New out of the factory this week are a trio of support half-tracks for our 15mm Polish forces. The Wilk (Wolf) chassis carries either a pair of tri-barrel AA gatlings, a quad anti-tank missile system or a 12-barreled multiple rocket artillery system.
The Wolf is derived from the Suwalska half-track family, but with a flat-bed rear replacing the former’s passenger compartment. The turrets are of Soviet origin, bought in and retro-fitted with indigenous electronics and sensors.
We seem to be on a roll with our Aeronef updates as we gradually redesign the range. In between the major fleets, we’ve also found time to update some of the other fleets, and this week the Italians get an upgrade with new versions of their two battleships. The Re d’Italia and Guilo Cesare are smaller vessels, not up to the size of some of huge battlewagons of the major powers, but perfectly adequate to face off against the Austro-Hungarians in their seemingly permanent squabble over the Adriatic Sea.
As with all of our updates, the models now get separate turrets of a new design, which are also available as accessory packs. The hulls are resin, with metal funnels, tails, turrets and masts.
I wanted to do something different with the Italian colour scheme, so I took a cue from my friend Silvio, who owns the largest Italian Aeronef fleet in existence. I went for conventional black hulls, but painted the superstructures and turrets in Azzurri blue (the paint I used is Citadel Caledor Sky). They were painted in my usual base/wash/highlight style and finished with tail markings from Dom’s Decals.
The Italian fleet pack has also been updated, and now contains a Re d’Italia, two Cesares and escorts
VANFP-1801 – Italian Fleet Pack – £22.00 VAN-1801 – Giulo Cesare class Light Battleship – £6.00 VAN-1802 – Re d’Italia class Battleship – £7.00 VAN-7181 – Italian Twin Turrets (x10) – £1.50 VAN-7182 – Italian Triple Turrets (x10) – £1.50
It’s back to 15mm again this week, with some new towed guns. They’re listed under EuroFed in the 15mm range, but will also serve for various hammer’s Slammers forces. There are four options in all, using the same chassis and shield but with different weapons types – DS gun, howitzer, gatling and powergun barrels. For crew, the existing Fasolini gun crew are ideal with one seated and two kneeling crewmen per gun.
As far as towing options go, there are lots of options in our ranges already – from the EuroFed Musareigne, Lievre and Belette wheeled vehicles, Polish Suwalska half-track or the the recently released Viking half-track. Most of the Centurion LTVs also have towing hooks and are used in the Crucible rules as towing vehicles, while units such as Harris Commando use the M9A10 Cargo Car as a prime mover. We’ve also released a pack of small towing hooks to allow you to convert any vehicle to an artillery tractor.
Our next and nearest show, Broadside in Sittingbourne on June 10th, is approaching rapidly. I’ve gradually been replenishing our show stock following Salute and have a full day to finish off that task next week.
We should have some more new releases in the next week or two which will be available on the day, and of course the large selection of models that we released at Salute will also be available.
As always, we are taking pre-orders for any of our ranges – you can either place an order and pay in advance using the collect in person option on the website, or just drop us an email with a list and pay on the day. Pre-orders need to be with us by Tuesday next week at the latest (June 5th) in order for us to have a chance of getting them ready.
After a couple of weeks of new 15mm SF models, the smaller scale gets a look-in this week. Our Thunderbolt Division Dragoon half-tracks are reinforced by two versions of the smaller Viking recce vehicle, along with three versions of the Varningr utility trailer.
GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulations – although it could equally be the initials of some Cold War era Soviet bloc state ! The new regulations, which deal with handling of personal data, come into force today so that seems like a good time to quickly go through our position with regards to them.
As far as storage and usage of personal data goes, we don’t have a customer database as such. We retain copies of all orders placed on the website or through the post – these will include your name, address and email address, and of course details of the items you’ve purchased. We don’t have anything related to payments, such as credit card details, since this is handled by PayPal and we don’t ever see these. If you’ve ever paid by cheque, this goes straight into the bank and we don’t record account numbers or branch codes or make copies of the cheques. We never sell or pass this information on to anyone, or use it to create marketing lists etc. We don’t send out unsolicited marketing emails or letters.
