So here we are, starting as we mean to go on with the first releases of 2018.
As promised, the British are the latest Aeronef fleet to start receiving upgrades (this was supposed to happen last year but the arrival of the Slammers Regiment delayed things a little). The first of the old models to be replaced is the Victoria class Heavy Battleship with its three large triple gun turrets and pair of carried E-8 torpedo boats. In keeping with our other new Aeronef, the new model has a resin hull and separate metal fittings including turrets, masts and funnels.
Accompanying the Victoria is the all-new Albert class Battleship, which shares a basic hull plan but exchanges the torpedo boats for an extra main turret. Phil had always planned to make this model when we released the original Victoria, and his grand design is now finally a reality.
The Victoria’s E-8 torpedo boats are now available separately in sets of three for £1.50. They have also been redesigned to the same standard as their parent craft.
And while we were at it, it made sense to redesign the other two British small craft since they can all share a mould. So the Stingray torpedo nef and Abingdon patrol nef have had a makeover too – both are also now sold in threes, although the price per model (£0.50) remains the same as before.
We’ve created a new fleet pack, the imaginatively-named British Fleet Pack #4 which contains a Victoria, an Albert and six escort vessels. And finally for this week, the British Torpedo Flotilla has been slightly changed – it now contains three Stingrays, three E-8s and a Cossack frigate as flotilla leader plus bases.
VAN-110 – Stingray class Torpedo Nef (x3) – £1.50 VAN-113 – Abingdon class Patrol Nef (x3) – £1.50 VAN-117 – Victoria class Heavy Battleship – £9.00 VAN-120 – Albert class Dreadnought – £9.00 VAN-121 – E-8 class Torpedo Nef (x3) – £1.50
This is only the start of the British Grand Fleet’s revamp – the other battleship and battlecruiser models are in the pipeline for the next couple of months, as is the Albion carrier, and there’s another brand new model to go along with them. Once they’re all been upgraded then we’ll move on to reorganising the contents of the various fleet packs.
We’ll, that’s it for 2017. I’m now off until January 2nd, so while the website will remain open for business, no orders will be processed until I return.
In a rather unexpected turn of events, I did in the end manage to clear every outstanding order (except for one, but that was down to a resin mould failing at just the wrong moment), including one that came in this afternoon. The metal delivery arrived in the nick of time this morning, which was a relief. There were several very large orders which were all for similar items (6mm Slammers and opposition) which I was able to do as one very big batch, saving a lot of time. And I was also very lucky that most of the post-sale orders have been straightforward, either things that were quick and easy to cast or that I already had in stock. Which is great, as it means that 2018 will start with a clean slate rather than a 2017 sale hangover as previous years often have.
The orders won’t be posted until after Christmas – there’s no point, as nothing will be delivered over the holiday so all they’d do is sit in a Royal Mail depot for several days. I’ll shift them all during next week.
Finally, while waiting for the metal delivery this morning I made some resin moulds for some of next year’s early releases. This is what went into them…
The latest Aeronef model to receive a makeover is the French Les Arcs carrier. We’ve kept the basic configuration (dig hull with forward deck) but that’s about it. The new version is much, much bigger, with lots of space inside the resin hull and plenty of metal fittings. It comes with four triple AA turrets and four light gun turrets for self-defence, four funnels and two masts, and a new winged bridge. The deck is also a metal fitting that sits in front of two large hangar doors.
Altogether a mighty vessel around which to base a French carrier force.
VAN-402 – Les Arc Class Dig Fighter Carrier – £9.00
The French battleship fleet has recently had an upgrade with the arrival of the new Massena and Loire to go along with the Gloire and Charlemagne. This just left the carrier Les Arcs to be brought up to the new design standards.
And here she is – I am particularly pleased with the way this has come out. This is just the resin hull with metal deck and bridge – I haven’t yet added the array of funnels, masts and gun turrets to the model. To give you an idea of the look of the final assembled model, here’s a CGI image. It’s a lot bigger than the older model, slightly longer and much wider.
The new Les Arcs should be on the website in a week or two – I obviously need to assemble, paint and photograph this one, but the production moulds are all ready to go.
The Aeronef revolution continues, as this week we update the French fleet with new battleship models.
The Loire replaces the old model of the same name. In keeping with our other new models, it now has a resin hull with lots of metal fittings – turrets, tail, bridge, masts and funnels. The tail comes in three different variations so, in keeping with French naval practices of the time, no two ships are quite the same.
The new Masséna model represents a family of related but not-quite-the-same battleships. It has a similar (but not identical) tumblehome hull to the Loire, but the top superstructure is a separate metal piece that comes in three different types. The tail comes in the same three variants as the Loire, giving a total of nine combinations on the basic hull. In addition, the main turrets can be single or twin mountings – altogether, we think this gives an impressive total of 48 slightly different variations from a single model.
