Back in April, when we released the Demeter Attack VTOL at Salute, it should have been accompanied by a second model, a utility VTOL (think UH-1 Huey in terms of its rôle). However, we had several issues with the other prototype, it would never cast reliably enough to be able to release so we’ve ended up having to redesign and reprint parts of it. We think we’re there now, we’ve run enough test casts to be happy that all the bits now work.
The HU.1 Perseus is, as previously mentioned, a utility type that has a rear cabin for four fully equipped infantry (six over short distances as long as they don’t mind being squeezed in). It has the same chin turret as the Demeter with a 2cm tri-barrel powergun and can also carry a variety of underwing stores so can serve as a passable gunship.
The Perseus is used by three Hammer’s Slammers units as a fast APC flying nap-of-the-earth when in the combat zone, staying down among the weeds to avoid being shot out of the sky. Both the Eaglewing and the Texian 101st base their forces around VTOL transports and gunships, while Guardforce O’Higgins’ veteran Fianóglach company are equipped with a number of Perseus and act as a rapid-reaction unit. In the detachment lists for these three forces, the Perseus replaces the Black Crow VTOL.
The model is a four-part resin kit (body, tail and two wings) with five metal parts (turret, two tail fins, two cabin doors). The separate cabin doors allow for a door gunner (which we don’t yet make but will do).
Back in April, we upgraded the cruisers and escorts of the British Aeronef fleet when they were released at Salute. However, not all of our planned releases made the cut – two models, the replacement for the Agamemnon monitor and the brand new Orion class light cruiser, weren’t released at the time because of casting issues. It’s taken a while, but we’ve modified both and they’re finally available for release. It was the tails of both models which were causing the problem – an increase in thickness of just 0.25mm made all the difference, resulting in castings that are getting on for 100% reliable (or as close as we get) as opposed to around 10% previously.
The Orion is a light cruiser design which the British fleet has been sorely missing. It comes in two variants – the basic Orion gun cruiser, fitted with two single and two twin turrets, or the Sirius AA cruiser with four triple-AAA turrets. Both types also have two twin torpedo tubes.
The Agamemnon monitor has two inverted howitzer turrets on the bottom of the hull for surface bombardment, along with some conventional light armament for self defence.
VAN-106 – Agamemnon class monitor – £3.00 VAN-129 – Orion class Light Cruiser – £3.00 VAN-129a – Sirius class AA Cruiser – £3.00
At some point soon (probably after the end of the show season in November), we’ll update the contents of our British fleet packs to take account of the various new releases this year, and the Orion (and Medusa) will filter into these packs.
Our recent 6mm Hammer’s Slammers releases have opened up a number of new detachments. One of the units that uses the GS-1000 series of GEVs is the United Defence Batteries, an specialised outfit equipped mainly with 8-barrel 2cm Calliopes for air defence. They appear in the story Counting the Cost, which can be found in volume 2 of the Complete Hammer’s Slammers.
I painted some 15mm calliopes last year and I’ve followed up with their 6mm equivalents recently. As an elite unit, the UDB have eight TUs per detachment – five calliopes, two mortar carriers for fire support and a command APC. Like the 15mm versions, I painted them in dark grey (Plastic Soldier Company Panzer Grey from a spray can), drybrushed light grey with a black wash. The skirts were painted light green, again with an appropriate wash. There is an access door on each flank – I painted these white, with a blue triangle as an approximation of the UDB logo. Other than picking out the gun barrels in silver, that was it – this was a very quick unit to get on the table.
The UDB have been added to the ever-growing list of pre-packed detachments we have available –
HSD6-3301 – United Defence Batteries Calliope Detachment – £9.00
One of our more popular releases over the last year or so has been the Modular Castles in the Small Scale Scenery range – one of which is even going to appear in a TV show (of which more another day…).
Today sees an extension to the range with a new set of components for German/Polish Crusader castles, such as the magnificient Marienwerder (now Kwidzyn Castle) and Marienburg (Malbork castle). These were constructed primarily of brick rather than stone so have a distinctive red/orange hue.
As with our previous castle sets, we’ve provided a set of components (walls, keep, gatehouse, towers) that you can mix and match to create a historical prototype or make your own design. They’re compatible with any of our existing components so you can use those as well.
The five new parts are a large keep with corner tower, based on Lochstadt Castle, now in Russia; a barbican (a fortified structure used to protect the far end of a drawbridge or entrance bridge); a new gatehouse design (taken from Malbork Castle); and sets of walls with covered walkways, including ones with small integral defensive towers.
These parts are all available separately, or there is a set available with a keep, gatehouse, barbican, eight towers, three wall sections with tower and eight plain wall sections. You can select different tower types when you order.
I will have stocks of the castle sets at Colours tomorrow, although not the individual components – you’ll have to order those online.
Our latest release is a set of 15mm civilian mechanics and repair crew – the first time in a while we haven’t released something festooned with powerguns or gatlings!
The set of twelve mechanics is split into three types of identical figures with different headgear – four with baseball caps, four with bare heads and four with ear defenders and goggles who would make ideal flight deck crew at a starport or airbase.
The three types of figure are also available separately in sets of four.
And I thought, why stop there ? So I didn’t, and added some more. There are now packs available for the Lightning Division (Tank and Infantry) and also three for one of my favourite units, Foster’s Mercenaries.
