Whilst casting some 15mm building stock a few days ago something rather bizarre happened. What was supposed to be a large advanced building turned into a bit of a blob.
The resin comes in two parts (resin and hardener) which is mixed together in equal quantities. Normally everything goes according to plan but on this occasion once the resin was poured into the mould it started to expand in a style similar to fill and fix foam. It was also making a noise that would make a bowl of Rice Krispies proud. Since it was around midnight at this point I left it to calm down overnight.
We’ve been using the same type of resin for well over a decade and I’ve never had this happen before. I can only assume that the tub of resin had been contaminated in some way or was past its use by date. Certainly using the same tin of hardener with a new batch of resin has worked fine since.
The end result is far too good to simply bin. Around half of the building is now hollow and the surface has a variety of decent damage marks on it. So the plan now is to carefully cut off the lump of resin from the bottom and paint it up as a destroyed building.
So I’m off to get a new blade for my hacksaw and we’ll see how it goes.
It rained today … boy, did it rain !? The Brigade workshop was in danger of turning into the Brigade Ark at one point, as I started leading 15mm tanks in two-by-two 🙂 However, despite the hammering on the roof I managed to clear the decks of orders and make a start on a restock for Scale Creep Miniatures.
One light in the gloom was an email from Shapeways announcing free worldwide shipping until the 30th of this month (Sunday*) for orders over US$35 (very roughly around £20). So it’s another good chance to pick up a Pegasus Bridge, some moisture collectors or even a few little planes on the Brigade Shapeways shop.
*UPDATE – the offer has now been extended to Monday with no minimum order.
Recently, Australian gamer Azazel send us some photos of some beautifully painted Celtos skeletons which he’d featured on his blog. They’re well worth showing again here, and we’re grateful to him for sharing them with us – visit his page to see more.
We have a new addition to the 2mm scenery line today. This is a medieval set consisting of 20 buildings from a large village or small town. The set includes large and small houses, shops, inns, a Guildhall and buttermarket (the little octagonal pavilion).
The main characteristic of these buildings is the overhanging upper storeys. Many are still standing today so their use needn’t be confined just to the middle ages. They can be combined with many of the buildings in our existing English Village and Town Shops sets to create larger built-up areas. And of course the English Churches and the Large Church are also perfect companions.
The 6mm Desert Dome buildings released at Salute seem to have struck a chord with many gamers, so it was inevitable that we’d want to follow up with some more. I did a little bit of tinkering with my 3D design software to come up with five new buildings of various types, and the prints of these turned up earlier this week. I haven’t yet had time to fit them with doors and windows but you get the idea I’m sure. I’m hoping to be able to cast the large multi-dome one in the foreground in one piece.
I’ve also been working at new 15mm vehicles – this is the Ratel medium tank for our South African force, scaled up from the 6mm original but with a heap of extra detail.
And lastly, here’s another new 15mm building – an upscale of the 6mm Plinth Dwelling. Which seems currently to be in use as a Chinese command post…
John Treadaway made an excellent job of painting his Stewart forces when he added them to the Hammer’s Slammers website last year. I was lucky enough to see them close-up earlier this year in a game at Maidstone (albeit from the wrong end of their gun barrels !) and was struck by the extra mile he goes with the addition of stowage and crew figures to his vehicles.
Suitably inspired, I decided that I wanted a Stewart detachment of my own, so set about putting one together. I also wanted to use the new Glengarry-hatted infantry, which weren’t available when John was assembling his forces.
I started by cleaning the resin castings in soap and water and letting them dry. I then assembled the vehicles, which for the most part is straightforward – the Apollos and Artemis only have the hatches to glue on, some of which I left open for crew figures which were superglued straight in. One of the tanks got a radar antenna on the rear of the turret – there’s a circular detail piece behind the left hatch, which I drilled out with a 2mm bit and fitted the radar in there. Both tanks had external fuel drums glued to the hull rear (a bit fiddly, use gel super glue for this) and jerricans plus the odd storage box were glued onto the hulls and turrets.
The Kunitsas take a bit more work, with the tracks, hatches and turrets all needing to be attached. I glued all of the rear hatches closed, but left two of the top hatches open. The mortar carrier’s hatches were glued upright and I added an infantry figure with binoculars after cutting him off at the waist with clippers. The second hatch was completely opened, and three riflemen were cut off and glued in the hatch (word to the wise – in future I think I’d paint these figures separately and glue them in after painting, as doing so in the confines of the vehicles was fiddly).
The infantry were cleaned up then glued to washers (I used thin plasticard to cover the holes in the washers). The gun crew weren’t based, but were stuck to a coffee stirrer for painting. The figures on washers were textured using PVA glue and sand to decorate the bases. You have two options for basing – using the washers allows the figures to be put in the sabot fireteam bases for games that require infantry to based in teams, but still allowing them to be used individually for skirmish games. Alternatively, the figures can be stuck straight into the resin fireteam bases and attached permanently.
Once all the glue was dry, everything – vehicles and figures – was undercoated in Halfords white automotive primer. This is a bit more expensive than some primers but a) the can is a lot bigger so you get more for your money and b) it sticks to anything – metal, resin, plastic – to give a good key for the main paint job. Once this had dried, the infantry were sprayed with Plastic Soldier Company Russian Uniform, while the vehicles were airbrushed with Vallejo Sand Yellow.
