Do You Want Fries with That?

Last weekend I finally managed to try out Rogue Stars, Osprey Publishing’s SF skirmish ruleset (well, they’re a sort of RPG-lite with squads of five characters who can progress between missions). I played a couple of games with fellow members of Maidstone Wargames Society using various 15mm figures (the rules are intended for 28mm but we kept the same distances and ranges but just used smaller figures and scenery).

I managed to find time to make a new piece of scenery for the game – a fast food restaurant built from one of our Advanced Buildings. I used a piece of 3mm acrylic sheet as the base (I have a distrust of plywood, MDF and hardboard as they all seem to warp when painted) – I found a load of largish scrap pieces in a skip near the workshop a while back, offcuts left there by one of the other businesses on the farm where we’re based. This was cut to shape then the surface sanded to provide a key for painting. I had a self-adhesive model railway car park (from a German company called Busch) which I stuck on the acrylic to make a customer parking area, put an offcut of roadway at one end for the entrance and then textured the edges using brown acrylic caulk and sand. The building was painted in the red and white colours of the fast food establishment, and I added an awning over the door made from the splinter screen of a Mantra combat car supported by two of the triangular girder structures from our 2mm Airship Shed. The cunning part was the restaurant’s name and logo, which came from a very old branded plastic coffee stirrer which I’d been hoarding for just such a purpose since the early 1990s! Sadly, although I thought I had several of these I could only find the one.

I used our 15mm Street Furniture set to provide entrance billboards, flower planters around the car park, an automated order point and several sets of seating. The tables were made from scribed plastic card supported by the legs of the aforementioned Mantra’s splinter screen. Two large rubbish bins came from our Skips and Bins set (one blue for normal rubbish, and a green one for recyclables).

The finishing touches were provided by assorted flock and vegetation (Games Workshop and Woodland Scenics) and some signs and posters printed off onto sticky labels.

City Expansion

Today we’re adding two new packs to our range of Small Scale Scenery European City Buildings. The first set is two straight blocks with features at one end that allow them to be used as the ends of terraces. The buildings in the basic straight block pack have blank end walls, but these have doors and windows at the end plus a slope to the roof.

The second set consists of four inner curved blocks that when used together would make up the outside of a circular plaza. They have the same overall dimensions as the normal corner pieces (40x40mm).

I’ve painted these in an alternative colour scheme to the previous sets, going for a pale stone with grey slate roofs. This would have nothing to do with my discovery that I’d run out of grey spray paint… I’ll be adding some to the sets of city blocks that I made up recently as my city increases in size.

SSS-8098 – City Block Inner Curves – £7.50
SSS-8099 – City Block End Terraces – £2.50

Fattening Up

The latest Aeronef model to receive a makeover is the French Les Arcs carrier. We’ve kept the basic configuration (dig hull with forward deck) but that’s about it. The new version is much, much bigger, with lots of space inside the resin hull and plenty of metal fittings. It comes with four triple AA turrets and four light gun turrets for self-defence, four funnels and two masts, and a new winged bridge. The deck is also a metal fitting that sits in front of two large hangar doors.

Altogether a mighty vessel around which to base a French carrier force.

VAN-402 – Les Arc Class Dig Fighter Carrier – £9.00

VANFP-402 – French Carrier Pack – £22.00

Soon It’s SELWG

Next on the show calendar, and our penultimate show of the year, is SELWG at Crystal Palace sports centre in South London.

As always, we are taking pre-orders for any of our ranges – 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 and pay on the day.

This is a two-man show, so good news if you’ve missed Phil’s cheery demeanor at recent shows. We will have the following list of items with us. If there’s anything else you’d specifically like us to bring, just drop us a line.

