Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel(shark) 

A couple of weeks ago we released our new 6mm PacFed models – or at least we thought we did. It turns out that we missed one, accidentally leaving out the Angelshark VTOL from the list of new models.

So today we’ve rectified that oversight and added it to the website alongside the rest of the range. There are in fact two versions of the Angelshark, the original one and a new one with gatlings in the wing pods in place of the missile launchers – although admittedly at this scale you have to look quite closely to spot the difference between them.

SF300-704 – Angelshark with Missiles – £1.00
SF300-704a – Angelshark with Gatlings – £1.00

The 2017 Salute Sticky Page

Welcome to our Salute 2017 Page. Salute is the biggest event on the UK wargaming calendar, around 8000 people and 150 traders gathering at the ExCel centre in London for a day of frenzied shopping and gaming. For those who are new to us, what we tend to do is save up a lot of our new products and release them in one big hit at the show, and here is where you’ll find details of them. This post is made ‘sticky’ until the show arrives, which means it sits at the top of our blog front page. We’ll constantly update it between now and April 22nd with more new items as we get photos, so keep coming back and checking regularly.

Although we’ll have everything here available at the show, we’ll stagger the addition of the releases onto the website – that is simply to avoid us being flooded with a huge pile of orders for the new items. We’d rather regulate the flow of new stuff – that way we avoid getting behind on orders, which no-one wants. To help those who aren’t able to make the show, this year we’ve added the intended website release date to each range.

So, without further waffle, here’s the first of our new models – the Spanish Aeronef Fleet.

AERONEF
Website release date: Friday 5th May

We’ve been promising the Spaniards for a while, and we’re rather pleased with them now they are here. The designs are based on a prototype Phil made many years ago, but which was damaged by the vulcaniser when we tried to mould it. These new versions are all digitally designed to the same standards as all our new Aeronef models and feature separate turrets. The two capital ships have resin hulls while the rest of the parts are pewter. The design theme is ships with heavy broadsides but little in the way or forward or aft guns – something that could be thought of as a bit of a design flaw… The battleship and battlecruiser have raised walkways over the gun decks and recessed secondary armament in the fore- and stern castles.

Packs will also be available – Fleet Pack #1 has 2 x 1701, 2 x 1703, 2 x 1706 while pack #2 has 2 x 1702, 2 x 1704, 2 x 1705 and 2 x 1708. The torpedo flotilla has 2 x 1707 and 4 x 1709. All include bases.

VANFP-1701 – Spanish Fleet Pack #1 – £22.00
VANFP-1702 – Spanish Fleet Pack #2 – £22.00
VANFP-1711 – Spanish Torpedo Flotilla – £5.00
VAN-1701 – Espana class Battleship – £8.00
VAN-1702 – Aragon class Battlecruiser – £7.00
VAN-1703 – Pimienta class Heavy Cruiser – £4.50
VAN-1704 – La Coruna class Light Cruiser – £3.00
VAN-1705 – Pluton class Destroyer – £1.75
VAN-1706 – Mao class Frigate – £1.25
VAN-1707 – Numancia class Torpedo FF – £1.25
VAN-1708 – Atalaya class Patrol Nef – £0.50
VAN-1709 – Galerna class Torpedo Nef – £0.50

15mm Sci-Fi
Website release date: Friday 28th April (Yenpalo), Friday 12th May (Terminator), Friday 26th May (building)

SF15-1104 – Yenpalo Railgun Teams (x2) – £3.00
SF15-1106 – Yenpalo Mortar Teams (x2) – £3.00
SF15-1110 – Xarledi Grav Tank – £9.00
SF15-1150 – Yenpalo Combat Group – £36.00

SF15-1211a – Vombat Terminator – £9.00
SF15-1274 – Guards Terminator Platoon – £30.00

B15-506 – Large Garage – £7.00

6mm Sci-Fi
Website release date: Wednesday 3rd May

SF300-1101 – Yenpalo Infantry (x24) – £2.75
SF300-1110 – Yenpalo Grav Tank – £1.25
IC-1101 – Yenpalo Company Pack – £12.00

