Upgrading the Great White Fleet

At the start of the year we had this grand plan to finish upgrading all of the models of the major powers of the Aeronef world. All six had already had their capital ships replaced by new 3D sculpts, and we’ve also added plenty of new designs – but we had all of the escorts and cruisers still to go. We did most of the British, French and Germans in 2019 (not quite all, there are one or two to go), which left Japan, USA and Russia for this year. The Japanese received cruiser and escort replacements earlier in the summer, and now it’s the turn of the USA to be re-equipped. It’s turned out to be one of the most extensive releases of all of the fleets – we’ve replaced nine existing models and added no fewer than six additional cruisers, destroyers and frigates, plus a new fleet pack.

You may notice one or two re-classifications amongst the ships; the US fleet had some anomalies (largish vessels termed as Frigates, etc) which have been corrected, although all of the names remain the same.

The largest vessel is the Kentucky dirigible; this has a new one-piece resin hull with metal bridge, mast and turret.

Three of the new vessels are designed in the same style as the Lexington class battlecruiser, and form a Fast Pursuit fleet – these are the Raleigh cruiser, Augusta destroyer and Huntsville torpedo destroyer. There is a fleet pack containing two each of the Lexington, Raleigh and Augusta.

Another new ship is the Olympia class Light Cruiser, seen below with the redesigned Maryland model.

VANFP-205 – US Pursuit Pack – £21.50

VAN-201 – Tallahasee Class Patrol Nef – £1.00
VAN-202 – Des Moines Class Destroyer – £2.50
VAN-203 – Michigan Class Light Cruiser- £3.00
VAN-204 – Kentucky Class Dig – £4.25
VAN-208 – Brooklyn class Destroyer – £2.00
VAN-209 – Maryland class Cruiser – £3.75
VAN-210 – Decatur class Corvette – £1.00
VAN-211 – Saginaw class Corvette – £1.00
VAN-213 – Baton Rouge class Cruiser – £3.25
VAN-218 – Olympia class Light Cruiser – £3.25
VAN-219 – Nashville class Frigate – £1.25
VAN-220 – Raleigh class Fast Cruiser – £3.00
VAN-221 – Augusta class Fast Frigate – £1.50
VAN-222 – Huntsville class Fast Torpedo Frigate – £1.50
VAN-223 – Scranton class Torpedo Corvette – £1.00

And we should get to the Russians by Christmas – the moulds are done, the sample models painted for the website so barring unforeseen events (global pandemic, anyone?) we’ll hit our target. And we then we’ll tell you our Aeronef plans for 2021…

Anson Ahoy

We had a very good response to the news of the website reopening at the end of last week, which has kept us busy filling orders. However, we want to get back to the business of releasing new models, since we’ve built up quite a backlog over the past few weeks.

We’re starting today with a new Aeronef model, the British Anson class Battlecruiser. It’s comes in at an impressive 110mm long, as large as an Albert class Dreadnought although not as hefty. She mounts two triple turrets and a pair of superfiring twin turrets, along with a more than respectable secondary battery, and boasts an impressive turn of speed for a vessel her size. In Aeronef however, she does suffer from the “There Seems To Be Something Wrong With Our Bloody Ships !” optional special rule.

VAN-130 – Anson class Battlecruiser – £8.00

American Airpower

The last two of the major powers’ Aeronef fleets to be upgraded are the US and Russia. Both are in hand, all of the masters are finished and have been moulded, production tins cast and at least half of the production moulds have been made. So for once we’re well on track to reach our target of having them released by the end of the year.

These are the new US cruisers and escort vessels – fifteen in all. Nine of them replace existing models, but there are also six brand new models. These include a cruiser and two destroyers in the same style as the Lexington battlecruiser, which will form a fast pursuit squadron.

I’ve just finished painting them in the buff and white colours of the Great White Fleet, as you can see below.

I’ll show you the Russians once they’re painted!

Aerial Fortresses

A lot of the new models we have lined up are Aeronef – not sure why, I’ve just been on an Aeronef design kick lately! There are over forty new ones which we already have masters and in some cases moulds for. Following on from the Anson class Battlecruiser, here are some new Russian aerial batteries. They’re replacements for the existing pair of models but, as with all the other new Nef, they have lots of extra detail and are generally just better.

