Lifting and Shifting

We’re still very busy with orders currently – which is great, keep ’em coming! We’re turning them round as fast as possible, usually within 2-3 days, but then you’re in the hands of the various postal services. UK post is generally fine, some first class mail can take longer than usual (2-3 days) but the majority is still getting there next day. Overseas is a different matter. Mail to Europe seems to be about 7-14 days, so slightly longer than usual, but not excessively so. It’s a different matter further afield, however; to the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, which are our most common destinations, 4-5 weeks is the norm, and 8-9 weeks is not uncommon (a customer has just told us of one package that arrived yesterday having been posted on March 30th). Everything is arriving, just late – we haven’t yet had to claim for a missing package this year. Patience is the key…

Next we have some show news; not unexpectedly, our next two planned shows, Joy of Six and Hereward, have been cancelled for this year. Neither are being rescheduled, so the next editions of both will be in 2021.

Onto some new releases. Because of workload I’ve been adjusting our release schedule a bit – I have a big batch of 15mm models (the last of our Salute lineup) that I’d like to get out, but I don’t seem to be able to find any time to build up stock in advance of releasing them. So instead we have some more 2mm items in the Small Scale Scenery range, stock of which is rather easier to manage!

First up is the largest piece, a railway turntable with a six-bay engine shed. It all comes cast as a single resin piece with the exception of the rotating track in the centre, which is metal.

Sticking on the track, we have these tiny railway cranes which come four to a pack.

And finally, more cranes but this time of the dockyard variety. Again there are four in a pack, two each of two types. I’ve made a mini layout with one of our resin jetty pieces and some dock warehouses.

SSS-8148 – Dockside Cranes (x4) – £2.00
SSS-8149 – Railway Cranes (x4) – £1.50
SSS-8158 – Railway Turntable – £3.00

A New Age in Luxury Travel

Peter Hunt recently sent us some pictures of the Civilian Airfield set painted up, which we thought were great and well worth sharing. We’ll let him take over from here, the rest of the words are his…

Here in Danubia we pride ourselves at being at the cutting edge of technological developments and so the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits is pleased to announce the opening of the new Danubia International Airport (DIA).

Having successfully tested the concept at Shoreham-by-Sea, a rather fly-blown site on the south coast of England outside Brighton, DIA combines the latest in Art Deco design, the highest standards of aircraft control and maintenance, and a fully integrated transport interchange facility.

Shoreham-by-Sea: the hangers and Terminal Building
Shoreham-by-Sea: The landing field and railway access.

Whereas Shoreham was served by a branch line of The Southern Railway, DIA is situated on the Orient Express Main Line from Venice Simplon to Strambul. As you can see below the vastly improved DIA provides direct access between the Orient Express and the Lufthansa service to Wien, Dresden and Berlin; the Swissair service to Geneva and Bern, (Change there for Grand Fenwick;) the Imperial Airways services west to Blighty or south and east to Athens, Alexandria, Cairo and Points South, or Beirut, Baghdad, and Points East; or Lao Che Air Freight chartered service to anywhere you want, anytime you like, no questions asked, strictly cash only, in advance, reasonable rates for combat zones negotiable.

DIA: with the Orient Express just pulling in to transfer passengers to a slightly quicker, if less reliable, safe and comfortable trip from Danubia to all of Europe and beyond.
DIA: The Lufthansa JU 52 has just taken off, the Swissair Dragon Rapide (out of picture,) will be arriving soon, on the apron are an HP 51 and Avro 618 Ten of Imperial Airways, and Lai Che Air Freight’s Ford Trimotor.

If you need onward air connections from the Orient Express just see the concierge in the club car and he will be pleased to arrange bookings and additional insurance for you.

Yours, As Ever,

Early Slammin’

Today sees the release of the 6mm versions of the M6 Combat Car, used by the Slammers Regiment in its early years before being replaced by the M9 series. These have already been seen in 15mm (that link has a lot more background on the early Slammers vehicles), now it’s the turn of the smaller scale. There are five differently armed variants, along with a version with the roof shutters closed. They fit perfectly alongside the early version M2 blower tanks.

We also have 6mm versions of Guardforce O’Higgin’s Fragarach light tank and Brollachan APC, which snuck onto the website by stealth earlier this year but haven’t officially been announced yet.

