Three Wheels On My Wagon

After a busy few weeks we’re finally back on an even keel, and one facet of this is we can get back to releasing new stuff. We’re starting with some new 15mm vehicles, but nothing conventional. We’ve wanted to do some civilian vehicles for a while, but since there are other companies that already produce some very good models we didn’t want to go over the ground they’ve already covered. So we were looking for something a bit different, and John Treadaway pointed us in the direction of one of the Hammer’s Slammers stories in which mention is made of Cyclos, described as

a three-wheeled mini-truck of the sort the civilians on Prosperity used for
everything from taxis to hauling farm produce into town.

So we had something to work on that would also fit nicely into one of the Hammer’s Slammers detachment lists (Prosperity Rebels, which will be reworked to fit them in).

We can up with a number of variants – open- and closed-back trucks for hauling farm produce as described above, a taxi, an armed versions (the rebels in the story have a mortar mounted in the back of one), a police version and a tow truck.

The armed version can carry either a mortar or a twin buzzbomb launcher (same weapons as the M6 Combat Car). The police version has a light bar and one of our standard small turret rings, so could be fitted with just about any small turret or weapon mount from one of our lighter vehicles (the Cyclos are quite small so many of the larger turrets will overwhelm it). The default version comes with a hatch and pintle weapon but it could carry a weapon such as the Indonesian remote MG, a Neo-Soviet tri-barrel, Lightning Division gatling, Shinigami missile launcher etc. We’ve included a number of these as options on the website but feel free to drop us a line if you have any ideas for other options you’d like to see.

As any fan of 80s UK TV comedy shows will understand, the closed back van version just has to be painted dirty yellow, and I only just resisted the temptation to paint ‘Trotters Independent Trading Co, New York – Paris – Peckham’ down the side (or as John pointed out, in the future it should probably be ‘New New York – New Paris – New Peckham’ !).

The Brigadier inspects cyclos in the car park of a fast food joint.

SF15-9000 – Cyclo Pickup – £3.00
SF15-9000a – Armed Cyclo – £3.00
SF15-9000b – Cyclo Van – £3.00
SF15-9000c – Cyclo Taxi – £3.00
SF15-9000d – Police Cyclo – £3.00
SF15-9000e – Cyclo Tow Truck – £3.25

Stock Update

A few things have moved in and out of stock lately; the very good news is that both the Imperial Skies rulebook and the Hammer’s Slammers rulebook are available again.

We’ve worn through a few resin moulds lately, so you might find that some 6mm buildings could briefly go out of stock while we remould them and then come back again.

Supplies of some Hammer’s Slammers decal sheets is low, especially the vehicle numbers. We’re hoping to place a restock order soon, which could well include decals for some new forces.

We’re out of some sizes of the Land Ironclads bases, so we can’t supply any of the army packs currently; we’ll get those back in stock as soon as possible. If you want to buy any of the packs without the bases then get in touch and we’ll work out a reduced price for you.

And finally … we’re low on some dice colours; we may not restock all of them, we don’t sell huge amounts of dice and stock turnover is low so it’s likely that we’ll reduce the number of colours that we carry.

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) …

Status Update #2 – Back to the Grindstone

So the holiday is over, and it’s back to the workshop full-time. Although several visits were made to the workshop in an effort to keep things under control, the backlog of orders is still pretty substantial. There is also a pair of stock orders for two of our US stockists, Pico Armor and Scale Creep, so it’s safe to say that we’ll be kept busy…

At a rough guess we think we can clear all orders to the end of last Friday (July 3rd) by the end of this coming week, but any that arrived this weekend or later are probably going to run over to the following week. Until we can clear everything, there’s going to be a delay of 7-10 days in shipping out any new orders.

Because of this we’ve obviously had no new releases – which is a shame as we have some good ones lined up. We still have a large batch of 15mm models (something like 17 vehicles and guns) which were originally intended for Salute, but remain unreleased since we haven’t had time to generate any initial stock.

Off to the grindstone…

Status Update – Things Are a Bit Slow…

Just time for a quick Sunday night update…

My holiday seems unfortunately to have coincided with a spike in orders which means that things are a bit slow at the moment. Turn round time on orders is currently in the order of 10-14 days – hopefully we’ll get this cleared and everything back to normal in the next week or two once I return to the workshop full-time.

