Our triumph in the cosmos–the anthem of the Soviet country! is the translated caption (thanks, Bing!) of this wonderful space-race era propaganda poster. I also thought it would make a great opener for the release of our Soviet spaceship fleet.
This initial release consists of eight models – six ships and two fighter types – as well as two packs. The Fleet pack has two battleships plus escorts, while the carrier pack has a carrier, thirty fighters plus escorting ships.
SFSP-1201 – Soviet Fleet Pack – £22.00 SFSP-1202 – Soviet Carrier Pack – £22.00 SFS-1200 – Voroshilov class Battleship – £7.50 SFS-1210 – Varyag class Carrier – £9.00 SFS-1220 – Groznyy class Heavy Cruiser – £3.00 SFS-1221 – Isakov class Light Cruiser – £2.00 SFS-1230 – Stoykiy class Destroyer – £1.25 SFS-1240 – Molniya class Frigate – £0.75 SFS-1260 – Sokol class Interceptor (x12) – £1.50 SFS-1261 – Grif class Fighter-Bomber (x12) – £1.50
The colour scheme is Tamiya Sky Blue with a heavy wash and drybrush using Citadel paints. The Soviet stars are from Dom’s Decals aircraft range, other decals from my bits box (I think the pennant numbers on the carrier and battleship are a chopped up 1/35th number plate from a Leopard I !).
Given the response they have received at Salute last month and on various forums, I think it’s unlikely that we won’t be releasing more ships in this fleet !
As mankind expanded beyond the solar system, if other civilisations were out there then one day we were going to make contact. Inevitably, given the vastness of the galaxy, it turned out that we weren’t alone after all. One of the first races encountered, the Yenpalo, are an aggressive, vaguely reptilian humanoid species. A number of combats have occurred between Yenpalo spaceships and human fleets around disputed systems, but ground combats have so far been fewer and confined to small-scale skirmishes. Reports of these actions speak of fully-armoured troops equipped with energy weapons and some form of personal particle shielding that seems to be effective against normal slug-throwing weapons.
The infantry set has ten figures – two five-man (alien?) sections, each with one squad leader, two riflealiens, a support weapon and a close combat specialist with pistol and energy shield. The support weapons pack has a shoulder launched anti-tank weapon, three assorted heavy weapons and another shielded figure.
The shields are printed on clear plastic. They need to be cut out and stuck on with clear glue after the figures are painted.
Part two of our Belgian painting guide was meant to be cavalry and it was meant to have been done a long long time ago (part one was after all back in August 2013) but apathy can be a wonderful thing. However the release of our Carabinier cyclists has finally encouraged me to pull my finger out.
As with the infantry the colours used were from Wargames Foundry (WF) and Games Workshop (GW) with the addition of Army Painter (AP) since my supply of Devlan Mud has finally been used up.
Starting with a white undercoat the flesh was painted the same as before – a basecoat of WF Flesh (5B), a drybrush of WF Flesh (5C) a wash of GW Seraphim Sepia and a second (lighter) drybrush of WF Flesh (5C).
The cyclists wore the same basic colours as the Carabinier infantry but without the greatcoat and with a small “czapki” hat with a removable peak rather the larger “Tyloean” hat.
The tunics and czapki were given a base coat of WF Stormgreen (27B) with a wash of GW Badab Black to tone the colour down. The trousers had a base coat of GW Skavenblight Dinge with a highlight of GW Administratum Grey.
Boots, gaiters, ammunition pouches, bayonet scabbard and the peak of the czapki had a base coat of GW Abaddon Black with a highlight of GW Stormvermin Fur.
The water bottles had a basecoat of Foundry Light Drab (12C) and the haversack Foundry Rawhide (11B). Both were given a wash of AP Strong Tone ink.
The rifles were painted in WF Rawhide (11A) and highlighted with GW Ushabti Bone. The gun barrel was GW Boltgun metal (an incredibly old pot of paint) with a wash of GW Badab Black. The hilt of the bayonet was highlighted with GW Administratum Grey.
The band and piping on the cazpki and the piping on the tunic and trousers were GW Yriel Yellow.
The bicycle frames had a base coat of GW Deathworld Forest green with a wash of AP Strong Tone ink. The tyres were GW Abaddon Black with a highlight of GW Stormvermin Fur. Silver parts (pedals, handlebars etc) had a base coat of GW Boltgun metal with a wash of GW Badab Black. The seats were WF Rawhide (11A) and the roll on the handlebar was WF Rawhide (11B). Both finished with a wash of AP Strong Tone ink.
