Castle Upgrades

We have a trio of new add-ons for the budding 1/1000th scale castle builders out there.

First up is a new large bastion to fit the Vauban Fortifications range. This is the Baluarte de San Domingo, part of the walls of the Colombian coastal city of Cartagena de Indias. We’ve tweaked it slightly to fit the dimensions of our existing wall pieces, so it should nicely into your layout. The original has guns lining the ramparts – we don’t supply any, but our fort guns pack would be ideal.

Next is a new keep for the modular castles range – this one has a triangular layout with a round tower at each corner. It’s not based on any specific historical prototype, but may have uses when making a fantasy castle.

Finally, another castle add-on. This is a Dansker, also known as a latrine tower. These were towers over a running stream which were linked to the main building by a bridge – sometimes they extended out over the main castle wall. They were often features of central European castles (such as our Crusader castle) – I’m sure you can guess their purpose from the name (!). The origin of the alternative name Dansker isn’t clear – it comes either from the town of Danzig, from Dansk meaning Dane (ie one from Denmark) or an old Prussian word meaning ‘wet or humid’ – take your pick…

SSS-8121e – Triangular Keep – £2.00
SSS-8152e – Baluarte de San Domingo – £3.00
SSS-8192 – Dansker – £1.75

Great War Vehicles in 28mm (and more)

News today of a new venture for us. We’ve had a store on Shapeways selling a few 3D printed bits and pieces for quite a few years; initially it did quite well, but changes in their pricing structure have made some items unaffordable and sales have dropped off markedly in recent times. So we’ve taken the decision to close it, and instead we’re going to concentrate on printing our own models and selling them directly from the website. We will have stocks of the first offerings at Broadside tomorrow; the two scenic pieces are already on the website, expect the others (and many more) to arrive there soon.

We’re adding a range of 3D printed vehicles to our existing 28mm Great War range, starting with three models. The first is the Bussing A5P armoured car, a single example of which was built by Germany and used in Romania and Ukraine in 1916-17.

Adding heavy firepower is the 21 cm Mörser 10 used in large numbers (over 200 were built) by the Germans throughout the Great War.

Finally for the Great War, we have a Ford Model T armoured car, used by the Royal Naval Air Service on the Eastern Front. There’s also a destroyed version (r) for those inevitable moments when the Germans find their range…

We’re also going to be printing some of the most frequently bought scenery pieces from the old Shapeways store. The Transmitter Pylon is the biggest selling item in the range, so we had to start there. At just under 6″ tall, it can be used as a small-ish 6mm scale pylon, or alternatively as a large 2mm TV tower (it’s based upon the Crystal Palace tower).

The final offering for now is a pair of 1/1000th scale Gasholders of the telescopic type common in Europe. Although mostly decommissioned nowadays, they were a common sight on the skylines of most towns and cities.

All are 3D printed in resin; although we will attempt to hold stocks of these items, orders may be delayed slightly if we ever have to print to order.

GW28-301 – Bussing A5P Armoured Car – £21.00
GW28-302 – 21 cm Mörser 10 – £14.00
GW28-101 – Ford Model T Armoured Car – £6.50
GW28-101d – Ford Model T Armoured Car (destroyed) – £6.50
SF300-902 – Transmitter Tower – £7.50
SSS-8191 – Gasholders (x2) – £3.00

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.

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

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

Luxury Castles

We’re down the scales back to our 1/1000th Small Scale Scenery range today. We have a pair of castles, one from Germany and another from Italy – but both are really stately homes rather than proper fortified buildings capable of withstanding a siege.

Schloss Glücksburg, or Glücksburg Castle, is a water castle in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, very close to the Danish border. It was built from 1582-1587 by the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg on the site of a former monastery. The grounds of the abbey were then flooded to create the lake in which it sits almost entirely surrounded. It seems to have seen little military use over the years, although in WW2 Albert Speer used it as his office while British troops searching for Heinrich Himmler seem to have looted it. Whatever its heritage, it’s a striking looking and very colourful building.

Glücksburg Castle

Moving south into Italy, Castel del Monte (literally ‘Castle of the Mountain’ – it has nothing to do with tinned fruit…) is a 13th century citadel built on a hill in the southeast region of Apulia. It has no moat or other obvious defences, although there does seem to be evidence of there having been a wall at some time. It has been used as a hunting lodge or prison and in WW2 the US Air Force based a VHF navigation aid called Big Fence in the grounds. We have two versions of the citadel – one as it is now, and another with the original taller crenellated towers.

SSS-8178 – Castel del Monte (modern) – £3.00
SSS-8178a – Castel del Monte (original) – £3.00
SSS-8179 – Schloss Glücksburg – £2.50

Coming in 2022

We did promise recently that we’d give a few clues about what we have coming in 2022 (beware what you say in a Facebook comment…). As always, our release schedule will be fairly fluid (there are weeks when we’re scrabbling round to find something that’s ready!) and the recent cancellation of Salute means that we’ve had to rewrite it again 🙁

But we do try to have some sort of plan, while also leaving some deliberate gaps just in case we have a flash of inspiration somewhere along the line.

