The Listening Wind

The very first models released in our Small Scale Scenery range (way back in 2011) were two types of acoustic mirror; a pair of round ‘listening ears’ and a larger sound wall. Both are Great War era structures designed to detect approaching enemy aircraft by the sound of their engines. They also work in Victorian SF games as an analogue for radars in games of Aeronef or Imperial Skies – they make an ideal objective for bombing raids.

Being one of the earliest items to be released, we’d got to the stage where we needed a new mould. So at the same time as doing this we’ve taken the opportunity to add a couple of different types of smaller mirror to the Listening Ears set, and you now get six in the pack.

SSS-8001 – Acoustic Mirror – £1.50
SSS-8002 – Listening Ears (pack of 6) – £3.00

I’m now back from my holiday, which was a very enjoyable break (apart from the local insect life taking a shine to me and deciding I made a tasty movable feast – by the end of the week you could play dot-to-dot with the bites on my legs and ankles, and the resultant drawing would probably resemble a new class of Yenpalo cruiser !). I have been busily ploughing through the order backlog, and hopefully I should have everything cleared by the end of Monday, then we’ll be back to normal service again.

Upgrading the Les Arcs

The French battleship fleet has recently had an upgrade with the arrival of the new Massena and Loire to go along with the Gloire and Charlemagne. This just left the carrier Les Arcs to be brought up to the new design standards.

And here she is – I am particularly pleased with the way this has come out. This is just the resin hull with metal deck and bridge – I haven’t yet added the array of funnels, masts and gun turrets to the model. To give you an idea of the look of the final assembled model, here’s a CGI image. It’s a lot bigger than the older model, slightly longer and much wider.

The new Les Arcs should be on the website in a week or two – I obviously need to assemble, paint and photograph this one, but the production moulds are all ready to go.

Building a City

Our newly released City Block buildings from the Small Scale Scenery range seem to have struck a chord with many people. We’re looking forward to seeing what you’re able to do with the models – especially the one customer who bought over forty sets!

In the meantime, here are a few I made earlier. I based them on two sandwiched rectangles of plasticard, one 5mm larger than the other, to create a road and pavement around each block. In the central courtyards I added flock, trees and bushes, and in one case a car park. Next to one block I created a park with a statue made from a 6mm figure on a plinth of square plastic rod.

The paint job is quite simple – a grey basecoat followed by a lighter drybrush then a black wash. The roofs are terracotta red with a brown wash. I didn’t attempt to paint the windows, there are literally thousands of them, I just let the wash pick them out.

The idea is that the blocks can be rearranged into different layouts, and I can also add further blocks with parks, churches, shopping areas etc on the same footprint.

15mm BMP-BM

I always like to leave something new while I’m on holiday and, as mentioned last week, today we’re releasing the 15mm version of our new Neo-Soviet BMP-BM. This is a large APC based on the Bars tank chassis but with a new superstructure with space for six Guards riflemen.

The model is a 3-piece resin casting (hull and two track units) with seven metal pieces – two-piece front hatch, driver’s hatch, two rear escape hatches, turret base and gun mounting.

SF15-1214 – BMP-BM – £8.50

Imperial Article

This month’s issue of Miniature Wargames magazine has a five page Imperial Skies article in the Darker Horizons sci-fi section – it’s also the cover photo of said section. The article is centered around a fleet engagement between Spain and the USA over Cuba which we fought out at a Maidstone Wargames Society meeting earlier this year. As an added bonus, the stats cards for the Spanish fleet are available from the download section of the MW website. So what are you waiting for? Get out and buy a copy!

Holiday Time !

It’s that time of year again when I decamp from Brigade Towers to warmer climes, squeezed in between shows. We’re off to Spain’s east coast, a little bit south of Valencia for a bit of R’n’R for a week.

Yesterday I cleared the order queue, so everything that arrived by lunchtime Monday has been packed and will go to the post office today. With the exception of the odd order that Phil manages to fulfil, no more orders will be processed until I get return to work on the 28th. The website will remain open, just bear that in mind when ordering. I should have access to email but will only be answering urgent messages.

