A New Age in Luxury Travel

Peter Hunt recently sent us some pictures of the Civilian Airfield set painted up, which we thought were great and well worth sharing. We’ll let him take over from here, the rest of the words are his…


Gentlemen,
Here in Danubia we pride ourselves at being at the cutting edge of technological developments and so the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits is pleased to announce the opening of the new Danubia International Airport (DIA).

Having successfully tested the concept at Shoreham-by-Sea, a rather fly-blown site on the south coast of England outside Brighton, DIA combines the latest in Art Deco design, the highest standards of aircraft control and maintenance, and a fully integrated transport interchange facility.

Shoreham-by-Sea: the hangers and Terminal Building
Shoreham-by-Sea: The landing field and railway access.

Whereas Shoreham was served by a branch line of The Southern Railway, DIA is situated on the Orient Express Main Line from Venice Simplon to Strambul. As you can see below the vastly improved DIA provides direct access between the Orient Express and the Lufthansa service to Wien, Dresden and Berlin; the Swissair service to Geneva and Bern, (Change there for Grand Fenwick;) the Imperial Airways services west to Blighty or south and east to Athens, Alexandria, Cairo and Points South, or Beirut, Baghdad, and Points East; or Lao Che Air Freight chartered service to anywhere you want, anytime you like, no questions asked, strictly cash only, in advance, reasonable rates for combat zones negotiable.

DIA: with the Orient Express just pulling in to transfer passengers to a slightly quicker, if less reliable, safe and comfortable trip from Danubia to all of Europe and beyond.
DIA: The Lufthansa JU 52 has just taken off, the Swissair Dragon Rapide (out of picture,) will be arriving soon, on the apron are an HP 51 and Avro 618 Ten of Imperial Airways, and Lai Che Air Freight’s Ford Trimotor.

If you need onward air connections from the Orient Express just see the concierge in the club car and he will be pleased to arrange bookings and additional insurance for you.

Yours, As Ever,
Hercule

Smokin’ Hot

The Brigada Independência (also known as the Smoking Cobras or Cobras Fumantes) is an élite mercenary unit that faced off against the Slammers regiment during the Sulewesi War in TW 328. Composed of several battalions of heavy armour, the brigade also had organic rocket artillery and calliopes. A single Slammers combat car (Hula Girl) accidentally ran into a Cobras artillery unit during a night march and caused all sorts of havoc! This all happens in the story Night March in the first volume of The Complete Hammer’s Slammers.

Following the Sulewesi operations, the Brigada began upgrading with new vehicles from the Indonesian manufacturer PT Pinrang. The ECAP armed T14 tanks give the unit a powerful cutting edge, and the Sugama infantry combat vehicles carry state-of-the-art dual feed cannon capable of shredding enemy infantry and even giving tanks a headache at short range. The updated detachment sheet can be found on the Crucible website.

I’ve been working on painting up several Cobra detachments in 15mm, which recently had their first taste of combat – more on that at a later date… The models are from our range of Indonesian 15mm vehicles, while the infantry are from our PacFed range.

The models were assembled as usual, and I also added small amounts of stowage and extra gear to the outsides. I also added some auxiliary fuel tanks – these were made from the cargo pods from our Fort Linton class spaceship – I will get these added as a separate item so that they can be ordered from the website as soon as I can.

I tried to replicate the unusual red/blue/yellow camouflage scheme on the original Cobra detachment sheet, with mixed results. The vehicles were all sprayed with Halfords red car primer which also served as the base camouflage colour. I airbrushed the blue and then yellow stripes, drybrushing each layer with a lighter shade. This process rather showed up the limitations of my budget airbrush – the yellow stripes were meant to be quite thin to outline the blue, but the airbrush wouldn’t spray a nice neat line so instead they ended up as three equal stripes.

