Archive for January, 2009|Monthly archive page
Fighting 15 will not be at Vapnartak on 1 February, although to the best of our knowledge Black Hat Miniatures, our partner in Oozlum Games, will still be at the show. Mike of Black Hat may be overworked as he could be manning a 12ft stand on his own.
I am sorry to disappoint customers who expect me to be there, and those customers who have placed advance orders, but my responsibilities lie at home for the next week. It became abundantly clear today that my wife is not strong enough to be left in the care of anyone else.
Our remaining stocks of Flashing Blade 10mm Napoleonics have now dropped so low that we have removed the codes from our online shop. The only way to obtain the remaining figures is to phone in an order so we can verify that we still have the required packs in stock.
Remaining stock after 1 February 2009 will be melted down and the metal reused.
We have a number of outstanding requests for our lists, which we regret we are still not in a position to fulfil. Since the reduction in VAT we have been so busy with orders that we have not yet had time to update our lists except for the 15mm AB Figures and the Flags for AB range, which only required a simple change.
Our lists need updating both to incorporate new releases and, more importantly, to reflect the change in VAT. We regret that until we are able to make the change for VAT at least, our lists other than those related to 15mm AB Figures are unavailable. Customers who requested lists from November 2008 onwards are affected.
We appreciate that, of course, some customers need our lists to order figures, but we are also in the position where online orders and phone/mail orders from existing customers are already running us at full stretch. We have, for example, even with days off for family commitments, still sent out a full month’s quota of orders in the first two weeks of January, and do not forecast a return to normality in the next two weeks.
A happy new year to all Fighting 15s’ customers.
We have a significant backlog of orders (more than 70) to process after the festive season break, and regret that it will therefore take some time before we are able to return to our usual level of service. Please note that family circumstances meant we had to take a late and unintended decision to close from 20 December 2008 till 4 January 2009 inclusive, and have not been able to process orders during that period.
Two shipments arrived from Eureka just before Christmas, and these are now sorted and put away. They have replenished a number of codes in the AB and Eureka ranges, but we still have some shortages, particularly among AB’s 15mm Napoleonic Austrians and Portuguese. We do not expect to receive another delivery from Eureka until the end of February, based on previous experience.
There’s good news on the family front. My wife is in remission and has gone back to hospital to begin her third course of chemotherapy. There is still a considerable way to go before her treatment is completed, and therefore my work on Fighting 15s will continue to be disrupted well into April 2009. I hope to get back up to working four days a week, instead of three, on Fighting 15s and this should slowly improve the processing and dispatch of orders.
Fighting 15s has had its accounts for 2007-8 completed, and can at last announce that we are operating in profit. Well, technically we were operating in profit during 2006-7, but with a net profit of GBP21.00 for that period it meant we were still funding the business to keep it going.
For the curious, and to provide a brief anatomy of a wargames figures business, Fighting 15s’ turnover for 2007-8 after accounting for VAT was GBP58,615.00, our gross profit was GBP28,403.00, and net profit after expenses was GBP14,623.00. The net profit is what Ian as a sole trader takes as income, and is approximately GBP10,000 less than the average salary for the Isle of Wight, which lags far behind that of the south east. So, next time anyone looks for a discount, please bear in mind that Ian is disinclined to acquiesce to such requests. And all this financial information means in short that Fighting 15s is still way off being able to hire an Igor to help during busy times.
There are more new releases from AB in the pipeline that will further expand this fantastic range of 15mm Napoleonic figures, and we are sure that customers will be delighted and tempted by the newcomers when they arrive. As we gradually increase the number of 15mm AB Figures we are able to produce using licensed moulds from Eureka, we hope to keep prices stable during 2009 as we have to import fewer of the most commonly ordered codes and therefore reduce the impact of shipping costs. UK-produced figures will also allow us to boost levels of stock for shows, allowing us to keep key codes continually available, and eventually we hope to offer small packs of figures at shows to accompany the battalion packs.
Customers who order GBP10.00 or more of 15mm AB Napoleonic figures during January will get the newly released Ney figure (AB-SET05), sculpted by Tony Barton, free of charge. This offer is limited to one free figure per customer and only while stocks last: to qualify, orders must be for GBP10.00 or more excluding delivery charges. *** Offer ended: we have shipped our stock of 100 Neys by 26 January. ***
Joining Ney in the new Napoleonic releases from AB are the 15mm early Russians in greatcoat (1805-11), which we had on show at Claymore in August 2008. We stock the following codes, all of which are cast to order under licence in the UK:
AB-ER60 Musketeer in shako and greatcoat, standing
AB-ER62 Musketeer officer, greatcoat
AB-ER63 Musketeer drummer, shako, greatcoat
AB-ER64 Musketeer standard bearer, shako, greatcoat
AB-ER65 Grenadier in shako and greatcoat, standing
AB-ER66 Grenadier officer, greatcoat
AB-ER67 Grenadier drummer, shako, greatcoat
AB-ER68 Grenadier standard bearer, shako, greatcoat
Figures work out at GBP0.45 each including VAT, and are available in the online shop in our usual packs of 8 at GBP3.60 including VAT. Note that ER62 and ER66 are already available in the range as ER20 officer, and therefore are interchangeable as musketeer or grenadier officers.
The following codes are obtainable only to special order. We do not hold stocks of these codes and they will therefore take eight or more weeks to obtain (the figures are cast in Australia by Eureka Miniatures, and will be shipped to the UK in our bulk orders):
AB-ER61 Musketeer in shako and greatcoat, firing and loading
AB-ER69 Fusilier in greatcoat, standing
AB-ER70 Fusilier drummer, greatcoat
AB-ER71 Jager in greatcoat, marching
AB-ER72 Jager in greatcoat, firing and loading
Early Russians in shako are usable right up to Borodino in 1812 because many regiments did not receive the new pattern uniform until later.
Fighting 15s also stocks a full range of 15mm paper flags suitable for the new AB Russians.
Fighting 15s’ intended wargames show schedule for 2009 includes Vapnartak (York, 1 February), Cavalier (Tonbridge, 22 February), Salute (London, 28 March), Colours (Newbury, September), and Warfare (Reading, November). We will be attending all of those shows in conjunction with Black Hat Miniatures, our partner in Oozlum Games.
We regret that transport difficulties mean that we are unlikely to be able attend the following shows this year: Carronade (Falkirk, 9 May), Attack (Devizes, 18 and 19 July), Claymore (Edinburgh, 1 August). This may change if Ian learns to drive in time.
Show stock is sold in packs. We are happy to take advance orders by phone or email to be collected at shows. Advance orders are the only way that customers can obtain individual figures at shows.
Please note that we cannot take credit or debit cards at shows. If you order in advance, we can take card details and process payment in the week before the show.
IMPORTANT:A serious long-term illness in Ian’s immediate family means that Fighting 15s may be unable to attend shows at short or no notice. The attendance of Black Hat Miniatures is not affected.
We have now sorted a huge parcel from Polish manufacturer Oddzial Osmy including new releases from August to November 2008. The releases, which mainly include 1:600 modern Soviet forces and WWII Russians, are now available to buy in the online shop.
Pack prices are now GBP2.50 for three-number code packs and GBP5.00 for four-number code packs, to take into account the poor performance of the pound over the past few months and also a price rise from Oddzial Osmy. Prices include VAT at 15%.
Please note that we currently order less frequently from Oddzial Osmy than we used to owing to the drop in sales that resulted on its appointment of a US distributor. Our aim is to bring these figures into the UK in economically viable parcels so we can keep the prices at a competitive level. Items that go out of stock may therefore take eight or more weeks to obtain.