At the same time we’ve revisited the French fleet packs – the Grand Fleet pack has been reorganised to contain one each of all of the French capital ships (including the existing Charlemagne and Gaulois) plus escorts. The existing Fleet Pack (VANFP-401) now contains a Gaulois and Loire and we’ve created two new packs – Fleet Pack #2 has two different Masséna models, while the Fast Fleet Pack contains two Charlemagne battlecruisers. All packs also include escort cruisers and destroyers.
VAN-410 – Loire class Battleship – £8.00 VAN-419 – Masséna class Battleship – £8.00
As the next stage in our gradual resculpting of the Aeronef range, we’re pleased today to be able to release five new capital ships for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Three of the models replace their existing battleship designs (the Erzherzog Ferdinand Max, Budapest and Szent István class battleships) while two are new designs. All have new resin hulls with the customary collection of metal fittings – turrets, masts, funnels and tails.
The Ferdinand Max and Szent István share a similar (but not identical) hull design but differ in important details, with the Austrian-built Ferdinand Max having one main and one secondary turret along with a heavy broadside battery in casemate mounts in the amidships and aft superstructures. The Hungarian built Szent István replaces much of this fixed armament with a heavier turreted layout including moving the secondaries to turrets. The Szent class also has improved steering vanes and a for’d steering house under A turret along with bridge wings, improving on the limited view of the aft bridge on the Ferdinand class.
The Budapest is a lighter vessel, more of a battlecruiser size but without the speed. Armament is concentrated in two single turrets for’d along with a respectable secondary battery and upper deck mounted rocket tubes.
The Viribus Unitas dreadnought may be familiar to more venerable Aeronef gamers – long, long ago I wrote an article on our website about converting a Ferdinand Max model to the Viribus Unitas class by extending the hull and adding to the armament. This version of the Viribus is similarly an extended Ferdinand with an extra main turret.
Finally, the Habsburg class utilises the semi-rigid dirigible hull of the Kaiserin class fighter carrier, but replaces the flight deck with a substantial mixed main battery, and the flank anti-fighter turrets are replaced by eight secondary gun turrets. The result is a powerful vessel with very heavy hitting power but less armour than a conventional vessel.
The three existing models are already in fleet packs, and we’ve created an extra fleet pack with a Habsburg and Viribus Unitas in, along with escorts. There’s a new flag sheet too, the older yellow-black Austrian Empire one. And although the older models are technically being retired, they’ll still be available to anyone who already has some and wants compatible models – just go to the page for the new versions and scroll down, then you’ll see a link allowing you to buy the old version.
Today it’s the turn of our new Spanish Aeronef to hit the website. This is our first completely new fleet in quite a while, and the first to be digitally sculpted from the start. The original designs are based on a prototype that Phil made many, many years ago that we attempted to cast but didn’t survive the mould-making process. We resurrected the design and extended the fleet to a total of nine vessels from battleship down to a tiny patrol nef. The ships have a broadside layout with most of the firepower concentrated in turrets with little or no forward or aft arcs of fire. The two capital ships have resin hulls with metal superstructures and everything from destroyer up has separate turrets (tip – paint the turrets separately, it makes it so much easier to define the line between turret and deck).
Two fleet packs are available along with a torpedo flotilla. Most of the turrets are existing designs but the huge triple turrets on the España are new, and all are available in separate accessory packs.
VANFP-1701 – Spanish Fleet Pack #1 – £22.00 VANFP-1702 – Spanish Fleet Pack #2 – £22.00 VANFP-1711 – Spanish Torpedo Flotilla – £5.00 VAN-1701 – España class Battleship – £8.00 VAN-1702 – Aragon class Battlecruiser – £7.00 VAN-1703 – Pimienta class Heavy Cruiser – £4.50 VAN-1704 – La Coruña class Light Cruiser – £3.00 VAN-1705 – Pluton class Destroyer – £1.75 VAN-1706 – Maó class Frigate – £1.25 VAN-1707 – Numancia class Torpedo FF – £1.25 VAN-1708 – Atalaya class Patrol Nef – £0.50 VAN-1709 – Galerna class Torpedo Nef – £0.50 VAN-7015 – Triple Heavy Turrets (x10) – £1.50
Welcome to our Salute 2017 Page. Salute is the biggest event on the UK wargaming calendar, around 8000 people and 150 traders gathering at the ExCel centre in London for a day of frenzied shopping and gaming. For those who are new to us, what we tend to do is save up a lot of our new products and release them in one big hit at the show, and here is where you’ll find details of them. This post is made ‘sticky’ until the show arrives, which means it sits at the top of our blog front page. We’ll constantly update it between now and April 22nd with more new items as we get photos, so keep coming back and checking regularly.
Although we’ll have everything here available at the show, we’ll stagger the addition of the releases onto the website – that is simply to avoid us being flooded with a huge pile of orders for the new items. We’d rather regulate the flow of new stuff – that way we avoid getting behind on orders, which no-one wants. To help those who aren’t able to make the show, this year we’ve added the intended website release date to each range.
So, without further waffle, here’s the first of our new models – the Spanish Aeronef Fleet.
