Christmas is a-Coming

Just in case you hadn’t noticed, Christmas is around the corner (it’s rather crept up on us at Brigade Towers). In order to keep Tiny Tim in new crutches, cakes and lead-free pewter, it’s time for the Brigade Christmas sale once again. In the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” tradition, we’re keeping the same format as in previous years. Basically, that’s 15% off all of our models, except for Celtos (‘cos you can get 25% off those :-)).

There are a few exceptions, the best bet is to visit our website to see the full details.

The sale will run from December 1st (ie as soon as this post is published) until midnight GMT on December 31st.

2mm Building Previews

As mentioned earlier this week, we’re working on a new range of buildings for our Land Ironclads VSF range. The buildings are all modelled at 1/1000th scale so besides Land Ironclads they are also ideal for 2mm or 1/1200th vehicles and figures. Besides the churches and houses previewed in the earlier post, I’ve already modelled a number of other buildings which you can see below. The first set, already complete, are agricultural buildings – farmhouses, barns, sheds, windmills and – very common in the Kent countryside around Brigade HQ – oast houses (there’s one at the end of my road, now used as an office building).

The next set consists of a number of industrial buildings – small and large factories, warehouses, a pumping station, workshops, even a hydro-electric power station. The four rather imposing smoke-stacks tower over the tiny houses, and all four are interchangeable if you want to customise the look of the buildings.

The third set is a series of terraced houses for more urban landscapes. There are four designs, and other slight differences between some of them. Often associated with Northern England, terraces of this type are also seen in abundance in the south of the country (all of them are based on terraces in our local area).

All three sets have been ordered from the printer and are due in the next few days. Because we order them in sets that fill a complete production mould there is no intermediate master-mould stage and we should be able to get these into production quite quickly.

Laskas and failing Bizons

Phil had a bumper week last week, putting the vulcaniser to work and producing loads of moulds. He’s already shown off the 15mm PacFed parts and 6mm Indonesians, but just as crucial was the mould for the Neo-Soviet secondary turrets – the remote tri-barrel gatling that adorns many of their vehicles. Having this means we can at last put together some complete models – well one, anyway, the Laska tankette. There are three variants, the recce version with gatling turret, support version with missile turret and forward observer vehicle with sensor package. I’ve put one together, given it a quick coat of primer (simply because it photographs better than bare metal) and here you go.

It’s a lovely feeling to at last have something complete that we can put on the table and actually use in a game !

At the same time we have hit a snag with the Bizon 🙁 The track unit is refusing to cast reliably from the master mould, and if it doesn’t work from that then we can’t make a production mould and expect that to be reliable. So we’re going to have to modify the track unit and get a new one printed, then make new moulds from that. This will put the release of the Soviets back a bit (it’s pointless releasing the rest of the vehicles without the main battle tank !) but, looking on the positive side, the PacFeds have been coming along nicely so what we’ll do is switch the release order and get those out ahead of schedule instead. Hopefully then you’ll all buy lots to fund the next army (likely to be the Germans)

We’re discussing possible release dates now, given the impending Christmas sale (yes, it’s that time of year already) and the likely heavy workload that generally results from that event. It may not be the most sensible idea to release loads of new (and hopefully popular) models in the middle of our busiest period of the year, given that we both also have impending deadlines looming in our day jobs.

Brig​ade Shapeways Store ​- 10% off this week ​only

For this week only, all of the items in our Shapeways store are 10% off. To get this deal you need to e-mail us with your requirements, NOT purchase them directly from the store. We’ll send you a PayPal invoice and at the end of the week we’ll place one big order (this way we all get cheaper shipping as well :-)).

So if you’ve always wanted a 6mm Pegasus bridge, now is the time to get it …

Out of the melting pot….

After a busy couple of days mould making I popped along to the workshop to try out two of three of the new master moulds. The castings shown are pretty much as they came out of the casting machine so are a little rough around the edges. I’m more than happy with the results though so with a little cleaning up they will be back in the vulcaniser to make production moulds.

I still need to make the moulds for the hulls of the PacFeds (which will be cast in resin rather then pewter). The first of those will be done in the next day or two so hopefully we should get pictures of completed castings up soon.

