The Last, Best Hope

After a false start (I made a mistake on the original master…), this week we have a new addition to our spaceships range, the Argos space station. It has a cylindrical resin main hull with four metal solar panels, two either side. The station is unarmed (or at least has no visible weaponry), but you can add some from our various spaceship turret packs if you’re after something with a bit more offensive power.

It would make a great objective for a game of Full Thrust or Starmada, or as a installation in A Billion Suns.

SFS-6008 – Argos Space Station – £15.00

Ersatzteile

With the release of the German battleship and battlecruisers recently, we have some useful metal parts from those models that we’re making available as an accessory set. Each set has a pair of heavy twin guns, two pairs of solar side panels, two different bridges and a vertical fin. We’ll only be selling these as a set, so please, no requests for twenty pairs of Pomerania guns – we won’t be able to do that.

SFS-395 – German Capital Ship Parts – £2.50

Culture Vulture

This week we have another assortment of Small Scale Scenery releases – two from the UK, and another pair from over the channel in France – all with a slight air of culture to them.

Starting up north with the largest building, we have the rather grand Glasgow People’s Palace. Opened in 1898, it was intended as a cultural centre for the East End of the city, which at the time was an overcrowded and deprived neighbourhood. After the 1940s it was used as a museum of social history, but it’s currently closed as the huge greenhouse area is considered unsafe.

Moving a long way south, we alight in Brigade’s home town of Maidstone. The subject is one of Phil’s old haunts, Springfield Library, which is sadly no more. The distinctive tower block with its ten-sided reading room overlooked the town for almost fifty years, but like pretty much every other interesting site in the country, it’s due to be turned into a housing estate 🙁

Finally we move over the water to La Belle France, with a pair of small chateaux. On the left is the Chateau de Morbecque at Hazebrouck. This was owned in 1914 by Baroness Ernest de la Grange. She made it available as a base for the RNAS armoured car squadron under Commander Sampson during the Great War. The second is the Chateau de Cherimont. This was the family home of Lt Charles Henkart – he was a pioneer of armoured cars in the Belgian army (or indeed any army). He was killed in early September 1914. Both of the chateau still exist – Morbecque is now a restaurant and Cherimont is an activity centre.

SSS-8188 – Glasgow People’s Palace – £4.00
SSS-8189 – Springfield Library – £2.00
SSS-8190 – Small French Chateaux (x2) – £2.00

And yes, we know that we’ve listed the People’s Palace under ‘English Buildings’ – but retitling that section to ‘British’ would break a lot of website links, so it’ll have to live among the Sassenachs for now.

This World of Water

Some time ago someone commented on Facebook asking why many/most sci-fi wargames buildings seem to be desert themed. He has a point, and I won’t pretend that we’re not guilty of this – we have three main desert themed building ranges (although it must be said in our defence that they outsell all our other sci-fi building ranges collectively). In case you hadn’t already worked it out, the answer to the Facebook poster’s original question is, of course, ‘Tatooine’ (which I’m sure he knew).

But we’re always on the lookout to do something different – the Moonbase set is always popular, as are the advanced buildings (both of which we really need to expand). And today we’re moving into a completely new environment with the release of the Deep Ocean Research Centre (or DORC if you prefer). This series of buildings sits on platforms above the surface of a newly discovered planet’s fathomless oceans, where the inhabitants perform whatever research-type things that marine scientists do. The initial offering has six different structures but we already have ideas for more, so don’t be surprised if others appear. We have a small accommodation platform, a research lab platform, VTOL landing pad, desalination plant, workshop/utility platform and command centre to start off with. There is also a set of small connecting walkways to allow easy access between platforms. This being a sci-fi setting, there are naturally no handrails.

Of course you don’t necessarily need to use these on the water – they could be placed in a hostile land environment such as a jungle, where the buildings need to be raised up from the jungle floor to deter predators.

The buildings and platforms are cast as single resin pieces, while the metal legs fit into gaps around the platform edge. A couple of the larger buildings have separate metal aerials or radars. For access, some legs have ladders moulded on, while the VTOL platform comes with a ramp. A set of extra legs is also available separately if you wanted to scratchbuild your own models.

BP300-1201 – DORC Starter Pack – £16.50
B300-1201 – Small Accommodation Platform – £2.00
B300-1202 – Research Lab Platform – £3.00
B300-1203 – VTOL Landing Platform – £2.00
B300-1204 – Desalination Plant – £2.00
B300-1205 – Workshop/utility Platform – £3.00
B300-1206 – Command Centre – £4.00
B300-1250 – Walkways (x6) – £2.50
B300-1251 – Spare Legs (x12) – £5.00

And credit is due to Geek Villain, the models were photographed on one of their superb fleece Pacific sea mats.

Baroque Grandeur

Today’s releases are a trio of fortresses and castles, at opposite ends of the size scale. Most impressive is the massive Castle Krzyżtopór (not the easiest pronunciation for a non-Polish speaker), a huge baroque pile in Ujazd, southern Poland. It was built in the mid-17th century (the exact dates seem uncertain) by a nobleman, Krzysztof Ossoliński. It was captured by the Swedes and ransacked in 1655, and so badly ravaged that it was not deemed worthy of repairs. Several noble families occupied the least-damaged areas, but it was ultimately abandoned in 1787. Nevertheless, it has stood, slowly crumbling, for over two centuries since then. The buildings of the castle stand within a high wall with five huge bastions, which Phil pointed out resembled a turtle from above (!). Our model depicts the castle in its original splendour, rather than as it is now.

