Aeronef at Stoke Rochford – photo report

Last weekend, we ventured north of the Watford Gap to Stoke Rochford Hall, a converted Victorian country house which now serves as a hotel, conference centre, wedding venue and – for this particular weekend – a wargaming venue. Organised by David Frampton, who works at the hall, we were going to join in a large Aeronef game put on by Jon Rogers (you may remember his spectacular Aeronef game seen at Salute 2011 and other shows).


After a late departure (my fault, I had to fix some stuff for work before being able to get going) and an eventful journey (well, it was mostly OK apart from missing the turning off the A1 to Stoke Rochford …) we arrived slightly too late for dinner and had to be content with the local McDonalds. However, after a late night tour of the hall, a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast we were ready for a day’s gaming.

I won’t go into the full details, but suffice to say that Admiral Dewey’s Great White Fleet under my command took a bit of a pummelling from the combined forces of the British Pacific Fleet and a Confederate squadron.

Next year we are going to endeavour to make it up for the whole weekend (and not miss dinner this time !).

Credit for the the models goes to Jon Rogers (Great White Fleet), Trevor Brown (British) and Dave Marshall (Confederates).

Celtos – Spawn of Chaos & Old Night

Welcome to the first of our introductions to the different races found in Celtos.


In battle the Fomorians tend to attack in a great horde, relying on their numbers to overwhelm the enemy. Accompanying them on the charge are the beastmen. Within this great press of demon flesh though, there is room for some strategy. The low cunning of the Fomorian commanders often leads them to use blood reivers as flankers and to protect the more valuable warriors’ advance with the weak and disposable fifelcynn. The shamans of the Fomorians can also call upon the mists, oppressive rain and dank vapours of Lochlann to aid them, making battlefield conditions hazardous for other races and protecting friendly troops from the archers of the enemy.


Players who prefer the less subtle approach to warfare will find the Fomorian reliance on brute force more to their style of play. That’s not to say the only tactic is to rush forward and crush your enemy.  The Fomorians have both cunning beauty in the form of the Sirens and power over hidden dark waters  as commanded by their powerful shamen.


So dare you release the hordes of screaming Fomorian warriors, whipped into a frenzy by their powerful leaders and enchanted by the eerie lure of the sirens …

Are you sitting comfortably ? …

… then I’ll begin.

Many, many years ago, one fresh-faced spotty youth, at that time deeply immersed in the world of 6mm Moderns (WRG Modern Rules 1950-85) had a go at scratch-building a church from plasticard and DAS modelling clay. A second, equally fresh-faced and spotty friend saw the model and said ‘I can make a mould of that’ – so he did. Impressed by the results, FFSY#1 made some more buildings, FFSY#2 made more moulds and they sold the castings on the bring-and-buy table at the local wargames show (Tunbridge Wells Wargames Society open day – now known as Cavalier).

25th Anniversary

That’s the point at which Phil and I consider Brigade Models to have originated, all those years ago. It took a while to get the company started properly, initially selling our buildings through the Society of Twentieth Century Wargamers, then making spaceships for the Society of Fantasy and Science-Fiction Wargamers (there’s a year scribed into the bottom of one of our early spaceships – 1996). Since then we’ve added to and then sold off the buildings range, added 6mm and 15mm vehicles, moved into Victorian science-fiction with Aeronef and then Land Ironclads, collaborated with other companies on a variety of games and scaled the heights of being able to purchase an entire established 28mm Fantasy range. We’ve gone from two members up to three and then back to two again. We started casting models over a gas stove on the kitchen worktop, moved up to a Tiranti benchtop centrifuge and nowadays proper industrial casting kit, each step funded from the proceeds of the previous stage.

And much to our amazement, looking back we find that it all started exactly 25 years ago. Cavalier is always held at the end of February, and using the Maidstone Wargames’ Society show game calendar and knowing what demo’ game we put on that year, we worked out that it must have been in 1988 that we put a bunch of our home-made 6mm buildings on the bring-and-buy stall and split the proceeds – around £25 in total !

So that must deserve a proper celebration. So here it is. For this weekend only, our Silver Anniversary weekend, we’re offering 25% off for 25 years. Everything* in the online shop is 25% from now until the end of Sunday (GMT – remember this if you live outside the UK !). You’ll only see this here – we aren’t posting it to any news sites or anywhere else (although feel free to spread the word via your own blogs if you wish). 25 years – 48 hours – 25%.

* – there are one or two exceptions, as in all of our sales – the 25% offer applies to everything we make, metal or resin models. Accessories, bases, dice, rulebooks and any models that we sell but don’t make ourselves are not covered. And postage is charged based on the pre-discount price, ‘cos the mean old Royal Mail refused to offer 25% off postage prices for us 🙁

Aeronef at Stoke Rochford – advance orders

A week or so ago we posted the flyer for an Aeronef weekend at Stoke Rochford Hall in Lincolnshire. There is still time to get in if you fancy a weekend of jousting in aerial battleships – e-mail David Frampton for details.

What we forgot to mention is that we will be there for the Friday evening ‘get to know you’ drinks and Saturday’s gaming session (we’d love to stay all weekend but prior commitments mean we have to be off on Saturday evening unfortunately).

This isn’t a wargames convention as such, more a wargaming weekend, but we will be taking a mini trade stand with us; it’ll only be what we can pack in a car, so we won’t be taking our full ranges by any means, mainly the VSF ones (Aeronef and Land Ironclads). However, if anyone wants to order anything in advance or ask us to take along some particular items to have a look at then please let us know – preferably by the end of Thursday, so we have time to pack and do any necessary stocking up.