Spaceships
Website release date: Friday 19th May

SFSP-402 – EuroFed Fleet Pack #2 – £22.00
SFS-401 – Milano Dreadnought – £7.00
SFS-414 – Umberto Battle Carrier – £7.00
SFS-421 – Tigre Cruiser – £2.25
SFS-423 – Abruzzi Heavy Cruiser – £3.00
SFS-430 – Surcouf Destroyer – £1.50
SFS-431 – Insidioso Destroyer – £1.50
SFS-440 – Le Malin Escort Frigate – £1.00
SFS-461 – Météore Attack Fighter (x12) – £1.50
SFS-464 – Folgore Fighter (x12) – £1.50

Squadron Commander
Website release date: Tuesday 16th May

SCR-101 – Kestrel Interceptor – £2.50
SCR-102 – Mosquito Fighter/Bomber – £3.00
SCP-101 – Kestrel Flight – £9.00
SCP-102 – Mosquito Flight – £11.00
SCR-1201 – Sokol Interceptor – £2.50
SCR-1202 – Grif Heavy Attack Fighter – £3.00
SCP-1201 – Sokol Flight- £9.00
SCP-1202 – Grif Flight – £11.00

10mm Sci-Fi
Website release date: Tuesday 23rd May

B300-403 – Small Cylindrical Building #1 – £3.50
B300-408 – Small Cylindrical Building #2 – £3.50

SALUTE ORDERS

We’re happy to take advance orders if you’d like to reserve and items, new or existing. You can either e-mail us and send a list to be paid for on the day (cash or card), or you can use the ‘Collect in Person’ shipping option on the website to place an order without paying any postage charges. Please place any orders by Friday 14th April to give us a chance of processing them.

Small Desert Domes

Today we have two new 15mm SF buildings in the Desert Domes range, again making the scale transition up from 6mm. They are two simple hemispherical dwellings, each with a single door and window. They’re useful in a multitude of settings – although we title them ‘Desert Domes’, that just happens to be a catchy alliterative title; paint them grey or brown and they could just as easily be transplanted to any number of other types of world.

B15-411a – Small Domed Dwelling A – £7.00
B15-411b – Small Domed Dwelling B – £7.00

These are our final new releases until Salute on April 22nd; next week we’ll be posting the first items on our Salute 2017 new releases page, which we’ll be adding to over the next month as we build up to the big day.

Slammers Upgrades

Today we’re releasing more reinforcements for our 6mm Hammer’s Slammers forces. There are uparmoured versions of the M2A4UA tank and M9A7 combat car, plus new artillery support on the form of the M53 20cm Artillery Hog.

The new tanks have extra armour plating pretty much all over – the difference is obvious comparing the two versions side-by-side. This option makes the M2 blowers even more formidable than they already are.

The combat cars also have additional hull armour, plus extra plating that fits over the existing mesh splinter shield.

The M53 Hogs are enormous vehicles, as big as a blower tank and with a turret that wouldn’t look out of place on a naval destroyer ! The M53 can empty its six-round ready magazine in just 15 seconds and the ammunition options include nuclear, nerve agents and cluster rounds as well as the usual array of conventional munitions. You can read more about the Hog, and the other Slammers blower vehicles, on the official website.

The models are all available singly, or we have new army and detachment packs that replicate the existing organisations but with the uparmoured vehicles instead. There’s also a new artillery pack with hogs, mortar jeeps and command and observer vehicles.

HS-1600u – Friesland Defence Force Army Pack – £25.00
HS-1601u – Uparmoured Tank Detachment – £11.00
HS-1602u – Uparmoured Combat Car Detachment – £11.00
HS-1604 – Artillery Detachment – £10.00

HS-1611b – M2A4UA Uparmoured Blower Tank – £1.50
HS-1611c – M2A4FUA Uparmoured Command Tank – £1.50
HS-1612d – M9A7 Uparmoured Combat Car – £1.00
HS-1614 – M53 20cm Artillery Hog – £1.50

Anarchy in the UK

In preparation for the release of our new 15mm Neo-Soviet tanks, the Vombat and the Bars, I wanted to paint up some samples for the website. Inspired by an article written by the editor in the February issue of Miniature Wargames I thought I might try out the airbrush stencils made by Anarchy Models. I came across them at Salute last year and picked up a leaflet, but hadn’t got round to ordering any. I decided, perhaps over-ambitiously (you decide), to go for a three-colour ‘urban’ camouflage scheme using the Digi Camo stencil set. An A4 sheet cost £8.99 with postage at a fixed £2.50, so at the same time I ordered some other sets (which I’m sure will be appearing in future painting blog posts).

