Sunday 23 June 2024

What Does This Button Do? *Ancient Blog Powers Back UP*


John Bear Ross, here.

I used to freelance for Rebel Minis, Critical Mass Games, Khurasan, Reaper, Wizkids, Conflict Horizon, ClearHorizon Games, Xtreme Hobbies, and a few more little upstart companies. 

One of my first work-ups from the mid-2000s to show clients a size ref chart for 15mm/1-100th Scale

I apologize for the lack of content, as of late, on this venerable blog that helped launch and nurture so many 15mm companies.

So, I'm going to do my part to blow some dust off it, and try and breath some life back in to it.

The miniatures industry has shifted, as you may or may not know.  

Production and shipping costs have gone through the roof.

Inflation has kicked us all in the teeth, sapping our purchasing power and driving up costs.

Heavier taxes and customs punish international shipments, which UK and EU companies and customers depended on to access the US market, and vice versa.

Advertising has moved to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a shedload of other outlets, causing old voices to go quiet.

I, myself, have moved my focus from traditional means of getting miniatures on your tabletop from the casting/shipping model to selling data to folks with their own 3D printers, cutting out the middleman.

There are 3D printers in public libraries, now, as well as some gaming clubs.  Vendors offer licensed copies from other artists, or rent their machine to print files that you provide on your own.  

For the price of a few box sets from certain big companies, you can buy your own machine that puts out better quality prints than I was renting time on to make production master models, 10 year ago.

It's a brave new world.  We are living in the future, and I am glad to see that my predictions of consumer-level printers came true.

Obviously, this change is not enjoyed by many, whether they prefer buying via the traditional method, or are involved directly in the standard production model.  It is not my intent to replace that, only to offer an alternative.

So, I believe that there is room for both, and more.  15mm has always been about possibilities, not restrictions.

Here's a few decades worth of my thoughts on the matter...

Who's with me?


John Bear Ross

(JBR if you're into the whole brevity thing)

Thursday 11 November 2021

Ion Age 15mm new Hazelwurm and Colabreta Lifter vehicles released!

The Khanate break out from the Belkan expanse saw an ever increasing mass of aliens boiling towards the capital city of Camarthan Prime.  While the bulk of the Planetary Defence Forces were in Pelcan City preparing as best they could for the approaching Legionaries of the Styx and Medusa Legions and their tens of thousands of Malig goblinoids not all the aliens marched in that direction.  While more than a million civilians streamed out of Pelcan City away from the enemy many thousands of Khanate slave troops broke north and headed across barren land to the arctic snows of Tarma to the small secondary space port near the pole.  Communications were patchy at best but the three regiments of Planetary Militia in their cold climes gear did learn of the oncoming aliens.  The task of eviscerating the Tarma space port was given to the Beotans of the Styx Legion.  These beastial warriors covered ground rapidly and it was only ten days before the outer perimeter was tested.  At Migg Peak a thousand human militia supported by Hazelwurm and Colabreta vehicles and Steornede Battlesuits met the Beotan tide and it broke against them.  Though Tarma burned mere days later it did give time for the militia to evacuate all non combatants south.  Sadly they did not know that Pelcan City was already lost.   Academy Auto-Trainer Series 59, New Glastonbury, 4334IC 

First of two groups of releases this month for the Ion Age 15mm science fiction range one of the biggest ranges in the world for space opera wargaming.  Joining the wheeled variants are three hover versions of the Hazelwurm Patrol Lifter and Colabreta Patrol Carrier / Command Carrier.  These light vehicles provide mobility for the Planetary Militia.  Go HERE for the whole range and have a browse or HERE for our blog and the full article. 

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday 31 October 2021

Winter Mega Event 2021 is on at Alternative Armies!

Pray gentlemen your attention!

Biggest event with 30 new releases, 20% off every order automatically, free pack in orders shipped plus lots of deals and offers. Read full detail on our BLOG. Event until 3rd December; the article will update across the event. We know you have been waiting and the time has come. 

This of course covers all the ranges of The Ion Age and former 15mmcouk including HOF and Laserburn for example.  Just go to the left hand menu and seek '15mm Science Fiction' to see all there is.  Including all those sweet new Ikwen at Loud Ninja Games.

 May the dice gods favour you! 

 Thank you. 


Friday 17 September 2021

Free Patrol Angis scenario: Knight to Remember

"It was the League of Canlaster that made the first moves of the civil war. Taking the five million men of the Gulaine Company of the Prydian Army, which had declared for Bluefort en masse, they forced those loyal to Yordan out of twelve systems including the Kendal system. Meanwhile the priority attack by a Yordan allied fleet upon the emerald green resource world of Dando II took the garrisons there by complete surprise. Two worlds were plunged into battles among those who were once brothers. Although fabricators furiously worked to place the crests and livery of their baronial masters on their armour most still fought in the white and red of the Prydian Army.” - 4320IC. From Patrol Angis

A treat for Ion Age fans and players of Patrol Angis (in 15mm or using the 28mm Ion Age range as more are doing) today with a free small scenario pitting battlesuits against each other at the start of the Prydian Civil War.  

