Coming up in the next month is our next show, the Joy of Six in Sheffield on Sunday July 15th. Run by Baccus Miniatures, the event (as its name suggests) is a 6mm scale-specific event covering all eras and genres from ancients to Sci-Fi.
We’ll be there with a cut-down trade stand, carrying our full range of 6mm SF miniatures, army packs, rules, buildings and figures. We’ll bring along the full Squadron Commander range of starfighters (since they’re also 6mm), our selection of 3D printed scenic items and the full Small Scale Scenery range.
As always, we’re happy to take orders (for any of our ranges, not just the ones mentioned above) either paid for on the day or in advance. We can take orders up until the Wednesday before the show (the 11th) although obviously sooner is better.
We’re aiming to have a decent selection of new 6mm items for the day – all the new Slammers vehicles ought to be ready by then, assuming we don’t have any more irritating delays 😕.
As well as those we should have some redesigned models from the ‘normal’ 6mm range, a selection of new buildings, hopefully some new infantry figures and maybe even something big, stompy and two-legged. News and previews of all of these over the next few weeks.
One further minor piece of housekeeping – I’m off for a short break, back again on Monday. I’m aiming to get all outstanding orders cleared today but any new orders will be delayed until the start of next week.
Recently we’ve experimented with stocking a small number of from our Shapeways Store items and selling from our stand at shows. This has proved to be successful enough that we’ve decided to try keeping more stock of the most popular items and making them available by mail order from the website. The first stock items arrived yesterday and we’ve wasted no time in getting them on the website.
To start with we have just three items in the store, but we’re expecting more stock of other items early next week so keep an eye on the page over the next couple of weeks.
These items can be ordered normally from the website along with anything else you require. We will do our best to keep decent stocks of them, but if we’re ever short on stock then we’ll let you know and you can either cancel your order or wait until we get stocks in (usually 3 weeks or so). Please note that the prices may be different from what you would pay if ordering directly from Shapeways due to currency fluctuations.
Another bunch of models have just become available on our Shapeways store – two more Normandy buildings, and three water towers. Yes, three ! Why ? No idea really, I just sat down one day and decided to make them …
The two Normandy buildings are more variations on a similar theme, as I strive to make enough variety to cover my Pegasus Bridge table. All of the buildings in our range are based on real ones that I photographed while on holiday.
Now for the water towers. First, we have a fairly straightforward concrete ‘mushroom’ tower, based on the Roihuvuori one in Helsinki, Finland, although much scaled down – the real thing would be be about 6.5″ high at 1/300th scale !
Next up is a spheroid tower, based this time on one at Darwin Airport.
Finally, and my personal favourite, a British 30s water tower based on one at Tilehurst near Reading, complete with a first floor viewing gallery !
I promise some better photos soon, just as soon as I’ve painted these …
We’ve also been through our entire Shapeways store and reviewed our pricing. In the process we’ve knocked a little bit off the price of just about all of the models, so they’re even better value now.
We have an ever-increasing number of 3D models on our Shapeways Store which are printed to order – we don’t generally hold any stock. However, if you want to avoid postage costs, we are taking advance orders on these models to be collected at Salute 2012 – just e-mail us a list of your requirements. We will then order these from Shapeways, and you can collect them on the day. Because of the lead-time on Shapeways production, we must have any orders by the end of Sunday April 1st at the latest. You can either pay in advance or on the day – but please note that we can’t offer any discount on Shapeways items. You will be able to see many of our Shapeways creations on the day at the Maidstone Wargames Society Pegasus Bridge game.
The Shapeways Normandy buildings we previewed a week or so back have arrived at Brigade Towers, and we’re extremely chuffed with how they’ve turned out. Here’s a few pictures of the unpainted models, lined up next to various tanks and infantry.
These four models are available from our Shapeways store now. The prices are pretty reasonable, and compared to resin models, these weigh next to nothing and are just about indestructable.
This range of buildings will be expanding pretty rapidly – we need lots for our Pegasus Bridge project ! Expect to see around 15 or so by the end of April.
Some of you may have been following my 6mm Pegasus Bridge project for Maidstone Wargames Society (if you’re coming to Salute, be sure to pay it a visit). Many of the buildings and structures for this have been created as 3D computer models and printed out by Shapeways. Today we’re previewing a few more of these designs, which will be making their way into our Shapeways shop when we have had prototype prints back (due in the next few days, in case you want to check back then …).
The largest model by far is Benouville Church – this famously received a PIAT round through the tower on D-Day, as it was being used as a vantage point by German snipers.
Apart from the church, most of this batch are all general-purpose houses that would serve for most regions of France (and probably a greater part of Western Europe, including Belgium, Holland and Germany). By careful design of the models (keeping the amount of material used to the absolute minimum), we think we can set the prices for these so that they are competitive with resin buildings of a similar size.
Following on from the launch of our Shapeways shop, we’ve been beavering away at new items that we can add to it. As mentioned, we’re sticking to subjects that would be difficult to offer in conventional materials, and the new offerings are no different. Pride of place must go to the magnificient 6mm Pegasus Bridge model which has been created for Maidstone Wargames Society’sdisplay game which you’ll be able to see for the first time at Salute in April.
The power station Cooling Tower is a response to a request on the 6mm miniatures Yahoo list – it’s a bit small compared to some real world counterparts which would reach as much as 2 feet high on a wargames table at 6mm scale ! We’ll be offering this in two sizes, 60mm and 100m high.
Next up is a modern Power Pylon, again not based on anything specific but typical of the many that we see marching across the countryside here in rural Kent.
Lastly for this preview comes a small Water Tower – again, this is for the Salute display game. It’s a pretty typical design, since I can’t find any photographic reference of the real thing that was in place on D-Day.
All of these models will be made available from our Shapeways store as soon as we’ve had prototypes back, just to prove that they work – probably 2-3 weeks (Pegasus Bridge might be a bit longer since the first attempt was rejected – which is why we get test prints first !!).
If you followed this blog you’ll know that we, like many other miniatures companies out there, have started using 3D computer modelling and printing as an aid to the design of some of our models. So far we’ve used it to produce masters of models that are still produced the old-fashioned way by hand-casting in metal or resin.
Mass-produced 3D printing of all of our products isn’t here yet, speed and cost of production remaining barriers to be overcome. However, there are still advantages that it offers in terms of producing complex models that would be nearly impossible with traditional techniques. For example, models which are hollow or have significant undercuts, holes or insets can be printed in one piece without the need for complicated or fiddly multi-part designs that are difficult to assemble and delicate when on the gaming table.
To that end, we’ve launched our own fledgling shop on Shapeways, which we will use to offer models that we would find difficult or impossible to offer in the normal way. We will also offer a few pieces that we would like to produce, but that we suspect may not have mass appeal and thus would not justify the cost and effort of making masters and moulds. We’ll also be tackling subjects outside of our normal ranges (such as my current 6mm WW2 project).
The initial range of models is quite small – but that’s because we want to get a prototype of each model printed for ourselves first, so we can make sure it all works OK and looks good. We’re hoping to regularly add new items as we design them and can get prototype prints.