A Harsh Mistress

Next on the Salute list for this year are some additions to our 15mm Moonbase range (well, we say range, until now it’s only been a single model !).

There are three new models – two hemispherical buildings, a storage dome and a habitable utility dome, and a pair of oxygen (or any other gas/liquid) storage tanks.

The utility dome has a spot for a radar on the roof, or alternatively that can be replaced with a missile or gun turret.

You can see some of these buildings in action on the Warlords’ Moon 2039 game at the show (table GF15) – it’s also featured in the show guide that came with this month’s Miniature Wargames magazine. There’s a photo of them ready for the game below.

B15-603 – Storage Dome – £5.00
B15-604 – Utility Dome – £7.00
B15-605 – LOX Tanks (x2)- £3.00

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

We’ll Be Right Back…

I’m off for a few days (the rest of this week, to be exact) for a short break to congratulate/commiserate with the Brigadieress for putting up with me for another year. All orders up until the end of yesterday (Monday) have been completed, but there will be a hiatus until I return to the workshop at the start of next week. The website of course remains open so you can still place orders, I just won’t get to them immediately.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some upcoming new models – these are German spaceships, replacements for the older Osnabruck and Wuppertal models that are in need of a new production mould so we’re taking the opportunity to update them to new digitally sculpted designs. With a bit of luck they’ll form part of our Salute portfolio this year (which is already frighteningly close, just five weeks away).

Spanish Skies

The sale is sailing serenely on – this morning I took another big batch of parcels to the post office, we’ve now shipped all orders up to and including December 8th (apart from the last one to arrive that day – no particular reason, I just ran out of time yesterday !). However, there was a big burst of orders on Sunday, prompted no doubt by the fast-approaching end of the sale next weekend, so that will slow me down a bit.

In the meantime, I’ve spent the odd hour or two working on further new releases – more Aeronef, following on from last week’s British smaller vessels. This time I have a pair of larger vessels – the first is a new version of the Chilean battleship Santiago. The old model (out of production for some time) was notable for it’s two huge quad gun turrets, so I’ve kept that aspect of the design, although it’s also been given two smaller light gun turrets.

The second new vessel is a Spanish fighter carrier. One of the aspects of the Spanish capital ships that I really like is the raised front-to-back walkway on both vessels, so I’ve taken this and enlarged it to make a narrow flight deck. Below this at main deck level is an aircraft handling area with an anti-aircraft turret at each corner. The fighter models on deck are British Fitton Scouts which I used for sizing purposes. It remains to be seen if the Spanish get their own aircraft design…

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

Soviet Supercarrier

As an added bonus for Crisis on Saturday, I should have some small stocks of this beast – the brand new Neo-Soviet Ulyanovsk class super carrier. It now has the distinction of being the largest spaceship model in our range at over 110 mm long. It’s due for website release next weekend but I have enough advance stocks to allow me to bring a few along to the show – but it’s strictly first-come, first-served.

SFS-1221 – Ulyanovsk class Carrier – £12.00

Your Own Personal Crisis

Every so often we think to throw in a little curve-ball novelty item to keep you on your toes…

We have another new and upcoming model for preview today – it’s number one a new series of ‘Great Wargames Venues of the UK and Europe’ (which may well end up being a series of one model…). This is Waagnatie – Hangar 29, the venue for The Tin Soldiers of Antwerps’ Crisis show since it moved from the previous venue a few years ago. The Hangar is a former warehouse on the Scheldt in Antwerp’s dock area which has been turned into an event venue.

It seemed like a great idea when I started, then I had a good look at satellite images and photos of the venue and realised that it’s a lot bigger than I first thought ! The building is 240m long give or take, with 13 curved roof segments. To make matters even more fun, the building has a distinct kink in the middle where it follows the curve of the river bank. However, having started I had to finish it, so here’s the final model. It’ll be available for sale at Crisis next weekend, although you might have to be quick to our stand – I won’t have enough stock for everyone!

And while I have your attention, this is the FINAL REMINDER for Crisis orders – I’ll be at the workshop putting final touches to our stock tomorrow so any orders need to be with me by first thing

SSS-8118 – Hangar Waagnatie 29 – £10.00

Castles in the Air

For some time now we’ve wanted to produce some tiny castles for the Small Scale Scenery range. But it took a while to work out exactly what form they would take – a brief investigation showed that there was no such thing as a ‘generic’ castle, they’re all very different and generally built to suit the terrain around them. We could make one-piece models of specific historical castles, but there are so many to choose from and regardless of how many we made, we’d never be able to cover enough variations to please everyone.

So instead we’ve settled on making a series of castle components – we’ve designed a numbers of sets of walls, towers and gateways along with a couple of keeps. Hopefully that will give enough variations to produce a decent representation of most UK castles and some continental ones. The parts are all cast in our usual cream-coloured resin so should be easy to cut and modify (certainly easier than metal pieces !).

To give you an idea of what the pieces look like, I’ve put together a simple square castle with a keep; this was made on a 6″ square of acrylic, with the keep raised on a low motte made from foam card. It took no more than half an hour to assemble, and painting was a simple matter of spray (grey primer), wash (Citadel Nuln Oil) and drybrush (GW Longbeard Grey).

I’m still knocking the last gremlins out of the casting process (we’ve recently invested in some new pressure casting equipment which I’m still getting to grips with), but hopefully they will be available at Crisis in a couple of weeks.

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

10mm Research

The last of our new items for Tabletop Gaming Live are from our 10mm Sci-Fi buildings range. We’ve rescaled some more of our existing buildings, from the Research Base set, to this scale (I can’t remember if I rescaled the 15mm versions down or the 6mm ones up !). The first three buildings to appear in 10mm are the Accommodation Block, Small Garage Block and Utility Shed. Assuming sales on these are OK, we’ll do the other models in the set later.