AERONEF Website release date: Friday 5th May
We’ve been promising the Spaniards for a while, and we’re rather pleased with them now they are here. The designs are based on a prototype Phil made many years ago, but which was damaged by the vulcaniser when we tried to mould it. These new versions are all digitally designed to the same standards as all our new Aeronef models and feature separate turrets. The two capital ships have resin hulls while the rest of the parts are pewter. The design theme is ships with heavy broadsides but little in the way or forward or aft guns – something that could be thought of as a bit of a design flaw… The battleship and battlecruiser have raised walkways over the gun decks and recessed secondary armament in the fore- and stern castles.
Packs will also be available – Fleet Pack #1 has 2 x 1701, 2 x 1703, 2 x 1706 while pack #2 has 2 x 1702, 2 x 1704, 2 x 1705 and 2 x 1708. The torpedo flotilla has 2 x 1707 and 4 x 1709. All include bases.
VANFP-1701 – Spanish Fleet Pack #1 – £22.00
VANFP-1702 – Spanish Fleet Pack #2 – £22.00
VANFP-1711 – Spanish Torpedo Flotilla – £5.00
VAN-1701 – Espana class Battleship – £8.00
VAN-1702 – Aragon class Battlecruiser – £7.00
VAN-1703 – Pimienta class Heavy Cruiser – £4.50
VAN-1704 – La Coruna class Light Cruiser – £3.00
VAN-1705 – Pluton class Destroyer – £1.75
VAN-1706 – Mao class Frigate – £1.25
VAN-1707 – Numancia class Torpedo FF – £1.25
VAN-1708 – Atalaya class Patrol Nef – £0.50
VAN-1709 – Galerna class Torpedo Nef – £0.50
15mm Sci-Fi Website release date: Friday 28th April (Yenpalo), Friday 12th May (Terminator), Friday 26th May (building)
SF15-1104 – Yenpalo Railgun Teams (x2) – £3.00
SF15-1106 – Yenpalo Mortar Teams (x2) – £3.00
SF15-1110 – Xarledi Grav Tank – £9.00
SF15-1150 – Yenpalo Combat Group – £36.00
10mm Sci-Fi Website release date: Tuesday 23rd May
B300-403 – Small Cylindrical Building #1 – £3.50
B300-408 – Small Cylindrical Building #2 – £3.50
We’re happy to take advance orders if you’d like to reserve and items, new or existing. You can either e-mail us and send a list to be paid for on the day (cash or card), or you can use the ‘Collect in Person’ shipping option on the website to place an order without paying any postage charges. Please place any orders by Friday 14th April to give us a chance of processing them.
Although not one of the conventional major powers, the Netherlands nevertheless has significant colonial assets at the end of the 19th Century, both in Central/South America and the Far East. The Royal Netherlands Air Fleet watches over the skies and seas of these far-flung territories with its force of unique twin-hulled Catamaran craft.
We’ve had a pair of Dutch models made by Phil in the range for some time. As part of our ongoing programme to replace or update worn or inadequate moulds, it’s become the turn of the Netherlands to get an upgrade. As well as taking Phil’s two existing Nef and remaking those, I’ve created three new designs to round out the classes. The de Ruyter class heavy cruisers remains the largest vessels in the fleet, but they’ve been joined by new light cruiser, frigate and torpedo boat designs.
The Dutch feature in a Benelux fleet pack, and this won’t change; however, in recognition of their increased range of vessels, they now get their own dedicated fleet pack with two of each of the largest four models, and a torpedo flotilla with five torpedo craft and a frigate as leader.
All of the models, apart from the torpedo Nef, feature separate turrets – the smaller ones are the existing secondary turrets from the Gaulois, while the larger ones are a new design. These are available separately in accessory packs of 12 along with all of our other turret models.
VAN-1001 – de Ruyter class Heavy Cruiser – £5.50 VAN-1002 – Zeeslang class Destroyer – £2.00 VAN-1003 – Tromp class Light Cruiser -£3.00 VAN-1004 – van Speijk class Frigate – £1.50 VAN-1005 – Flores class Torpedo Catamaran – £0.50
VAN-7047 – French Single Medium Turret (x12) – £1.50 VAN-7048 – French Twin Medium Turret (x12) – £1.50
Back in the days of the Imperial Skies Kickstarter, we decided to remake two Japanese cruiser models, the Akashi and Yakumo, since the original moulds were in need of replacement. For some reason these two models seemed to be cursed – the first designs wouldn’t cast reliably (we managed to get enough out for the Kickstarter pledges but it took an awful lot of miscasts to produce them), then we managed to damage one of the replacement masters before moulding so it had to be reprinted again, and then the second set of designs wouldn’t cast reliably either !
However, after a third (or possibly fourth – I’ve lost count) iteration we finally have a reliable working production mould for the two models and everyone else can at last purchase the two new redesigned versions. The overall layout of the models hasn’t changed, but the detail has been improved and the Yakumo has gained separate turrets rather than the original cast-on ones. The two new designs will also appear in fleet packs from now on.
VAN-604 – Yakumo class Heavy Cruiser – £3.50 VAN-605 – Akashi class Light Cruser – £3.00