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.

Through the Ages

We have a number of new items in the Small Scale Scenery range today; they span almost a millennia from the Iron Age to the early middle-ages.

First up is this very flexible 25-piece set of roundhouses and other huts. There’s a mix of styles and sizes, mostly roundhouses but also including rectangular and oval structures. It also includes a Crannog, a small Celtic settlement which would be built on an artificial island in a lake. Although we’ve labelled them as a Dark Age village, the set would be eminently usable in other settings, for example the roundhouses would make a great African tribal settlement.

Largest of all is this one-piece resin village. It consists of a number of roundhouses along with small store huts and a central chieftain’s house, surrounded by a stone wall.

This odd looking structure is a Broch. They were built in the first centuries BC and AD in Scotland and surrounding islands – estimates for the number built vary between 100 and almost 600. Although they look like fortifications, they seem to have held a small village under one roof and their exact use is shrouded in some mystery.

Finally for this week, and dating from the 9th to 12th centuries AD, a number of tall Round Towers were built in Ireland. Again their purpose seems muddled – their Irish name, Cloigtheach, means ‘Bell Tower’, so they could simply have been belfries. But they’re also known colloquially as Priest Towers, and it has been speculated that they were used as refuges for the clergy from pillaging Vikings.

SSS-8139 – Dark Age Walled Village – £2.50
SSS-8140 – Dark Age Roundhouses – £5.50
SSS-8141 – Broch – £0.50
SSS-8142 – Priest Towers (x3) – £1.50

Croiseurs Français

This week we’re updating all of the cruiser classes in our French Aeronef fleet. This includes the cruisers Jeanne la Pucelle and Formidabile, and the commerce raider classes L’Epee and Fléche. Whenever we release one of these updates we always try to add something new as well as replacing the older models; the British got the Minotaur Armoured Cruiser earlier this year and the Germans the Lützow Fleet Cruiser and Hansa Torpedo Cruiser. The French are no exception – they get the brand new 6-turret Jules Ferry Armoured Cruiser class.

French heavy cruisers patrol off a Mediterranean coastal town, watched over by a floating battery
Commerce raiders move to intercept two German merchant vessels under escort.

We’ve followed the layout of the older models for the designs but in detail they’ve all changed considerably (for the better !). All of the models feature one-piece metal hulls and separate turrets. Our existing French fleet packs will have the new designs instead of the old ones.

VAN-403 – L’Epee class Commerce Raider – £4.00
VAN-404 – Jeanne la Pucelle class Cruiser – £3.50
VAN-406 – Formidabile class Light Cruiser – £2.50
VAN-416 – Fléche class Light Raider – £2.50
VAN-421 – Jules Ferry class Armoured Cruiser – £4.00

Heavy Fighters

Following on from last week’s release of the Eaglewing VTOLs, we have more air support options in 6mm – but this time of the heavier variety and more suited to deep space than nap of the earth.

New in our Squadron Commander range are two heavy fighters, one for the American Republic and the other German. The Raptor is an advanced single-seat AmRep attack fighter with four X-configured stabilisers. Tucked away between each pair of stabilisers is a 10-round heavy torpedo launcher, with two gatling lasers provided some hefty forward firepower.

The Kondor is an anhedral-winged German strikeboat. The two-seater has a pair of plasma cannon under the forward canards and a remote twin blaster turret, plus a number of underwing missile hardpoints.

SCR-203 – Raptor Attack Fighter – £3.25
SCR-303 – Kondor Strikeboat – £3.50
SCP-203 – Raptor Flight – £12.00
SCP-303 – Kondor Flight – £13.00

Baby Eaglets

Off the production line this week are these two 6mm Eaglewing VTOLs, the Demeter and the Perseus.

The Demeter is a two-seater attack craft while the Perseus is a utility VTOL with room to transport an infantry squad in the cabin.

The Eaglewing is a Hammer’s Slammers mercenary unit equipped primarily with VTOLs that operate almost as ground vehicles, flying nap-of-the-earth in combat zones to keep out of sight of enemy anti-aircraft weapons. Away from the front line they can fly higher and use their high speed to redeploy quickly as required. They also have a small number of conventional ground vehicles for mortar and artillery support.

