Rise of the Jeune École

Today sees the release of our remastered French Charlemagne Aeronef models. The new models are larger but sleeker than the old one (which has been retired), with a distinct tumblehome to the hulls. There are three slightly different hull types and three superstructures which all fit each other allowing for nine variations. In keeping with French naval building practices of the time, no two ships are quite the same ! Variants are supplied randomly, if you purchase multiple models at one time we’ll make sure you get different versions. Each model comes with three turrets (although not all variations need three) which again are a random mix of single and double-barrelled ones. Altogether, with the different hulls, superstructures and armament layouts, we reckon there are 48 slightly different models that could be created.

CharlemagneRelease-2

CharlemagneRelease-3

Sneaking into the corner of the bottom photo is an Austro-Hungarian Novara class Heavy Destroyer, obviously on a diplomatic assignment. This model is also available today.

Lots more pictures of the Charlemagne in all her variations are on the website

VAN-401 – Charlemagne Battlecruiser – £8.00
VAN-711 – Novara Heavy Destroyer – £2.00
VAN-7044 – French Single Heavy Turrets (x10) – £1.50
VAN-7045 – French Double Heavy Turrets (x10) – £1.50

New for Crisis

Last post before I go off to Crisis (in fact I’ve already left, this is a timed post !). We have a number of new items at the show in several ranges, which I’ll quickly summarise below.

Phil sprang a surprise on me this week by turning up with some new Belgian figures for the Great War range. We have kneeling NCOs and buglers for all of the infantry types, including ones wearing a side cap (some infantry units wore side caps instead of Shakos early in the war). These are so new that there are no photos, you’ll just have to come and find us tomorrow.

GW28-1140 – Infantry NCO in Shako – £1.50
GW28-1141 – Infantry NCO in Side Cap – £1.50
GW28-1142 – Carabinier NCO – £1.50
GW28-1143 – Grenadier NCO – £1.50
GW28-1144 – Infantry Bugler in Shako – £1.50
GW28-1145 – Infantry Bugler in Side Cap – £1.50
GW28-1146 – Carabinier Bugler – £1.50
GW28-1147 – Grenadier Bugler – £1.50

In 15mm we have the South African Buffel light APC and Hippo truck which have moved into full production and should be on the website early next week. The Buffel is available with the option of a hatch and pintel weapon, light MG turret or missile turret. Support and AA versions should be following shortly. We also have a few pre-production Angelshark VTOLs (literally just a couple left) if you would like to get one before the full release.

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SF15-603 – Buffel Light APC – £8.00
SF15-608 – Hippo Heavy Truck – £8.50
SF15-704 – Angelshark VTOL – £8.00

You’ve already seen Bonn Station and the Atlantic Wall in 2mm, and these will all be available.

Bonn HBF

AW Release

SSS-8042 – Bonn Hauptbahnhof – £3.50
SSS-8043 – Atlantic Wall Set #1 – £6.00
SSS-8044 – Atlantic Wall Set #2 – £5.00
SSS-8045 – Grand Bunker – £0.50

Plus of course we have the new Aeronef released at the end of last week.

VAN-513

VAN-214 – Herring class Biplane Light Bomber (x6) – £1.25
VAN-417 – Ader class Monoplane Fighter (x6) – £1.25
VAN-513 – Oryol class Biplane Bomber (x3) – £1.00

See you tomorrow ! If you can’t make it, then any of these items that aren’t already on the website will be added in the next week or two.

Stoke Rochford Action

I’ve been out in the garden this morning doing some resin casting in preparation for Crisis. There are some hazards involved in resin casting, and I can reveal that one lucky purchaser of a Shaman hovertank will be getting a free insectoid crew member, which unluckily (or stupidly) flew into the mould just as the resin was being poured. So now it’s forever set in there, just like the insects preserved in amber in Jurassic Park ! Don’t worry, you’d never know, it’s buried deep …

It’s also a bit nippy outside, I’m not sure where the predicted unseasonally warm weather is, but it isn’t in Kent ! So I’ve popped inside for a warming cuppa and thought I’d share some photos from the Stoke Rochford Aeronef game at the weekend. My contribution this time consisted of some coastal scenery to defend/invade/bomb using our 2mm scenery range. This was a lot of fun to build and I enjoyed putting it together. I’ll be writing a full ‘how I made it’ post later, but for now I thought I’d share a few photos of the day, before and after the combat commenced.

