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

SELWG 2019

I’m rather grumpy this morning – in another (less rainy) world I would be sitting enjoying the September sunshine at the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury, having a few drinks with my mates from my former cricket club, watching the last game of the county season. Instead, it’s pitch dark and hammering down with rain and I’m catching up with stuff in my windowless office (sigh). Oh well.

Our penultimate (possibly … see further down) show of the year is SELWG 2019, run by the South East London Wargames Group at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. We will be back in our usual spot in the main hall on October 20th, in the corner by the entrance/exit tunnel. As always, we’re more than happy to take orders for collection at either event – simply send us an email with what you require and pay on the day, or you can order and pay in advance via the website using the ‘Collect in Person’ shipping option. The sooner the better, but we should be able to take orders until the week before the show.

  • Celtos – Decent stock of all individual figures, small unit packs and medium and large 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. Latest releases (German/French/British cruisers) also available individually.
  • Small Scale Scenery – the full range of all models
  • Spaceships – full range of fleet packs; no individual models except for new releases
  • 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; small stock of buildings
  • 6mm SF – full range of army packs, company packs and building packs; no individual models except infantry
  • 10mm SF – full range of buildings
  • Great War Belgians – full range of figures
  • Magpie Miniatures – individual figures and packs
  • Squadron Commander – full range of blisters packs; no individual models or starter packs
  • Crom’s Anvil – full range of figures
  • We will not be able to bring any Iron Stars or Land Ironclads miniatures unless ordered in advance.

Now, onto what should be our last show of the year – Crisis in Antwerp. This is on November 9th this year, which is just over a week after the UK is supposed to be leaving the EU. This is not the place to discuss the rights and wrongs of Brexit, so we’re not going to, except where it affects Brigade. We’re booked into Crisis, and we really would like to go, it’s a great show and we enjoy meeting many of our European customers. If Brexit is delayed, or there’s a deal with a transition period during which everything is pretty much as it is now, we should be OK. But if the UK does indeed leave the EU on the 31st as planned (which is not certain), especially in the case of a ‘hard Brexit’ no-deal scenario, we’re probably not going to want to risk the disruption and chaos that is bound to occur at the Channel Tunnel crossing point. So we’re playing a watching brief at the moment.

If we don’t go, then we’ll probably try to run some sort of reduced or free postage offer for EU customers around the time of the show to compensate for our absence.

Utility Bird

Back in April, when we released the Demeter Attack VTOL at Salute, it should have been accompanied by a second model, a utility VTOL (think UH-1 Huey in terms of its rôle). However, we had several issues with the other prototype, it would never cast reliably enough to be able to release so we’ve ended up having to redesign and reprint parts of it. We think we’re there now, we’ve run enough test casts to be happy that all the bits now work.

The HU.1 Perseus is, as previously mentioned, a utility type that has a rear cabin for four fully equipped infantry (six over short distances as long as they don’t mind being squeezed in). It has the same chin turret as the Demeter with a 2cm tri-barrel powergun and can also carry a variety of underwing stores so can serve as a passable gunship.

The Perseus is used by three Hammer’s Slammers units as a fast APC flying nap-of-the-earth when in the combat zone, staying down among the weeds to avoid being shot out of the sky. Both the Eaglewing and the Texian 101st base their forces around VTOL transports and gunships, while Guardforce O’Higgins’ veteran Fianóglach company are equipped with a number of Perseus and act as a rapid-reaction unit. In the detachment lists for these three forces, the Perseus replaces the Black Crow VTOL.

The model is a four-part resin kit (body, tail and two wings) with five metal parts (turret, two tail fins, two cabin doors). The separate cabin doors allow for a door gunner (which we don’t yet make but will do).

HS15-2601 – Perseus Utility VTOL – £12.00

CDSU Update

The new Chinese (CDSU) spaceships are coming along nicely, the master castings are all ready to go into production moulds as soon as Phil has finished with unpacking boxes. I’ve painted a set of each model (apart from the two dreadnoughts – I need to save something for the actual release!) for the website so in lieu of anything else to put on the blog, we thought you’d like to take a look. I’ve gone for a lighter green than I’ve previously used – this is Army Painter Army Green from a spray can, followed by GW drybrushes and washes with decals from Dom’s Decals.

I’m tentatively hoping that we’ll have these in production by the time SELWG comes along.

Waifs and Strays

Back in April, we upgraded the cruisers and escorts of the British Aeronef fleet when they were released at Salute. However, not all of our planned releases made the cut – two models, the replacement for the Agamemnon monitor and the brand new Orion class light cruiser, weren’t released at the time because of casting issues. It’s taken a while, but we’ve modified both and they’re finally available for release. It was the tails of both models which were causing the problem – an increase in thickness of just 0.25mm made all the difference, resulting in castings that are getting on for 100% reliable (or as close as we get) as opposed to around 10% previously.

The Orion is a light cruiser design which the British fleet has been sorely missing. It comes in two variants – the basic Orion gun cruiser, fitted with two single and two twin turrets, or the Sirius AA cruiser with four triple-AAA turrets. Both types also have two twin torpedo tubes.

The Agamemnon monitor has two inverted howitzer turrets on the bottom of the hull for surface bombardment, along with some conventional light armament for self defence.

VAN-106 – Agamemnon class monitor – £3.00
VAN-129 – Orion class Light Cruiser – £3.00
VAN-129a – Sirius class AA Cruiser – £3.00

At some point soon (probably after the end of the show season in November), we’ll update the contents of our British fleet packs to take account of the various new releases this year, and the Orion (and Medusa) will filter into these packs.