Other users of the Demeter and Perseus include the 101st Texian Light Airborne, a fully airmobile infantry unit, and the Fianóglach veterans of Guardforce O’Higgins.

HS6-2601 – Perseus HU.1 Utility VTOL – £2.00
HS6-2602 – Demeter Attack VTOL – £2.00

Finally, just a quick notice that I’m away for a couple of days. We’re up to date with orders to the end of Sunday (15th) and I’ll be back on Friday to deal with any that arrive this week so there shouldn’t be much delay – I just may not be able to answer any emails as quickly as usual.

Signature Delivery

We’ve been meaning to do this for a while, and we’ve finally got around to adding an option on the website for tracked/signed-for deliveries. Our current shipping rates don’t normally allow for this, but for customers that would prefer the peace of mind of tracking and a signature, for an additional cost (£1.25 UK/£5.00 overseas plus VAT if applicable) you can select a Signed For service (either First Class Signed For in the UK or International Tracked & Signed overseas).

Right, now back to some proper work…

Anders Plus

We previewed a bunch of new 6mm models for the Joy of Six show – and I managed to get the cooling tower painted and photographed! The first of these have gone onto the website today, along with (thanks to a well timed delivery of etched brass bits) a new vehicle that hasn’t previously been seen.

The Rapier MBT is being phased in by Anders Legion to replace their inventory of obsolescent Cutlass tanks. It’s a tracked vehicle with a large, sloped turret equipped with a heavy railgun and light ATGW launcher.

The Xiphos is a rather unusual hybrid tank destroyer/combat car. It’s an open backed vehicle, with the rear of the crew compartment protected by a mesh splinter screen, similar to those deployed on Slammers Combat Cars. Primary armament is either a railgun (the same calibre as that on the Rapier but with a shorter barrel) or a pair of breech-loading gun-mortars. It also has three tri-barrel powergun mounts – one on the roof operated by the commander standing in the rear, and another pair mounted over the rear wings. Anders Legion are re-equipping with these in place of their current fleet of Uralvagonzavod Halberds. The 6mm model comes with separate tri-barrels and an etched brass piece for the screen – you’ll need tweezers to assemble this one!

Although we don’t yet have the rest of the Flaming Sword of the Holy Brotherhood ready (a bit of a FUBAR with one of the moulds…), we wanted to get the M12 out as it’s a great little model. The M12L14 tank destroyer is a fusion-powered blower, mounting a 20cm powergun and remote-control tri-barrel. It’s used by the Flaming Sword in their heavy detachments and as the primary armoured vehicle of Broglie’s Legion

Finally for this week, a handy little Radome building which makes an ideal game objective. The dome is the same as our larger radar bunker, so you can create a radar array similar to the Fylingdales Moor installation.

HS6-2011 – M12L14 Tank Destroyer – £1.50
HS6-3611 – Rapier Tank – £1.25
HS6-3612 – Xiphos Tank Destroyer – £1.25
HS6-3612a – Palintone Mortar Support Vehicle – £1.25

B300-144 – Radome – £2.00

That’s all for now – see you Sunday!

Six Specials

We have a some new bits and pieces for the Joy of Six on Sunday – all 6mm scale (of course !). We have a mix of vehicles, VTOLs, starfighters and buildings to try to tempt the moths out of your wallets – none of these have been seen before in 6mm. Some of the models – especially the Squadron Commander starfighters and the Eaglewing VTOLs – will be in short supply as I don’t yet have production moulds so will only be able to bring what I can cast from the master moulds.

First up – a reminder about pre-orders. I finished stocking up for Jo6 yesterday so I will have some time tomorrow to cast up any last minute orders for collection at the show. For details about exactly what I’m bringing and how to order, click here.

So, onto the models. I was hoping to have the 6mm versions of the Flaming Sword of the Holy Brotherhood ready but we haven’t quite managed to get all of them done in time. However, I will have stocks of their largest vehicle, the M12L14 Tank Destroyer. This turretless beast is armed with a 20cm powergun and can go toe-to-toe with a Slammers M2 tank.

