Jutland refight

Today we’d like to give some publicity to an upcoming charity event. This is a refight of Jutland (a historical version rather than our Aeronef one !) in aid of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines charity. It’s taking place at HMS Flying Fox, a Royal Naval Reserve base in Bristol. Participants are being sought, contact details are on the poster below.

We’ve made a very modest contribution towards supporting the event, supplying identification flags for the models.

Jutland

Spanner in the Works

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Our centrifugal casting machine uses air pressure to clamp the moulds together, supplied by a compressor. It keeps a supply of air in a tank and regularly refills when the pressure drops below a certain level. On Friday morning I went into the workshop to fill orders and stock up for Salute, switched it on and it started filling, but just didn’t sound right – it got noisier and noisier, made a nasty complaining noise and then just stopped. That was it, dead. I had just enough pressure in the tank to do a couple of orders, but that was all. With Salute just under two weeks away, its timing could not have been better (a melting pot once died on us the week before Salute … it’s as if they know). Fortunately, of all the bits of equipment we have, this is one of the easier ones to replace – I’ll have a new one delivered on Tuesday, and it should be a case of just plugging it in and connecting the air hose. But it’s still a frustrating loss of a couple of days’ casting, not to mention the expense. I’ll just have to do some other jobs instead.

So apologies to anyone with an outstanding order, it’ll be a 2-3 days until we can get those sorted for you. In the meantime, anyone want an old air compressor in need of quite a bit of TLC ?

Show Business 2016

We’ve been compiling our show calendar for the coming year now that the Christmas holiday is out of the way. We’re planning to attend all of the shows we went to last year, and have a couple of additions to the list.

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We kick off with one of these – we’re returning to Cavalier in Tonbridge for the first time in a few years at the end of February. This has been a last minute booking and we’re grateful to the organiser Alan Butler for slotting us in. We have a smaller stand than usual so we’ll have to decide what we take with us – there won’t be room for everything.

The other new show in our calendar takes us oop north, to the Joy of Six in Sheffield in July. This (as the name suggests) is a 6mm themed event, so again we’ll have a smaller stand with all of the 6mm range and maybe a few other bits and pieces.

We will of course take orders in advance for anything that we aren’t able to take to these or any other show – simply send us an email with what you require, or you can order and pay via the website using the ‘Collect in Person’ shipping option.

Full details of our show list, along with the ranges that we bring to each one, can be found on the website ‘Shows’ page.

The End of the Tunnel

LightTunnel

Finally, we’re there – after a fortnight of hard slog, late evenings and lots and lots of casting, we’ve finally cleared the order backlog (and just in time too, as the weather has turned rather chilly).

Apart from a couple of orders that need special cast-to-order resin items, and two orders that arrived this afternoon after I’d left the workshop, every outstanding order has been cleared. Around twenty or so went in the post box just now, and I have around ten large boxes that need to be taken to a post office in the morning. What a relief for us, and good news for those of you that have been sitting patiently waiting for your orders – we very much appreciate everyone’s understanding.

So next week I can finally get back to working on new items. We have several bits already moulded and ready to go – eagle-eyed readers of Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy might even have spotted a new model of ours in their review column that hasn’t yet made it to the website.

I’ll also be starting on the 3D design work for the four new battleship models that were unlocked as part of the Imperial Skies Kickstarter, and I’ll be posting work-in-progress images of those as I go along.

A Belated Happy New Year

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Happy New Year from us at Brigade Towers – better late then never! Unfortunately, it’s still a quarantine zone here, with Phil joining me on the sick list this week. Our plan had been to post some previews of new models over this past week, but that’s something that fell by the wayside in favour of more recuperation time.

I will be returning to the workshop tomorrow, and the highest priority will be to work through the backlog of orders that has built up as a result of me falling ill during the height of the sale. At a rough guess there is about two weeks’ solid work to clear these, so that is what I’ll be doing to the exclusion of all else for the next fortnight.

We have tried over the past couple of years to release something new every week, but there have been times when we have simply been too busy to keep to this. Certainly at the start of this year we have quite a hefty workload so it’ll be a couple of weeks before anything new appears. We did have some new releases lined up which were intended to come out now, but these will be delayed until existing orders have shipped.

Imperial Skies
The Imperial Skies kickstarter ended just before Christmas, moving well past the initial target to reach four of the stretch goals for new ships. The ship date for pledges is April, and the hope is for us to have copies of the rulebook on the stand at Salute if at all possible. We have still to do the 3D design work for the four new models and will post updates on those as we go along.