As we don’t hold much ready stock, most of the time we cast to order, and process orders on a strict ‘first-in, first-out’ basis. However, when we get a backlog of orders like this we switch to a slightly different method of handling them. Instead of working in date order, we group orders by type so that we’re working on similar orders – ie, we’ll deal with all the spaceship orders, then the Aeronef orders etc. Although this is slightly less fair (some orders will end up being turned round in two days, others in two weeks) it is more efficient overall so we get things cleared more quickly.

Small Scale Arnhem

Continuing our mini-series of blog posts featuring other people’s use of our Small Scale Scenery range, this week we’re very pleased to be able to show Charles Rowntree’s superb Arnhem scenery.

Holiday Time – Not

Today I shouldn’t be here – The Brigadieress and I should be on a plane to France, or Spain, so somewhere else warm. But, like everyone else, we’re not. However, although we can’t go anywhere, I’m still going to have a few days off over the next fortnight – the weather forecast is decent so we’ll have a barbecue in the garden or take the dog to the beach (and I have a feeling that I’m also being lined up for some decorating or DiY work).

The upshot is that for the next fortnight, although I will still be processing orders, it will be at a slower rate and there will be a longer turnaround than usual. I will also be a bit slower at responding to messages and enquiries too.

Road to Recovery

Today we have three very useful 15mm accessory packs. The first is a conversion kit for creating engineering or recovery vehicles, consisting of a crane and a dozer blade (which can be one of three types). It also has a converter so that it will fit either of our standard turret ring sizes. We’ve made up several example vehicles showing what can be done with the pack.

The other packs contain respectively one each of the three dozer blades, or two recovery cranes.

We also sell a pack of two smaller cranes (from the Hammer’s Slammers E8 recovery vehicle). These have non-standard turret rings, so the pack now includes converter rings so that they will fit our standard small turret rings, and plates so that they can be fitted to a flat surface such as a truck bed.

SF15-932 – Small Cranes (x2) – £3.00
SF15-938 – Engineering Vehicle Conversion kit – £3.00
SF15-939 – Dozer Blades (x3) – £3.00
SF15-942 – Recovery Cranes (x2) – £4.00

D-Day!

OK, so we’re a few days late …

Ian Maun has shown us some pictures of his 2mm D-Day diorama, and kindly allowed us to put the pictures on our blog. The following are Ian’s words on its construction:

The beach is sandpaper and the cliffs are layered cardboard and modelling clay, dry-brushed, with Woodlands Scenics grass-mats and trees.

The view is from the north, so the beach to the left is the eastern beach, and the beach to the right is the western. The eastern beach is still under bombardment from HMS Warspite (the Eagle model), HMS Roberts (Navis) and a Landing Ship Tank (Rocket). Following Salerno, Warspite’s ‘X’ turret is still out of action. No troops have yet landed. Shells are exploding and there are shell craters on the beach and in the fields. The town hotel is burning. The town buildings are a mixture of Langton and Brigade models.

The central beach is the main focus of action with troops and armour landing. The troops are Irregular Miniatures 2mm, as are most of the armour and other vehicles. The LCAs are mainly by Shapeways, and the LCTs are Irregular Miniatures and some unknown makes. Their blue and white camouflage has had black added to it sharpen the contrast. The beach defences include posts, Y-shaped defences with a Teller mine and ‘Czech defences’, six-sided Xs made from steel girders, or, in this case, Plastruct rod! The beach is covered in barbed wire (made from coiled 5amp fusewire), behind which are machine gunners
The Pointe du Hoc is under attack from American Rangers from the east, with landing craft and a rocket- firing LCA. The troops have ropes going up the cliffs, and have secured the nearer part of the Pointe, despite the barbed wire defences. Although I’ve copied the layout of the guns on the cliffs, I’ve not taken away the guns themselves, unlike the Germans! The village is made from Brigade models, and the gliders are Irregular Miniatures. The battery in the middle is a mixture of makes. German tanks can be seen on the road. There are many German troops in the field. Field Grey paint camouflaged them too well, so that has been lightened.

On the western beach, armour is coming ashore and troops are making their way to the narrow ‘draw’ on the right.

At sea is the second wave of the invasion, with a large number of LCIs, as well as other landing craft and landing ships, laden with troops and armour. Troop transports are standing off.

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