Large scale Land Ironclad!

Occasionally here at Brigade Towers we’ve discussed the idea of upscaling some of our Land Ironclads models to a larger scale. Naturally these chats come to nothing for a plethora of reasons (mostly apathy it must be said).

Until now that is…..

Child number two, eldest son and heir has just turned ten and requested a birthday cake in the shape of a tank. Fantastic I thought. What sort of tank would a ten year old child like to have? Well obviously a Brigade Models Brunel war tractor of course.

Oddly enough the Brunel war tractor cake doesn’t seem to be commercially available (surely a massive gap in the confectionary market) so I had to make my own.

So after about three hours of cutting and icing she was finished.


I’ll admit I did cheat and bought the cake since I didn’t have time to do the baking. I also decided that trying to add scale rivets to a cake was a little too much as well.


In normal service British land ironclads would be painted either standard grey or a deep bronze green. However I decided to model mine in the “dress colours” as used on the vehicles that were involved in the celebrations for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.


And the most valuable lesson I learnt whilst making the cake? Don’t give in to your children and let them spend the evening baking cupcakes which means that you don’t start until nearly midnight. Making a cake until three in the morning is not particularly good idea. In fact its a very stupid idea.

And fortunately the small child seemed impressed with his cake. That’s lucky.



Elite: Dangerous

And now for something a little different……

If the picture below means anything to you then probably :-

– you’re in your forties

– you’re a little more round in the middle than you would like

– you owned a BBC Micro (or at least like me you had a father who bought one)

– you spent quite a bit of time playing arguably the best computer game ever – Elite

BBC Elite

And the reason for this nostalgic post? David Braben (one of the original creators of Elite along with Ian Bell) has a Kickstarter fundraiser running to enable a new version of this classic game to be produced.

The Kickstarter page is here and contains a lot of information about the game including gameplay videos, concept art and interviews. It currently has 11 days left to go and as I type still needs £313,062 to meet its target.

So what are you waiting for? If you want to re-live your youth then go and pledge some money. If you don’t want to re-live yours or you’re one of those disgustingly young people then pledge some money so I can re-live mine.

Elite Dangerous



It Was Christmas Eve, Babe, in the Gunk Tank*

* – with thanks (and apologies) to Kirsty Macoll and The Pogues.

We’ve shown you our Gunk Tank before – it’s where 3D printed models go to have the last vestiges of support wax and other associated by-products of the printing process stripped off of them. It’s nothing too sophisticated, just a glass jar (the largest one I could find) full of degreasing fluid. We just dump the models in there for 24 hours or so and it does a great job of cleaning the models and making them ready for moulding.

Our gunk tank has been very busy lately, cycling through lots of new models in preparation for a full-on barrage of new releases in 2013. Starting tomorrow, Christmas Day, we’ll be running our own Brigade ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ – a series of previews, one a day, of new stuff you can expect to see from us (mostly in the first part of the year). Don’t worry, I won’t be sitting blogging on Christmas Day, I’ll be enjoying my turkey with the Brigadieress and the rest of the family – through the wonders of WordPress scheduling we have the posts all lined up and written in advance, ready to be automatically published each morning. So check back when you have time, and enjoy the festive season 🙂


This blog is almost exclusively about wargames, shiny models etc – but today I’m going to beg your indulgence and highlight a good cause.

Movember is a charity aimed at raising funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and testicular cancer. The essential idea is that you don’t shave and instead grow a ‘tache for the month (hence Movember) and get yourself sponsored for looking like a pimp/spiv/wing commander (which is my aim).

My team is Headstrong (which is where I work to pay the bills – although Brigade is still growing, it doesn’t yet cover the mortgage) and this is me (I will try to find a decent progress-so-far photo soon).

It’s a bit of a laugh (it helps to be in a team rather than doing it solo) and hopefully we’re doing some good at the same time. And if anyone wants to donate a pound or two to help us along, so much the better.

Back to normal programming tomorrow – the PacFed tanks are coming out of there degreasing bath in a little while so I’ll be able to photograph them.

Never Look a Gift Horse …

Firstly, it would seem from the number of hits we got yesterday and the day before that our new 15mm models have attracted some interest ! Tuesday was the most hits we’ve ever had in a day, mostly looking at our news of progress (at last !) and the PacFed 15mm designs (the prints for which are due to arrive tomorrow, so expect a post on those as soon as I rip open the box !).

Anyway, onto the main point of this post. Christmas is a-coming, so I’m sure everyone is thinking of what they can get for that special wargamer in their lives. Well, we’ve tried to make that difficult decision a little easier with the launch of our Brigade Models Gift Vouchers. These are backed by PayPal, and can be e-mailed or printed and sent to the recipient. They are available in a variety of denominations from £5 up to £500.

Sample Gift Voucher

We’ll probably try to come up with something a bit exciting looking pretty soon, the default PayPal gift voucher is a bit dull …

Collect at Show Shipping Option

We’ve added another shipping option – this time it’s a ‘Collect in Person’ option, which essentially means no postage charges. Use this if you want to place an order for a show through the website, pay by credit card or PayPal and then pick it up on the day.

Unfortunately it’s come online a bit too late for Crisis, but in the absence of a website option you’re still more than welcome to come along on Saturday and thrust wads of Euro notes into our hands in return for tanks, spaceships, Sidhe warriors etc.

Busy bees ….

Phil and I spent all day at the workshop – we were supposed to be casting stock for SELWG, but in the end it took all day to clear the outstanding sale orders. But the extremely good news is that all of the metal casting for the orders is done, and there are about half-a-dozen orders left on the table that need one or two items of resin. The first batch will go in the post tomorrow morning (all those that will fit in a post box), the rest of the completed ones that I brought home today will go the post office on Wednesday (once I’ve asked the Brigadieress very nicely to take quite a few kilos of metal and resin there on her day off …). We anticipate that everything should ship within the next 7-10 days, including all orders received since the sale.

We have another full day scheduled tomorrow (well, it beats working), so we have to cram what we anticipated to be two days’ worth of casting into one. The upshot of all of this is that we will do our best to carry as much stock as possible to the show, but we may only have small numbers of some items or the less popular items may have no stock at all. Stock of the new 15mm buildings has been hit hard, and we’re also short of some codes of the 6mm range. Although we’ll try to cast up as much as possible, there’s a limit to the amount of resin casting we can manage – the resin takes a certain amount of time to set, and there’s nothing that can be done to speed the process up.

Of course, if you want something from us at a show that we don’t have, if you pay for it on the day then we’ll send it to you post free as soon as we get back to the workshop.

Some news on the Scandinavian ‘nef too – not all of the new masters came out of the mould properly (there was the odd bent funnel), so we may not have the full range of ten models, but there will certainly be a good number of them.

Right, off to bed – this manual labour lark is very hard work for someone who usually sits at a desk !

Whilst the cat is away……

Ok so this is a fairly shameless excuse to get a picture of one my cats on the internet.

However the wife is going away for five whole days to Snowdonia with some friends so naturally I’m taking time off work to enjoy time on my own in the house. Even allowing for the fact that I have to take the sprogs to and from school each day I will get around thirty hours in the house on my own. I don’t think I’ve had that much time on my own at home since 1998.

So my plan is to spend as much time as possible making new masters, cleaning up models for moulding and doing general Brigade stuff. I’m aiming to post the results of each day in the evening. Not sure what I’ll make – there aren’t any firm plans at the moment.

That’s the idea anyway. I’ve got a stack of DVD’s that I don’t normally get to watch lined up, a fresh supply of plastic card and a pile of chocolate to fortify me.

Of course I might simply sit and play Diablo III…..