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 !
The Christmas sale is merrily sailing along (excuse the pun), and I’m going up to the local post office almost daily with piles of orders to be dispatched. It has ten days to run, so you still have plenty of time to make a saving (although be mindful of the last posting dates if you’re hoping to receive anything before Christmas). As things stand we’re pretty much up to date with orders – I have managed to clear the backlog so orders are being turned round pretty swiftly. We have a couple held up by a failed resin building mould that Phil is rapidly remaking, and we had run out of Imperial Skies turn rulers (again). However, new supplies of those were delivered today so they’ll be out the door in the next day or two, and are also back on the website.
We’ve had a cold spell here in the UK, so the workshop is, to say the least, a little nippy – this was the temperature inside the workshop when I switched on the machines the other day. I have a fan heater that keeps the casting room warm (if I don’t then the oil inside the air compressor motor is too viscous and it won’t run), but the main body of the workshop tends to resemble a walk-in freezer !
We’ve managed to stay on plan this year, so I’ve spent the majority of the last couple of weeks casting, packing and posting orders. I’ve also managed to find time to do some design work on new releases for next year and we have some interesting new bits lined up – there are new releases planned in the spaceships, Aeronef, Small Scale Scenery, 6mm and 15mm SF ranges for the first three months of next year. For now, here’s a preview of the hull of a new 15mm tank I’ve been working on…
Two big cardboard boxes appeared on the doorstep of Brigade Towers yesterday, each stuffed full of shiny new Imperial Skies rulebooks. Which means that the rulebook is available again from the website – woo-hoo!
Unfortunately we’ve had to make a modest adjustment to the price, and as these things inevitably are, the adjustment is slightly upwards. So those of you who backed the Kickstarter campaign have even more reason to be glad you did…
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 weekend just past saw another gathering of the Stoke Rochford gamers. These take place (as the name suggests) at Stoke Rochford Hall in Lincolnshire, a hotel set in a Victorian mansion just south of Grantham.
Saturday’s gaming saw a large Imperial Skies action organised by the author, Robin Fitton. Three allied forces (Italian, British and the US Mediterranean fleets) took on the Central Powers of Germany, Austro-Hungary and the Ottoman Turks over the eastern coast of the Med.
I won’t go into a detailed AAR, but in a nutshell the Italians got caught in a vice between the Teutonic might of the Austrians and Germans and rapidly perished in a welter of gunfire and magazine explosions. On the northern flank the Turks were stuck in a similar position between the British and US fleets, but through judicious playing of command points to keep the initiative they fought on, destroying the might of the British and then turning on the US forces who were suddenly distracted by the arrival of the Germans from the South. By the time we called a halt, the result was in the balance, but Robin adjudicated that although the Central Powers had the edge in combat, the allies had stuck to their objectives better and thus awarded them a minor victory.
Action over, we retired to dinner and a fine bottle of Chocolate Rum (thanks, Robyn !).
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.