Back Again

Back from my break, today’s first task is to tackle the order backlog which has built up while I’ve been away. Hopefully this should be cleared within a week or so.

I’ve been in Menorca, which has a much richer military history than I realised. Of special interest are the network of defensive towers, very similar to Martello towers, dotted around the coast. There are fourteen in all (plus one other which has been incorporated into a larger fortress). Expect to see at least some of these, plus other buildings that I’ve spotted which have given me ideas, popping up in the Small Scale Scenery range. In fact, it seems that Menorca is a favoured spot for Inspiration Particles, as I’m returning with a head (and notebook) full of ideas, some of which will come to fruition, others will be consigned to the ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’ dustbin.

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In other matters, we seem to have a small pocket of missing/undelivered orders, including some Imperial Skies ones. At first glance some of these appear to be from a large batch which was posted on the same day – I’ll be doing some investigating when I get a chance. In the meantime, if anyone has not received an order or their Imperial Skies pledge, please either e-mail us or in the case of Imperial Skies, you can contact Robin via the KS page and he’ll pass it onto me.

We have one more show to go this year – Crisis in Antwerp on November 5th – so now seems like a good time to post a reminder about pre-orders. You can select the Collect in Person option on our website, then create your order as normal in the shopping cart, pay for it by PayPal or credit card, but without any postage charges. Alternatively, you can just e-mail us a list and pay by cash on the day. Because of geographical restrictions on our credit card machine, I cannot take card payments at Crisis, just cash (sterling or euros).

Right-o, off to the workshop to fire up the forges…

Last Minute

The Brigadieress and I are off for a short break for a few days starting today (in fact we’ll be in mid-air when this is posted). It’s a bit of a last minute decision, but it’s the only time that we can squeeze in a break between shows. I’ve literally chucked everything out of the van from SELWG yesterday, grabbed a suitcase and a couple of hours’ sleep, then headed off to Gatwick. All orders up to the end of Thursday last week have been cleared, but anything placed since then is going to be delayed a little, although Phil will try to clear some while I’m gone. I may also not be responsive to emails for a week or so either.

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I have left a couple of scheduled blog posts for your entertainment, including a new release announcement for Friday.

Photo by Ken Fielding/http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenfielding, used under a Creative Commons license.

Imperial Update #1 – First Post

I had a bit of a blitz on packing Imperial Skies pledges yesterday while Phil was fiddling with his moulds. A big pile of orders will be going to the post office this morning (it’s only a small local branch, so they’ve been pre-warned to expect them !). So far we’ve completed just over 30% of the pledges, and this doesn’t include those North American customers who will have received their books but are still waiting on models or other components. I’m hoping to get even more done at the start of next week – although there’s a planned power outage at the workshop all day Monday, so I may not get much done in the dark !

31% of pledges have shipped

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Phil brought the new Lexington master mould along and has cast tins to make the replacement production mould over the weekend, so that will hopefully allow us to ship pledges which need those. The last hurdle will be the Japanese cruisers – the mould for the new versions is not playing ball, with the side guns not casting properly. We will first try making a new one with the ships aligned differently to see if that cures the problem, or in the worst case we’ll have to modify the designs slightly, get new masters printed and try again – this will put a delay of potentially several weeks on things, so in this case we will ship pledges without the cruiser and send those on as soon as they are ready.

Age of Shipping

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We’ve finished casting and bagging all of our contributions to the Age of Tyrants Kickstarter – a few hundred resin buildings have been boxed up and are ready for shipping off to Myriad games for distribution.

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Now onto the task of boxing and sending the rest of the Imperial Skies pledges…

Temporary Injunction

Ah, what a day I had yesterday … while manoeuvring some boxes in the workshop, I managed to knock over one of the drawer units that we use to carry stock to shows … 48 drawers full of 1200+ Celtos figures scattered all over the floor 🙁 It took over an hour and a half to pick them all up and sort them back into the correct drawers. Add to that the rather oppressive heat we had yesterday, and you can safely say that I wasn’t a happy bunny ! In my rather grumpy mood I also forgot to pick up two small Aeronef masts which I needed to complete some new models, which means I couldn’t finish painting them, which means no new release today…

On the upside, our stocks of Imperial Skies rulebooks and the various laser-cut accessories are due in over the weekend – rulebook author Robin is driving over with a boot-full of boxes on Sunday morning. This means that the first batches of pledges will start shipping this week – we’ve already ordered in lots of extra boxes to pack them in.

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Finally, some good and not-so-good news. The good news is that the Hammer’s Slammers 6mm models released last week have been selling very well, with plenty of Blower tanks and combat cars going out the door. The downside is that we’ve already run out of the skimmers and infantry that we ordered in from GZG, so I’ve had to temporarily take the army and mobile infantry packs off the website while we wait for a restock. The rest of the packs and models are still available however, and you can always order the skimmers and figures direct from GZG.

