interchangeable and you can select which type each model is supplied with. Extra pairs of weapons are available separately. Either of the shoulder missile pods can be swapped for a sensor pod, and there is also a blanking plate for the other missile pod if you wish to remove it. A platoon pack is available with three Kirins – you can choose all of one weapon type, or one of each weapon – which also includes three helmeted crewmen.
Assembly of the models is reasonably straightforward – although I’d recommend patience, putting them together one piece at a time and making sure the glue on each joint has set before moving on to the next piece. Ideally the legs and feet should be pinned together when assembling the model for greater strength, and you may find it a good idea to pin the hips and shoulders to the body as well.
SELWG is now just four days away, and we’re in the process of topping up our stocks again after Blast-tastic!. This is your absolute last and final chance to get in a pre-order – we need them by the close of business today (Wednesday) if we’re to have a chance to get them packed in time. Either e-mail us or order from the website using the Collect in Person shipping option.
As mentioned last week (if you read that far down the post, and I don’t think too many people did) we will have our new 15mm Kirin Combat Walker for sale on the day.
Along with this we should have the full array of our other ranges, both recent releases and older models.
As mentioned earlier in the week, we have a number of new 15mm SF models that we’ll be taking to Blast-tastic! tomorrow, and some of these are hitting the website today.
The Blaireau (Badger) and Belette (Weasel) are French-made 6×6 utility vehicles that are used for liaison, scout, troop-carrying, casevac, ELINT and any number of other purposes. They are from the same family as our existing Javelot and Lievre vehicles and share a common chassis and drive train.
The main difference is that while the Blaireau is an unarmed utility vehicle, the Belette has a turret ring fitted with a remote mount that can carry either twin MGs, a 5-barrel gatling or a twin Mantra missile pod – or in the case of the Martre (Marten) variant, a radar dish. So now you really can be ‘KBB’ (see below for the KBB reference from ‘Big Bang Theory’).
In addition to these, we also have a version of the Tassigny APC fitted with a radar instead of a turret, and also a radar dish on the Asterie remote base.
I’ve been busy casting resin stock for Blast-tastic! on Saturday, and it looks like we’re going to be able to bring along some as-yet unreleased models for sale on the day. I’ve managed to produce enough stock of several new models – the South African Ratel medium wheeled tank and Oliphant SP gun, support and anti-tank gun versions of the Polish Suwalska half-track and new variants of the EuroFed 4×4/6×6 wheeled utility vehicles, the Blaireau and Belette (these latter two will probably be on the website at the end of the week anyway). We won’t have a huge amount of stock, but then the 15mm range is now so big that we’re only able to carry 4-5 of any one vehicle to a show.
As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve also cast up stock of the former ArmiesArmy RUSK infantry to bring with us (although they aren’t yet on the website) and I’m also optimistic that we’ll get have of the Tolero and Yeti alien figures (I’ve managed to sort the moulds so they cast reliably, I just need to churn out a few).
And finally, we should also have something big, 15mm and stompy for you too…
Kostrad is the strategic reserve formation of the Indonesian army, typically receiving the best troops and equipment. Today our 15mm Indonesians receive the first deliveries of a new series of grav vehicles, matching the 6mm versions that came out some time ago.
Heavy armoured firepower comes in the form of the Suharto and Anjalika MBTs. Very similar in design, the Anjalika has a modified turret with a more powerful main gun. Usually one Anjalika is allocated to each platoon, but in some formations they are concentrated into separate heavy platoons.
The infantry ride in Sugama APCs. These are large battle taxis, armed only with a heavy 14.5mm gauss gun in a remote roof mount.
Bhima grav armoured cars perform the reconnaissance function, but carry sufficient firepower to act as tanks in light armoured units.
The final vehicle in this release is the Kijang grav truck. Armoured to APC standards and equipped with the same weapon as the Sugama, the Kijang provides logistic support right up to the front line, and some territorial formations use them as infantry carriers.
The 6mm Desert Dome buildings released at Salute seem to have struck a chord with many gamers, so it was inevitable that we’d want to follow up with some more. I did a little bit of tinkering with my 3D design software to come up with five new buildings of various types, and the prints of these turned up earlier this week. I haven’t yet had time to fit them with doors and windows but you get the idea I’m sure. I’m hoping to be able to cast the large multi-dome one in the foreground in one piece.
I’ve also been working at new 15mm vehicles – this is the Ratel medium tank for our South African force, scaled up from the 6mm original but with a heap of extra detail.
