Today we have a new addition to our range of 15mm SF bunkers and fortifications. The AA Bunker is a resin model that consists of a small radar-equipped control bunker with an attached mounting for a turret – generally an AA one, although there’s no reason why you couldn’t fit it with a small missile or gun turret from our extensive range. The website allows you to pick from several popular AA turrets including twin gatlings, an 8-barrel calliope or missile pods, but if you’d like to equip it with anything else then drop us a line and we’ll do our best to help.
Today we’re releasing some useful new 15mm scale waterslide decals – twenty sets of vehicle tac numbers to help you identify your tanks. They come in five colours (red, yellow, blue, white and black) and each sheet has enough 2-digit numbers for 20 vehicles (two numbers per vehicle) running from the 10s up to the 80s. Each number is a fraction over 4mm high and are arranged in a regular grid to make them easier to cut out of the sheet.
I’ve tried them out on my recently painted Lightning Division armour, using red numbers as a high-contrast against the grey/white camouflage.
The decals can be found on our website under the Hammer’s Slammers range, along with all the other unit-specific decals.
Towards the end of last year, I wrote a post on the Royal Mail’s last posting dates before Christmas, commenting that I thought it would be “our least exciting post of the year“. This year I’m getting in early for that accolade with this piece.
I had a number of emails during the sale concerning the way our shopping cart system works, in particular related to the application (or non-application) of VAT – customers outside the EU worried that it hadn’t been deducted correctly, or others in the UK or Europe questioning why a big lump of tax had been added to their order when they checked out. So this is my best attempt to explain how it all works and who or what it applies to. I’m not an accountant, which I’m hoping will be an advantage as I’ll try to explain things from my layman’s point of view. I’m also looking at it from the point of view of the Brigade website only, there may be some special cases or rates that don’t apply to us, in which case I won’t complicate matters with those. So if you’re’re all sitting comfortably, then I’ll begin…
VAT VAT stands for Value Added Tax – it’s essentially a sales tax. In the UK it’s levied on most goods and services, although only if the company supplying them is registered for VAT. Companies over a certain annual turnover threshold (currently £85000) are required to register for VAT in the UK, although ones with a lower turnover can voluntarily register (there are advantages to being registered – for example, you can claim back any VAT you pay out). Incidentally, this needs to be borne in mind for overseas customers ordering from other sites – I’ve seen complaints on TMP for example complaining that company X didn’t deduct VAT for an order from the US or Canada, when company X may simply not have been registered in the first place. But that’s by-the-by, since Brigade most certainly is VAT registered.
The current rate of VAT for most goods is 20%; there are some different rates for other specific items, but none of these apply to Brigade except for books, which are zero-rated (which means that although they are technically eligible for VAT, the current rate is 0% so no tax is charged on them).
Prices on our website or blog are always given with VAT included. So an item that is listed at £6 is actually £5 plus 20% (£1) VAT. On the website we state the amount of VAT on each item page, but if you’re trying to work it out for yourself, remember that VAT is 1/6th of the total price (not 1/5th, as might seem the obvious calculation).
The Shopping Cart
The way the cart works has changed slightly. The values that go into the cart are without VAT – so if you add our previously mentioned £6 item to the cart, the value that actually goes into it is £5 (plus the shipping cost for the item is added to the running total). VAT is only added later once you give the system your shipping address and it can then determine whether or not you need to pay the tax. If you’re within the the main 28 EU countries (not those in the EEA) then you will be charged VAT; anywhere else in the world, you won’t. So when you checkout, if your delivery address is within the EU, 20% will be added to the order total. But remember, the value that went into the cart was without VAT, so the total amount you will be charged is still the same as was stated on the website initially.
HMRC have decreed that VAT also has to be added to any shipping costs at the same rate as the rest of the order. If you place an order for books only then that rate will be zero, so no VAT is added. If the order is a mix of books and other items, then the higher rate of 20% VAT is added to the entire shipping cost.
Below are five images showing an example from start to checkout. I’ve captioned each image so as you scroll through the gallery, hopefully everything will become clear!
OK, I think that’s it – I hope it all makes sense, but if anyone has any questions (or, just as importantly, if I’ve got anything wrong or could explain it better), please let us know.