Rather more modestly proportioned is Nehaj Fortress, in Senj, Croatia. A fairly simple square tower design, it was finished in 1558 as a defence against the marauding Ottomans.

Finally on our castle mini-break, we come to the Forte de Nossa Senhora de Monte Serrat, a small fort in Salvador, Brazil. Don’t confuse it with the much larger fortress in Portugal of the same name, as I nearly did when writing this up… It dates from 1583, and is built in the shape of an irregular hexagon. Other than that, it seems to have little service history, but it’s a nice design. Oh, and it should be painted white, not bare stone as I’ve depicted it.

SSS-8185 – Krzyztopor Castle – £12.00
SSS-8186 – Nehaj Fortress – £2.00
SSS-8187 – Forte de Nossa Senhora de Monte Serrat – £2.00

Surgeon General Update

We’ve just made our first donation to the Macmillan Cancer Support charity, money raised from the sale of models in the Surgeon General range which we set up at the end of last year.

We’re really pleased with this start – and the range is a permanent fixture, so the models will continue to raise money. Don’t forget that we added two new models to the range last week, the Naib and Aamir ambulances for our 15mm Sincanmo Federation.

Desert Ambulances

Our 15mm Sincanmo Federation Dune Buggies came out at the end of last year, with over a dozen vehicles in three configurations. Today we have some new options, including a couple that fall under our Surgeon General fundraiser range.

The first two are 6×6 and half-track ambulances with fully enclosed rear cabs. They could also be used as command vehicles or troop carriers if you wish. 50% of the ex-VAT sale price of each model sold will be donated to the Macmillan Cancer Support charity.

Accompanying these is a new version of the Qaadi 4×4 with three different equipment options – a twin buzzbomb launcher, mortar or recovery crane.

HS15-2902d – Naib 6×6 Ambulance – £7.00
HS15-2903d – Aamir Half-track Ambulance – £7.00
HS15-2904d – Qaadi 4×4 Buzzbomb Car – £6.00
HS15-2904e – Qaadi 4×4 Mortar Carrier – £6.00
HS15-2904f – Qaadi 4×4 Recovery – £6.25

Teutonic Battlewagons

New this week are three German spaceships, replacements for older models. The new versions all have resin hulls with metal parts, so are easy to assemble and base.

The three ships are the Magdeburg battleship and the Dortmund and Thüringen battlecruisers, which join the existing Pomerania dreadnought and Zugspitze carrier. Each can be found in one of the three German Squadron packs; the Magdeburg is in the Fleet Pack, the Dortmund in the Patrol Group and the Thüringen (two of them) in the Heavy Squadron.

SFS-301 – Magdeburg class Battleship – £6.00
SFS-302 – Dortmund class Battlecruiser – £5.50
SFS-303 – Thüringen class Battlecruiser – £6.00

Hanseatic Harbour

Today we have a themed set of releases for one of Europe’s major trading centres, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. The port sits at the end of the Elbe estuary, and is probably 50 or so kilometres from the North Sea. The river is a good kilometre or more wide until it reaches the city, making it an ideal sheltered anchorage.

Phil has created five buildings from the city in our 1/1000th Small Scale Scenery range of various types and sizes. First is the Kaispeicher B Warehouse, a huge Gothic building in the heart of the harbour area. Today it’s a museum with a shop and restaurant.

The tallest building in this set of releases is a huge water tower (Wasserturm) – nowadays it’s been converted into a rather unique hotel.

The largest building overall is a brewery grain elevator with distinctive half-hipped roof. It comes with a separate small office building.

Looking more like a government building, this dome is in fact the North entrance to the Old Elbe Tunnel (Alter Elbtunnel, or St. Pauli Elbe Tunnel) which opened in 1911. It handles not only pedestrian traffic but vehicles as well, using elevators to take them from street level down 24m to the tunnel. The South entrance building is similar but less impressive, lacking the domed roof (although whether it once had a dome which has since been removed we don’t know).

Finally, this is a Water Level Tower, used to show the current state of the tides.

SSS-8180 – Hamburg Kaispeicher B Warehouse – £3.50
SSS-8181 – Hamburg Water Tower – £2.50
SSS-8182 – Hamburg Grain Elevator Building – £5.00
SSS-8183 – Hamburg Elbe Tunnel Building – £1.50
SSS-8184 – Hamburg Water Level Tower – £1.50

Turn It On Again

This COVID nonsense can really get lost, I’ve had enough now. I’ve stopped feeling ill, fatigue now seems to be a more of an issue, along with a touch of vertigo. I made a brief jaunt to the workshop at the end of last week, mainly to empty the car (still loaded with everything from the abortive Hammerhead trip). I did manage to finish up a few orders and they, along with the ones that were still left unsent from last week, have made it to the post office. This includes all orders bound for the EU, which have been shipped off to the distribution centre.

Yesterday I cleared the last of the orders that had been hanging around for a week or more, so they’re being posted today. So, still with a slight degree of trepidation, we can declare ourselves open for business again. The website has ben switched back on and is ready for new orders.

All being well, we can get our new releases back on track too – there are spaceships, some cracking German buildings and more 15mm Hammer’s Slammers lined up.