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.
First business for today is a reminder about Colours on Saturday; I’m at the workshop restocking tomorrow, so you only have a brief window remaining for any orders for collection at the show. You can either pay by cash or card on the day (just send us an email), or order via the website (use the Collect in Person option to avoid postage).
As threatened earlier in the year, our ongoing spaceship upgrade programme has moved onto the Chinese (CDSU) fleet. Phil found time between packing boxes for his impending house move to make the master mould for the bulk of the new masters, and I cast up the first ones last week.
The two dreadnoughts, the Longzi and Jiangzi, both now have resin hulls with various metal parts, while the new cruisers and escorts are all metal. Unfortunately they won’t be ready for this weekend, these are still several weeks away from release, . When they do appear, the old designs will be withdrawn, so get in now if you want to top up any existing fleets. Today I’ve been cleaning up the master castings of the smaller vessels ready for production moulds, so I thought it was time for a sneak peek …
For the dreadnoughts you’ll have to make do with some CG images for now, until I get all of the parts together to actually assemble some!
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.
We return to the show circuit soon, starting at the Hereward convention at the Cresset Centre in Peterborough on Sunday September 1st, followed by Colours at Newbury Racecourse less than a week later (Saturday 7th). As always, we’re more than happy to take orders for collection at either event – simply send us an email with what you require and pay on the day, or you can order and pay in advance via the website using the ‘Collect in Person’ shipping option.
As our ranges have grown we’re no longer able to bring everything with us, so to help you plan here’s a list of what we’re intending to cram onto the stand at both events – if we aren’t bringing what you’re after, get in touch and we’ll see what we can do.
Celtos – Decent stock of all individual figures, small unit packs and medium and large army packs
Aeronef/Imperial Skies – All of the most popular fleet packs (the major powers) but not the smaller nations; a good selection of individual capital ships in blisters; rulebooks and accessories for Imperial Skies. Latest releases (German/French cruisers) also available individually.
Small Scale Scenery – the full range of all models
Spaceships – full range of fleet packs; no individual models except for new releases
Hammer’s Slammers – rulebooks and accessories; the full range of 15mm models; latest 6mm releases as individual models; a selection of 6mm and 15mm detachment packs.
15mm SF – full range of 15mm vehicles, figure packs and accessories; no buildings
6mm SF – full range of army packs, company packs and building packs; no individual models except infantry
Great War Belgians – full range of figures
Magpie Miniatures – individual figures and packs
Squadron Commander – full range of blisters packs; no individual models or starter packs
Crom’s Anvil – full range of figures
We will not be able to bring any 10mm SF buildings, Iron Stars or Land Ironclads miniatures unless ordered in advance.
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.
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.
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.