Maidstone Wargames Society Open Day

Phil and I have belonged to Maidstone Wargames Society since … well, the dawn of time it seems ! We are respectively the third and second longest-serving members, behind the the club’s esteemed secretary.

Every year the society holds an Open Day as a showcase to promote what we do and hopefully attract a new member or two. This year’s event is next Saturday, June 24th. It’s held at our normal meeting place, Linton Village Hall, a couple of miles south of Maidstone itself. This year there are eight games covering a wide range of periods plus a number of static displays. You can chat to the members about the games or the club, or join in if you feel like having a go at anything.

More info’ along with directions can be found on the club’s website.

Dock of the Bay

We’ve been quite on the blog for a week or so – I’ve been busy with orders (including another large restock for one of our retailers) and other stuff, and also had a couple of days off with the long-suffering Brigadieress. I’ve also been painting these next items – it’s taken a while (I’ve been mentioning these on and off to various customers at shows for the past couple of years) but today we’ve added several new sets of Dockyard Buildings to our Small Scale Scenery range. These were supposed to have been released last Friday (which would have neatly coincided with the 350th anniversary of the Battle of the Medway) but we’re a little late, delayed by preparations for Broadside, the weather (guess who left some painted models outside to dry and got caught out by a sudden rain-shower …) and a desire to paint and present these properly, which took longer than I expected to finish (Anchor Wharf in particular has a lot of windows).

However, we’re there now and we think it’s well worth the wait. The buildings are in the main based on prototypes at Chatham Dockyard in Kent, which at the turn of the 20th Century was one of Britain’s main naval dockyards for construction and repair.

The larger buildings are all resin, with the smaller buildings set cast in metal. The metal buildings set includes various manufacturing centres such as a sawmill, smithery, galvanising shed and pumphouse along with administrative buildings and general purpose sheds. If you didn’t want to use them specifically as dockyard buildings then they would still make great general-purpose factories and warehouses.

The Titan Crane is a 3D-printed piece, available from our Shapeways shop. It’s priced in dollars (since that’s the way that Shapeways do things) so the price in Europe will depend on the current exchange rate when you order.

SSS-8085 – Slip Cover #3 – £4.00
SSS-8086 – Slip Cover #4/5/6 – £4.00
SSS-8087 – Mast Sheds and Smithery – £5.00
SSS-8088 – Anchor Wharf – £6.00
SSS-8090 – Dockyard Buildings – £9.00
SSS-8093 – Waterline Dry Dock – £4.00

SHP-108 – Titan Crane – US$13.00

Fire Broadside!

It’s showtime again – after a brief hiatus since Salute, we’re back on the road again this weekend at Broadside 2017. Well, when we say ‘on the road’, that might be a slight exaggeration since it’s very, very local to us – Phil lives about eight miles away, Tony a 10-minute walk !

The show is on Sunday 11th from 10am-4pm at the Swallows Leisure Centre, Sittingbourne which is close to the mainline train station and bus links to Maidstone and Faversham. Sittingbourne is also not far from the M2 and M20 motorways, so access is straightforward. Just mind the parking, Sittingbourne is renowned for its rather officious parking attendants and their complete lack of flexibility and sense of humour 🙁

As this is a smaller show, we don’t bring absolutely everything with us, however we will have good stocks of:

  • Celtos (individual figures, unit packs, army packs)
  • Spaceships (fleet packs, rulebooks, individual models of our recent releases)
  • Squadron Commander (blister packs, starter packs, individual models of the new British and Neo-Soviets)
  • Small Scale Scenery (all models)
  • 15mm SF (army packs, platoon packs, rulebooks, individual models and packs of figures)
  • 6mm SF (army packs, rulebooks, company packs and building packs)
  • Aeronef (fleet packs, flotilla packs, starter packs, a selection of battleships in blisters, individual stock of the new Spaniards and Dutch)
  • Imperial Skies (rulebooks and accessories)
  • Magpie Miniatures (individual figures and blister packs)
  • 10mm SF (individual buildings)

If there’s anything else you’d specifically like us to bring, just drop us a line before Thursday this week.

Viva España !

So, as we mentioned last week, the Salute releases are all up on the website and it’s now time for something completely new. Today we have a collection of new releases with a Spanish flavour, partially taken from my Menorquin holiday last summer.

Menorca is an island with a damn sight more military history than I expected, being dotted with fortifications and castles all around the rocky coastline. There are seventeen small towers of varying designs around the coast, primarily on the eastern side of the island. These are mostly different types of Martello Tower, cylindrical or conical in design with one or two guns mounted on the roof. The first item this week is a set of three different versions of these towers – the Torre de Fornells, a well-preserved large tower on the northern Fornells peninsular; the Castillo de Sant Nicolau in Ciutadella on the far west coast, an unusual octagonal castle built by the Spanish; and the Torre Son Ganxo, a smaller and more conventional Martello design. Incidentally, if you follow some of the links and notice that the positioning of some doors seems to differ slightly from our models, it’s because new doors have been opened at ground level on the towers for easier access. When in use 200 or so years ago, access to some of the towers was by ladder to a door on the first floor.

Next up is another design from Menorca, the Castell de San Antonio. This remains of this castle are located in Fornells, very close to the Tower. It was built in the C.17th to defend against pirates, but its very low elevation right on the harbour front made it vulnerable to fire from ships and it ended up being partially demolished in 1782. Despite its rather undistinguished military career, I’ve chosen to make it as a perfect example of a four-pointed star fort design which can be used to stand in for other castles around the world.

We’re now moving down in size to some very small fortifications built by the Spanish in Cuba during the War of Independence in that country and the Spanish-American War. There were many of these dotted around the island of various designs, and our pack has four different models. They’re of a similar design to American Civil War blockhouses so would serve a dual purpose there too.

Finally for this week we’re staying on Cuba with a model of a church. This has two towers and would serve in other locales around the world, notably various European Mediterranean and South American countries.

SSS-8081 – Castell de San Antonio – £3.00
SSS-8082 – Menorca Towers – £2.50
SSS-8083 – Cuban Church – £1.00
SSS-8084 – Spanish Blockhouses – £1.00