As we reach the mid-point of Fort Week, I’ve run out of alliterative titles so I’m now resorting to puns. This is Fort Paté, a Vauban fortification on an islet in the Gironde estuary in France built at the end of the 17th century. Along with Fort Médoc and the citadel of Blaye, it defended the approaches to the city of Bordeaux. It had a garrison of 20 men, but we can’t find any info’ about how many cannon it had.
Our second offering for fort week is this collection of defensive towers from Malta. Known as the Lascaris Towers, they were built in the 17th Century by the Order of St John.
Our set consists of two small watchtowers and a larger artillery tower, of which there are several examples of both on the island. It also has the much larger Saint Agatha’s Tower, which is a bastioned watchtower painted an unusual pinkish-red colour.
Phil’s been busy lately, designing a large number of new buildings and fortifications for the Small Scale Scenery range. While I’m away on holiday we thought it would be a good time to have a Fort Week, showcasing one of his new forts and castles each day.
We’re starting with Matara Star Fort, an 18th century edifice built by the Dutch in Matara, Sri Lanka. It was built to protect the main fort at Matara from landward attacks, following a successful assault by Singhalese forces in 1762. It has a rather unusual 6-sided plan with a central building and courtyard, and mounted 12 cannon with interleaving fields of fire. It was originally known as Redoubte Van Eck after the local Dutch governer, and was handed over to the British at the end of the century without seeing action.
I’m off on holiday again for a few days – in fact by the time this post is published, we should be on the road. The Brigadieress and I are taking the faithful hound down to the west country, staying in a posh glamping site near Glastonbury. Hopefully the weather will hold …
All orders to the end of the Thursday (ie to September 9th) have been packed and sent – I’m afraid anything else will have to wait until we get back. The site is a bit isolated, so I’m not sure what the phone reception will be like (and there’s definitely no wifi) – but hopefully I’ll be able to answer emails, just not as promptly. In the meantime, we have a small scale treat for you running through the week, starting tomorrow…
Recently we helped out a customer who was trying to assemble some 6mm Laser Towers, using our existing Control Tower model as a base. We thought it would be pretty easy to create a new specific laser tower, using a new resin tower model and a 15mm metal laser weapon that we already have. So here’s the result…
They’re available singly or in a pack with two laser towers and one radar tower. Other weapons or turrets could be used – if there’s anything else from our ranges you’d like instead of the laser, just drop us a line.
Very soon we’ll be returning to the show circuit, after an enforced absence of 18 months (our last show was Cavalier in February 2020 – about four weeks before the first lockdown. Remember that … ?). We have three shows this year – Broadside and Salute have both been relocated to the end of this year, while SELWG is making a comeback at it’s usual time, albeit in a new venue. The SELWG club have moved their event to the Lee Valley Athletics Centre in Edmonton, north-east London, which promises to be a much better venue with improved access and lots more parking.
We’re still working out how the stand will look – we have 18 months’ worth of new releases to cram on there somewhere, which probably means some older items will have to be dropped, and of course we have the modern-day issues of COVID safety to factor in. It’ll be a good practice run for Salute in early November!
When A Billion Suns was released we drew up a handy chart that assigned each of our models to the ship classifications in the rulebook. This was a useful exercise for us, as it showed up a few places where we had gaps in the range – in particular, a lack of scout or recon ships for many fleets. Today we’re going some way to correcting that, as the British, Neo-Soviet, South African and German fleets all gain a scoutship of some description. As an added bonus the British also get the Harrier class Attack Corvette, which we’ve assigned to the Gunship category.
SFS-151 – Harrier class Attack Corvette – £0.50 SFS-152 – Vigilant class Scoutship – £0.50 SFS-351 – Thetis class Scoutship – £0.50 SFS-651 – Galashewe class Scoutship – £0.50 SFS-1251 – Steregushchiy class Scoutship – £0.50
Some of the first models in both our 6mm and 15mm sci-fi ranges were the three variants of the EuroFed Javelot scout car. The larger scale versions were replaced several years ago with new designs, along with several 6×6 vehicles. We’ve now brought these updated models to the smaller scale.
