Soviets in Space

So, next on the Salute workbench is a new range of spaceships. The latest force to get a long-overdue spacefaring (and fighting) capability are the Soviets. The first batch consists of a battleship, two cruisers, two escorts and fighters. Like the British models, the larger ships will have separate heavy gun turrets. They’ve been designed around the idea of missile armament, so most ships have VLS hatches on the upper surface, with smaller turrets dotted around.

Battleship

Cruisers

Escorts

Fighters

What’s that you ask ? Where’s the carrier ? He’s a big beast, so will have a resin main hull which is sitting in a curing mould as I type, so isn’t available for photographs. Don’t worry, all will be revealed …

Mail Call – again !

The postie came Friday (several posties and couriers in fact, it was a busy day for deliveries !). The most exciting of these, notwithstanding the shiny new plastic storage boxes, was a small package from the 3D printers. Now you know I get all excited by new models and like to show them off as soon as they arrive (Phil thinks this is a little strange, but what does he know …). Today is no different, so with the usual apologies/excuses about the difficulty of photographing the 3D prints, here is some new stuff …

These tiny little beasties are 6mm versions of the Raeside grav utility vehicles that came out in 15mm last year. There’s a flatbed, turreted and plain utility version, and also a separate sprue of turrets that didn’t make it into the picture. To get a sense of scale, the grid on my rather well-used cutting board is 50mm square, and the vehicles are about 1/2″ long.

RaesidePreview

The rest of the new models are 15mm – more replacements for older sculpts, and something completely new (at least in 15mm) as well.

Firstly, this is the print of the new 15mm AmRep Kochte tank we showed off in CG form a little while back. It retains the same basic shape as the older model but the styling and detail is much, much improved.

KochtePreview

This is the new Curtiss heavy tank. The older version of the Curtiss was the very first 3D designed and printed model we released and we’ve given it a bit of an update with new styling on the turret, some lift-fan detailing on the skirt and just an overall better model. Several years of working with 3D prints has taught us quite a bit about designing and producing models this way, and the new Curtiss benefits from this.

CurtissPreview

Lastly (for now), we’re rounding out the AmRep with 15mm versions of the Baumann MICV and Oldmann light tank. Both are armed with turreted autocannons, while the Baumann has a missile strapped to one side of the turret. There is also an AA turret for the Baumann, and a multiple-missile turret that fits both hulls.

BaumannOldmannPreview

Look for the 15mm models to be released sometime in March with a bit of luck (we like to be flexible with our release dates). We don’t have a firm date for the 6mm vehicles just yet.

15mm Légion Étrangère

Another model making the move from 6mm to 15mm is the Catroux, wheeled APC of choice of the EuroFed Légion Étrangère. I’ve just completed the 3D modelling on the hull, wheels and the remote weapon system mount which you can see below. I might still do a bit of tweaking and add more details (in writing this post I’ve spotted a couple of changes I’d like to make). I’ve tried to retain the same detailing and style as existing EuroFed vehicles so the national resemblance is clear. Like its 6mm counterpart, it will be available with a number of other turrets from the Tassigny APC – MICV cannon turret, missile, and AA will all be available immediately, with a command variant and possibly engineering and ambulance later.

We’re hoping to release it later this year – we have already ordered prints for the wheels and the remote gun so that they can be cast in metal ahead of the resin hull.

Catroux CGI

Catroux CGI-2

Catroux CGI-3

Catroux Prints

No-new Release Friday

I’m afraid that the current sequence of shows has thrown our carefully crafted release schedule into a bit of a tail spin, and once again this week’s planned new items aren’t quite ready.

However, a package arrived from the 3D printers this morning, which is always exciting, so instead of something you can buy this week, I thought I’d show off some of the items you can buy in a few weeks (much shorter in some cases). So, with the usual apologies about the difficulty of photographing translucent white plastic, here we go…

First up, a follow on from the post earlier this week on the new Charlemagne battlecruisers – here they are in all their blurry, washed-out glory. The sharp-eyed will spot that one of the hulls has already lost a gun barrel, which are a bit fragile, and I’ll have to replace it before they go in a mould.

Charlemagne Prints

Next we’re onto 15mm items. This is the hull for the Buffel APC previewed a week or two back, the first print was flawed (= I cocked up) so this is the replacement. It’s carrying a support weapon turret which will be available as an option and also fits the Wildebeest. Sorry, this really isn’t a great photo but trust me, it looks good in the plastic. The Buffel and Hippo will be available very soon, they would already be out had I not sent the wrong hull model to the printers first time round.

Buffel Print

This little piece is a 15mm heavy weapons tripod, designed to carry the range of pintle weapons we came out with recently – the sample is posed with a tribarrel gatling. And before anyone asks the obvious question – yes, they will come with crew (in fact Martin is sculpting them as I type).

Heavy Weapon Tripod Prints

Lastly, some new spaceships. The British fleet has been selling as fast as we can churn them out, and we thought it was about time for an addition to the fleet. This is the Swiftsure pursuit cruiser (left), next to a Halifax light cruiser hull.

Swiftsure Prints

Last, but by no means least, as with the older Aeronef models we’re going to be doing a slow rolling replacement of worn out spaceship moulds with remastered models. This is the CDSI Shanzi class fighter carrier (minus the lower hull, which is going to be a resin piece) – the deck is two part but the join should be neatly hidden under the new, extended bridge section.

