Shining Bright

At Crisis last year, I was shown some pictures of our EuroFed spaceships by Eric Pigat. Nothing unusual about that, we love to see photos of our models painted up, since many of you seem to do a much better job with them than we do !

The difference with these is that Eric had modded them with LEDs to light up their engines – he has drilled through the models to route fibre optics from the engine to the base which houses the power source. He has even managed it with the tiny fighter craft, which is pretty amazing. They look absolutely stunning, as you can see from the pictures below. Bravo, Eric!

United in 6mm

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

Belgian Colours

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.

Fallen Giants

I recently made some wreck markers for a game of Imperial Skies; they don’t serve any game purpose, but they look good 🙂

I was fielding a small but powerful French fleet, so I modelled my two capital ships (a Gaulois dreadnought and a Massena battleship), and while I was at it I added a Loire and one of the new la Verde class Italian battlecruisers.

The resin hulls were cut off at odd angles and the Gaulois was cut completely in half. They were then severely distressed with knives, clippers, files and a Dremel fitted with a grinding head. Some of the turret mountings were drilled out and gun barrels removed. The metal turrets, funnels and other bits were similarly attacked, gun barrels and masts bent before sticking them to the hulls.

They were based on textured plastic Land Ironclads bases, and the Massena’s tail was cut off and stuck at an odd angle.

Everything was sprayed black before they were given the roughest of rough paint jobs – just two additional colours, deck and superstructure. I didn’t bother painting details such as windows that I’d normally spend time over. I gave them a similarly quick drybrush rather than the usual edge highlighting, then lots of dark washes hid the rough edges.

The bases were painted in sea colours and a wash of GW Coelian Greenshade gave a suitably oily-looking surface to the water. The final touch was some fibre stuffing which was lightly sprayed black then superglued to represent smoke billowing out of various orifices.

Although they were just for aesthetic purposes in our game, they could be useful as objective markers in a game – retrieving vital papers or a VIP from a downed ship.

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolverines?

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.

Wolverine Infantry Platoon

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!).

Wolverine Tank Hunter Detachment

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.

HSD15-1601 – Wolverines – £70.00
HSD15-1602 – Wolverines – £55.00

HSD6-1601 – Wolverines – £9.00
HSD6-1602 – Wolverines – £8.00

Celtos Swordmaidens

Another set of customer painted models this week – this time a collection of really nicely rendered Celtos Gael female heroes and warriors from Victor Gondra.

Galea
Swordmaidens
Llysa
Amanthas
Enora

Thommo’s Two-mil

Nottingham modeller Simon Thompson has sent us some pictures of his really nicely painted Small Scale Scenery buildings which we thought we’d share. In particular, the shaded windows look very effective. The whole effect is grimey and industrial and very much looks the part.

Skeleton Dance

A while ago we featured some nicely painted skeletons from the Celtos Fir Bolg range by Australian blogger Azazel. Recently he sent us photos of some more archers, so without further ado, here they are (and it would be rude not to link to his blog)…

United We Stand

Another (yes, another !) new 15mm Hammers Slammers detachment fell off my painting table the other week. They almost happened by accident, but they were such a simple build and took very little time.

Strictly speaking it’s a troop, not a detachment – it’s only a half-sized unit. To create a full detachment, just add another identical troop. The United Defence Batteries are another of the specialist outfits from the Hammerverse, a unit tailored to perform one specific role but perform it well. The UDB are an elite air defence unit equipped with our new GS-1018 8-barreled rapid-firing calliopes (released last week) mounted on GEV chassis. That’s all they do – you hire the UDB to keep the skies above clear of enemy aircraft and artillery shells, and trust them to do that job perfectly. Of course, eight 2cm rapid fire powerguns will also make a mess of light armoured vehicles and infantry if you point them in the right direction ! They play a central role in the story Counting the Cost, which you can find in volume 2 of The Complete Hammer’s Slammers.

I wasn’t sure how to paint the UDB, so in the end I opted for a very simple dark grey scheme (German Panzer Grey) with green fabric skirts. The only colour was a couple of orange flashes on the side panels and the sensor blisters on the calliope turrets which I painted in blue. Decals were taken from the same Dom’s Decals vehicle names sheet as I used for the Foster’s Mercenaries names, and numbers were spares from our Heliodorus Regiment sheet. In the end the effect wasn’t as dark as I’d have liked – if I did them again I’d use a black base and drybrush it up with dark grey.

The UDB troop pack contains three GS-1108 Calliopes, one GS-1008 command vehicle (with optional radar instead of the rear turret) plus stowage packs.

HSD15-3301 – United Defence Batteries Calliope Troop – £32.00

Harris Blowers

Slammers detachments are like buses – you wait ages for one, then two turn up at once. After last week’s 111-wheel painting and assembly marathon with the unit of Foster’s Mercenaries, this one is a rather more straightforward build.

The Slammers regiment aren’t the only users of the M9 combat car; besides the Lightning Division and their fully enclosed crew cars, Harris Commando use the M9A3 variant. This is identical to the Slammers’ version except for the armament; the Harris cars have a heavy laser and two gatlings in place of the tribarrels.

I chose to put together an armoured detachment of three combat cars and three M9A10 cargo cars; one of these tows an anti-tank gun while the others each carry two infantry teams for a total of 10 TUs (the gun and towing vehicle count as a single TU). The plan was to also paint an extra cargo car and infantry so I could also reconfigure them into an Infantry Detachment – I painted the extra infantry, but forgot the additional cargo car ! I’ll have to go back and do that another day.

This was a simple and quick build – the cargo cars are one piece castings, while the combat cars have the three metal guns, crew figures plus of course the etched brass splinter screen. I attached the guns and crew (space is limited in the car’s interior so I don’t always put all three crew figures in) but left the screens off until the very end. All of the cars received stowage, jerricans, fuel drums, stowage boxes etc. The etched brass sheet for the screen also has a stowage basket so I attached one or two of those. I stuck an infantry figure with binoculars in the back of one cargo car after removing his base.

The vehicles were all primed with Halfords’ grey automotive primer, then drybrushed a lighter grey. I airbrushed orange-brown camouflage stripes, carefully drybrushed those pale orange and, apart from picking out the stowage and the odd detail here and there, that was just about it. Once the combat car crew and guns were painted I superglued the splinter screens on. They then received a brushed-on coat of Army Painter Strong Tone Quickshade. As with the Fosters vehicles we don’t yet have any official decals so I’d already printed up some onto decal paper. The decal paper is thicker than normal decal film and won’t take too well to heavily curved surfaces, but they seemed to be OK over the slight curve of the bow slope. After that, it was a final airbrushed coat of Tamiya Flat Clear.

The towed gun crew are fixed to one of our resin fireteam bases – I used a cutting tool in a Dremel to make holes for their bases then filled any gaps with PVA and sand. The gun isn’t glued down so it can be removed from the base when it’s being towed. The rest of the infantry were glued to M8 washers and the bases textured with PVA and sand. They were sprayed dark green over their primer coat, drybrushed and washed with Citadel Athonian Camoshade. Boots were painted brown, guns grey, faces in various flesh shades and webbing sand-brown, all washed in appropriate colours from the Citadel shades range. The bases were painted with Tamiya Flat Earth and drybrushed. I painted the fireteam bases in the same colours with a darker brown edge, then flocked with Citadel grass once everything had been varnished.

The two Harris packs are now available from the website if you feel like leading a detachment of blowers into battle.

HSD15-3201 – Harris Commando Armoured Detachment – £38.00
HSD15-3202 – Harris Commando Infantry Detachment – £31.50