The online residence of wargame creator and writer Gavin Syme
Category Archives: News
Because of my role as Creative Manager of Alternative Armies and 15mm.co.uk I have access to material, news and information that will not be made public on the company websites for days or even weeks to come. I share it here in this category of posts.
I am now on Google Plus. If you are keen on keeping up with me more directly than here on the blog go along to this link and sign up to follow me. The system is easier for me to manage than Facebook is or Twitter so it suits me best. I will be expanding my presence on the plus as time passes but for now I am on the whole rattling around the 15mm science fiction communities to be found there.
Migration was a success and now 15mm.co.uk has a brand new fully functional website. As I said back on Tuesday it might take a day or a week or more but it went like a dream in the end. It was a lot of work to build this site and honestly the messages coming in saying how nice it is makes me feel very happy. If you have an interest in what I do please go and have a look at the website. Several thousand products and images. Takes a lot of collate and insert.
On a separate but related note Alien Squad Leader 2.0, Alex Self’s fantastic 15mm science fiction wargame rules system is now back in stock as of this morning and the print run is selling already. I had the privilege to write the fiction that was inserted into the pages of the manuscript and I had a hand in the layout while the great cover was done by Jim Brittain. I have lined up quite a few new products for the HOF line that supports ASQL in the coming months and I will be giving details of each army as it develops into a full box code over on the 15mm.co.uk blog.
Now…the Ion Age calls and I can hear a Skylark singing (cryptic eh!).
15mm.co.uk is moving! We are about to move our website and email accounts to a new service provider and system. This will greatly improve what we can show you (we have a LOT of new products ready for release in the run up to Salute 2014) and make us more effective for offering deals, viewing on mobile devices and blogging too. While the process of moving should be painless we do need to tell you all some information. So please read on.
The process will begin on Wednesday 19th February 2014 at 8pm GMT and we estimate it will all be complete within fourty eight hours. However it may take up to a week. We will let you all know once the shiny new site is up and running.
We will be deactivating our payment gateway and current website and email system from that time. Please DO NOT email us on our normal email address during this period as we may lose your email in transit. All orders placed with us will be filled and dispatched as normal and all email already in progress with us will be answered by our proxy. Our sister brand www.theionage.com is going to help us out during the transfer with our email as a proxy. If you want or need to contact 15mm.co.uk during this period please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and they will pass it directly onto us and in turn we will respond by that email address.
Lastly once the new website is up and you can see it please delete all your page links to parts of the current website as they will no longer work and check your computers cache too.
Its an exciting time and you want to ask me something please do it in the comments below as well.
Quick posting to link over to the Alternative Armies blog. Its been near twenty years since the last new ‘greens’ were released for The Ion Age, at that time Firefight. I have reached another milestone today along with Sam Croes in bringing out new 28mm designs. Four for now but many more to come. A little pat on the back for me today I think! Click on the link if you want to learn more.
Work, work, work. Twelve hour days, long time. But there are moments of utter joy among the hours of trudge and one of those came around noon today. Sam Croes design the Duxis Battlesuit went live today on the Ion Age website in the form of two early supporter bundles. The bundles were my idea, after all, I know how much I love freebies and a saving. At noon the offers went live and within mere minutes the orders started coming in as I sat and watched. Lovely comments too, lots of adoration of this latest miniature in all its variants. Its not about the money in the job I do, it never is, but after a project has been in the works for some time the moment it is public can be nerve racking.
You can read the full blog posting about this over on the Ion Age Blog.
The offers run for two weeks and I have some blog posts planned that will give hints of more new products to come on the heels of the battlesuit and before Salute 2014 in April at Excel in London. What are these products…I will not say so there!
Today the expansion to the original Hab Dome over The Ion Age was released. Why blog about it here? Well its been a focus for me this week away from a bad week in general and its been awaited by a number of customers since the image of it was first ‘leaked’ (above) a few weeks after the October release of the Hab Dome. There is a detailed post written by me on the Ion Age Blog. Have a look. Its one of the longest posts thus far with fiction, information, pictures and more.
