Ages ago we used to have a couple of small satellite models in the spaceships range, but they disappeared due to issues with the production moulds. This week we’re releasing a replacement model, an all new design that will serve as either an orbital communications or surveillance satellite, or something more military. It is also ideal as a Battlesat, a weapon system in Starmada (carried by the German Pommerania class amongst others).
Each pack contains four satellite models with detailed solar panels, 12mm long and 20mm across. Each has a mounting hole in the bottom for a stand, but I wanted mine to be at varying angles. So I clipped the nib off the top of a plastic flying stand and used a round needle file to create a groove in the top of the post. The circular body of the satellite sits neatly in this groove and can be glued at any angle that takes your fancy.
Painting is straightforward – I painted my pale grey, followed by a wash of thinned-down GW Nuln Oil (neat Nuln Oil is too dark). I then drybrushed them white, before giving the solar panels two coats of GW Drakenhof Nightshade (a blue wash). Then they just need a bit of tidying up with white to delineate the edges of the panels, and whatever areas of spot colour you fancy (I went for some red rings around the nose).
The Fearless class of Assault Ship is capable of carrying a full Royal Marine battalion plus supporting vehicles, including a company of tanks, through jumpspace into orbit ready for insertion. This task is accomplished by atmosphere-capable craft including the Heracles shuttle and Athena VTOL/dropship. The 750-foot long Fearless has considerable offensive and defensive weaponry including a heavy railgun turret, anti-fighter defences and a battery of orbit-to-surface Kinetic Energy bombardment missiles.
The Heracles shuttle is large enough to carry two tanks or APCs plus their infantry, or as many as two platoons of infantry on foot. The Heracles is fully equipped for orbital or atmosphere operations, and is also used to recover Athena dropships after operations.
The Athena is a drop-capable craft which can be deployed from orbit and then can be used as a conventional VTOL once in the atmosphere. It is capable of carrying two sections of fully-equipped infantry (16 men), a light vehicle or a towed gun. One downside of the Athena’s design is that it lacks the necessary engine power to reach escape velocity, except on low gravity worlds, and has to be shuttled back to orbit by larger vessels.
SFS-171 – Fearless class Assault Ship – £7.50 SFS-172 – Heracles class Assault Shuttle (x3) – £1.25 SFS-173 – Athena class VTOL (x6) – £1.00
It’s time for the next batch of new models for our EuroFed spaceships range. We brought out the first wave in time for Salute, but this only replaced a small part of the existing fleet. Today we have a pair of capital ships, new versions of the Liberté battleship and Cerbere light carrier. These two have changed in design more than some of the other new models, being based on a similar hull that has the same design styling as the Milano and Umberto. At the other end of the scale we also have the diminutive Comète starfighter, tiny but with an amazing amount of detail for something so small.
The release also includes a fleet pack containing a Liberté and a Cerbere along with escorts, fighters and bases. Fleet pack #2 also has a slight change in contents, with the new Comète class replacing the Meteore in that pack.
SFS-400 – Liberté class Battleship – £6.00 SFS-411 – Cerbere class Light Carrier – £6.00 SFS-460 – Comète class Interceptor (pack of 12) – £1.50
The latest version of Majestic 12 Game’s excellent Starmada ruleset is the Unity edition. We’ve just taken delivery of stock of the rulebook and very good it looks too.
Starmada has always been a game with simple mechanisms that layer together to produce a detailed game that nevertheless doesn’t get bogged down – to quote the website ‘Simple, but not simplistic, is the guiding principle’.
This week’s main attraction is the website release of the new EuroFed spaceship models. There are seven all-new digitally-sculpted ships along with two fighter types. Most of the models retain a similar outline to their predecessors, but are much changed in detail. The two largest vessels, the Milano and Umberto, have resin hulls while the rest are metal castings.
The remainder of the ships will be replaced with new versions in one or two further waves later this year, when we also hope to add one or two new classes as well. The other two fleet packs (401 and 403) will return when we have the ships to fill them again.
As mentioned just before Salute, Phil has remoulded his Kerberos spacestation model which has been out of production for a while. I’ve painted one of the new castings and it’s finally made it way back onto the website again.
The Kerberos model is a one-piece resin model of a three-spoked ring station. In its basic form it is unarmed, but there are plenty of places to position turrets from one of our accessory packs should you wish to give it a defence capability.
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 !
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…
As a New Year comes around, our Neo-Soviet spacefleet receive a boost in the form of three new vessels. The Slava-class Missile Cruiser is fitted with two missile pods each carrying four 18K64-series missiles and a decent gun battery to back them up.
The Yerevan-class heavy destroyer is an attempt to bring long range firepower to escort units, by fitting a capital ship class turret at the expense of pretty much any other weaponry.
The Burun-class missile corvette carries the same 18K64 missiles as the Slava, and little else – it’s virtually a fire-and-forget ship.
SFS-1222 – Slava class Missile Cruiser – £2.50 SFS-1231 – Yerevan class Heavy Destroyer – £1.25 SFS-1250 – Burun class Missile Corvette – £0.75
And … whisper it very quietly, in case the website hears, but it’s quite possible that I’ve fixed the recent shipping and VAT calculation bugs in the shopping cart system. Fingers crossed !
We have a small but popular set of merchants in our spaceships range, but it hasn’t been added to for a while. That was supposed to change at Salute, but that didn’t go quite as we hoped. However, all is put to rights today as we release five new models to supplement everyone’s commercial shipping fleets, rather earlier than we thought might happen.
Since most of what I get to paint is military stuff in drab colours, I went to town and painted all of them in bright primary shades, which made a rather nice change.