City Expansion

Today we’re adding two new packs to our range of Small Scale Scenery European City Buildings. The first set is two straight blocks with features at one end that allow them to be used as the ends of terraces. The buildings in the basic straight block pack have blank end walls, but these have doors and windows at the end plus a slope to the roof.

The second set consists of four inner curved blocks that when used together would make up the outside of a circular plaza. They have the same overall dimensions as the normal corner pieces (40x40mm).

I’ve painted these in an alternative colour scheme to the previous sets, going for a pale stone with grey slate roofs. This would have nothing to do with my discovery that I’d run out of grey spray paint… I’ll be adding some to the sets of city blocks that I made up recently as my city increases in size.

SSS-8098 – City Block Inner Curves – £7.50
SSS-8099 – City Block End Terraces – £2.50

Fattening Up

The latest Aeronef model to receive a makeover is the French Les Arcs carrier. We’ve kept the basic configuration (dig hull with forward deck) but that’s about it. The new version is much, much bigger, with lots of space inside the resin hull and plenty of metal fittings. It comes with four triple AA turrets and four light gun turrets for self-defence, four funnels and two masts, and a new winged bridge. The deck is also a metal fitting that sits in front of two large hangar doors.

Altogether a mighty vessel around which to base a French carrier force.

VAN-402 – Les Arc Class Dig Fighter Carrier – £9.00

VANFP-402 – French Carrier Pack – £22.00

The Listening Wind

The very first models released in our Small Scale Scenery range (way back in 2011) were two types of acoustic mirror; a pair of round ‘listening ears’ and a larger sound wall. Both are Great War era structures designed to detect approaching enemy aircraft by the sound of their engines. They also work in Victorian SF games as an analogue for radars in games of Aeronef or Imperial Skies – they make an ideal objective for bombing raids.

Being one of the earliest items to be released, we’d got to the stage where we needed a new mould. So at the same time as doing this we’ve taken the opportunity to add a couple of different types of smaller mirror to the Listening Ears set, and you now get six in the pack.

SSS-8001 – Acoustic Mirror – £1.50
SSS-8002 – Listening Ears (pack of 6) – £3.00

I’m now back from my holiday, which was a very enjoyable break (apart from the local insect life taking a shine to me and deciding I made a tasty movable feast – by the end of the week you could play dot-to-dot with the bites on my legs and ankles, and the resultant drawing would probably resemble a new class of Yenpalo cruiser !). I have been busily ploughing through the order backlog, and hopefully I should have everything cleared by the end of Monday, then we’ll be back to normal service again.

15mm BMP-BM

I always like to leave something new while I’m on holiday and, as mentioned last week, today we’re releasing the 15mm version of our new Neo-Soviet BMP-BM. This is a large APC based on the Bars tank chassis but with a new superstructure with space for six Guards riflemen.

The model is a 3-piece resin casting (hull and two track units) with seven metal pieces – two-piece front hatch, driver’s hatch, two rear escape hatches, turret base and gun mounting.

SF15-1214 – BMP-BM – £8.50

Armoured Infantry Carrier

Our Neo-Soviet ground forces have recently been receiving all sorts of upgrades, with new types of tank and assault gun in both 6mm and 15mm scales. The one thing they needed to support these new vehicles was an armoured infantry carrier capable of keeping up with the tanks. Well, today that arrives in the form of the new BMP-BM.

This vehicle is based on the chassis of the Bars tank, with a new superstructure capable of carrying six fully-equipped Guards riflemen. The rear-engined design precludes doors at the back of the vehicle, so access is via a two-piece hatch at the front next to the driver’s station. There are also two hatches at the rear of the superstructure for emergency exit over the engine deck or for use as firing ports. The position of the hatch means that the BMP-BM needs to be carefully positioned by the driver before exiting under fire.

The BMP-BM has a crew of two – a driver who sits at the front right of the vehicle, and a commander seated directly behind him. Armament consists of two tri-barrel 3cm autocannon in a turret controlled remotely by the commander.

Today we’re releasing the 6mm BMP-BM – the 15mm one will arrive next week, although I will have some on the stand at Colours tomorrow if you want to get in early. The release also includes a Guards Infantry Company with eight BMP-BM, a Lisa command vehicle and 48 infantry. There is also a new Guards Army Pack with 12 Bars tanks, 4 Terminators, 8 BMP-BM, command vehicles and infantry.

SF300-1214 – BMP-BM – £1.25
IC-1203 – Neo-Soviet Guards Shock Group – £36.00
IC-1220 – Neo-Soviet Guards Infantry Company – £14.00

View from a Bridge

A distinct gap in our Small Scale Scenery range is the lack of bridges – it’s no good having roads and railways if you’re stopped dead at the first small watercourse !