HS6-116 – M6 Combat Car – £1.00
HS6-116a – M6A5 Support Car – £1.00
HS6-116b – M6A7 Mortar Car – £1.00
HS6-116c – M6A8 Buzzbomb Car – £1.00
HS6-116d – M6A9 Missileer Car – £1.00
HS6-116e – M6 (Closed Roof) – £1.00

HS6-3701 – RT-14 Fragarach Light Tank – £1.00
HS6-3702 – RT-15 Brollachan APC – £1.00

Back in Stock

A box unexpectedly turned up at Brigade Towers the other day with a restock of Starmada Unity rulebooks, so we’ve been able to restore that to the website again.

That is all.

STAR-005 – Starmada Unity – £20.00

Delays, delays…

First, a status update – after last weeks flood of orders for the new 6mm monorail, we’re a bit behind on those. All other orders up to Thursday shipped out this morning, plus a good number of ones including monorails, so we’re able to keep up with anything non-train related. And all of the other casting for the outstanding ones has been done, so as soon as we can get monorails cast, those orders will ship too. The problem (besides us massively underestimating the demand for them) is that resin casting is inherently slow – because there’s a 30-40 minute wait for resin to cure, there’s only so many that can be produced in a day, even with multiple moulds. It didn’t help that the first set of moulds has already been worn out (the life on resin moulds is surprisingly short, it can be as few as 25-30 castings) so we’ve already had to make new sets and will probably have to do so again next week. We’ve temporarily taken the monorail off the website until we catch up, which will be in a week or so.

However, since we’re on top of all the other orders, we think it’s safe to put out another couple of new models this week. We have two new Squadron Commander fighters ready to go – the first is for the Polish spacefleet, of which nothing has been seen until now. It’s a rather retro design called the Rokita, which is a Polish folk devil.

The second is a new model for the British – again it’s a slightly retro design called the Valkyrie, with a twin boom tail reminiscent of 1950’s fighters such as the Vampire and Venom (hence our choice of a ‘V’ name too).

Both are available singly, or in flights of 4.

Both models are initially discounted by 7.5%, and for each sale we’ll also donate the same amount to HEROES, a charity set up to help frontline NHS staff as they battle the Covid-19 outbreak. This will run until June 5th. So far we’ve raised over £150 from the sales of our new releases, so thanks to goes everyone who’s contributed.

SCR-103 – Valkyrie – £2.50 £2.31
SCP-103 – Valkyrie Flight – £9.00 £8.32
SCR-1301 – Rokita – £2.50 £2.31
SCR-1301 – Rokita Flight – £9.00 £8.32

Business Not As Usual

It’s OK, we haven’t got it 🙂

However, the response to the release of the 6mm monorail last week was completely unprecedented. Although we had produced what we thought was plenty of stock in advance, this was all gone in no time at all and we’re looking at a mountain of outstanding orders.

So the upshot is that there might be a bit of a delay (a few days) in getting all of this weekend’s orders out, especially if you’ve ordered any monorail pieces. We’ll be making some extra sets of moulds to allow us to cast more quickly, but there’s still a finite limit to how many resin pieces we can cast at a time.

We were planning another small release today (there they are below) and another major one at the end of the week, but they will go on hold until we get the backlog cleared. It’ll be quiet on the blog this week…

One final update – so far we’ve collected and donated £135 to the HEROES charity from funds raised through the sale of our recent new releases, and we still have several more weeks to go. So a big Thank You needs to go out to everyone who’s contributed to this total in any way.

The Age of the Train

So this is one of our favourite pieces this year, and would have been one of the centrepieces of our Salute releases. It’s a 6mm scale Monorail set, with both surface and elevated track (and ramps to switch between the two), a station and four different types of wagon.

There’s a starter set with eight pieces of surface track (over five feet in length) plus a five-car passenger train. There are also pre-packed passenger and freight trains, extra track packs and all of the wagons are available separately.

The monorail sets are initially discounted by 7.5%, and for each sale we’ll also donate the same amount to HEROES, a fund set up to help frontline NHS staff as they battle the Covid-19 outbreak. This will run until May 29th.

