New Releases – 15mm German vehicles

More new releases in our 15mm range, this time in the German army to counter the recent EuroFed releases.

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We have three new models, the first being a twin-gun fire support version of the Thor tank. Known unofficially by its crews as the ‘Hodur’, in Norse mythology a blind god, this is on account of the limited view of the commander caused by the location of his hatch between the large gun mounts.

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The second model is a version of the Thor with a large gatling AA mount, to give the Germans some much needed support against attacks from the air.

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Model number three is a Lynx APC with an anti-tank missile turret mounting eight ‘Mistel’ missiles (mistletoe – from the arrow that slew the god Baldur). Further reloads are carried in the hull where the infantry squad would normally sit.

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SF15-301a – Thor Twin-gun Support Tank – £8.00
SF15-301b – Thor AA Tank – £8.00
SF15-303c – Lynx AT Missile Vehicle – £8.00

And in the background of the first photo, you may be able to spot one of next week’s new releases …

More Power

The most popular single item in our Shapeways shop is the 6mm power pylons set. The type of pylon depicted is very common in the UK, but pylon designs differ from country to country – it’s very obvious on my frequent trips to France, where the basic design is quite different. So we’ve added a new type of pylon to the range, this one being more of a ‘T’ shape (or ‘Y’, depending on how you look at it) than the original one’s ‘A’ frame.

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It comes in a set of three, priced at US $16.95 from our Shapeways store. At the moment they aren’t available from our website, but this is only a matter of time.

Stoke Rochford Weekend

If you keep an eye on our Facebook page you might have seen the odd post from me at Stoke Rochford Hall during the gaming weekend held there. If was a splendid weekend with two excellent dinners, gaming all day Saturday and Sunday morning, held in the superb venue of a country house built in 1840 (imagine Downton Abbey and you’re halfway there).

SRH

Both days saw two games being held, a large Aeronef fleet action on one table and games of 15mm Gruntz on the other (Robin Fitton, the author of Gruntz, was one of the attendees). As a further attraction (if you needed one), I took up a small selection of Brigade stock, mostly Aeronef, 2mm Scenery and Land Ironclads, in keeping with the main theme of the event (I would have taken some 15mm stock as well, but the sale has wiped out our stocks of resin items so I didn’t have a great deal to take !). It was a chance for everyone to delve into the drawers of Nef and LI and pick out exactly what they needed, especially with me suffering a chronic inability to add up and continually undercharging.

Friday evening saw everyone arrive for dinner, nominally at eight but it ended up being eight-thirty by the time everyone had arrived. The menu at SRH is superb, as was the wine chosen by our host, Dave Frampton, and I retired well after midnight after an evening spent recounting gaming stories.

On Saturday, very slightly hungover, I played in a titanic Aeronef fleet action with over 150 vessels fighting over the disputed (and little known) Danish Virgin Islands. Forces from Italy, Denmark, the USA and a large bunch of pirates fought themselves to a standstill, with the Italian/Pirate alliance of convenience triumphing.

On another table, Robin’s superb scratchbuilt 15mm scenery played host to a skirmish game which I failed to take any photos of – however, I’m sure Robin will have plenty.

Saturday night’s dinner was fancy dress or dinner jacket, with everyone joining in. Some splendid Admiral’s uniforms appeared, along with Biggles, the Turk and several very smart DJs. It should be noted that the medals on our host Dave’s chest (far left in the first photo) are real, not part of a costume …

On the Sunday I was able to give the Gruntz rules a try – having heard many good things about them I’d never had the chance to play, so was very grateful to be able to join in Trevor Brown’s game. The rules are completely different in flavour to the Hammer’s Slammers Crucible set we played recently, being a more skirmish level set but still capable of handling reasonable numbers of tanks and vehicles.

That concluded the weekend’s action, with a long drive home in prospect I set off just after lunchtime.

We’ve provisionally planned a date for another SRH event next year, slightly earlier at the end of January – and we’re already planning the game (the Aeronef Battle of Jutland !).

Magpie Miniatures

MagpieLogo

Many, many moons ago we did some mould-making and casting for a Dutch sculptor named Cindy Dukino, in return for some artwork that she did for us. Cindy had sculpted a small number of figures that she released under the name of Magpie Miniatures, a small mix of various fantasy characters of her own devising.

We’d almost forgotten about this until Phil and I happened across the mould in the uppermost reaches of a shelf unit at the back of the workshop. We did a bit of sleuthing work, tracked Cindy down and contacted her with an eye toward re-releasing the range through our website. To our delight she agreed, and here they are.

There are eight figures in the range currently, although we are hoping that Cindy might turn her hand towards one or two more figures in the future.

Eric Mabel Susan and Grumps Ben

MGP-101 Eric
MGP-102 Mabel
MGP-103 Susan and Grumps
MGP-104 Ben
MGP-105 Tiffany
MGP-106 Hambo
MGP-107 Chris
MGP-108 Esther

All figures retail at £3.00.

