In April this year, Keith Armstrong of Armies Army announced that he was going to stop making 15mm infantry figures and concentrate solely on his excellent range of vehicles.
Many people, myself included, were dismayed to see such a great range of miniatures 'taken off the shelf', but we were reassured when Keith said that they would be taken on by another company, and indeed, Brigade Models are now selling most of those figures.
So it will have come as a surprise to many when Keith declared that he has a new range of infantry miniatures. A range that went on sale earlier this week: the SKOV insurgents.
I was privileged to be sent some of them to paint before they went on sale, and was absolutely delighted with what arrived. The detail is remarkable, and the poses feel very natural, with much better proportions than his previous range. The figures are unarmoured as you would expect from this type of troop and with the exception of the commander, all wear ski masks/balaclavas. Weapons include assault rifles, SMGs, LMGs and RPGs.
So why has Keith decided to make infantry miniatures again? I'll let him explain:
"First question I normally get asked is - 'did you not stop making figures?' And the answer is yes.
Why did I stop? I was simply running out of 'hobby/business' time I had each week. I was working some silly hours with work and then having to come home and cast. So the grand plan was to sell the infantry and concentrate on the vehicles. Cunning plan...
...actually no, it was not.
My sales completely dropped I guess people want both figures and vehicles; a one stop shop :)
So that's why I decided to go at it again, however this time I'd do it properly.
One of the issues I had was the ad hoc growth and, to be frank, poor choices I made in mould layouts, pack options etc etc, and over the years I had lots of 'wish I'd done it like that' moments.
So that's what I did, I've started with the SKOV and I'll produce it in a more logical order. I'm also outsourcing the 'bulk' casting to a professional outlet and I'll continue to do the one off casts for varying vehicles. It means I make less per pack, however it also means that I have the time and I have hopefully re-opened my market!
I think that makes sense...
So with that in mind I have started off with the 'SKOV', a name that Harold Crossley suggested which I instantly loved. To many however they are still RUSKS, a name which I still own :)
I think the inspiration for them comes from the Ukraine war. Lots of rebel photos with balaclavas and AKs. They all seemed to have this look about them; covered in bandoleer a for AK magazines and menacing :)
The more I researched the more I found with Chechnya and other similar 'dirty' wars and thought yes, I want serving like that. So that's what I'm looking at, dirty colonial wars.
The SKOV will be the first line of a new series. I'm also looking at providing a Government force, who sponsor the SKOVs and a global international force somewhat akin to the UN. All of which are in progress :)
I'll keep you posted on some of these!
I've also got a couple of other rather juicy projects, a non SciFi project to be known as Armies Army Cold War 'Operation Frostbite'. As we are SciFi I'll say very little about this :)
I've also got another SciFi project. It's a little early to say too much, however it will be based around a very popular series of books. Full cooperation with the author and I'll be creating some rules, figures and vehicles for it.
To be fair, my current and new stuff will coexist very nicely. I'll have some variations on given input from the author, however I'm really excited about it all."
My thanks to Keith for filling us in on what's afoot at Armies Army, and of course, for providing those superb figures!
Don't forget that readers of DropShip Horizon can get a one-off discount of 10% at http://www.armiesarmy.com/ until 31 October by using the code 10dropshipAA.