Exactly as says in the title, this is the last day of our Christmas sale. It’ll be ending at midnight GMT tonight, December 23rd.
On a positive note, I went back to work yesterday and started ploughing through the order backlog. I started on the UK orders and have done quite a few, which will all go in the post as soon as I’ve finished writing this. Although it’s very late, hopefully one or two might be delivered tomorrow. Today I’ll be working my way through the rest of them, and Phil will be joining me tomorrow morning for a Christmas Eve final blitz to clear as much as we can. However, looking at the blizzard of orders that came through last night there’s clearly no chance of us getting to end of the pile.
Finally, Robin’s Imperial Skies Kickstarter ended yesterday with a number of pledges in the final couple of days to take it over £7k. This means that we’re committing to producing four new capital ships models, one each for the Britain, France, USA and Germany. We’ll keep you up to date with how the design of those is going over the next 3-4 months before our target ship date of April 2016.
First up – I’m still feeling pretty poorly, although nothing like as bad as yesterday, so I hope to get back to work tomorrow and start ploughing through the order backlog.
Secondly, and far more important, there are less than 24 hours remaining on RottenLead’s Imperial Skies Kickstarter. The project has already almost doubled its initial target, but we’re hoping that with a last day push it might reach £7k and the next stretch goal, the US Lexington battlecruiser – and Phil and I would really like to reach this goal, since we’ve come up with a cracking design for it !
Sickness has struck Brigade Towers, with extremely poor timing as we’re in the middle of the Christmas rush. The poor Brigadieress has had the worst of it, but this week it’s finally got to me and I’ve been completely out of action since Monday. This has inevitably affected our attempts to get on with the sale orders, and we’re a long way behind where we wanted to be. So we must apologise to several people who enquired after their orders last week and were told that they’d ship by the end of this week – I’m afraid they haven’t. And anyone who’s emailed with queries, again we apologise for not getting back to you sooner. This is one of the unfortunate side-effects of being for the most part a one-man band – when sickness strikes, there’s no-one to cover for you. We will do our best to get as many orders out of the door as we can next week, as things stand we should be able to clear everything with just about enough leeway to allow for any additional orders that arrive before the end of the sale (which is just five days away, in case you’d forgotten…).
Since we have obviously prioritised the clearing of orders, what we’ve unfortunately lost is a lot of time that we were planning to use to design some new models. I had this grand idea of having at least two or even three month’s worth of new releases stashed away for the new year, but that’s not to be. However, we do have some bits ready – a large box of 3D prints arrived on Tuesday, and when I finally get it open I should be able to share some of the new items we have lined up for the start of 2016.
Happy Halloween from The Brigadier !
To get in the mood, Phil and I have done a suitably spooky Cake Review, our first for a while – Mr Kipling’s Witches Hat Fancies – click here to see what we made of them.
Tomorrow I’ll be at the new Hereward Wargames Show in Peterborough, which will also be the Brigadieress’ show debut – she’s giving me a hand since Phil is unable to make it. I’m looking forward to it, should be a good day – come along and say hello if you’re there.
After the hustle and bustle of Colours, during which I discovered that putting up, manning and breaking down the stand on your own is flippin’ hard work, I fancied a quiet week last week. It was also the Brigadieress’ birthday, so I had a very pleasant day off with her.
Some things got done – accounts have been sorted ready to send off to the accountants (that was fun …), bills paid and admin taken care of. I also worked on some new releases, rubbing down print lines on the 3D masters, prepping them for mould-making and even pouring a few moulds for resin items. Phil was also busy making moulds for the metal parts for the same models. We won’t see the results of those until later this week (it would have been today but some rather nasty wet weather has put paid to any work outdoors today).
Last Friday’s planned new release was unavoidably delayed – not because it wasn’t ready, but because I had to rearrange my week to be at the workshop on Friday for a delivery (more metal – we’re getting through it rather quickly the moment) which means I wasn’t be able to photograph the new models and add them to the website. In the end I decided to take advantage of the delay and add an extra model to the release – but of course this needs painting and photographing first, so we still aren’t there …
What we do have for you this morning are a couple of new packs, both of which we’ve been offering at shows for a little while but which have inexplicably never been put on the website.
The first pack is a fifth British spaceship fleet, the Strike Fleet pack. This pairs the two most recent ships, the Colossus battleship and Swiftsure stealth cruiser along with escorts. The pack contains a total of 10 models along with bases.
SFSP-105 – Royal Navy Strike Fleet Pack – £22.00
The second pack combines all of the figures in the Magpie Miniature range into a single discounted pack. All eight figures are there, along with bases. There seems to be a number of different collective nouns for magpies, but we settled on a Murder of Magpies.