We should have plenty of stock of the new 2mm buildings that everyone seems to like so much 🙂

Full of Gas

We’ve added a couple of new bits to our Shapeways store recently, both to complement our 2mm buildings and fit in nicely with the Aeronef and Land Ironclad ranges.

First up is a gasholder (or gasometer). I’m not sure about other countries, but we have these all over the UK – as you come into Victoria train station in London there are several en-route next to the Thames, and another famous one is situated by the Oval cricket ground. Our model depicts two smallish ones, one full and the other about a third full.

The second model is of an airship mooring tower – based on real examples, scaled to be roughly the height of one of our Nef models on its flying stand. Painted in a red/white colour scheme, one or more of these would look great on a 2mm Aeronef landing field.

The lattice structure of models like these makes them ideal candidates for 3D printing, as they would be damn-near impossible to produce in resin or metal without making them a) in lots of pieces, or b) solid relief models, which just wouldn’t look as nice. If anyone is going to Salute and wants to get hold of either or both of these models, contact us in advance and we can order them in for you to avoid shipping charges.

2mm Middle Eastern Buildings

Today sees the release of three new sets in our ever-expanding Land Ironclads 2mm buildings range. This time we’ve moved to the Middle-East, allowing you to fight the campaigns of the Sudan, the North-West Frontier. They would serve equally well for WWI and WWII Western Desert games, or even as far the as Arab-Israeli Wars, the Gulf War or the Liberation of Kuwait.

VLI-8014 – Middle-Eastern Village (x20) – £5.00

VLI-8015 – Mosque (x2) – £2.00

VLI-8016 – Small Desert Fort – £1.50

Celtos Playtesting

Last Saturday saw the first playtest of the new Celtos rules by anyone outside the four of us involved in developing the game. Eight members of Maidstone Wargames Society very kindly offered to spend a club meeting playing the latest version of the rules with a variety of armies. Three 6’x4′ tables were set up – we didn’t use a great deal of terrain since the focus was on a) the main core mechanisms, and b) the clarity of the writing of the rules (did what we’d written down on paper reflect what we actually meant ?). The three tables saw something like eight games over the seven hour meeting – one pair managed four games (they think it might even have been five !).

The good news is that the core rules stood up as pretty solid – none of the games ground to a halt as unworkable. It also showed us that we have the size and pacing of the game about right as well – we’re aiming for a game of 6-8 bases per army that will play in 2-3 hours. The armies weren’t necessarily perfectly balanced, we haven’t tackled the points system yet (the table that played four games had all of them end emphatically in favour of the Sidhe over the Fomorians) but that was to be expected.

The next step will be to take the feedback from the players, integrate it into the latest rules draft and repeat the exercise.

Below is a selection of photos from the day. If you look very closely you might see a few figures that you don’t recognise (at least, not as part of the Celtos range) – we were using some stand-ins from other manufacturers for models we’re planning but don’t have sculpted yet. The Sidhe and Fomorian armies were based on the first examples of our resin cast bases that we’ve designed specifically for the game.










PacFed Reinforcements

Assuming you’ve all recovered from the excitement of Phil’s Land Ironclad Cake, today it’s back to the more serious business of releasing new models. Early in December we published a post outlining our new releases for the next 2-3 months; so far we’re doing OK, the 2mm buildings on that list are out, as are the first of our new wave of 15mm models, the PacFed. We haven’t yet managed to get the 15mm Neo-Soviets out yet, we’re having casting issues with the track units which might mean getting them reprinted :-(.


But the delay on the Soviets has given us a window to release something else – so we’ve brought forward the release of two more PacFed vehicles, the Ocelot light tank and Minigwal recce vehicle. These are available on the website already, joining the existing Cougar and Wombat.

The Minigwal comes in two flavours, one with a twin-MG secondary turret and the other with two missile launchers.


SFS-706 Ocelot Light Tank – £7.00
SFS-709 Minigwal Grav Scout- £6.00
SFS-709a Minigwal w/Missiles – £6.00


Large scale Land Ironclad!

Occasionally here at Brigade Towers we’ve discussed the idea of upscaling some of our Land Ironclads models to a larger scale. Naturally these chats come to nothing for a plethora of reasons (mostly apathy it must be said).

Until now that is…..

Child number two, eldest son and heir has just turned ten and requested a birthday cake in the shape of a tank. Fantastic I thought. What sort of tank would a ten year old child like to have? Well obviously a Brigade Models Brunel war tractor of course.

Oddly enough the Brunel war tractor cake doesn’t seem to be commercially available (surely a massive gap in the confectionary market) so I had to make my own.

So after about three hours of cutting and icing she was finished.


I’ll admit I did cheat and bought the cake since I didn’t have time to do the baking. I also decided that trying to add scale rivets to a cake was a little too much as well.


In normal service British land ironclads would be painted either standard grey or a deep bronze green. However I decided to model mine in the “dress colours” as used on the vehicles that were involved in the celebrations for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.


And the most valuable lesson I learnt whilst making the cake? Don’t give in to your children and let them spend the evening baking cupcakes which means that you don’t start until nearly midnight. Making a cake until three in the morning is not particularly good idea. In fact its a very stupid idea.

And fortunately the small child seemed impressed with his cake. That’s lucky.