In the Gulags of Eastern Russia and the Laogai of central China, one option for lifers is to serve in a Penal battalion with the promise of early release, rather than rot in jail. Survive 3 months of suicidal combat missions and gain your freedom (or so the NKVD recruiters will tell you – the likely reality is transfer to a mine-clearing unit if you show signs of making it to the end of your term). The odds are stacked against you – brightly coloured uniforms to draw attention away from the real troops, low power and poor quality weapons and an explosive collar, just in case you feel like straying from your assigned mission.
To represent these poor souls, this pack of Penal Troopers has five unique sculpts in prison-issue boiler suits wearing explosive collars. Four have short-barreled weapons while one has a support weapon.
One of the defining things about desert worlds is that they’re dry – very dry. Any moisture is precious and is collected by any means possible, from underground wells, lakes and also from the atmosphere. Hygroscopic moisture collectors coax water from the air and store it in underground tanks.
Our moisture collector models are available from our Shapeways site in both 15mm and 28mm sizes. However, the 15mm versions are popular enough that we take them to shows and after a restock I’ve just returned them to the website.
Last week I finished painting up my first batch of our 15mm Infantry figures that we brought out at Salute (not helped by a rogue pigeon that divebombed my photo-shoot at one point !).
Originally they were going to be sold as generic armoured infantry, but with our recent acquisition of the ArmiesArmy infantry ranges we’ve decided to allocate figures to our various forces. So these figures are now assigned to the Pacific Federation where their fully-armoured look goes well with the high-tech grav vehicles of the PacFed.
Although we’re still steadily adding our Salute collection to the website, we’re already looking forward to releases after that. The Small Scale Scenery range is still proving to be very popular, and our next releases will be somewhat older than the models we’ve created up to now.
For the last couple of weeks I’ve been working hard on some Roman buildings. I have the first draft of some town buildings including insulae (apartments) and domus (villas) as well as shops and other buildings. This will be expanded to a full set of around 20 models when complete.
I’ve also worked up some larger models – a temple and theatre, and a model of the Pantheon, the great temple in Rome built by Marcus Agrippa and reconstructed by Hadrian.
The town buildings will be metal castings, the larger buildings resin. Expect to see them sometime in June.
Portsmouth has always been one of the Royal Navy’s main bases, going back to the Tudors and Henry VIII. Henry built fortifications to guard the entrances to the Solent as part of his Device Forts programme, one of which was Southsea Castle. The first of our new models this week is of Southsea as first built in 1544. The castle was heavily modified over the years, including the repositioning of the whole North Wall 20-30 feet further north during the Napoleonic walls. The redesign was so extensive that we’ve also made a model of it after the work, dated around 1850.
During the Victorian Era, Lord Palmerston was responsible for a large number of coastal and inland forts built to counter a French invasion that, of course, never came. Four forts were built out to sea in the Solent itself – No Man’s Land and Horse Sands (which were pretty much identical), Spitbank and St Helen’s forts. We’ve modelled all of these as part of our Small Scale Scenery range, including a proposed turreted version of No Man’s Land/Horse Sands Fort with turrets that was never built but looks great !
As well as pre-Dreadnought era naval gaming, these models will also be perfect for Aeronef/Land Ironclads games and I’m sure we’ll see them appearing in Dystopian Wars games too, where our scenery range seems to be pretty popular.
Today we’re releasing what I think is the largest model we’ve yet made, plus re-releasing an old favourite.
The former is the 15mm Control Tower model that we sneaked through just before Salute. This 10″ tall model is part of our Colony Base and can mate up with other models in that range or be used as a stand-alone piece. There are two options, the full 10″ tall model or the slightly smaller version that has a single central pillar instead of two. This is a hefty chunk of resin that will make a great centrepiece on a 15mm table.
At the same time we’re returning the 15mm Athena VTOL to the website. We took a number of these to Salute (which we sold out of in a five minute burst in the middle of the morning). Now they’ve been remoulded it’s time to return them to full release.
If you’re wondering about our new 15mm infantry (and the Armies Army figures for that matter), they’re coming very soon. Even though the moulds are ready, we have a policy of not releasing anything until we have samples painted, and this week a big influx of orders, plus the Bank Holiday which made it a four-day week, means that I haven’t had a chance to do anything other than casting and packing. However, there’s a half-painted rifle platoon staring reproachfully at me from the workbench, which I should be able to get to next week.