Dividing the Nation

Hadrian’s Wall marks what was the northern limit of the Roman Empire, spanning England from the River Tyne to the Solway Firth. It runs for 73 miles and was built to keep the Picts in check. Much of the base of the wall is still in existence, although in the Middle Ages it was used as an easy source of building materials so none of the upperworks remains.

Today’s new release in our Small Scale Scenery range is a pack containing a roughly half-mile section of the wall. It consists of 15 50mm-long sections, which works out at 750m in total at 1/1000th scale (so only 146 packs would be needed to model the entire wall…). One of the sections has a gated mile-castle while two others have watchtowers built in. The wall had 80 milecastles, roughly one Roman mile apart as the name suggests, with two watchtowers in between each one.

Since none of the remaining wall above 10 feet remains, the exact design of the upper wall and towers isn’t known. I’ve looked at several different reconstructions and have gone with a simple pitched roof design. Every five miles were a series of larger forts, which will form part of a later release.

Of course, at such a small scale this model would have potentially many other uses, such as creating the perimeter of a walled town.

SSS-8074 – Hadrian’s Wall – £8.00

Another Day, Another Dilemma

I feel like we’re fighting a constant stream of niggling problems at the moment. PayPal are rolling out updates to their shopping cart software which keep breaking (if only temporarily) our website in minor but irritating ways – firstly there was the issue with shipping costs, which was then followed by the (fortunately brief) problem with VAT calculations. Touching as much wood as I can find, I think I’ve solved (or worked around) both of these.

The Brigade printer (barely two years old) has been playing up and the black heads are constantly clogging, which is costing a fortune in ink for head cleaning – to the extent that a new printer might be cheaper than the ink cartridges I keep buying. The last gasp is a third-party head cleaning kit, so wish me luck with that …

The latest one ? Back in early November I noticed we were getting low on flying stands and put in an order to get us through the sale. We received a partial order before Christmas (most of the black stands but no clear) and we’ve now been told that the manufacturer’s injection moulding machine is out of action and it could be weeks or even months before we get any more of either type. This is a pretty critical item to run out of, since they are supplied in all Aeronef fleet, flotilla and starter packs.

So at the moment we’re limited to just black bases. However, as an alternative they’re offered us white flying stands so we’ve ordered a big batch of those and will be using them as replacements in Aeronef fleet packs as soon as they arrive.

On the plus side, yesterday I cleared the order backlog and everything up until the end of this weekend has been cast up, packed and will be sent later today (woo-hoo !). And Phil has been churning out moulds like there’s no tomorrow, so the new release list is looking good 🙂

Mini Moonbase

Last year we released our 15mm Habitation Dome, which has proved to be a very popular model. So once again, in response to demand (especially from New Zealand !) we’ve hit the magic ‘shrink’ button and created a 6mm version.

The self-contained unit consists of an octagonal base building which houses power, air and water recycling plus storage facilities. The main airlock is located at the front of this section. The spherical main section (technically a truncated icosahedron) provides complete living quarters for up to four occupants, or can be used for workshops, laboratories or as a command and control centre.

Unlike its bigger cousin, the 6mm version is a single piece resin casting, so putting together your 6mm moonbase is a piece of cake.

B300-601 – Habitation Dome – £1.50

Missile Menace

As a New Year comes around, our Neo-Soviet spacefleet receive a boost in the form of three new vessels. The Slava-class Missile Cruiser is fitted with two missile pods each carrying four 18K64-series missiles and a decent gun battery to back them up.

sfs-1222

The Yerevan-class heavy destroyer is an attempt to bring long range firepower to escort units, by fitting a capital ship class turret at the expense of pretty much any other weaponry.

sfs-1231

The Burun-class missile corvette carries the same 18K64 missiles as the Slava, and little else – it’s virtually a fire-and-forget ship.
sfs-1250

SFS-1222 – Slava class Missile Cruiser – £2.50
SFS-1231 – Yerevan class Heavy Destroyer – £1.25
SFS-1250 – Burun class Missile Corvette – £0.75

And … whisper it very quietly, in case the website hears, but it’s quite possible that I’ve fixed the recent shipping and VAT calculation bugs in the shopping cart system. Fingers crossed !

Happy New Year !

Ridgway Remake

We showed some renders of the Ridgway combat walker a while ago. This is a contribution to the Polyversal project, and is a model that, initially at least, will only be available to Kickstarter backers (it’s likely to go on general sale eventually but not for at least a year).

The initial version was a single piece hull casting with separate weapons – as you can see, the castings weren’t great with flash round the legs and the detail on the leg joints wasn’t as good as it should be. There’s also some roughness under the cockpit as well – all-in-all, not what we had hoped for.

So I went back to the drawing board and redesigned the model to have separate legs. This meant that the legs could be printed sideways, so the detail on the joints was better (orientation of a model is a very important thing to think about with 3D prints) and they’d sit better in the mould.

I’ve assembled a sample set, although I haven’t had time to paint them yet – hopefully I’ll get them done soon after Christmas. Phil has now made the production mould, so we’ll start casting models for Polyversal backers in the New Year.

Collins Epic Wargames have had some CGI art done of the Ridgway as well, created from our original files – we think it looks pretty good:

Merry Christmas !

So that’s pretty much it for the year. We’ve managed to ship out all the sale orders (the UK ones went on Wednesday to catch the last post and the overseas ones on Thursday), plus any other orders that arrived after the sale up to Tuesday – if you placed an order after that, I’m afraid we won’t get to it until the New Year now.

We have one small release to round off the year – two sets of alien beasties, hunter and prey. The hunters are the nasty looking Furoraptors, bipedal carnivores with big teeth and an appetite for anything that moves (and a willingness to go after it, however big it might be).

On the prey side are the docile Shomix, quadruped herd animals that roam the plains of Eta Odin IV, spending much of their time running and hiding from the Furoraptors ! They’re also hunted for food with bow and spear by the native Tolero.

Both come in packs of four, with two poses for the ‘raptors and one for the Shomix.
SF15-010 – Furoraptors (x4) – £2.50
SF15-011 – Shomix (x4) – £2.50

Merry Christmas to one and all.

Christmas Holidays

So the sale is all over for another year – this time we’ve been unusually efficient with turning orders around, although there are still a few remaining that came in on Thursday and Friday for me to mop up this week. However, all sale orders should ship by Christmas barring anything unforeseen.

I’m at the workshop for the first half of this week and will continue to process any new orders as they come in. The last posting date for all overseas destinations has gone, so although I will still post out orders, don’t expect to see them until well after Christmas now. The exception is UK orders – I will endeavour to get all remaining sale orders for the UK posted before last post (Wednesday), but anything else will probably not make it for Christmas Day.

The website will remain open as always, but we’re taking next week off, so any orders placed after the middle of this week will have to wait until the New Year. Once the sale orders have gone I’ll be concentrating on admin, some maintenance and tidying around the workshop, and hopefully some design work on new items. I’ll return to the workshop on Tuesday January 3rd after the New Year bank holiday.