Luft Kreuzers

Our Aeronef update programme continues today with the release of five new German cruisers. Three replace the existing models, while the Hansa and Lützow are new designs.

The Köln is one of the oldest German models in the range and both it and the Emden had small cast-on turrets. The new versions have separate turrets and much more detail. The Prinz Heinrich model has a twin heavy turret up front along with a smaller one aft.

The Hansa is a variant of the Emden hull, but with two larger turrets in place of the latter’s battery of small turrets, plus torpedo tubes along the flanks.

The Lützow is a heavy Flottenkrüzer with five larger turrets.

VAN-303 – Köln class Heavy Cruiser – £3.50
VAN-306 – Emden class Light Cruiser – £2.50
VAN-314 – Prinz Heinrich class Heavy Cruiser – £3.00
VAN-325 – Hansa class Torpedo Cruiser – £2.50
VAN-326 – Lützow class Fleet Cruiser – £4.00

British Escort Update

The last batch of Aeronef release from Salute are the redesigned British cruisers and escorts. The British get eight new models, replacing the Exeter heavy cruiser, all frigate and destroyer models plus as a bonus there is the the brand new Medusa class Armoured Cruiser. The cruisers and the Arethusa destroyer have separate turrets (including new twin and single gun small turrets), and there is a new AA version of the Arethusa called the Bulldog class with three triple-AA turrets.

VAN-102 – Exeter class Heavy Cruiser – £3.50
VAN-103 – Osprey class Patrol Ship – £1.00
VAN-105 – Cygnet class Torpedo Ship – £1.00
VAN-107 – Cossack class Corvette – £1.00
VAN-108 – Steadfast class Frigate – £1.25
VAN-112 – Arethusa class Fleet Destroyer – £2.00
VAN-112a – Bulldog class AA Destroyer – £2.00
VAN-128 – Medusa class Armoured Cruiser – £4.00
VAN-7018 – British Small Twin Turrets (x15) – £1.50
VAN-7019 – British Small Single Turrets (x15) – £1.50

There are also a couple of other new models that didn’t quite make this release (they had rather thin tails that refuse to cast reliably so they’re off being remade) – they should appear sometime in May.

Fighting Falcons

Our final release for this week is another pair of Aeronef, the Spanish Príncipe de Asturias class carrier and Halcón class fighter. The carrier is a multi-part resin and metal kit, while the fighters come in packs of six. There is also a new Spanish carrier packs with a carrier, fifteen Halcón and six escort vessels.

VAN-1710 – Príncipe de Asturias class Carrier – £9.00
VAN-1711 – Halcón class Fighter (x6) – £1.25
VANFP-1703 – Spanish Carrier Pack – £22.00

Italian Stallion

Today we switch from spaceships to Aeronef, as the new Italian battlecruiser Grande Ammiraglio Silvio la Verde steams onto the website. The sleek lines of the vessel mask a powerful armament and ships of the class often form the core of an Italian battle squadron.

VAN-1809 – Grande Ammiraglio Silvio la Verde class Battlecruiser – £8.00

Spanish Flat-top

Our Spanish Aeronef models, released two Salutes ago in 2017, have been very popular so far. Although a fairly well-rounded fleet, they’ve been missing one class of ship, namely an aircraft carrier. I previewed a CGI design a little while back and at Salute this year the physical model will make its appearance.

The Príncipe de Asturias class are large vessels with a main deck that flares out beyond the main hull. At each corner is an AA turret, with maintenance hangars at each end of the deck and twin funnels either side. The narrow flight deck arcs over the top, with the tiny main bridge at flight deck level on the port side.

VAN-1910 – Príncipe de Asturias class Carrier – £9.00

Looking Grande

Salute 2019 is approaching quickly – it’s earlier than usual, April 6th, so is just over three weeks away. As always we’ll have a raft of new releases, and today is the day we start previewing them.

First on the list is this splendid example of Italianate aerial architecture – its full title is the battlecruiser Grande Ammiraglio dei cieli Silvio la Verde, although we’ll shorten that down to the la Verde class so it fits in the catalogue. It’s the largest vessel in the Italian Aeronef fleet and is often used as a fleet flagship. The la Verde class are sleek, speedy and manoeuvrable with heavy hitting power, although let down by weak armour in some areas.

VAN-1809 – Ammiraglio la Verde class Battlecruiser – £8.00

Victory or Death

It’s been a busy week … the slight downside of going away for a few days is that there tends to be a bit of a backlog of orders when I return, so I’ve been ploughing through those this week – hence the lack of posts on here. I’ve pretty much caught up and everything should be back to normal by the end of this week.

We also missed out on a release last week – we were all primed and ready to go when a flaw was spotted in one of the new moulds at the last minute, so we held off until it could be remade. All is good to go now, so if you’d like to settle down, we’d like to present the latest new releases in the Aeronef range…

Years ago, Phil came up with a single Aeronef model for the Chilean aerial fleet – the Santiago, a battleship with two massive quadruple turrets and not a lot else. This was later joined by a single small escort vessel, and that has been the extent of it for the Chileans.

Today the Chilean fleet gets a boost to become one of the better equipped South American aero-navies. The Santiago has been replaced by a new resin-hulled design with separate turrets and metal fittings, and there are several new cruiser and escort designs.

