Crisis Management

The name of the show run by the erstwhile Tin Soldiers of Antwerp is perfect for all sorts of punning headlines; however, this year it’s a little nearer to the mark.

Crisis 2018 is on Saturday, November 3rd, and I will be there as usual in the second hall, in my regular spot by the west wall. As always for any show, we welcome advance orders – in fact they’ve already been coming in. You can either place an order and pay in advance using the collect in person option on the website, or just drop us an email with a list and pay on the day. And if you read on, you’ll see that it’s especially important this year if there’s anything specific you’d like to get from us.

Apart from a couple of the larger shows when we hire a van, I generally travel to shows in my trusty people carrier, complete with roofbox for extra storage space – this includes the drive to Antwerp for Crisis. This year however there seems to be a rush on cross-channel travel, and I’ve been unable to secure a place for a ‘high car’, which means no roof box. So why, dear reader, should you care ? Because it means I’ll have to leave behind a not-insignificant amount of stock because of the reduction in space. Exactly what that will be isn’t yet clear, and may not be until I try loading the car, but I’ve already determined that I won’t be able to bring any 10mm or 15mm SF buildings as they take up quite a bit of room; I’ll probably also have to drop a couple of boxes of starter packs and army packs. With this in mind, the stock list for Crisis is likely to be along the lines of:

  • Celtos – Decent stock of all individual figures, small unit packs and medium and large army packs
  • Aeronef/Imperial Skies – All of the most popular fleet packs (the major powers) but not the smaller nations; a good selection of individual capital ships in blisters; rulebooks and accessories for Imperial Skies; no grand fleet packs or starter packs
  • Small Scale Scenery – the full range of all models
  • Spaceships – full range of fleet packs; no individual models except for new releases
  • Hammer’s Slammers – rulebooks; the full range of 15mm models; a selection of 6mm detachment packs and the more recent 6mm Slammers releases as individual models; some 15mm detachment packs
  • 15mm SF – full range of 15mm vehicles, figure packs and accessories; no buildings
  • 6mm SF – full range of army packs, company packs and building packs; no individual models
  • Great War Belgians – full range of figures
  • Magpie Miniatures – individual figures and packs
  • Squadron Commander – full range of blisters packs; no individual models or starter packs
  • Crom’s Anvil – full range of figures
  • I will not be able to bring any 10mm SF buildings, Iron Stars or Land Ironclads miniatures.

So if there’s anything that I’m not bringing that you’d like to order, please get in touch and I can arrange to have it with me.

Holiday time again

As previously mentioned, I missed Colours this weekend because of a rather more important event. The Brigadieress and I are also away for a short break, so although the website will remain open, I won’t be around until the very end of this week and there will be a slower than usual turnaround on orders for the 7-10 days and delays in answering queries.

Because of this, we’ve decided to hold onto any new models and will instead release them at Tabletop Gaming Live in a fortnight. Previews will be along soon…

You still have a week or so to place orders for collection at TTGL, I’ll be casting the last ones on the Wednesday before the show.

Arrivederci!

Back to Normal

Two weeks after coming back from my holiday, I’ve finally managed to get back on track with orders – everything that arrived before midday on Monday has been completed, packed and posted, and for the first time in several weeks I was able to go home with no outstanding orders left over. So that’s a little ‘yay’ for me at last 🙂

As a consequence I’ve had a couple of days catching up with new releases, getting painted versions ready for the website and preparing master castings for production moulds. Apropos of nothing else, I thought you might like a quick glance of what’s sitting on the painting table today…

These are some rather nifty 15mm GEVs that were part of the former Ainsty range. We’ve spent a little while getting these into shape – the original models used a common resin-cast hull with separate
superstructures for the different versions. We’ve had the superstructures reprinted and made new moulds of each hull version as single piece castings – the only separate pieces now are the turrets and gun barrels. The production moulds are now ready, so I’m just painting up a set ready to photograph and they should be on the website in 2-3 weeks.

These Aeronef dirigibles are new British models – the original plan was that they should have been released at the same time as our Ark Royal Dig Tender (you may have seen the smaller one lurking in photos back in April), but we had a slight hitch and in the usual pre-Salute pandemonium there simply wasn’t time to fix it. Anyway, they’re ready now and will be this Friday’s new release.

And spreading the love to the vaccheads as well, how about some new spaceships ? These splendid craft were designed by James at Beadspoke Designs (pay them a visit – they make all sorts of useful laser-cut acrylic markers and templates) and we thought they were great. They are going to be introduced to our range as replacements for the old Yenpalo fleet models which are looking a little dated.

You might see other stuff in the background – I’m also in the midst of painting some fresh detachments for Hammer’s Slammers, using many of our recently released new vehicles, and there’s even a new pack or two of 15mm figures coming from the ArmiesArmy archive.

