And I suddenly realised just how useful a board full of small corridors and huts just waiting to be fought through, especially in small scale skirmish games. I haven’t yet managed to paint mine (although it is now assembled) but honestly, the main thing I thought while assembling is that “man this is great for the Alamo but I need more bits to make a proper compound setup”.
Well in good news, Sarissa is now releasing the Alamo and (even better) it has produced several packs designed for Modern Wargamers. There are currently three packs available. However, before we take a look at them, there is one thing to mention. All these buildings rely on Sarissa’s terrain tile system – the buildings actually clip directly into them. I was pleasantly surprised to find the tiles fit together rather well, snug enough to hold together without being impossible to remove and tidy away. However, the tiles do make it harder to assemble on boards that don’t use them… or have things such as “elevation changes”. Just a warning, your mileage may vary.
Skirmish Compound Alpha gives you two l-shaped buildings that can be fit together in several ways. These buildings are the core of the full Alamo kit and make for some really cool setup. For example, take a look at the image above – that dog leg between the buildings just screams for an ambush or a squirter making a break for it from an assault elsewhere.
Skirmish Compound Bravo comes with two buildings and a wall section, with an example layout above. The wall is taller than most characters and, I noticed, is not one of the destructible walls included in the main set. I can definitely see it being useful when assembling a compound by offering a larger area to play around in.
Finally, if you want both packs together, Skirmish Compound Charlie packs both in giving you the ability to set up a nice dense urban area to fight through. In fact, with a few of these, you could really make a great 4′ x 4′ urban maze, filled with chokepoints, ambush sites, small buildings to hide bad guys in and everything else required to make your players take one look at the board and curse the lines in the scenario saying “Rules of Engagement” and “No Fire Support Available”.
As well as the Modern themed sets, you can also pick up the rest of the Alamo sets if you want to be more historical. There are three options – the two compound packs I picked up (giving you most of the important buildings) or go the fully monty and also get the various gun positions and defences needed to build the actual fort (for the low cost of £235).
I’m already looking at the skirmish compounds as a way of extending my existing set, getting it ready to make an impressive CQB maze. The kits are the usual high Sarissa standards, well worth the asking price. I would definitely recommend giving them a look.
The D-Boys are here! As mentioned yesterday the Delta models from Spectre were released at 10pm yesterday. Spectre is putting a two week lead time on sending out these orders based on some comments on the Spectre Operations group but even so it’s still worth going over just what’s included in the range.
The first point to make is something I think a few people have missed – all the descriptions for the Delta range explicitly mention “This is a multipart model and required some assembly”. Now, at first you might this is generic copy inserted by the Spectre website – however, I’ve been chatting to Stephen from Spectre and he smuggled out a secret preview for me (that I’ve been cleared to share).
Yep, we’re about to see the return of two part figures. Ironically, the last time I saw figures like this was way back in 2014 with the original Delta figures. Since then, most Spectre figures have been one piece, even as the sculpting has pushed the borderline of what is possible. However, the decision to go back to multipart figures has come (as Stephen said in our messages) from issues with guns breaking or bending in transit. This (as well as the stock issues) has been one of my biggest annoyances with Spectre so it’s good to see this being mitigated through the design work.
Also interesting to note this figure is from Spectre’s new casting partner. Cleanup was (apparently) minimal to none so hopefully we can go back to figures rolling off the production line with less need to spend time clipping waste pieces off them.
But okay, enough setup lets look at the range. To steal from the marketing copy:
The 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment–Delta (1st SFOD-D), more commonly known as Delta, The Unit or CAG (Combat Applications Group) are arguably the most elite, secretive unit in the world. With almost unlimited funding and access to extremely advanced technology, these models really epitomise what Spectre Miniatures are all about – SOF on the bleeding edge of modern warfare.
With guidance from advisors and after extensive research, we have very carefully decided how to represent this miniature.
These operators wear Arcteryx clothing and a mix of covert plate carriers, with light weight chest rigs and belt kit which carries extra magazines, chemlights, flash grenades and scalable frag grenades. A mixture of Opscore and Crye Airframe helmets are also worn.
