Archive for November, 2013|Monthly archive page
The latest arrivals from AB Figures in 15mm in the Fighting 15s shop are the newly sculpted Scots Greys and British Household Cavalry from Tony Barton. They join the recently released British light dragoons and heavy dragoons in helmet, further expanding the AB line-up for the 1815 campaign in particular.
Packs of four troopers cost £5.20 inc VAT, and packs of two command cost £2.60 inc VAT.
The Fighting 15s shop now allows at rest or charging horses to be chosen as appropriate for AB cavalry command packs if a choice of at rest or charging troopers is also available.
Last night’s server migration appears to have gone OK, and we have now updated PayPal’s settings to give the correct redirect to the Fighting 15s website once payment is complete.
Based on past experience, it may be that a few products have been hidden during the change, so if you can’t find a particular item in the shop, please let us know. The system may have marked it as hidden, which means it can only be seen on the admin side and, apparently, by Google. The server change sometimes affects a few pictures, which end up blank and which take us ages to track down. 🙂
Between 12 midnight and 4am tomorrow the server that hosts the Fighting 15s shop will be changing. Hopefully this will move us to a faster server and resolve some of the internal server errors that customers have occasionally reported to us.
The move is entirely in the hands of the tech team at ekmpowershop except for a PayPal link, which we will need to change manually in the morning.
Fighting 15s strongly recommends that all European insomniacs and early risers don’t order after midnight tonight until we’ve put up notification that the change has happened and PayPal is fully in place again. That should be by about 8am GMT on 27 November.
And yes, it’s not that long ago we moved to a newer, faster server. 🙂
Fighting 15s has been reworking the Coat d’arms paints section of the online shop so that we can continue to sell these water-based acrylic paints and comply with Royal Mail’s conditions for sending them by post, both within the UK and internationally.
All pots, whether 18ml or 60ml, now attract a premium of 50p plus VAT (60p inc VAT) per pot to account for the extra delivery charges required to split consignments into groups of four or fewer pots. The Royal Mail now limits water-based paint to no more than four containers of up to 150ml per parcel for UK and international deliveries.
Most of the paint categories have been restored. However, it will take time to alter the groups of paint that are sorted by hue, so only the quick pick option is currently available for the Fantasy, Military and World War II ranges, with the result that colour swatches are temporarily unavailable. Fighting 15s will restore these as soon as possible.
Fighting 15s regrets that the starter paint sets of 10 pots have been removed from sale because they require three parcels to ship them legally, and we feel that the cost of these sets is therefore unattractive.
The price premium is a blunt instrument. Fighting 15s is examining how the shop settings can be adjusted to refine it. Until then, orders that contain four or fewer pots of paint will have the delivery premium refunded manually. Customers who limit their orders to four or fewer paints will therefore not be unduly penalized.
Our prices of Coat d’arms paints at wargames shows remain £2.00 inc VAT for 18ml pots and £5.00 inc VAT for 60ml pots.
Fighting 15s has just been alerted to a change in the rules for sending water-based paint by post. We’re not quite sure when the Royal Mail decided to limit water-based paint to no more than four containers of 150ml per parcel for UK and international deliveries, because it used to be just volume that was important. None of the procedures at Post Office counters indicate that water-based paints are a restricted item, nor does the guidance leaflet available for the public. The restriction is only available explicitly online.
Like a number of retailers we are going to have to work out what to do in order to send model paints legally through the post. Until then, Fighting 15s with regret has immediately withdrawn water-based paints from its online shop.
Our currently favoured option unfortunately is to charge a premium for buying paints online to cover the cost of splitting paints into parcels of four or fewer pots. We have to sit down and do the maths to work out what that premium will be.
Our thanks go to Martin Stephenson of Vexillia for alerting us to a discussion on The Miniatures Page about this subject.
One consequence of looking at UK delivery charges has been for Fighting 15s to re-examine its international delivery charges – and there’s good news for international customers who opt for tracked delivery.
