Hammer’s Slammers:The Crucible is a set of rules that can be played in several scales; all of the photos in the book are of 25mm figures and vehicles, although judging from various blogs and posts on the net it seems to be more popular in 15mm. Ainsty Castings are the official licensed supplier of 15mm vehicles for the Slammers Regiment, with Ground Zero Games providing figures. However, it also gives an excellent game with 6mm figures and vehicles, with armoured battles benefiting from the space afforded by smaller scale models. So we’re very pleased to announce that we’ve teamed up with John Treadaway, co-author of the Crucible rulebook, and Ainsty Castings to create 6mm versions of the approved vehicle designs and bring the regiment to life in micro-scale.
These new models have all been created digitally and are cast in pewter. Our initial release is of the core vehicles needed for a Slammers detachment – the M2A4 blower tank and the M2A4F command variant, the M9A1 combat car and M9A4 command variant, and the A21 jeep.
The combat cars, like the Ainsty 15mm versions, are supplied with etched brass splinter screens plus separate tri-barrel powerguns.
Infantry, both on foot and on skimmers, are available from Ground Zero Games, although we have some stocks which we’re using to create army packs (for individual packs of figures you can contact GZG directly).
Future releases will include further variants of the M2 tank and M9 combat car as used by other mercenary units, plus the uparmoured variants used by the Slammers Regiment in their later days. We will also be releasing ambulance and cargo variants of the combat car, a mortar jeep and artillery hogs to complete the Slammers’ ToE.
My next detachment for The Crucible is one I’ve had to be a bit more inventive with. The Texian 101st Light Airborne is an infantry unit that is transported in VTOLs. My 10 TU detachment consists of four infantry elements each in an APC VTOL, plus two gunships. The 15mm version uses Old Crow models for the aircraft, but instead I substituted the nearest equivalents from our range. For the Panavia Raven gunship I used our Polish Orzel Bialy model, and for the Black Crow APC I used the British Hestia, which has a larger fuselage to carry the infantry.
After priming the VTOLs were basecoated in Army Painter Skeleton Bone, airbrushed with brown camouflage patches and them washed with GW Sepia. The underside was painted with Tamiya Sky, which is a rather greenier shade than I expected, but looks fine. Red and white stripe markings were painted on the Hestia tail and Orzel Bialy wings, then inter-war US aircraft decals from Dom’s Decals completed the Texas colours.
The flying stands, which were originally made for some WW2 gliders, are made from the circular base of some very old GW spaceship stands, which were drilled out to accept a length of 6mm perspex rod. The top end of the rod was drilled out and a 3mm magnet glued in, which then attached to another 3mm magnet in the base of each model (make sure the polarities match !).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Keep an eye out for more Crucible detachments during the week.
My insides are at last functioning relatively normally, and I’ve finally caught up with orders. Everything we received by close of business yesterday has been cast and packed, and the last ones will be going in the post this morning.
To celebrate, I’ve put some new bits on the website (new release day is normally Friday, but I’ll be at the workshop bright and early tomorrow waiting for a delivery of pewter). We have the Larminat heavy laser tank, essentially an extended Garibaldi hull paired with a Sohei turret.
Along with this we have a pair of new models in the Desert Buildings range, two largish houses, one with an attached vehicle garage.
SF300-414 – Larminat Laser Tank – £1.25 B300-137 – Large House with Arched Entrance – £1.75 B300-138 – Large House with Attached Garage – £2.75
Lately we’ve been concentrating on 6mm SF, but now that the Joy of Six show has happened then we’ll be spreading new releases back across our other ranges again. Imperial Skies is very close to shipping, which means that the four new battleships which resulted from the Kickstarter campaign will be put on general release.
I’ve safely returned from a very pleasant trip to Cyprus – the weather was fantastic and the Brigadieress found us a lovely secluded villa (although the less said about the hire car saga, the better…). Obviously a backlog of orders has built up while I’ve been away – Phil has tackled some, and I cleared a dozen or so of the smaller ones yesterday. I’d estimate that we should be up to date with orders by the end of next week (obviously any attempt to see the end of the order queue is complicated by the fact that we get a constant trickle of new orders all the time, so it’s a bit of a moving target).
