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.
We try to have a spread of new releases across as many ranges as possible for Salute, and today we’re showing off two new 10mm SF buildings that we’ll have available on the day. They are small towers from the Desert Domes which have been scaled down from the 15mm range (or up from the 6mm range, depending on how you want to look at it).
B300-403 – Small Cylindrical Building #1 – £3.50
B300-408 – Small Cylindrical Building #2 – £3.50
It’s been longer than planned (mainly due to delays getting things painted), but it’s time to unveil the next of our Salute releases for this year. It’s based on the hull of our recently released 15mm Vombat tank, but features a new turret fitted with four missile tubes and two tri-barrel gatlings as the ultimate urban combat vehicle – and of course it still has the infantry compartment carrying four elite Neo-Soviet Guards. The inspiration for this is the real-life Russian BMPT armoured fighting vehicle, nicknamed the ‘Terminator’ – so we borrowed this moniker as well, resulting in the Vombat Terminator. It’ll be available singly or in a platoon pack of three vehicles with 12 Guards infantry.
Welcome to our Salute 2017 Page. Salute is the biggest event on the UK wargaming calendar, around 8000 people and 150 traders gathering at the ExCel centre in London for a day of frenzied shopping and gaming. For those who are new to us, what we tend to do is save up a lot of our new products and release them in one big hit at the show, and here is where you’ll find details of them. This post is made ‘sticky’ until the show arrives, which means it sits at the top of our blog front page. We’ll constantly update it between now and April 22nd with more new items as we get photos, so keep coming back and checking regularly.
Although we’ll have everything here available at the show, we’ll stagger the addition of the releases onto the website – that is simply to avoid us being flooded with a huge pile of orders for the new items. We’d rather regulate the flow of new stuff – that way we avoid getting behind on orders, which no-one wants. To help those who aren’t able to make the show, this year we’ve added the intended website release date to each range.
So, without further waffle, here’s the first of our new models – the Spanish Aeronef Fleet.
AERONEF Website release date: Friday 5th May
We’ve been promising the Spaniards for a while, and we’re rather pleased with them now they are here. The designs are based on a prototype Phil made many years ago, but which was damaged by the vulcaniser when we tried to mould it. These new versions are all digitally designed to the same standards as all our new Aeronef models and feature separate turrets. The two capital ships have resin hulls while the rest of the parts are pewter. The design theme is ships with heavy broadsides but little in the way or forward or aft guns – something that could be thought of as a bit of a design flaw… The battleship and battlecruiser have raised walkways over the gun decks and recessed secondary armament in the fore- and stern castles.
Packs will also be available – Fleet Pack #1 has 2 x 1701, 2 x 1703, 2 x 1706 while pack #2 has 2 x 1702, 2 x 1704, 2 x 1705 and 2 x 1708. The torpedo flotilla has 2 x 1707 and 4 x 1709. All include bases.
VANFP-1701 – Spanish Fleet Pack #1 – £22.00
VANFP-1702 – Spanish Fleet Pack #2 – £22.00
VANFP-1711 – Spanish Torpedo Flotilla – £5.00
VAN-1701 – Espana class Battleship – £8.00
VAN-1702 – Aragon class Battlecruiser – £7.00
VAN-1703 – Pimienta class Heavy Cruiser – £4.50
VAN-1704 – La Coruna class Light Cruiser – £3.00
VAN-1705 – Pluton class Destroyer – £1.75
VAN-1706 – Mao class Frigate – £1.25
VAN-1707 – Numancia class Torpedo FF – £1.25
VAN-1708 – Atalaya class Patrol Nef – £0.50
VAN-1709 – Galerna class Torpedo Nef – £0.50
15mm Sci-Fi Website release date: Friday 28th April (Yenpalo), Friday 12th May (Terminator), Friday 26th May (building)
SF15-1104 – Yenpalo Railgun Teams (x2) – £3.00
SF15-1106 – Yenpalo Mortar Teams (x2) – £3.00
SF15-1110 – Xarledi Grav Tank – £9.00
SF15-1150 – Yenpalo Combat Group – £36.00
10mm Sci-Fi Website release date: Tuesday 23rd May
B300-403 – Small Cylindrical Building #1 – £3.50
B300-408 – Small Cylindrical Building #2 – £3.50
We’re happy to take advance orders if you’d like to reserve and items, new or existing. You can either e-mail us and send a list to be paid for on the day (cash or card), or you can use the ‘Collect in Person’ shipping option on the website to place an order without paying any postage charges. Please place any orders by Friday 14th April to give us a chance of processing them.
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.
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.
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 !
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…
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.