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Delicate Imbalance

Upset tummies and reactions to strange food/water are a common experience of Brits abroad. Not me. I’ve managed to contract a stomach bug immediately on my return to dear old blighty! I got through the Joy of Six on tablets and water, and since the weekend just haven’t been right – not bad enough to just retire to bed and close the door, but definitely only running at half rat power. Unfortunately this once again coincides with an order backlog caused by my holiday, and hasn’t been helped by the two hottest days of the summer so far. I went to the workshop Monday and cleared a few orders, and in anticipation of cooler temperatures I’m hoping to get there tomorrow as well. I spent today and yesterday hiding in the shade trying to get the Brigade accounts ported to a new software package, which wasn’t the greatest cure!

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But all this waffle is just another way of preparing those of you with outstanding orders for a slight delay, so apologies in advance if your order takes a few extra days. It’s frustrating because it’s preventing me from getting on with other projects as well, but we always treat orders as the highest priority so the next batch of new releases will just have to wait a few days.

Holiday Time Again

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It’s that time of year again when I clear off for a few days’ break. By the time this post gets published I should be flying high above the Mediterranean on the way to some sunshine, which has been sadly lacking in our corner of Kent so far in this rather damp summer.

I’ll be gone for just over a week, so there will be delays in processing and shipping orders until I return (and it’ll probably take a few days to catch up afterwards) although Phil will try to get to the workshop and tackle some orders to keep the backlog down to a minimum – although I’ve also left him a big pile of moulds to make 🙂

We’ll keep you entertained with the odd blog post or two while I’m gone, but in the meantime I’m planning to sit round the pool with a nice cold drink …

Joy of Six Reminder

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I’ve been beset by niggling technical problems in recent weeks, with the latest being a PC that refuses to come out of hibernation and has ended up having to be reinstalled (I’m getting to be a dab hand at Windows 7 installations). Fortunately I keep all of my data on an external hard-drive (backed up to a second one), so no data is lost, it’s just the aggro of reinstalling all of my software, remembering passwords to websites etc. This is my excuse for not having posted so far this week, but I’m catching up now while I watch Windows install.

This evening’s post is a reminder about pre-orders for the Joy of Six show in Sheffield in just over two weeks’ time. Since Jo6 is a 6mm-themed show, I will only be bringing our 6mm SF range, plus Squadron Commander (as this is also 6mm scale) and the 2mm Small Scale Scenery range (since I know that at least one game at the show will be using our buildings alongside 6mm figures). I should have a good stock of both packs and individual models for those ranges, including 6mm vehicles, figures and buildings and SCR starter packs, blisters and individual models. I’ll also have Osprey’s new Horizon Wars rules and Legionnaire Games’ Strike Legion books.

I can also bring orders for any of our other ranges, but I will need to know in advance. Because I will be going on a family holiday before the show, I need any more pre-orders for collection at the show by the end of Monday next week at the latest (July 4th) so that I have time to process them before I leave – so you only have five more days to get them to me (usual email address, or you can order via the website using the Collect in Person option).

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I will have our recent new 6mm buildings (the Colony Base and Research Base) in stock, plus some more that are yet to be released. There will also be new 6mm vehicles which we’ve been previewing lately, including the eagerly awaited 6mm Kirin.

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And most exciting of all, we’re hoping to have something completely new that only arrived this week, and which Phil will be hopefully be putting into moulds while I’m away. But that’s all I’m saying about that, just in case…

Broadside Update

Ever get the feeling it’s not going to be your day? Around a mile or two from home this morning, the Brigade Battlebus suffered a driveshaft failure and had to be rescued by the AA. With Broadside looming in the morning, this isn’t great timing (to say the least). The Brigadieress has very kindly offered a loan of her car tomorrow and we’ll also cram more into Phil’s, so we will still be able to have a presence at the show. But our cargo capacity is still much reduced, and we will have to cut down on what we’re able to bring. We won’t know exactly what until we load up later this evening, but I suspect it means we will have to leave behind the individual stock of some ranges (probably 6mm, Aeronef and Spaceships as these take up a lot of transport space). We will still bring the fleet/company/army packs for these ranges, and stock for the other main ranges (Celtos, 2mm buildings, 15mm SF, Great War) shouldn’t be affected. If there’s something in particular you’re after that we’re unable to bring with us, we’ll arrange for that to be sent to you post free.

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There may also be a knock-on effect to mail order as well – the workshop is quite a distance from home and I have no way to get there without a car. So depending on when I can arrange for a repair, there may be some delays.

Other than that, I’ve had quite a good day… :-/

Back in Stock

We have some very nice plastic bases made for us by Amera Plastic Mouldings, intended for our Land Ironclads range but since they’re on a 40mm frontage they’re useful for all sorts of games that use the same size. Stocks had got very low so we’d removed all of the from the website, but we’re pleased to say that they’re all back in stock following the arrival of a big box of replacements.

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There are six sizes, with depths ranging from 20mm to 100mm. The bases are made from a textured plasticard so are all ready for painting.

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ACC-013 – 40x30mm rectangular plastic base (pack of 10) – £1.75
ACC-014 – 40x40mm square plastic base (pack of 10) – £2.00
ACC-015 – 40x60mm rectangular plastic base (pack of 5) – £1.75
ACC-016 – 40x80mm rectangular plastic base (pack of 5) – £2.00
ACC-017 – 40x100mm rectangular plastic base (pack of 5) – £2.25
ACC-018 – 0x20mm rectangular plastic base (pack of 10) – £1.50