I’ll see if I can find something from another range for the next post 🙂

Still Working

We may be temporarily closed to orders, but development of new models goes on. We haven’t released anything new for a couple of weeks (because we knew that the break was coming) and had already built up quite a backlog of new releases. Something like 70+ new models are lined up, half of which are ready to go in terms of having production moulds available, with the others in various stages of the mastering process. So we thought we’d show a few of them, just to keep the blog rolling on.

The first of these is HMS Resolution. She’s a British Anson class Heavy Battlecruiser, fast and heavily armed with two twin and two triple turrets. Just don’t get hit, British battlecruisers tend to explode at the slightest excuse…

Looks Like We’ve Got Us a Convoy

Today sees the release of new redesigned versions of our British Aeronef merchant vessels. The old models of the Pearless, Orama and Shillito have been replaced by new sculpts, all featuring resin hulls with metal parts – and looking much smarter with lots more detail, cargo cranes etc. The Orama, the largest of the vessels, has also been renamed the Frampton. These vessels play an important role plying the trade routes between Britain and the rest of the Empire.

There is also a fleet pack with two of each design plus a pair of escorting Osprey patrol Nef.

VANFP-5001 – British Merchant Convoy – £22.50
VAN-5005 – Pearless class Bulk Merchant Vessel – £4.00
VAN-5007 – Frampton class Bulk Freighter – £6.00
VAN-5008 – Shillito class Freighter – £3.00

Look out for more merchant Nef later in the year.

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

Italian Airships

Three new Aeronef are launched over the clear blue Mediterranean skies today, increasing the reach of the Regia Aeronautica. They are all twin-hulled dirigibles in the style of the old Carlo Alberto model*. Leading the way is the Regina Elena class battleship, which carries a twin-turret over each of its hulls. The larger Cigno Nero class fighter carrier has a flight deck slung between the hulls with hangar space beneath and a multitude of defensive gun turrets. The third vessel is the Dardo class destroyer, designed for long range escort missions.

These models are initially discounted by 7.5%, and for each sale we’ll also donate the same amount to HEROES, a fund set up to help frontline NHS staff as they battle the Covid-19 outbreak. This will run until May 22nd.

VAN-1810 – Regina Elena class Battleship – £7.50 £6.94
VAN-1811 – Cigno Nero class Carrier – £10.00 £9.25
VAN-1812 – Dardo class Destroyer – £2.50 £2.31

* – the Dardo was meant to be a redesign of the Carlo Alberto, but due to a terrible miscalculation of scale the master ended up being quite a bit smaller than the original. So instead we’ve made it into a new vessel altogether and a new Carlo will be forthcoming later in the year, along with a new fleet pack made up of the Italian dirigibles. It least it wasn’t swallowed by a small dog…

The Sultan of Swing

Joining the Ottoman aerial navy today is our latest Aeronef release – a new version of the Sultan Selim battlecruiser. This original Sultan Selim was bought from Germany and refitted by the Turks, and the design has since been copied and built in the great Aeronef yards on Turkey’s Black Sea coast. The vessels are often grouped in fast Battlecruiser Squadrons which the Turks use to outflank enemy fleets, pinning them until the slower main fleet elements arrive.

The Sultan Selim joins the other Turkish Nef we released a few weeks ago – formerly known as the Abdül Aziz, we’ve had to rename it the Constantinople class. It appears that the name Abdül Aziz throws up all sorts of red flags within PayPal – every time someone orders one of these, the payment is held back while it’s checked to make sure we aren’t funding terrorist organisations or sending money to banned countries ! So to avoid more delays like this, it just seemed safer to rename the model…

The Sultan Selim is discounted by 7.5% (53p), and for each sale we’ll also donate the same amount to HEROES, a fund set up to help frontline NHS staff as they battle the Covid-19 outbreak. This will run until May 22nd – so far we’ve raised over £50 from our new releases. And this is a good time to remind you that the discount/fundraiser for our Small Scale Scenery releases (Oil Tanks, Tower Blocks and Vauban Fortifications) end this week.

VAN-2002 – Sultan Selim class Battlecruiser – £7.00 £6.47