Brigade Models

Previews, new releases, interesting stuff … and cakes !

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

Shapeways Free Shipping

It rained today … boy, did it rain !? The Brigade workshop was in danger of turning into the Brigade Ark at one point, as I started leading 15mm tanks in two-by-two :-) However, despite the hammering on the roof I managed to clear the decks of orders and make a start on a restock for Scale Creep Miniatures.

One light in the gloom was an email from Shapeways announcing free worldwide shipping until the 30th of this month (Sunday*) for orders over US$35 (very roughly around £20). So it’s another good chance to pick up a Pegasus Bridge, some moisture collectors or even a few little planes on the Brigade Shapeways shop.

*UPDATE – the offer has now been extended to Monday with no minimum order.

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Medieval in Minature

We have a new addition to the 2mm scenery line today. This is a medieval set consisting of 20 buildings from a large village or small town. The set includes large and small houses, shops, inns, a Guildhall and buttermarket (the little octagonal pavilion).

The main characteristic of these buildings is the overhanging upper storeys. Many are still standing today so their use needn’t be confined just to the middle ages. They can be combined with many of the buildings in our existing English Village and Town Shops sets to create larger built-up areas. And of course the English Churches and the Large Church are also perfect companions.

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SSS-8063 – Medieval Buildings (x20) – £6.00

New Desert Domes

The 6mm Desert Dome buildings released at Salute seem to have struck a chord with many gamers, so it was inevitable that we’d want to follow up with some more. I did a little bit of tinkering with my 3D design software to come up with five new buildings of various types, and the prints of these turned up earlier this week. I haven’t yet had time to fit them with doors and windows but you get the idea I’m sure. I’m hoping to be able to cast the large multi-dome one in the foreground in one piece.

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I’ve also been working at new 15mm vehicles – this is the Ratel medium tank for our South African force, scaled up from the 6mm original but with a heap of extra detail.

And lastly, here’s another new 15mm building – an upscale of the 6mm Plinth Dwelling. Which seems currently to be in use as a Chinese command post…

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Painting the Stewart Regiment

John Treadaway made an excellent job of painting his Stewart forces when he added them to the Hammer’s Slammers website last year. I was lucky enough to see them close-up earlier this year in a game at Maidstone (albeit from the wrong end of their gun barrels !) and was struck by the extra mile he goes with the addition of stowage and crew figures to his vehicles.

Suitably inspired, I decided that I wanted a Stewart detachment of my own, so set about putting one together. I also wanted to use the new Glengarry-hatted infantry, which weren’t available when John was assembling his forces.

I started by cleaning the resin castings in soap and water and letting them dry. I then assembled the vehicles, which for the most part is straightforward – the Apollos and Artemis only have the hatches to glue on, some of which I left open for crew figures which were superglued straight in. One of the tanks got a radar antenna on the rear of the turret – there’s a circular detail piece behind the left hatch, which I drilled out with a 2mm bit and fitted the radar in there. Both tanks had external fuel drums glued to the hull rear (a bit fiddly, use gel super glue for this) and jerricans plus the odd storage box were glued onto the hulls and turrets.

The Kunitsas take a bit more work, with the tracks, hatches and turrets all needing to be attached. I glued all of the rear hatches closed, but left two of the top hatches open. The mortar carrier’s hatches were glued upright and I added an infantry figure with binoculars after cutting him off at the waist with clippers. The second hatch was completely opened, and three riflemen were cut off and glued in the hatch (word to the wise – in future I think I’d paint these figures separately and glue them in after painting, as doing so in the confines of the vehicles was fiddly).

The infantry were cleaned up then glued to washers (I used thin plasticard to cover the holes in the washers). The gun crew weren’t based, but were stuck to a coffee stirrer for painting. The figures on washers were textured using PVA glue and sand to decorate the bases. You have two options for basing – using the washers allows the figures to be put in the sabot fireteam bases for games that require infantry to based in teams, but still allowing them to be used individually for skirmish games. Alternatively, the figures can be stuck straight into the resin fireteam bases and attached permanently.

Once all the glue was dry, everything – vehicles and figures – was undercoated in Halfords white automotive primer. This is a bit more expensive than some primers but a) the can is a lot bigger so you get more for your money and b) it sticks to anything – metal, resin, plastic – to give a good key for the main paint job. Once this had dried, the infantry were sprayed with Plastic Soldier Company Russian Uniform, while the vehicles were airbrushed with Vallejo Sand Yellow.

The vehicles were then pretty straightforward to finish. They were first drybrushed overall with Citadel Terminatus Stone (one of their ‘dry’ paints). Hover skirts were painted dark grey and drybrushed light grey, tracks were painted red-brown and drybrushed lightly with silver. The hatch interiors were painted very light grey, stowage in various shades of green, brown and grey and some parts of the gun barrels in gunmetal drybrushed with silver. The tank crew were given black coveralls and dark red berets, while the infantry in hatches were brush painted the same way as those on foot.