BP300-1100 – Monorail Starter Pack – £15.00 £13.88
B300-1101 – Monorail Track (x4) – £5.00 £4.62
B300-1102 – Elevated Track (x4) – £7.00 £6.47
B300-1103 – Monorail Desert Station – £7.50 £6.94
B300-1104 – Ramps (x2) – £8.00 £7.40
B300-1120 – Passenger Train – £6.50 £6.01
B300-1121 – Freight Train – £9.25 £8.56
B300-1130 – Engines (x2) – £3.00 £2.78
B300-1131 – Passenger Cars (x2) – £3.00 £2.78
B300-1132 – Freight Wagons (x2) – £3.00 £2.78
B300-1133 – Flat Cars (x2) – £3.00 £2.78
B300-1134 – Tanker Wagons (x2) – £3.00 £2.78

Italian Airships

Three new Aeronef are launched over the clear blue Mediterranean skies today, increasing the reach of the Regia Aeronautica. They are all twin-hulled dirigibles in the style of the old Carlo Alberto model*. Leading the way is the Regina Elena class battleship, which carries a twin-turret over each of its hulls. The larger Cigno Nero class fighter carrier has a flight deck slung between the hulls with hangar space beneath and a multitude of defensive gun turrets. The third vessel is the Dardo class destroyer, designed for long range escort missions.

These models are initially discounted by 7.5%, and for each sale we’ll also donate the same amount to HEROES, a fund set up to help frontline NHS staff as they battle the Covid-19 outbreak. This will run until May 22nd.

VAN-1810 – Regina Elena class Battleship – £7.50 £6.94
VAN-1811 – Cigno Nero class Carrier – £10.00 £9.25
VAN-1812 – Dardo class Destroyer – £2.50 £2.31

* – the Dardo was meant to be a redesign of the Carlo Alberto, but due to a terrible miscalculation of scale the master ended up being quite a bit smaller than the original. So instead we’ve made it into a new vessel altogether and a new Carlo will be forthcoming later in the year, along with a new fleet pack made up of the Italian dirigibles. It least it wasn’t swallowed by a small dog…

The Sultan of Swing

Joining the Ottoman aerial navy today is our latest Aeronef release – a new version of the Sultan Selim battlecruiser. This original Sultan Selim was bought from Germany and refitted by the Turks, and the design has since been copied and built in the great Aeronef yards on Turkey’s Black Sea coast. The vessels are often grouped in fast Battlecruiser Squadrons which the Turks use to outflank enemy fleets, pinning them until the slower main fleet elements arrive.

The Sultan Selim joins the other Turkish Nef we released a few weeks ago – formerly known as the Abdül Aziz, we’ve had to rename it the Constantinople class. It appears that the name Abdül Aziz throws up all sorts of red flags within PayPal – every time someone orders one of these, the payment is held back while it’s checked to make sure we aren’t funding terrorist organisations or sending money to banned countries ! So to avoid more delays like this, it just seemed safer to rename the model…

The Sultan Selim is discounted by 7.5% (53p), and for each sale we’ll also donate the same amount to HEROES, a fund set up to help frontline NHS staff as they battle the Covid-19 outbreak. This will run until May 22nd – so far we’ve raised over £50 from our new releases. And this is a good time to remind you that the discount/fundraiser for our Small Scale Scenery releases (Oil Tanks, Tower Blocks and Vauban Fortifications) end this week.

VAN-2002 – Sultan Selim class Battlecruiser – £7.00 £6.47

More 1/700th Coastal Forts

First – a reminder that the launch offer on the first of our not-Salute releases, the Schleswig-Holstein and Abdul Aziz Aeronef, expires today (although exactly when it comes off the website may depend on exactly when I get a chance to do the update). So you have less than 24 hours left to save yourself a few pence on the model and also contribute to the HEROES NHS fundraiser.

A change of pace with our releases this week. We launched the first few models in a new range of 1/700th Coastal Fortifications earlier this year, and they’ve gone down well enough to make it worth producing some more. We had three new items lined for the show, and they’ve hit the website today.

The largest is Fort Boyard, a Napoleonic-era edifice not far from the French arsenal at Rochefort. It ended up being a bit of a white elephant, as construction took so long that it was obsolete by the time it was completed. Nowadays it’s more famous for the TV gameshow of the same name filmed there since the 90s.

To the front right of the photo we have three assorted defensive towers from the coast of Menorca, similar in design to Martello towers. Like Fort Boyard, these have been scaled up from our Small Scale Scenery range, although in this case we’ve taken advantage of the larger size and added guns to the roofs.

Front left of the picture are two diminutive Guernsey Loophole Towers. Fifteen of these were built at the end of the C.18th to help defend the coast of the channel island from the French. Many were still around during the German occupation in WW2, and some were modified and used as machine-gun bunkers.

These models are initially discounted by 7.5%, and for each sale we’ll also donate the same amount to HEROES, a fund set up to help frontline NHS staff as they battle the Covid-19 outbreak. This will run until May 15th.

B700-038 – Fort Boyard – £8.00
B700-082 – Menorca Towers (x3) – £3.50
B700-158 – Guernsey Towers (x2) – £1.00