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Monday, 27 February 2017

Blitzkrieg Commander III Sneak Peek by Pendraken Miniatures

Blitzkrieg Commander III Sneak Peek by Pendraken Miniatures

We've been working almost non-stop on the revised Blitzkrieg Commander rules this year, only taking a few days off to get ready for the York show at the start of this month.  The good news is that the (almost) finished version has now gone off to our feedback group for any final tweaks and suggestions.  The formatting/layout is almost complete as well, just a few things to tidy up before it goes off to the printers.

We're hoping to have the feedback/suggestions back to us in the next 2-3 weeks, allowing us a week to get the rulebook all finalised before going off to the printers.  It's a 2-week turnaround there, so we're aiming for a big release at Salute in April.  The rules will be available in both hardcopy and pdf through Wargame Vault.

It's been a long time coming, but we're nearly there folks!  Here's a little teaser pic as well...

Forum Discussion
Pendraken Miniatures

Second batch of 1849-1866 Italians by Pendraken Miniatures

This second lot of sculpts covers the grenadiers in bearskin (useful for the earlier period) and also the artillery crews.  We've got both line and horse for the Piedmont-Sardinian's, plus a set for the Garibaldi troops as well.

Grenadiers in bearskin with command:

Grenadiers in bearskin with command:

Foot artillery crew:

Foot artillery crew

Horse artillery crew:


Garibaldini artillery crew:

Garibaldini artillery crew

More to come soon!

Forum Discussion
Pendraken Miniatures

The Brand New Hawk Wargames Website Is Now Live

The brand new Hawk Wargames Website is now live.

The new site now includes the full range of Dropfleet Commander products, available direct from Hawk Wargames for the first time. In addition, the full Dropzone Commander range is also available within this new site format.

Link

In order to best process the first wave of orders, we will be opening the site with around a 1 week pre-order period on Dropfleet Commander products before we start shipping (orders containing Dropfleet Commander products will be shipping from March 3rd onwards). These will be processed and shipped on a first come, first served basis.  As we have done previously, all orders over £100 will ship free worldwide by couriered delivery.

Direct Only Sculpt

Direct Only Sculpt

Here's a glimpse of the model that's coming...

To celebrate the launch of the new website, Dave is designing an exclusive Dropfleet miniature which will be available for a limited time online only. This highly detailed resin ship is the UCM Saratoga class Light Cruiser, an alternate sculpt for the popular New Cairo class Light Cruiser. It will be available exclusively on our website soon, and will make an appearance on sale at Salute 2017.

Website Re-Launch

Website Re-Launch

For those of you who are wondering, this launch had been intentionally delayed due to crossover of staff also working on Kickstarter fulfilment and moreso, that we felt it right to ship all the pledges we had on record before completing the website and taking more direct orders. Now that wave 1 of Kickstarter shipping is complete (except for chasing missing parcels) we can focus on moving forward and providing the content and support that Dropfleet and Dropzone Commander players need.

This all new site has been completely recoded from the ground up and has been designed as a much improved platform for delivering content and support. The windows on the homepage will in due course feature information on upcoming tournaments and events, rules updates, multimedia content and downloads for both systems.

To start things off, we've been releasing the Building the Avenger video series, which will run for a full 20 episodes. In addition, expect to see new content for gamers and hobbyists on a regular basis in future. We are currently working on a range of exiting developments for our players - keep an eye out here for updates in the very near future!

Video Series

Link

Some Upcoming Events

We have a range of upcoming events over the next few months where we would love to see as many of you as we can:

Hammerhead (UK) - 4th March - & Demo Table
Adepticon (USA) - 23rd-26th March - & Tournament
Salute 2017 (London, UK) - 22nd April - & Demo Tables
Carronade (Falkirk, UK) - 13th May - & Demo Tables

We hope you all enjoy the new website and that you're enjoying the games!

Hawk Wargames

African Americans in the Revolutionary War, Park Day, Vincennes Battle Anniversary, and More!

