Five days to go on our Christmas sale, so we’re into the last stretch now.
The sale is sailing serenely on – this morning I took another big batch of parcels to the post office, we’ve now shipped all orders up to and including December 8th (apart from the last one to arrive that day – no particular reason, I just ran out of time yesterday !). However, there was a big burst of orders on Sunday, prompted no doubt by the fast-approaching end of the sale next weekend, so that will slow me down a bit.
In the meantime, I’ve spent the odd hour or two working on further new releases – more Aeronef, following on from last week’s British smaller vessels. This time I have a pair of larger vessels – the first is a new version of the Chilean battleship Santiago. The old model (out of production for some time) was notable for it’s two huge quad gun turrets, so I’ve kept that aspect of the design, although it’s also been given two smaller light gun turrets.
The second new vessel is a Spanish fighter carrier. One of the aspects of the Spanish capital ships that I really like is the raised front-to-back walkway on both vessels, so I’ve taken this and enlarged it to make a narrow flight deck. Below this at main deck level is an aircraft handling area with an anti-aircraft turret at each corner. The fighter models on deck are British Fitton Scouts which I used for sizing purposes. It remains to be seen if the Spanish get their own aircraft design…
First off, the latest sale update … we’ve shipped all but three orders from November, so I’m currently about four days behind – which isn’t too bad, it means I’m at least keeping up and not slipping any further. I’m hoping that we can repeat last year’s achievement of clearing everything before the Christmas holiday starts.
In between stints at the workshop I’ve been doing a little bit of design work. One of our goals for next year is to start replacing all of the cruisers and escorts for the major powers now that we’ve finished the capital ships (well nearly – the USA will get their new models first thing in January). We’ll start with the British, with the aim of having those ready for release at Salute in April. There are seven models to be replaced, and we’re also hoping to squeeze in a couple of new designs as well.
As you can see, I’ve based these new ones on the existing designs but with the addition of separate turrets on the larger vessels (which then gives us the option of offering an AA version of the Arethusa by swapping out the gun turrets for AA ones). And they’ll generally just be slightly better overall with more details and little touches like windows that are inset rather than proud of the surface.
Probably our least exciting post of the year, but it has to be done … 🙂
We’ve had the Royal Mail’s last recommended posting dates for Christmas this year; I’ve listed them below, something to bear in mind if you’re buying presents and want them to arrive in time for December 25th. Also bear in mind that I can’t always dispatch orders on the day they arrive, especially at this time of year when we’re busy with the sale. As you can see, you still have plenty of time.
- UK (First Class mail) – Thursday December 20th
- France/Belgium/Eire/Luxembourg – Tuesday December 18th
- Western/Central Europe (airmail) – Monday December 17th
- Canada/USA/Czech Rep/Poland/Italy – Friday December 14th
- Greece/Turkey/Australia/NZ – Monday December 10th
- Cyprus/Malta/Asia/Far East/Eastern Europe – Friday December 7th
Talking of the sale, I’m doing reasonably well – I have caught up a bit. All but a handful of orders up to last Thursday (22nd) have been sent, and several after that date (mostly orders for just rulebooks, which don’t need any casting and can be sent immediately). I have three huge orders to do that will occupy all of my time today, but by the end of this week I hope to have the backlog down to manageable proportions.
Now to see who reads all the way down this far … thanks ! Here’s a preview of a new Hammer’s Slammers tank destroyer, the Silverback. Readers of Miniature Wargames will have seen this already in the review section, but it’ll be new to the rest of you. I have masters for the 15mm and 6mm (hi David !) versions and production moulds for the 15mm hull have already been made, I’m just waiting on Phil to make the master mould for the metal parts. It’ll be one of our first releases of 2019 and might even squeeze in the back end of this year. It’s a bit of a monster, equal in size to a Slammer’s M2 blower tank and carrying the largest gun (25cm powergun) of any vehicle in the Crucible.
Shapeways are having a one day sale today – if you fancied grabbing anything from our Shapeways store (or anyone else’s, but mostly ours 🙂 ), now is the time.