In case you needed reminding, the Joy of Six show is on Sunday. We have plenty of new releases in 6mm which we’ll be taking with us, including the Kirin and colony base. We’ll also have some as-yet unreleased items. The first is another scale down of a recent 15mm release – this time the Larminat heavy laser tank. Based on a mating of the Sohei turret on an extended Garibaldi chassis, it’s another Big Tank with a Big Gun.
We also have two new buildings in our desert range which you may have spotted in the background of recent photos. The larger of the two is a largish house with a garage attached by a corridor. It also has a small tower in one corner. The other building is a simpler design, with a central dome and arched entrance.
At the same time, I’ve also (finally!) uploaded the 6mm Kirin to the website, so you can now buy online if you can’t make the show.
Now I did mention that we’d have something special up our sleeves for Sunday – and so we have. But I’m not saying anything about it, you’ll have to come and find us at the show to see what it is 🙂
Today’s “while-I’m-away” bonus release is a 6mm scale version of our Mercenary Kirin combat walker. This is a two-man, bipedal walker that comes in three different flavours with a gatling, laser or twin powerguns on each arm, and nine-round missile pods on the shoulders.
They are available (or will be very shortly … see below) individually or in a pack of six with two of each type.
SF15-1509a – Kirin Walker with Heavy Gatlings – £1.50 SF15-1509b – Kirin Walker with Heavy Lasers – £1.50 SF15-1509c – Kirin Walker with Twin Powerguns – £1.50 IC-1515 – Kirin Lance – £8.00
*UPDATE* – the correct links and pages have been added, so the Kirins are now available for sale.
Way back in the mists of time (April), we released two new 15mm vehicles – the Eisenfaust (Iron Fist) laser tank and the Kastenwagen (box van) platoon APC. These have now both been translated down to 6mm, and are available on the website today.
The Eisenfaust is 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. The vehicle floats on a cushion of air provided by six turbine fans on the hull top.
The Pz441 Kastenwagen 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.
I’ve been beset by niggling technical problems in recent weeks, with the latest being a PC that refuses to come out of hibernation and has ended up having to be reinstalled (I’m getting to be a dab hand at Windows 7 installations). Fortunately I keep all of my data on an external hard-drive (backed up to a second one), so no data is lost, it’s just the aggro of reinstalling all of my software, remembering passwords to websites etc. This is my excuse for not having posted so far this week, but I’m catching up now while I watch Windows install.
This evening’s post is a reminder about pre-orders for the Joy of Six show in Sheffield in just over two weeks’ time. Since Jo6 is a 6mm-themed show, I will only be bringing our 6mm SF range, plus Squadron Commander (as this is also 6mm scale) and the 2mm Small Scale Scenery range (since I know that at least one game at the show will be using our buildings alongside 6mm figures). I should have a good stock of both packs and individual models for those ranges, including 6mm vehicles, figures and buildings and SCR starter packs, blisters and individual models. I’ll also have Osprey’s new Horizon Wars rules and Legionnaire Games’ Strike Legion books.
I can also bring orders for any of our other ranges, but I will need to know in advance. Because I will be going on a family holiday before the show, I need any more pre-orders for collection at the show by the end of Monday next week at the latest (July 4th) so that I have time to process them before I leave – so you only have five more days to get them to me (usual email address, or you can order via the website using the Collect in Person option).
I will have our recent new 6mm buildings (the Colony Base and Research Base) in stock, plus some more that are yet to be released. There will also be new 6mm vehicles which we’ve been previewing lately, including the eagerly awaited 6mm Kirin.
And most exciting of all, we’re hoping to have something completely new that only arrived this week, and which Phil will be hopefully be putting into moulds while I’m away. But that’s all I’m saying about that, just in case…