The painting process was done over several days, indoors and out and in different lighting conditions, so you’ll find the photos vary in colour and lighting (and quality – a couple aren’t as well focused as I would like). I tend to take photos of step-by-step articles like this on my smartphone, rather than having the proper camera setup on the tripod – it just gets in the way.

Assembly is straightforward enough – the hull of each tank is in three resin parts (hull and two track units), with a metal turret and main gun, two-part secondary gatling and hatches. After assembly with superglue I gave them a coat of Halfords grey primer which was also to act as one of the three colours in the camouflage scheme. I had decided to drybrush each colour as I went along rather than attempting to highlight each colour at the end, so the first highlight stage was a drybrush of Citadel Longbeard Grey over the whole model – drybrushing works very well on the hard-edged panels of the tanks.

So now it’s time to apply the first set of stencils. They come as a single self-adhesive sheet which has been rather cleverly pre-cut into multiple small pieces. The Digi Camo scheme utilises lots of little squares joined together into panels of varying size. They come off the sheet by bending the backing paper and peeling them off, just like a sticky label. I used to point of a scalpel to position them on the model then pushed them down with a finger. I tried to align them with the model, rather than laying them down at random angles. I found that it was possible to make them stick when bent round corners, as long as it wasn’t too sharp an angle. I also had to remember that this was just the first layer of camouflage, so I had to think ahead about where the next layer was going to be positioned and leave spaces. You can just about see the stencils stuck on the models on the image below.

The first airbrush coat (the second camo’ colour) was a Vallejo paint, Desert Sand, which went all over the model. Once dry, everything was drybrushed with Citadel Dry Terminatus Stone (barely visible below, but it is there !)

I then started to put on the next layer of stencils. I hit two small snags – the first was that the stencils didn’t seem to want to adhere to the new layer of paint quite as well, so getting them to go round corners (such as the edge of the trackguards) because a problem. I have no idea why this was the case, but I simply tried to place them on flat areas and avoided the issue. The second, much more minor point was that the pre-cut decal pieces were in many cases too large, especially for a 15mm model, but this was easily solved by cutting them into small pieces with a sharp scalpel and steel ruler. Again, they are just about visible in the picture below as darker areas.

So now it was time for the second airbrush layer, the top coat of Russian Green (appropriately enough). Once dry this was drybrushed with Citadel Dry Nurgling Green

So now for the exciting bit – removing the stencils. They came off using the tip of a scalpel, but unfortunately I managed to scratch the paintwork in one or two places, especially on the metal parts, so I’m wondering if there’s a better way. It also very annoyingly pulled up some of the paint, but only from metal areas – there was no problem on the ones stuck to resin surfaces. You can see in the photo below where the sides of the turrets have bare patches, and it happened on the Vombat’s rear ramp as well.

I had to go round and patch these areas by brush (Tamiya Light Grey is a reasonable match for the Halfords primer), and also tidy up one or two patches where the spray had leaked under the edges of the stencils – in places I obviously hadn’t pressed the stencils down firmly enough.

It was then a case of painting in details such as the crewman, tracks, gatling barrels, rear lights and so on. In case you’re wondering, the tanks are sitting on the grill from an old microwave – I use this when painting models all over in Army Painter Quickshade, if left on a normal flat surface they’d stick but the grill leaves little surface area for them to stick to – it’s also good for spraying on.

Decals (stars from Dom’s Decals, numbers from (I think) Flames of War WW2 Soviets) go on the Quickshade before the matt varnish – they adhere nicely to the shiny surface.

Then it’s an airbrush coat of Tamiya Flat Clear – as I try to mention every time I write one of these, I’ve had persistent problems with Army Painter’s own matt varnish over their dips – it blisters and crazes on flat surfaces, so I reserve it for models that haven’t been Quickshaded.

