D-Day!

OK, so we’re a few days late …

Ian Maun has shown us some pictures of his 2mm D-Day diorama, and kindly allowed us to put the pictures on our blog. The following are Ian’s words on its construction:

The beach is sandpaper and the cliffs are layered cardboard and modelling clay, dry-brushed, with Woodlands Scenics grass-mats and trees.

The view is from the north, so the beach to the left is the eastern beach, and the beach to the right is the western. The eastern beach is still under bombardment from HMS Warspite (the Eagle model), HMS Roberts (Navis) and a Landing Ship Tank (Rocket). Following Salerno, Warspite’s ‘X’ turret is still out of action. No troops have yet landed. Shells are exploding and there are shell craters on the beach and in the fields. The town hotel is burning. The town buildings are a mixture of Langton and Brigade models.

The central beach is the main focus of action with troops and armour landing. The troops are Irregular Miniatures 2mm, as are most of the armour and other vehicles. The LCAs are mainly by Shapeways, and the LCTs are Irregular Miniatures and some unknown makes. Their blue and white camouflage has had black added to it sharpen the contrast. The beach defences include posts, Y-shaped defences with a Teller mine and ‘Czech defences’, six-sided Xs made from steel girders, or, in this case, Plastruct rod! The beach is covered in barbed wire (made from coiled 5amp fusewire), behind which are machine gunners
The Pointe du Hoc is under attack from American Rangers from the east, with landing craft and a rocket- firing LCA. The troops have ropes going up the cliffs, and have secured the nearer part of the Pointe, despite the barbed wire defences. Although I’ve copied the layout of the guns on the cliffs, I’ve not taken away the guns themselves, unlike the Germans! The village is made from Brigade models, and the gliders are Irregular Miniatures. The battery in the middle is a mixture of makes. German tanks can be seen on the road. There are many German troops in the field. Field Grey paint camouflaged them too well, so that has been lightened.

On the western beach, armour is coming ashore and troops are making their way to the narrow ‘draw’ on the right.

At sea is the second wave of the invasion, with a large number of LCIs, as well as other landing craft and landing ships, laden with troops and armour. Troop transports are standing off.

Escorts of the Rising Sun

This week our Aeronef redesign program sees new versions of several Japanese vessels, plus the addition of two new models. The Mikasa patrol nef, Nagatsaki destroyer and Akitsushima heavy cruiser models have all been replaced by new designs.

In addition we have two new models, the Atago class torpedo cruiser and Shirataka class torpedo destroyer. These carry the larger long range aerial torpedoes unique to the Japanese fleet.

These models replace the older ones in fleet packs, and there’s also a new Heavy Torpedo flotilla pack available with two Atagos and four Shirataka plus flying stands.

VAN-601 – Mikasa class Patrol nef – £1.00
VAN-606 – Nagatsaki class Destroyer – £2.00
VAN-616 – Akitsushima class Heavy Cruiser – £4.00
VAN-619 – Atago class Torpedo Cruiser – £3.25
VAN-620 – Shirataka class Torpedo Destroyer – £2.00

VANFP-615 – Japanese Heavy Torpedo Squadron – £14.00

German Transfer

You can file this in the ‘why didn’t I think of it before’ category.

The background for the recently released Turkish Sultan Selim battlecruiser mentioned its German roots, and how the Turks converted it and then built more of the same design.

So what if we go back to the original Teutonic battlecruiser, replace the round turrets with more Germanic square ones ? Hey presto, we get the SMS Goeben (which is the name of one of the real Moltke class battlecruisers that the Germans transferred to the Ottoman Empire in August 1914). It’s exactly the same model as the Sultan Selim, just with German turrets instead (the turret pins on the round turrets are slightly larger so you’ll need a steady hand to centre the German turrets on the rings, and the rearmost turret is a very tight squeeze against the superstructure).

VAN-328 – Goeben class Battlecruiser – £7.00

And then there were none…

Sadly, but inevitably, our show calendar for 2020 has been completely wiped out. The last scheduled event, Colours at Newbury racecourse in September, has (quite understandably) been called off by the organisers. At this point we might as well cancel the rest of 2020 and pretend it never happened.

So we’ll see you in 2021…

Postage Increase to USA – Advanced Warning

The Royal Mail have recently given notice of an increase in their prices to the USA; it’s a result of the decision by the US Postal Service to increase the prices they charge other postal services to deliver overseas mail within the US (it’s known as the ‘last mile’ delivery). The result is that Royal Mail prices to the USA are increasing by about 50% starting on July 1st – as examples, the cost of a 500g parcel (probably the most common size we send) is going up from £9.81 to £14.88, while a 2kg package goes from £18.97 to £29.41. You can read more about it on the Royal Mail website if you wish.

As much as we’d like to, we can’t afford to absorb this, so we’re going to have to create a special shipping category for orders to the USA. Where previously US orders would pay £4.30 + 14% of order value, this will now go to £4.30 + 20% of order value. We’ll probably introduce this a couple of days beforehand, because there’s always a lag between orders being placed and when we get to send them.

We may start using couriers more often, for parcels in the 1.5kg – 2kg range it could be cheaper to use Fedex or UPS.

Please note that this only affects orders from the USA; prices to the UK, Europe and the rest of the world are unaffected.

Chinese Reinforcements

This week we have some more new spaceships, additions to our Chinese fleet. The largest is a new version of the Jiangzi Flag dreadnought, a version of the existing Jiangzi with an enlarged superstructure for fleet command facilities.

The Jiangzi Flag is accompanied by three escorts; the largest vessel (at the front) is the Hangzhou class frigate. The two smaller vessels, the Wenshan class corvette (l) and Nanhai class Scoutship (r) replace the old Da Nang and Wonsan models (we changed the names because their North Korean/Vietnamese origin seems to trigger warning flags in PayPal and payments for orders including them can get held up).

