Raiders Ready

SELWG is just 11 days away now, so we’re ramping up production for the show. As I feared, there’s a lot to do in stocking up the last 18 months’ worth of new releases so I’m still not 100% sure if we’ll manage to get everything finished.

One thing we will definitely have is these chaps – the 15mm Desert Raider figures are lined up and ready to go, Phil finished the production moulds a couple of weeks back and I’ve painted some samples. We’re still finalising the exact pack contents but hopefully a list will go up before the show. They will also be next week’s Friday release for those that can’t get to SELWG. There’s also an outside possibility that they’ll have some brand new transport to ride around in, but we’d rather not promise anything just yet in case that doesn’t happen.

Sneak Preview

We don’t often do previews of upcoming releases, preferring to let our models sneak out when they’re ready. But we’re making an exception today, as these great new 15mm sculpts arrived last week and we just can’t keep them to ourselves – Phil had them in a mould the next day and Tony cast up the first ones just a day later. They are 15mm versions of our recently released 6mm Desert Raiders, sculpted again by Martin Baker. We have 21 different poses including riflemen, support weapons (buzzbombs and SAWs), command figures, heavy weapons crew, cavalry riders – oh, and a vehicle driver, as they’ll be getting some transport of their own in the near future. There’s also a new version of The Brigadier in desert garb – a sort of Brigadier of Arabia. Release date isn’t set yet – we need to cast and clean up production castings first. But we hope to have them in time for our first show after lockdown, SELWG in October.

Command Figures – the Brigadier is on the left

It’s Oh So Quiet…

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…

Boxes and Barrels

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…).

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!

FSHB in 6mm

As promised, a preview that isn’t Aeronef!

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 … ? 🙂

All moulded and ready to when we’re back online…

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…

3 … 2 … 1 … We Have Normality.

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) …

Business Not As Usual

It’s OK, we haven’t got it 🙂

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.