Merry Christmas

After one of the most ‘interesting’ years anyone can remember, we’d like to wish everyone a very happy, and above all safe, Christmas. Eat, drink and be merry, and if you have a chance to slap some paint on a few tanks, figures or spaceships, so much the better.

We’ll be back with our first release of 2021 on New Year’s Day.

Phil and Tony
The Brigadiers.

Service and EU Shipping Update

After a last minute blitz on orders, we’ve shipped out everything that arrived before 4pm yesterday. Obviously it’s Christmas, and the postal service seems to be in a bit of a mess currently, so they might take a while to arrive, but they are at least on their way.

The Brigade workshop is now shut until next year – we’ve sent all the worker elves home, they’ll be back on January 4th, all being well. We should still be able to answer emails and queries, although response times might be a bit longer.

We have recently found out that the Royal Mail have suspended services to the EU because of the ongoing disruption to travel caused by the new coronavirus strain here in the UK. And internal parcel services have been overwhelmed by a combination of a huge surge in demand as everyone does their shopping online, and coronavirus restrictions. So if you are expecting for a delivery, please be prepared for a bit of a wait…

Because of this, and the impending end of the Brexit transition period, we’re recommending that EU customers do not place any orders until the New Year. If you place an order before January 1st, we’ll still have to charge you UK VAT; but we won’t be able to send your order until after January 1st, so in theory you could be liable for import VAT as well, which means you could be taxed twice. One piece of good news is that, as this is being written, a trade deal is looking likely so at least the spectre of additional duty should be avoided.

The B Word

Every so often we get to publish a post on such thrilling topics as VAT, shipping rates or last posting dates for Christmas (just in case you were wondering – you’re too late now). Today we tackle everyone’s favourite, Brexit – and we’ll keep it brief, we have no more desire to write a long-winded post than you have to read one. But we want to reassure any of our European customers who may be concerned about ordering from us after January 1st.

Firstly, this only really affects customers in the EU – so if you live in a country outside the EU, including the UK, feel free to stop here.

As we write, ten days from the end of the year, we’re still none the wiser about whether or not there will be a trade deal in place on January 1st – but that probably won’t affect things for us either way. The UK government has published plenty of guidance for business-to-business transactions with EU companies post Brexit, but not much we can find for companies like us that ship directly to EU customers – so what follows is how we understand things.

Currently, EU customers pay VAT on orders from us at the standard UK rate of 20%. As of January 1st, this will no longer be charged, so everything will get 1/6th cheaper. As far as we know shipping rates will remain the same as well, and you’ll no longer be charged VAT on shipping either. So far, so good.

However, you may be liable for import duty and taxes when the package arrives in your country. We can’t estimate how much these will be as they vary from country to country even in the EU, but VAT is likely to be at your local rate. You may also have to pay a processing fee. Most countries have a minimum order value before charges are applied (in the UK it’s £15) and not every parcel gets caught, it can depend on how busy or diligent your customs service are – it’s quite hit and miss here, and the smaller the order, the greater the chance of it slipping through the net.

From our point of view we will have to fill in a customs declaration for each order stating the contents and their value. The value we put is for the contents, we don’t include shipping, and during a sale we would enter the discounted value (ie what you actually paid, not the full price). Some countries will charge different rates on different types of item, so if we can help by describing the contents in a certain way (eg ‘Toys and Games’ or ‘Gaming Miniatures’) then let us know and we’ll do what we can. However, please do not ask us to understate the value of your order – we will always enter the correct value on the form.

So, in summary

  • you’ll no longer pay UK VAT on items or shipping
  • Shipping rates and shipping times shouldn’t be affected (unless there’s some initial short-term disruption)
  • You may be liable for import VAT and/or duty, but this will probably be similar to what you’d have paid in VAT directly to us before Brexit
  • Smaller orders may not be liable at all
  • If you’re lucky, you might not have to pay anything, in which case our models will be cheaper than before Brexit 🙂

OK, that’ll do – if we can help any further then please ask, and if anyone has a better understanding of the process (quite likely!) then let us know and we’ll update this post.

From Russia With Love

We’ve made it – our final new release of the year, and the last leg in our epic quest to redesign/resculpt the Aeronef models of the six major powers. Today sees the release of the Russian cruiser and escort forces, with six redesigns and two brand new models. You can see all of the new models below, along with the two smaller vessels released last week.

The two new craft are the Kronshtadt Heavy Cruiser, an enormous beast the size of a small battleship with new twin turrets. The other vessel is the Burnyi destroyer, fitted with a forward barbette and torpedo tubes.

