A Very Desirable Property

Peter Hunt has sent us some pictures of his latest 2mm creation, Schloss Zenda. Over to him (or rather his alter ego, Hercule)…

Gentlemen,
Whilst strategists believe that the recent Bacterian offensive on Zenda was undertaken to provide support for a beleaguered Sylvania, our real estate correspondent Sue Casa suggest that the operation may have been intended to obtain property in the neighbourhood at knock down prices. She speaks of course of that most desirable property, Schloss Zenda.

The Front Aspect, showing the new faux medieval fortified gatehouse housing sumptuous apartments, ballroom, barracks and stables with the ancient keep behind.

This famous Schloss consists of two parts: the ancient keep, surrounded by a deep, dark, and very cold moat; and the new residential complex consisting of a faux medieval fortified gatehouse housing sumptuous apartments, ballroom with the best sprung dancefloor east of the Kit Kat Club, barracks and stables. The two bailies are joined by a State Of The Art modern drawbridge utilising the very latest in mechanical contrivances to ensure easy operation.

A Side Aspect: The ancient keep, moat and drawbridge.

The moat ensures complete privacy from paparazzi, door-to-door salesmen, insurance hawkers and interfering nanny-state government bureaucrats intent of ruining your plans to usurp the legal government of the land by placing an altogether more worthy candidate on the throne. The ancient keep contains ample storage facilities for French mistresses and detained Heads of State, whilst offering convenient means to promptly dispose of either should the need arise. Full operating instructions for the moat, drawbridge and accommodation are included in this useful handbook:

Rather like Schloss Altschwanstein, Schloss Zenda has been often imitated but never equalled. Examples of this highest form of flattery include Berg Kreuzenstein near Vienna and Castell Coch near Kaardiff:

Berg Kreuzenstein: a Viennese Confection
Castell Coch: You can take the boy out of Kaardiff, but you can’t take Kaardiff out of the boy.

Yes, Schloss Zenda remains a very desirable property in these uncertain times, offering seclusion, security, and ample parking. It remains to be seen if the Bacterians, or other parties, will make another bid on the premises.

The Rear Aspect: No joy here for paparazzi, door-to-door salesmen, or squadrons of Guard Hussars seeking access.

Yours, As Ever,
Hercule

Alien Invaders

At last, we’re finally in a position to put the last of the releases which were originally planned for Salute (!) onto the website. We hope it’s been worth the wait…

Our 15mm Yenpalo Aliens have been mainly an infantry-based force, and had just the single vehicle, the Xarledi grav tank, which was released (and sold out on the day) at Salute 2017. This balance has now been redressed with this release. There are four new vehicles – light tank, APC, scout and troop carrier vehicles, more Xarledi variants plus heavy guns, infantry variants and skimmers.

Since these models were intended to be part of our Salute set, we’re going to extend the combined discount and charity donation that applied to all of the other releases. All of the new Yenpalo releases will initially be discounted by 7.5%, and for each sale we’ll also donate the same amount to HEROES, a charity set up to help frontline NHS staff as they battle the Covid-19 outbreak. This will run until August 21st.

SF15-1101b – Xarledi Light Support Tank – £9.00
SF15-1101c – Xarledi Air defence Tank – £9.00
SF15-1101d – Xarledi Missile Tank – £9.00
SF15-1102 – Ayunza Light Tank – £7.50
SF15-1103 – Zorseek APC – £8.50
SF15-1104 – Ssetzu AA Gun – £4.00
SF15-1105 – Kadsku Scout – £6.00
SF15-1106 – Sulifi Troop Carrier – £5.006
SF15-1107 – Yenpalo Infantry Skimmers – £4.00
SF15-1108 – Kjalba Heavy Gun – £4.00
SF15-1160a – Yenpalo Infantry w/out Helmets (x10) – £3.75
SF15-1162a – Yenpalo Support w/out Helmets (x5) – £2.00
SF15-1166 – Yenpalo Seated Figures (x6) – £2.00

Odds and Ends

Today we have a bunch of assorted 15mm bits and pieces added to the website. There are several engineering vehicles based around the engineering kits we released recently (we will do more but it’s a matter of getting them built, painted and photographed!).

We have a PacFed gun crew for our various towed and fixed guns.

There’s a new weapon option for the Catapult 6×6 AFV with a remote anti-tank weapon.

In the Hammer’s Slammer range the Stewart Regiment have their own 15mm page to make ordering easier, and they’ve also gained a pack of remote guns plus a control team which features in the Stewart Borderers detachment list.

HS15-172 – Stewart Remote Gun teams – £4.50
HS15-1715b – Fauchard Engineering Vehicle – £8.00
HS15-2113a – Catapult Engineering Vehicle – £8.00
HS15-3613a – Kopis Engineering Vehicle – £8.00
SF15-712e – Raeside Recovery Vehicle – £4.50
SF15-760 – PacFed Gun Crew – £1.25

The Emperor and the Wind

In between the rash of 15mm releases we have other things as well, so this week we have two new capital ships to add to our Chinese Democratic Socialist Union fleet.

The first is the ChengZu class battlecruiser, named for the Ming Emperor Zhu Di. It’s a solid looking vessel with twin turrets and some heavy forward firing Shock Cannon.

Accompanying the ChengZu is the Fengzi (wind) class Carrier. Although rated as a light carrier by the CDSU, it still carries eight fighter squadrons, although not much else in the way of armament.

We’ve also reintroduced the CDSU Scout Fleet Pack, which has one each of the new models plus two each of the three new escort vessels we released recently, plus 24 fighters.

SFS-503 – ChengZu class Battlecruiser – £6.00
SFS-511 – Fengzi class Light Carrier – £6.50
SFSP-503 – CDSU Scout Fleet Pack – £22.50

A cracking good time…

As models go our very first 15mm building (B15-1001 – bunker) is particularly awkward to paint. It has a smooth and rounded surface. You can’t really dry brush it as it doesn’t have any edges to highlight. There are no nooks and crannies so a wash won’t work. It just has nowhere to settle. So what to do with it?

Well I decided to cover one in mud. Sort of anyway.

The mud in question came from Games Workshop’s Technical paint range. I’d never really looked at their various different basing paints until recently. I’d always just assumed that they were just little pots of paint with sand mixed in. Whilst this is the case for some, others are designed to give the effect of dried and cracked mud. After watching a couple of videos demonstrating the paints I thought that they might look good smeared over a bunker (as you do).

They come in a variety of colours and I settled on Agrellan Earth. Although the actual colour didn’t really matter as it was going to be painted over anyway.

Because of the size of the area to be covered the paint has to be applied in a very thick layer. My first effort simply ended up as a layer of brown paint with no cracking. It really needs to be slapped on – I ended up using around two thirds of the pot.

A few areas didn’t give a very good result at first and needed a second coat.

Initially the surface was a little bit delicate but once painted everything seemed robust.

The bunker was simply painted with Games Workshop shades and contrast paints over a white undercoat.

After a bit of trial and error I settled on two coats of the Skeleton Hoard contrast paint and one coat of the Seraphim Sepia wash. Then finished off with a dry brush of Terminatus Stone.

 

I’m rather pleased with the results. It certainly gives a different look to the bunker and makes it a lot less dull and boring compared to my earlier efforts.

And to finish – an overhead view. Hopefully it does blend in a little bit with the surrounding terrain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.