We’ve tweaked the CDSU Battle Fleet pack (SFS-504) so that you can select either two standard Jiangzi dreadnoughts or one plus a Flag variant.

SFS-502 – Jiangzi Flag Dreadnought – £6.50
SFS-541 – Hangzhou class Frigate – £1.25
SFS-550 – Wenshan class Corvette – £1.00
SFS-551 – Nanhai class Scoutship – £0.75
SFSP-504 – CDSU Battle Fleet Pack – £22.50

Six-sided Scenery

More photos of other people’s stuff this week – this time a selection of 2mm scenery by our old friend David Frampton, organiser of the Stoke Rochford gaming weekends.

David uses his models for horse and musket-era games, basing them on hexes to suit the rules he uses. We think they look rather good…

Lifting and Shifting

We’re still very busy with orders currently – which is great, keep ’em coming! We’re turning them round as fast as possible, usually within 2-3 days, but then you’re in the hands of the various postal services. UK post is generally fine, some first class mail can take longer than usual (2-3 days) but the majority is still getting there next day. Overseas is a different matter. Mail to Europe seems to be about 7-14 days, so slightly longer than usual, but not excessively so. It’s a different matter further afield, however; to the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, which are our most common destinations, 4-5 weeks is the norm, and 8-9 weeks is not uncommon (a customer has just told us of one package that arrived yesterday having been posted on March 30th). Everything is arriving, just late – we haven’t yet had to claim for a missing package this year. Patience is the key…

Next we have some show news; not unexpectedly, our next two planned shows, Joy of Six and Hereward, have been cancelled for this year. Neither are being rescheduled, so the next editions of both will be in 2021.

Onto some new releases. Because of workload I’ve been adjusting our release schedule a bit – I have a big batch of 15mm models (the last of our Salute lineup) that I’d like to get out, but I don’t seem to be able to find any time to build up stock in advance of releasing them. So instead we have some more 2mm items in the Small Scale Scenery range, stock of which is rather easier to manage!

First up is the largest piece, a railway turntable with a six-bay engine shed. It all comes cast as a single resin piece with the exception of the rotating track in the centre, which is metal.

Sticking on the track, we have these tiny railway cranes which come four to a pack.

And finally, more cranes but this time of the dockyard variety. Again there are four in a pack, two each of two types. I’ve made a mini layout with one of our resin jetty pieces and some dock warehouses.

SSS-8148 – Dockside Cranes (x4) – £2.00
SSS-8149 – Railway Cranes (x4) – £1.50
SSS-8158 – Railway Turntable – £3.00

A New Age in Luxury Travel

Peter Hunt recently sent us some pictures of the Civilian Airfield set painted up, which we thought were great and well worth sharing. We’ll let him take over from here, the rest of the words are his…


Gentlemen,
Here in Danubia we pride ourselves at being at the cutting edge of technological developments and so the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits is pleased to announce the opening of the new Danubia International Airport (DIA).

Having successfully tested the concept at Shoreham-by-Sea, a rather fly-blown site on the south coast of England outside Brighton, DIA combines the latest in Art Deco design, the highest standards of aircraft control and maintenance, and a fully integrated transport interchange facility.

Shoreham-by-Sea: the hangers and Terminal Building
Shoreham-by-Sea: The landing field and railway access.

Whereas Shoreham was served by a branch line of The Southern Railway, DIA is situated on the Orient Express Main Line from Venice Simplon to Strambul. As you can see below the vastly improved DIA provides direct access between the Orient Express and the Lufthansa service to Wien, Dresden and Berlin; the Swissair service to Geneva and Bern, (Change there for Grand Fenwick;) the Imperial Airways services west to Blighty or south and east to Athens, Alexandria, Cairo and Points South, or Beirut, Baghdad, and Points East; or Lao Che Air Freight chartered service to anywhere you want, anytime you like, no questions asked, strictly cash only, in advance, reasonable rates for combat zones negotiable.

DIA: with the Orient Express just pulling in to transfer passengers to a slightly quicker, if less reliable, safe and comfortable trip from Danubia to all of Europe and beyond.
DIA: The Lufthansa JU 52 has just taken off, the Swissair Dragon Rapide (out of picture,) will be arriving soon, on the apron are an HP 51 and Avro 618 Ten of Imperial Airways, and Lai Che Air Freight’s Ford Trimotor.

If you need onward air connections from the Orient Express just see the concierge in the club car and he will be pleased to arrange bookings and additional insurance for you.

Yours, As Ever,
Hercule

Early Slammin’

Today sees the release of the 6mm versions of the M6 Combat Car, used by the Slammers Regiment in its early years before being replaced by the M9 series. These have already been seen in 15mm (that link has a lot more background on the early Slammers vehicles), now it’s the turn of the smaller scale. There are five differently armed variants, along with a version with the roof shutters closed. They fit perfectly alongside the early version M2 blower tanks.

We also have 6mm versions of Guardforce O’Higgin’s Fragarach light tank and Brollachan APC, which snuck onto the website by stealth earlier this year but haven’t officially been announced yet.

HS6-116 – M6 Combat Car – £1.00
HS6-116a – M6A5 Support Car – £1.00
HS6-116b – M6A7 Mortar Car – £1.00
HS6-116c – M6A8 Buzzbomb Car – £1.00
HS6-116d – M6A9 Missileer Car – £1.00
HS6-116e – M6 (Closed Roof) – £1.00

HS6-3701 – RT-14 Fragarach Light Tank – £1.00
HS6-3702 – RT-15 Brollachan APC – £1.00