Spaceships sale … last couple of days

Our Spaceships/Squadron Commander/Iron Stars sale only has a couple more days to run, so this is a last reminder that you have until midnight on Sunday (BST – about 7pm on the US East coast, or 4pm on the west) to get in there for a 15% saving.

Iron Stars

Power Armour Release Date

The wait is finally over and we’re ready to go now with the Power Armour – the torso and arm moulds are finished, spun, tested and we have our first batch of stock. We’ll be releasing them next week (Monday 3rd September) – the only reason it’s not today is that we’re in the midst of the Spaceships sale and we want to get that out of the way first.

There are two packs in the release – the first has six troopers with pulse rifles, the second has six heavy weapons troops – three with missiles and three with gatlings. The torsos for both packs are supplied from the same random mix of 18 slightly different models. Both packs are priced at £3.50.

So check back on Monday … once the sale is down, we’ll get the Power Armour up !

Danish Delights

Another in the intermittent series of cholesterol, saturated fats and processed sugars that is the Brigade Models Cake reviews. We feel it’s our public duty to try these cakes, so you don’t have to !

Anyway, today’s treat … Costco Danish Pastries. Don’t be put off by the less than perfect photo, I took that on my phone on the bench in the workshop !

Costco Danish Pastries

Sale-ing on …

It’s time for The Great Brigade Summer Sale part #3. This segment moves into deep space, covering our Spaceship, Squadron Commander and Iron Stars ranges.

From midnight tonight (BST) until the end of Sunday 2nd September, you can get 15% off all of the models and packs in these three ranges (it doesn’t cover the rulebooks, but then the Squadron Commander rulebook is free anyway !).

Phone Home …

We have a new item in our Shapeways store today. As I commute back and forth to London in my day job (that’s the one that pays the bills, not this one !) one thing I notice through the train window (when I’m not asleep) is the proliferation of mobile phone masts and towers across the countryside. These struck me as ideal subjects for 3D printing, being tricky to produce in traditional metal or resin castings. So I’ve made a couple of different styles, one being a solid tapering pole with three antennae at the top, the other a triangular lattice mast with nine antennae. They’re ideal for modern-era 15mm gaming but also look techy enough for sci-fi layouts – mine will be painted up and added to my Martian Neu Celle township.

The masts are currently sold as a pair, but if anyone wants just one type then let me know and I can add the individual types to the store.

Coming Soon

More previews (we really must get some of this stuff into production moulds and released !). First up, two Aeronef – an Austro-Hungarian heavy destroyer and a Brazilian frigate.

And also new in our spaceships range, a German Destroyer Leader (with some chunky main guns and the command module of a Thuringen battlecruiser).

As you can see, these are already into the pre-production casting stage.

A Whiter Shade of Pale

Things are all white in Neu Celle, my fledgling Martian colony. I think it’s time to introduce some colour. The other buildings I’ve painted so far have been done with a quick but effective method which I think looks pretty good, so I’m sticking with it here. Therefore the next stage was to basecoat the buildings using a pale stone colour. I chose Tamiya XF-55 Deck Tan (not the similarly named XF-78 Wooden Deck Tan), which is a very light shade. Since I had a lot of buildings to do at one go I dug out my old Humbrol airbrush from the shed and decided to use that. After transferring the paint to an airbrush jar I thinned it down about 2:1 with Tamiya acrylic thinners and off I went.

The whole process went pretty quickly, definitely much better than using a brush. I held the models in one hand (with a disposable plastic glove on) and sprayed them in mid-air rather than on a table – that way I could get at any bottom edges and made sure there was no ‘shadow’ where the airbrush couldn’t reach (I know the building above is on the table, I needed my other hand to hold the camera for the photo !).