The next step was to brush on a coat of Army Painter Strong Tone (from the large tin, not the dropper bottle). This is messy, so I put the models on greaseproof paper and left them in a shed to dry which takes 24 hours or so (don’t leave them indoors if you can help it, the stuff stinks and, trust me, you will get complaints…).

Once set, I added some Scottish Saltire decals which I sourced from eBay – these go on fine straight over the shiny Army Painter finish. Then the last task is to give them a clear flat coat – I use Tamiya XF-86 airbrushed on. This is an acrylic varnish so won’t react with the dip. The only time I tried Army Painter’s own clear coat in a spray can, it crazed horribly, so you have been warned…

The resin figure bases were sprayed black and then the tops painted in Tamiya Flat Earth drybrushed in a pale sand colour. The sides were painted in Tamiya Flat Brown. With the two ant-tank gun bases, I used a cutting tool in a dremel to make some indentations in the bases for the gun crew (do this outside and wear a face mask – you do not want to breathe in the resin dust). The previously sprayed crew figures were superglued in and PVA glue and sand used to cover round the hole.

I try to keep the colour schemes on 15mm figures simple, just so I can get them painted in a sensible time. For these figures the steps were

  • Pouches, water bottle, packs in Citadel Kommando Khaki
  • Guns in dark grey, highlighted light grey
  • faces and hands in Citadel Elf Flesh
  • boots in Tamiya Rubber Black
  • Glengarries painted flat black. The band around the bonnet should be a red and white check pattern, but I approximated this by painting it white then adding red strips

They were then also given a brush coat of AP Strong Tone and varnished with a flat coat once this had dried. I had a bit of bad luck with the varnish which decided to go frosty on me – this wasn’t too severe, but made the glengarries look a bit grey-ish (there was some damp in the air – the answer was not to panic, but to wait until the weather had dried out then varnish them again). Finally, I glued the odd small rock on some bases and applied flock – I got hold of some very nice grass tufts with purple blossoms from The Dice Bag Lady and used these to give a purple heather look to the bases and further emphasise the Scottish-ness of this unit.

And there you have it – 2650 points of Hammer’s Slammers detachment ready for action.

Scotland the Brave!

In 329TW, the planetary governments of Hiroseke and Stewart, re-ignited their feud on Kalan, an iridium- mining colony they had founded together decades before hand, and over which they had already fought one bitter struggle. Japanese and Scots were again in open warfare over production rights and were shooting at each other for another five years…

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John Treadaway added the Stewart Regiment to the Hammer’s Slammers universe about a year ago, using a combination of our British vehicles plus some Neo-Soviet APCs, along with ArmiesArmy’s excellent British infantry. This prompted Keith of AA to convert some of his infantry to wear Glengarries (traditional Scots caps) so a more Scottish-themed unit could be created. Today we’ve added these figures to our website, along with command and support weapon packs which haven’t previously been released. This also allows us to offer a 24-figure platoon pack in Glengarries, along with a Mechanised platoon including three APCs.

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Prompted by John, we’re taking the platoon pack idea a step further, and we’re going to start offering complete Hammer’s Slammers Detachment Packs. These are essentially a complete army in a box that matches one of the detachment lists for The Crucible rules. The first is a Stewart Regiment Highland Detachment, a powerful 12-element unit of tanks, infantry and anti-tank guns. The pack contains everything you need to make the detachment, right down to washers to base the infantry on. The full pack contents is as follows:

* – the Highland Detachment has five 4-man infantry elements. The extra figures are for you to populate the top hatches of the APCs if you wish to (you will need to cut the figures off at the waist to do this).

Paint, glue, decals and modelling ability not included – you’ll need to provide these yourself ! We’ll be posting a painting guide in the next few days too, although John’s original unit looks extremely good so you could do worse than to study his pictures. The detachment comes in at £75, more than 10% off the price of everything if bought separately.

HS15-101 – Stewart Regiment Highland Detachment – £75.00

SF15-160g – Rifle Squad in Glengarries (x10) – £3.75
SF15-161g – Support Weapons in Glengarries (x5) – £2.00
SF15-162g – HQ Section in Glengarries (x6) – £2.75
SF15-170g – Infantry Platoon in Glengarries (x24) – £8.50
SF15-171g – Mechanised Platoon in Glengarries (x24) – £30.00

Советская статистика

I am confidently assured (by Microsoft’s Bing Translator, no less…) that the above title translates to ‘Soviet Statistics’. So apologies if it really means ‘three-legged donkey’ or worse …

CarrierRelease

What it signifies is that in a rare fit of efficiency, I’ve put up Starmada playsheets for our Neo-Soviet spacefleet on the website, and while I was there I’ve added playsheets for the recent British additions (the Colossus, Wellesley and Kent). So you can boldly go with the latest designs behind you now…

ColossusRelease

Back Online

After wasting far too much time trying to fix the PC, a box of replacement parts arrived this week. I had a bit of a false start when I didn’t configure the RAID array correctly, but it’s all now up and running – Brigade has returned to normal operation. We’ve managed to catch up with orders (having previously been unable to print shipping labels) so everything that arrived up to yesterday (Thursday) evening has now shipped. It also means I can get on with some more 3D design work which has stalled over the past few weeks.