And lastly, here’s another new 15mm building – an upscale of the 6mm Plinth Dwelling. Which seems currently to be in use as a Chinese command post…
John Treadaway made an excellent job of painting his Stewart forces when he added them to the Hammer’s Slammers website last year. I was lucky enough to see them close-up earlier this year in a game at Maidstone (albeit from the wrong end of their gun barrels !) and was struck by the extra mile he goes with the addition of stowage and crew figures to his vehicles.
Suitably inspired, I decided that I wanted a Stewart detachment of my own, so set about putting one together. I also wanted to use the new Glengarry-hatted infantry, which weren’t available when John was assembling his forces.
I started by cleaning the resin castings in soap and water and letting them dry. I then assembled the vehicles, which for the most part is straightforward – the Apollos and Artemis only have the hatches to glue on, some of which I left open for crew figures which were superglued straight in. One of the tanks got a radar antenna on the rear of the turret – there’s a circular detail piece behind the left hatch, which I drilled out with a 2mm bit and fitted the radar in there. Both tanks had external fuel drums glued to the hull rear (a bit fiddly, use gel super glue for this) and jerricans plus the odd storage box were glued onto the hulls and turrets.
The Kunitsas take a bit more work, with the tracks, hatches and turrets all needing to be attached. I glued all of the rear hatches closed, but left two of the top hatches open. The mortar carrier’s hatches were glued upright and I added an infantry figure with binoculars after cutting him off at the waist with clippers. The second hatch was completely opened, and three riflemen were cut off and glued in the hatch (word to the wise – in future I think I’d paint these figures separately and glue them in after painting, as doing so in the confines of the vehicles was fiddly).
The infantry were cleaned up then glued to washers (I used thin plasticard to cover the holes in the washers). The gun crew weren’t based, but were stuck to a coffee stirrer for painting. The figures on washers were textured using PVA glue and sand to decorate the bases. You have two options for basing – using the washers allows the figures to be put in the sabot fireteam bases for games that require infantry to based in teams, but still allowing them to be used individually for skirmish games. Alternatively, the figures can be stuck straight into the resin fireteam bases and attached permanently.
Once all the glue was dry, everything – vehicles and figures – was undercoated in Halfords white automotive primer. This is a bit more expensive than some primers but a) the can is a lot bigger so you get more for your money and b) it sticks to anything – metal, resin, plastic – to give a good key for the main paint job. Once this had dried, the infantry were sprayed with Plastic Soldier Company Russian Uniform, while the vehicles were airbrushed with Vallejo Sand Yellow.
The vehicles were then pretty straightforward to finish. They were first drybrushed overall with Citadel Terminatus Stone (one of their ‘dry’ paints). Hover skirts were painted dark grey and drybrushed light grey, tracks were painted red-brown and drybrushed lightly with silver. The hatch interiors were painted very light grey, stowage in various shades of green, brown and grey and some parts of the gun barrels in gunmetal drybrushed with silver. The tank crew were given black coveralls and dark red berets, while the infantry in hatches were brush painted the same way as those on foot.
The next step was to brush on a coat of Army Painter Strong Tone (from the large tin, not the dropper bottle). This is messy, so I put the models on greaseproof paper and left them in a shed to dry which takes 24 hours or so (don’t leave them indoors if you can help it, the stuff stinks and, trust me, you will get complaints…).
Once set, I added some Scottish Saltire decals which I sourced from eBay – these go on fine straight over the shiny Army Painter finish. Then the last task is to give them a clear flat coat – I use Tamiya XF-86 airbrushed on. This is an acrylic varnish so won’t react with the dip. The only time I tried Army Painter’s own clear coat in a spray can, it crazed horribly, so you have been warned…
The resin figure bases were sprayed black and then the tops painted in Tamiya Flat Earth drybrushed in a pale sand colour. The sides were painted in Tamiya Flat Brown. With the two ant-tank gun bases, I used a cutting tool in a dremel to make some indentations in the bases for the gun crew (do this outside and wear a face mask – you do not want to breathe in the resin dust). The previously sprayed crew figures were superglued in and PVA glue and sand used to cover round the hole.
I try to keep the colour schemes on 15mm figures simple, just so I can get them painted in a sensible time. For these figures the steps were
Pouches, water bottle, packs in Citadel Kommando Khaki
Guns in dark grey, highlighted light grey
faces and hands in Citadel Elf Flesh
boots in Tamiya Rubber Black
Glengarries painted flat black. The band around the bonnet should be a red and white check pattern, but I approximated this by painting it white then adding red strips
They were then also given a brush coat of AP Strong Tone and varnished with a flat coat once this had dried. I had a bit of bad luck with the varnish which decided to go frosty on me – this wasn’t too severe, but made the glengarries look a bit grey-ish (there was some damp in the air – the answer was not to panic, but to wait until the weather had dried out then varnish them again). Finally, I glued the odd small rock on some bases and applied flock – I got hold of some very nice grass tufts with purple blossoms from The Dice Bag Lady and used these to give a purple heather look to the bases and further emphasise the Scottish-ness of this unit.