African Americans in the Revolutionary War, Park Day, Vincennes Battle Anniversary, and More!

On March 5, 1770, British regulars killed five American colonists: an infamous event now known as the Boston Massacre. One of the victims, a man named Crispus Attucks, is often considered the first African-American to die in the American Revolution. From the opening engagements at Lexington and Concord to the climactic siege of Yorktown, African-Americans would continue to play a significant role in the war. Though historians debate whether more African-Americans served the British or the Americans, it is clear that the driving force behind participation was the promise of freedom or a better life.

Though free blacks were initially kept out of the Continental Army, Congress soon permitted their enlistment. Prior to the formation of segregated units, African-Americans served side-by-side with white Patriots. Perhaps the most famous mixed-race fighting unit was the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, the ranks of which included 88 slaves who were guaranteed freedom at the end of their service.

However, the incentive of freedom was not unique to slaves fighting for the Revolutionary cause. In November 1775, Virginia’s British Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, issued a proclamation that he would free any slave who left his master to serve alongside British forces. Within a month, 300 slaves had joined what Dunmore dubbed his “Ethiopian Regiment.”

Most northern states abolished slavery soon after the war, but black Americans still couldn't serve officially in the military. Nevertheless, we remember the sacrifice and service of those that fought in the War for Independence and work today to preserve the history of these American soldiers.

African Americans at the Battle of Princeton

On January 3, 1777, thousands of American soldiers marched across the frozen ground at Princeton. This force included untold numbers of African-American men some free, and some fighting to attain freedom through self-emancipation who shared the patriotic fervor of their fellow soldiers.

Park Day 2017

Mark you calendar for April 1, 2017! Park Day is our annual hands-on preservation event to help battlefields and other historic sites take on maintenance projects large and small. Activities are chosen by each participating site and can range from raking leaves and hauling trash to painting signs and trail buildings.

Battle of Vincennes Battle Anniversary

The Battle of Vincennes, or Siege of Fort Sackville, was a small but significant action that took place in modern Indiana. After a daring wintertime march, a small American force pushed the British to surrender the fort. The capture of Fort Sackville, renamed Patrick Henry, helped secure the frontier for the Americans.

The Battle of Brooklyn In4

We’re continually making new additions to our Campaign 1776 In4 series. In this video, Jeff Richmond explains the pivotal Battle of Brooklyn (or the Battle of Long Island), which took place just weeks after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

10 Historical Sites in Princeton, NJ

Untapped Cities shares 10 historical sites to see on a visit to Princeton. From Revolutionary War history, to the haunts of Albert Einstein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and African-American Broadway star Paul Robeson, there's plenty to explore.

Save the Battlefield at Princeton

Thanks to the support of concerned citizens and members like you, we have reached an agreement to preserve a critical portion of the Princeton battlefield, where George Washington personally charged to victory. With your help, we can save perhaps the most important piece of hallowed ground this organization has EVER tried to protect!

Campaign 1776
The Civil War Trust

Thursday, 23 February 2017

WW1 German A7V Tank by Kallistra

WW1 German A7V Tank by Kallistra

Sneak preview of the prototype test print of the WW1 German A7V tank. 12mm (1:144 scale) The final model will be cast in lead free pewter.

WW1 German A7V Tank by Kallistra picture 2

Kallistra

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

New Tower Blocks by Blotz

One of our regular customers asked us to pull one of our 6mm Tower Blocks over to 10mm (which makes a change as we're in the process of pulling all our 10mm stuff down to 6mm).

While we were at it, we also generated a damaged layer for the building too.


3x3 Tower Block (Undamaged) (B10-CS-015) price: £11.00


3x3 Tower Block (Undamaged) (B10-CS-015)

3x3 Tower Block (Damaged) (B10-CS-016) price: £10.00

3x3 Tower Block (Damaged) (B10-CS-016)

Extra middle sections (B10-CS-262) price £4.00

We were also given a gentle prod by our friends over at Wargamers Den who requested a 5" length of single carriageway Flyover/Overpass - so here it is....

