Back Under Pressure Again

Some good news at last – Chris the Blacksmith has finished the replacement parts for our pressure pot, so we’re back in resin-casting action again 😊

Fortunately there isn’t much of a backlog so most of it will be cleared today, there’s just one order I won’t be able to finish.

This is a good chance for a reminder about Crisis orders, there’s still time to get those in – I’ll be at the workshop on Thursday so any orders need to be in by that morning.

Crisis Averted

Crisis is the annual wargames show of the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp, held on the banks of the Scheldt in an old warehouse, Hangar Waagnatie (now part of our Small Scale Scenery range).

We’d been a little unsure about our attendance because of the uncertainties around Brexit, but it now looks like everything should be OK over the weekend of the show. So we’ve made all our travel and accommodation plans and, barring any unforeseen last-minute political shenanigans, we will be there.

We are happy as always to take advance orders, either pre-paid via the website using the ‘Collect in Person’ shipping option, or you can just email us a list and pay on the day (please note that we are unable to take credit cards at Crisis as our card machine only works in the UK).

  • Celtos – Decent stock of all individual figures, small unit packs and army packs
  • Aeronef/Imperial Skies – All of the most popular fleet packs (the major powers) but not the smaller nations; a good selection of individual capital ships in blisters; rulebooks and accessories for Imperial Skies.
  • Small Scale Scenery – the full range of all models
  • Spaceships – full range of fleet packs; no individual models except for new releases (we’re hoping to have the CDSU out by Crisis) unless per-ordered.
  • Hammer’s Slammers – rulebooks and accessories; the full range of 15mm models; latest 6mm releases as individual models; a selection of 6mm and 15mm detachment packs.
  • 15mm SF – full range of 15mm vehicles, figure packs and accessories; no buildings unless pre-ordered
  • 6mm SF – full range of army packs, company packs and building packs; no individual models unless pre-ordered
  • Great War Belgians – full range of figures
  • Magpie Miniatures – individual figures and packs
  • Squadron Commander – full range of blister packs; no individual models or starter packs unless pre-ordered
  • Crom’s Anvil – full range of figures
  • We will not be able to bring any 10mm SF, Iron Stars or Land Ironclads miniatures unless ordered in advance.

The End is in Sight

I’ve finally got the order queue is now down to manageable proportions, and I should clear pretty much all of it today (with a couple of exceptions – read on…).

Unfortunately, we’ve had a minor hiccup with one of our bits of equipment. The pressure pot, in which we cast the complicated and fiddly resin models, stripped a thread on one of the bolts that locks it shut, putting it out of action. Fortunately, we have a friendly blacksmith just along from us in the farmyard, and he reckons he can make a new set of bolts for it. This will take a week or so, which means the pot will be out of commission until then. I had finished most of the resin casting before the bolt failed, so there are only a couple of orders that will have to be delayed, and by a stroke of luck the last half-a-dozen orders to arrive had no resin items in them at all, and they will all be cleared today.

But this does mean that the release of the CDSU spaceships will be further delayed – there’s no point releasing them if I can’t cast the dreadnought hulls. Stay tuned for further updates…

A Short Extension

So, I’m back from Corfu with a hint of a suntan and a couple of guidebooks full of potential new models for the Small Scale Scenery range. Corfu Town has a fine example of a Vauban fort, so take what you will from that 🙂

I have come back to quite a backlog of orders – I’ve already done two solid days at the workshop and there are still many orders to clear.

Because of this, we’ve decided to hold back this week’s release temporarily, until the queue is cleared. We were supposed to be launching the new Chinese spaceships this morning, but we’ll hang on for a few days until we’re on top of things. However, before my holiday we managed to produce enough stock for SELWG, so if you’re coming to the show then you’ll be able to get your hands on some pre-release examples.

We’ll leave you with a preview of the Longzi and Jiangxi dreadnoughts before heading back to the centrifuge.

Astronauts and Heretics

New this week are these rather lovely, tiny astronauts. Sculpted by Martin Baker, these wee spacemen are the perfect occupants of our 6mm Moonbase.

I had a bit of fun painting up some samples in various styles. Left to right, we have conventional NASA spacesuits in plain white with a tiny dot of red on the sleeve representing the US flag; then we have some bright orange suits with yellow helmets, as seen in Space 1999; and finally, white with orange and black flashes and gold visors, à la The Martian.

The pack contains six identical sprues, each with four different figures, all cast in lead-free pewter. We’ll have stock of these at SELWG next weekend.

SF300-005 – Astronauts (x24) – £2.75

Holiday Time – Only Just

So, it’s holiday time at Brigade Towers again. Only just, as we were a victim of the collapse of Thomas Cook, but fortunately managed to salvage things. This year we’re off to one of the Greek Islands, Corfu, staying on the south-west corner of the island.