(Con)federation Fighter Support

Firstly, a quick word about orders – obviously I’m back from my holiday (and very pleasant it was too), and have been casting away in the workshop on the order backlog that built up while I was in France. However, this is rather larger than usual and is taking me a while to get through – currently I’ve managed to complete orders up to the 21st, so I’m running about six days behind. By the end of Monday I should be able to clear everything that’s still outstanding, and by the end of next week we should be back to normal.

We still have room for a new release however, since Phil made some moulds while I was away.

Our Squadron Commander range of models is based around the ruleset of the same name, originally published by the now-defunct Mariner Games, but now owned and maintained by us (you can download the latest Reheat edition for free here). The models are all made to 1/300th scale, which means as well as providing a great game of interstellar starfighter combat, they are also perfect as ground support for our 6mm Sci-Fi range of vehicles and figures.

Today we’re adding new force options to those available – both the South African Confederation (SAC) and the Pacific Federation (PacFed) get two brand new fighter types each.

For the SAC, interceptor duties are handled by the Hamerkop heavy interceptor, while the Petrel multi-role fighter can be equipped with heavy anti-shipping missiles or pressed into surface as a fighter with short-range dogfight missiles.

The PacFed’s two models are the Sea Wasp heavy attack fighter, and the Weta light interceptor.

All models are available individually or in flights of four with bases. The arrival of the PacFed also allows us to create a starter pack pitting them against the Indonesians – this pack contains four of each available model for both sides, a total of sixteen fighters, plus the latest rulebook on CD in PDF format.

SCR-005 – PacFed-Indonesian Starter Pack – £30.00

SCR-601 – Petrel Multi-role Fighter – £2.50
SCR-602 – Hamerkop Heavy Interceptor – £2.50
SCR-701 – Sea Wasp Attack Fighter – £2.50
SCR-702 – Weta Light Interceptor – £2.25

Holiday Time Again

I returned home from Sheffield where I’d been attending the Joy of Six last night, and after a brief night’s sleep, the Brigadieress and I were up and off to Dover to catch a ferry to France. By the time this is published we’ll probably be mid-channel, on our way to deepest Normandy for a week’s R&R. Although in theory the cottage has wi-fi and I will be able to read messages/emails, don’t expect any speedy turnaround on queries this week.

Obviously that means any orders will be delayed until I return – I am up-to-date to last Thursday, but anything that’s arrived since will not be dealt with until I get back to work on Tuesday 24th at the earliest (and the likelihood is that there will be a backlog that will probably take the week to clear) – so apologies if you were one of the minor deluge of orders that arrived over the weekend, but I’m afraid it’ll be next week before I can get to those.

As a bit of fun, I’ve left you with something new and appropriate – here’s a version of the flag of Normandy (this is the Nordic Cross variant apparently known as Flag of St Olaf) – now available from the website.

VANF-402 – Normandy Nordic Cross – £0.50

The Joy of Six, 2018

Coming up in the next month is our next show, the Joy of Six in Sheffield on Sunday July 15th. Run by Baccus Miniatures, the event (as its name suggests) is a 6mm scale-specific event covering all eras and genres from ancients to Sci-Fi.

We’ll be there with a cut-down trade stand, carrying our full range of 6mm SF miniatures, army packs, rules, buildings and figures. We’ll bring along the full Squadron Commander range of starfighters (since they’re also 6mm), our selection of 3D printed scenic items and the full Small Scale Scenery range.

As always, we’re happy to take orders (for any of our ranges, not just the ones mentioned above) either paid for on the day or in advance. We can take orders up until the Wednesday before the show (the 11th) although obviously sooner is better.

We’re aiming to have a decent selection of new 6mm items for the day – all the new Slammers vehicles ought to be ready by then, assuming we don’t have any more irritating delays 😕.

As well as those we should have some redesigned models from the ‘normal’ 6mm range, a selection of new buildings, hopefully some new infantry figures and maybe even something big, stompy and two-legged. News and previews of all of these over the next few weeks.

One further minor piece of housekeeping – I’m off for a short break, back again on Monday. I’m aiming to get all outstanding orders cleared today but any new orders will be delayed until the start of next week.

GDPR

GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulations – although it could equally be the initials of some Cold War era Soviet bloc state ! The new regulations, which deal with handling of personal data, come into force today so that seems like a good time to quickly go through our position with regards to them.

Everyone in the UK has doubtless been flooded with emails from many companies reminding you of their privacy policy and asking you to opt back in to their mailing lists. We don’t currently have a mailing list (the Yahoo discussion list has fallen into disuse with the advent of other social media channels and will shortly be closed) so we don’t need to do that. If we do start up a new mailing list, this will be purely on an opt-in basis.

