A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to again spend a day rolling dice and pushing tanks with Miniature Wargames editor and author of The Crucible, John Treadaway. We played a large Hammer’s Slammers game with over 160 elements on table in over a dozen different detachments – John attacked my dug-in Lightning Division forces with a mix of the Thunderbolt Division and Waldheim Dragoons backed up by Antargran local forces.
For once my dice held up (in most cases – I did make a habit of burning out gun barrels whenever I tried Rapid Fire with my blower tanks, three of which ended the game with no main gun…) and I just about came out victorious with judicious use of mortars and missile salvos on the Antargrans. I did end the game with just one working tank however, a Krauss tracked tank with charmed life! John has written up the game and there’s an extensive photo gallery on the Crucible website, but here are a few of mine.
The Lightnings were also supported by a freshly painted new force that I was putting in the field for the first time – two detachments of the Wolverines, a specialist anti-tank unit. I’ve been wanting to create a Wolverine force for a while and just needed the last piece in their particular equipment jigsaw, the infantry skimmers for the tank hunter teams. Their primary vehicle is the Viking half-track armed with either Manta light missiles or a rapid-fire coil gun (4 shots per turn !). This tows a variety of trailers including calliope and MLRS versions, or a 5cm Hi-Intensity powergun. Wolverine infantry also ride in these open backed trailers (with little in the way of protection) – the Vikings have internal space for troops but are very cramped and the troops prefer to take their chances in the trailers. Specialist tank hunter teams armed with buzzbombs are equipped with personal ‘skimmers’, one-person hoverbikes, for rapid deployment.
After the usual clean-up and assembly (production line methods are the only way to go for this many vehicles!) I undercoated both infantry and vehicles with automotive primer – red oxide for the vehicles and white for the infantry and skimmers.
The vehicles were then heavily drybrushed in a terracotta colour (Golgfag Brown, one of the Citadel Dry paints) and I then applied camouflage stencils from Anarchy Models. I used the Ambush Pattern ones this time for a change, and then airbrushed a desert sand over the top. I drybrushed the vehicles with Citadel Terminatus Stone before removing the stencils – that way the highlight colour doesn’t get on the red camouflage patches. Only then could I carefully remove the stencils, which takes a while – I was still finding one or two I missed when it came to the final painting stages! After this it was time to brush paint details – wheels, windows, tracks and little details such as sensor lenses and headlights. Once all of this is dry, each model is given a generous brushed-on coat of Army Painter Strong Tone Quickshade. This got a couple of days to thoroughly dry before I added decals over the shiny Quickshade finish, followed by a final airbrushed top coat of Tamiya Flat Clear (I will repeat again my experience of using Army Painter’s own aerosol varnish – I find this is great over normal acrylic paints, but over Quickshade I find it tends to craze and blister, especially on large flat surfaces. You have been warned!).
The infantry (from our British range) were sprayed with Army Painter Army Green from a spray can, then faces, weapons, webbing and boots were painted. I don’t usually camouflage infantry in 15mm, but I decided to give them three-colour helmet covers by dotting on sand and brown. I also painted a Brigadier figure to lead them, this time with yellow facings, who I’ve named Major Vilkas (the Wolverines detachment list doesn’t have any named leaders). Once finished they were also brush painted with Quickshade and varnished at the same time as the vehicles. The skimmers were painted separately from the riders and stuck together just before the Quickshade stage.
The final touches were flock and plenty of grass tufts on the infantry bases, both from Games Workshop.
We’ve set up ready made detachment packs for the Wolverines on the website in both 6mm and 15mm, so you can buy your own forces to match these. The Infantry detachments include extra trailers so all towed weapon options are possible. While I was at it, the Slammers section of the website has had a minor facelift – nothing fancy, just a few colour changes and some new pictures.