Happy Halloween !

Happy Halloween from The Brigadier !

HalloweenFB

To get in the mood, Phil and I have done a suitably spooky Cake Review, our first for a while – Mr Kipling’s Witches Hat Fancies – click here to see what we made of them.

WitchesFancies

Tomorrow I’ll be at the new Hereward Wargames Show in Peterborough, which will also be the Brigadieress’ show debut – she’s giving me a hand since Phil is unable to make it. I’m looking forward to it, should be a good day – come along and say hello if you’re there.

A Quiet Week

After the hustle and bustle of Colours, during which I discovered that putting up, manning and breaking down the stand on your own is flippin’ hard work, I fancied a quiet week last week. It was also the Brigadieress’ birthday, so I had a very pleasant day off with her.

Some things got done – accounts have been sorted ready to send off to the accountants (that was fun …), bills paid and admin taken care of. I also worked on some new releases, rubbing down print lines on the 3D masters, prepping them for mould-making and even pouring a few moulds for resin items. Phil was also busy making moulds for the metal parts for the same models. We won’t see the results of those until later this week (it would have been today but some rather nasty wet weather has put paid to any work outdoors today).

Last Friday’s planned new release was unavoidably delayed – not because it wasn’t ready, but because I had to rearrange my week to be at the workshop on Friday for a delivery (more metal – we’re getting through it rather quickly the moment) which means I wasn’t be able to photograph the new models and add them to the website. In the end I decided to take advantage of the delay and add an extra model to the release – but of course this needs painting and photographing first, so we still aren’t there …

What we do have for you this morning are a couple of new packs, both of which we’ve been offering at shows for a little while but which have inexplicably never been put on the website.

The first pack is a fifth British spaceship fleet, the Strike Fleet pack. This pairs the two most recent ships, the Colossus battleship and Swiftsure stealth cruiser along with escorts. The pack contains a total of 10 models along with bases.

SFSP-105

SFSP-105 – Royal Navy Strike Fleet Pack – £22.00

The second pack combines all of the figures in the Magpie Miniature range into a single discounted pack. All eight figures are there, along with bases. There seems to be a number of different collective nouns for magpies, but we settled on a Murder of Magpies.

MGP-001

MGP-001 – A Murder of Magpies – £22.00

Shapeways Free Shipping

It rained today … boy, did it rain !? The Brigade workshop was in danger of turning into the Brigade Ark at one point, as I started leading 15mm tanks in two-by-two 🙂 However, despite the hammering on the roof I managed to clear the decks of orders and make a start on a restock for Scale Creep Miniatures.

One light in the gloom was an email from Shapeways announcing free worldwide shipping until the 30th of this month (Sunday*) for orders over US$35 (very roughly around £20). So it’s another good chance to pick up a Pegasus Bridge, some moisture collectors or even a few little planes on the Brigade Shapeways shop.

*UPDATE – the offer has now been extended to Monday with no minimum order.

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Back Online

After wasting far too much time trying to fix the PC, a box of replacement parts arrived this week. I had a bit of a false start when I didn’t configure the RAID array correctly, but it’s all now up and running – Brigade has returned to normal operation. We’ve managed to catch up with orders (having previously been unable to print shipping labels) so everything that arrived up to yesterday (Thursday) evening has now shipped. It also means I can get on with some more 3D design work which has stalled over the past few weeks.

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New on the website today are a few accessory items. We’ve made some of our 15mm heavy weapons available separately, the neat little Chinese command drones and also the Neo-Soviet heavy gun turrets from the spaceship range (they should have been available earlier – I forgot to do so when the ships were released). I’ve also added the Javelot Scout Car with radar that I put together as an example idea for the release of the radar dishes – it makes a useful little EW vehicle and it’s easy for us to add as a separate item.

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SF15-406d – Javelot Scout Car with Radar – £4.00

SF15-562a – CDSU Command Drones (x3) – £1.75
SF15-563a – Gatling HMG (x3) – £1.75
SF15-564a – Light AT Gun (x3) – £1.75

SF15-753e – Tripod MG (x3) – £1.75
SF15-753f – Tripod Railgun (x3) – £1.75
SF15-753g – Tripod Gatling (x3) – £1.75
SF15-753h – Tripod Tri-barrel (x3) – £1.75

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SFS-7052 – Neo-Soviet Heavy Gun Turrets (x12) – £1.50

Back on Home Soil

Holiday time is sadly over and today it’s back to normal – although since I spent yesterday at a music festival, there may be a minor hangover to deal with first (I’m writing this post in advance so the exact quantity of local cider consumed is yet to be determined…).

First priority is the remainder of the orders that Phil was unable to finish, then some rather dull stuff like last quarter’s VAT return. So don’t expect too much exciting output from us in the first half of the week.

On previous holidays I’ve managed to come back with some inspiration for new models, which have ended up in the Small Scale Scenery range – last year it was St Mawes Castle in Falmouth, the previous year some C.19th French coastal forts. Last week we went to Mallorca, one of the Spanish Balearic islands in the Western Mediterranean. Renowned as a tourist destination, there’s a great deal of history that I wasn’t aware of. The coastline is littered with small watchtowers, used to keep watch for pirates, but the most remarkable fortification is Bellver Castle which overlooks the capital, Palma. Built in the C.14th by King James II of Majorca, it has a fairly unique circular design which withstood several seiges and ended up as a prison. It’s a really interesting structure which may well end in the range…

Castillo_de_Bellver

Holiday Time

It’s holiday time at Brigade again, which means that there may be a little slower response time to orders than usual. We’ve caught up as much as possible, and all orders to the end of Thursday (15th) are complete and in the post. Orders will still be processed, but they could take longer for the next ten days or so and there may be a bit of backlog to catch up the following week. Turnaround on queries via email or through the Facebook page could also be affected, although we’ll do our best to get back in a reasonable time.