Royal Mail offers two registered international delivery options: International Signed For and Airsure. International Signed For merely gets proof of delivery via a signature and is not strictly trackable other than to prove it has been delivered; Airsure is trackable and has proof of delivery, although a signature is not required. International Signed For is VAT-exempt; Airsure is VAT-inclusive, and to a non-VAT registered business International Signed For is cheaper. Curiously, however, Airsure works to the advantage of a VAT-registered business such as Fighting 15s, simply because the VAT we have to charge on our delivery charges within Europe is offset by the VAT that is claimed back on an Airsure parcel. The VAT in effect becomes a transparent tax.
Fighting 15s has now adjusted its tracked international delivery options to reflect the VAT reclaimable on Airsure, and the result is lower trackable delivery charges across a number of package weight bands in the shopping cart. There’s not a huge saving on small orders – in general you have to order more that 500g of figures to see any real benefit.
It’s not possible to send Airsure parcels to every country – for example, International Signed For has to be used to send registered parcels to Italy – but Fighting 15s has decided to bear the cost involved if a parcel must be sent other than Airsure.
Customers outside the EU should benefit from lower registered delivery charges because the Fighting 15s shopping cart now better reflects VAT-exclusive Airsure prices rather than VAT-exempt International Signed For prices. In short, Fighting 15s can remove VAT from the Airsure price for non-EU customers, but cannot for the International Signed For price.
Airsure in theory is a priority service. In practice, although an Airsure parcel can indeed leave the UK within 24 hours, it can fester in the receiving country’s mail depots for days or weeks afterwards.
Fighting 15s has, as previously posted, been trying different delivery options for orders, prompted by the risk of industrial action by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) that would disrupt the usually good service provided by Royal Mail.
A number of Fighting 15s’ customers will have received orders through MyHermes, which although not the cheapest of the budget couriers does seem to offer a good balance of delivery attempts for the price. Parcels are also far more trackable than the cost equivalent of Royal Mail Signed For, although delivery does take three to five days.
One thing that is abundantly clear from this experiment is that, for a VAT-registered business such as Fighting 15s, the Royal Mail has cut its own throat on parcels above 1,000g in weight. For orders in the 1,001g to 2,000g weight range courier services offer a decided advantage, not only because they are cheaper, but because VAT on delivery becomes a neutral tax when a parcel is sent using a service that charges VAT. Ian can give you a long explanation about why it becomes a neutral tax if you suffer from insomnia and desperately need sleep.
So, the good news: Fighting 15s is keeping its free UK standard delivery for orders above a certain value. That threshold, currently £60 ex VAT ex delivery, is reviewed in December at the same time as valued customer discounts.
However, any order that qualifies for free standard UK delivery will now be sent by the cheapest method: this will usually be Royal Mail below 1,000g and MyHermes or another courier above 1,000g. The exception is if an order includes water-based paint, which is a prohibited item for the budget couriers and means that the order must go by Royal Mail. Fighting 15s does not sell aerosols and solvent-based paints which are prohibited items for the budget couriers and for Royal Mail alike.
If speed of delivery after dispatch from Fighting 15s is important, customers who qualify for free standard delivery can instead opt to pay for special delivery.
Several years ago it would have been impossible for a small business such as Fighting 15s in an island location to use an alternative delivery service to the Royal Mail without vastly increasing delivery charges. It’s a sign that the world has changed: the CWU should really take note.
Fighting 15s has added two sheets of flags for the Austrian army of the Seven Years War to its range of paper flags.
The sheets, which depict the M1745 pattern infantry flag and the M1743 pattern green infantry flag, have been designed specially to complement the range of 18mm SYW figures produced by Eureka Miniatures and cast by Fighting 15s under licence in the UK. The flags are designed to fit the poles of the standard bearers, giving perfect wrap-round as well as fitting the length of the pole. Although the flags are scaled to suit Eureka’s 18mm figures, they can be used for 15mm figures.
The M1743 or so-called Hungarian flag may have never seen use, but we are aware that some SYW gamers prefer to use it to clearly identify Hungarian units.
Both the M1745 and M1743 flags have been provided with variations in the design.
Sheet AUS-F101 contains the M1745 flags; sheet AUS-F102 contains the M1743 flags. Both sheets have 12 flags and cost £4.00 each including VAT. They are available now in the Fighting 15s online shop.