Well actually “Medium house in the desert” would be more accurate but that just didn’t sound quite as good.
Its been a long time since I’ve painted any decent amount of 15mm sci-fi models. The majority of what I have done in the past was for Tony’s magnum opus “Blood, Guts ‘n’ Gore in Space” a rather scary 25 years ago. Since I fancied painting something fun and different I decided to knock up a test piece for a small desert town.
So, meet Charles the small blue alien and his house. Charles is a freelance accountant (aliens have to pay taxes as well) living on a remote part of Yenpalo 6.
My aim with the model was to utilise as many items from our ranges as possible since that made my life easier compared with scrabbling around in my spares box.
The centrepiece of the model, the house itself is the Medium House. As we don’t yet make any wall sections I carefully cast just the wall from the Villa to surround the “garden”. The canopy over the front door is the ramp from the Athena VTOL supported by bits cut from the Colony Base connector frames. On the roof of the house is a TV / broadband receiver made from the sensor on the rear of the Komodo tank turret.
Charles himself is one our Alien civilians. His transport is a Raeside pick-up that he aquired at a bargain price after the XP-38 came out. Helping with daily work is a utility droid (which is the only model I wasn’t able to source from our own catalogue but was just too good to leave out).
The base is a simple piece of MDF covered with sand and small stones. Paints were from Games Workshop, Wargames Foundry and Army Painter. The final touch was a few suitably un-healthy looking tufts of Army Painter grass.
And a comment from Tony – “Now if you could just replicate that 10-12 times to make an entire desert village… :-)”
Today’s new release is three new Suwalska half-track variants for our 15mm Polish force.
Two are fire-support variants with a heavier gun in a fixed superstructure. The ‘Młot’ model has a short barrelled howitzer, mainly used in support of infantry and ideal for taking out entrenched enemy with its potent HE round.
The ‘Łucznik’ model has a high-velocity light anti-tank gun. This is ideal for taking on light armoured vehicles such as APCs or armoured cars, although it’s not capable of handling main battle tanks.
The third new model is an armoured command vehicle, the ‘Hetman’, with a small twin-MG turret for self-defence, and a radar dish capable of communicating with orbiting command satellites.
All three variants are on our website now. SF15-1303f – Suwalska ‘Hetman’ Command Vehicle – £8.00 SF15-1303g – Suwalska ‘Łucznik’ Anti-Tank – £8.00 SF15-1303h – Suwalski ‘Młot’ Fire-Support – £8.00
The variant names have been updated post-release thanks to some very helpful feedback from TMP members Kadrinazi and Awuuuu. Never rely on online translations for unfamiliar languages…
Now we’re back to normality, we can show you some new items that are due for release in the near future. Today we have some new 15mm buildings which make up a scientific research station. I can imagine them being used in a bleak, snowy environment, painted orange to stand out against the background. They’re a little like squared-off, corrugated Nissen huts for the future so could also see service as barracks blocks.
There are four pieces in the set, but for some strange reason I only photographed three, so you’ll have to make do with these and we’ll leave the last one as a surprise for when they’re released.
The release date is likely to be 3-4 weeks away – the models are just about to go into moulds (hence the plastic card bases which are part of the mould-making process). Each building will be available individually and we’ll also create a pack with several buildings plus some accessories.
Michael Ashford-Smith recently sent some photos of his project, repurposing some of our 15mm SF vehicles as German ‘Paper Panzers’ – a bit of speculation on the idea of German post-WW2 hovertanks. Sounds a bit odd, but please stick with us here…
We think the result is absolutely excellent, and with his permission we’ve posted some photos, using Michael’s own words to describe the project:
I ordered some of your great models some time ago, to be used as ‘Paper Panzers’ for various projects.
For the last few weeks I have been working on a project, which was just meant to be a practice diorama to try out water effects – seen on YouTube – using very cheap clear bathroom silicone and various plastic cutlery!
However it grew arms and legs and I was so please with it all I entered it at this year’s IMPS Scale Modelworld, Telford which I attended with my club IPMS Edinburgh. Have never entered anything there before, and was amazed and chuffed that it won a Bronze medal in the Misc Dioramas category.
It’s called Kreuzberg (Landwehrkanal) 1952, fictitious of course, and along with your Magnus and Wizard, it also features two boats from TheScene UK and Plastic Soldier Company vehicles and soldiers/ crews plus a Skytrex Kubelwagen.
Here’s the link to the YouTube videos for the water effects, there are 2 parts.
As the scale for mine was smaller, I just scaled down the type of tools – to smooth down the first layer I used one of those little ice-cream spoons (flat & square) but a bit of flat plastic would do. For the rough waves & wakes I used a rounded button stuck to a plastic tube as a handle. To get the finer edges or around the wooden posts I used a cocktail stick. I did a few test bits on cardboard to get the hang of it. Rather than use the silicone ‘gun’ nozzle I squirted it into a plastic container.
Thin coats only! The base surface was amazingly easy, I used kids poster paint from The Works, a scrubbed mix of greens, brown, blue & black bits for depth. White paint just below the boats’ bow waves or rough water. The silicone dries quite quickly so you can do the waves after a few mins. I thought the top surface was a bit matt, so gave it a coat of enamel yacht varnish (Vallejo gloss varnish or Johnstons Klear won’t stay on!) The varnish left a slight yellow/brown tinge which was fine.The project took a few weeks but was great fun.