The Santiago’s all-big-gun layout gives it massive firepower to take on enemy capital ships but, apart from two small support turrets, it’s pretty much unprotected against smaller vessels and aircraft. For this reason, the Chilean fleet features a lot of escort vessels equipped with small rapid-fire guns and AA turrets. There are also torpedo and patrol boats to complete the mix.

VANFP-1601 – Chilean Fleet Pack – £22.00
VANFP-1611 – Chilean Torpedo Flotilla – £4.00

VAN-1601 – Santiago class Battleship – £8.00
VAN-1602 – Encalada class Escort Cruiser – £3.50
VAN-1603 – Chacabuco class Light Cruiser – £3.00
VAN-1603a – Pinto class Light AA Cruiser – £3.00
VAN-1604 – Esmerelda class Torpedo Frigate – £1.00
VAN-1605 – Serrano class Frigate – £1.00
VAN-1605a – Condell class AA Frigate – £1.00
VAN-1606 – Anchova class Patrol Boat – £0.50
VAN-1607 – Riveros class Torpedo Boat – £0.50

Pacific Thunder

Today sees the final part of stage #1 of our programme to update all of our older Aeronef models. The final one of the big six major powers, the USA, has at last received the planned overhaul of their three older capital ships. The Texas, Maine and Lincoln battleships have all been replaced by new resin and metal designs, joining their counterparts in the other aero-navies of the world.

The Texas is the oldest of the three (the original Texas sculpt was the oldest original Aeronef battleship model remaining in production) and the design reflects a vessel of an earlier era, with a secondary broadside battery in casemates in the superstructure. We’ve also taken a cue from early US naval battleships with the superimposed main turrets – these aren’t able to rotate independently, the upper turret is fixed to the lower one.

The Maine follows a similar deck layout to the Texas but with updated turrets and superstructure. It also has a more conventional superstructure and like the Texas it has a fire control and steering bridge at the top of its bipod masts.

The Lincoln is a much more up-to-date vessel with multi-layered armament in turrets and casemates. Its secondary role as a carrier escort is reflected in the pair of anti-aircraft turrets amidships.

The three new vessels are available individually or in fleet packs – each pack has two battleships plus escorts. The US Grand Fleet pack has also been updated, with one each of the new battleships plus a Lexington battlecruiser and eleven escort vessels. The four new types of turrets on these ships are also available in our Aeronef Accessories range.

VAN-205 – Texas class Battleship – £8.00
VAN-207 – Maine class Battleship – £8.00
VAN-212 – Lincoln class Battleship – £8.50

VAN-7023 – US Twin Square Medium Turrets (x12) – £1.50
VAN-7024 – US Twin Round Medium Turrets (x12) – £1.50
VAN-7025 – US Superimposed Heavy Turrets (x5) – £1.50
VAN-7026 – US Twin Heavy Turrets (x10) – £1.50
VAN-7027 – US Battleship Masts (x6) – £1.50

VANFP-022 – US Grand Fleet Pack – £48.00
VANFP-201 – US Fleet Pack #1 – £22.00
VANFP-202 – US Fleet Pack #2 – £22.00
VANFP-203 – US Fleet Pack #3 – £22.00

Stage #2 of the upgrade programme – replacing all of the smaller vessels – begins soon, with the British fleet the first to get new cruisers and destroyers.

And finally, as always, a shout-out to Dom’s Decals for the tail markings.

Aeronef Previews

First off, the latest sale update … we’ve shipped all but three orders from November, so I’m currently about four days behind – which isn’t too bad, it means I’m at least keeping up and not slipping any further. I’m hoping that we can repeat last year’s achievement of clearing everything before the Christmas holiday starts.

In between stints at the workshop I’ve been doing a little bit of design work. One of our goals for next year is to start replacing all of the cruisers and escorts for the major powers now that we’ve finished the capital ships (well nearly – the USA will get their new models first thing in January). We’ll start with the British, with the aim of having those ready for release at Salute in April. There are seven models to be replaced, and we’re also hoping to squeeze in a couple of new designs as well.

As you can see, I’ve based these new ones on the existing designs but with the addition of separate turrets on the larger vessels (which then gives us the option of offering an AA version of the Arethusa by swapping out the gun turrets for AA ones). And they’ll generally just be slightly better overall with more details and little touches like windows that are inset rather than proud of the surface.

Exeter heavy cruiser
Arethusa destroyer
Frigates (l-r) Steadfast, Cossack, Osprey, Cygnet
Orion Light Cruiser

Painted Japanese

One last post before the weekend – I’ve finished painting the new Japanese Aeronef and these are ready to go at Tabletop Gaming Live.

There are four new models – from left to right these are the new Shinano class dreadnought, and new versions of the Yamashiro and Yashima battleships, and the Ryujo fleet carrier. We have stocks of all of these models and fleet packs (the only thing I didn’t manage was to create a new fleet pack with the Shinano in – that will have to wait until they hit the website next week).

VAN-602 – Yashima class Battleship – £7.50
VAN-603 – Ryujo class Carrier – £9.00
VAN-615 – Yamashiro class Battleship – £8.00
VAN-617 – Shinano class Dreadnought – £8.00