At Salute we released a 15mm VTOL, the Demeter. On Sunday we go one better with two new 6mm VTOLS, the Demeter (r) and its cousin, the Perseus. The former is an attack VTOL while the Perseus is a small troop carrier – the equivalent of a UH-1 Huey.

This one is brand new – it’s currently going under the codename of Rapier, although that may change 🙂 It’s a heavy tank used used by Anders Legion, who are rolling it out to replace their Cutlass tanks, and has a heavy cannon plus a missile pod. Expect to see this in 15mm very soon too.

As mentioned, we have two new starfighters in the Squadron Commander range. The first is the AmRep Raptor attack fighter. This has four X-foils with torpedo pods sandwiched between them either side and twin gatlings. The Germans get the Kondor two-seat heavy fighter, with it’s remote rear gun turret. I did make versions of both of these ages ago which never went into production, but these are brand new digital sculpts. Both will be available singly or in flights of four.

This handy little building is a radar dome – a conventional radar dish is enclosed in a protective dome to keep out the effects of weather, sandstorms, small animals etc.

Largest of all is this power station cooling tower. We’ve had a hollow 3D-printed item in our Shapeways shop and we’ve sold a few of these at shows, but this is a much larger resin version – at over 4″ tall, it’s almost twice as large as the 3D printed model.

But, much to my annoyance, I forgot to bring one home from the workshop to photograph, so for now you’re left with this enigmatic silhouette… (I’ll try to remember one tomorrow !).

HS6-2011 – M12L14 Tank Destroyer – £1.50
HS6-2601 – Perseus Utility VTOL – £2.00
HS6-2602 – Demeter Attack VTOL – £2.00
HS6-3611 – Rapier Tank – £1.25

SCR-203 – Raptor Assault Fighter – £3.00
SCP-203 – Raptor Flight – £11.00
SCR-303 – Kondor Heavy Fighter – £3.50
SCP-303 – Kondor Flight – £13.00

B300-144 – Radome – £2.00
B300-145 – Power Station Cooling Tower – £10.00

For those who can’t make the show, most of these models will be trickling onto the website in the near future. For those who can, please come and say hello on Sunday, but be gentle with me – I’ll be at a wedding the day before and although I won’t be hungover (I have to drive to Sheffield from Kent on Saturday evening) I may not have had much sleep…

New Stockist

Last Man, Last Bullet have begun stocking our Small Scale Scenery alongside their own excellent selection of pillboxes and other battlefield fortifications. They cover a different spread of shows to us so should widen our catchment area. They’ve started with a small selection of our forts and castles, but assuming all goes well we’re hoping they’ll expand the range that they stock.

Flying Batteries

During the Crimean War, the French used a number of Floating Batteries – ironclad hulls with a complement of heavy guns, but no means of propulsion. They were towed into position by smaller vessels – mostly paddle-steamer frigates – and used to bombard Russian coastal forts with some success. They were also deployed to the Adriatic during the 1859 Franco-Austrian War.

They struck me as a great idea for some new Aeronef vessels. Using the same idea of battleship-sized but unpowered vessels with lots of guns, this time flying rather than floating, I’ve come up with two different variants.

The first model is the Redoutable, the early version of the flying battery idea. This has 18 heavy guns in open mounts on the deck and a small deckhouse for the gun crews to shelter in.

The second model is what I imagine to be an updated version of the design – maybe a few years later, the original vessels were upgraded. These vessels, known as the Solférino class, retain ten of their original gun mounts but with the end ones replaced by two heavy battleship turrets and, in recognition of the increasing threat posed by fixed-wing aircraft, two turrets each mounting three rapid-firing small calibre AA guns. The vessels also have a small steam-powered engine to provide power to operate the heavy gun turrets, and a mast with spotters to provide centralised fire control.

VAN-420 – Redoubtable Flying Battery – £7.50
VAN-420a – Solférino Flying Battery – £7.50