All very cheap – a few quid for the silicone & ‘gun’, Slaters embossed plastic for the dockside road, and second hand bits of a railway farm building broken up for the building fronts. Concrete flood barrier/bunker thing was balsa wood & PVA/ sand mix for rough surface.
The Alaudae Legion – led by Colonel Cornelius Dark – are an elite Frankish unit from New Gallia.
The mid to late 330s saw the implementation of the effective refit of the Alaudae Legion. Many older vehicles were scrapped or sold on although, for a long time – even as replacements were brought in – units were often fielded with mixtures of older vehicles and newer AFVs as the transition and upgrades took place.The Legion’s re-equip needed several new pieces of equipment. Unable to find a suitable heavy tank from existing designs, the Legion persuaded AMX to develop a version of the Garibaldi tank with an extended hull. This was then paired with the large turret from the Sohei, purchased from Mitsusaki Industries on Hiroseke, to create the Larminat. This hybrid tank was so successful that the Legion repeated the process with the Montsabert. This had initially been rejected because of concerns over the small size of the turret, but Mitsusaki-manufactured Shaman turrets were paired with the hull to create the Shamont, which required a slightly larger turret ring but little else in the way of modification.
The Larminat and Shamont are now available from the website, and we’ve also added three detachment options for the Legion – Armoured, Heavy Armoured and Infantry detachments each with eight elements. Each detachment comes complete with crew figures, stowage packs, infantry bases and other bits and pieces. Another new model which the Legion require is the Weygand missile tank, known as the Damselfly II in Legion service.
One of my painting tasks for the next few weeks is to put together an Alaudae army ready for action in the new year. Once this is complete, you can be sure they’ll be put in front of the camera for an extended photo session.
The West Riding Yeomanry
Our EuroFed vehicles were co-opted into the Hammer’s Slammers universe by John Treadaway a while back to create the West Riding Yeomanry. I’ve finally put together a painted unit of my own and added this as another HS detachment option on the website. The detachment of seven vehicles and three infantry elements comes complete with vehicle crew figures, stowage and other bits and pieces.
The WRY require one new vehicle option, a gatling armed version of the Montsabert hover tank. John created his own originally by using the secondary gatling weapons and fitting those to the main turret, but we’ve now created a proper version.
Another item slightly delayed by our recent burst of being-very-busy are these rather fetching 15mm SF mounted troops. It would be wrong to call them cavalry, they’re more correctly mounted infantry, and would be very popular on worlds with rugged terrain or a shortage of fuel. Horses – and presumably lizards – are after all cheap to run (just a decent supply of food and water), reliable and good at rough terrain.
This coming weekend sees our last show of the year – Crisis in Antwerp, Belgium. This is a superb show, second only in size to Salute and we always enjoy our trip over.
I’ll have the full range of Celtos figures (including packs), 15mm SF (vehicles, figures, buildings and accessories), 2mm buildings, Great War Belgians and Magpie Miniatures.
I’ll also have good selection of Aeronef, 6mm SF and Squadron Commander packs available and Spaceship fleet packs plus individual stock of the British, Neo-Soviet, Indonesian and Merchant spaceship fleets and some selected individual Aeronef – unfortunately there isn’t room to bring individual stocks of the rest of the ranges.
There is still just about time to get in an order to collect at the show if you wanted to reserve anything specific – you have until I leave for the workshop Thursday morning (around 8am) to get the orders in. You can either send us an email with a list and pay on the day, or use the Collect in Person shipping option on the website if you would like to pay in advance.
This year I’ll be accompanied by Robin Fitton of Rotten Lead Publishing (author of the Gruntz 15mm SF rules). He’ll be next to the stand running games of Imperial Skies, his upcoming Victorian SF airship game using our Aeronef models which you can join in.
I should hopefully have some new Aeronef and 15mm releases this weekend – photos to follow if possible…
We have two new releases today, one each in our 6mm and 15mm SF ranges.
Dealing with the smaller scale first, we have some new dwellings in our Desert Domes range of 6mm buildings. These are simple structures built as housing for miners and colonists. There are four models that differ slightly in number and placement of doors and windows which will be supplied randomly when you order.
We’ve also added two Desert Dome building packs, with a mix of buildings in each, discounted against buying the same models individually.
Our larger scale offering this week is a pack of Street Furniture compatible with our existing Desert Buildings. The pack contains a number of useful bits and pieces to bring life to your Martian village – stone benches, small planters, advertising hoardings, public communications terminals and a pair of useful booths. The latter could be used as public conveniences, videophone kiosks or even suicide booths! The advertising hoardings are designed to hold three standard 1.8m by 1.2m posters, so you can scale down your favourite ads to 1/100th scale (18x12mm), print them out and stick them on. In all the pack contains 15 resin items.
The South African wheeled vehicles are one of the more popular forces in our 15mm SF range, and today they get further firepower options with a pair of new vehicles.
The Ratel is a lighter version of the Rhino heavy tank. It’s a fast 4×4, skid-steered vehicle sporting an 8cm railgun and slightly lighter armour than it’s larger cousin.
The Olifant self-propelled gun is based on the chassis of the Rhino, but with the turret replaced by a fixed superstructure carrying a 17cm long-barrelled gun. It employs a variety of ammunition from conventional HE to bomblets and terminally-guided ‘smart’ warheads for anti-tank work.
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.