So that’s it. Despite a couple of minor problems (down mainly to user error rather than any technical problems with the product), I’m very happy with the result. I’m planning to do a full unit using the stencils, although I think I’ll probably only do a two-colour scheme for speed if I’m painting a dozen or more tanks.

Guards, Guards !*

We’ve put out the odd photo of a new 15mm tank lately, and we’re pleased to say that it’s finally ready for release. There are in fact two of them, similar but each with a different role on the battlefield. Both vehicles are used by Neo-Soviet Guards armoured divisions instead of the smaller Bizon used by regular units.

The Vombat is an Urban Combat vehicle with infantry carrying capabilities. It’s heavy armour allows it to go deeper into a hostile urban environment than a light-skinned APC could, carrying its cargo of four infantry.

The Bars on the other hand is a pure main battle tank, losing the infantry compartment in favour of larger fuel tanks for increased range and a heavier ammunition load.

This also seemed an ideal time to bring back the former ArmiesArmy Neo-Soviet guards figures. Guard units wear flexible splinter-resistant composite fabric face masks with integrated breather units to keep out dust, pollutants and chemical/biological agents. Some formations, especially when facing irregular insurgent forces, wear red masks to increase the intimidation factor.

The Bars and Vombat are available individually, while the Bars is available in a platoon pack of three models (which includes crew and stowage). The Vombat meanwhile is available in an Assault Platoon pack of three models plus 12 infantry. The guards infantry consist of three packs – riflemen, support weapons and command – plus a platoon pack of 32 figures.

SF15-1211 – Vombat Tank/Apc – £9.00
SF15-1213 – Bars MBT – £9.00
SF15-1260 – Guards Riflemen (x10) – £3.75
SF15-1261 – Guards Support Weapons (x8) – £3.00
SF15-1262 – Guards Command (x6) – £2.25
SF15-1271 – Guards Rifle Platoon (x32) – £11.00
SF15-1273 – Guards Assault Platoon – £30.00
PP15-1213 – Bars Platoon Pack – £26.00

* – (ahem) with apologies, once again, to the late Terry Pratchett…

2mm Terrain

We have a bit of small-scale eye candy this afternoon. Jonas Dahlberg has sent us some pictures of his impressive 2mm WW2 layouts, featuring the Battle of the Bulge, D-Day landings and a really nice pacific island – I especially love the snow-covered industrial zone. Enjoy !

Ocean Blue

As we’ve been hinting at for a while (starting with the Polyversal remastering work), our Pacific Federation 6mm forces have been getting a bit of a makeover to match their 15mm cousins. The overall configuration of each vehicle hasn’t changed, but the original designs have all been replaced by sharper, more detailed versions. Phil has been steadily churning out production moulds, and the stack in the workshop has grown to the point where we’re finally able to release them. All of the existing vehicles have been updated along with new 6mm versions of the Raeside utility vehicle, and the PacFed also gain two new company packs.

The PacFed models also see dual service in the Hammer’s Slammers universe as the Terran Authority Starmarines (TAS), in which the Komodo is one of the few tanks capable of stopping a Slammers Blower tank.

Most (although not all) of the old versions will continue to be available as long as the moulds hold out in case you have an existing PacFed force and want to add to it.

SF300-701 – Cougar Grav Tank – £1.00
SF300-701a – Tiger AA Tank – £1.00
SF300-702 – Komodo Heavy Grav Tank – £1.50
SF300-703 – Wombat Grav APC – £0.80
SF300-705 – Bennelong Command Vehicle – £1.50
SF300-705a – Bilby Radar Vehicle – £1.50
SF300-706 – Ocelot Light Grav Tank – £0.80
SF300-707 – Quoll Grav Scout – £1.00
SF300-708 – Tanami Self-Propelled Gun – £1.00
SF300-708a – Kakadu Rocket Launcher – £1.00
SF300-709 – Minigwal Fast Attack Vehicle – £0.80
SF300-710 – Koala Heavy Attack Vehicle – £1.00
SF300-710a – Koala-M Missile Vehicle – £1.00
SF300-712 – Raeside Grav Utility Vehicle – £0.50
SF300-712b – Raeside Grav Pick-up – £0.50
SF300-712c – Raeside Scout – £0.50
SF300-712d – Raeside with Missiles – £0.50