And there you have it – 2650 points of Hammer’s Slammers detachment ready for action.
In 329TW, the planetary governments of Hiroseke and Stewart, re-ignited their feud on Kalan, an iridium- mining colony they had founded together decades before hand, and over which they had already fought one bitter struggle. Japanese and Scots were again in open warfare over production rights and were shooting at each other for another five years…
Prompted by John, we’re taking the platoon pack idea a step further, and we’re going to start offering complete Hammer’s Slammers Detachment Packs. These are essentially a complete army in a box that matches one of the detachment lists for The Crucible rules. The first is a Stewart Regiment Highland Detachment, a powerful 12-element unit of tanks, infantry and anti-tank guns. The pack contains everything you need to make the detachment, right down to washers to base the infantry on. The full pack contents is as follows:
* – the Highland Detachment has five 4-man infantry elements. The extra figures are for you to populate the top hatches of the APCs if you wish to (you will need to cut the figures off at the waist to do this).
Paint, glue, decals and modelling ability not included – you’ll need to provide these yourself ! We’ll be posting a painting guide in the next few days too, although John’s original unit looks extremely good so you could do worse than to study his pictures. The detachment comes in at £75, more than 10% off the price of everything if bought separately.
HS15-101 – Stewart Regiment Highland Detachment – £75.00
SF15-160g – Rifle Squad in Glengarries (x10) – £3.75 SF15-161g – Support Weapons in Glengarries (x5) – £2.00 SF15-162g – HQ Section in Glengarries (x6) – £2.75 SF15-170g – Infantry Platoon in Glengarries (x24) – £8.50 SF15-171g – Mechanised Platoon in Glengarries (x24) – £30.00
After wasting far too much time trying to fix the PC, a box of replacement parts arrived this week. I had a bit of a false start when I didn’t configure the RAID array correctly, but it’s all now up and running – Brigade has returned to normal operation. We’ve managed to catch up with orders (having previously been unable to print shipping labels) so everything that arrived up to yesterday (Thursday) evening has now shipped. It also means I can get on with some more 3D design work which has stalled over the past few weeks.
New on the website today are a few accessory items. We’ve made some of our 15mm heavy weapons available separately, the neat little Chinese command drones and also the Neo-Soviet heavy gun turrets from the spaceship range (they should have been available earlier – I forgot to do so when the ships were released). I’ve also added the Javelot Scout Car with radar that I put together as an example idea for the release of the radar dishes – it makes a useful little EW vehicle and it’s easy for us to add as a separate item.
It’s been a moderately quiet week, in which we’ve completely cleared the order queue (all orders up to midday yesterday have been despatched), the accounts have been brought up to date and the VAT sorted. I’ve also been fighting a hugely misbehaving PC – if anyone knows why a Win7 PC should keep switching itself off after a few minutes except when I disable the graphics driver, please let me know. I’ve reinstalled Windows, changed the graphics card for a new one of a completely different make (Nvidia instead of ATI), but it just turns itself off – powers down, no blue screen of death – if the graphics driver is enabled. If I run in safe mode, or just run a standard VGA driver instead of the card-specific driver, it’s fine. It’s driving me to despair…
Anyway. Onto the business of the day. I spent a sunny-ish afternoon on Wednesday assembling a small collection of 15mm bits-and-pieces for release today. The first is something we’ve been sitting on for a while, but I just haven’t had time to make/paint a few sample pieces. It’s barbed wire, or at least something that makes a good scale approximation. It’s not as lethal as the real thing and won’t spike your fingers, but looks the part at 15mm (or 20/28mm) scale. It’s supplied in 10 metre lengths, and I’ve made up some simple coiled wire barricades as an example of what can be done with it.
Next up are a couple of very useful accessory pieces – two radars, a small dish radar, and a larger rectangular one. As well as being great for buildings and bunkers, the smaller one fits the 7mm turret ring on most of our APCs and smaller vehicles, while the large one fits the 12mm turret ring on our tanks. As an example, I’ve fitted a dish radar to a Javelot scout car to create a small EW vehicle, and a larger radar to a Montsabert hull as a radar tank..
The next piece is a mini version of our existing large and small cargo containers, perfect for smaller deliveries.
Last in today’s mini feast of bits and pieces are a pair of new base types in our Fireteam bases range. Both are plain bases with no slots for figures, for guns or small vehicles. The smaller one is the same size as the rest of the bases (40x40mm top surface), while there is also a longer (60x40mm) version.