As mentioned before Salute, our 15mm Neo-Soviet forces are gaining several new packs of conscript infantry. There are four packs altogether – infantry (9 figures – six riflemen, squad leader, rocket launcher and LMG), support weapons (8 figures – 2-man missile squad, two 2-man gatling teams, plasma gun and sniper) and command (6 figures including a splendidly-hatted Kommissar and a comms specialist with satellite backpack). The final pack is a 32-man platoon which consists of two infantry and one of each of the other packs.
15mm gamers have had it all their own way with the last couple of new releases, so it’s time for a change of pace, scale and era.
Today’s new items are from an era of Charles Dickens, tyrannical mill owners and child labour – what’s not to like? In the Small Scale Scenery range we have three new industrial models – a large Victorian warehouse, a Textile Mill and a set of three dockside warehouses.
All are one piece resin castings and are based as on real-world prototypes around the UK.
Following hard on the heels of Friday’s new 15mm Fasolini figures, we stay in the same scale but get a bit heavier in terms of hardware today.
Most powerful of all is the Henschel Pz266 Eisenfaust (Iron Fist) laser tank, 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.
Much bigger and bulkier is the Schützenpanzer Pz441 platoon carrier, also manufactured by Henschel. Known as the Kastenwagen (Box Van) by the troops that use it, the Pz441 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.
Our final model for today is the Gamelin wheeled tank used by EuroFed rapid reaction forces to provide armoured support to the lighter Catroux AFVs. Armour is lighter than a conventional tank, but it still packs a hefty punch.
After the rigours of Salute, we’ve had a relatively relaxed week – the workshop has been restored to some semblance of organisation (as much as it ever is !), all outstanding orders have been shipped out and the backlog of emails and other missives dealt with.
Today we’re adding the first of the Salute releases to the website. These are the Fasolini models and figures to make up another Hammer’s Slammers-themed force. There are two complete detachment packs that match the lists on the HS website, two tracked guns and six packs of figures.
It’s Good Friday today, which is a public holiday in the UK. This means I get a day off (woot !) but the shorter working week also means no new releases this time – and with Salute looming large on the horizon, we’re at the stage where we hoard all our new stuff for the show.
However, I came across an article yesterday on the BBC website about the national flag referendum in New Zealand, which led to a few clicks round the web and ended up with me discovering the state flag of Hawaii. I had no idea that the flag of one a US state contained, of all things, the Union Flag, especially since Hawaii has never been a UK territory. According to Wikipedia the origins of the flag aren’t clear, but I still thought it would be an interesting addition to our range of self-adhesive Aeronef flags.
While I was there I drew up a couple of others that might be useful, including the national and naval flags of Cuba (handy for the Span-Am war).
VAN-204 – Confederate National Flag – £0.50 VAN-205 – Hawaiian State Flag – £0.50 VAN-2801 – Cuban National Flag – £0.50 VAN-2802 – Cuban Naval Jack – £0.50 VAN-2901 – Romanian National Flag – £0.50
Natives of the fourth planet of the Eta Odin system, the Tolero are primitive but intelligent creatures who outwardly resemble terrestrial bears. More than one anthropologist has been taken in by their cute and cuddly appearance but received a nasty surprise from the pointy end of a Tolero spear !
Armed with the afore-mentioned spears and short bows, the Tolero are hunters that roam the plains and prairies of their homeworld, stalking the docile Shomix quadripeds for food. Some ride on fearsome Thaeyax steeds, a vicious flightless avian similar to an Emu and nicknamed ‘Terror Birds’ by the first research teams to visit Eta Odin IV.
There are still several research stations of different nationalities on the planet, investigating the possibilities of full colonisation. Small military outposts also exist, primarily to protect these bases from the attentions of the natives. Rumours also still persist of a Chinese labour camp, used to house particularly awkward prisoners that need to conveniently disappear, but this has predictably been denied by the CDSU government.
SF15-051 – Tolero with Spears (x8) – £2.75 SF15-052 – Tolero with Bows (x8) – £2.75 SF15-056 – Tolero Cavalry with Spears (x6) – £3.50 SF15-057 – Tolero Cavalry with Bows (x6) – £3.50
Those in the know will recognise the Tolero as being another part of the former ArmiesArmy range that we’ve finally got round to re-releasing.
Spheres and domes are an ideal design for bases on the moon or other low-pressure environments – no nasty corners to create weak spots and let the atmosphere out. They can be seen in classic science-fiction and old NASA publicity material, the most famous example of which is the Moonbase in Gerry Anderson’s UFO series.
Today we’re releasing our own take on this design with our Moonbase Habitation Sphere model. Technically the shape is not a sphere, but a truncated icosahedron with curved sides – instantly recognisable as the shape of a football (at least it is in six out of seven continents of the world – a soccer ball if you’re in North America !). The habitable sphere sits on an octagonal base unit which incorporates an airlock for access and houses store rooms and atmosphere recycling equipment.
The design and casting of this one was quite tricky – the base is simple enough, but the sphere has been split into two halves. Five of the hexagonal side panels are cast as separate metal pieces that go together to hide the join quite effectively (thanks to John Treadaway for working this out). The kit comes as the three resin pieces plus six panels to allow some variety – three blank panels, and one each with a window, ventilation grill and escape hatch/access panel. The set of six panels are also available separately if you need spares to customise your moonbase.
This week we’re releasing some of the models that I used in the build of my Syrian towns, the apartment blocks.
The set contains five resin blocks of varying heights suitable as office blocks, hotels or apartments (some more luxurious than others !).
As an added bonus today, we have another in our series of British coastal forts. In fact you get two for the price of one, as Forts Hoo and Darnet in the River Medway were pretty much identical. Finished in 1871, they were originally intended to be two-tiered but subsidence problems saw them reduced to a single tier of 11 guns, and the proposed boom between them was never completed.
A few weeks back we previewed our new 15mm Research Base buildings. The models are now all ready to go and are available from the website today. I’ve painted up a set in bright orange colours as an Arctic base, but the models could equally be used as a base in any other setting – jungle, mountain, desert etc. The buildings would also make a good Nissen Hut replacement for airbases or barracks.
The Research Base set includes a command centre, two accomodation blocks, a garage block and storage shed, along with some clutter pieces such as a small container and storage boxes. The four buildings are also available individually.
We don’t have any suitable civilian vehicles to go with the base, so for these photos I painted up an unarmed Neo-Soviet Laska tankette as a small tracked explorer vehicle.
Although for space reasons we won’t be bringing the rest of the 15mm buildings range, we’ll have some stock of these at Cavalier on Sunday. We will also have some of the new 6mm PacFed and Polish infantry, as well as all of our other new releases from this year.
As an added extra, we’ll have limited numbers of some Angel Barracks 6mm figures, in particular the new 30-figure character set.
Last week we released our new 6mm Polish infantry, sculpted by Martin Baker. This week it’s the turn of the Pacific Federation figures, which are heavily armoured with more advanced weapons
The contents of each pack is the same as the Polish, with enough figures to make three identical squads of a squad leader, five riflemen, a SAW and an anti-tank missile launcher. Again, there are three different riflemen poses to avoid too much repetition.