We Can Be Heroes

Regular Brigade watchers will know that we like to go all out each year for Salute, with an array of releases across our various ranges. This year was no different, with loads of shiny new models ready to roll. But, thanks to circumstances beyond everyone’s control, it’s not to be this time. We were all dressed up, but there’s nowhere to go.

So we’re going to roll the releases out onto the website over the next few weeks, with most weeks featuring two or even three items or sets of items. We had also hit on the idea of running a promotion for each one, with 15% off the new models for the first three weeks after release; that’s the same discount level we normally offer during our Christmas sale. But then we had a rethink and thought better of it.

Instead, we’re only going to offer you half the discount – 7.5% – off the new releases; the other 7.5% we’ve decided to give to HEROES, an organisation set up to support NHS workers. We have no idea what this will amount to – sales of new items are impossible to predict, some fly off the shelves immediately while others are slow burners (and some just don’t sell!). Even if we just donate a tenner, it’s something – but we hope we can do far better than that.

The releases will start later this week; with each one we’ll let you know how long it’ll be on offer, and warn you when they’re about to expire.

As a treat, and to get you in the mood, here’s one of the greatest songs ever written…

Federation Fighters

This week we have four new sets of fleet scale fighters in our spaceship range; two South African and two PacFed. If we can be entirely candid for a moment, there as much for our benefit as yours, since both the old Petrel and Sea Wasp were tricky to cast so these new moulds will make life easier for us 🙂

The South Africans get a new version of the Petrel and a new model, the Hamerkop, a larger version of which has already appeared in the Squadron Commander range.

The Pacific Federation meanwhile gets an updated Sea Wasp, plus the new, diminutive Weta light interceptor.

We’ve crammed a lot of detail into these tiny (<10mm long) models - here's a closeup of the Petrel (these are metal castings, not 3D prints).

Each pack contains 12 individual fighter models – we now cast them on sprues as it makes handling easier (for you and us). The carrier packs of both factions have been updated so they now carry a mix of the new models. The fighter stands aren’t included but are available separately.

SFS-660 – Petrel class Fighter (x12) – £1.50
SFS-661 – Hamerkop class Heavy Interceptor (x12) – £1.50
SFS-760 – Sea Wasp class Attack Fighter (x12) – £1.50
SFS-761 – Weta class Light Interceptor (x12) – £1.50

Still Standing #2

After further measures were announced by Boris Johnson yesterday evening, we thought we’d post a further update.

The Brigade workshop is pretty isolated, being situated on a farm. There are usually only a handful of other people working there in different units, none of whom are close to us, and we both get there by car so don’t need to interact with anyone else. Tony is the only one who will be working there, Phil only needs to pop in occasionally and will do this out of hours. Based on this, we feel it’s safe to keep the workshop up and running without endangering either ourselves or anyone else. However, we will be reducing the frequency of visits to the workshop to a minimum to process outstanding orders.

Post Offices remain open, so we will still be able to send orders. But we will be reducing our post runs to once or twice a week.

All of this, combined with some understandable lag in the postal service as they deal with a number of staff being absent, means that it may take a little longer for your orders to get to you. We will get them out as fast as we can, but please be patient if it’s a little slower than normal.

On a lighter note…

We recently highlighted the Brigada Independência, an elite Hammer’s Slammers unit. They have unique dual-feed infantry support weapons, and we’ve made those available on the Cobra’s own page on the website.

HS15-753e – Dual-Feed Support Teams (x2) – £3.50

Shoreham by the Sea

Right, the release schedule has been rewritten (mostly I just threw it all up in the air and noted where it landed) and we’re starting today with something from the early age of commercial air travel.

We had a request for some Civilian Airfield buildings in the Small Scale Scenery to go alongside the existing military ones. The oldest licensed civilian airfield in the UK, dating from 1910, is Shoreham. It has a very distinctive 1930s art deco terminal building which has starred in a number of films (search for it and you’ll find pictures of it dressed up in swastikas!).

Before WW2 the airport itself consisted of three buildings – the terminal building, a large 2-arch hangar and a small shed (presumably used as workshops). This photo shows the layout perfectly (I would include the photo here but I couldn’t find any copyright information so I’ve linked to it instead).

During the War the airfield was used by the RAF and was home to various aircraft including Lysanders, Spitfires, Hurricanes and Defiants. The main hanger was badly damaged in one Luftwaffe attack, losing the outer skin, but the framework survived and it was restored post-war.

Since 1945 the airfield has expanded and has a number of additional hangars and light industrial units, but the original three buildings are still there.

Our set consists of the three 1930s buildings cast in resin.

SSS-8157 – 1930s Civilian Airport – £4.00

No Show #3

Well, it was probably inevitable, but Salute is off 🙁

Not an easy decision for the organisers, but inevitable in the current situation. It’s not a good year for shows, that’s already three gone of our planned nine events. And not great for small companies like us, as Salute represents a sizeable chunk of our show income for the year. But the Warlords deserve credit for calling it off sooner rather than leaving it to the last minute, and they’ve also rolled everyone’s stand fees over to the 2021 event (already booked in for 17th April). At least we haven’t incurred any other losses – we’re close enough that we don’t need to use hotels, and we hadn’t yet hired a van. There are other companies that will have taken more of a hit than us, and not just the smaller ones.

