The postie came Friday (several posties and couriers in fact, it was a busy day for deliveries !). The most exciting of these, notwithstanding the shiny new plastic storage boxes, was a small package from the 3D printers. Now you know I get all excited by new models and like to show them off as soon as they arrive (Phil thinks this is a little strange, but what does he know …). Today is no different, so with the usual apologies/excuses about the difficulty of photographing the 3D prints, here is some new stuff …
These tiny little beasties are 6mm versions of the Raeside grav utility vehicles that came out in 15mm last year. There’s a flatbed, turreted and plain utility version, and also a separate sprue of turrets that didn’t make it into the picture. To get a sense of scale, the grid on my rather well-used cutting board is 50mm square, and the vehicles are about 1/2″ long.
The rest of the new models are 15mm – more replacements for older sculpts, and something completely new (at least in 15mm) as well.
Firstly, this is the print of the new 15mm AmRep Kochte tank we showed off in CG form a little while back. It retains the same basic shape as the older model but the styling and detail is much, much improved.
This is the new Curtiss heavy tank. The older version of the Curtiss was the very first 3D designed and printed model we released and we’ve given it a bit of an update with new styling on the turret, some lift-fan detailing on the skirt and just an overall better model. Several years of working with 3D prints has taught us quite a bit about designing and producing models this way, and the new Curtiss benefits from this.
Lastly (for now), we’re rounding out the AmRep with 15mm versions of the Baumann MICV and Oldmann light tank. Both are armed with turreted autocannons, while the Baumann has a missile strapped to one side of the turret. There is also an AA turret for the Baumann, and a multiple-missile turret that fits both hulls.
Look for the 15mm models to be released sometime in March with a bit of luck (we like to be flexible with our release dates). We don’t have a firm date for the 6mm vehicles just yet.
We seem to have had a bit of a glitch overnight – this blog, the forums and the website front page, which are all PHP-driven, were throwing an ‘Internal Server Error’. The rest of the website was unaffected, but without the main page it probably looked like the whole thing was fried. However, everything seems to be back to normal, so carry on as you were…
After an extended Xmas and New Year break, we’re back to what passes for normal service here at Brigade Towers. The sale ended with a flood of orders with lots of people taking advantage of the discount, so at the moment our main focus is getting these filled and in the post. I did a long day in the workshop yesterday casting metal parts and will do the same tomorrow, while today was spent casting resin (frustratingly, I ran out of resin with four pieces to go, so they will have to wait for new supplies later in the week 🙁 ). Our plan is to have all of the orders filled and shipped by the end of this week, and we’re on track for that.
It does mean that our planned new release schedule will be put back slightly, we have moulds ready for a number of new items but at the moment we simply don’t have time to paint and photograph samples and get them on the website. But we can promise new items in 15mm, 2mm, spaceships and a new range in the first month of the year.
In the meantime, here’s a little teaser of a one of the new 2mm items, ACW aficionados ought to be able to identify it (there would have been more, but the impending lack of resin meant that I couldn’t get test castings out of a couple of other new moulds …).
Although we still have a few new items lined up this year, we’re starting to look forward to releases for 2015.
Since their debut our Pacific Federation grav vehicles have been one of our more popular 15mm forces, so they are an obvious candidate for expansion. There are a number of 6mm vehicles waiting to be upscaled to 15mm, of which the largest is the Komodo heavy tank. I’ve pretty much done the 3D work for this and thought I’d preview it to whet your appetites. To keep down the cost (and weight !) the hull and skirt will be a one piece resin casting which will become our largest 15mm vehicle, just edging out the Sohei. The turret has gained a four-round point-defence missile launcher at the turret rear and the styling matches that of the existing PacFed vehicles. Release should be sometime in January next year.
Another model making the move from 6mm to 15mm is the Catroux, wheeled APC of choice of the EuroFed Légion Étrangère. I’ve just completed the 3D modelling on the hull, wheels and the remote weapon system mount which you can see below. I might still do a bit of tweaking and add more details (in writing this post I’ve spotted a couple of changes I’d like to make). I’ve tried to retain the same detailing and style as existing EuroFed vehicles so the national resemblance is clear. Like its 6mm counterpart, it will be available with a number of other turrets from the Tassigny APC – MICV cannon turret, missile, and AA will all be available immediately, with a command variant and possibly engineering and ambulance later.