There are five basic vehicles – the Javelot 4×4 scout car, the Musareigne 4×4 utility car, Lievre 6×6 pickup, and the Belette and Blaireau 6×6 field cars.
The Javelot and Belette have three armed variants with either a twin MG, missile or gatling mounts. The Javelot also comes in mortar and tow truck options as well, for a grand total of 11 new vehicles.
In the Hammer’s Slammers universe, these vehicles are used by the Hashemite Nation as their primary light vehicles, alongside a smaller number of larger Broadsword and Catapult AFVs. Coupled with the recent release of the new Desert Raider figures we’ve been able to put together two 6mm packs for National Brigade and Desert Raider detachments.
We’re currently working hard on the redesigned Brazilian and Argentine fleets for Imperial Skies. They’re almost ready to go in fact, with the first samples waiting to be painted, and production moulds lined up at the workshop in anticipation.
But we’re getting into the swing of our South American adventure with a brand new aerial fleet. Ecuador lies in the north west corner of the continent, bordered by Colombia to the north and Peru to the east and south. During our research (yes, we do research things, we don’t make everything up – well, not all of it…) we learnt that the Galapagos Islands, 1000km out into the Pacific, are part of Ecuador (which, incidentally, just means ‘Equator’ in Spanish). And that, because of the way the planet bulges, the Chimborazo Volcano is the closest point on the earth to the sun.
All that aside, militarily the country is not the strongest in the region. When we were initially assessing the countries to determine the size of their air fleets, Ecuador ranked quite low, coming in just above Paraguay. As a result, the largest class are the Tunguruhua heavy cruisers, supported by a number of smaller craft.
The Ecuadorian airships are all armoured dirigibles, with their self-sealing gasbags supplemented by small Loewe Graviton Engines for additional lift. Only the Tunguruhua class have rotating turrets, with casemate guns on other ships plus flotillas of torpedo-armed small craft. Vessels use the prefix DAE; Dirigivel de la Armada del Ecuador.
The fleet has five models, and there’s a mini fleet pack and torpedo flotilla pack. We’ve also provided two flag sheets – the national flag changed in 1900 so we’ve drawn up before and after versions.
VANFP-3201 – Ecuadorian Air Guard Squadron Pack – £13.00 VANFP-3211 – Ecuadorian Torpedo Flotilla – £4.50 VANF-3201 – Ecuadorian Flag (1860-1900) – £0.50 VANF-3202 – Ecuadorian Flag (1900-2009) – £0.50
VAN-3201 – Tunguruhua class Heavy Cruiser – £3.00 VAN-3202 – Zamora class Light Cruiser – £1.75 VAN-3203 – Chimborazo class Destroyer – £1.25 VAN-3204 – Isla class Frigate – £1.00 VAN-3205 – Isabela class Torpedo Cutter (x3) – £1.50
As you’re doubtless aware if you have more than a passing acquaintance with this blog, we’ve been completely out of flying stands for some time. Our normal supplier’s mould had failed, and injection moulds are expensive, specialist items to repair or replace. So we were stuck…
However, after much searching we’ve finally been able to locate an alternative source of plastic flying bases. They are of a different design, with a circular base rather than a hexagonal one. The post is of a similar height, although fatter, and the peg at the top is of a slightly larger diameter (which means that you will have to open out the cast-in mounting holes at the bottom of our models with a 2mm drill). The plastic they’re made from seems to be a little softer, so they should be less brittle. We’ve already used them to base up a batch of new models and had no problems – in fact the wider post seems to make it a bit easier to balance the model on top while the glue sets. There is a downside – they are more expensive, costing us around twice as much. But at least we finally – finally – have something to base your flying models. Our stock arrived on Friday and we’ve wasted no time in getting them on the website.
Because they’re dearer, we’ve decided against putting them in fleet packs, as we’d have to recalculate the price of all the packs.
Coincidentally, we also received a restock of one or two codes of dice that had been out of stock, particularly the small (7mm) dice that are so handy as markers, along with a new colour (orange).
ACC-025 – Clear round-base flying stand (x10) – £4.00 ACC-003O – Small six-sided dice – orange (x10) – £1.00