The French battleship fleet has recently had an upgrade with the arrival of the new Massena and Loire to go along with the Gloire and Charlemagne. This just left the carrier Les Arcs to be brought up to the new design standards.
And here she is – I am particularly pleased with the way this has come out. This is just the resin hull with metal deck and bridge – I haven’t yet added the array of funnels, masts and gun turrets to the model. To give you an idea of the look of the final assembled model, here’s a CGI image. It’s a lot bigger than the older model, slightly longer and much wider.
The new Les Arcs should be on the website in a week or two – I obviously need to assemble, paint and photograph this one, but the production moulds are all ready to go.
As mentioned before Salute, I’ve been working on extending the number of buildings available in our upcoming Dockyard building set. Mostly based on Chatham dockyard with one or two extras, I have a few 3D previews of the additions here. The buildings (Smithery, Pump house and Galvanising Shed) are all Chatham ones:
While this is a dry dock with caisson (it’s modelled as a waterline piece, eg full of water) which is based on the dimensions of the Chatham ones but with some slightly differing detail:
Finally, my favourite; this is a Titan Crane, one of the giant cantilever cranes which can still be seen in places such as Glasgow and Clydebank. It will be released as a 3D print as making it in resin or metal would be tricky to say the least! It stands an impressive (for 2mm) 46mm tall:
There was an outside chance that we would have even more stuff for Salute to show you, but in the end it hasn’t happened. As I’ve mentioned to several people at shows over the last few months, I have been working on some dockyard buildings – mostly based on Chatham Naval Dockyard, not all that far from Brigade HQ here in Kent. I finished a batch about a month ago, sent them off for 3D printing and the idea was that we’d just about have time to throw them in a mould for Salute. However, when they came back it turned out that I had underestimated the size of one of them – not the dimensions of the building, that’s all correct, but the space it would need in the mould. It turns out that one in particular (the Chatham Mast House) is too big to be made in metal and will have to be a resin casting. This isn’t a problem in itself, it’s a straightforward model with no fiddly bits like chimneys so will cast nicely, but it means that the remaining models only really fill just over half a mould. So, we’ll either a) get a second set printed so we have two small sets in the mould, or b) design some more to fill it (we’ll probably go for b). Either way, it’s a post-Salute job. Hopefully I can use the lull after Salute to design some more and have them ready in time for our next show, Broadside in June.
We will have some of the slip cover buildings – like huge warehouses, they cover the slips where the ships are built. At 3-400 feet long, they were big enough to protect pre-dreadnought battleships from the elements. The moulds for these were made months ago and we have some stock, but you’ll have to ask for them as they probably won’t be on display.
But here are some of them anyway – particularly impressive is the massive Anchor Wharf warehouse, almost 700 feet long and the largest storehouses ever built for the navy. It’s so big it looks out of scale with the rest of the buildings, and could pass for a row of 6mm terraced houses.
When I mentioned yesterday that we’d reached the end of the new items for Salute, that wasn’t quite true (turns out that I’d got my order of publishing posts mixed up !)- although we really are almost done now.
Today’s offering is a set of upgraded models for our European Federation spaceship fleet. This will be only the first of several batches of EuroFed releases, the original fleet was quite large and too big to swap out all in one go. This initial offering consists of replacements for seven spaceship classes and two types of fighter with much improved models. The basic original design style (roughly delta shaped ships) remains, but the models have become less two-dimensional and filled out a bit.
The Milano and Umberto battleship and carrier are overhauled with new resin hulls and metal fittings, supported by two cruiser and five escort classes. Although we are only replacing a small part of the fleet initially, we will be withdrawing all of the existing models – replacements for the rest will be along later in the year. At Salute we will have the new models plus a new version of EuroFed Fleet Pack #2 (containing a Milano and Umberto, one Abruzzi, three Insidioso and nine each of the fighters). We will also have some of the old style fleet packs in case anyone wants to top up an existing fleet, but no individual older models.