Imperial Skies

We’ll be moving on with the South American fleets, with the Uruguayans making their appearance very soon (they’re ready apart from the final production mould for the small ships). Once the local fleets have been finished we want to add British, French and Dutch units for their respective colonial fleets.

General Artigas class Light Battleship (Uruguay)

Hammer’s Slammers

The first HS models of 2022 will be 6mm versions of the Sincanmo dune buggies that came out in 15mm at the end of last year. Then we have a pair of matched forces that come from the same story (chapter 2 of The Warrior if you’d like to read ahead) – the Han Black Banner and Hindi National Army. The Han use lots of 8×8 wheeled vehicles and laser main armaments, along with 1-man trikes for command and liaison. The Hindis on the other hand have tracked tank destroyers and heavy anti-tank guns. The plan is to release the 6mm forces one week followed by the 15mm versions the next (or maybe the other way round). After that … who knows? There is an unusual 10-wheeled tank destroyer somewhere in the mix too…

Spaceships

The first project of the year (apart from a couple of odd EuroFed models) will be a batch of new capital ships for the German fleet to replace the existing ships. After that we’re planning a redesign of another of the remaining fleets, and (drum roll here…) releasing a brand new fleet – the first in a long time. This was supposed to have happened last year, but events overtook us. We also have to finish off some space stations, another partially completed but delayed project.

Voltigeur Corvette

Small Scale Scenery

This releases in this range tends to be more random, Phil now does much of the design work so what comes out depends on his mood…

What we already have lined up starts with six forts/castles, including a very impressive Polish Baroque fortress. There’s a set of distinctive buildings for the Free City of Hamburg in case anyone fancies creating a northern European port. Phil’s also embarked on a series of buildings from days gone by in our home town of Maidstone – well, we say ‘series’, so far it’s just the one, but I’m hopeful…

Glücksburg Castle

Other Ranges

There should be some additions to the Squadron Commander range of starfighters – some will be larger vessels such as shuttles or assault craft, which will have a crossover with the 6mm range.

We should add some more small forts to the 1/700 range, plus a set of generic houses which we’ve been asked for several times.

Phil is putting the finishing touches to a 28mm Belgian artillery piece for the Great War range. This will be a departure for us in that it will be released as a 3D printed model, created on a hi-res resin printer. He’s also part way through a stretcher team for the Surgeon General fundraiser range.

Speaking of which, it will see some other new medically themed additions, these will generally be single models that appear as part of a larger release.

And Finally…

In other news, the EU shipping solution should go on line this week – our account is set up and we’re ready to go with the shipping agent. I’ve made the website changes but was wary of uploading them just before the Christmas holiday when I may not be on hand to make any fixes.

Houses of Healing

Next up on the Salute 21 conveyor belt are our 2mm scale hospitals. Both designed by Phil, they are based on real ones that are (relatively) close to us in Kent

The Modern Hospital is a stark, white, clean affair with lots of airy windows.

The large Victorian Hospital has a cloistered central courtyard to allow the patients to get some fresh air, with a classic design that includes a colonnaded side entrance. It’s paired with a second, much smaller cottage hospital that looks very much like it’s had bits added to it over the years. Both would also serve equally well as a stately home or manor house respectively.

Finally in today’s releases, we have the Aldeburgh Martello tower. One of over 100 defensive towers that used to ring the coast of south east England, the Aldeburgh example is unique in its quatrefoil design.

SSS-8175 – Albeburgh Martello – £1.00
SSS-8176 – Victorian Hospitals (x2) – £3.50
SSS-8177 – Modern Hospital – £4.50

The two hospital models are part of our Surgeon General charity fund-raising range. 50% of the ex-VAT price of these models will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Salute 2021 – Micro-Hospitals

Phil gets in on the act today, with three new Small Scale Scenery pieces – a modern hospital building, plus not one but two Victorian-era ones.

The modern one (left) is a large, multi-storey building with loads of windows. The larger of the two Victorian hospitals is a stone building with multiple wings and a central garden for patients to convalesce in. There is also a much smaller cottage hospital, typical of one in a small town or large village.

These models will also be part of our Surgeon General range, raising money for the Macmillan Cancer Support charity. We’re still hoping to be able to squeeze more in before Saturday.

You might have noticed that we’re previewing undercoated or part-painted models; Tony’s a bit behind on the painting, but they should all be finished and ready for the Salute stand. We’ll go back and update the photos as soon as he’s got the last coat of varnish on everything.

Salute 21 – new 1/700 Coastal Forts

Next into the Salute line-up are these new 1/700th scale Coastal Forts. We have three models (or rather, two individual models plus a set of four). The largest is Fort Paté, a small oval Vauban fortification in the Gironde estuary in France, built at the end of the 17th century. We also have a 1/700th versions of the Lascaris Towers in Malta – both of these were recently released in the Small Scale Scenery range. The third new model is the rather unusual Aldeburgh Martello Tower from the Suffolk coast, the largest of the Martello Towers on the UK coastline. It’s effectively four towers joined together to give it a distinctive quatrefoil shape. As an added bonus we also have a 1/1000th version in the Small Scale Scenery range.

Fort Pate
Lascaris Towers
Aldeburgh Martello Tower