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
So … I mentioned a few days ago that we weren’t able to get hold of any stocks of clear flying stands for the time being. As an alternative we have brought in some rather spiffing white stands, which are exactly the same as the clear ones, just, well, not clear !
It’s been busy here at Brigade Towers lately, with a rash of shows, contributions to Kickstarter campaigns and trade orders (and I didn’t help the backlog by going away on holiday for a week !). However, we’re up to date on website orders again (Thomas Graves of Columbus, Ohio – please check your emails, we need to contact you about your order for 15mm buildings) and the pre-orders for Crisis are also ready (we’re still happy to take more – they need to be in by Wednesday, please).
Imperial Skies news first, with two stock updates. The good news is that laser-cut acrylic turn rulers are now back in stock again. The not-so-good is that we’ve sold out of the first printing of rulebooks, so we’re waiting on delivery of a new batch – I’m hoping we’ll have some for Crisis but there are no guarantees.
Our remaining new release schedule for the year has been thrown out a little bit with one or two items having to be pushed into the new year. But we still have some new bits this week – quite a few in fact. We’ve added all of the new turret types from the recent Aeronef battleship releases to the website as accessory packs, allowing you to convert or upgrade your models with extra firepower. There are other useful bits such as large battleship masts and funnels as well for further conversions or scratchbuilding. There are twelve packs in all at the same price of just £1.50 each.
The picture below shows as an example the various parts of the Vanguard that are now available:
VAN-7006 – Battleship Masts (x8) – £1.50 VAN-7012 – British Medium Turrets (x12) – £1.50 VAN-7013 – British Large Barbettes (x10) – £1.50 VAN-7014 – British Battleship Funnels (x10) – £1.50 VAN-7034 – German Large Rounded Twin Turrets (x10) – £1.50 VAN-7035 – German Large Rounded Single Turrets (x10) – £1.50 VAN-7036 – German Small Rounded Twin Turrets (x16) – £1.50 VAN-7037 – German Small Rounded Single Turrets (x16) – £1.50 VAN-7038 – German Large Battleship Funnels (x6) – £1.50 VAN-7046 – French Secondary Turrets (x15) – £1.50 VAN-7055 – Russian Heavy Twin Battleship Turrets (x10) – £1.50 VAN-7056 – Russian Heavy Single Battleship Turrets (x10) – £1.50
The four new models we created for the Imperial Skies Kickstarter were all the result of stretch goals that we hit in the campaign. There were several other goals that we didn’t quite get to, including a new Russian battleship. But in this case I decided to go ahead and make one anyway – and got so carried away that I ended up making three!
The first model is actually a remake – it’s a new version of the Borodino class battleship, with the same layout but a new design and new turrets.
Next up is the Poltava class dreadnought, very similar to the Borodino in styling but larger and with four turrets in a diamond layout.
The third new model is the smaller Admiral Nakhimov class battlecruiser (although some naval experts feel she is more correctly termed a light battleship, as the class doesn’t have the speed of a conventional battlecruiser).
All three models have resin hulls with metal turrets, funnels and masts. All are available from the website now.
VAN-506 – Borodino class Battleship – £6.50 VAN-514 – Poltava class Dreadnought – £7.50 VAN-515 – Admiral Nakhimov class Battlecruiser – £6.00
One of the largest aerial vessels in service anywhere in the world is the German Kaiser class.
The Kaiser has six heavy new-design turrets, two twin and four single, along with an array of secondary turrets and sponson guns. The model has a resin hull with a number of metal parts to make up this impressively large model.
The US aerial fleets have a new vessel entering service – the battlecruiser Lexington.
The Lexington’s unique layout has her four heavy-bore guns in huge semi-circular sponsons, able to rotate through 110° arcs. Secondary armament is a more conventional broadside layout, with smaller guns arrayed either side. Two torpedo tubes fire through the front hull.
The Lexington is an all-metal model consisting of six parts – upper and lower hull, two funnels, tail and mast.
The first of the new Imperial Skies Kickstarter models to be launched is the British battleship Vanguard.
This all new model has a resin hull and a dozen metal parts which make up a detailed flying battleship, ready to serve Her Majesty’s aerial navy in all corners of the Empire. Armed with two heavy-bore cannon in huge barbettes fore and aft, it also has a hefty secondary armament in four secondary turrets amidships.
The photos above are of her sister ship Valiant (I couldn’t find any decals saying Vanguard !).
In case you don’t know, or are new to us, Imperial Skies is a set of fast-paced rules for aerial combat between huge flying airships in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The game is designed with our range of Aeronef miniatures in mind and includes stats for almost all them. It can also be played using models from other manufacturers, and a design system is included to allow you create your own ships.
The 117-page, full colour rulebook contains the rules, design guidelines for your own ships, stats for the full Brigade Models range and a painting guide.
Turn rulers can either be photocopied from the rulebook or downloaded from our website and printed into thin card. However, as a more robust and attractive solution there are also laser-cut acrylic turn rulers available.
Each ship has three sizes of gun available – Big Bore, Medium Bore and Small Bore. To speed up the game and allow each ship to roll all of their dice at once, you can use different colours to differentiate the gun types. Our sets of dice have ten each of red, orange and yellow d6 (the colours match those used on the stats cards) with the six replaced by the Imperial Skies winged bomb logo. Extra sets of a single colour are also available from the website.
ISK-001 – Imperial Skies Rulebook – £20.00 ISK-010 – Turn Rulers (set of five) – £7.50 ISK-011 – Logo Dice (set of 30) – £10.00