And we’d got all these new releases lined up, pretty much ready to go ! So expect to see lots of shiny new stuff from us in the next few weeks, across most of the ranges. Although first I will have to go away and rewrite the release schedule to fit them all in somehow…

Still Standing

We’ve had several enquiries about whether or not we’re still open and able to ship orders, given the current COVID-19 situation – the answer to that is an emphatic yes. All the while we have supplies of metal and resin (we’re currently good for a couple of months) we can continue to produce models, and as long as the post offices and postal service are running then we can ship them.

The workshop is isolated and only really accessed by one person (Tony) on a day to day basis, so there is no reason to shut that down for the moment. Obviously the one thing that will bring us to a halt is if he develops any symptoms and needs to stop working – but we’ll update the website in that event.

As things stand, Salute is still going ahead at ExCel in just under five weeks, and we’re continuing to stock up and get lots of new models ready for release at the show. That may change depending on new government advice or instructions – we suggest you keep an eye on the Warlords’ website for updates (and of course we’ll post any relevant news here).

For the moment, it’s business as usual.

One further bright spot – we’ve just received a box of Imperial Skies rulebooks, so that’s available from the website again.

New German Escorts

Today it’s the turn of the Kaiser’s aerial navy to get an upgrade. All of our German Aeronef destroyers, frigates and patrol craft are being replaced, and we’ve taken the opportunity to sneak in a new model as well.

The Seydlitz winged Dig Gunboat has been beefed up with a larger fuselage, while the larger Brandenburg dig destroyer comes in two variants with different gondolas.

The new model is the Frauenlob class AA destroyer, equipped with three triple AA turrets amidships – seen below next to the new Karlsruhe destroyer leader model.

The VA-7 and SA-15 have been reclassified as frigates, and the DA-19 torpedo frigate also gets an upgrade.

At the bottom end of the size scale, the TA-127 torpedo Nef and BA-97 patrol Nef now come in strips of three models (at the same price per model).

There are three flotilla packs available – escort, dig escort and torpedo – all containing the new models.

VANFP-311 – German Escort Flotilla – £9.00
VANFP-312 – German Torpedo Squadron – £4.50
VANFP-313 – German Dig Escort Flotilla – £10.00
VAN-302 – Seydlitz class Dig Gunboat – £1.25
VAN-304 – VA-7 class Frigate – £1.00
VAN-305 – SA-15 class Frigate – £1.00
VAN-308 – TA-127 class Torpedo Nef (x3) – £1.50
VAN-309 – Brandenburg class Dig Destroyer – £2.75
VAN-311 – Karlsruhe class Destroyer – £2.00
VAN-313 – BA-97 Patrol Nef (x3) – £1.50
VAN-315 – DA-19 class Torpedo Frigate – £1.00
VAN-327 – Frauenlob class AA Destroyer – £2.25

And in case anyone missed it yesterday, we’re back up and running after a two day hiatus for machinery repairs.

Houston, that’s a go!

Just a brief note to say that the centrifuge is back up and running again – I’m now going full tilt to clear the small order backlog that has built up (which might take until early next week).

It must be nearly Salute again…

For us, it seems that a defining characteristic of an impending show is that some vital bit of kit will fail (ie the centrifuge motor failing a couple of days before Salute 2018…).

The centrifuge is ailing again – the speed controller has given up the ghost and needs to be replaced. A new one is on order and should be here Friday – in theory at least this is a relatively simple bit of kit and easy to install (three wires need soldering). But it stopped production at lunchtime yesterday, halfway through the weekend’s orders – if you’ve placed an order since last Thursday then it may be delayed a few days. I did manage to complete a number of small orders that were in stock or were all resin parts. Watch this space for updates…

Micro Miscellany

Today’s new release is a mix of new 6mm models in the Hammer’s Slammers range – models that have already been released in 15mm and are now making the move down to our smaller scale.

Ander’s Legion get four new support vehicles to complete their ToE. The Machete AA vehicles are based on the chassis of the Rapier heavy tank and come in two variants – one with four tri-barrel powerguns, the other with twin rapid fire lasers and Manta missiles.

The Legion also gets the Kopis Recce vehicle with an open turret mounting twin lasers, and the Astrapi AA variant mounting the same weapons in a high-speed ball mount.

The Slammers regiment themselves get two new variants of the Icarus M2 blower tank. The M2A1 version has a smaller turret than the ubiquitous M2A4 version but still mounts the 20cm powergun. The experimental M2A3 carries a heavy ruby laser in the same small turret; this variant wasn’t adopted by the Slammers but saw service in the Neu Friesland army. The two vehicles pictured below are in the silver/black parade colours of the NF Iron Brigade.

HS6-111d – M2A1 Blower Tank – £1.50
HS6-111f – M2A3 Laser Blower Tank – £1.50
HS6-3611a – Machete P/4 with tri-barrels – £1.25
HS6-3611b – Machete LM/2 with laser/missile system – £1.25
HS6-3613 – Kopis Recce Vehicle – £1.00
HS6-3613a – Astrapi AA Vehicle – £1.00