Brigade Models

Previews, new releases, interesting stuff … and cakes !

Brigade Models - Previews, new releases, interesting stuff … and cakes !

The Alaudae Legion and West Riding Yeomanry

The Alaudae Legion

AlaudaeLogoThe Alaudae Legion – led by Colonel Cornelius Dark – are an elite Frankish unit from New Gallia.

The mid to late 330s saw the implementation of the effective refit of the Alaudae Legion. Many older vehicles were scrapped or sold on although, for a long time – even as replacements were brought in – units were often fielded with mixtures of older vehicles and newer AFVs as the transition and upgrades took place.The Legion’s re-equip needed several new pieces of equipment. Unable to find a suitable heavy tank from existing designs, the Legion persuaded AMX to develop a version of the Garibaldi tank with an extended hull. This was then paired with the large turret from the Sohei, purchased from Mitsusaki Industries on Hiroseke, to create the Larminat. This hybrid tank was so successful that the Legion repeated the process with the Montsabert. This had initially been rejected because of concerns over the small size of the turret, but Mitsusaki-manufactured Shaman turrets were paired with the hull to create the Shamont, which required a slightly larger turret ring but little else in the way of modification.


The Larminat and Shamont are now available from the website, and we’ve also added three detachment options for the Legion – Armoured, Heavy Armoured and Infantry detachments each with eight elements. Each detachment comes complete with crew figures, stowage packs, infantry bases and other bits and pieces. Another new model which the Legion require is the Weygand missile tank, known as the Damselfly II in Legion service.

One of my painting tasks for the next few weeks is to put together an Alaudae army ready for action in the new year. Once this is complete, you can be sure they’ll be put in front of the camera for an extended photo session.

The West Riding Yeomanry

Our EuroFed vehicles were co-opted into the Hammer’s Slammers universe by John Treadaway a while back to create the West Riding Yeomanry. I’ve finally put together a painted unit of my own and added this as another HS detachment option on the website. The detachment of seven vehicles and three infantry elements comes complete with vehicle crew figures, stowage and other bits and pieces.


The WRY require one new vehicle option, a gatling armed version of the Montsabert hover tank. John created his own originally by using the secondary gatling weapons and fitting those to the main turret, but we’ve now created a proper version.

New Vehicles
HS15-414 – Larminat Heavy Tank – £11.00
HS15-415 – Shamont Hovertank – £8.00
SF15-401f – Weygand Missile Tank – £8.00
SF15-401g – Montsabert Gatling Tank – £8.00

Detachment Packs
HS15-201 – West Riding Yeomanry Strike Detachment – £62.00
HS15-301 – Alaudae Armoured Detachment – £75.00
HS15-302 – Alaudae Heavy Armoured Detachment – £66.00
HS15-303 – Alaudae Infantry Detachment – £47.00

Imperial Skies Kickstarter

My recent trip to Antwerp for Crisis was spent in the very good company of Robin Fitton, author of the Gruntz 15mm ruleset (and several others in development). Robin was demonstrating his latest magnum opus, Imperial Skies, to all and sundry, and garnered a lot of interest.


Imperial Skies is a set of rules for Steampunk/VSF flying craft ranging in size from small fighter aircraft to battleships, with a timeline that extends into WWI. Each ship has a detailed profile with multiple weapon types including torpedoes and three categories of gun, and stats for speed, turning and defence.


Robin has launched a Kickstarter campaign to get the rules into production, and we’re participating in this by offering fleet packs of Aeronef miniatures as add-ons. In addition, we’re committing to produce several new battleship models as stretch goals if the funding reaches sufficiently high levels. The top-most stretch goal is a whole new fleet, the Spanish Ejercito de Ciel.

The Kickstarter runs until December 22nd, with a projected ship date of April next year – the intention, if everything goes to schedule, is fulfil all pledges by Salute, and then have printed copies of the rules on the stand at the show. From our point of view, since the fleet packs are made up of existing models there should be no issues shipping those, with just the new models (assuming we get that far) to be designed, printed and moulded. We have a bit of experience with this process, so hopefully it should all run smoothly.

We’ll try to keep you up to date with the progress of the Kickstarter, and if any of the stretch goals are achieved then I guess we’d better start thinking about these new models!


Ride ’em, Cowboy !

