June 2017 Update.
Looking at this thread made me realise it's been over a year since I announced the second chapter, and work had begun on that chapter a good six months ahead of that, so this project has been ongoing for awhile. Longer than I initially thought, but, to be honest, I'm not hating the progress that's been made. I knew from day 1 that building a fleet would require a lot of model work, and that's happened. When the original mission plan was decided on, thirteen ships were identified that would need new models. Not all of them were entirely new - variants and things meant that a lot of work could be used more than once. But I'm pleased to point out that of those models, only four remain. The ships that have been released since then (and will be used for 2322) are (in no particular order):
The Endymion Station
The Titan, Assault Titan and Recon Titan
The Assault Leto
Still to come are a large intersystem ferry transport, two sentry cannons, and another Leto variant*. In other words, we're well and truly over the worst of it when it comes to making this mod pack happen. When those last few pieces are out of the way, it'll be FREDding time.
Of course, I realise that's probably not what anyone is actually interested in hearing. The big question is: What does this mean for release time? Well, there's a bit of good news there: The campaign has a pretty firm plan for eight missions, none of which rely on any particularly complex scripting or anything like that - FREDding takes time, of course, and getting mission balance right is hard (not to mention modpack balance, which is still very much subject to change). I don't want to imply that all that needs to happen is the completion of these last four relatively minor new ships and then a few weeks later we'll have a campaign, but I do think that the >2 years spent (to date)
building the fleet will represent significantly more time than will be taken building the missions.
That, of course, brings up a second point - that's not a very efficient distribution of time for a project like this. If a new FREDder asked me a bout a project like this I'd tell them to use existing assets and focus their time on FREDding. But the modifier to that rule in this case is that Frontlines is more like a banner than a single project, and when 2322 is completed, we'll have examples of the Terran and Vasudan fleets at the beginning and end of the 14 Year War. While I doubt that future projects will be able to be made entirely with the existing mod pack (there's at least one Jupiter variant yet to be built, for example) the amount of work will be far lower as the two species' fleets simply transition from one into the other, rather that ever needing again to be built from scratch. If there's a third Frontlines campaign (and while I'd be happy to simply have bookended the TV War, a thir campaign is not out of the question - the original plan was five minicampaigns after all), it will probably be set in 2333 or 2334, and require almost no new assets at all, which will massively reduce the amount of time required.
Also, without wanting to be arrogant about it, and with no disrespect to the old U War team, one of my aims here was to create something like a "definitive" pre-FS1 shipset that others could use as their basis if they wanted to tell a story set during this period. Even if they didn't want to be linked up in any way with FL, or be constrained by the stories we tell and the limitations we place on the history of the era, having a fully fleshed out, reasonably high quality pair of fleets custom built for the era will bean extremely useful place for future campaign designers to start from if they decide they want to play in the TV-War era sandbox. To me, there's value in that even if it has meant a fairly outrageously long development period for an 8 mission campaign.
*The GTI Acheron hasn't been forgotten, but its role in 2322 is essentially as a piece of furniture - it's in one mission, but the Vasudans don't attack it, so it's just kind of.... there, covering the Sol node. It's fully UVed, and probably would be very easy to complete, and I expect at some point I probably will take a crack at getting it in game, but it's not something that I would let hold up completion of the mod, so I don't consider it part of the core modpack.