Knight to Remember:  A two page small scenario for two players or solo play in which a lance of Prydian Duxis Battlesuits are taken by surprise on Geolu Prime by two platoons of now Canlastrian Havelock Battlesuits.  Can they escape the trap?  Download from our online storage by CLICKING HERE.  Visit the website for an entire page full of folder download links of Ion Age resources HERE.

You need only Patrol Angis the core game book for this scenario and we wish you good fun with the scenario.  You can see the 15mm Ion Age Range on the website and look for codes IAF030 and IAF020 for these piloted suits.  

Check out the Patrol Angis game pack for the book, two lances of Retained Knights, Portable Weapon Platform and Duxis Battlesuits plus all needed bases and a unique to the pack Knight Errant miniature all with a saving built in.  An ideal jump in point for the game. See it HERE.

Thanks for Reading,


Wednesday 1 September 2021

The 15mm and 28mm Viper Suit STL Kickstarter From Rebel Minis Digital Direct



It's amazing.  This is a first for me, in my 20 years as a digital sculptor.  My first solo Kickstarter.

My thanks to Mike Renegar of Rebel Minis for trusting me with this.

What's an STL Kickstarter?  No physical product that can be stuck in a container offshore for months.  No casting shortfalls.  No delays for binding and shipping.

Pure data, that you then print on your home 3D printer, or one you have access to, or from one of our authorized vendors, just like a model ordered from a web site.

That link is

We only need $500 to fund, and we're in business.

Jump in, Viper pilot.


John Bear Ross

ETA: We're also running a dual campaign on IndieGoGo, for those of you who prefer that platform.
All stretch goals are identical, and funding will be pooled between the two campaigns.

Monday 3 June 2019

Ikwen Uprising Kickstarter is Live!

Apologies to the community here, I thought this post had already been made.

Our new 15mm Ikwen Uprising Kickstarter is live

New Ikwen Riflemen with Assault Rifles 2

Original Ikwen with Assault Rifles
Ikwen Quad concept art. Weapons and full turret are not final designs and merely stand-ins.

The whole point of this project is to expand the already very well-received Ikwen range of miniatures. At its core, this project presents 30+ new models in 15mm scale. New troops types are being added in the form of special and heavy weapon troopers, communication/ECM specialists, command, ambushing troops and even anti-armor troops. A vehicle is in the works as part of the core as well as gunners to be added to existing models and toy vehicles from gamers' collections helping to simulate technicals, pressed into service by the Ikwen.
  • CODES BEING MADE WITH THIS KICKSTARTER (Also use this list for calculating add-ons)
  • RAP042 Ikwen Militia Leaders (6 Ikwen Leader poses- 4 regular, 1 holy man, 1 fanatic) $4.00
  • RAP043 Ikwen Vehicle Gunners (3 Ikwen w/heavy weapons for use in the backs of vehicles or hatches) $4.00
  • RAP044 Ikwen Croakers (6 Ikwen in 3 poses w/improvised Comms/ECM packs and assault carbines $4.00
  • RAP045 Ikwen Plasma Bombers (6 Ikwen poses w/improvised anti-vehicle plasma charges in different poses - throwing, sneaking, arming) $4.00
  • RAP046 Ikwen Ambushers (6 Ikwen poses in stealth ambush poses - 2 w/advanced sniper rifles, 2 w/rocket launchers, 2 w/scoped standard assault rifles) $4.00
  • RAP047 Ikwen Militia With Assault Rifles 2 (6 NEW poses w/standard assault rifles in combat poses) $4.00
  • RAP048 Ikwen Tripod Mounted HMG (1 HMG w/2 Ikwen crew) $4.00
  • RAP049 Ikwen Heavy Rocket Launcher (1 multi-tube rocket launcher w/2 Ikwen crew) $4.00
  • RAP050 Ikwen Gun Quad (4x4 attack vehicle with open back. Comes with 2 HMGs, 1 twin HMG, crew, and driver) $13.00
  • RAP051 Ikwen Light Attack Quad w/Autocannon (Remote Turret) $13.00
  • RAP051A Ikwen Light Attack Quad w/Missile Launcher (Remote Turret) $13.00
  • RAP052 Ikwen Heavy Attack Quad (Full turret version w/heavy gun) $15.00
If you loved the Ikwen we released yeards back and would love to see the range expand, please consider backing this campaign. All older Ikwen codes are available as add-ons, so it is also a great way to dive into a new army.

Thank you,