Code: B10-RD-158 - price £2.00

Code: B10-RD-158

All are now available on the Blotz website.

Blotz

Aotrs Shipyards Feb 2017 Release: Vampire family

Aotrs Shipyards is a web store on Shapeways.com, a 3D print house which had production and shipping facilities located in the USA and the the Netherlands.

I skipped a January scifi release, since I simply ran out of time, between commissions, panto, and sickness; but this month, we have have five models: the Vampire APC and its derivatives at 144.

Vampire

Vampire

Vampire Painted

link

(Photo of Rep 2 prototype)

The Vampire family of vehicles was first introduced nearly eighty years ago, in 2265. It was the breakout product of NorthStar Engineering. The Vampire arrived on the scene at exactly the right moment for the small independent company. Several of the major powers were looking into an inexpensive, reliable vehicle for transport personnel over surface distances – a larger scale battle-taxi. The Vampire fitted the requirements perfectly. Gaining several large scale contracts, NorthStar capitalised on the success of the Vampire with clever marketing and lucrative manufacturing licences. Within a decade, the Vampire was widely distributed among ground forces from all manner of powers, from major to minor and even several nonhuman customers. It is estimated that as many as forty thousand were produced by NorthStar alone over the fifty years the Vampire remained in full production at the company.

The Vampire's success lay in more than just its marketing. The APCs' low price tag, modular component construction and ease of maintenance made it quickly extremely popular. The original Vampire was tracked, but within six years of the first Vampire rolling off the production line, NorthStar has created a grav conversion kit. Clever and ingenuitive engineering allowed the grav version of the Vampire to replace the tracks with grav-sponsons and run smoothly without the need for a significantly larger power pack. While the conversion kit perforce made the Vampire more expensive and the grav variants never reached the same numbers of distribution, it was still highly popular.

The Vampire's modularity has contributed significantly to its longevity. As a vehicle intended more for low-intensity or rear-guard operations, comparatively fewer have been lost in combat over the decades and especially in the hands of minor powers, a given Vampire may have seen decades or service and refits.

The Vampire's primary role is simply that of a battle-taxi, to transport troops to and from the battlefield, or in convoy on the surface. The Vampire's emphasis was placed on troop and crew survivability. To that end, the Vampire's engine (and later power core) is front mounted, behind an armoured access hatch and sealed from the crew and passengers by an internal heavy wall. The generous size of the engine compartment means the power plant can be replaced and upgraded easily.

Primary access is via the twin rear doors. The driver (right) and commander (left) have hatches above their stations (allowing a more expedient exit in case the vehicle needs to be abandoned), and there are four additional roof hatches in the main troop compartment.

The troop compartment is spacious enough to comfortably house sixteen passengers (e.g. two squads of infantry), powered infantry or even cargo. Six vision blocks provide the passengers with some visibility.

The stock Vampire is unarmed. However, many armies and militia experimented with upgrades – smoke dischargers and pintle-mounted assault weapons being one of the more common varieties.

The most notable current large user of the Vampire is the Tarrainian Federation, which manufactures them under licence. The TarFed Vampires are close to the original design, with only incremental changes. The majority of TarFed Vampires are tracked, with a smattering of gravitic version, concentrated in priority uses, such as CASEVAC.

The Aotrs also makes use of the Vampire, but not of the original stock vehicle.

Vampire (Grav)

Vampire (Grav)

link

Vampire Lord

Vampire Lord

(Photo of hybrid: Rep 2 hull, WSF turret)

link

Contrary to a popular galacnet theory, the Aotrs adoption of popular Vampire APC was not due to the thematically-appropriate name ro the Undead(which is entirely coincidental).

The Aotrs took the basic grav Vampire design and made significant changes. They striped out and replaced the power core and upgraded internal systems and added a turret, transforming the vehicle into an IFV, the Vampire Lord. The Vampire Lord sacrificed half the space for the infantry carried – down to a comfortable eight (a dozen at a push) – to install the quad pulse-fire coldbeam cannon turret mounted on the roof.