IC-701 – PacFed Strike Team – £36.00
IC-711 – PacFed Tank Company – £14.00
IC-712 – PacFed Infantry Company – £9.50
IC-713 – PacFed Artillery Company – £14.25
IC-714 – PacFed Strike Group- £8.00
IC-715 – PacFed Scout Company – £9.25

Track Painting

With the recent release of our new Small Scale Scenery engine sheds and track, I thought it might be a good time to quickly run through my painting method for the track. When I first got hold of prototypes of our original track to paint, I looked at all the little tiny sleepers and thought “how on earth am I going to paint those – it’ll take forever”. Well, fear not…

Step 1 – Primer

After a quick cleanup, removing any extraneous bits of sprue and running a file round the edges, I gave the track a coat of Halfords’ grey car primer. This is my favourite primer for all models – it sticks to any surface and gives a good matt base for painting over.

Step 2 – Sleepers

If you’re in North America, read ‘crosstie’ when I say sleeper, it’s the same thing. I gave the sleepers a good drybrush with GW Bestial Brown (use your favourite brown if you don’t like/use Citadel paints) – use a small brush to do this as you want to avoid too much paint getting everywhere. You will inevitably get some brown around the track but don’t worry too much, we’ll clean it up in a minute. You want a relatively heavy drybrush coat (if that isn’t a contradiction) so that the whole of the sleeper surface is painted, not just the edges. As you can see, it’s all looking a bit messy…

Step 3 – Cleanup

I then went round and tidied up any overspill from the drybrush with grey paint (Tamiya XF-66 Light Grey is a good match for Halfords primer). Assuming you haven’t been too liberal with the brown and got it between the sleepers, you should find it reasonably quick and easy. Don’t worry about any brown on the rails themselves – any on the top surface will be coming off later, and any on the side looks like rust, which is a major colour as far as railway track goes. You might notice that I forgot to do the tops of the road crossings in one or two places – I had to clean this up this later.

Step 4 – Wash

Everything was then give a good coat of Citadel Nuln Oil black wash (Army Painter Dark Tone or Tamiya Smoke would work just as well). This takes longer than you might think – you tend to get little bubbles between the sleepers so you might need to use a stiffer brush to work the wash into these areas.

Step 5 – Rails

On our first set of tracks I used a silver paint pen and ran this over the top surface of the rails. This worked OK but I did get some overspill onto the sleepers especially around the points. You could use a small detail brush and silver paint, although I suspect it would be time-consuming. My solution this time was to make use of the natural colour of the metal. On the first piece of track I used a piece of wet-and-dry to remove the paint from the top of the rails – this took longer than I thought, and I managed to remove the paint from some of the sleepers as well. So for the next piece I simply ran a scalpel blade along the rails and scraped the paint off – perfect ! It was more accurate, quicker and cleaner. Look at those rails shine !

I painted almost two dozen pieces of track in an hour or so, so it’s a pretty quick method of producing reasonably good looking track.

Railway Assortment

Today we’re expanding on the railway options available in our Small Scale Scenery range. We have two different engine sheds – one is a large shed (over 250 scale feet long) with room for multiple engines and carriages. It’s not based on any specific prototype but is more generic.

The second is a more distinctive circular shape based on the Camden Roundhouse in London (now a well-known concert venue which I’ve been to once or twice). This has just a single entrance door for engines, but had a turntable to distribute the engines to repair bays once inside.

We have a new pack of double track, allowing side-by-side running (which would have been difficult with our existing curved track) – this has twelve pieces, six straight and six curved.

Finally, we have a very useful set of assorted crossing track – single and double road crossings, X-crossings and left- and right-hand crossovers (there are two of each piece in the pack – ten pieces in all).

SSS-8077 – Large Engine Shed – £4.00
SSS-8078 – Roundhouse Engine Shed – £3.00
SSS-8079 – Double Track – £5.50
SSS-8080 – Railway Crossings – £4.50