There’s a new Fleet pack with a Poltava Dreadnought, an Admiral Nakhimov battlecruiser plus escorts, and a new Russian Escort Flotilla pack with eight destroyers (although I’m afraid we still have no flying stands so the packs are without these for the the moment).

The small Russian barbettes have been redesigned and are available in packs of 12, as is the new cruiser turret on the Kronshtadt. There are even some new flags, the Imperial flag and Naval Jack.

VANFP-502 – Russian Fleet Pack #2 – £21.50
VANFP-513 – Russian Escort Flotilla – 10.00

VAN-501 – Petrapavlovsk Class Cruiser – £2.50
VAN-502 – Archangelsk Class Dig Cruiser – £3.50
VAN-504 – Dobrovolets class Destroyer – £1.00
VAN-505 – Derskyi Heavy Destroyer – £3.50
VAN-507 – Smolensk class Seaplane Tender – £2.50
VAN-511 – Strashchni class Destroyer – £1.75
VAN-516 – Kronshtadt – £4.50
VAN-517 – Burnyi – £1.75

VANF-503 – Russian Imperial Flag – £0.50
VANF-504 – Russian Naval Jack – £0.50

VAN-7051 – Russian Single Barbette (x12) – £1.50
VAN-7052 – Russian Twin Barbette (x12) – £1.50
VAN-7057 – Russian Twin Cruiser Turret (x12) – £1.50

Having finished with the major powers, we’re off in a completely new direction with Aeronef in 2021. News of this coming soon…

That’s it for new releases this year – next Friday is of course Christmas day, and we have better things to do then, as we’re sure you all do!

River Horse

New for this week are some variants of our popular 15mm truck, the South African Confederation Hippo.

The first is a troop-carrying variant with raised sides and seating for 12 troops. The other two versions are armed models – one with a twin tri-barrel AA turret, the other a 12-barrel rocket launcher system, both on rotating mounts.

SF15-608c – Hippo Troop Carrier – £8.50
SF15-608d – Hippo with Twin AA Tribarrels – £9.00
SF15-608e – Hippo with MRLS – £9.00

Starship Painting Guide

Our friend Robin Fitton, author of both Gruntz and Imperial Skies, has begun a series of starship painting guides on his Rottenlead blog. He’s featuring models from a number of manufacturers including ourselves.

Part one, covering cleanup and prep, can be seen below:

Flying Fortresses

This week sees the release of new versions of the Russian Raevski Aerial Redoubt and Shevardino Aerial Battery. These heavily armed, static flying defences are positioned to defend harbours and air stations across the huge expanse of Mother Russia. These new versions are resin hulled, making them lighter and much easier to base, and feature the new heavy turrets found on the Russian capital ships. We’ve also released a Defence Battery pack with one Raevski and two Shevardino.

As if that wasn’t enough, we also have new versions of the Russian Murmansk Patrol Nef and Novik Torpedo Nef.

At the same time, the Austro-Hungarians get an updated Lussin Rocket Nef plus a new vessel, the Maros Patrol Nef. The Russian and Austro-Hungarian torpedo flotilla packs have been updated with the new models.

VANFP-511 – Russian Torpedo Flotilla – £4.00
VANFP-512 – Russian Defence Battery – £8.00
VANFP-711 – Austro-Hungarian Rocket Squadron – £4.00

VAN-503 – Murmansk Patrol Nef (x3) – £1.50
VAN-508 – Novik Torpedo Nef (x3) – £1.50
VAN-509 – Shevardino Aerial Battery – £2.00
VAN-510 – Raevski Aerial Redoubt – £5.00
VAN-705 – Lussin Rocket Nef (x3) – £1.50
VAN-716 – Maros Patrol nef – £1.50

All Along the Watchtower

Today we have some useful 15mm bits and pieces. The largest is a Watchtower, built to keep an eye on the myriad hazards that can threaten a small colony out in the wastelands. The design is the same as the one from our 6mm Town Walls range, but with the integral walls removed.

The other two items are handy items of cargo. The first is a set of eight small resin cargo cases, two each of four designs. The other set has 12 metal barrels, six each of two designs.

B15-185 – Watchtower – £8.00
SF15-943 – Cargo Cases (x8) – £1.75
SF15-944 – Barrels (x12) – £3.00

Stop the Cavalry

Just a quick update – after a longer than expected hiatus, our Great War Belgian cavalry are available again now that we have a new mould for the horses. So you can once again add lancers, guides and chasseurs to your 1914 Belgian army, along with officers and buglers for each type.

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…