A key element of these miniatures is the integration of the Future Warrior program. Their Sig MCX Virtus SBRs are chambered for 300 Blackout and equipped with Wilcox BOSS XE optics. This next generation ‘smart’ optic monitors the performance of the weapon, counts shots and shares the information with other users in real time. Each operator also wears ‘Smart’ devices that monitor heart rate, blood oxygen and other vital statistics, which again can be viewed in real time with the unit commander and other operators. This information can also be viewed when the operator uses Enhanced night vision goggles, available as Smart Goggles from Spectre Miniatures. These enable complete integration with the other smart devices, as well as IR/Thermal hybrid and Augmented reality features. Modified Glocks, with suppressor, red dot and light are worn as sidearms.
Key members of the unit also carry the revolutionary Slingshot communications system. To further enhance situational awareness for each operator, a smart phone is carried in a Juggernaut hard case on the chest and advanced in ear, low profile ear pieces are worn.
Spectre Marketing, Delta Assault Squad
The weapons may change based on the figure but the basic details are the same. These guys are some high end special forces tech, playing with all the latest toys. The use of Smart optics and AR is definitely bordering on the edge of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter territory – remember when we thought Quad Eye NVGs from the SEALs was the cutting edge?
Weapon wise, we’re definitely beyond the realm of M4s and 5.56 – the assault rifles are SIG MCX variants (be they normal or the cut down Rattler) and all in .300 Blackout, a round that can be loaded subsonically and still hit with the energy of a 7.62mm AK round while keeping the STANAG mag’s capacity.
The first element of the release is a six person squad pack, giving you six shooters armed with the SIG MCX in variety of poses. This is going to be the core of your squad and it’s cool to see the variety – some in battle dress tops (even if it’s the fancy ones) while others wear softshells.
The first of the support options we’ll look at is perhaps my favourite – I have a soft spot for figures who have switched to their secondary (be it for desperation or sensible purposes). This Scout is definitely designed to be your pointman – he’s rolling a short and suppressed MCX Ratler but to be REALLY quiet he has a Glock out as his primary. It’s definitely a rather gucci one – mounting a weapon light, suppressor and (sighs) a red dot mounted on a bridge over the slide. He’s also got an AR eyepiece over his glasses, ideal for a scout to keep an eye on his teammates.
Of course my other soft spot? Breachers. Shocking I know, the man who goes airsofting covered in armour with a slung breaching shotgun likes breaching. The D-Boys get a really nice combination of gear for their Breacher – a SIG MCX Ratler as his primary and the suppressed SIX 12 ready for breaching work. The SIX 12 is an interesting gun, using removable revolver cylinders in a bullpup format to create a relatively compact shotgun that can be relatively easily swapped from separate weapon to underslung format thanks to it’s modular design.
Of course, you can’t entirely focus on close range fighting and so you’ll need some longer range support. The Marksman is rolling a full-length (and very nicely detailed) MCX Patrol with the magnified optic and MAWL laser/light box. Much like some of the other specialists, he has an AR eyepiece in place as well. I do like this guy’s pose, and I’m sure he’ll look great providing suppression while in cover.
Of course, if you prefer your suppression a little more in volume rather than precision, than the MG is the go to. Much like with the Tier 1 MG Bravo from last year, this guy is armed with the Knight Armament AMG, a medium machine gun with some rather good shooting characteristics. It also has a suppressor, laser/light unit and a holographic/magnifier combo, ideal for getting all those extra To Hit effects.
Of course, it’s not the future until you have your drones up and what better. Another Rattler user, he also is in the process of deploying a quadcopter drone ready to scan up ahead. If you bought the drone pack from a while back, you actually have the perfect model to go with this guy after deployment is done.
Finally, we have the big dog – the Commander. I really like this guy, Rattler held at a high rest while checking his smart device (which, as a neat detail, is not modelled on his vest because it’s in his hand). I think this figure might actually end up being used away from the rest of the squad as the perfect advisor model, combined with local forces or militias to provide them with training advice, and connection to the big guns.
As you can see, Spectre is kicking it’s way into the new year with a rather cool range. There are lots of cool bits of kit that will be fun on the tabletop and I’m really excited to see just people do with these models in terms of paint schemes and getting them on the table. Mine have been ordered and we’ll see them once they arrive!