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Nostalgia Time

A couple of years ago we had our 25th anniversary, and we wrote about the origins of Brigade, back in the mists of the 1980s. A little while back I found this – it’s a casting of the original church that started everything off. I made this from a plasticard core covered in Das clay, which Phil then cast in polyester resin. It’s not all that much to look at now, but significant for us in terms of what it led to.

Church

Now the back of the Brigade workshop is a largely uncharted area. It’s not very tidy and there are piles of boxes ‘n’ stuff, not all which is labelled. I was searching the other day for a load of slottabases which I’m sure is there somewhere but can’t find, and which is rapidly taking on mythical status. I came across this rather grubby item in a plastic bag, which turns out to be another piece of Brigade history. It’s the very first mould that we made for metal casting and is of two spaceships – the Condorcet and the Guangdong. You can just about make out their outlines in the right-hand half of the mould. When first released they were only available through the SFSFW and we branded them as the SemFed (the Semitic Federation of Space Faring Worlds) or Israelis in space. The two models then were called the Sharon and the Meir respectively. So if you ordered these from us back in those early days (1995-ish), this is the mould they came from, they were drop cast on the kitchen stove in my first house!

Mould

Stockpiling

Normally Friday would be new release day here (although lately it’s been Mondays as well as we push out the Armies Army 15mm figures). Sadly, today we have nothing for you. It’s not that we don’t want to, or even that we don’t have anything – a quick count-up reveals that our new releases for the next four or five weeks are pretty much lined up and ready to go. It’s simply that we’ve been too busy ! As recently revealed, we have a new US stockist in Scale Creep Miniatures, and Mark sent us his initial stock order at the end of last week. This was to send the Brigade foundries into unprecedented overdrive, casting all manner of metal and resin items to ship off to the states.

ScaleCreep

But not immediately, as our friends John and John at Pico Armor had sent us a restock order ready for Historicon just a few hours earlier, so we weren’t even able to start on Mark’s order until Tuesday. And in amongst this of course, we have to deal with normal website orders that arrive every day.

PicoArmorLogo

As a result, Phil and I have done nothing this week apart from production casting, so the rather splendid new model that we had lined up to release today lies forlorn and unpainted on my workbench. We’ll just have to push the release schedule back a week, but hopefully we’ll be able to return to normal next Friday.

As a taster of things to come (although it’s not in the next few releases, it’s a bit further down the line), how about this ? It’s the Kirin Combat Walker, which will be part of our Mercenary Brigade force in 15mm (and hopefully 6mm as well down the line). This one was designed by Kirk Alderfer with input from Zac Braham, the pairing that designed the rest of the Mercenary vehicles. The arm mounts are designed to accept any of the weapons from the Sohei tank, while the shoulder points will take a number of items including missile pods, sensor pods, the standard Mercenary secondary gun and even a spotlight.

Kirin Blog

Cover Stars

Readers of Miniature Wargames and Battlegames may have been disturbed to find a rather frivolous article on Page 59(ish) of this month’s issue. Look closely at the cover preview below and you’ll see why (hint, fourth line of the contents at the bottom…). You’ll be relieved to know that there are no photographs of the two of us ! Many thanks to John Treadaway for taking the time to come down and see us, and for writing the piece.

MWBG387

The Army Marches On!

AALogo

Denizens of the Facebook 15mm SF Group may have noticed a post yesterday by Keith of ArmiesArmy, explaining that he’s taken his infantry figures off the website because they have been moved to a new home. We’re very pleased to announce that their new home is right here, at Brigade Models. As Keith himself explained, the effort needed to run ArmiesArmy was becoming too great and impacting severely on his free time. He very kindly offered us first refusal and, well, we didn’t refuse ! Keith will keep his excellent range of vehicles and continue to expand those, and we wish him all the best with that. He came down to Brigade Towers yesterday and dropped off all of the moulds and masters, and we tried one or two to make sure they fitted our casting machine (which they do perfectly).

ReleaseMarch15

We were both already fans of Keith’s figures – I supported his initial Kickstarter campaign and already have a couple of forces that use them. So to have the opportunity to add them to our 15mm range was too good to pass up, and the timing was perfect as we were looking to add figures to our growing range of vehicles and scenery. It also helps that Keith uses the same sculptor (Martin Baker) as we do, so his figures match our new armoured infantry figures.

Keith also let us have a number of unreleased greens which we will be adding to the ranges in due course, and we have a number of ideas for further additions.

There will be a slight delay in getting the models onto our website. With Salute just around the corner we’re both flat out making moulds and producing stock, so what we don’t want to do is suddenly dump a large number of new products on the website and be inundated with orders when we have yet to work out which mould is which, what the contents of each pack are etc. Instead they’ll go up on our website a week or so after the show. We will try to take some stock to Salute, but starting from zero it would take a couple of days to completely stock up all of the packs and we just don’t have that time – so instead we’ll take a selection of the most popular packs.