The game featured many finely painted Aeronef models (I would hazard a guess at 300+) of many nations, British, Italian, German, French, Danish, Austro-Hungarian and probably many more.

Another weekend of fun is planned for early next year, probably in February – stay tuned for more news.

New Nef News

It’s been quite a long time since we released any new Aeronef models. The Charlemagne resculpt is due later this year, but in the meantime we have a few models that have been on the back burner for a while and have finally reached the front of the mould-making queue. These are all of the fixed wing variety, and we’ve pushed them out in time for the Stoke Rochford Aeronef weekend which starts today. I’ve taken the opportunity to photograph them on some of the terrain we’ll be using in the game over the weekend.

The US get the Herring class biplane Light Bomber, which I’ve painted up in the very colourful blue/yellow between-the-wars scheme used by the US (not quite Aeronef period, but it looks good 🙂 ).

VAN-214

For the French, we have the sleek Ader monoplane fighter.

VAN-417

And finally, the Russian Empire gets the Oryol heavy bomber, used in the strategic bombing of Northern England during the invasion of 1899.

VAN-513

VAN-214 – Herring class Biplane Light Bomber (x6) – £1.25
VAN-417 – Ader class Monoplane Fighter (x6) – £1.25
VAN-513 – Oryol class Biplane Bomber (x3) – £1.00

No-new Release Friday

I’m afraid that the current sequence of shows has thrown our carefully crafted release schedule into a bit of a tail spin, and once again this week’s planned new items aren’t quite ready.

However, a package arrived from the 3D printers this morning, which is always exciting, so instead of something you can buy this week, I thought I’d show off some of the items you can buy in a few weeks (much shorter in some cases). So, with the usual apologies about the difficulty of photographing translucent white plastic, here we go…

First up, a follow on from the post earlier this week on the new Charlemagne battlecruisers – here they are in all their blurry, washed-out glory. The sharp-eyed will spot that one of the hulls has already lost a gun barrel, which are a bit fragile, and I’ll have to replace it before they go in a mould.

Charlemagne Prints

Next we’re onto 15mm items. This is the hull for the Buffel APC previewed a week or two back, the first print was flawed (= I cocked up) so this is the replacement. It’s carrying a support weapon turret which will be available as an option and also fits the Wildebeest. Sorry, this really isn’t a great photo but trust me, it looks good in the plastic. The Buffel and Hippo will be available very soon, they would already be out had I not sent the wrong hull model to the printers first time round.

Buffel Print

This little piece is a 15mm heavy weapons tripod, designed to carry the range of pintle weapons we came out with recently – the sample is posed with a tribarrel gatling. And before anyone asks the obvious question – yes, they will come with crew (in fact Martin is sculpting them as I type).

Heavy Weapon Tripod Prints

Lastly, some new spaceships. The British fleet has been selling as fast as we can churn them out, and we thought it was about time for an addition to the fleet. This is the Swiftsure pursuit cruiser (left), next to a Halifax light cruiser hull.

Swiftsure Prints

Last, but by no means least, as with the older Aeronef models we’re going to be doing a slow rolling replacement of worn out spaceship moulds with remastered models. This is the CDSI Shanzi class fighter carrier (minus the lower hull, which is going to be a resin piece) – the deck is two part but the join should be neatly hidden under the new, extended bridge section.

Shanzi Print

Jeune École

Some of our models have been around for a while … well, we are 26 years old as a company. Some of the older moulds are wearing out, and need replacing, so as a slow but ongoing process we’re going to take some of our more venerable models and resculpt them before making new moulds. One of the first of these is the French Charlemagne battlecruiser in the Aeronef range. This has code number VAN-401 – in other words, it was the first French Aeronef ever produced.

I’ve redesigned it with a slight tumblehome hull but it’s still recognisable as the same ship. Through the wonders of digital technology I’ve created three variants of the hull and three different superstructures with varying armaments. In theory all of these should be interchangeable, so it will be possible to create nine slightly different models.

Charlemagne-2

Charlemagne-3

Charlemagne-1

We’re hoping for a release later this year.