By the looks of it, between this and yesterday’s news, we have some new figures inbound. Further details tomorrow at 10am, so get those wallets ready.
Today’s preview at shows off two new figures that were not in the group shot yesterday. These look more like support choices – one holds a pocket UAV in their hand, the other seems to be checking something in their outstretched hand. I do like how the UAV operator has the chest-mounted phone holder that everyone seems to love. Interested in seeing what other support options we’ll be getting in this pack of releases – luckily we don’t have long to wait.
And of course, I jumped the gun doing a preview so early – since just after the post went live, we have more details and more photos.
Our highly anticipated new Delta range are hitting the store at 10am GMT Saturday 23rd January ’21. As with all of our figures these have been designed to represent the bleeding edge of modern warfare. The new Delta range comprises of 6 individual support figures and a 6 man squad, to allow for game flexibility.
Spectre email – 22/01/2021
So as you can see, we are getting a full range out of these guys – 6 standard rifleman in a single squad pack and then 6 support figures separately. We’ve already seen two of these support options painted up (the two in the Instagram post at the top of the page) and another in the 3d preview (armed with the handgun and with some gear on his back) so there are three unaccounted for. Maybe some more specialist weapons (such as LMGs or marksman weapons). We’ll see the full line up tomorrow.
There are a few comments about the size difference between some of these guys. I’d say that the guy in blue is a little larger but not outside the realms of possibilities. There is some variation within the team itself, giving you a mix of guys. I think it will also look pretty good next to the partner forces, making the corn-fed American quarterbacks stand out among the locals. We’ll have to see when they come out (which we’ll see tomorrow).
Okay well actually three – the first being that they are still alive. Having had a chat with the team at Spectre, last year was just a whole host of misfortunes added together into a perfect storm. I’ll leave it to them to say however much they wish to but after talking to them, many of the issues in the last year (issues with models requiring more clean up than usual, a lack of stock on the site) should mostly be in the past… hopefully.
However, lets focus on the actual news. Fitting for me seeing as I’m writing a post on it, Spectre have entered the 3d printing game. Last week they put up a pile of STL files for sale on their website for personal use. Priced pretty reasonably, these cover a wide selection of pieces from weapons to put in your HMV to scenery items and stowage. I know this is something a lot of people have asked about and it’s great to see them release them. I’m also intrigued to see what will come next – maybe the HMV turrets would be a useful addition.
It’s important to note that they are not planning to release their vehicles through this system which… is fair. There is a lot of work and design details in their 3d modelling and STLs are an inheritably open system – selling models this way would be asking for piracy and unlicensed selling. I would like them to be sold as STLs (you can never have enough humvees) but I think the maths to make it worth doing would probably make them incredibly expensive.
I had a little play with the files I picked up. They are nice STLs but arrive unsupported, so some work may be needed. As you can see above with the hescos, the ones bought from Spectre are going to have much more detail than the one printed by an entry-level 3D printer. That said, I was impressed that the 3d printed model actually maintained some of the texture detail, such as the netting on the corners of it. If you’re willing to accept these differences, and of course have the printer to make them, then you’ll be able to crank out hesco outposts at a fraction of the cost.
Next piece of news – Looks like we have a release incoming. Spectre put up this on their Instagram earlier today showing off some new figures. These are the brand new Deltas that Spectre had announced were on their way.
Interesting to note that this is a pack of 6 figures all armed with assault rifles (SIG MCXs based on the previews. They also look like an updated version of the Task Force Operators (as you might expect) – new gear, new guns.
You may recall that last year we saw the previews of them in 3D sculpt form. Only one of these figures are in the preview image, while the pistol wielding operator and drone controller are missing. The ChargeBlog Reasearch Group did throw around the idea that we might see the riflemen released as a squad pack, while the specialists are added later in smaller blisters. Or these might have just been the figures that were ready for previewing. Either way, I’m excited to see how these releases will go.