Currently the model is only available in 15mm (1/100th), but 6mm Slammers ‘gamers will doubtless be interested in the photos below…
Production moulds are already in place for many of the hulls, and we’re now finalising the turrets. Some of them needed a bit of work to scale down successfully, but we’ve just re-ordered new revised masters and should be in production in time for the Joy of Six show.
We’ve just added a new show to our list this year. We’ve signed up to attend the new Tabletop Gaming Live event run by the Miniature Wargames magazine team at Alexandra Palace on the 29th and 30th of September.
It’s the first time we’ve committed to a two-day event, so we’ve yet to work out the logistics in terms of running the stand, what stock to bring and even simple things like how the stand should be laid out.
The event is a combination of miniature gaming and boardgames, so we’re looking forward to bringing our slightly niche selection of products to a new audience.
I recently posted about my Lightning Division’s ill-fated debut on the tabletop and their defeat at the hands of the Zaporoskiye Regiment. Regardless of their performance (and believe me, they’re out for revenge) they look striking in their blue/grey/yellow camouflage, so I thought it was time for a photo parade now that the wrecks have been recovered from the battlefield, the damage repaired and the shell marks polished out.
The two detachments, one tank and one infantry, each consist of ten TUs (tactical units – a vehicle or an infantry team), totalling fifteen vehicles and five infantry teams. I actually painted sixteen vehicles so that I had the option of either a mortar jeep or tracked mortar carrier in the infantry detachment.
The LD vehicles are mostly blowers, or high-powered hovercraft. They’re relatively easy to assemble with few parts – the crew cars just have a rear hatch and two small turrets to be attached to the resin hull. I added plenty of stowage, including some of our etched-brass turret baskets.
The next step was a grey basecoat using Halfords automotive primer from a spray can, which would also serve as the first of the three camouflage colours. Once this has dried I drybrushed the vehicles all over with Citadel Longbeard Grey.
The camouflage colours were laid down with an airbrush – Vallejo French Blue followed by Tamiya XF-4 Yellow-Green. I drybrushed the camouflage stripes, again with Citadel dry paints – Skunk Blue and Hexos Palesun respectively. At this point the vehicles look fairly bright, but this would be dulled down in a bit.
I spent a while picking out details – stowage, sensor blisters and lenses, gun barrels etc in various colours, including some shading and highlighting. One blower hull had a slight mis-cast at the rear (I filed it in the ‘not good enough for resale, but too good to just throw away’ category) which I tried to make look like battle damage with rust and silver wear marks. The next stage was an overall coat of Army Painter Strong Tone Quickshade, which is a stain-like varnish that dries to a glossy and very tough finish.
I added some Lightning Division decals from our range (which will be available again soon, promise!) which go nicely over the glossy finish of the quickshade. I then varnished them with Tamiya Flat Clear from my airbrush, at which point disaster struck…
A slightly damp day resulted in every wargamer’s nightmare, varnish fogging, with my Lightning Division looking like they’d driven through a snowstorm. The temptation at this point was to launch them into the bin, but I needed them on table the following week! So I launched instead into an emergency repair programme to try and sort out the fogging. I started by putting an abrasive polishing bit in my mini-drill and gently tried to buff away the affected areas. The Tamiya coat was very thin while the underlying Army Painter is pretty tough, so I was hoping to be able to remove one without damaging the other. By and large this was successful, although there were one or two places where I wore away the paint and went through to the base resin or metal – and of course my decals were utterly destroyed by this process. The abrasive head couldn’t reach into corners or panel lines either, so I needed a different solution for those areas. I had to repaint some damaged and very badly fogged areas – bits of camouflage, gun barrels, sensor blisters – and I then used a wash of Citadel Agrax Earthshade which filled in any panel lines that were still white. The overall results weren’t perfect, but a thousand times better than they might have been. They were at least in a usable state and could make their combat debut.
After the game I went back and reapplied a new batch of decals, and a fresh coat of varnish – fortunately trouble-free this time – and finally I could declare them finished.