SELWG Specials

We’re all geared up for SELWG on Sunday – the casting is all done and we’re well stocked.

We do have a few new items for the day, some of which aren’t on the website and won’t be for several weeks yet.

In 15mm we have some pre-release samples of the PacFed Angelshark VTOL and South African Hippo truck. We only have very small numbers, since they aren’t officially released yet we haven’t stocked up (it literally is just 3-4 of each, so get in early if you want to pick up one).

SF15-704 – Angelshark Light VTOL – £8.00
SF15-608 – Wildebeest Heavy Truck – £8.50
SF15-915 – Small Cargo Container – £1.75

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We also have some new Aeronef – these are much nearer to a full release but you’ll get first crack at them on Sunday

VAN-417 – French Ader Monoplane Fighter (x6) – £1.25
VAN-513 – Russian Oryol Biplane Bomber (x3) – £1.25

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We will also have some special offers running with savings on multiple buys, rulebooks and maybe other – details on the day.

Airship Sheds

A model we’ve had kicking around for a while but which we haven’t been able to release is our 2mm scale airship hangar (only partly caused by Phil somehow managing to lose the masters for the metal parts…). The design is based on that of one of the sheds at Cardington in Bedfordshire, although somewhat scaled down – these work out at just over 400 feet long, compared to the 700-foot length of the original. It is still large enough to house one of our Schleswig-Holstein digs, or several smaller vessels.

Hangar-1

The model consists of a resin main structure with metal doors and struts – the doors can be assembled open or closed. I’m sure that with some clever work with magnets it would be possible to have both options.

Hangar-3

We still don’t have a definite release date, although it will definitely be this year. In the meantime you can buy a slightly different version from Shapeways, complete with loads of interior girder detail.

Hangar-4

Hangar-2

Blown Away

Last weekend I was lucky to get in some gaming time with a couple of good friends, Robin Fitton (the author of Gruntz) and Jon Rogers (creator of the superb Arbuthnot’s League Aeronef game of a few years back). They provided all of the models, Jon with his US Great White Fleet and Rob with his freshly painted British. I commanded the British against Jon, with Rob umpiring. I didn’t take detailed notes of the action, but it’s safe to say that my rookie mistake of splitting my forces allowed Jon to quite decisively win the day 🙁

The two sets of models looked superb and I did spend the day taking plenty of photos (perhaps I should have concentrated more on my tactics!) – here’s a selection below.

Jon’s US fleet is pretty unique in that it doesn’t actually have any American vessels in it – instead he’s just picked his favourite models (mostly Austro-Hungarian, although his flagship is a French Loire) and painted them in suitable colours, after first giving them lots of super-detailing. Rob’s British are more conventional, but they are excellently painted – they are the ones that illustrate our website.

Rob provided the vinyl sea mat, the islands are Jon’s handiwork while my contribution was a few coastal forts and buildings.

Fresh from the Mould

Some brand new stuff here, some of which might not have been seen before.

I’ve been running several new moulds (I’d have done more if it hadn’t starting raining – the English weather, as usual, is alternating between rain and stifling hot) and thought I’d show the results.

We have half-a-dozen new resin items in 6mm and 2mm. There’s a 6mm repair station, munitions bunker and primitive dwelling for the Desert Buildings range:
DesertBuildingsJune2014

And three French coastal forts for the 2mm range; Fort Louvois (Marennes, about 6 miles from Rochefort), Fort Lupin (on the Charente estuary leading to Rochefort) and Fort Boyard (in the Pertuis d’Antioche straits, once again guarding the approaches to Rochefort, and instantly recognisable to fans of rubbish 90s TV game shows).

FortsJune2014

Behind that is an Aeronef hangar – this model is already available from our Shapeways site (and it’s worth considering as the interior has loads of great internal girder detail). Obviously this resin version is a bit more solid, but it will have separate metal external doors and struts, and is designed to handle one of our Schleswig-Holstein digs.

As always, bear in mind these are early castings from brand new moulds so there’s the odd air bubble and bit that still needs to be debugged. The 6mm buildings are in the release schedule for the next 3-4 weeks, while the forts need a metal mould for additional parts (turret tops and towers, etc) so will be a week or two longer. The hangar is pretty imminent …