The Humbrol airbrush definitely isn’t a precision instrument, but for this job it was ideal. I haven’t used it for a while and had forgotten some of its quirks – the compressed air ‘powerpack’ (an aerosol with a screw thread for attaching the airbrush hose) gets cold as it’s used, and like anything that gets cold, the pressure drops – so you have to increase the pressure via the control screw every so often. A couple of times I had to stop completely and warm up the can again to restore the pressure. One tip I do remember is that if the plastic tube that takes the paint from bottle to spray tip gets clogged, a good replacement is a plastic paint brush protector (the little clear plastic tubes that come with decent paintbrushes to protect the bristles). However I can’t knock it for this task, especially since I bought it off a mate at the wargames club for a tenner !

The next stage will involve the trusty airbrush again, although I might need a new powerpack for that …

Summer holidays …

As this gets published, I’ll be departing on a Eurotunnel train bound for Calais and then onto Normandy for a week in the sun (I hope – who knows after this summer !!).

I’ll be leaving everything in Phil’s capable hands – the webshop remains open and he’ll be handling orders as normal. E-mail to me (and the payment@…, sales@… and enquiries@… addresses) may or may not get answered until I return, depending on how many free wi-fi spots we find – but you can always e-mail Phil directly if needed.

Through the wonders of WordPress advanced scheduling, the blog will keep rolling – I’ve already lined up some posts for the week ahead !

15mm SF ‘gamers will be pleased to know that I beat the clock and managed to finish prepping the Power Armour torsos and arms ready for moulding – so Phil will be doing those while I’m away, and we should be in a position to release them by the end of August.

As a parting gift I leave you this … an urban assault variant of the 6mm Neo-Soviet Vombat tank/APC hyprid, equipped with a remote turret packing two tri-barrel gatlings and four missile launchers.

Last time I came back from Normandy it resulted in the Pegasus Bridge game – who knows what absurd idea will result when I return this time …

I Name This Town …

So my little German colony on Mars now has a name – Neu Celle. I’ve named it this because I have fond memories of visiting my Aunt and Uncle (who was in the BAOR in the 70s) at the original town of Celle (the one on Earth) in Northern Germany. They lived in married quarters which I am led to believe were German officers’ quarters during WW2 (I must see if they have any old photos). I wasn’t too old – I made my first trip there in a pram on the back seat of my parents’ Simca (no child seats in those days, or rear seat belts for that matter !) but I can remember Hamburg Zoo, coloured chickens, a ride in a Stalwart (Uncle Bob was in the REME – the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers), a barbecue in the rain halfway up a Mountains (the Harz Mountains maybe ?) and cockroaches (the block of flats was infested !).

Work has continued on the construction of my outpost in the (terraformed) Martian desert. The first task after giving them a wash was to undercoat – I used a spray can of industrial white primer from a hardware store (in this case Toolstation – much, much cheaper than the B&Q or Homebase chain DIY stores). There’s no point using your expensive Citadel or Army Painter spray paints on a job like this, you want a good, hard-wearing coat of industrial primer that will stand up to knocks.

So at the moment it’s like Christmas come early in Neu Celle. Next time we’ll give it some colour …

Bored now …

Just in case you thought we’d gone quiet on the 15mm Power Armour

I’m in the middle of cleaning up castings for 58 arms and 18 torsos to make the production moulds. After much debate, we’ve decided on a solution of torsos with cast-on left arms and separate weapon arms (as much as anything, because we don’t think cast on weapons arms would be possible in the poses we would like). The arms have already gone off for moulding, but the torsos are lying on my desk being filed and sanded to remove mould lines and casting sprues. And, by George, it is tedious work … ! I took a photo of the torsos lined up just as an excuse to take a break and write this post !

The filing and cleaning is all done, the next stage is to take dremel and superglue and attach the left arms. After that, the joins need to be filled with green stuff – only then can they go off to Phil to be moulded. It’s a race against time as I leave for a week in France on Saturday, and they need to be ready so Phil can mould them while I’m away !

UPDATE – the race against time was won, the torso tins have left for mould-making …