We’re hoping to release it later this year – we have already ordered prints for the wheels and the remote gun so that they can be cast in metal ahead of the resin hull.
Some of our models have been around for a while … well, we are 26 years old as a company. Some of the older moulds are wearing out, and need replacing, so as a slow but ongoing process we’re going to take some of our more venerable models and resculpt them before making new moulds. One of the first of these is the French Charlemagne battlecruiser in the Aeronef range. This has code number VAN-401 – in other words, it was the first French Aeronef ever produced.
I’ve redesigned it with a slight tumblehome hull but it’s still recognisable as the same ship. Through the wonders of digital technology I’ve created three variants of the hull and three different superstructures with varying armaments. In theory all of these should be interchangeable, so it will be possible to create nine slightly different models.
Continuing our range of 2mm buildings, I’ve decided to have a crack at some more modern fortifications. I’ve been working on some Normandy Atlantic Wall items to allow a refight of D-Day (don’t forget we already make Normandy rural houses and churches in the Small Scale Scenery range).
I’ve modelled M272 casemates and an M262a observation bunker for the Longues sur Mer battery. Each casemate is in two parts, top and bottom, and the shielded guns (which I believe were ex-destroyer mountings) are separate parts too.
I’ve also made the H669 casemate type for the Merville battery, allowing you to game the glider assault on that installation.
These are a bunch of Tobruk bunkers of different types, with tiny FT-17 turrets (the turrets are just over 1mm across !). I’ll also provide open versions, since they were also used with machine-gun emplacements instead of the tank turret.
This is the Grand Bunker, the AA control tower at Ouistreham. It’s a large but very plain structure, which may end up as a resin item, we’ll have to see.
I decided not to model the earth embankments that were built up around the bunkers – different sites were buried in different ways, and sites that were still under construction may not have been buried at all. So instead I’ll leave it to the gamer to use filler or clay to complete this part of the construction.
I’m still creating new emplacements – at the rate I’m going, I may have to split the Atlantic Wall models into two sets – they are not all going to fit into a single mould !
A model we’ve had kicking around for a while but which we haven’t been able to release is our 2mm scale airship hangar (only partly caused by Phil somehow managing to lose the masters for the metal parts…). The design is based on that of one of the sheds at Cardington in Bedfordshire, although somewhat scaled down – these work out at just over 400 feet long, compared to the 700-foot length of the original. It is still large enough to house one of our Schleswig-Holstein digs, or several smaller vessels.
The model consists of a resin main structure with metal doors and struts – the doors can be assembled open or closed. I’m sure that with some clever work with magnets it would be possible to have both options.
We still don’t have a definite release date, although it will definitely be this year. In the meantime you can buy a slightly different version from Shapeways, complete with loads of interior girder detail.
To follow up the recent release of the South African Rhino and Wildebeest, I’ve been working on some additional vehicles. I’ve remodelled the popular Buffel APC from the old range and beefed it up substantially – it now shares the same wheels as the Rhino and Wildebeest and could easily accommodate a full squad of infantry. It can be fitted with a cupola-mounted MG, or the roof turret ring will also take either of the secondary turrets from the Wildebeest’s forward mount.
The other new model is the Hippo truck, which hasn’t been made in 15mm before. I’ve started with the basic design of the 6mm version, and added lots of detail.
We’ve already had the new hulls for these two printed and they look great. I’ve been able to reuse lots of parts from the Rhino and Wildebeest, so all that’s needed to get these in production is moulds for the resin hulls – they should be out sometime towards the back end of September.
This is the Angelshark. It’s a small, one-man VTOL with a chin-mounted autocannon and a magazine-fed Kestrel-2 missile launcher in each tilting wingtip nacelle, which also house the main thrusters. The pilot sits between the engine inlets in a flat panel cockpit.
The model consists of a resin body with six metal parts – the two nacelles, chin gun and three small landing feet. We don’t have a release date yet, but as soon as we have the production mould for the metal parts we’ll be good to go.