Details (stowage, crew, viewing lenses etc) were brush painted before an overall coat of Army Painter Quickshade (strong tone). Once this had dried thoroughly (several days) I applied decals and airbrushed a final matt varnish coat. I had two issues here – the decals are really the wrong colour (our stock is getting low so I used blue decals, which we have lots of, but these didn’t stand out enough over the camouflage colours). And I used a different varnish for the first time, a Humbrol acrylic one, which caused some problems with white bloom appearing. I suspect I applied it too heavily, so it was probably user error rather than an issue with the product. I tidied this up by brushing a thin coat of Citadel sepia wash over the affected areas, which sorted out all but the worst cases.

I usually base figures individually on washers and use our fireteam bases, but I’d picked up a load of thin wooden discs from The Works so I thought I’d use those for the infantry teams instead. I based them with 2-4 figures on each 40mm disc and I think they look pretty good. They were sprayed with white Halfords primer and then the basic sand colour was done with Citadel Contrast Aggaros Dunes. The rest of the figures were then painted with normal Citadel paints and washes. Since Brazil has a tradition of Gauchos, I included a couple of bases of infantry on horseback which John has added to the Cobra’s detachment sheet as an option. The support weapons were made from Indonesian heavy guns (dual-feed cannon) mounted on the bases of EuroFed remote weapons – these again will be added to the website ASAP.

Shining Bright

At Crisis last year, I was shown some pictures of our EuroFed spaceships by Eric Pigat. Nothing unusual about that, we love to see photos of our models painted up, since many of you seem to do a much better job with them than we do !

The difference with these is that Eric had modded them with LEDs to light up their engines – he has drilled through the models to route fibre optics from the engine to the base which houses the power source. He has even managed it with the tiny fighter craft, which is pretty amazing. They look absolutely stunning, as you can see from the pictures below. Bravo, Eric!

United in 6mm

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

Belgian Colours

We’ve been sent a number of photos of some excellently painted examples of our 28mm Great War Belgians by Sven de Braekeleir. He’s very kindly allowed us to use them on the website, so we’ve updated a number of the photos of various codes including infantry in shakos and the mounted lancers. Please go and have a look at Sven’s Facebook page where you can find more samples of his work, both on our figures and many others.

Fallen Giants

I recently made some wreck markers for a game of Imperial Skies; they don’t serve any game purpose, but they look good 🙂

I was fielding a small but powerful French fleet, so I modelled my two capital ships (a Gaulois dreadnought and a Massena battleship), and while I was at it I added a Loire and one of the new la Verde class Italian battlecruisers.

The resin hulls were cut off at odd angles and the Gaulois was cut completely in half. They were then severely distressed with knives, clippers, files and a Dremel fitted with a grinding head. Some of the turret mountings were drilled out and gun barrels removed. The metal turrets, funnels and other bits were similarly attacked, gun barrels and masts bent before sticking them to the hulls.

They were based on textured plastic Land Ironclads bases, and the Massena’s tail was cut off and stuck at an odd angle.

Everything was sprayed black before they were given the roughest of rough paint jobs – just two additional colours, deck and superstructure. I didn’t bother painting details such as windows that I’d normally spend time over. I gave them a similarly quick drybrush rather than the usual edge highlighting, then lots of dark washes hid the rough edges.

The bases were painted in sea colours and a wash of GW Coelian Greenshade gave a suitably oily-looking surface to the water. The final touch was some fibre stuffing which was lightly sprayed black then superglued to represent smoke billowing out of various orifices.

Although they were just for aesthetic purposes in our game, they could be useful as objective markers in a game – retrieving vital papers or a VIP from a downed ship.

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolverines?

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to again spend a day rolling dice and pushing tanks with Miniature Wargames editor and author of The Crucible, John Treadaway. We played a large Hammer’s Slammers game with over 160 elements on table in over a dozen different detachments – John attacked my dug-in Lightning Division forces with a mix of the Thunderbolt Division and Waldheim Dragoons backed up by Antargran local forces.

For once my dice held up (in most cases – I did make a habit of burning out gun barrels whenever I tried Rapid Fire with my blower tanks, three of which ended the game with no main gun…) and I just about came out victorious with judicious use of mortars and missile salvos on the Antargrans. I did end the game with just one working tank however, a Krauss tracked tank with charmed life! John has written up the game and there’s an extensive photo gallery on the Crucible website, but here are a few of mine.

