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
I’ve been planning some new Russian Aeronef capital ships for a while – we rolled them into the Imperial Skies Kickstarter as a stretch goal, but the total didn’t quite get that far. However, since I had the idea for them in my head, I’ve gone ahead and made them anyway. There are three vessels altogether – a light battleship/battlecruiser, a battleship and a dreadnought. Each will have a resin hull, and will share a standard metal pair of funnels and heavy turrets – as you can see, we’ve already cast the metal parts.
The middle ship of the three, the battleship, is based on the existing Borodino and will replace the old model. It’s pretty much the same design, just a better version with more detail. All that remains to be done is to clean up the hulls (rubbing down print lines etc) and make the resin moulds, so we’ll have them done in time so that anyone who has ordered a Russian fleet pack as part of their pledge will get these new models instead of the older ones. As with the Japanese cruisers, they’ll then go on general release.
The Imperial Skies Kickstarter requires us to cast well over 1000 Aeronef. Almost all of these have our standard masts, which have been around since the very first Aeronef releases. The mast production mould is one of the oldest we have, and is showing some signs of age and wear – we generally only get 10-12 decent castings per spin of the mould nowadays. So when we were looking at the amount of work required, one obvious thing to do was replace the mast mould with a more efficient one. Since we were making a new mould, we also decided to do it properly and remastered the masts, as the originals were almost the first piece of Aeronef model ever designed. The new ones are of the same basic size and style, but much improved in detail – see for yourselves below.
The new mast mould produces twice as many castings per spin than the old one, cutting 3-4 hours off the casting work needed to fulfil the IS pledges. Once the pledges have shipped, the new masts will replace the old ones in all orders.
To support the Imperial Skies Kickstarter, we’ve needed to produce large numbers of models. Although we chose models that we felt we had reliable production moulds for, one or two have ended up being more troublesome than expected. One of these was the mould for the Japanese Akashi and Yakumo cruisers, which if we’re honest has needed replacing for some time. In the end, rather than make a new mould from the old masters, we’ve decided to go the whole hog and completely resculpt them, replacing the old hand-made master models with new, 3D-designed ones. We’ve kept the overall designs and dimensions pretty much the same, but in detail the models are much improved with redesigned sponson guns and, in the case of the Yakumo, separate main turrets in the bow positions. So if you ordered the Japanese fleet pack, you’ll get these shiny new versions of the two Japanese cruisers in it. Once the KS has shipped, they’ll go on general release.