We haven’t posted here for several weeks, which is most unlike us – so much so that several regular customers have emailed us to make sure that everything is OK. Thanks you very much for the concern, we are fine, just incredibly busy! The release of A Billion Suns has generated a huge volume of orders, even more than the first lockdown last year, so that we’ve been receiving around two-and-a-half times our usual volume of orders. It’s taken five (long) days a week to clear these, leaving little time for new releases, blog posts etc (although we have kept up with the accounts and VAT, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs waits for no one…). Apologies also if you’ve had a slower than usual response to emails or social media contacts.
The good news is that we’re pretty much up to date with orders – almost everything from March has been cast, packed and shipped (there is one person who’s placed several large orders that we’re pulling together) and we should get everything that’s arrived over the extended Easter weekend done by the end of the week.
So to celebrate, we’re putting the Kerberos spacestation back on the website – Phil’s remoulded it, all orders that were delayed have been shipped and he’s even managed some extra stock!
And here’s a further peek at some new stuff that’s in the pipeline (a long way down the pipeline in fact, almost bursting out of the end…
A few more previews today – some 15mm bits we’ve had on the back burner for a while. On the left are two types of barrel, on the right a set of eight cargo cases – both very useful stowage items. The barrels will be metal, the cases resin.
At the back is a watchtower for the Desert Buildings range. This has an entrance door at the back along with a built-in ladder for access to the upper platform (it would have helped if we’d photographed it from the back – you’ll just have to take our word for it…).
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.
What we have here are 6mm versions of our more recent additions to the GS-series of hover vehicles, as used by the Flaming Sword of the Holy Brotherhood and Ben Mehdi’s Legion. We have GS-1100C cargo carrier, the GS-700 jeep plus the -710M mortar carrying variant and the GS-934 Recce Car.
Should the FSHB in 6mm be more correctly known as the Flaming Dagger of the Holy Brotherhood … ? 🙂
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 🙂
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…
I repeat: we have normality. Anything you still can’t cope with is therefore your own problem.
According to my Google timeline, I spent >55 hours at the workshop last week, plus another ten yesterday. I’m knackered. But the upshot is that we’re back up to date with orders, and hopefully from now on we should be back to our normal turnaround time.
While I’ve been wrestling with the backlog, Phil has been busy making moulds so we have at least five week’s worth of new releases lined up and ready to go, with as many again (possibly more) masters sitting waiting to be cleaned up for moulding. As we mentioned in the previous post, a number of these are 15mm Sci-Fi, and I’m hoping to get some of these on the website at the end of this week – exactly what that comprises depends on how well I get on with producing stock this week. It’ll be one of these (click on them for larger versions) …
However, the response to the release of the 6mm monorail last week was completely unprecedented. Although we had produced what we thought was plenty of stock in advance, this was all gone in no time at all and we’re looking at a mountain of outstanding orders.
So the upshot is that there might be a bit of a delay (a few days) in getting all of this weekend’s orders out, especially if you’ve ordered any monorail pieces. We’ll be making some extra sets of moulds to allow us to cast more quickly, but there’s still a finite limit to how many resin pieces we can cast at a time.
We were planning another small release today (there they are below) and another major one at the end of the week, but they will go on hold until we get the backlog cleared. It’ll be quiet on the blog this week…
One final update – so far we’ve collected and donated £135 to the HEROES charity from funds raised through the sale of our recent new releases, and we still have several more weeks to go. So a big Thank You needs to go out to everyone who’s contributed to this total in any way.
Some more show news today; SELWG, a long standing event held in the Crystal Palace Sports Centre, has been cancelled, for this year at any rate. They’ve basically reached the end of their tether with regard to the venue – access for traders has always been problematic, with only two doors to the main hall which are reached by a very narrow road and a loading area that is very tight for vans and lorries. Fortunately this should only be a one-year break, as the SELWG club is looking for for a new venue for 2021. You can read their post on the SELWG Facebook page.
Following the cancellation of ROBIN, this is the second show to be culled from our planned roster this year, which is not great for us.
So to cheer everyone up, here are some new upcoming 15mm vehicles, due for release in the next few weeks…
If you haven’t already heard of it, A Billion Suns is a new set of spaceship rules from Osprey. They have been written by Mike Hutchinson, author of Gaslands, so come with a great pedigree, and are due for release in August*. Mike has been kind enough to include a number of photos of our models in the book, which he has painted himself (very, very well it must be said, as you can see from the photos below which are all Mike’s work). We plan on stocking the rulebook as soon as it appears.
We’ve been lucky enough to have been included in the playtest group and have played a number of games as it has evolved. The rules are very different from any other set – not just in the combat mechanisms, but the whole premise of the game which is much more about resource management than huge fleet actions. Rather than trying to explain it here, we’ll just point you at the rule’s homepage, where you can find out all about it. There’s also an active Facebook page which you can join and ping questions at Mike.
*UPDATE – Mike has posted on the Facebook group recently – the release has been pushed back from May until August this year.