It’s almost time for our local club, Maidstone Wargames Society, to hold its annual Open Day. This year it’s on Saturday June 22nd between 11am and 4pm, at the club’s usual meeting place in Linton, Kent. It’s not a conventional wargames show, there are no traders or bring-and-buy, and no entrance fee. Instead, the club puts on a selection of games across a variety of periods and scales to showcase our activities and hopefully attract one or two new members. All of the games are open for people to join in and try out a new period or set of rules.
Periods include Vietnam, Dark Ages, English Civil War and even a James Bond-inspired spy-fi game. I’ll be there, running a 1/600th Suez Crisis aircraft game featuring dogfights between MiGs, Meteors, Mysteres, Mustangs, Mosquitoes and some other planes not starting with M!
I’m not officially there in a Brigade capacity – there’s no Brigade stand and I won’t have any stock. However, if anyone is planning to come along to the Open Day and would like me to bring anything along to save on postage, don’t let me stop you – just drop us a line and we’ll sort something out.
Just in case your 1/1000th scale harbour needs somewhere to park a submarine, we have two different options available for you this weekend.
The first, larger option is a blocky construction known as the Scorff Bunker, so called because it was built on the banks of the Scorff river running into the Lorient naval base in 1940. The 130m long concrete edifice has two side-by-side pens and is large enough to house four U-boats at once.
Smaller options are the two oddly-shaped ‘Dom’ repair bunkers – Dom means cathedral in German and they were named because of their supposed resemblance to a religious building. The 80m long bunkers, also part of the Lorient installation, could hold a single smaller U-boat for repair, which was winched out of the water and across a turntable to either one of these pens or the much larger Keroman I, II or III bunkers. One has a concrete emplacement for an AA gun over the main door – although the two bunkers are otherwise identical, there is no obvious evidence that the other bunker ever had such an emplacement, there is nothing there now and there are no obvious scars of its removal so only one is modelled with an AA gun. I couldn’t find any conclusive proof of what type of gun it was either – the only artists impression I’ve seen shows the gun to be an 88mm FlaK-18, so that’s what I’ve gone with.
On another minor point, we’ve renamed another of our Small Scale Scenery models – the former Cuban Church is now called the Spanish-American Church. This is because we have noticed that orders containing this item are often held for a day or two by PayPal before the funds are released, we think it’s a security check just to ensure we aren’t involved in any dodgy dealings with one of the countries on the USA’s watch list ! I have in the past had to write emails to PayPal about this and one or two other items (eg CDSU spaceships with Vietnamese names) so we thought we’d take the safe option and just rename it to avoid any more orders getting delayed.
Our next show is due in a couple of weeks. It’s our local event, Broadside, run by the ever-friendly Milton Hundred Wargames Club. Both Phil and I will be there in our customary spot. It’s held at the Swallows Leisure Centre in Sittingbourne from 10am to 4pm – a convenient ten minute walk from home (although a half-hour drive from Brigade HQ).
We’ll have decent stocks of most lines, including our newest releases. As always for any show, we welcome advance orders – you can either place an order and pay in advance using the collect in person option on the website, or just drop us an email with a list and pay on the day. You’ll see from the list below that we can’t bring everything, so if you would like anything from ranges that we’re not bringing with us then you’ll need to order it in advance.
Celtos – Decent stock of all individual figures, small unit packs and medium and large army packs
Aeronef/Imperial Skies – All of the most popular fleet packs (the major powers) but not the smaller nations; a good selection of individual capital ships in blisters; rulebooks and accessories for Imperial Skies.
Small Scale Scenery – the full range of all models
Spaceships – full range of fleet packs; no individual models except for new releases
Hammer’s Slammers – rulebooks and accessories; the full range of 15mm models; a selection of 6mm and 15mm detachment packs
15mm SF – full range of 15mm vehicles, figure packs and accessories; no buildings.
6mm SF – full range of army packs, company packs and building packs; no individual models
Great War Belgians – full range of figures
Magpie Miniatures – individual figures and packs
Squadron Commander – full range of blisters packs; no individual models or starter packs
Crom’s Anvil – full range of figures
We will not be able to bring any 10mm SF buildings, Iron Stars or Land Ironclads miniatures unless ordered in advance.