As always, I’ve left a scheduled post or two on the blog for your entertainment.

Armoured Infantry Carrier

Our Neo-Soviet ground forces have recently been receiving all sorts of upgrades, with new types of tank and assault gun in both 6mm and 15mm scales. The one thing they needed to support these new vehicles was an armoured infantry carrier capable of keeping up with the tanks. Well, today that arrives in the form of the new BMP-BM.

This vehicle is based on the chassis of the Bars tank, with a new superstructure capable of carrying six fully-equipped Guards riflemen. The rear-engined design precludes doors at the back of the vehicle, so access is via a two-piece hatch at the front next to the driver’s station. There are also two hatches at the rear of the superstructure for emergency exit over the engine deck or for use as firing ports. The position of the hatch means that the BMP-BM needs to be carefully positioned by the driver before exiting under fire.

The BMP-BM has a crew of two – a driver who sits at the front right of the vehicle, and a commander seated directly behind him. Armament consists of two tri-barrel 3cm autocannon in a turret controlled remotely by the commander.

Today we’re releasing the 6mm BMP-BM – the 15mm one will arrive next week, although I will have some on the stand at Colours tomorrow if you want to get in early. The release also includes a Guards Infantry Company with eight BMP-BM, a Lisa command vehicle and 48 infantry. There is also a new Guards Army Pack with 12 Bars tanks, 4 Terminators, 8 BMP-BM, command vehicles and infantry.

SF300-1214 – BMP-BM – £1.25
IC-1203 – Neo-Soviet Guards Shock Group – £36.00
IC-1220 – Neo-Soviet Guards Infantry Company – £14.00

View from a Bridge

A distinct gap in our Small Scale Scenery range is the lack of bridges – it’s no good having roads and railways if you’re stopped dead at the first small watercourse !

So today we’re taking the first (but not last) steps in rectifying this with the release of a pack of four girder bridges. Good for the 19th century onwards (the world’s first iron bridge – in Ironbridge, Shropshire – was erected in 1779), these will serve for both road and rail traffic. Each bridge is 40mm long and the roadbed is 7mm wide, and they come in three pieces – the base and two sides. If you wanted to make longer or wider bridges then you could attach the sides to a plasticard base.

SSS-8097 – Girder Bridges (x4) – £4.00

Colours Fly Away

The shows come thick and fast this time of year, with Colours at Newbury Racecourse coming up on the 16th of this month.

As always, we are taking pre-orders for any of our ranges – you can either place an order and pay in advance using the collect in person option on the website, or just drop us an email and pay on the day.

I will have the following list of items with me. If there’s anything else you’d specifically like me to bring, just drop us a line.

  • Celtos (individual figures, unit packs, army packs)
  • Spaceships (fleet packs, rulebooks, individual models of our recent releases)
  • Squadron Commander (blister packs, starter packs)
  • 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)
  • Imperial Skies (rulebooks and accessories)
  • Magpie Miniatures (individual figures and blister packs)
  • 10mm SF (individual buildings)

Sleeping Satellite

Ages ago we used to have a couple of small satellite models in the spaceships range, but they disappeared due to issues with the production moulds. This week we’re releasing a replacement model, an all new design that will serve as either an orbital communications or surveillance satellite, or something more military. It is also ideal as a Battlesat, a weapon system in Starmada (carried by the German Pommerania class amongst others).

Each pack contains four satellite models with detailed solar panels, 12mm long and 20mm across. Each has a mounting hole in the bottom for a stand, but I wanted mine to be at varying angles. So I clipped the nib off the top of a plastic flying stand and used a round needle file to create a groove in the top of the post. The circular body of the satellite sits neatly in this groove and can be glued at any angle that takes your fancy.

Painting is straightforward – I painted my pale grey, followed by a wash of thinned-down GW Nuln Oil (neat Nuln Oil is too dark). I then drybrushed them white, before giving the solar panels two coats of GW Drakenhof Nightshade (a blue wash). Then they just need a bit of tidying up with white to delineate the edges of the panels, and whatever areas of spot colour you fancy (I went for some red rings around the nose).

SFS-6006 – Satellites (x4) – £1.50