I don’t have a lot of time just now for personal blog posts but this was worth the time and all kudos goes to Sam Croes who spent a lot of time designing the Tower Module so that not only does it look awesome it just ‘snap fits’ into place allowing towers of up to five levels to be made. On The Miniatures Page a thread has gotten some good feedback on this release with suggestions about using the module as ground storage or as an escape pod. That is one of the things I love about the hobby industry, the imagination of the players and model makers.
Its painting competition time over on the great Dropship Horizon blog, focal point of all 15mm science fiction wargamers. Open to all comers there is a list of suggested entries and there will be prizes too for the winners. This is an excellent idea to keep away the blues of the deep freeze period of the year. Check it Out! The painting competition runs from 15th January 2014 to 15th February 2014. You can enter a squad or a single vehicle or a piece of terrain or structure. Full details on the post.
I have put two posting on the relevant blogs which you can read. 15mm.co.uk and The Ion Age are supporting this competition with prizes. Also as a wee bit of additional incentive I have mentioned that if any of the products I am involved with win the event then I will reward the winner with a little something extra. Read about it on the blogs.
Dropship Horizon blog is trying hard to maintain its premier position of world’s best 15mm Science Fiction wargaming news, reviews and resources site and events like this do help. Its only a shame that I have nether the time or the talent to enter anything that might stand a chance of winning. They are carrying on as a group the excellent resource that my friend Mark Hannam kicked off many years ago.
Another year has passed in my life as a wargame writer and general all around fine fellow and over the previous few years a marker of this passing has been the annual Orcs in the Webbe interview. Now that the chaos of Christmas is behind me (and a Merry Mithras Day to one and all) I wanted to put up a short posting here on the blog about this year’s interview. You can read it here and it makes for interesting reading. Firstly thanks to Craig Andrews for the interview and for carrying on all his efforts into Black Powder Fantasy for wargamers everywhere not least Flintloque fans. Secondly I often don’t realise just how many tasks I take on during a year and the interview gives me a chance to reflect upon this both for the past and the future. I seldom take a day off and I think it shows in the loyalty of our customers to Alternative Armies, 15mm.co.uk and The Ion Age too.
I think the biggest thing for me to come out of the interview was that, as I expected, The Ion Age has taken up a lot of my year but also that my role in the company has changed. We have a larger team on all projects now and where once I was sole creative input there are now several voices in this area. I hope that this means I will have time for more side projects perhaps even some creative writing.
Lastly an apology to Craig to whom I had promised a piece of lengthy Dracci related fiction for the Calendar this year but due to a combination of atrocious weather which shut us down for several days, personal illness and sheer workload I was unable, the first time ever, to meet the deadline. Sorry! Looking at it, its not often I drop the ball but I am only Human.
Have a read at the Interview if you have the time. Its fun stuff indeed!
Over the next month or so on The Ion Age blog of which I am the ‘webmaster’ as it were there are going to be posts all about the upcoming first major release for The Ion Age in 2014. As you can see from the picture above the first posting is a bit of a teaser. It concerns our lead designer Sam Croes and his ‘drinking at work’. Following on this will be postings of fiction about the Duxis Battlesuit, of artwork, of concept drawings, of the miniatures and then details of the Early Supporter Offers which will be happening on the Duxis.
While I cannot say more just now you should, if you are keen on 15mm science fiction wargaming or you just love fight mecha, have a look at the blog every now and again. I have the first finished battlesuit miniature on the desk in front of me here and let me just add…its superb!
Dreamed, Designed, Made…in Scotland but not from Girders!
A constant view on the horizon for me each day is the isle of Alisa Craig. This solid granite plug sits in the sea off Girvan and has done so since the eruption of a massive volcano in the very dim and distant past. It’s stone was and still is used to make curling stones renowned the world over and its home to a mass of Gannets and Puffins too. Due to the extremely changeable weather that Girvan gets being where it is you can, if you are there are the right moment, get some superb images of the ‘Tunnocks Teacake’ or ‘Paddys Milestone’ with cloud formations. This image above was taken by my good lady while out on a walk. I have posted it here in a large size so feel free to copy it and use it for a desktop image or such if the mood takes you.
Anyhow the reason for this little post. One of my news feeds told me that the little island of Alisa Craig has finally found a buyer. Its been up for sale for many years and it seems to be a British based group for possibly ecological reasons. You can read about it here. And before you ask…it was not me…I haven’t got 1.5 million sterling in my account, not quite!