Another item slightly delayed by our recent burst of being-very-busy are these rather fetching 15mm SF mounted troops. It would be wrong to call them cavalry, they’re more correctly mounted infantry, and would be very popular on worlds with rugged terrain or a shortage of fuel. Horses – and presumably lizards – are after all cheap to run (just a decent supply of food and water), reliable and good at rough terrain.


There are three types of rider and two mounts. We have low-tech humans in the form of South African infantry in bush hats and fully armoured PacFed troopers as well, both mounted in horses. We also have alien Yenpalo figures mounted on some rather ferocious looking Raptor-like lizards, all sculpted by Martin Baker.


The website is set up so that you can swap the mounts, so you can buy either human figure type with lizards or the Yenpalo with horses if you wish.


SF15-665 – SAC Mounted Infantry (x2) – £3.00
SF15-755 – PacFed Mounted Infantry (x2) – £3.00
SF15-1105 – Yenpalo on Lizards (x2) – £3.00

Breaking Radio Silence

It’s been a busy few days, what with travelling over to Belgium for Crisis and then a week full of restocking orders for Pico Armor and Scale Creep.


It meant that last week’s new releases have been delayed until now (which in turn will push this week’s intended new items back – but they’ll all come out in the end !). What we have for you are a couple of Aeronef models from foes either side of the Adriatic. The Austro-Hungarians get the Kaiserin class Dig Aircraft Carrier, a giant airship with a flight deck on top and capacious hangars inside the gasbag. The deck boasts a couple of cranes, and these are also available separately in an accessory pack.


The Italians meanwhile get the Ricardo PR-46 seaplane, a bizarre 3×3-winged beast used for transport and (when desperate) bombing raids.

I had a little bit of a varnish disaster on a damp evening last week, so please excuse any odd frosty white spots on the models !

VAN-713 – Kaiserin class Dig Carrier – £9.00
VAN-1808 – Ricardo PR-46 Tri-deck Seaplane – £1.50
VAN-7005 – Deck Cranes (x12) – £1.50
VANFP-703 – Austro-Hungarian Carrier Pack – £22.00

Crisis Imminent!

This coming weekend sees our last show of the year – Crisis in Antwerp, Belgium. This is a superb show, second only in size to Salute and we always enjoy our trip over.

Flyer 2-A5.CDR

I’ll have the full range of Celtos figures (including packs), 15mm SF (vehicles, figures, buildings and accessories), 2mm buildings, Great War Belgians and Magpie Miniatures.

I’ll also have good selection of Aeronef, 6mm SF and Squadron Commander packs available and Spaceship fleet packs plus individual stock of the British, Neo-Soviet, Indonesian and Merchant spaceship fleets and some selected individual Aeronef – unfortunately there isn’t room to bring individual stocks of the rest of the ranges.

There is still just about time to get in an order to collect at the show if you wanted to reserve anything specific – you have until I leave for the workshop Thursday morning (around 8am) to get the orders in. You can either send us an email with a list and pay on the day, or use the Collect in Person shipping option on the website if you would like to pay in advance.

This year I’ll be accompanied by Robin Fitton of Rotten Lead Publishing (author of the Gruntz 15mm SF rules). He’ll be next to the stand running games of Imperial Skies, his upcoming Victorian SF airship game using our Aeronef models which you can join in.



I should hopefully have some new Aeronef and 15mm releases this weekend – photos to follow if possible…

Happy Halloween !

Happy Halloween from The Brigadier !


To get in the mood, Phil and I have done a suitably spooky Cake Review, our first for a while – Mr Kipling’s Witches Hat Fancies – click here to see what we made of them.


Tomorrow I’ll be at the new Hereward Wargames Show in Peterborough, which will also be the Brigadieress’ show debut – she’s giving me a hand since Phil is unable to make it. I’m looking forward to it, should be a good day – come along and say hello if you’re there.

Hey, Gagarin !

The latest addition to our Neo-Soviet spaceship fleet is the Gagarin-class Dreadnought. Named for hero Pilot-Cosmonauts of the Space Race-era, the Gagarins carry almost twice the firepower of the Voroshilov class battleships.


The Gagarin is a resin-hulled model with metal engines, turrets and other components. We’ll have a few of these (not many) at the new Hereward Wargames Show in Peterborough which we’re attending on Sunday.