So today we’re taking the first (but not last) steps in rectifying this with the release of a pack of four girder bridges. Good for the 19th century onwards (the world’s first iron bridge – in Ironbridge, Shropshire – was erected in 1779), these will serve for both road and rail traffic. Each bridge is 40mm long and the roadbed is 7mm wide, and they come in three pieces – the base and two sides. If you wanted to make longer or wider bridges then you could attach the sides to a plasticard base.

SSS-8097 – Girder Bridges (x4) – £4.00

Sleeping Satellite

Ages ago we used to have a couple of small satellite models in the spaceships range, but they disappeared due to issues with the production moulds. This week we’re releasing a replacement model, an all new design that will serve as either an orbital communications or surveillance satellite, or something more military. It is also ideal as a Battlesat, a weapon system in Starmada (carried by the German Pommerania class amongst others).

Each pack contains four satellite models with detailed solar panels, 12mm long and 20mm across. Each has a mounting hole in the bottom for a stand, but I wanted mine to be at varying angles. So I clipped the nib off the top of a plastic flying stand and used a round needle file to create a groove in the top of the post. The circular body of the satellite sits neatly in this groove and can be glued at any angle that takes your fancy.

Painting is straightforward – I painted my pale grey, followed by a wash of thinned-down GW Nuln Oil (neat Nuln Oil is too dark). I then drybrushed them white, before giving the solar panels two coats of GW Drakenhof Nightshade (a blue wash). Then they just need a bit of tidying up with white to delineate the edges of the panels, and whatever areas of spot colour you fancy (I went for some red rings around the nose).

SFS-6006 – Satellites (x4) – £1.50

Compound Interest

When we released our latest batch of 6mm Desert Buildings, just before the Joy of Six, I mentioned the slight FUBAR I made in forgetting to order the master for one of the three Walled Compounds. The other two have been pretty popular (in the space of a month they’ve become our second and third best selling buildings this year) so it made sense to get the other one into production – and here it is. It’s the largest of the three, with a main building running across the back and a workshop off to one side of the courtyard.

B300-141 – Walled Compound #1 – £4.00

And what’s sitting in the courtyard, I hear you ask ? You’ll have to wait and see…

Vive la France !

The Aeronef revolution continues, as this week we update the French fleet with new battleship models.

The Loire replaces the old model of the same name. In keeping with our other new models, it now has a resin hull with lots of metal fittings – turrets, tail, bridge, masts and funnels. The tail comes in three different variations so, in keeping with French naval practices of the time, no two ships are quite the same.

The new Masséna model represents a family of related but not-quite-the-same battleships. It has a similar (but not identical) tumblehome hull to the Loire, but the top superstructure is a separate metal piece that comes in three different types. The tail comes in the same three variants as the Loire, giving a total of nine combinations on the basic hull. In addition, the main turrets can be single or twin mountings – altogether, we think this gives an impressive total of 48 slightly different variations from a single model.

At the same time we’ve revisited the French fleet packs – the Grand Fleet pack has been reorganised to contain one each of all of the French capital ships (including the existing Charlemagne and Gaulois) plus escorts. The existing Fleet Pack (VANFP-401) now contains a Gaulois and Loire and we’ve created two new packs – Fleet Pack #2 has two different Masséna models, while the Fast Fleet Pack contains two Charlemagne battlecruisers. All packs also include escort cruisers and destroyers.

VAN-410 – Loire class Battleship – £8.00
VAN-419 – Masséna class Battleship – £8.00

VANFP-024 – French Grand Fleet Pack – £48.00
VANFP-401 – French Fleet Pack #1 – £22.00
VANFP-403 – French Fleet Pack #2 – £22.00
VANFP-404 – French Fast Fleet Pack – £22.00

Flags are available separately, and the roundels are from Dom’s Decals aircraft range.

Dropping from Orbit

The Fearless class of Assault Ship is capable of carrying a full Royal Marine battalion plus supporting vehicles, including a company of tanks, through jumpspace into orbit ready for insertion. This task is accomplished by atmosphere-capable craft including the Heracles shuttle and Athena VTOL/dropship. The 750-foot long Fearless has considerable offensive and defensive weaponry including a heavy railgun turret, anti-fighter defences and a battery of orbit-to-surface Kinetic Energy bombardment missiles.

The Heracles shuttle is large enough to carry two tanks or APCs plus their infantry, or as many as two platoons of infantry on foot. The Heracles is fully equipped for orbital or atmosphere operations, and is also used to recover Athena dropships after operations.

The Athena is a drop-capable craft which can be deployed from orbit and then can be used as a conventional VTOL once in the atmosphere. It is capable of carrying two sections of fully-equipped infantry (16 men), a light vehicle or a towed gun. One downside of the Athena’s design is that it lacks the necessary engine power to reach escape velocity, except on low gravity worlds, and has to be shuttled back to orbit by larger vessels.

SFS-171 – Fearless class Assault Ship – £7.50
SFS-172 – Heracles class Assault Shuttle (x3) – £1.25
SFS-173 – Athena class VTOL (x6) – £1.00