The Christmas sale is merrily sailing along (excuse the pun), and I’m going up to the local post office almost daily with piles of orders to be dispatched. It has ten days to run, so you still have plenty of time to make a saving (although be mindful of the last posting dates if you’re hoping to receive anything before Christmas). As things stand we’re pretty much up to date with orders – I have managed to clear the backlog so orders are being turned round pretty swiftly. We have a couple held up by a failed resin building mould that Phil is rapidly remaking, and we had run out of Imperial Skies turn rulers (again). However, new supplies of those were delivered today so they’ll be out the door in the next day or two, and are also back on the website.
We’ve had a cold spell here in the UK, so the workshop is, to say the least, a little nippy – this was the temperature inside the workshop when I switched on the machines the other day. I have a fan heater that keeps the casting room warm (if I don’t then the oil inside the air compressor motor is too viscous and it won’t run), but the main body of the workshop tends to resemble a walk-in freezer !
We’ve managed to stay on plan this year, so I’ve spent the majority of the last couple of weeks casting, packing and posting orders. I’ve also managed to find time to do some design work on new releases for next year and we have some interesting new bits lined up – there are new releases planned in the spaceships, Aeronef, Small Scale Scenery, 6mm and 15mm SF ranges for the first three months of next year. For now, here’s a preview of the hull of a new 15mm tank I’ve been working on…
One of our most popular 15mm ranges is the PacFed (Pacific Federation), probably because of their futuristic look with the wide grav skirts and rail guns. The designs are based on their 6mm counterparts but with a rather different styling and much more detail (as befits some of the first 3D sculpts we made). We decided recently that we would upgrade the models in the Polyversal pledge to the standard of the 15mm designs and showed off the 3D models. Now we have the models in hand and we’ve started casting in anger to fulfil our part of the pledges.
We thought it might be interesting to show some side-by-side images of the old and new models for comparison. As you can see, we’ve kept them pretty much the same size and layout as the originals but otherwise they’ve had a commplete facelift. One lesson learnt from previous rescales has been to beef up the proportions of the guns otherwise they can be too spindly. In addition, I’ve also found it can be a good idea to increase the thickness of turrets as well, as a straight scaling from the 15mm models can leave them looking a bit thin. I’m sure it doesn’t need pointing out but, just in case, the old models are on the left of each picture 🙂
We have now finished remodelling all of the PacFed range in 6mm, including a couple of 15mm vehicles that haven’t previously been available in 6mm (the Raeside and Dundas). We have masters of all of them which are just about to be committed to moulds (in fact I picked up a fresh batch of blank moulds from the manufacturers this morning) so there will be more photos once we’ve been able to cast the first masters.
It’s all hands to the pump here right now – the Black Friday offer seems to have kicked the sale into overdrive (it was going well enough anyway). I’ve been trying to turn round orders as fast as possible to avoid any sort of backlog building up, but this weekend’s flood of orders means that I’m now running about 4-5 days behind – so orders placed up to yesterday will hopefully be posted by the end of this week.
Normally I try to process orders in the sequence that they are received, so that everyone is treated fairly. However, as the first of the last posting dates starts to loom into view I will prioritise orders so that they have the best chance of arriving for Christmas. Essentially, this means I’ll try to make sure orders get posted in time for their respective dates.
We don’t generally do anything special for Black Friday – usually we already have our sale running, or about to run, so we’re covered. However, this year we thought we’d join in the fun and do a one-day special just on three specific ranges.
So for today, from midnight to midnight UK time we’ll be increasing the discount on our three 28mm ranges, Celtos, Magpie Miniatures and the Great War Belgians, to a stonking 30%. At the end of the day it’ll revert to the normal 15% for the remainder of the sale (which runs, in case you’d forgotten, until December 17th).
Saturday 17 December – Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg
Wednesday 21 December – UK
I’m afraid that the last posting date for Antartica has already passed…
Obviously we aren’t always able to ship out orders on the same or next day, some may take several days to a week to process, so if you want to place an order as a present, please, please don’t leave it to the last minute.