First figures of 2021 painted, finished just after midnight on the 1st of January (“start as you mean to go on” they say). Four more Enforcers done – after having worked out the scheme with the last two models, it quickly escalates up to batch painting. I’m really happy with how these figures have turned out, both with the extra conversion pieces and the paint scheme. I think out of this group, my favourite has to be the white-masked trooper with the bolter – I had worried about his pose looking awkward but I got to have a little fun giving him a decorated face mask and the old-style bolter. I’ll get some more detailed shots once all the models are painted up.
This week, I’m onto the final set of normal Enforcers to paint. Well I say normal – the presence of the sniper and gunslinger mean I get to work on some extra cool bits. After these guys, I then have the Subjactors to do, before finishing off with my special character and her doggo. And THEN I get to start work on the WW2 project.
Well that was a year. I’m sure 2020 wasn’t quite what people had planned going into it but hopefully it worked out okay. Looking back at where I was last year, I’m definitely in a different place but still got a fair few things to work on. This time last year I was starting to try and get a proper rhythm of painting before moving location… and then the everyday of the world sort of fell apart. I have definitely taken a long time
As a tradition, the end of the year means it’s time for the dreaded count of how much I got painted this year and my total (worked out from going back and checking the blog) was….
You may insert whatever jokes/memes you’d like to here.
Maybe not as much as I would have liked but still nice. I’m yet to actually double-check how many I purchased but I already know I bought more than that. One goal for next year I think will be trying to make sure the buy to painted ratio is at least 1:1, if not tilted more in favour of the painting side. This is especially important once Project 3D Printing is up and running.
So with the basics out of the way, lets talk projects
Project Enforcers is my current focus. So far, I have 6 of the 18 models painted – I would have been faster but Christmas took its toll (mostly through playing other games, trying to relax and then massively oversleeping) and so I didn’t get it finished this month. That said, I’m really happy with the colour scheme I’ve settled on – the little cosmetic tweaks I made to the enforcer models being brought out with the Anvil Industry parts.
This is my number 1 project right now – I really want to get it all wrapped up before I move onto anything else.
Project WW2 has been sat waiting for far too long and is the next focused push in the stack. It’s one of those projects I’m so ready to do – I have the basic paintjob planned out, ideas for the story of the figures I’m painting, and a group of opponents to go up against (once we can meet up). The aim now is just the final push of beginning and sitting down with paint brush in hand.
Of course, I should also add that my Brits have been expanded with the addition of enough Churchill tanks to assemble a full platoon of gun tanks, an AVRE for building destruction and a Christmas/Birthday present from the Dastardly Opponent in the form of a Churchill Croc to burn it’s way through the opposition.
Of course, the other reason why I need to get on with my WW2 project is this wonderful gift that my Creative Opponent gave me for Christmas (a socially distanced deployment as he drove back home with a car full of IKEA). This wonderful box, inscribed with a fictional regiment that he created for me based on some rough ideas I had, is full of tokens for Chain of Command complete with wording and details of the regimental logo. You can tell he has a laser cutter can’t you? I’ll honestly admit, opening it up definitely made me physically pause with my mouth open as it was such an unexpected gift.
Warcry Catacombs has arrived. I have pulled the rules out and taken a read, and I’m very excited for them. However, I’m going to save assembling it until I have finished the Necromunda guys at least.
There is also the matter of a few additions to my collection that Warcry has prompted. With the two scenery packs on hand to add some battlefield difference, I also picked up a few Witch Elves to back up the Khanite Shadowstalkers including some special models which I’m very intimidated about trying to paint. More details once they arrive (and I stop freaking out about the concept of subassemblies).
Project 3D Printing
Oh boy okay. I should currently be showing off my 3D printer and some of the stuff I have managed to make during my time off.
You may notice I am not doing that. The reason for this is due to the fact that my 3D printer (an Elegoo Mars Pro) started off with a fault (the UV lamp that causes the resin to set seemed to be misfiring) and then got worse when I attempted to fix it. By the time I’d finished digging around the front panel connection had been broken off, leading to me being unable to control the device to even test for the original flaw. The reason for this? Well, its what comes when you attempt to rush a repair job to play with a new present and an unfamiliarity with the exact mechanics of 3d printing. At the first issue, I should have boxed it up and sent it back to Amazon.
