It’s been a moderately quiet week, in which we’ve completely cleared the order queue (all orders up to midday yesterday have been despatched), the accounts have been brought up to date and the VAT sorted. I’ve also been fighting a hugely misbehaving PC – if anyone knows why a Win7 PC should keep switching itself off after a few minutes except when I disable the graphics driver, please let me know. I’ve reinstalled Windows, changed the graphics card for a new one of a completely different make (Nvidia instead of ATI), but it just turns itself off – powers down, no blue screen of death – if the graphics driver is enabled. If I run in safe mode, or just run a standard VGA driver instead of the card-specific driver, it’s fine. It’s driving me to despair…
Anyway. Onto the business of the day. I spent a sunny-ish afternoon on Wednesday assembling a small collection of 15mm bits-and-pieces for release today. The first is something we’ve been sitting on for a while, but I just haven’t had time to make/paint a few sample pieces. It’s barbed wire, or at least something that makes a good scale approximation. It’s not as lethal as the real thing and won’t spike your fingers, but looks the part at 15mm (or 20/28mm) scale. It’s supplied in 10 metre lengths, and I’ve made up some simple coiled wire barricades as an example of what can be done with it.
Next up are a couple of very useful accessory pieces – two radars, a small dish radar, and a larger rectangular one. As well as being great for buildings and bunkers, the smaller one fits the 7mm turret ring on most of our APCs and smaller vehicles, while the large one fits the 12mm turret ring on our tanks. As an example, I’ve fitted a dish radar to a Javelot scout car to create a small EW vehicle, and a larger radar to a Montsabert hull as a radar tank..
The next piece is a mini version of our existing large and small cargo containers, perfect for smaller deliveries.
Last in today’s mini feast of bits and pieces are a pair of new base types in our Fireteam bases range. Both are plain bases with no slots for figures, for guns or small vehicles. The smaller one is the same size as the rest of the bases (40x40mm top surface), while there is also a longer (60x40mm) version.
Holiday time is sadly over and today it’s back to normal – although since I spent yesterday at a music festival, there may be a minor hangover to deal with first (I’m writing this post in advance so the exact quantity of local cider consumed is yet to be determined…).
First priority is the remainder of the orders that Phil was unable to finish, then some rather dull stuff like last quarter’s VAT return. So don’t expect too much exciting output from us in the first half of the week.
On previous holidays I’ve managed to come back with some inspiration for new models, which have ended up in the Small Scale Scenery range – last year it was St Mawes Castle in Falmouth, the previous year some C.19th French coastal forts. Last week we went to Mallorca, one of the Spanish Balearic islands in the Western Mediterranean. Renowned as a tourist destination, there’s a great deal of history that I wasn’t aware of. The coastline is littered with small watchtowers, used to keep watch for pirates, but the most remarkable fortification is Bellver Castle which overlooks the capital, Palma. Built in the C.14th by King James II of Majorca, it has a fairly unique circular design which withstood several seiges and ended up as a prison. It’s a really interesting structure which may well end in the range…
The recent Desert Dome buildings in 6mm have been very popular and we’ve had more than the odd request to produce them in 15mm. So that’s exactly what we’ve done, with the three smallest buildings now available in the larger scale. The buildings combine well with the existing Desert Buildings range to give you lots of options for your gaming board.
B15-403 – Small Cylindrical Building – £12.00 B15-404 – Small Multi-dome Dwelling – £9.00 B15-405 – Small Oval Dwelling – £9.00
I’ve always wanted to make some flying islands for Aeronef games, but never quite seem to be able to get around to it. But the other day I happened to watch Avatar again, and the sequence amongst the Hallelujah Mountains got me thinking again, and spurred me into action.
The basis of the islands was lava rock, sold for barbecues – I’d used it in the past to make perfect asteroids for spaceship games, so I had half a box left from that project. You can get in DiY stores or supermarkets in the UK, or if you live on Hawaii, just pop up the nearest volcano… I selected half-a-dozen pieces which had a flat side which could be used to site buildings on, and drilled a hole to fit a steel screw in the base in each. This screw would then fix the islands to magnetic stands.
The top was smoothed off with ready-mixed wall filler (Polyfilla, Tetrion or similar), which was painted green when dry. This made a flat(ish) base for the buildings.
The pre-painted buildings were attached with clear glue (Uhu, Bostick etc) and the remainder of the green areas flocked. The final touch was to use a hot glue gun to stick on some trees and bushes.
Although there were points during the process when I wondered how well they were going to turn out (but then I get that in every project), on the whole I’m pretty pleased with them. I didn’t make too many this time, I wanted to have six finished ones rather than twelve which I ran out of time on. So I’ll probably make some more later – ideally I’d like to find some larger pieces of lava rock for bigger layouts.