You’ll have to excuse the odd flaw in the paint jobs on these – not only have they been a bit rushed, but I managed to launch the lot across the lawn while transferring them outside to be varnished. Cue much swearing, wailing, gnashing of teeth and emergency base repairs and paint touch-ups. Fortunately the camera seems to have had the ‘blur’ function switched on. so it’s not too noticeable…
This might (or might not) be the last of our Salute previews – you never know. Following on from the previews of the new British Squadron Commander models, we’re offering some opposition in the shape of two Neo-Soviet fighters. Like the Brits these are reworkings of the smaller models from the Spaceship range. The models are one-piece metal castings, again available singly or in flights of four models plus bases.
Our Squadron Commander range has been static for a while, but it’s had a revival in sales recently, partly we suspect because of ‘gamers using the models as air support for 6mm ground games (the models are the same scale).
So it’s time we added some new models, and today we have two British fighters. Both are scaled up from their tiny counterparts in the spaceship range, although a simple scale-up of the smaller versions just wouldn’t work – some details would be too big, wings would be too thick, they really just wouldn’t look right. So I’ve redesigned them from scratch so that everything works in 1/300th. I’ve also had a bit of fun painting some retro RAF colour schemes using markings from Dom’s Decals.
The models will be available individually or in flights of four.
There’s a bit of an alien theme pervading our Salute SF releases this year – we’ve already previewed our first 6mm Yenpalo models and then followed them up with some nifty 15mm support weapons. Well, having made the 6mm tank, did you really think we wouldn’t make a 15mm version ? And now it has a name as well – the ‘Xarledi’.
It has a resin hull and turret with metal main and secondary guns, hatch, steering vanes and rear plate. The base isn’t included – it’s simply a 50mm round plastic figure base with the post from one of our flying stands fixed in the centre, then textured and painted.
Once again I have to credit Anarchy Models for their stencils, this time a hex pattern, without which I wouldn’t have been able to create the colour scheme.
SF15-1110 – Xarledi Grav Tank – £9.00
I have noticed that some of our photos of the new stuff are a bit ropey. Time seems to be running away fast at the moment, so most have been taken on my phone and aren’t up to our usual standard – I’ll have to go back and take better ones with the camera as soon as time permits.
A couple of days ago we previewed the first of our Yenpalo aliens which have been scaled down to 6mm. Today we return to their 15mm cousins, who are gaining some heavy firepower in the form of crew-served railguns and automatic mortars. Each comes in a pack of two teams consisting of a two-part weapon and two crew; the mortar teams also get a 6-round ammunition case.
SF15-1104 – Railgun Teams (x2) – £3.00
SF15-1106 – Mortar Teams (x2) – £3.00
This seems like a good time to post a reminder about Salute pre-orders – with just over a week to go, we’re rapidly running out of casting time to prepare these (especially since we lose two working days to Easter), so we really do need them in ASAP. If you visit the Salute 2017 page, you’ll find details of how to place them (scroll down to the bottom for this).
The airbrush was out yesterday on various models, which gave me the chance to put the final touch on a new building in our Research Base range. I used another of the Anarchy Models stencils to add some warning letters to the main door of this large garage block as a last flourish – which means we can finally add it to the Salute list. It fits in nicely with the rest of the Research Base buildings, but allows you to park something a bit bigger than the existing small garage block.
Today was a rather glorious one weather-wise – the sun was shining but it wasn’t too hot, ideal for sitting out with paint and brushes putting colour on some more new models.
Next up in our Salute preview series are some new 6mm items. The first is a set of Yenpalo infantry, expertly scaled down by the original sculptor Martin Baker. The pack contains 24 figures making up four 6-man (or 6-alien ?) fireteams, each of a squad leader, three riflemen (riflealiens ?), a support weapon and a missile launcher.
To support these we have a brand new heavy grav tank model which is so fresh out of the mould that we don’t yet have a name for it. It sports a heavy mass driver cannon in an unmanned turret plus four swivel railguns in twin cheek mounts on the hull.
We’ve also created a pack which makes up a small Yenpalo force, ideal for a ruleset such as Horizon Wars. Yenpalo do things in sixes, so the pack contains six grav tanks and 36 infantry.