  • Celtos (individual figures, unit packs, army packs)
  • Spaceships (fleet packs, rulebooks, individual models of our recent releases)
  • Squadron Commander (blister packs, starter packs, individual models)
  • Small Scale Scenery (all models)
  • 15mm SF (army packs, platoon packs, rulebooks, individual models and packs of figures)
  • 6mm SF (army packs, rulebooks, company packs and building packs, individual models of more recent/popular items)
  • Aeronef (fleet packs, flotilla packs, starter packs, a selection of battleships in blisters, individual models of the major nations)
  • Imperial Skies (rulebooks and accessories)
  • Magpie Miniatures (individual figures and blister packs)
  • 10mm SF (individual buildings)

The Listening Wind

The very first models released in our Small Scale Scenery range (way back in 2011) were two types of acoustic mirror; a pair of round ‘listening ears’ and a larger sound wall. Both are Great War era structures designed to detect approaching enemy aircraft by the sound of their engines. They also work in Victorian SF games as an analogue for radars in games of Aeronef or Imperial Skies – they make an ideal objective for bombing raids.

Being one of the earliest items to be released, we’d got to the stage where we needed a new mould. So at the same time as doing this we’ve taken the opportunity to add a couple of different types of smaller mirror to the Listening Ears set, and you now get six in the pack.

SSS-8001 – Acoustic Mirror – £1.50
SSS-8002 – Listening Ears (pack of 6) – £3.00

I’m now back from my holiday, which was a very enjoyable break (apart from the local insect life taking a shine to me and deciding I made a tasty movable feast – by the end of the week you could play dot-to-dot with the bites on my legs and ankles, and the resultant drawing would probably resemble a new class of Yenpalo cruiser !). I have been busily ploughing through the order backlog, and hopefully I should have everything cleared by the end of Monday, then we’ll be back to normal service again.

Upgrading the Les Arcs

The French battleship fleet has recently had an upgrade with the arrival of the new Massena and Loire to go along with the Gloire and Charlemagne. This just left the carrier Les Arcs to be brought up to the new design standards.

And here she is – I am particularly pleased with the way this has come out. This is just the resin hull with metal deck and bridge – I haven’t yet added the array of funnels, masts and gun turrets to the model. To give you an idea of the look of the final assembled model, here’s a CGI image. It’s a lot bigger than the older model, slightly longer and much wider.

The new Les Arcs should be on the website in a week or two – I obviously need to assemble, paint and photograph this one, but the production moulds are all ready to go.

Building a City

Our newly released City Block buildings from the Small Scale Scenery range seem to have struck a chord with many people. We’re looking forward to seeing what you’re able to do with the models – especially the one customer who bought over forty sets!

In the meantime, here are a few I made earlier. I based them on two sandwiched rectangles of plasticard, one 5mm larger than the other, to create a road and pavement around each block. In the central courtyards I added flock, trees and bushes, and in one case a car park. Next to one block I created a park with a statue made from a 6mm figure on a plinth of square plastic rod.

The paint job is quite simple – a grey basecoat followed by a lighter drybrush then a black wash. The roofs are terracotta red with a brown wash. I didn’t attempt to paint the windows, there are literally thousands of them, I just let the wash pick them out.

The idea is that the blocks can be rearranged into different layouts, and I can also add further blocks with parks, churches, shopping areas etc on the same footprint.

15mm BMP-BM

I always like to leave something new while I’m on holiday and, as mentioned last week, today we’re releasing the 15mm version of our new Neo-Soviet BMP-BM. This is a large APC based on the Bars tank chassis but with a new superstructure with space for six Guards riflemen.

The model is a 3-piece resin casting (hull and two track units) with seven metal pieces – two-piece front hatch, driver’s hatch, two rear escape hatches, turret base and gun mounting.

SF15-1214 – BMP-BM – £8.50

Imperial Article

This month’s issue of Miniature Wargames magazine has a five page Imperial Skies article in the Darker Horizons sci-fi section – it’s also the cover photo of said section. The article is centered around a fleet engagement between Spain and the USA over Cuba which we fought out at a Maidstone Wargames Society meeting earlier this year. As an added bonus, the stats cards for the Spanish fleet are available from the download section of the MW website. So what are you waiting for? Get out and buy a copy!