Today we’re expanding on the railway options available in our Small Scale Scenery range. We have two different engine sheds – one is a large shed (over 250 scale feet long) with room for multiple engines and carriages. It’s not based on any specific prototype but is more generic.
The second is a more distinctive circular shape based on the Camden Roundhouse in London (now a well-known concert venue which I’ve been to once or twice). This has just a single entrance door for engines, but had a turntable to distribute the engines to repair bays once inside.
We have a new pack of double track, allowing side-by-side running (which would have been difficult with our existing curved track) – this has twelve pieces, six straight and six curved.
Finally, we have a very useful set of assorted crossing track – single and double road crossings, X-crossings and left- and right-hand crossovers (there are two of each piece in the pack – ten pieces in all).
Today’s new release is an expansion to our Small Scale SceneryHarbour Walls set. It’s a set of compatible pieces with fittings for various sizes and type of gun turret, plus fixed gun mountings (from our Fort Guns). They aren’t based on any historical prototype, so technically I suppose they’d fall under the remit of the Aeronef and Land Ironclads VSF umbrella. That said, the fixed gun positions are very similar to historical installations around the world, and Dover Harbour has a gun turret on the harbour wall which is still in position today.
The set contains ten pieces – two end pieces for large turrets, two angle pieces for smaller turrets, two angle pieces for fixed guns, two straights for two smaller turrets and two straights for three fixed guns. Four types of turret are available – French, British, German or Russian (see pictures for more details). If you’d like a different mix of turrets from our range, contact us and we’ll see what we can do. Using the fixed gun pieces, it would also be possible to create a fixed gun battery or water battery.
As a follow on to our recently released Hadrian’s Wall set, this week we’re adding a Roman Wall Fort to the range. This metal 20-piece set has four gates, eight wall pieces and four corners with turrets plus extra plain wall sections including two T-pieces that connect with our Hadrian’s Wall sections. Each piece is 40mm long (the corners are 20x20mm) so the whole fort can be up to 200mm square (over 600 feet at 2mm scale). It can also be used as a standalone fort anywhere from 80mmx80mm upwards. The walls match the Hadrian’s Wall sections so these can be used to extend the area of the fort, extending it to become a walled town if desired.
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.
I’m sure everyone remembers the Paul Hardcastle song from the 80s (youtube link below), but 19 also happens to be the number of houses in our new 2mm scale Vietnamese Village pack. The houses are all on stilts and raised platforms, and the set also includes a village longhouse and, just for good measure, a rather splendid Buddhist pagoda.
And just in case you love the smell of napalm in the morning, we also have a Vietnam firebase with a mix of bunkers, gun positions and admin buildings plus a wooden watchtower.
As a side note, we’re currently experiencing some odd issues with our website – on a small number of orders it’s failing to correctly calculate the postage costs (unfortunately I can’t recreate it, which is making it tricky to fix). So in these cases we’re having to send PayPal invoices to cover the additional shipping costs, which is a bit of a pain but will have to do until I can fix it. One common thread is that it seems to be occurring with people who are previous customers, so it could be a caching issue (ie an old file which has been saved by your browser is being used). So it might be worth refreshing our website before you place an order – that might help.
15mm gamers have had it all their own way with the last couple of new releases, so it’s time for a change of pace, scale and era.
Today’s new items are from an era of Charles Dickens, tyrannical mill owners and child labour – what’s not to like? In the Small Scale Scenery range we have three new industrial models – a large Victorian warehouse, a Textile Mill and a set of three dockside warehouses.
All are one piece resin castings and are based as on real-world prototypes around the UK.
As promised, today we have more previews of Salute releases. But first, a brief tale about why this isn’t what we originally planned….
I’ve been planning to come up with some dockyard models to add to the Small Scale Scenery range, based around Chatham Dockyard at the turn of the 20th century. My intention, which I have mentioned to several people, was to have these ready for Salute this year. However, when I started to work on it, I realised that it was going to be a larger project than I had envisaged, and would need rather more time and research, more than I had available. So the long and the short of it is that you won’t be getting the dockyard on the 16th.
Instead, you’ll get these fine (and rather useful) Victorian industrial buildings – a large warehouse with central office building, a textile mill and a set of three dockside warehouses. Perfect for any number of uses, including modelling the East End for Battle of Britain raids on London.
Initially I was going to post photos of the masters, but I’ve already managed to get them in moulds so what we have here are the resin production castings (albeit very early ones, please excuse any air bubbles).