SFS-1201 – Gagarin class Dreadnought – £9.00

And here are a couple of Gagarin-themed videos to keep you going … the first one is worth watching for the dancing spacemen !

Jutland Aeronef

My contribution to the recent Jutland Aeronef refight was a division of German battleships – specifically the 5th Division of the 3rd Battle Squadron, consisting of the SMS Koenig, Grosser Kurfurst, Kronprinz and Markgraf. Since we had pretty much free reign over what models we used, as long as they looked the part (there were some heavily modified Russian Borodinos as part of the German fleet !) I chose to use some of our Prussian ships, the Konigsberg and Manteuffel, modifying and painting two of each. I also painted two von Dobschutz cruisers and four Wavre frigates, although in the end they didn’t make the table.

I’ve always been very impressed by the conversion work that Jon Rogers did on his US and Japanese fleets for his Pacific Aeronef game, with additional turrets, funnels, masts and rigging, and wanted to attempt something similar. To this end, I created a bunch of turrets, new funnels, masts, AA guns, searchlights and ventilators and ships boats as 3D models and had them printed by Shapeways. As is always the way, these then sat in a box for months until I finally got round to starting the build !

The first job was a quick cleanup of the casts, removing any flash – the Prussian models are pretty clean casts and this didn’t take long. The next job was to remove all of the funnels on the larger vessels, as these were to be replaced by new plastic ones. I then turned the models over and superglued a washer underneath – the models were to be ‘flown’ on magnetic flight stands so they needed the steel washer as an attachment.

Now it was time to start adding the detail parts. All of the main and secondary turrets were replaced by new plastic models of a different design to the metals ones usually supplied with the models. They are based on the design of the German Brandenburg class pre-dreadnoughts, essentially a hemisphere with a large bustle. I mixed single and twin turrets on the ships, and added some extras on empty areas of deck – the Manteuffels in particular got a third main turret instead of the normal two.

Funnels were also replaced – the new plastic ones were slightly larger, so the Konigsbergs received one while the Manteuffels got two. New pole masts with a fighting top were added, with thinner topmasts and crossbeams made from cut up paperclips (which I figured would be a lot more robust than having such thin pieces 3D printed). I added some ship’s boats to the Manteuffels – unfortunately there wasn’t room for any on the Konisbergs. I also liberally dotted searchlights and small AA guns around the superstructures, but in the end I didn’t use the ventilators. The last addition was some large vertical tail fins from plasticard, glued under the existing tails (there are some handy beams to attach these to).

Once built, all of the models were undercoated with white Halfords automotive primer. The hulls were painted with a Tamiya dark grey and the superstructure mid sea grey. The grey areas were drybrushed with Games Workshop Longbeard Grey, then the whole lot was washed in GW Nuln Oil, which looked good but unfortunately dulled the difference between the two greys – so next time I’d use a lighter grey for the superstructure. The decks were painted Tamiya Buff and washed in Gryphonne Sepia – the wash does a great job of picking out the deck planking and also hides a multitude of sins in terms of less-than-straight edges. A quick drybrush of GW Terminatus Stone accentuated the deck detail. After that I went round and did a bit of tidying up where deck paint had got onto the hull sides and superstructure.

The last bits of the paint were pretty straightforward – funnels were painted dark red and highlighted, with black tops (German battleships had their aft funnels painted red at Jutland), searchlights picked out with yellow faces, masts and boats painted in shades of brown and windows/portholes blue, with GW washes where appropriate.

At this point the models were painted and I was able to varnish them using Army Painter matt anti-shine varnish from a spray can. They were ready for the last stages of flags and rigging – but I decided to add some more detail. Jon had added rigged torpedo net-style spars to his ships and I decided I liked the look of that. I’d finished the build earlier than expected (I was surprised how quickly it went) so still had time to go back and add extra details. I drilled out equally spaced holes in the hull sides using a dremel and inserted lengths of paperclip wire. The ends of the were were filed flat to remove and sharp points – as you can see from the rather gruesome photo below, paperclip wire can be sharp when cut… The beams were then quickly painted and washed – I didn’t bother with undercoat or varnish but it all looks OK.