The latest new releases on our website today are 6mm versions of the GS series of GEVs used primarily by two mercenary units, The Flaming Sword of the Holy Brotherhood and Ben Mehdi’s Legion (formerly known as Broglie’s Legion and, before that, Baffin’s Legion). There are seven new vehicles and variants, all based on the same hex-skirted hover chassis. They join the existing M12 heavy tank destroyer.
Ander’s Legion is a combined arms mercenary unit that makes an appearance (of sorts) in the Hammer’s Slammers story Paying the Piper. They were fighting alongside the Slammers on the planet of Plattner’s World in the pay of the United Cities, facing (amongst others) the West Riding Yeomanry and the Apex Dragoons. General Ander and his troops should have been dug-in, ready to support Lt Arne Huber’s company of combat cars, but failed to appear to spring the planned ambush, leaving F-company badly exposed. This resulted in the unfortunate General being arrested by his UC employers for failure to follow orders (who, just to be sure, sub-contracted the actual arrest to Major Joachim Steuben and his White Mice field police unit). While in custody, the General chose to take his own life rather than face the Bonding Authority tribunal – or at least, that’s what Major Steuben would have you believe…
The Legion is a mechanised unit, fielding mainly tracked or semi-tracked armoured vehicles, along with quick-reaction infantry units on one-man skimmers. Following the death of the General, the unit chose to retain its name but re-equipped with newer vehicles. The older Uralvagonzavod Cutlass tanks and Halberd tank destroyers were sold on, replaced by TF Industries’ Rapier MBT and the new Xiphos series of self-propelled guns. The infantry’s Dragoon half-tracks were traded in with Scania for the later Dragoon II model. The scout section was upgraded with Viking recce half-tracks and the brand new Kopis recce tank.
We recently released several new Ander’s Legion vehicles in 6mm, and now it’s the turn of the 15mm models. The Dragoon, Viking and infantry skimmers are already available, and today we’ve released the Rapier and two variants of the Xiphos.
The Rapier is a heavy tracked tank with a long-barrelled 22cm DS railgun, light Manta missile pod and bow gatling. The model features a resin hull and tracks, with a (huge!) metal turret and weapons. There are also two air-defence variants, known by troops as the Machete – one with four 2cm tri-barrels, and another with a mixed laser-missile system.
The Xiphos comes in two flavours – a tank destroyer with a 20cm HI powergun that will give any opposing tank a headache, and an infantry support variant called the Palintone with twin breech-loading mortars. Each vehicle also has three tri-barrel 2cm powerguns, giving it additional firepower equivalent to a combat car! The open superstructure is protected from shell fragments by a beryllium mesh screen that runs on roof rails and can be retracted into the back of the engine compartment, much like a giant roller-blind. The Xiphos model has a resin hull and tracks, a 3-piece metal superstructure plus roof rails and weapons also in metal. The splinter screen is provided in the form of an etched brass piece. This will cover the whole of the open rear deck, it can be omitted to represent a retracted screen, or, if cut somewhere along the length, can represent a partially deployed screen.
Keen readers will have noticed the absence of the previously-mentioned Kopis from the release; don’t worry, it’s coming. But it arose at the last minute from a brief discussion on Facebook, and there wasn’t time to get a model designed and into production to join the other models. But rest assured, we already have both 6mm and 15mm masters in hand – the resin parts for the 15mm version have already been moulded.
We have a number of new items in the Small Scale Scenery range today; they span almost a millennia from the Iron Age to the early middle-ages.
First up is this very flexible 25-piece set of roundhouses and other huts. There’s a mix of styles and sizes, mostly roundhouses but also including rectangular and oval structures. It also includes a Crannog, a small Celtic settlement which would be built on an artificial island in a lake. Although we’ve labelled them as a Dark Age village, the set would be eminently usable in other settings, for example the roundhouses would make a great African tribal settlement.
Largest of all is this one-piece resin village. It consists of a number of roundhouses along with small store huts and a central chieftain’s house, surrounded by a stone wall.
This odd looking structure is a Broch. They were built in the first centuries BC and AD in Scotland and surrounding islands – estimates for the number built vary between 100 and almost 600. Although they look like fortifications, they seem to have held a small village under one roof and their exact use is shrouded in some mystery.
Finally for this week, and dating from the 9th to 12th centuries AD, a number of tall Round Towers were built in Ireland. Again their purpose seems muddled – their Irish name, Cloigtheach, means ‘Bell Tower’, so they could simply have been belfries. But they’re also known colloquially as Priest Towers, and it has been speculated that they were used as refuges for the clergy from pillaging Vikings.
This week we’re updating all of the cruiser classes in our French Aeronef fleet. This includes the cruisers Jeanne la Pucelle and Formidabile, and the commerce raider classes L’Epee and Fléche. Whenever we release one of these updates we always try to add something new as well as replacing the older models; the British got the Minotaur Armoured Cruiser earlier this year and the Germans the Lützow Fleet Cruiser and Hansa Torpedo Cruiser. The French are no exception – they get the brand new 6-turret Jules Ferry Armoured Cruiser class.
We’ve followed the layout of the older models for the designs but in detail they’ve all changed considerably (for the better !). All of the models feature one-piece metal hulls and separate turrets. Our existing French fleet packs will have the new designs instead of the old ones.
VAN-403 – L’Epee class Commerce Raider – £4.00 VAN-404 – Jeanne la Pucelle class Cruiser – £3.50 VAN-406 – Formidabile class Light Cruiser – £2.50 VAN-416 – Fléche class Light Raider – £2.50 VAN-421 – Jules Ferry class Armoured Cruiser – £4.00