The vehicles were then pretty straightforward to finish. They were first drybrushed overall with Citadel Terminatus Stone (one of their ‘dry’ paints). Hover skirts were painted dark grey and drybrushed light grey, tracks were painted red-brown and drybrushed lightly with silver. The hatch interiors were painted very light grey, stowage in various shades of green, brown and grey and some parts of the gun barrels in gunmetal drybrushed with silver. The tank crew were given black coveralls and dark red berets, while the infantry in hatches were brush painted the same way as those on foot.
The next step was to brush on a coat of Army Painter Strong Tone (from the large tin, not the dropper bottle). This is messy, so I put the models on greaseproof paper and left them in a shed to dry which takes 24 hours or so (don’t leave them indoors if you can help it, the stuff stinks and, trust me, you will get complaints…).
Once set, I added some Scottish Saltire decals which I sourced from eBay – these go on fine straight over the shiny Army Painter finish. Then the last task is to give them a clear flat coat – I use Tamiya XF-86 airbrushed on. This is an acrylic varnish so won’t react with the dip. The only time I tried Army Painter’s own clear coat in a spray can, it crazed horribly, so you have been warned…
The resin figure bases were sprayed black and then the tops painted in Tamiya Flat Earth drybrushed in a pale sand colour. The sides were painted in Tamiya Flat Brown. With the two ant-tank gun bases, I used a cutting tool in a dremel to make some indentations in the bases for the gun crew (do this outside and wear a face mask – you do not want to breathe in the resin dust). The previously sprayed crew figures were superglued in and PVA glue and sand used to cover round the hole.
I try to keep the colour schemes on 15mm figures simple, just so I can get them painted in a sensible time. For these figures the steps were
Pouches, water bottle, packs in Citadel Kommando Khaki
Guns in dark grey, highlighted light grey
faces and hands in Citadel Elf Flesh
boots in Tamiya Rubber Black
Glengarries painted flat black. The band around the bonnet should be a red and white check pattern, but I approximated this by painting it white then adding red strips
They were then also given a brush coat of AP Strong Tone and varnished with a flat coat once this had dried. I had a bit of bad luck with the varnish which decided to go frosty on me – this wasn’t too severe, but made the glengarries look a bit grey-ish (there was some damp in the air – the answer was not to panic, but to wait until the weather had dried out then varnish them again). Finally, I glued the odd small rock on some bases and applied flock – I got hold of some very nice grass tufts with purple blossoms from The Dice Bag Lady and used these to give a purple heather look to the bases and further emphasise the Scottish-ness of this unit.
And there you have it – 2650 points of Hammer’s Slammers detachment ready for action.
In 329TW, the planetary governments of Hiroseke and Stewart, re-ignited their feud on Kalan, an iridium- mining colony they had founded together decades before hand, and over which they had already fought one bitter struggle. Japanese and Scots were again in open warfare over production rights and were shooting at each other for another five years…
Prompted by John, we’re taking the platoon pack idea a step further, and we’re going to start offering complete Hammer’s Slammers Detachment Packs. These are essentially a complete army in a box that matches one of the detachment lists for The Crucible rules. The first is a Stewart Regiment Highland Detachment, a powerful 12-element unit of tanks, infantry and anti-tank guns. The pack contains everything you need to make the detachment, right down to washers to base the infantry on. The full pack contents is as follows:
* – the Highland Detachment has five 4-man infantry elements. The extra figures are for you to populate the top hatches of the APCs if you wish to (you will need to cut the figures off at the waist to do this).
Paint, glue, decals and modelling ability not included – you’ll need to provide these yourself ! We’ll be posting a painting guide in the next few days too, although John’s original unit looks extremely good so you could do worse than to study his pictures. The detachment comes in at £75, more than 10% off the price of everything if bought separately.
HS15-101 – Stewart Regiment Highland Detachment – £75.00
SF15-160g – Rifle Squad in Glengarries (x10) – £3.75 SF15-161g – Support Weapons in Glengarries (x5) – £2.00 SF15-162g – HQ Section in Glengarries (x6) – £2.75 SF15-170g – Infantry Platoon in Glengarries (x24) – £8.50 SF15-171g – Mechanised Platoon in Glengarries (x24) – £30.00
I am confidently assured (by Microsoft’s Bing Translator, no less…) that the above title translates to ‘Soviet Statistics’. So apologies if it really means ‘three-legged donkey’ or worse …
What it signifies is that in a rare fit of efficiency, I’ve put up Starmada playsheets for our Neo-Soviet spacefleet on the website, and while I was there I’ve added playsheets for the recent British additions (the Colossus, Wellesley and Kent). So you can boldly go with the latest designs behind you now…
After wasting far too much time trying to fix the PC, a box of replacement parts arrived this week. I had a bit of a false start when I didn’t configure the RAID array correctly, but it’s all now up and running – Brigade has returned to normal operation. We’ve managed to catch up with orders (having previously been unable to print shipping labels) so everything that arrived up to yesterday (Thursday) evening has now shipped. It also means I can get on with some more 3D design work which has stalled over the past few weeks.
New on the website today are a few accessory items. We’ve made some of our 15mm heavy weapons available separately, the neat little Chinese command drones and also the Neo-Soviet heavy gun turrets from the spaceship range (they should have been available earlier – I forgot to do so when the ships were released). I’ve also added the Javelot Scout Car with radar that I put together as an example idea for the release of the radar dishes – it makes a useful little EW vehicle and it’s easy for us to add as a separate item.