Enter the Shaman

Today’s preview is of a rather nice new light tank, the Shaman. This model has been designed by Kirk Alderfer and Zac Braham and as a combat role is intended for supporting coup-de-main forces inserted by VTOL, parachute or orbital drop (just like the US M551 Sheridan light tank, from which the idea of the Shaman was drawn).

Shaman

We should have it available in 15mm initially, then 6mm later. There’s no definite release date for the Shaman just yet, as it takes its place in our long (and ever-increasing) development queue, but we’re hopeful that we may be able to get it out in few weeks (we haven’t ordered a print yet as it’s not cost effective to order models one at a time).

It’s Oh So Quiet …

There’s been a shortage of activity here on the blog for a few days.

Tumbleweed

It’s not that we haven’t been busy – just the opposite, in fact. We’ve been hit (in the nicest possible sense) by a bunch of large orders all at once, including two for new retailers (of which more anon). This is great, because it replenishes the Brigade coffers and allows us to spend more on developing new models, buying moulds, upgrading the stand etc. But the downside is that it doesn’t leave us enough time to actually do all of these things (remember, Phil and I both have full time jobs as well as Brigade). Every evening we spend at the workshop casting orders is an evening we don’t get to spend cleaning masters, making moulds etc. The price of success I suppose ! However, we’re getting close to clearing the orders which means we can get back to the task of releasing new models (such as the much-delayed British spaceships).

In the meantime, here’s something I made earlier … a Chain Home radar installation in 1/1000th scale, including transmitter and receiver towers and assorted buildings. These will be released through the Shapeways store since it would be utterly impossible to cast the lattice towers in metal !

ChainHome

And to go with them, a WW2 airfield set – based on a small airfield with blister hangars for 1-2 fighters, Nissen huts and various other buildings (including a couple of pillboxes). These will be metal castings in the 2mm range.

Airfield

And finally, still on the same WW2 airfield theme, a larger hangar based on a T2 type.

T2

In the Cage

If you watch the news and see anything of the western forces in Afghanistan, you’ve probably noticed that a number of the military vehicles are driving around looking like they’ve been enclosed in a metal cage.

ridgback

This type of protection, variously know as bar armour, slat armour, grid armour, cage armour and probably a few other terms as well, is the modern development of the wire mesh skirts sported by Wehrmacht tanks during WW2. It’s designed to detonate shaped-charged warheads at a distance from the main hull and prevent the armour being penetrated.

Schurzen

We were approached by a customer (David Buckle, let’s give him full credit for the idea) who wondered if it would be possible to create 15mm scale bar armour using 3D printing techniques which could be fitted to his SF vehicles. We had a tinker and, although it’s not quite possible to make something that’s absolutely in-scale (the bars are too thin at 1/100th scale), we’ve managed to come up with something that we think is pretty convincing.

Initially we’ve made a set that comprises two long and two short pieces in Shapeway’s White, Strong, Flexible material. This is easy enough to cut and can be adapted to fit most vehicle types, and can be attached with superglue.

Shapeways – Bar Armour Single Set
Shapeways – Bar Armour Four Sets

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I also had a play-around and created a cage specifically designed to fit one of our vehicles – a Lynx APC. This fits snugly round the model and fits the shape precisely, with a gap at the back for the infantry access doors. If anyone is interested in specific cages for any of our other vehicles, let me know and I’ll see what I can come up with.

Shapeways – Lynx Bar Armour Cage

DSC_0617

I haven’t put the prices above because they are set in dollars and can fluctuate based on the exchange rate, and also the exact choice of material (it comes unpolished in black or white, or polished in white only). As I write this post a single set of armour is around £4.75, four sets together is roughly £16.00 and the Lynx cage is £4.00 in WSF polished.

You can order directly from Shapeways; however their shipping costs can be steep for small orders (US$9.50 fixed cost for any order). You can order these or anything else from our Shapeways shop directly from us – we’ll place one big order and spread the shipping costs. That’ll way will be cheaper, but you’ll have to wait a bit longer for your items.

Mediterranean Houses

Firstly … don’t forget Broadside on Sunday ! This is an excellent little show with an impressive list of traders (Wargames Foundry, Warlord Games, Ainsty … oh, and us !).

We have a long awaited release in our 2mm scenery range today. We’re moving into sunnier climes with the arrival of our Mediterranean village pack of 20 assorted buildings.

The design of these models is based on houses in the French region of Provence (because I have some very good reference photos for the area), but they would serve equally well for Italy, Greece and other European Mediterranean countries. We will of course have stock of these on Sunday – although not all that many, so if you want some make sure you find us early !

VLI-8019

VLI-8019 – Mediterranean Village – £5.00

We’re moving on apace with the development of many more sets in the 2mm range. This week I completed a late C.19th power station. It’s based on the design of the Lots Road station in Chelsea, London, but the dimensions have been scaled down to make it more manageable. It comes with a collection of small sheds and, since most of the older power stations in London are located right next to the Thames, I also added some coal barges, a tug boat and cranes.

Power Station