I’ll now get back to the far more interesting and important task of making little model tanks and spaceships now…
A belated Happy New Year to you all – I’ve been at the workshop this week clearing the orders that had built up while I’d been on my Christmas break, and I’m pleased to say that it’s pretty much all done.
This means that we can return to the normal Friday business of new releases. At the end of last year we suffered a slight technical hitch that meant that we had to replace a number of 3D printed masters, which in turn knocked our release schedule out a bit. So our releases for the start of this year aren’t necessarily those we’d originally planned – but since we never publish our schedule, no-one but us is affected by that ! But rest assured, behind the scenes here at Brigade, minor panic has ensued…
Today we have some 19th Century oddities in the form of some semaphore towers. Before the advent of wireless or telephones, semaphore towers were used to transmit messages over long distances, far faster than runners or even mounted messengers could manage. There were several systems, but one very common one was the Chappe system which used two wooden arms mounted on a crossbar – the angles of the three components resulted in the following alphabet:
Our four models come from different parts of the world – the Chatley Heath tower was part of the London-Portsmouth line, while we also have models from France, Malta and India. Each model is supplied with a random signal arm (we have the letters ‘B’, ‘R’, ‘I’, ‘G’, ‘A’, ‘D’ and ‘E’ available) but scratchbuilding others from plastic strip should be a straightforward task.
I also fancied painting a different colour scheme to the blue/yellow/grey of the blowers. I had a simple snow camouflage in mind, white stripes over a grey base. The plan was to utilise Blu-tack masking, spraying the models grey first then masking off stripes with adhesive putty before spraying white. But when the day came, I couldn’t find any Blu-tack! Instead I had to improvise, and instead resorted to tearing up strips of sticky labels (just plain address labels taken from the printer). These had just enough tack to stick to the models for long enough to spray the white camouflage coat, and didn’t pull up any paint when I removed them. For an emergency measure, I was pretty pleased with the results in the end.
The rest of the painting was fairly straightforward – I picked out some of the stowage in brighter colours for a bit of contrast, painted the crew, guns and tracks, then I was just about there. The vehicles got there usual cost of Army Painter strong tone Quickshade, and were left to dry overnight (I sit them on greaseproof paper so they don’t stick) before varnishing with Tamiya Flat Clear. Unfortunately I was low on stocks of Lightning Division decals, so markings will have to wait a little while…
If anyone has read the December 2018 issue of Miniature Wargames magazine, you’ll see both of my Lightning Division forces – tracked and blower – in action. You can also read about how badly it went for most of them, and my legendary awful dice rolling…
One final update before we shut down the centrifuge for the Christmas holiday. We’ve managed to clear almost all of the sale orders, which at one point didn’t look very likely, but a week of long days (and evenings) means that we won’t be returning after the new year to a pile of unfinished ones. Frustratingly, there were two we weren’t able to get shipped; one needs a couple of items from another manufacturer that we’ve run out of, while the other needs a 15mm building, the mould for which split at the most inconvenient time and we just haven’t been able to make a new one. We’ve also sorted out all post-sale orders that reached us by the end of last Friday (21st). All remaining UK-bound parcels were posted on Saturday, so with a bit of luck they might arrive on Christmas Eve. There are a few overseas ones left to send that will go to the post office on Monday, so while they’ll only sit there for a couple of days, at least they are in the system. I will be at the workshop Monday morning to try and clear a couple of orders that have arrived over the weekend, but even if I do they won’t get posted until later in the week.
Phil and I are now taking a break until the New Year; the website remains open for orders, but nothing will be processed until the melting pot gets powered up again on January 2nd. Have a great Christmas holiday everyone, we’ll be back in 2019 with lots of exciting new models.
So the sale is over for another year – we’ve finally disabled the code, a bit later than planned (we’ve had a few extra orders today, obviously we’ll honour the sale discount on those). There were also some annoying issues with an update to the WordPress editor that stopped us posting this morning :-/
The response to the last few days of the sale was unexpected to say the least – the value of the orders placed between Friday and Sunday was more than we took in the whole of October ! This means that we may have difficulty clearing the entire queue before we break for Christmas. We will do our best, but some of the orders that arrived towards the back end of Sunday may not quite make it out until the New Year. We’ll keep you all updated…