As far as storage and usage of personal data goes, we don’t have a customer database as such. We retain copies of all orders placed on the website or through the post – these will include your name, address and email address, and of course details of the items you’ve purchased. We don’t have anything related to payments, such as credit card details, since this is handled by PayPal and we don’t ever see these. If you’ve ever paid by cheque, this goes straight into the bank and we don’t record account numbers or branch codes or make copies of the cheques. We never sell or pass this information on to anyone, or use it to create marketing lists etc. We don’t send out unsolicited marketing emails or letters.

If you ever wish to see what information we have on you (it will literally just be copies of any orders you’ve placed), just drop us a line and we’d be happy to oblige. Our full privacy policy can be seen on our website and is linked from the bottom of each page.

The Start of the Deluge

So Salute is over, which is a relief in some ways – the last week or so got a bit manic. We had a good day, saying hello to many gaming friends from all over the country and beyond (it was great to finally meet a Swedish gamer who I’ve corresponded with for over 20 years), and of course also shifting a considerable quantity of resin and metal !

We do have a couple of post-show notices – I think there were two gentlemen who made large purchases and left a small item behind (both my fault – I put the items on the stand and obviously missed packing them into their respective bags at the end of the transactions). In both cases I spotted it almost immediately and tried to find them but they’d already disappeared into the crowd. So if you’re missing a) a Russian Aeronef torpedo group, or b) a pack of satellites, drop me an email and I’ll post them on, or find us at a subsequent show. Unfortunately I don’t have email addresses for you so can’t be proactive and contact you myself.

I’m a little behind with mail order, but should catch up by the end of the week – apologies if you’ve had to wait an extra couple of days, I was hoping to get away with no disruption but couldn’t quite manage it.

OK, onto the main business of the post – the first tranche of new releases from Salute is hitting the website this week. And the very first items are in the Small Scale Scenery range – the City Hall, stone bridges and four lighthouses.

Die Alte Stadthaus is based on Berlin’s old City Hall, but we’ve altered the overall dimensions a bit to make it an 80x80mm square which fits nicely with the sizes of our other City Block models. The real one is roughly that size but isn’t square. It’s a two-piece resin casting, with the domed tower as a separate part.

The pack of stone bridges are the same length (40mm) as the girder bridges, and come cast in metal in four different designs based on UK and European prototypes.

The four metal lighthouses are again based on real world models, two French and one each from Germany and the UK.

SSS-8107 – Alte Stadthaus – £10.00
SSS-8108 – Stone Bridges – £2.50
SSS-8109 – Phare de Calais – £2.00
SSS-8110 – Beachy Head Lighthouse – £1.50
SSS-8111 – Phare de Kermorvan – £1.25
SSS-8112 – Westerheversand Lighthouse – £1.50

Something Had To Give…

Some of you may have seen this rather unhappy photo I posted on our Facebook page last week, showing our centrifuge with its guts hanging out. The motor had packed up at the most inopportune moment, as these things tend to do. Fortunately, a) we have a spare at the workshop (a legacy of the last time the centrifuge chose to pack up) and b) I had my tools in the car, so I was able to replace the motor. It took the best part of six hours to get it up and running again, so I lost virtually a full day’s work in the run up to the biggest show of the year.

I’ve done my best to make up the time, but with effectively only two working days left until Salute (Friday is set-up day) it’s obvious that I’m not quite going to get everything done that I planned to. Something has to give, so I’ve made the decision that unless some sort of miracle happens and Thursday becomes 28 hours long, we will not be bringing the Land Ironclads range with us on Saturday. LI is a large range that needs quite a bit of restocking and I just don’t see that I’m going to have time. If you were planning to buy any Land Ironclads from us, send us an email before Thursday lunchtime and I’ll do my best to accommodate.

Today was my last full day of casting stock (I have a little more to do on Thursday) and I’m almost done with new releases, just a couple of bits left to cast plus replenishing existing 6mm stocks. I don’t think I’ve ever used as much resin as I have in the last month, Centurions are big beasts…

We Have Normality

Anything you still can’t cope with is therefore your own problem.

I love the English weather. In the space of 48 hours we’ve gone from sub-zero temperatures and mounds of snow to ten degrees and watery sunshine – and this being England, it has of course rained a bit as well (which fortunately has washed away the slush).

I’ve been beavering away at the workshop and have shifted a good chunk of the order backlog which built up while I was snowbound – another solid day’s work tomorrow and it’ll be cleared completely.

Phil was also snowed in for a few days so has been ploughing through moulds like there’s no tomorrow – so in celebration of our hard work, here’s some new stuff.

In 6mm we have more options for other Hammer’s Slammers:The Crucible mercenary units. The Lightning Division get the M9A16 Calliope version of the combat car, while the Waldheim Dragoons finally come to 6mm in the form of the M2A2 and M2A5 tank and command versions of the Icarus blower tank.

HS6-1712a – M9A16 Calliope Car – £1.00
HS6-1911 – M2A2 Blower Tank – £1.50
HS6-1911a – M2A5 Command Tank – £1.50