Today our British 15mm infantry get some heavy support weapon options. There are four tripod weapons, each with two man crews. The weapons are the same ones supplied with our PacFed figures – we had a little bit of trouble getting the original weapons to cast, so opted to use these instead.
SF15-165a – Tripod MG and crew (x2) – £3.00 SF15-165b – Tripod Railgun and crew (x2) – £3.00 SF15-165c – Tripod Gatling and crew (x2) – £3.00 SF15-165d – Tripod Tri-barrel and crew (x2) – £3.00
The crew figures were previously part of the ArmiesArmy Commonwealth range.
It’s holiday time at Brigade again, which means that there may be a little slower response time to orders than usual. We’ve caught up as much as possible, and all orders to the end of Thursday (15th) are complete and in the post. Orders will still be processed, but they could take longer for the next ten days or so and there may be a bit of backlog to catch up the following week. Turnaround on queries via email or through the Facebook page could also be affected, although we’ll do our best to get back in a reasonable time.
Today we’re unveiling a new Aeronef model, and our largest to date in this range. The Langley is an American carrier which supports up to 18 fighters in its capacious hangars. It’s well equipped with anti-fighter batteries for self-defence, although with nothing in the way of offensive armament.
The model has been computer designed and 3D printed, but styled to fit in with the existing models in the US fleet.
The Langley is available on its own, or in a pack complete with escorts, fighters and bases. The new anti-fighter turrets are also available in a pack of 12, along with a second circular AA turret – ideal for conversions or upgrades to your existing models.
VAN-215 – Langley Fighter Carrier – £9.00 VANFP-204 – US Carrier Pack – £22.00 VAN-7003 – Rectangular AA Turret (x12) – £1.50 VAN-7004 – Round AA Turret (x12) – £1.50
A couple of years ago we had our 25th anniversary, and we wrote about the origins of Brigade, back in the mists of the 1980s. A little while back I found this – it’s a casting of the original church that started everything off. I made this from a plasticard core covered in Das clay, which Phil then cast in polyester resin. It’s not all that much to look at now, but significant for us in terms of what it led to.
Now the back of the Brigade workshop is a largely uncharted area. It’s not very tidy and there are piles of boxes ‘n’ stuff, not all which is labelled. I was searching the other day for a load of slottabases which I’m sure is there somewhere but can’t find, and which is rapidly taking on mythical status. I came across this rather grubby item in a plastic bag, which turns out to be another piece of Brigade history. It’s the very first mould that we made for metal casting and is of two spaceships – the Condorcet and the Guangdong. You can just about make out their outlines in the right-hand half of the mould. When first released they were only available through the SFSFW and we branded them as the SemFed (the Semitic Federation of Space Faring Worlds) or Israelis in space. The two models then were called the Sharon and the Meir respectively. So if you ordered these from us back in those early days (1995-ish), this is the mould they came from, they were drop cast on the kitchen stove in my first house!
Normally Friday would be new release day here (although lately it’s been Mondays as well as we push out the Armies Army 15mm figures). Sadly, today we have nothing for you. It’s not that we don’t want to, or even that we don’t have anything – a quick count-up reveals that our new releases for the next four or five weeks are pretty much lined up and ready to go. It’s simply that we’ve been too busy ! As recently revealed, we have a new US stockist in Scale Creep Miniatures, and Mark sent us his initial stock order at the end of last week. This was to send the Brigade foundries into unprecedented overdrive, casting all manner of metal and resin items to ship off to the states.
But not immediately, as our friends John and John at Pico Armor had sent us a restock order ready for Historicon just a few hours earlier, so we weren’t even able to start on Mark’s order until Tuesday. And in amongst this of course, we have to deal with normal website orders that arrive every day.
As a result, Phil and I have done nothing this week apart from production casting, so the rather splendid new model that we had lined up to release today lies forlorn and unpainted on my workbench. We’ll just have to push the release schedule back a week, but hopefully we’ll be able to return to normal next Friday.
As a taster of things to come (although it’s not in the next few releases, it’s a bit further down the line), how about this ? It’s the Kirin Combat Walker, which will be part of our Mercenary Brigade force in 15mm (and hopefully 6mm as well down the line). This one was designed by Kirk Alderfer with input from Zac Braham, the pairing that designed the rest of the Mercenary vehicles. The arm mounts are designed to accept any of the weapons from the Sohei tank, while the shoulder points will take a number of items including missile pods, sensor pods, the standard Mercenary secondary gun and even a spotlight.