2016 has flown by, and it’s the time of year again when the Brigade Elves dust off their little hats with the bells on, while Phil’s looking dapper in his red and green tights again. And the Brigadier puts on his red Santa hat and launches…
So for the next four weeks, until December 16th, we’re running our usual festive offer. Sticking to our simple tried-and-trusted formula, all of our models are 15% off for the duration (see below for full details).
We’re running the sale slightly earlier this year – the first reason for this is to allow overseas customers to place orders and hopefully get them in time for Christmas (we’ll publish the recommended last posting dates in the next few days). The second reason is that, hopefully (and nasty flu bugs notwithstanding) I should be able to clear most, if not all of the sale orders before the Christmas holiday starts. In previous years I’ve had a break between Christmas and the New Year, and a huge mass of orders piles up so that when I return to work I’m faced with a week or two just clearing the backlog.
There are just a few exceptions and conditions, as you might expect … shipping will still be charged at the full rate, since we were unable to persuade the post office to match our offer. The discount covers all of our metal and resin models – but it doesn’t apply to rulebooks, dice, bases, Shapeways items or anything else that we don’t manufacture ourselves, simply because the margins on those items are much tighter. However, starter packs with rules, dice or bases in are covered by the offer.
As well as normal orders we’re also steadily working our way through the large number of 6mm tanks needed for our part of the Polyversal Kickstarter. We’re progressing nicely with them and the first parcel has just been dispatched.
Pictured below are the 150 Boyds needed.
The first 300 out of 750 Ratels.
And half of the 150 Curtiss heavy tanks.
After that there are 1,000 Catroux wheeled tanks and 2,500 assorted PacFeds.
And there is also the small matter of 6,000 infantry in power armour……
UPDATE 11/11/2016 – we’ve been informed that this issue has now been fixed, so all should be working again.
We’ve had a notification from PayPal this morning that there is an issue at their end with the shopping cart system – they’re apparently working on it. For some customers it’s fine (we’ve had several orders this morning) but for others it’s been playing up for a couple of days.
In the meantime, if you’re unable to complete your transaction at the checkout stage, you can send us a list and we can send you a PayPal invoice in return – this part of their system is working fine and you can pay that way.
Two big cardboard boxes appeared on the doorstep of Brigade Towers yesterday, each stuffed full of shiny new Imperial Skies rulebooks. Which means that the rulebook is available again from the website – woo-hoo!
Unfortunately we’ve had to make a modest adjustment to the price, and as these things inevitably are, the adjustment is slightly upwards. So those of you who backed the Kickstarter campaign have even more reason to be glad you did…
We utilised the club’s Pegasus Bridge WW2 terrain boards, but replaced all of the Normandy houses with ones from our resin SF ranges. The game saw the Slammers, supported by the 101st Texians in their VTOLs, racing to take a bridge held by a combined force of the Stewart regiment, Waldheim Dragoons and some Terran Authority Starmarines.
Below is a selection of photos from the day – John has more of his own on the HS website.
As this is published, I’m just stuffing the last few bits in the car ready to drive to the EuroTunnel for the journey to Crisis in Antwerp. I’m pretty well stocked, with plenty of Aeronef, spaceships, Celtos figures, 6mm and 15mm tanks, tiny 2mm buildings etc. There was also the added bonus of three stray copies of the Imperial Skies rulebook, found in the bottom of a box where they shouldn’t have been (we thought we were completely out of stock), so I’ll have these on sale along with the turn rulers and dice.
We’re closing in on our final new releases of the year now, and today we have a new vehicle for our 15mm Mercenary Brigade force, the Shinigami (‘Death Spirit’) Combat Car. This vehicle was the precursor to the Mantra Armoured Cavalry Vehicle, and is in effect an extended Wizard hover jeep with armoured sides and two tribarrel gatling gun positions, one on either flank. The basic vehicle comes in four parts – resin hull with metal hatch and two tribarrel guns. Our existing combat car crew figures fit perfectly in the back as gunners.
I’ve had a bit of fun customising one with crew, stowage, a radio aerial made from a paperclip and a commander figure taken from our PacFed infantry command set, cut off at the waist and fitted to the open hatch.