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.

Construction Codes

We’ve been working for a while on a set of 15mm sci-fi building components for scratchbuilders. The 15mm SF community seems to be a very creative bunch of people who come up with lots of clever items of scenery from all sorts of bits and pieces, and we thought that a set of building parts would help towards this.

Rather than separate doors and windows, we’ve created a set of frontages, all around 70-80mm long, made up of a variety of doors and windows cast as one piece. This means that to create a simple building, you just need to stick one of these pieces to the side of a small box or piece of packaging, and there you have a basic house. If you need more flexibility, it’s a simple matter to score along the lines between each section and snap them apart to separate the individual doors and windows.

The range also includes an all-important set of roof vents for ventilation, along with larger industrial and hangar doors, chimneys, balconies and awnings.

For many of these buildings we’ve used UK-pattern surface mount pattress boxes – these are the plastic boxes that electrical sockets are fixed to. A single box will make a simple house, you can stack them to make a small apartment block or there are double-depth boxes that can be used for garages or workshops. These are a couple of pounds from DIY stores, but if bought in bulk from specialist trade counters (eg Screwfix or Toolstation) they can be as cheap as 50p each. Random bits of plastic or polystyrene packing also make a good basis for a building, or vac-formed blister packaging also works. A further option is to use them to dress up commercial vacform plastic buildings (Amera Mouldings have several North African buildings) or MDF ones (I have a couple of Middle-Eastern buildings from Blotz that I’ll be looking at in the near future). Just use your imagination – I have a pair of hangars I made from a salad crisper box that came with an old fridge!

B15-901 – Frontages (x5) – £3.00
B15-902 – Balconies (x2) – £2.50
B15-903 – Industrial Doors (x2) – £2.00
B15-904 – Roof Vents (x3) – £1.50
B15-905 – Chimneys (x2) – £3.00
B15-906 – Awnings (x3) – £1.75
B15-907 – Porch and Window (x2) – £2.50
B15-908 – Hangar Door – £1.50

The components are all resin castings. We’re hoping to post some blog articles over the coming weeks about making various buildings from our selection of components, to show what can be done with them.

Pacific Torpedoes

Quite high on our list of ‘Aeronef models we really must remake’ are some of the small torpedo craft – the US and Japanese ones particularly, for which we’ve never had a reliable production mould. They’ve now moved from the must remake list to the finally done list, and at the same time we’ve been able to add a patrol boat to each nation’s fleet. We’ve also gone for the 3-models-on-a-sprue plan that we’ve used with other small boats, which makes handling easier for us and allows us to get moire models in a mould.

The US Great White Fleet get a replacement for the Hunley torpedo boat, which is slightly bigger than the original, along with the River class patrol boat on the same hull.

Japan gets replacements for the K-37 bomber and S-12 Torpedo boat, and gains the C-64 patrol boat, which is built on the K-37 hull.

Both side’s torpedo flotillas have been updated as well – they go up slightly in price, but you now get six torpedo craft per pack instead of five.

VANFP-211 – US Torpedo Squadron – £4.50
VANFP-612 – Japanese Torpedo Squadron – £4.50

VAN-206 – Hunley class Torpedo Boat (x3) – £1.50
VAN-217 – River class Patrol Boat (x3) – £1.50
VAN-608 – Type K-37 Nef Bomber (x3) – £1.50
VAN-609 – Type S-12 Torpedo Nef (x3) – £1.50
VAN-618 – Type C-64 Patrol Boat (x3) – £1.50

Ben Mehdi’s Legion

The mercenary unit now known as Ben Mehdi’s Legion has had an interesting past. Naming your unit for its commander is always asking for trouble, as two name changes will testify. Initially known as Baffin’s Legion, the death of Colonel Baffin led to the unit being taken over by Lucas Broglie, a former officer in the Slammer’s Regiment, thereby becoming Broglie’s Legion. Broglie then met his end in the Meridienne War in 334TW, and the command baton passed to Colonel Hussein ben Mehdi, formerly part of Fasolini’s Company.

Ben Mehdi oversaw a major equipment upgrade, with the Legion’s older GD-800 series of hover vehicles replaced by Gull Combat Systems’ GS-1000 series. Their M12 tank destroyers were also upgraded from A1 to A4 standard, with thicker armour and a 20cm powergun instead of the older vehicle’s 15cm weapon.

Their smaller vehicles were also replaced, with the FN A21-series hover jeeps phased out in favour of Gull’s newer GS-700 model. A new vehicle also came into use – the GS-934 Recce Car. This uses a smaller version of the GS-1000 hull with its distinctive hex-patterned skirt, mounting a remote twin powergun turret over the engine deck. The roomy two-man cabin has plenty of space for detection equipment as befits its rôle as a forward scout vehicle.

Both new vehicles have a resin hull; the GS-934 has a metal gun turret, while the jeeps come with two crew figures for the basic version, or one crew plus a mortar sprue for the mortar version.

HS15-2017 – GS-934 Recce Car – £4.00
HS15-2018 – GS-700 Jeep – £2.50
HS15-2018a – GS-710M Mortar Jeep – £3.00

And before anyone asks … yes, I had a bit of a varnish problem with these, hence the odd white spot 🙁

Cavalier 2020

Our first show of the year is coming up in just under two weeks. Cavalier is run by the Tunbridge Wells Wargames Society and is held in the Angel Centre, Tonbridge. The show has been running for as long as we can remember, a good forty years or so, and is a very good example of a smaller wargames show with a decent mix of traders and games.

