Phil’s just emailed me to say he’s remade the mould for our long out-of-production Kerberos spacestation, so we’ll have several examples of that for sale tomorrow. The Kerberos is a three-spoked ring station which is a single-piece resin casting, and he tells me that the new ones he’s had out of the mould so far have been flash free. The basic version is unarmed, but it’s crying out to be upgraded with turrets from our spaceship accessory range (or, if you’re feeling creative, some of the many separate turret packs in our Aeronef range, some of which would pass for SF turrets). We don’t have a new painted example, so you’ll have to make do with this photo from the archives…
SFS-6003 – Kerberos Spacestation – £11.50
As well as that, I’ve managed to create some stock of this new castle for the Small Scale Scenery range. It’s the Castillo de San Antonio, the remains of which are in Fornells, Menorca. The castle was built around 1637-62 but demolished in 1782 – all that’s left of the site now is ruins. As a castle it wasn’t very successful, it’s sited at sea level so ships found it very easy to engage. It might seem like an odd subject to choose, but I found some excellent period scale plans to work from and it’s also a brilliant example of a four-pointed star fort which could stand in for similar works all over the world.
SSS-8081 – Castillo de San Antonio – £3.00
Right, I’m off to the workshop to pack up the van, then it’s up to London to set up the stand – see you tomorrow !
Firstly, an apology – Easter has played havoc with my normal weekly schedule, so I’m a bit behind in getting orders to the post office – not casting and buyfilling the orders, that I’m on top of, but there’s a big pile of them in the office that need to be posted. Hopefully I will get to the post office this morning with all orders up to Tuesday, and we’ll soon be back to normal.
Onto other matters, yesterday was our final planned day of stocking up for Salute (I might get a bit more time in later today, but that depends on how much mail order casting there is left to do). I’d already topped up on existing models so the day was entirely given over to creating stock of all our new show releases.
Phil had finished the last of the new production moulds on Sunday and yesterday was the first time some of them were used. I spent the day casting many, many Terminators, Xarledi and Yenpalo infantry (in two scales), EuroFed ships, Squadron Commander fighters and more.
Tomorrow I’ll be collecting the hire van, packing it up and heading off to London to set up the stand – we’re lucky that the venue is just 45 minutes away from Brigade HQ (traffic permitting) so there’s no need to stay over, I’ll be back home in the evening and Phil and I will head up first thing Saturday morning. Salute is the one show when we’re joined by the honourary third Brigadier for the day, Jeremey, who takes care of the Celtos end of the stand.
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.
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