Polyversal Fulfilled

Great news – two large boxes landed on Collins Epic Wargames doorstep last week containing around 1600 vehicles and 1200 Power Armour. That means we’ve fulfilled the final part of our contribution to the Polyversal Kickstarter. Apparently we’re the first of the six miniatures companies involved to do so, but I’m sure the others aren’t far behind.

By way of celebration, here’s a photo of some new 15mm tanks in amongst the detritus of other new stuff. These are the Neo-Soviet Vombat and Bars, the former of which is already part of our 6mm range (although this is a modified new design). The latter is essentially the same vehicle but without the infantry-carrying compartment at the rear of the hull. Readers of Miniature Wargames may have seen some CGI previews in the Fantasy Facts column last month. More photos to come as I get them properly painted.

PacFed Progress

Although we’ve had a bit of a cold snap lately, during the day yesterday it was warm enough in the sunshine to work outside. I took advantage by firing up the airbrush and putting some paint on our new 6mm PacFed models. I have a game or two of Horizon Wars lined up at Maidstone Wargames Society this weekend, so I thought I’d put together a new force for the occasion. I haven’t worked out a proper force composition yet, so I’ve just painted up 2-3 of each new model and can work out exactly what to use later.

The paint scheme is really simple, echoing my 15mm TAS force. Over a grey primer, I airbrushed Vallejo French Blue followed by camouflage stripes of Light Sea Blue. Everything was drybrushed with Citadel Etherium Blue, and then washed with Drakenhof Nightshade. Where possible I like using a wash that matches the main colour of a model, it avoids the dark or muddy effect that can come from using a black or brown wash colour. And apart from needing to add a few small spot details, that’s it.

We’re really pleased with the way that the new PacFed models have come out compared to the originals. Phil is still working away at production moulds for the last ones, although we won’t be making them available until we’ve completed our share of the Polyversal pledges.

Ten Sale Days Remaining

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 !

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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…

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PacFed Upgrades

One of our most popular 15mm ranges is the PacFed (Pacific Federation), probably because of their futuristic look with the wide grav skirts and rail guns. The designs are based on their 6mm counterparts but with a rather different styling and much more detail (as befits some of the first 3D sculpts we made). We decided recently that we would upgrade the models in the Polyversal pledge to the standard of the 15mm designs and showed off the 3D models. Now we have the models in hand and we’ve started casting in anger to fulfil our part of the pledges.

We thought it might be interesting to show some side-by-side images of the old and new models for comparison. As you can see, we’ve kept them pretty much the same size and layout as the originals but otherwise they’ve had a commplete facelift. One lesson learnt from previous rescales has been to beef up the proportions of the guns otherwise they can be too spindly. In addition, I’ve also found it can be a good idea to increase the thickness of turrets as well, as a straight scaling from the 15mm models can leave them looking a bit thin. I’m sure it doesn’t need pointing out but, just in case, the old models are on the left of each picture 🙂

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We have now finished remodelling all of the PacFed range in 6mm, including a couple of 15mm vehicles that haven’t previously been available in 6mm (the Raeside and Dundas). We have masters of all of them which are just about to be committed to moulds (in fact I picked up a fresh batch of blank moulds from the manufacturers this morning) so there will be more photos once we’ve been able to cast the first masters.

SALE UPDATE

It’s all hands to the pump here right now – the Black Friday offer seems to have kicked the sale into overdrive (it was going well enough anyway). I’ve been trying to turn round orders as fast as possible to avoid any sort of backlog building up, but this weekend’s flood of orders means that I’m now running about 4-5 days behind – so orders placed up to yesterday will hopefully be posted by the end of this week.

Normally I try to process orders in the sequence that they are received, so that everyone is treated fairly. However, as the first of the last posting dates starts to loom into view I will prioritise orders so that they have the best chance of arriving for Christmas. Essentially, this means I’ll try to make sure orders get posted in time for their respective dates.

Imperial Upgrade #3 – Russian Behemoths

I’ve been planning some new Russian Aeronef capital ships for a while – we rolled them into the Imperial Skies Kickstarter as a stretch goal, but the total didn’t quite get that far. However, since I had the idea for them in my head, I’ve gone ahead and made them anyway. There are three vessels altogether – a light battleship/battlecruiser, a battleship and a dreadnought. Each will have a resin hull, and will share a standard metal pair of funnels and heavy turrets – as you can see, we’ve already cast the metal parts.

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The middle ship of the three, the battleship, is based on the existing Borodino and will replace the old model. It’s pretty much the same design, just a better version with more detail. All that remains to be done is to clean up the hulls (rubbing down print lines etc) and make the resin moulds, so we’ll have them done in time so that anyone who has ordered a Russian fleet pack as part of their pledge will get these new models instead of the older ones. As with the Japanese cruisers, they’ll then go on general release.

Imperial Upgrade #1 – Japanese Cruisin’

To support the Imperial Skies Kickstarter, we’ve needed to produce large numbers of models. Although we chose models that we felt we had reliable production moulds for, one or two have ended up being more troublesome than expected. One of these was the mould for the Japanese Akashi and Yakumo cruisers, which if we’re honest has needed replacing for some time. In the end, rather than make a new mould from the old masters, we’ve decided to go the whole hog and completely resculpt them, replacing the old hand-made master models with new, 3D-designed ones. We’ve kept the overall designs and dimensions pretty much the same, but in detail the models are much improved with redesigned sponson guns and, in the case of the Yakumo, separate main turrets in the bow positions. So if you ordered the Japanese fleet pack, you’ll get these shiny new versions of the two Japanese cruisers in it. Once the KS has shipped, they’ll go on general release.

