Remember those merchant spaceships we previewed before Salute? And how they didn’t quite make it, but we promised to remake the mould and get them out as soon as possible? Well, here’s a second set of masters with a few repairs and tweaks, which are being remoulded with a view to getting them out very, very soon.
And staying non-combatant and merchant-y, how about some new Aeronef merchants ? We have a small number of British and French merchant vessels already, and here are a couple of German vessels – a small coal lighter (left) and light freighter. The lighter will have coal modelled in the hold in the final version.
It’s Good Friday today, which is a public holiday in the UK. This means I get a day off (woot !) but the shorter working week also means no new releases this time – and with Salute looming large on the horizon, we’re at the stage where we hoard all our new stuff for the show.
However, I came across an article yesterday on the BBC website about the national flag referendum in New Zealand, which led to a few clicks round the web and ended up with me discovering the state flag of Hawaii. I had no idea that the flag of one a US state contained, of all things, the Union Flag, especially since Hawaii has never been a UK territory. According to Wikipedia the origins of the flag aren’t clear, but I still thought it would be an interesting addition to our range of self-adhesive Aeronef flags.
While I was there I drew up a couple of others that might be useful, including the national and naval flags of Cuba (handy for the Span-Am war).
VAN-204 – Confederate National Flag – £0.50 VAN-205 – Hawaiian State Flag – £0.50 VAN-2801 – Cuban National Flag – £0.50 VAN-2802 – Cuban Naval Jack – £0.50 VAN-2901 – Romanian National Flag – £0.50
Having teased you all with CGI previews of the new Imperial Skies designs, we can show how much progress we’ve already made on the models themselves – quite a lot, in fact. When I wrote the posts on the Kaiser, Gauloise and Vanguard we had only just ordered the 3D prints. Now, just 10 days later, we have moulds for the resin hulls and master moulds for many of the metal parts. The only missing items on the models are many of the turrets – and that’s simply because there’s a finite limit to how fast Phil can produce moulds, and the moulds for those aren’t ready yet. We now have a pretty good idea of numbers required to fulfil the Kickstarter pledges and we’ll start producing stock immediately.
The final preview of our new ships for Imperial Skies is the British Vanguard battleship. We’ve given it some slightly different armament in the form of two very large barbette weapons, plus a number of more conventional secondary turrets on the broadside.
Progress has been good with these models – we already have the masters printed, cleaned up and ready for moulding (in fact the moulds for the resin hulls of the three larger vessels have already been made). Here’s a shot of all four side by side before moulding, which should give a good idea of the size of the German and French vessels.
After yesterday’s preview of the Kaiser, today it’s the turn of the French. This is the Gaulois, which started off as a battleship but has ended up growing to the size of a dreadnought. The main turrets and masts are the same as those from the Charlemagne battlecruiser, but the secondary turrets are new models.
We showed some preview screen grabs of the USS Lexington battlecruiser a few weeks ago, one of the four stretch goal models we agreed to produce as part of the Imperial Skies Kickstarter campaign. Today we’re showing another, the German Kaiser class Dreadnought. It follows similar design lines to the existing Blucher and Markgraf, just bigger !
The turrets are all new and will be made available as separate packs.
The Lexington is one of the new models we pledged to produce as a result of the Imperial Skies Kickstarter campaign. It’s a battlecruiser class, and we decided to do something a bit different, going for a cross between a Civil War ironclad and a stealth submarine ! It has four very large main guns in semi-circular armoured citadels, a broadside battery of secondaries either side and two aerial torpedoes.
These are screen grabs of the 3D model, it won’t be going off for printing until the other three models are ready.
As a bit of Monday morning eye-candy, here are some photos of an Aeronef game run at the Houston Beer and Pretzels club recently. The game, as the name suggests, was a Mediterranean encounter featuring some splendidly painted Ottomans, Austro-Hungarians and British. We’ve put a few photos below, but you can go the the HBP site for more (and other Aeronef galleries besides).
UPDATE – an AAR has been added to their blog which is a bit of fun 🙂
It’s been a busy few days, what with travelling over to Belgium for Crisis and then a week full of restocking orders for Pico Armor and Scale Creep.
It meant that last week’s new releases have been delayed until now (which in turn will push this week’s intended new items back – but they’ll all come out in the end !). What we have for you are a couple of Aeronef models from foes either side of the Adriatic. The Austro-Hungarians get the Kaiserin class Dig Aircraft Carrier, a giant airship with a flight deck on top and capacious hangars inside the gasbag. The deck boasts a couple of cranes, and these are also available separately in an accessory pack.
The Italians meanwhile get the Ricardo PR-46 seaplane, a bizarre 3×3-winged beast used for transport and (when desperate) bombing raids.
I had a little bit of a varnish disaster on a damp evening last week, so please excuse any odd frosty white spots on the models !
This coming weekend sees our last show of the year – Crisis in Antwerp, Belgium. This is a superb show, second only in size to Salute and we always enjoy our trip over.
I’ll have the full range of Celtos figures (including packs), 15mm SF (vehicles, figures, buildings and accessories), 2mm buildings, Great War Belgians and Magpie Miniatures.
I’ll also have good selection of Aeronef, 6mm SF and Squadron Commander packs available and Spaceship fleet packs plus individual stock of the British, Neo-Soviet, Indonesian and Merchant spaceship fleets and some selected individual Aeronef – unfortunately there isn’t room to bring individual stocks of the rest of the ranges.
There is still just about time to get in an order to collect at the show if you wanted to reserve anything specific – you have until I leave for the workshop Thursday morning (around 8am) to get the orders in. You can either send us an email with a list and pay on the day, or use the Collect in Person shipping option on the website if you would like to pay in advance.
This year I’ll be accompanied by Robin Fitton of Rotten Lead Publishing (author of the Gruntz 15mm SF rules). He’ll be next to the stand running games of Imperial Skies, his upcoming Victorian SF airship game using our Aeronef models which you can join in.
I should hopefully have some new Aeronef and 15mm releases this weekend – photos to follow if possible…