Shanzi Print

Shafted by Shapeways

shapeways-logo-640

Last night I received an email from Shapeways proclaiming a new pricing policy for certain materials –

Better Pricing for Strong & Flexible Plastics

is what they said. The claim is that 75% of models they sold in that material last year would have been cheaper under the new pricing structure. So I logged in and checked out our shop, looking forward to reduced prices for the many items we make. Oh no. The new system heavily penalises low density models (ie big structures that use little material) – things like our power pylons, comms tower, Tesla tower, Chain Home station etc. The basic power pylon set, for example, is going to be about 4x more expensive than it was previously. There is a brief page of tips for optimising models to make them cheaper, but having followed these all I’ve managed to do is bring them down to being 3x more expensive than they were before. The Chain Home radar station, which used to sell for around £25, is going to be more like £50 under the new structure.

SHP-502

It is true that some items will be cheaper – the Vorpostenboot will drop a couple of pounds, but it seems that around 90% of the items in our store will go up by anywhere from 50% to 300%, while the remaining 10% might drop by 5-10% in price.

To say we’re mightily p***ed off is an understatement – we’ve put a lot (and I mean a lot) of time and effort into developing these models and carefully designing them to be as good value as we can – and this new pricing structure negates everything we’ve done.

So, this is fair warning – if you were thinking our power pylons looked neat and you fancied a couple, get them now – don’t wait until next week. The new pricing structure kicks in on the 7th, so you have at best six days. We have some stocks left which we’re going to take to shows, so there are several opportunities to get these items from us in the next month or so. But once those have gone, that’ll be it, we probably won’t get any new stocks in since they’ll just be too expensive and we can’t see anyone buying them 🙁

We’ll continue to carry some models, but not many – at the moment I’m too annoyed to sit down and work out the pricing implications of this on other items.

New South Africans

To follow up the recent release of the South African Rhino and Wildebeest, I’ve been working on some additional vehicles. I’ve remodelled the popular Buffel APC from the old range and beefed it up substantially – it now shares the same wheels as the Rhino and Wildebeest and could easily accommodate a full squad of infantry. It can be fitted with a cupola-mounted MG, or the roof turret ring will also take either of the secondary turrets from the Wildebeest’s forward mount.

Buffel CG

The other new model is the Hippo truck, which hasn’t been made in 15mm before. I’ve started with the basic design of the 6mm version, and added lots of detail.

Hippo CG

We’ve already had the new hulls for these two printed and they look great. I’ve been able to reuse lots of parts from the Rhino and Wildebeest, so all that’s needed to get these in production is moulds for the resin hulls – they should be out sometime towards the back end of September.

Hippo Master

Buffel Master

Band on the Run

If you’ve been to one of the shows in the south-east of England this year, you might have caught a glimpse of Phil’s magnificent (and prize-winning) WWI demonstration game ‘Somewhere in Belgium’ (excellent scenery but he needs to work on the title …). This was a real one-man affair with Phil making and painting all of the scenery and figures – except for one little bit. He tasked me with making a bandstand for the ornamental gardens which occupied one part of the board, and I duly obliged with a computer-designed effort that we had printed in nylon by Shapeways. This model is available from the Brigade3D Shapeways store if you would like one of your own for your Victorian, WWI or later 28mm terrain.

Bandstand-1

Bandstand-2

Coming Soon

More 15mm previews today. This first one is a German command vehicle based on the hull of the Thor tank. It will come equipped with a radar on the rear (as in the inset 3D image).

Thor Command Blog

The second model is the PacFed Dundas truck. Unfortunately I didn’t have a PacFed skirt handy when photographing it, but it will use the same skirt as the Cougar tank – again, see inset 3D image to see what the final version will look like.

Dundas Blog

Both the Thor Command and Dundas will be released pretty soon.

Finally, a new image of the Rhino and Wildebeest hulls, this time primed so the details are easier to see. These two models are a little further away, although the turrets and metal parts have gone for moulding so we should be able to show assembled versions soon.

Primed

Across the Serengeti

In the old 15mm range we had just two models from the South African Federation, yet those two consistently sold very well. The old Rhino and Buffel are no longer available, but fear not, their remodelled replacements are just around the corner.

We have new masters for the Rhino (which is a big ol’ tank) and the larger of the SAC APCs, the Wildebeest. The printed masters are not very clear in photographs, so I’ll try to take some photos of primed versions soon so you can see the detail better.

Rhino

Wildebeest

The basic Wildebeest APC has a pintel-mount machine gun (almost invisible in the photo above), so at the same time we’ve taken the opportunity to make up several other pintel weapons. L-R they are a railgun, tri-barrel gatling, MG and six-barrel gatling. These pintel weapons will be available as add-on packs so you can convert/upgrade your vehicles.

Guns

I’ll be starting to cleanup and prep these models for moulding in the next week or so with a view to a release in early August. I’ll try to take

Dammit…!

Phil brought several new moulds to the workshop last week. One was the production mould for a new set of 2mm civic buildings, including a town hall, grammar school, hospital, library and large church. The mould looked good, the castings were excellent and we were really pleased…

PE_20140602233148

Until we looked closely at the church tower. Unfortunately the sides were bowed in and concave on all four sides. We’re not sure if the master model has deformed under pressure or if the print was faulty and we didn’t notice, but it doesn’t really matter, it’s not up to scratch either way.

PE_20140602233257

After some thought we’ve decided to release the set without the church rather than completely scrapping an expensive mould. We’ll get the church reprinted and make a new mould, which will also allow us to create several different variations of the tower. The church-less set will be available at the end of this week (I just need to paint some for photography) and the church later in the summer.

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