Finally managed some photos – the translucent prints aren’t the easiest thing to photograph, the lack of contrast makes it hard to pick things out but the photos below are reasonably clear I hope.
There are a few print lines that will take a bit of work to sand away before we hit production. At the moment these guys are behind the Neo-Soviets in our extensive (and, it seems, ever-lengthening) queue, so I’m not predicting anything about a release date just yet; it almost certainly won’t be this side of Christmas. But it’ll give you something to look forward to in the New Year 🙂
This blog is almost exclusively about wargames, shiny models etc – but today I’m going to beg your indulgence and highlight a good cause.
Movember is a charity aimed at raising funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and testicular cancer. The essential idea is that you don’t shave and instead grow a ‘tache for the month (hence Movember) and get yourself sponsored for looking like a pimp/spiv/wing commander (which is my aim).
My team is Headstrong (which is where I work to pay the bills – although Brigade is still growing, it doesn’t yet cover the mortgage) and this is me (I will try to find a decent progress-so-far photo soon).
It’s a bit of a laugh (it helps to be in a team rather than doing it solo) and hopefully we’re doing some good at the same time. And if anyone wants to donate a pound or two to help us along, so much the better.
Back to normal programming tomorrow – the PacFed tanks are coming out of there degreasing bath in a little while so I’ll be able to photograph them.
One of the most tedious parts of getting a model into production is the unglamourous but very necessary job of cleaning up master castings (known as ‘tins’) ready for the production moulds. I find this part of the process extremely dull (I may have mentioned this before …) but it has to be done. These castings have to have any small vent sprues, flash or mould lines cleaned away and filed smooth – otherwise we’ll just reproduce these imperfections when we make the production mould. We always cast more items then we need for the production mould, because castings that might seem OK in the workshop on a cold evening may not always pass closer inspection when cleaning up. Any pitting or less than perfect detail will see the casting rejected.
I spent my evening yesterday with some of the tins for the Bizon production moulds. The Bizon in particular has a lot of pieces and will need a lot of moulds – some of these will be shared with other models (such as the track units, side-skirts and gatling turrets) whereas others are unique to this model (track-guards and turrets).
In this photo you can see a selection of bits – side-skirts and external stowage (bottom left) which are cleaned up and ready for the production mould, some turrets (top left), one with gun which is cleaned and ready and a batch of others waiting for a visit from clippers and file, and some raw track-guards (bottom right) which I’ve yet to tackle.
In other news … the prints for the three PacFed tanks have turned up, and they look superb. Unfortunately I’ve already dunked them in jar of cleaning fluid and forgot to take photos of the assembled pieces first (doh !) so you’ll have to make do with a photo of some undefinable pieces floating in some murky-looking gunk …
Firstly, it would seem from the number of hits we got yesterday and the day before that our new 15mm models have attracted some interest ! Tuesday was the most hits we’ve ever had in a day, mostly looking at our news of progress (at last !) and the PacFed 15mm designs (the prints for which are due to arrive tomorrow, so expect a post on those as soon as I rip open the box !).
Anyway, onto the main point of this post. Christmas is a-coming, so I’m sure everyone is thinking of what they can get for that special wargamer in their lives. Well, we’ve tried to make that difficult decision a little easier with the launch of our Brigade Models Gift Vouchers. These are backed by PayPal, and can be e-mailed or printed and sent to the recipient. They are available in a variety of denominations from £5 up to £500.
We’ll probably try to come up with something a bit exciting looking pretty soon, the default PayPal gift voucher is a bit dull …
Following on from the first successful castings of the Bizon bits last week, I’m suddenly feeling much better about finally making some progress with our new 15mm models. We have several Neo-Soviet vehicles printed and in various stages of the mould-making process which will be the first new releases. But while we’ve been experimenting with the mould-making process, we’ve been working on future releases. Today I’m going to let you have a peak at the first of the PacFed models – these have gone to the printer so we’ll have the masters back soon, although they’ll be behind the Neo-Soviets in the production queue.
As you can see, we’ve redesigned the models a bit, making them a bit more angular and giving them some distinctively fearsome-looking railguns, as well as introducing some details not on their 6mm counterparts.
The different colours indicate the way the models are divided up for printing and moulding. The main hulls (yellow) will be resin, the rest of the parts will be metal castings.
For the last year or so we’ve been experimenting with 3D printed models in various shapes and forms. We’ve been playing with different printing materials from different printing houses, different types of mould, different ways of preparing the models before moulding and so on. Some have been successful, such as the ranges of 6mm and 15mm SF desert buildings which have sold so well they’ve funded the experiments of other types of models. Others have been less successful, and have resulted in destruction of some rather expensive masters. Yet more have been previewed here on the blog and then disappeared from sight without further mention. And yes, we know that lots of other companies have pretty much mastered the process and there are mould-making and casting specialists out there that we could have turned to and got them to do everything for us. But we’re nothing if not stubborn, and we have been convinced that we could master the process ourselves and keep everything in-house.
We’ve switched to a new printing company for the high-detail models, and the first batch of prints arrived recently – a mix of 6mm and 15mm vehicles. The quality of the prints was better than we’d had previously, and more importantly the material looked to be much more robust. Last week we previewed some of them, a range of 6mm Indonesian Republic tanks for our Iron Cow range. We’re pretty pleased with these, but on very close inspection the castings are not quite right – some of the surfaces are rough or pitted and some of the detail is not as crisp as we would like, so they aren’t suitable for release quite yet. So we tweaked a few things, and tried another mould, this time of parts for the 15mm scale Neo-Soviet Bizon tank. And here’s the result:
Pleased ? That’s a bit of an understatement … I had a grin like a Cheshire cat all the way home ! On this close-up you can see nice smooth, crisp castings which fit together perfectly.
So we reckon we’re almost there now. This is obviously only a master mould, the parts need to go into production moulds and the hull, which will be made in resin, also needs moulding. But we might see 15mm Neo-Soviets and 6mm Indonesians released this side of Christmas with a bit of luck 🙂
Anyone who went to Salute last year couldn’t have missed the remarkable Aeronef game run by Jon Rogers and his Arbuthnot’s Aeronautical League of Gentlemen. It was a truly spectacular affair depicting a clash between US and Japanese aerial fleets.
Arbuthnots are putting on a mega-game over the Christmas break in Cheam, south London. Jon has put a post on our forum with details of where, when, how much and how to get there.
If you’re at all interested in joining in, e-mail me and I’ll put you in touch with Jon so that he can determine final numbers, fleet allocations etc.
Brigade will be there (well, I will). I’ll be there to join in the game rather than taking an official trade stand, but if anyone wants me to bring any orders along then I’ll be more than happy to – you can even use our new Collect in Person shipping to pay in advance if you like :-).
We’ve added another shipping option – this time it’s a ‘Collect in Person’ option, which essentially means no postage charges. Use this if you want to place an order for a show through the website, pay by credit card or PayPal and then pick it up on the day.
Unfortunately it’s come online a bit too late for Crisis, but in the absence of a website option you’re still more than welcome to come along on Saturday and thrust wads of Euro notes into our hands in return for tanks, spaceships, Sidhe warriors etc.