Instead, I am now waiting for parts to arrive from China to let me turn it on before we can then attempt to get the original fault checked (which may require more parts). On the one hand, the device shouldn’t have failed, on the other hand, I screwed up and am now paying the price. However looking on the positive side, I now understand a lot more about what’s going on inside the metal box which will be handy for any future issues. There is a lot of learning to do outside of the printing (such as preparing supports and handling the resin) so as disappointing as this delay is, I’m fine with it – it will be what it will be.
This is a new project technically, but I have been considering this concept for the last couple of years. To keep track of my painting, I mostly have been a Google Sheet and… well it feels a bit lacking. It’s only really good for basic tracking – anything greater such as specific queries or keeping an eye on purchases/completion requires a lot of extra work. So for a long time, I had been eyeing up the idea of making a database for it, delving into some of the web design work I had done at university to give me a lot more control over it (and let me run stupid queries like “whats the oldest model I haven’t painted yet”). This is also an excuse to get a bit more use out of my web hosting which I love heaving but offt I am paying a chunk for it.
So far, I’ve already done the hard part – deciding which columns will be in the table. The next stage is converting my Google Sheet document into a format I can add it to the database. This is made harder by the fact my current document is focused on a type with a number in it as opposed to rows for each figure. This is going to require some work but once it is done I can then start adding the fun bit such as taking pictures of each model, checking what’s in my collection matches whats in the database and then setting up the blog to have more details on it all.
So that’s my update. My aim for the future is to keep going and slowly improve. I’m not giving it a hard number but I just want to keep rolling, keep positing, keep painting and collecting. And One day maybe we’ll
Another week, another enforcer done in the new pattern. And stupidly I managed to pick a figure in exactly the same pose, just with a different weapon/head. This time I picked up one of the shotgun figures, one modelled after some of my airsoft kit (complete with helmet and chest-mounted pistol). I had a lot of fun painting this guy up – the scheme I’ve come up with works rather well.
The only thing I think I messed up was doing the flesh slit around the eyes. I seem to have covered up all the details on my first pass, and then after scrapping some of the paint off, it hasn’t really gone back together well. This is still something I need to work on, but luckily this model just has a very small gap of flesh.
As for further comments on painting, I’m really enjoying using the black contrast over lead belcher for a lot of things. The helmet was done this way, not even needing a dry brush. I’m not sure I’ll move over to contrast for everything but I’m really happy with it.
I also had fun adding the final touches for my helmet – the white writing on the back of it. I didn’t really do it 100% accurately but it evokes it enough. That flash of colour to draw your eyes.
Last week’s paint session was me finally getting some paint on the first of my Enforcers. It’s taken me a while to work out which scheme I actually wanted to do, but I finally came up with one that I think is suitable for a group of Space Faring Mercs in the 41st Millenium. Dark green armour and tan clothing evokes the traditional Cadian 8th colour scheme from the Imperial Guard (or Astra Militarum if you want to be on brand), something that a successful group may want to emulate – it looks good to the client if your group turns up looking like the bees knees. The other colour reference with this combination of colours (especially with leather boots) is it definitely evokes the American airborne of WW2 which I admit I quite like.
The colour list for this scheme so far is
Russian Uniform – Armour
Iraqi Sand – Cloth
Mahogany Brown – pouches + boots
Leadbelcher – metal
Black Templar Contrast – pistol grips + optics casing
Sand Yellow – colour stripes
Khorne Red – antenta optics
In terms of techniques, I tried out a few specific things:
Rather than only a single wash, I decided to double wash just to double down on the effects (making the dips darker)
After the wash, I went back to the armour and highlighted the raised portions with the base colour, just to make it stand out a little more from the washed areas. this can be seen especially on the shoulder pads
Using contrast paint over metallic leads to a really nice lacquered effect, making it look like plastic compared to the bulk of the metal
The base was done the same as my Eldar bounty hunter’s except I repainted the edds
Next week (or today when this goes up), I’m going to get to work on my next enforcer. Seeing as I only have a small number, I’m only going to paint them in very small batches – I don’t need to rush this, and I want them to look as good as I can make them. I also haven’t varnished this guy yet, purely so once I’m done, I can go back and do any touchups that might be required (such as neatening up the shoulder elements).