MGP-001 – A Murder of Magpies – £22.00
It rained today … boy, did it rain !? The Brigade workshop was in danger of turning into the Brigade Ark at one point, as I started leading 15mm tanks in two-by-two 🙂 However, despite the hammering on the roof I managed to clear the decks of orders and make a start on a restock for Scale Creep Miniatures.
One light in the gloom was an email from Shapeways announcing free worldwide shipping until the 30th of this month (Sunday*) for orders over US$35 (very roughly around £20). So it’s another good chance to pick up a Pegasus Bridge, some moisture collectors or even a few little planes on the Brigade Shapeways shop.
*UPDATE – the offer has now been extended to Monday with no minimum order.
After wasting far too much time trying to fix the PC, a box of replacement parts arrived this week. I had a bit of a false start when I didn’t configure the RAID array correctly, but it’s all now up and running – Brigade has returned to normal operation. We’ve managed to catch up with orders (having previously been unable to print shipping labels) so everything that arrived up to yesterday (Thursday) evening has now shipped. It also means I can get on with some more 3D design work which has stalled over the past few weeks.
New on the website today are a few accessory items. We’ve made some of our 15mm heavy weapons available separately, the neat little Chinese command drones and also the Neo-Soviet heavy gun turrets from the spaceship range (they should have been available earlier – I forgot to do so when the ships were released). I’ve also added the Javelot Scout Car with radar that I put together as an example idea for the release of the radar dishes – it makes a useful little EW vehicle and it’s easy for us to add as a separate item.
SF15-406d – Javelot Scout Car with Radar – £4.00
SF15-562a – CDSU Command Drones (x3) – £1.75
SF15-563a – Gatling HMG (x3) – £1.75
SF15-564a – Light AT Gun (x3) – £1.75
SF15-753e – Tripod MG (x3) – £1.75
SF15-753f – Tripod Railgun (x3) – £1.75
SF15-753g – Tripod Gatling (x3) – £1.75
SF15-753h – Tripod Tri-barrel (x3) – £1.75
SFS-7052 – Neo-Soviet Heavy Gun Turrets (x12) – £1.50
Holiday time is sadly over and today it’s back to normal – although since I spent yesterday at a music festival, there may be a minor hangover to deal with first (I’m writing this post in advance so the exact quantity of local cider consumed is yet to be determined…).
First priority is the remainder of the orders that Phil was unable to finish, then some rather dull stuff like last quarter’s VAT return. So don’t expect too much exciting output from us in the first half of the week.
On previous holidays I’ve managed to come back with some inspiration for new models, which have ended up in the Small Scale Scenery range – last year it was St Mawes Castle in Falmouth, the previous year some C.19th French coastal forts. Last week we went to Mallorca, one of the Spanish Balearic islands in the Western Mediterranean. Renowned as a tourist destination, there’s a great deal of history that I wasn’t aware of. The coastline is littered with small watchtowers, used to keep watch for pirates, but the most remarkable fortification is Bellver Castle which overlooks the capital, Palma. Built in the C.14th by King James II of Majorca, it has a fairly unique circular design which withstood several seiges and ended up as a prison. It’s a really interesting structure which may well end in the range…
It’s holiday time at Brigade again, which means that there may be a little slower response time to orders than usual. We’ve caught up as much as possible, and all orders to the end of Thursday (15th) are complete and in the post. Orders will still be processed, but they could take longer for the next ten days or so and there may be a bit of backlog to catch up the following week. Turnaround on queries via email or through the Facebook page could also be affected, although we’ll do our best to get back in a reasonable time.
A couple of years ago we had our 25th anniversary, and we wrote about the origins of Brigade, back in the mists of the 1980s. A little while back I found this – it’s a casting of the original church that started everything off. I made this from a plasticard core covered in Das clay, which Phil then cast in polyester resin. It’s not all that much to look at now, but significant for us in terms of what it led to.
Now the back of the Brigade workshop is a largely uncharted area. It’s not very tidy and there are piles of boxes ‘n’ stuff, not all which is labelled. I was searching the other day for a load of slottabases which I’m sure is there somewhere but can’t find, and which is rapidly taking on mythical status. I came across this rather grubby item in a plastic bag, which turns out to be another piece of Brigade history. It’s the very first mould that we made for metal casting and is of two spaceships – the Condorcet and the Guangdong. You can just about make out their outlines in the right-hand half of the mould. When first released they were only available through the SFSFW and we branded them as the SemFed (the Semitic Federation of Space Faring Worlds) or Israelis in space. The two models then were called the Sharon and the Meir respectively. So if you ordered these from us back in those early days (1995-ish), this is the mould they came from, they were drop cast on the kitchen stove in my first house!