This week we have some additions to our 6mm moonbase. We added two new buildings to the 15mm moonbase at Salute and both have now transitioned to the smaller scale. Both are hemispherical domes, one is a smaller storage module while the second is a larger utility version with windows. The latter has the option of either a radar or small missile defence turret on the roof.
We’ve revamped the contents of our moonbase pack to include both these new models and allow you to make a more varied layout.
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.
For ages I’ve been planning to add a set of Waterloo buildings to the Small Scale Scenery range. To be honest I have also spent some of the time putting them off, since my first initial look into them showed that quite a bit of research would be needed along with a measure of educated guessing – especially with Château Hougoumont, the largest and most iconic of the buildings on the battlefield.
However, I’ve girded my loins and with much help from my friend Mark Harris, erstwhile Treasurer of Maidstone Wargames Society and a Napoleonic buff, we’ve ended up with what we think is a good representation of the buildings of 1815.
The set includes four different items, all resin castings; the largest being the aforementioned Château Hougoumont. Not many of the original buildings are still standing, so our version is a result of interpreting contemporary illustrations, plans and satellite views.
A much easier model was the walled farm of La Haye Sainte – that is is still intact and in much the same condition as two centuries ago. It should also induce a wave of nostalgia in anyone who owned the Airfix kit way back when…
Another building that’s still almost as it was back in 1815 is the inn of La Belle Alliance, where Blücher and Wellington met on the evening of the battle at the end of the fighting.
The final member of this set is the church of Plancenoit, where the Prussian attack hit the French flank. Again the original building is long gone, so this representation is a best guess at what it looked like in 1815.
Following on from last week’s Celtos Gaels post, another selection of photos that fell between the Salute cracks was this fine selection of Small Scale Scenery from Charles Rowntree. Like a number of other gamers, he likes to use our 1/1000th scale buildings with 6mm figures so that they are more in line with the ground scale. He’s combined multiple sets including the Normandy and English villages, Town Shops, Terraced Houses and industrial and railway packs. We especially like the Eastern Front Village surrounded by fields. You can click on each image for an even larger version.
Last week’s release of the Demeter was the last of our Salute items to hit the website, so today’s release is something completely new.
We’re still in 15mm, adding three new packs to our range of PacFed armoured infantry figures. First is a pack of snipers, one kneeling firing and the other advancing (there are two of each in the pack).
The second pack is a very handy addition containing two 2-man mortar teams. Each team has a kneeling loader with mortar shell and a spotter with binoculars (standing or kneeling), plus extra ammo cases to scatter on the base.
The final addition is a new version of The Brigadier. This one is in PacFed armour but without his helmet, studying a data tablet and carrying a rifle – and of course, sporting his trademark monocle and moustache.
Unfortunately, Salute tends to be so all consuming for the month or two before the show that just about everything else falls by the wayside. Andre Khoo sent us photos of some very well painted Celtos figures earlier in the year and, to our shame, we’ve only just found time to post them. But here they are, better late than never, and very nice they are too.
The skies above the battlefields of the world of Hammer’s Slammers:The Crucible are not the safest place to be; computer guided powerguns knock down just about anything that flies, from aircraft, VTOLs, air cars, even missiles and artillery shells.
Nevertheless, there are a number of units that still field VTOLs in the combat zone for their speed and versatility. These craft fly nap-of-the-earth, down amongst the weeds operating effectively as fast ground vehicles.
One such unit is the Eaglewing Squadron, which operates a mix of VTOLs, light hover vehicles and infantry on skimmers. They are currently re-equipping their VTOL wing, and the first new craft to enter service is the Demeter attack VTOL, slowly replacing the Eaglewing’s inventory of Ravens. It is a two-seater fitted with a tri-barrel chin turret and several wing hardpoints which can carry an assortment of stores.
The Demeter model comes in three resin parts (fuselage and two wings) and three metal parts (turret and two vertical tail fins). Available separately we have a pack of wing stores – two each of hyper-velocity missiles, gatling pods, rocket pods and anti-tank missiles. These have the pylon built in so you can fit the weapons wherever you like on the wing.