We’re on a roll now with the new releases – we have not one, but two new sets in our 2mm scenics range this week (although they are closely related). If you’re going to depict a proper late C.19th scene (the timeframe for Land Ironclads and slap in the middle of the Age of Steam) you really need railways to move people and goods, so we have sets of both track and railway buildings.
These are obviously British-style railway buildings, so we know we’ll have to follow up with stations and other buildings for continental, US and other railway systems.
In answer to the obvious question, we’ll be following up with rolling stock and engines at a later date, and also a pet favourite of mine, armoured trains …
Our dear old friends the Royal Mail are at it again. Back in April they introduced a completely new price structure for UK packages with two new categories, small and large package, replacing the old parcel category. They also reviewed (ie increased) prices for overseas packages.
After a while with the new system we’ve been able to take stock of how this has affected us. The good news is that most of the inland parcels we send are still either large letters or small packages, so there’s no need for us to change our UK prices at all.
The main change for overseas parcels is that the minimum price for the smallest package has gone up again; we’ve had a few very small orders where the cost of the postage has been such that the total value of the order (goods plus shipping) has barely covered the postage costs, so we have ended up making very little if anything on those orders. So we’ve increased the minimum cost for an order by £1 for all overseas orders (Europe and elsewhere) BUT at the same time we have also decreased the percentage component of the shipping charge. The overall effect of this is to make very small orders quite expensive to ship (a couple of packs of flight stands or fighters, for example, is going to cost more in postage than the stands are worth – this is unfortunate, but it reflects the actual costs to us). But large orders won’t be a great deal more expensive, if at all (very large orders will actually see their shipping charges drop).
A further change we’re going to make is to introduce additional shipping charges for large/heavy items which don’t fit well in our percentage-based system. In particular this is aimed at the Celtos books, which weigh a ridiculous amount (the rulebook is getting on for a kilo !) and always leave us out of pocket on shipping costs. So these will now attract a higher percentage rate than other items. We show the cost of shipping on each item’s individual page on the website so it should all be very clear, but to emphasis this, any item that we categorise as heavy will have a weight symbol (below) shown next to it.
One advantage of having implemented this is that we can also do the reverse for lighter items that we can justify charging less in shipping. These include small-scale aeronef and spaceship fighters, Land Ironclads contraptions etc. These will have a feather symbol shown on their page to signify that the postage charges are lower.
So that’s it for now – hopefully these changes will keep our shipping charges reasonably accurate (until the next set of Royal Mail updates !).
We know that many of you have been waiting patiently for our new style 15mm advanced buildings for an age since we first previewed them at the turn of the year. Well, Phil still hasn’t completed the mould for the last one (I don’t know what he does with all that spare time…) but we’ve decided to make the first two available, and the other one will follow on later.
Last week’s delivery of models included our Victorian power station, based on the Lots Road station in Chelsea, central London (although scaled down). It looks even more impressive now we have it in our hands, and larger than we thought – which means that it might end up as a resin model with metal components. The final set will include an assortment of sheds and workshops along with cranes, coal barges and a tugboat (most power stations of the time were located by rivers, presumably to make supplying them with coal easier).
It was mail call time this week at Brigade Towers, which is always exciting. Yet another package landed containing a plethora of models, some of which were test prints for items in the Shapeways Shop. Clicking on any of the model pictures below will take you straight to the relevant page in the shop.
First up, and my favourite of this batch, is a set depicting a WW2 Chain Home radar installation. As well as the four receiver and transmitter towers you get the transmitter and receiver blocks with protective blast walls, a generator bunker, Nissen huts and accommodation block. All of this is modelled to 1/1000th scale so will fit perfectly with 2mm or 1/1200th or larger scale aircraft – I’ll be using mine with 1/600th aircraft once it’s painted.
Staying in the same scale and with the aerial theme, the second and third sets are variations on our existing airship mooring mast. The first one has the same mast but with a set of huts similar to those formerly found at RAF Cardington (the mast is long gone but the concrete base of the mast is still clearly visible from the air, and the winch hut is still in place).
The second variant has the same mooring mast with a two-storey building at the base – very much like the ones found around the Empire, in Canada and India.
Last but not least, something we made by customer request; these are scaled up versions of our 15mm Moisture Collectors, designed for 25/28mm models (the Tau Firewarrior was the only SF figure of this scale I had to hand – he’s just there to show you how big they are !). They are sold as a set of six, but if you’d like to order a different number, contact us and we’ll set it up so you can buy the right amount.
We were hoping to maintain a decent release schedule this summer, but events have conspired against us so far (in a nice way, we’ve been very busy with orders lately so we just haven’t had time to put into new releases).
However, we have something new today and we’re hoping to keep this going over the next few weeks with regular releases. Today’s new item is in our 2mm range, a set of English town shops. The pack consists of twenty unique 2, 3 and 4-storey buildings to make up a bustling town centre.
VLI-8022 – English Town Shops – £5.00
Following on from yesterday’s post, we have a few more 2mm bits and pieces – again, if you follow our blog regularly you’ll have seen these in master form but not as castings.
First up, three small coastal fortifications. The centre model may look like a small house inside a stone wall, because that’s in fact what it is – I visited the site last year and had no idea I was walking round a fort, from ground level it looks very unimposing (I was more interested in the various WW2 bunkers around it). However, it is Fort Vauville, a Vauban fort from the Seven Years War. If you want to stay there, it’s available to rent as a holiday home – and the beach on which it sits is fantastic, if a bit windy.
The two models at the back are more recognisable, being two variants of Martello Tower, of which almost fifty survive around the coast of south-east England and in many other places around the world.
The three forts should be available in a month or so.
Finally (for today) we have two non-military coastal models – a small lighthouse and a daymark (a lighthouse without a light, effectively).
A big box of new 3D prints arrived at Brigade Towers yesterday, so we’ll be previewing more new stuff next week.
Phil and I have finally cleared the recent mini-tsunami of orders, so we’re hopefully back to normal again – which should mean more time to post here (and, before anyone asks, I’ll be back to prepping the new British spaceship masters for moulding).
Amongst the flurry of casting, Phil did find time to pop a few models in moulds. If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll have seen most of these before, but only in master form – this is the first view of the castings. We’ll have a new 2mm release at the end of this week and the models below will follow over the next month or so.
Firstly we have two railway sets, one of various English railway buildings including platforms, two small stations, water tower, signal box, and two engine sheds. And to base all of this around, obviously a pack of track is needed.
The next couple of models are to support our recently released Mediterranean village. There is a large church (very large, much bigger than any of the English ones) and a small (but very exclusive) hotel with it’s own grounds including a pond and summerhouse.
We’ll have more previews tomorrow.
We have a new retailer in the US. PicoArmor have picked up our range of 2mm buildings and are now selling them from their website and at conventions. Judging by the amount of stock we’ve already had to ship out to them, it seems they are mighty popular, at the moment we can barely keep up …
PicoArmor will be at Historicon from July 18th-21st and will have as much stock as we can get to them, including some new items that aren’t even on our website yet !
We’ll have news of another new stockist soon – as soon as we’re able to complete their first order and get it to them.
Retailer orders seem to be like buses, nothing for ages then loads come along at once …