As well as the PacFeds and Indonesians I’ve also done the moulds for the tiny houses and the Belgian civilians so expect a few more previews in a day or so.

Rescued from Parcelforce

Thanks to the New Zealand postal service we managed to track down the package of Belgian civilians that we feared had been seen for the last time.

It was held up because some import VAT had to be paid before it could be released. Unfortunately some bright spark at Parcelforce put the wrong name on the letter advising us of the VAT. So basically it made its way safely half way around the globe but the Royal Mail couldn’t send a letter correctly over a distance of ten miles……

So after a quick trip to the local Parcelforce depot yesterday we now have the figures in our hands. I’ll be adding them to the stack of new models that I’ll be feeding to the vulcaniser over the weekend.

Tiny Houses (redux)

A couple of weeks ago we brought you pictures of some 3D prints of our first set of Land Ironclads scale (roughly 2mm / 1/1000th) houses. Sadly these weren’t really up to scratch, being a bit off the mark in terms of the print quality. Fortunately the nice people at Shapeways also thought so, and offered to reprint them for us. These new prints have arrived in double quick time, and are a massive improvement – so 10/10 for Shapeways customer services department. The detail is much crisper, the edges are square and the windows no longer look like they’ve been pushed into a bit of plasticine with someone’s thumb ! There were happy faces at Brigade Towers this evening, it must be said 🙂

The models are the same – we have a set of 20 English village buildings (mostly houses, with the odd inn, pub or shop amongst them) and nine two-part churches. The nine towers will fit any of the three naves, allowing for plenty of variation.

Because we’ve made enough prints to completely fill two moulds, we should be able to release these in double quick-time because we can bypass the intermediate master-mould stage and go straight to production moulds (the original hope was that we’d have these for SELWG, but that didn’t happen). The houses will come in a single pack of 20 houses for around £5, while the churches will be in a pack of three (one of each nave and three random towers/spires) for £3. The successful printing of these also gives us the confidence to go ahead and order more buildings – we have farms, factories and terraced houses ready to go and lately I’ve been working on some Mediterranean buildings as a break from 15mm tanks. I’ll preview some of these later in the week.

Squadron Commander update

Squadron Commander is a game that we’re very fond of, from the early days when it was owned by Mariner Games and we collaborated with them to produce models to their designs. Nowadays we own the rules and released an updated set (subtitled Reheat) last year (to not much fanfare, we must admit) along with a new set of models, designed to fit in with the rest of the Iron Cow background and scaled to fit with our 6mm vehicles (so that have a dual use as air support).

Although an awful lots of copies of the rules have been downloaded (unsurprisingly since they are free !), sales of the models haven’t been as brisk as we would have liked – although we have seen a massive upturn in sales of our fleet scale fighters, so we can only assume that everyone is playing Squadron Commander with tiny fighters !

We haven’t released any new models for a while, nor any rules updates, but this is simply because we’ve been busy with other projects. There are some new models in the works and once we have spare mould-making capacity we’ll get these out.

Following a request on the forums, we’ve updated the Squadron Commander page with stats/playsheets for several new fighter types; the German Kondor (a model as-yet unreleased in the larger scale) and Cimexian Neptis and Thysan fighters (for which you can use the models in the 6mm Cimexian Iron Cow range). The rulebook has also been updated with rules for the Cimexian’s Organic Hulls.

An Old Favourite

One of our most popular spaceships has always been the German Pommerania Dreadnought. It was one of our earliest models and has been through several iterations as a multipart kit, then a single piece hull cast firstly in metal and then in resin. The original sculpt is rather venerable and has been showing its age for some time, and the model has been out of production for several years.

We’ve always wanted to bring it back so we’ve made a new, digital version of the model with slightly refined styling (to fit in with the rest of the German ships) and a design that should make it easier to cast and assemble.

The first print of this new version died horribly (but mercifully swiftly) in the vulcaniser, so the 3D model has been fixed-up (thicker walls and some strengthening bulkheads) in readiness for a second try. It’s just come out of it’s cleaning bath (well done to those who correctly identified it) and is ready to have a few print lines sanded down and be prepped for the mould.

Our queue of models is quite substantial so it’ll have to wait its turn, but rest assured we’ll be first to bring you the breaking* news of how it fared …

* Actually, we hope that there is no news of any breaking at all