The Vampire Horde is a variant of the Vampire Lord that replaces the coldbeam turret with a salvo launcher for the Horde semi-guided warhead system, giving application for use in strike, anti-tank, anti-personnel and anti-aircraft roles. The Vampire Horde Doom is a further variant that has no infantry capacity, but instead has additional ammunition space. It is used in supplementary AA and Anti-Tank roles, though they have been successfully used to support missile patrol boats in naval engagements on soft targets.

For nearly two decades, the Vampire Lord was the Aotrs' primary APC. The hull was not suited for upgrade with shields and it eventually began to fall out of usage. It has now been replaced by the Fallen Soul in the transport role.

The Vampire Horde currently sees the most usage of the Vampire variants; despite the inability of the vehicle to mount shields, in an AA or support role this was not considered as critical. Most Vampire Lords are currently regulated to support or second-line roles. However, the Vampire's tale does not end there. Work was beginning on extending the design's life by adding a dedicated AA tracking suite to both Lord and Horde and them and turning them into a proper company AA vehicles, a role they were already starting to fill.

But within the last six months, a brand-new innovative technique has been developed, allowing a shield grid matrix to be quite literally painted on to the hull. Advances in power plant technology allow a further upgrade to the power course to handle the additional load of shields. The new shield matrix is being pioneered on the Vampire Lord and Horde, but is expected to be applied to other unshielded Aotrs vehicles like the Distant Thunder and Reign of Anger.

The Vampire Lord and Horde's new coat of paint will once again bring the vehicle into the front line, as a light IFV for special operations and an AA vehicle. Nor is this just a figurative statement; the new matrix is coloured so as to replace the Vampire Lord's original mist-grey colouration with the current rust-and-gold livery.

Vampire Lord (with raised turret)

Vampire Lord (with raised turret)

(Photo of Rep 2 prototype)

link

This version has the guns raised instead of horizontal.

Vampire Horde

Vampire Horde

(Photo of hybrid: Rep 2 hull, WSF turret)

link

(Note: There is, in theory, a version of the Horde with the turret lowered that I could do if there was demand for it.)

The Vampire has a bit of history actually. It was one of the first cardboard fold-flat vehicles UshCha designed, oh, some fifteen plus years ago for when he played 25mm and Stargrunt II (before he wrote Maneuvre Group). I cribbed the design for the Aotrs and added turrets (also fold-flat!)

When I first started 3D CAD, the Vampire was an early experiment. When we got the Replicator, the Vampire was actually one of the first models we tested it on. It then languished for some time until I needed to to the TarFed ground force relatively quickly. As they are a minor power who gets most of their stuff (like many smaller nations nations) on import, it made sense to use the Vampire. While I was at it, it was daft not to resurrect the Aotrs versions as well!

As I've still got commissions and such to do, you can expect to see more of both TarFed and Aotrs ground forces coming in the next month or two; my aim for this year is to try and get the Aotrs ground army "finished" – that is, to finish translating he majority of the scratch-built/converted/etc vehicles I have at 25mm to 144.

I have a few starship designs on the table, but that will require me getting some free time, but that may creep out in between.

As a final bonus (and a bit of a teaser!), when I was painting the TarFeds, I experimented with trying a camouflage pattern with their colour scheme. (The colour scheme is the one I'd already used on their starfleet.) I tried a couple of variants, and while the resulting pattern was alright, after much debate among me and my compatriots (and some unbiased opinions from my nongamer sisters), I decided that the camouflage pattern did the job rather too well. It obscured all the details, which from a commercial perspective (as I don't have even distantly the space to have display and wargame versions of my models!) and from my own pride-at-detail standpoint, I decided that wasn't the right choice. It was an interesting experiment though: here's a glimpse of what might have been (pictured along with a couple of (pieces of) other TarFed armour!

TarFed armour!

Shapeways, Aotrs Shipyards