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New on the website today are a few accessory items. We’ve made some of our 15mm heavy weapons available separately, the neat little Chinese command drones and also the Neo-Soviet heavy gun turrets from the spaceship range (they should have been available earlier – I forgot to do so when the ships were released). I’ve also added the Javelot Scout Car with radar that I put together as an example idea for the release of the radar dishes – it makes a useful little EW vehicle and it’s easy for us to add as a separate item.

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SF15-406d – Javelot Scout Car with Radar – £4.00

SF15-562a – CDSU Command Drones (x3) – £1.75
SF15-563a – Gatling HMG (x3) – £1.75
SF15-564a – Light AT Gun (x3) – £1.75

SF15-753e – Tripod MG (x3) – £1.75
SF15-753f – Tripod Railgun (x3) – £1.75
SF15-753g – Tripod Gatling (x3) – £1.75
SF15-753h – Tripod Tri-barrel (x3) – £1.75

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SFS-7052 – Neo-Soviet Heavy Gun Turrets (x12) – £1.50

A 15mm Miscellany

It’s been a moderately quiet week, in which we’ve completely cleared the order queue (all orders up to midday yesterday have been despatched), the accounts have been brought up to date and the VAT sorted. I’ve also been fighting a hugely misbehaving PC – if anyone knows why a Win7 PC should keep switching itself off after a few minutes except when I disable the graphics driver, please let me know. I’ve reinstalled Windows, changed the graphics card for a new one of a completely different make (Nvidia instead of ATI), but it just turns itself off – powers down, no blue screen of death – if the graphics driver is enabled. If I run in safe mode, or just run a standard VGA driver instead of the card-specific driver, it’s fine. It’s driving me to despair…

AccRelease

Anyway. Onto the business of the day. I spent a sunny-ish afternoon on Wednesday assembling a small collection of 15mm bits-and-pieces for release today. The first is something we’ve been sitting on for a while, but I just haven’t had time to make/paint a few sample pieces. It’s barbed wire, or at least something that makes a good scale approximation. It’s not as lethal as the real thing and won’t spike your fingers, but looks the part at 15mm (or 20/28mm) scale. It’s supplied in 10 metre lengths, and I’ve made up some simple coiled wire barricades as an example of what can be done with it.

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Next up are a couple of very useful accessory pieces – two radars, a small dish radar, and a larger rectangular one. As well as being great for buildings and bunkers, the smaller one fits the 7mm turret ring on most of our APCs and smaller vehicles, while the large one fits the 12mm turret ring on our tanks. As an example, I’ve fitted a dish radar to a Javelot scout car to create a small EW vehicle, and a larger radar to a Montsabert hull as a radar tank..

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The next piece is a mini version of our existing large and small cargo containers, perfect for smaller deliveries.

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Last in today’s mini feast of bits and pieces are a pair of new base types in our Fireteam bases range. Both are plain bases with no slots for figures, for guns or small vehicles. The smaller one is the same size as the rest of the bases (40x40mm top surface), while there is also a longer (60x40mm) version.

PlainBases

SF15-923 – Mini Container – £1.50
SF15-925 – Large Radar (x2) – £3.00
SF15-926 – Small Radar (x2) – £1.50
SF15-927 – Barbed Wire (10m) – £4.00
SF15-928 – Plain Base – £0.50
SF15-929 – Large Plain Base – £0.60

Back on Home Soil

Holiday time is sadly over and today it’s back to normal – although since I spent yesterday at a music festival, there may be a minor hangover to deal with first (I’m writing this post in advance so the exact quantity of local cider consumed is yet to be determined…).

First priority is the remainder of the orders that Phil was unable to finish, then some rather dull stuff like last quarter’s VAT return. So don’t expect too much exciting output from us in the first half of the week.

On previous holidays I’ve managed to come back with some inspiration for new models, which have ended up in the Small Scale Scenery range – last year it was St Mawes Castle in Falmouth, the previous year some C.19th French coastal forts. Last week we went to Mallorca, one of the Spanish Balearic islands in the Western Mediterranean. Renowned as a tourist destination, there’s a great deal of history that I wasn’t aware of. The coastline is littered with small watchtowers, used to keep watch for pirates, but the most remarkable fortification is Bellver Castle which overlooks the capital, Palma. Built in the C.14th by King James II of Majorca, it has a fairly unique circular design which withstood several seiges and ended up as a prison. It’s a really interesting structure which may well end in the range…

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