The Lightnings were also supported by a freshly painted new force that I was putting in the field for the first time – two detachments of the Wolverines, a specialist anti-tank unit. I’ve been wanting to create a Wolverine force for a while and just needed the last piece in their particular equipment jigsaw, the infantry skimmers for the tank hunter teams. Their primary vehicle is the Viking half-track armed with either Manta light missiles or a rapid-fire coil gun (4 shots per turn !). This tows a variety of trailers including calliope and MLRS versions, or a 5cm Hi-Intensity powergun. Wolverine infantry also ride in these open backed trailers (with little in the way of protection) – the Vikings have internal space for troops but are very cramped and the troops prefer to take their chances in the trailers. Specialist tank hunter teams armed with buzzbombs are equipped with personal ‘skimmers’, one-person hoverbikes, for rapid deployment.

Wolverine Infantry Platoon

After the usual clean-up and assembly (production line methods are the only way to go for this many vehicles!) I undercoated both infantry and vehicles with automotive primer – red oxide for the vehicles and white for the infantry and skimmers.

The vehicles were then heavily drybrushed in a terracotta colour (Golgfag Brown, one of the Citadel Dry paints) and I then applied camouflage stencils from Anarchy Models. I used the Ambush Pattern ones this time for a change, and then airbrushed a desert sand over the top. I drybrushed the vehicles with Citadel Terminatus Stone before removing the stencils – that way the highlight colour doesn’t get on the red camouflage patches. Only then could I carefully remove the stencils, which takes a while – I was still finding one or two I missed when it came to the final painting stages! After this it was time to brush paint details – wheels, windows, tracks and little details such as sensor lenses and headlights. Once all of this is dry, each model is given a generous brushed-on coat of Army Painter Strong Tone Quickshade. This got a couple of days to thoroughly dry before I added decals over the shiny Quickshade finish, followed by a final airbrushed top coat of Tamiya Flat Clear (I will repeat again my experience of using Army Painter’s own aerosol varnish – I find this is great over normal acrylic paints, but over Quickshade I find it tends to craze and blister, especially on large flat surfaces. You have been warned!).

Wolverine Tank Hunter Detachment

The infantry (from our British range) were sprayed with Army Painter Army Green from a spray can, then faces, weapons, webbing and boots were painted. I don’t usually camouflage infantry in 15mm, but I decided to give them three-colour helmet covers by dotting on sand and brown. I also painted a Brigadier figure to lead them, this time with yellow facings, who I’ve named Major Vilkas (the Wolverines detachment list doesn’t have any named leaders). Once finished they were also brush painted with Quickshade and varnished at the same time as the vehicles. The skimmers were painted separately from the riders and stuck together just before the Quickshade stage.

The final touches were flock and plenty of grass tufts on the infantry bases, both from Games Workshop.

We’ve set up ready made detachment packs for the Wolverines on the website in both 6mm and 15mm, so you can buy your own forces to match these. The Infantry detachments include extra trailers so all towed weapon options are possible. While I was at it, the Slammers section of the website has had a minor facelift – nothing fancy, just a few colour changes and some new pictures.

HSD15-1601 – Wolverines – £70.00
HSD15-1602 – Wolverines – £55.00

HSD6-1601 – Wolverines – £9.00
HSD6-1602 – Wolverines – £8.00

Celtos Swordmaidens

Another set of customer painted models this week – this time a collection of really nicely rendered Celtos Gael female heroes and warriors from Victor Gondra.

Galea
Swordmaidens
Llysa
Amanthas
Enora

Thommo’s Two-mil

Nottingham modeller Simon Thompson has sent us some pictures of his really nicely painted Small Scale Scenery buildings which we thought we’d share. In particular, the shaded windows look very effective. The whole effect is grimey and industrial and very much looks the part.

Skeleton Dance

A while ago we featured some nicely painted skeletons from the Celtos Fir Bolg range by Australian blogger Azazel. Recently he sent us photos of some more archers, so without further ado, here they are (and it would be rude not to link to his blog)…