Tiffany Hambo Chris Esther

Tesla Towers

Nikola Tesla is probably one of the most under-appreciated scientists of all time. One of his creations was the experimental Wardenclyffe Tower built near New York, intended as a proof of concept demonstration of wireless telegraphy, broadcasting and even wireless power transmission – clearly years ahead of its time.

We thought that such a device fitted perfectly into the Victorian Science-Fiction background of Aeronef and Land Ironclads, either as a communications tower or some sort of radar-like device. The original tower has long gone (although the base building remains) but fortunately there is still plenty of photographic reference. We’ve reproduced the tower (or a decent facsimile of it) as part of the 2mm scenery range in our Shapeways shop, and you can also buy it from our website.

SHP-106

Expanding the Donut

My post last week about our ‘octo-donut’ colony base seems to have been pretty popular, judging by the stats on the blog and the Facebook feed. As mentioned, it needed some connecting frames to complete the construction, which duly arrived last week. Please excuse the less-than-perfect photos, I finished a long photo session yesterday afternoon, put all of the kit away and forgot to take these, so I had to whip out my phone to do them in dodgy light instead !

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The basic open connecting frame fits between two building parts and basically just neatens up and hides the join, like this:

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There are two other frames that are intended to fit over the end of any building to terminate it – one piece has a door in (that matches the external door in one of the two corner buildings shown last week), the other is a blank end with a bit of detail to liven it up.

Along with these were several new parts to the base, shown below:

Basic module, used as a habitation unit, laboratory etc. No doors, two identical pairs of windows either side:
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Module with entrance door, the extended entrance module could easily be a decontamination airlock:
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Garage/store-room module with large roll-up door:
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With the addition of these extra modules, the octo-donut suddenly becomes a lot more flexible (and the name octo-donut increasingly more inaccurate, since the parts will make up much more than a simple octagonal base). For example, two of the new modules make a larger enclosed base with airlock and vehicle garage:

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Or you could just add one straight module and use the end frame pieces to make an open base with the entrance in the middle:

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And of course each individual module can be used to make a stand-alone building using the end frames:

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Or two modules together make a simple garage plus workshop unit:

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The possibilities, if not limitless, are certainly extensive. I’ve thought of several sitting here typing up this post, so I’m sure you can think of more. And the possibilities will grow further when we add three- and four-way junctions (T and + shaped) to the modules.

Slamming It

If you’re a 15mm SF gamer, you’re probably aware of the Hammer’s Slammers ‘Crucible’ ruleset, written by John Treadaway and John Lambshead. The rulebook itself is a very well produced hardback, chock full of photos of Kevin Dallimore’s superbly painted models – I’d recommend it as an eye candy purchase for any SF gamer, even if you weren’t necessarily going to play the rules.

Crucible

You might also have noticed the ‘Approved for Hammer’s Slammers’ logos on one or two of our 15mm pages – this is because a number of our models have been co-opted into the HS universe as the officially suggested models for some of the mercenary groups in the game.

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Our EuroFed vehicles are used for both the West Riding Yeomanry and the Compagnie de Barthe, while our Pacific Federation models serve as the Terran Authority Starmarines.

Yesterday I tried out the rules for the first time at our local club, Maidstone Wargames Society. Since it was our first run through we got a few bits wrong, but the core mechanisms of the rules were easy enough to pick up and gave us a fun game – we’ll certainly be playing them again. I’ve put a few photos of the game below. The Slammers’ vehicles are from Ainsty and the figures from GZG and Armies Army, but the other vehicles and the scenery are ours. If you look closely, you’ll might even spot a few unreleased goodies.

A New Era

At Brigade, Phil and I have pretty well-defined roles. I do the bulk of the sculpting and design work, handle admin, orders, the post etc while Phil has the vital task of making moulds, both vulcanised ones for the centrifuge and RTV rubber moulds for resin items, and doing all of our resin casting. We share the metal casting duties of an evening.

Last week, however, I finally dipped my toe into the murky waters of mould-making and resin casting – OK, I realise that in wargames manufacturing terms that’s about as newsworthy as ‘man makes cup of tea’, I’m not exactly breaking any new ground here. But I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve done, enough to want to share the results. So here they are:

OctoDonut

No, it’s not some fancy cake mould ! It’s a 15mm SF colony base, or at least the first two parts of it (look carefully, there are two different modules in the four that make up this ring). During development I nicknamed it the Octo-Donut for want of a better name, but I’ll have to come up with something more snappy for the release. The final version will come with metal frames that fit between each part to hide the join, they’re still waiting to arrive from the printer. The modular design means that we’ll be able to provide plenty of options – straight corridors, T-junctions, labs, power modules, garages etc, but for the initial release these two pieces make an ideal self-contained base unit.

Look for a release as soon as the connecting frames arrive (due Friday) and can be thrown in a mould (hopefully not long after).

What this also means is that with a bit of luck I’ll be able to take over some of the resin moulding and casting duties from Phil and ease his workload a bit, which in turns means that we ought to be able to release many of the backed-up masters that we’ve not yet been able to get into production.