Back to Normality

A belated Happy New Year to everyone !

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 ūüôĀ ). 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 …).

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Big Dragon

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.

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15mm L√©gion √Čtrang√®re

Another model making the move from 6mm to 15mm is the Catroux, wheeled APC of choice of the EuroFed L√©gion √Čtrang√®re. 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.

Catroux CGI

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Catroux Prints

Jeune √Čcole

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.

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We’re hoping for a release later this year.

Atlantikwall

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.

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I’ve also made the H669 casemate type for the Merville battery, allowing you to game the glider assault on that installation.

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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.

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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.

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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 !

Airship Sheds

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.

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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.

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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.

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New South Africans

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.

Buffel CG

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.

Hippo CG

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.

Hippo Master

Buffel Master

Nap of the Earth

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.

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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.

Jalesveva Jayamahe*

So today we’re previewing something completely new that I don’t think we’ve even mentioned before, let alone shown off.

NavyShot

These are starships of the Indonesian Space Navy (Ruang Indonesia Angkatan Laut or RIAL). There are six models here – a battlecruiser, carrier, two cruisers and two escorts. We’re still waiting on fighter moulds, which is why the photo of those is a bit ropey – but you can see that they’re nicely formed miniature versions of our two Squadron Commander fighters.

The design style is a bit different, with large vertical forward bridges and lots of heat-radiating fins.

None of the ships have names yet as we’re still a little way from release. Although we have master moulds we still have to cast and cleanup the tins for the production moulds.

*Jalesveva Jayamahe is the motto of the present-day Indonesian navy. Unfortunately it doesn’t really apply here as it translates to ‘On the sea, we are glorious’. If I could work out how to translate the first half to ‘In space’ I would, but various online translations of Sanskrit aren’t up to the job. I’m hoping that at least the RIAL translation is correct! :-S

Coastal Guardians

I’ve been painting up some more of our Small Scale Scenery range lately. These are some forts from the French western coast, all around the La Rochelle/ Rochefort region.

French Forts

Forts Boyard (rear), Louvois (left) and Lupin (right) are all in the Charente-Maritime region, guarding the important naval base at Rochefort.

Due for release in a couple of weeks.