We have a smaller stand than normal at the show – this means that we’re a bit more limited in terms of what we can display, but we still aim to have as much stock as possible with us. We should have a good stock of most things, but won’t necessarily have room for them all on the stand so you might have to ask if you can’t see what you want. 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. The sooner the better, as I will be away for a couple of days in the week before the show.

  • Celtos – Decent stock of all individual figures, small unit packs and medium army packs (no 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 (no grand fleet packs or starter packs)
  • Small Scale Scenery – the full range of all models
  • Spaceships – full range of fleet packs (no individual models)
  • Hammer’s Slammers – rulebooks; the full range of 15mm models; a selection of 6mm models and detachment packs (no 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)
  • Great War Belgians – full range of figures
  • Magpie Miniatures – individual figures and blister packs
  • Squadron Commander – full range of blister 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.

Waldheim Dragoons in 6mm

The Waldheim Dragoons, an armoured mercenary regiment, use the missile armed A2 variant of the Icarus M2 blower tank – the same vehicle that equips the Slammers regiment, but with different armament. These are supported by the lighter M56 Daedalus medium tank along with two slightly different air-defence variants. These models came out in 15mm last year, today we’re following with the 6mm versions.

The Daedalus is speedy hover tank, armed with a 10cm powergun and a 2cm tribarrel on the commander’s hatch. The M564 Calliope carries no fewer than four linked tribarrel gatlings, which in Crucible terms amounts to a massive 12 shots per turn! The M562 variant has the same turret as the M564, but is armed with two rapid fire lasers (still amounting to eight shots per turn) and a pair of Manta light missiles for taking on more heavily armoured targets.

Crucible playsheets for the Waldheim Dragoons can be found on the Hammer’s Slammers website (along with many others).

HS6-1912 – M56 Daedalus Medium Tank – £1.00
HS6-1912a – M564 Daedalus Tri-barrel AA Tank – £1.00
HS6-1912b – M562 Daedalus Laser AA Tank – £1.00

Formidable!

You have to say the title in a French accent for it to work properly!

Today, we’ve completed the redesign process for the first of the major powers of the Aeronef world. With the release of nine new escort vessels, all of the French models have been replaced with new, 3D-printed versions (in case anyone was thinking that we’d already finished the British fleet first, there are still a couple of odd models that need to be done).

Today’s batch of new models includes two destroyers, three frigates, three patrol craft and a monitor. The smaller vessels are one piece castings with separate masts where appropriate, while the three largest vessels have separate gun turrets and (in the case of the Suffren monitor) side guns. The patrol craft are now supplied as a sprue of three vessels instead of singly.

VAN-405 – Le Brouchet Class Torpedo Frigate – £2.00
VAN-407 – Hussard Class Motor Torpedo Nef (x3) – £1.50
VAN-408 – Descartes Class Destroyer – £1.00
VAN-409 – Vaillante Class Destroyer – £1.00
VAN-411 – Perigeaux Class Patrol Nef (x3) – £1.50
VAN-412 – Hoche class Patrol Nef (x3) – £2.00
VAN-413 – Suffren class Monitor – £2.50
VAN-414 – Regnault class Destroyer – £2.00
VAN-415 – Siroco class Fast Torpedo Boat – £1.00

We’re hoping to get the German escorts replaced as well in the very near future – there’s just one mould to go.

No Show

Some more show news today; SELWG, a long standing event held in the Crystal Palace Sports Centre, has been cancelled, for this year at any rate. They’ve basically reached the end of their tether with regard to the venue – access for traders has always been problematic, with only two doors to the main hall which are reached by a very narrow road and a loading area that is very tight for vans and lorries. Fortunately this should only be a one-year break, as the SELWG club is looking for for a new venue for 2021. You can read their post on the SELWG Facebook page.

Following the cancellation of ROBIN, this is the second show to be culled from our planned roster this year, which is not great for us.

So to cheer everyone up, here are some new upcoming 15mm vehicles, due for release in the next few weeks…

EuroFed Battlecruiser

Today we have another of the models we previewed over Christmas – this is the EuroFed battlecruiser Tetuán.

At 74mm long, the vessel is larger than a Liberte class battleship, with heavier main weapons and a higher top speed. This all comes at a cost however, and the Tetuán’s aren’t as well shielded and are lighter in secondary armament.

The Tetuán is a one-piece resin hull with separate metal turrets.

SFS-402 – Tetuán class Battlecruiser – £6.50

New Range – 1/700th Coastal Forts

We’ve had a few enquiries recently about how compatible our Small Scale Scenery range is with 1/700th scale naval vessels. The SSS range is 1/1000th, so they work out to be a bit small, which some people don’t mind – we sell a lot of models to 6mm gamers who prefer their buildings to be closer to ground scale. Others like their scenery and other models to match, so we’ve decided to cater to that camp by scaling up some of our coastal forts to the larger scale.

We’ve started small – both in size and number of models – with an initial offering of three items. All are single-piece models in resin.

Over 100 Martello towers were built around the coast of Great Britain during the Napoleonic Wars, of varying types. This pack contains two typical designs, one with a single cannon and the other with three.

Fort Vauville is a tiny fortification on the west coast of the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy. It was one of a number of similar constructions built by Vauban in the latter half of the C.18th.

St Mawes Castle is one of Henry VIII’s Device Forts, built in the 1540s. It has been continuously garrisoned at various times since, including during the time of the Spanish Armada, the Napoleonic Wars and both World Wars.

B700-025 – Martello Towers (x2) – £2.00
B700-026 – Fort Vauville – £1.50
B700-029 – Castle St Mawes – £3.00