Rigging was done with cotton thread. I found the trick with this was to cut an overlong piece and attach it securely with superglue, and only then start wrapping it round the other beams and spars. The thread was wrapped round each beam and a tiny dot of superglue used to secure it (I used a very narrow applicator that came with some pound shop bottles). Once the glue had all dried I touched a drop of sepia wash around each knot on the rigging to dull down any shiny or fogged glue.

And that was it – I think they looked the business on table, and in fact three of them were some of the few surviving German ships at the end of the game – they fought well and took down several enemy vessels including HMS Barham, one of the largest British ships of the time.

The detailing kit I used is now available on Shapeways – it’s not too expensive (£30 or so) and there are enough parts for half-a-dozen large ships or more smaller ones.

Street Convenience

We have two new releases today, one each in our 6mm and 15mm SF ranges.

Dealing with the smaller scale first, we have some new dwellings in our Desert Domes range of 6mm buildings. These are simple structures built as housing for miners and colonists. There are four models that differ slightly in number and placement of doors and windows which will be supplied randomly when you order.


We’ve also added two Desert Dome building packs, with a mix of buildings in each, discounted against buying the same models individually.

Our larger scale offering this week is a pack of Street Furniture compatible with our existing Desert Buildings. The pack contains a number of useful bits and pieces to bring life to your Martian village – stone benches, small planters, advertising hoardings, public communications terminals and a pair of useful booths. The latter could be used as public conveniences, videophone kiosks or even suicide booths! The advertising hoardings are designed to hold three standard 1.8m by 1.2m posters, so you can scale down your favourite ads to 1/100th scale (18x12mm), print them out and stick them on. In all the pack contains 15 resin items.


B15-133 – Desert Street Furniture – £8.00
BP300-401 – Desert Domes pack #1 – £10.50
BP300-402 – Desert Domes pack #2 – £12.00
B300-411 – Small Dome Dwelling – £1.00


Jutland Refought

Over the weekend, a small but intrepid group of gamers gathered again at Stoke Rochford Hall for our latest Aeronef weekender. Joining the usual crowd all the way from Houston, TX was Andy Bouffard, who had managed to combine a business trip with a weekend’s gaming.


This time the theme was Jutland – or a refight of it using Aeronef instead of wet navy ships. The order-of-battle for Jutland is immense, with a total of 250 ships, and much e-mail discussion had ensued about how to portray this, how many of the escorting ships to use etc. In the end we decided to only portray the heaviest vessels – the battleships, battlecruisers and the eight British armoured cruisers. It was felt that the many other smaller vessels would simply clog up the table without adding much to the fight.

So the British took to the skies with 28 dreadnought battleships, nine battlecruisers and eight armoured cruisers. The Germans on the other hand had 16 dreadnoughts, six older pre-dreadnoughts and five battlecruisers. The stats for the game were derived from the real ships, by using the figures for displacement, armour, weight of broadside and speed to create Aeronef game stats. We only generated figures for hull points, gun dice, speed and turn rate – we ignored the small number of torpedo tubes carried by the capital ships since they were rarely used in battle, and bomb dice were unnecessary since there were no surface targets. I’ve made PDFs available for the Germans and British stats so you can see what we used. The German dreadnoughts were more powerful than all but the largest British vessels, but they were heavily outnumbered – the British ships totalled over 4100 points, while the Germans came to just 2500.

Things started badly for the Germans as the battlecruiser scout force got too far ahead of the main fleet and, isolated, was quickly torn to pieces. In a mirror of the historical engagement, the battlecruisers Invincible and Indomitable succumbed to magazine explosions in the same turn (we were using the “There Seems To Be Something Wrong With Our Bloody Ships !” special rule). The slugging match between the two main fleets then panned out as expected, with British firepower proving too much for the Germans, although some nifty German manoeuvring initially saw a large part of the British force left too far away to have much influence on the battle until they were able to close the range. We fought almost to the bitter end, and called a halt with just six German battleships still aloft. The Grand Fleet had been hit hard however, losing seven battlecruisers, several armoured cruisers and half-a-dozen dreadnoughts – so they could really only claim a minor victory in tactical terms, although strategically the loss of almost the whole of the Hochluftflotte would have a major bearing on the outcome of the war.

On Sunday morning we tried out Land Ironclads using Silvio la Verde’s excellently painted Italian and Austrian forces – although this was only a brief skirmish, we all saw enough to want to play more, so next year’s SRH weekend may have more of a land combat theme…

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