15mm Science Fiction
The last of the old forces still to be replaced with new sculpts are the Chinese. This was supposed to have happened in 2015 but there simply wasn’t room in the schedule, however we hope to get them out in the first quarter of this year. Having said that, there is another rather exciting 15mm project in the works so it remains to be seen if we can do both or if the CDSU get pushed back a little.

We do already have masters for a number of new 15mm buildings ready for moulding, both additions to the existing ranges plus some completely new types.

Hut

Small Scale Scenery
Our first new releases of the year, when they finally appear, will be from this range, and will be further supplementing our selection of fortifications.

Sumter

We’ve also had requests for some more modern buildings so we’ll be adding post-war houses and apartment blocks to the range before long.

6mm Science Fiction
Our 6mm SF buildings continue to shift in large numbers, and there will continue to be additions to the selection of structures that we have on offer. We have ideas for further types as well as more in the style of the existing designs.

We’re going to update our range of 6mm figures – our current figures have served us very well but we’d like to widen the range of what we have available.

As far as 6mm vehicles go, we’re likely to see additions to the existing forces this year rather than any complete new armies.

Spaceships and Aeronef
For both of these ranges, we have a policy of slowly replacing older models with new sculpts. The priority is to tackle those models whose moulds need replacing – if we’re going to make a new mould then we might as well do it properly and update the model at the same time. One of the main spaceship fleets is likely to be entirely replaced with new models at some point in the year.

Shows
We should be attending all of the shows we went to last year, although one or two have been rescheduled slightly which should ease the congestion in the last third of the year. We’re also pleased to announce that we’ll be attending The Joy of Six in Sheffield which is, as the name suggests, a 6mm-themed event.

Jo6

Last Day of the Xmas Sale

Banner 2015

Exactly as says in the title, this is the last day of our Christmas sale. It’ll be ending at midnight GMT tonight, December 23rd.

On a positive note, I went back to work yesterday and started ploughing through the order backlog. I started on the UK orders and have done quite a few, which will all go in the post as soon as I’ve finished writing this. Although it’s very late, hopefully one or two might be delivered tomorrow. Today I’ll be working my way through the rest of them, and Phil will be joining me tomorrow morning for a Christmas Eve final blitz to clear as much as we can. However, looking at the blizzard of orders that came through last night there’s clearly no chance of us getting to end of the pile.

Finally, Robin’s Imperial Skies Kickstarter ended yesterday with a number of pledges in the final couple of days to take it over £7k. This means that we’re committing to producing four new capital ships models, one each for the Britain, France, USA and Germany. We’ll keep you up to date with how the design of those is going over the next 3-4 months before our target ship date of April 2016.

Last Chance to Reach for the (Imperial) Skies!

First up – I’m still feeling pretty poorly, although nothing like as bad as yesterday, so I hope to get back to work tomorrow and start ploughing through the order backlog.

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Secondly, and far more important, there are less than 24 hours remaining on RottenLead’s Imperial Skies Kickstarter. The project has already almost doubled its initial target, but we’re hoping that with a last day push it might reach £7k and the next stretch goal, the US Lexington battlecruiser – and Phil and I would really like to reach this goal, since we’ve come up with a cracking design for it !

Unclean!

Unclean

Sickness has struck Brigade Towers, with extremely poor timing as we’re in the middle of the Christmas rush. The poor Brigadieress has had the worst of it, but this week it’s finally got to me and I’ve been completely out of action since Monday. This has inevitably affected our attempts to get on with the sale orders, and we’re a long way behind where we wanted to be. So we must apologise to several people who enquired after their orders last week and were told that they’d ship by the end of this week – I’m afraid they haven’t. And anyone who’s emailed with queries, again we apologise for not getting back to you sooner. This is one of the unfortunate side-effects of being for the most part a one-man band – when sickness strikes, there’s no-one to cover for you. We will do our best to get as many orders out of the door as we can next week, as things stand we should be able to clear everything with just about enough leeway to allow for any additional orders that arrive before the end of the sale (which is just five days away, in case you’d forgotten…).

Since we have obviously prioritised the clearing of orders, what we’ve unfortunately lost is a lot of time that we were planning to use to design some new models. I had this grand idea of having at least two or even three month’s worth of new releases stashed away for the new year, but that’s not to be. However, we do have some bits ready – a large box of 3D prints arrived on Tuesday, and when I finally get it open I should be able to share some of the new items we have lined up for the start of 2016.

Happy Halloween !

Happy Halloween from The Brigadier !

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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