New Akashi CGI

New Yakumo CGI

And Again With the Merchants…

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.

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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.

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6mm Previews

15mm gamers have had the lion’s share of new toys lately, but now it’s time for the smaller scale to take over for a while. With the Joy of 6 show in Sheffield coming up in July, we want to have a number of new 6mm items for that event and the aim is to release a steady trickle between now and the show. I’ve been asked several times if we’re going to release some of our recent new 15mm vehicles in 6mm – the answer is most definitely yes, and here’s the proof. We’ve scaled down the new Larminat and Eisenfaust tanks and the Kastenwagen platoon APC, plus the Kirin walker to 6mm. The Kirin master below doesn’t have any gun arms in the picture, since these have already gone off for mould-making (all three variants – gatling, laser and powergun).

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As well as these we have a 6mm version of the Research base. It’s not quite complete with the garage doors and some windows to be added (I broke a couple of windows during assembly, and completely forgot to order prints of the doors !). However, replacements are on the way and this set should be available quite soon.

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The Joy of Six show is a 6mm event, so we will only be bringing the 6mm SF range, Squadron Commander (since the fighters are 6mm scale) plus the 2mm buildings range. However, we will be taking pre-orders for any other ranges – just let us know in advance and we’ll bring your order with us. We will need these orders well in advance of the show (preferably by the end of June) since I’ll be going on holiday at the start of July, returning a couple of days before the show but I won’t really have any time to fill any orders when I get back. We’ll post more reminders leading up to the event so you don’t forget.

Heavier-than-Air

As Robin beavers away to finish the Imperial Skies rules, we’ve been casting up the models for all of the pledges. We’re probably 3/4 of the way through the fleet packs, and there are boxes and boxes of castings in the workshop waiting to be sorted into fleets and shipped out as soon as the rulebooks arrive.

We’ve finished the production moulds for the stretch goal battleships and are casting those too – again I’ve done around 75% of the resin hulls for the Vanguard, Kaiser and Gaulois.

Today I spent a little while assembling samples of each of the new models, getting them ready for painting (which will hopefully happen next week). We haven’t yet been able to show fully assembled versions, so I thought this was the ideal opportunity. The photos aren’t wonderful (photographing something that’s bright white isn’t easy) but you can see the details if you squint a bit, and of course we’ll show more pictures as and when they’re painted.

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Last Minute Additions

I’ve been tinkering over recent weeks with some of the remaining unreleased former ArmiesArmy moulds. In fact, some of the moulds we have are for items that as far as we know were never released, which includes these. In ArmiesArmy service these would have been RUSK Militia troops, but we’ve co-opted them into our Neo-Soviet army as conscript troops. There are three packs – infantry (squad leader, SAW gunner, AT rocket and six riflemen), command (six assorted figures including a splendidly-hatted kommissar) and support weapons (AT missile team, two man-portable gatling teams, sniper and a short-barrelled energy weapon). We’ve had some issues with one of the original moulds which we’ll have to remake, but we’ve managed to squeeze out a small amount of stock for tomorrow from the original one.

The photos below are from ArmiesArmy’s originals – so the pack contents aren’t exactly the same as we’ll be selling, but at least you get to see what the figures look like.

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We also have a small amount of stock of their companion Guard figures with the same trio of infantry, command and support packs.

And lastly, we are taking some stock of Angel Barracks‘ excellent 6mm character pack containing thirty superb sci-fi figures.

Angel Barracks Character pack

I’m off to London this afternoon to begin setting up the stand, and we look forward to seeing you from 10am tomorrow.

15mm SF
SF15-311 – Henschel Laser Tank – £10.00
SF15-312 – Henschel APC – £9.00
SF15-407 – Gamelin Wheeled Tank – £8.00
SF15-416 – Oto Melara Single Autocannon – £5.00
SF15-416a – Oto Melara Quad Autocannon -£5.00

HS15-401 – Fasolini Company Detachment – £43.00
HS15-402 – Fasolini Support Detachment – £24.00
HS15-460 – Fasolini Infantry (x8) – £3.00
HS15-461 – Fasolini Rocket launchers (x4) – £1.50
HS15-462 – Fasolini Command (x4) – £1.50
HS15-463 – Fasolini MG teams (x2) – £3.00
HS15-464 – Fasolini Mortar Teams (x2) – £2.50
HS15-465 – Fasolini Gun Crew (x6) – £2.50

SF15-1264 – Neo-Soviet Conscript Infantry (x9) – £3.50
SF15-1265 – Neo-Soviet Conscript Support (x8) – £3.00
SF15-1266 – Neo-Soviet Conscript Command (x6) – £2.25

LCAA-01 – EDCV Labs Set – £90.00
LCAB-01 – Umbrella Set – £50.00

Small Scale Scenery
SSS-8069 – Victorian Warehouse – £4.00
SSS-8070 – Textile Mill – £2.50
SSS-8071 – Dockside Warehouses (x3) – £2.50

6mm SF Buildings
B300-133 – Large Tower – £6.00
B300-134 – Square Tower with Dome – £5.00
B300-135 – Square Tower – £4.00