Why, it’s Black Friday ! We sometimes get asked if we have any special Black Friday deals – to which the answer is no, we don’t as such. However, this seems like a good time to post a reminder about the ongoing Christmas Sale, which has been up and running for the past week and still has over three weeks to go. You can save 15% off all of our models including Aeronef, Spaceships, Celtos, Hammer’s Slammers, 6mm and 15mm sci-fi vehicles, Squadron Commander, Small Scale Scenery and the rest. We don’t restrict our sale to just one day…
For more details, see the website.
This is also as good a time as any for a status update; the sale response has been very good so far this year, so much so that I must admit I am struggling to keep up. Over the three days of the weekend we took as much in orders as I’d expect in a fortnight any other time of the year. I’m currently working flat out and, although I haven’t caught up much, the good news is that the backlog is at least fairly static and not getting any bigger ! By the end of today I expect to have cleared everything from the weekend and be making inroads into the orders placed on Monday and Tuesday.
So it’s already that time again – the Brigade Christmas Sale starts today ! I’ve uploaded the graphics, tested the shopping cart and it all seems to be working, so we’re ready to roll.
As we have in the last couple of years, we’re starting the sale now and it’s due to run for just over four weeks, until Sunday December 16th. This should allow customers overseas to place their orders and receive them in time for Christmas, and it also allows us to get everything cleared and out of the way before our own holidays so we don’t have to come back to a huge order backlog in January.
It’s the same format as we’ve run for many a year now – 15% off pretty much everything that we make (there are some exclusions – see the Christmas Sale page on the website for full details). You have thirty days starting now, so get to it ! Please share this post on social media, mailing lists, forums etc.
We have another addition today – it should have been on the website last week, but I left the painted model at the workshop so couldn’t take the photos !
Anyway, this is the previously-mentioned Antwerp dockside warehouse know as Hangar 29 Waagnatie, or more relevantly the venue for Crisis. It would make a very imposing and useful model for any dockyard layout, not just a Belgian one. It’s a whopping 240mm long with thirteen arched roof bays.
SSS-8118 – Hangar Waagnatie 29 – £10.00
The Neo-Soviet Ulyanovsk supercarrier made its debut at Crisis last weekend, and today makes it onto the website. At 115mm long, this is a huge model, the largest spaceship we’ve produced so far. The hull is resin, with four metal engines, three heavy gun turrets and a metal bridge to top it all off. It carries as many as fourteen fighter groups, along with the three battleship-class mass accelerator turrets and a myriad of secondary weapons. It has hefty shielding along with armour plating, so is a very tough nut to crack – you can find the Starmada-X playsheet here.
SFS-1211 – Ulyanovsk class Fleet Carrier – £12.00
In the nick of time for Crisis tomorrow, we’re very pleased to be able to release our new Castle models from the Small Scale Scenery range. In all there are eleven different sets of components to launch the range, plus a Starter Set. I’ll have stock at the show of the starter set and a few of the individual component packs too.
The Starter Set consists of a Keep, Gatehouse, eight towers, eight lengths of curtain wall and three lengths of walls with bastions. This should be enough to make several different designs, and you can of course add more components. The set will be available in different options so you can choose different keeps and tower types.
The castle below was assembled and painted by Stephen Tucker as an example of what can be made from the starter set; we very much look forward to seeing the designs that you’ll all be creating from it !
SSS-8119a – Castle Starter Kit #1 – £10.00
SSS-8119b – Castle Starter Kit #2 – £10.00
SSS-8120 – Curtain Walls – £1.50
SSS-8120a – Walls w/Round Bastion – £1.50
SSS-8120b – Walls w/Angled Bastion – £1.50
SSS-8121a – Keep-1 – £2.00
SSS-8121b – Keep-2 – £2.00
SSS-8122r – Round Towers – £1.50
SSS-8122o – Octagonal Towers – £1.50
SSS-8122s – Square Towers – £1.50
SSS-8123a – Gatehouse-1 – £1.00
SSS-8123b – Gatehouse-2 – £1.00
SSS-8123c – Gatehouse-3 – £1.00
Righty-ho, off to Antwerp…