So the Salute release list has now grown to this:
SF15-311 – Henschel Laser Tank – £10.00
SF15-416 – Oto Melara Single Autocannon – £5.00
SF15-416a – Oto Melara Quad Autocannon -£5.00
Now if you bothered to read this far, I will show you what I have done for the Chatham Dockyard project; this photo shows castings of the oddly shaped No.3 slip building, and a second more conventional slip building that represents the near-identical No.4,5 and 6 slips. But that still leaves a lot of work to be done on No.7 slip plus the huge storehouses, ropery and many peripheral buildings like the sawmill, pumphouses etc.
This week we’re releasing some of the models that I used in the build of my Syrian towns, the apartment blocks.
The set contains five resin blocks of varying heights suitable as office blocks, hotels or apartments (some more luxurious than others !).
As an added bonus today, we have another in our series of British coastal forts. In fact you get two for the price of one, as Forts Hoo and Darnet in the River Medway were pretty much identical. Finished in 1871, they were originally intended to be two-tiered but subsidence problems saw them reduced to a single tier of 11 guns, and the proposed boom between them was never completed.
With my Maidstone Wargames Society hat on, I recently put together a number of smallish towns and villages for the club’s 2016 show game, The Road to Homs ’82. Having been asked in the past for painting guides for our Small Scale Scenery range, I thought I’d go through the steps I took in making the scenery. I’d been given a brief by Paul, who was making the rest of the game, which included the number of built-up areas he needed along with their size and the positions of any roads. I drew these out on 40thou (1mm) plastic card and marked off the roads. Each block was also numbered to correspond to his plan so that laying the terrain out at a show was straighforward.
I cast up a large number of buildings, mostly from the Middle-Eastern village set, but also mixing a few buildings from the Mediterranean and Roman building packs, even a couple of barns from the Normandy pack, plus of course some Mosques. The largest town was mostly left empty as I wanted to add a number of apartment blocks which at this point hadn’t even been moulded ! After cleaning up any mould lines, I started by spraying all of these in Army Painter Bone – in fact this was unnecessary as I ended up spraying them again, so you can ignore this step ….
I now started to line up the buildings around the roads. Instead of trying to create an internal road network in each town, which would have taken an age, instead I just randomly dotted buildings on each block. On some blocks I left open areas which would be market squares or plazas near to mosques. I also put in a few walled villas using Evergreen plastic strip to make the walls. The buildings were superglued to the plastic bases while the walls were attached using liquid plastic cement. One of the blocks was meant to be a walled farm so I used a couple of barns and outhouses and added several of our poplar trees.
Once all of the buildings were in place, I used an old paintbrush to spread PVA between them and covered everything in fine sand. It was at this point that I realised that the quickest way to paint the towns was to spray them, so I sprayed everything in AP Bone again !
The next stage was ink washes – Citadel Gryphonne Sepia for the buildings and Agrax Earthshade for the sand. Even though this was over the same base colour, the contrast between the two washes made the buildings stand out. After this, I drybrushed the sand in Citadel Terminatus Stone (one of their ‘dry’ paints). The roads were marked out with a much heavier drybrush making them lighter in colour. I picked out a few odd details – pitched roofs in brown to orange shades and Mosque domes and minarets in blues, greens and gold. After a spray of AP matt varnish, the final stage was to dot in some greenery using Woodland Scenics flocks and foliage, fixed in with PVA.
I’m very pleased with the final result – the one thing I considered but abandoned was painting the windows in black. There are something like 3000 of them altogether so I figured that was going to be rather time consuming ! The washes pick out the windows reasonably well anyway, so I was happy to leave it at that.
The blocks are intended to be used on their own, but when put together they make a decent sized town. You can visit the club website to see how the whole game looked – it must have been reasonably good, as the game won a prize on its first outing !
Most of our Small Scale Scenery range is made up of 19th and very early 20th century buildings, due to its initial origins as an offshoot of our Aeronef and Land Ironclads ranges. Today we’re adding some more up-to-date buildings in the form of a 1960s housing estate. It’s made up of a mix of semi-detached and detached houses, along with the obligatory row of convenience stores and takeaways. It’s a mature estate where the residents have gradually upgraded their houses, with the houses featuring a collection of garages, extensions, conservatories and porches that make them all slightly different.
Although the houses are modelled on an English development, the buildings would be eminently suitable for post-war estates in other European countries.