As always, the website will remain open for orders but nothing will get processed until I get back to the workshop on October 15th. All orders that arrived by lunchtime on Friday 4th have been processed and have been sent out, but any that arrived after that will now have to wait. I may be able to answer some queries during the week, but the wifi at the villa is apparently not great and anyway, I’d rather be reading a book by the pool than checking my emails!

I’ve left a new release for Friday as usual – although since that’s already been uploaded to the website you might be able to find it before then if you dig around.

Guardforce O’Higgins

Guardforce O’Higgins are, as their name might suggest, a mercenary unit that specialises in security and enforcement assignments.

Most of the Regiment-sized formation is made up of mechanised units trained in police actions or defensive scenarios. Because they are generally not deployed directly to the front line, the pay rates are commensurately lower than in other outfits who are often at the sharp end of a conflict. The quality of GFOH troops is, in the main, fairly average – in The Crucible they are rated merely as Trained. Behaviour has been an issue in the past – one company had to be completely disbanded at the orders of the Bonding Authority following a breakdown of discipline while on furlough.

Line units are split into Infantry and Armoured companies. The infantry ride in Brollachan tracked APCs – these are cheap and cheerful ‘battle-taxi’ types built on the drive train and powerplant of a commercial all-terrain explorer vehicle. The basic model carries a twin MG turret or a hatch with a pintle-mounted flechette gun, support versions have light missile systems.

The Armoured companies are mainly equipped with Fragarach light tanks carrying a wide variety of turret mounted weapons. The anti-tank vehicles have a pair of railguns, while an infantry support version has twin heavy gatlings instead. There are also light artillery, air defence and scout variants. The Fragarach has the same track units as the Brollachan but with uprated transmission and power plant.

The one exception is the Fianóglach. This is a Veteran, rapid reaction force equipped with HU-1 Perseus VTOLs, used as troubleshooters or to reinforce line companies at short notice. They are drawn from the best troops in the other line companies – which does nothing to help the standards in those units, but the increased pay and bragging rights does give the ordinary Guardforce grunt something to aim for.

The unusual blue-grey scheme of the vehicles pictured is used on assignments where the Guardforce is stationed in or near active civilian populations. It is felt that the non-military colour makes the vehicles less threatening and can help to quiet dissident elements amongst populations that may otherwise react badly to having foreign mercenaries patrolling their streets.

Both the Fragarach and Brollachan are available now from our website. Both are available with a number of different turret options beyond those shown here, which are illustrated on their respective pages.

HS15-3701 – Fragarach Light Tank – £8.00
HS15-3702 – Brollachan APC – £8.00

A Celtic SAGA

One of the wargaming phenomenons of recent years has been the SAGA range of rulebooks and supplements. SAGA is a skirmish game system, initially aimed at Dark Age warbands but more recently expanded to cover Vikings, Crusades and now fantasy games with the new Age of Magic sourcebook.

With the very kind permission of Studio Tomahawk and Gripping Beast, we’ve created a series of army packs suitable for use with the SAGA:Age of Magic ruleset. Under the rules these make up eight-point armies including a warlord and sorcerer. The packs have selectable options for the warlord and sorceror or champion, allowing you to customise your army. They represent great value, saving around 10% off the normal prices if bought separately.

SAGA-100 – Sidhe Army (Great Kingdoms) – £80.00
SAGA-300 – Gael Army (Lords of the Wild) – £80.00
SAGA-400 – Fomorian Army (The Horde) – £85.00
SAGA-500 – Fir Bolg Army (Undead Legions) – £75.00

A Mixed Bag

We have a new set of buildings in the Small Scale Scenery range today. We weren’t entirely sure what to call them – originally I had them down as ‘Commercial Buildings’, but not all of them are. So they’ve ended up with the rather unwieldy title of ‘Commercial and Utility Buildings’ – even that isn’t a perfect description, but anything longer won’t fit on the website!

What you get is a set of five buildings which are vital to any small town – a police station, fire station, small supermarket, petrol station and an electricity substation. There is also a separate larger supermarket model. All are post war buildings except for the electricity substation which is based on an old Victorian structure in London. Although you’ll find them under English Buildings (we had to put them somewhere) on the website, they would be suitable for use across Europe. I don’t know if continental fire stations have the drill towers that UK ones do, but it’s a separate part so you can always leave it off.

All are metal castings except the larger supermarket which is resin. This is based on a German prototype from Munich, but we found a number of near-identical supermarkets across Europe built to pretty much the same design, as far apart as Ireland and Corfu.

SSS-8144 – Commercial and Utility Buildings – £4.00
SSS-8145 – Supermarket – £2.50