Archive for the ‘Fighting 15s’ Category

Fighting 15s: Privacy and the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation

If there’s one thing guaranteed to make customers snooze it’s a piece on new EU privacy legislation, especially one for which all the official information is poorly explained as to its effects on small businesses and customers. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into effect on 25 May 2018, excels at being especially obfuscatory and confusing.

Fighting 15s has slightly tweaked its privacy policy at https://www.fighting15sshop.co.uk/privacy.asp to suit the new laws.

In short, because Fighting 15s does not ask and has never asked customers to sign up for direct marketing (email newsletters, promotions, and such), and does not engage in direct marketing, the GDPR has minimal effect.

The GDPR requires businesses to get customers to confirm that they want to receive direct marketing by actively ticking a check box consenting to such marketing. Fighting 15s does not send out direct marketing, and therefore there is no check box on the website in the checkout process. Our webshop provider does offer direct marketing tools but we have not signed up to them.

Fighting 15s holds essential information for the processing of customers’ orders: name, address, email and phone, plus the system will record the IP address used when placing the order. Obviously we need name, address and contact details so we can send out orders, confirmation emails, fulfil our legal obligations to provide a durable copy of the current terms and conditions, and to contact a customer in the event of questions about an order. The IP address is required in the event of digital product sales to help prove the origin of an order for VAT liability.

Customers who do not want such information held on record may request its deletion by simply emailing or writing to Fighting 15s, and we will remove it from the shop (the GDPR doesn’t seem to have considered a requirement for proof that the person emailing to have such information deleted is actually that person, but it would seem sensible). However, Fighting 15s is legally required to hold customers’ essential information for six years for tax/accountancy purposes, and therefore we can delete only what is historic information – currently information obtained before 6 April 2010, the start of the 2010-2011 accountancy year, because the last tax year for while Fighting 15s has filed a return is 2016-2017.

We don’t record other information about customers. We have no idea what wargames periods you prefer, other than by general patterns of your orders, or of any other interests, penchants or peccadilloes. The privacy policy is a general purpose document that allows us to know these things in the event that we have customers’ permission to collect them.

Financial information is handled by third-party processors, so we never see payment details if customers place and pay for orders through the online shop. Our payment processors are PayPal and Barclaycard.

Our preferred means of passing on news is via Facebook and our WordPress blogs (Fighting 15s news and oozlumgames.com). If you don’t want to see what we do on Facebook, unlike and unfollow the Fighting 15s page (https://www.facebook.com/Fighting15s/). The power to sign out of following a WordPress blog remains solely with the follower: WordPress site administrators do not, repeat do not, have the power to delete followers. Details of how to unfollow a WordPress blog may be found at https://en.support.wordpress.com/following/.

Of course, non-EU businesses that record details of EU customers are supposed to adopt the GDPR. As with reporting VAT on digital products, Fighting 15s by and large cannot see businesses outside the EU conforming. Except the UK after Brexit. Good old law-abiding Blighty will be the only country that conforms to a law that also encompasses Martians and Venusians should they start direct marketing to the people of the EU.

In summary, Fighting 15s’ policy remains as it always has been: we won’t bug you by sending out a relentless stream of marketing drivel. If you want drivel, you have to come to us…

Fighting 15s: Service update 20 March

Fighting 15s is currently exceptionally busy with orders. March is usually our busiest month of the year for orders and 2018 is true to form.

Although orders will be processed as soon as possible, they may take longer than usual for Ian to get through. Orders that need casting may have to wait until a casting window becomes available at weekends.

Please be patient, especially if you have submitted an order by phone or email: our policy is always to give priority to paid-for online orders, and this means that orders for which payment has not been processed wait.

Stock is updated manually on the site, which means items that go out of stock may not be updated as quickly as usual. The shop does not use an automatic stock update system because it is not relevant for items cast by Fighting 15s – these items would risk being marked out of stock in spite of being available.

Fighting 15s: Service Update 5 February

Just a heads-up that this week is particularly difficult as I have to fit in, among other things, surveyors for probate valuations, solicitors regarding wills, and I have to travel to the depths of Kent to meet my sister and scatter my mum’s ashes. So although I will be working on orders on and off during the week, service will not be up to its usual speed. I had recovered to just a day or so behind, but I regret that this will lapse again: I expect to catch up just before I take some long-planned holiday and throw everything out of whack again.  Janet will be at HQ while I am away, but because she doesn’t understand anything about toy soldiers please don’t expect sense from her if you phone.

Thanks to everyone who has sent their condolences. It really is appreciated.

Ian
Fighting 15s

Fighting 15s: Service update 29 January

Fighting 15s is gradually catching up with the backlog of orders and emails. Ian’s mum’s funeral was on 22 January, and he is not entirely clear of responsibilities in that regard.  Last week, for example, lost a number of hours simply dealing with solicitors, and clearing up matters to do with the estate will continue to interrupt work over the next few months. Ian will be away shortly for the scattering of the ashes.

By and large emails from early January onwards have now been answered or have been dealt with. Orders are five days or so behind, longer for those that require casting or that are waiting on stock to arrive. A shipment that arrived last week from AB/Eureka will resolve a number of those issues once it is checked and unpacked. Ian had hoped to do this over the weekend, but circumstances prevented this.

Fighting 15s continues to deal with a large number of orders for its clearance lines (Oddzial Osmy, Laughing Monk, Shadowforge, Coat d’arms). Stocks are still by and large good, and codes that go out of stock are being removed as soon as possible from the online shop.

New year, new Fighting 15s

Events over Christmas and the new year have helped clarify the direction that Fighting 15s will be taking in 2018. Owner Ian realizes that he is absolutely at his happiest selling the superb figures made by Tony Barton of AB Figures, and the figures produced by Nic Robson of Eureka Miniatures, and that it is time to make changes to Fighting 15s to focus on these manufacturers.

Fighting 15s has therefore decided to discontinue supplying products from Oddzial Osmy, Shadowforge Miniatures, Laughing Monk and Coat D’arms. Items from these ranges are on sale at up to 20% off Fighting 15s’ usual prices. Our sale runs from today (12 January) until 5 April 2018, at which point the affected ranges will be removed from our shop.

Fighting 15s: Service update 8 January

Followers of the Fighting 15s Facebook page will be aware that although Fighting 15s opened as planned on 2 January, it fairly shortly shut again owing to illness – the particularly debilitating cold that’s been doing the rounds – and I have been forced to take four days of bed rest. I’m self-employed and of course I rarely stop work if I’m ill.

I now feel fit enough to start packing figures into boxes again, if not yet casting. Of course, a mountain of orders has built up, in spite of Fighting 15s opening between Christmas and New Year, and there will be delays in dealing with, casting, and dispatching orders. I’m particularly sorry to the five customers who have been waiting for me to cast stuff since Fighting 15s closed on 20 December, but those orders should still all go out within the target of seven to 28 days for casting – though admittedly towards the maximum of that period.

In addition, please be aware that my mother died on 30 December and that I may also be tied up with family matters from time to time until the funeral on 22 January. She was 80 and has been unable to speak for three years because of a severe stroke. As I’d seen her on 21 and 27 December and seen a marked deterioration in her condition, the loss was not entirely unexpected. Thank you for your understanding at this time.

Be assured that I plan to remain fully communicative with my customers, that orders should start going out the door again from today, and that I will be working as hard as circumstances allow to reduce the backlog and get back to normal service. I hope to start casting again from Wednesday 10 January.

Ian
Fighting 15s

Christmas 2017 orders and shipments at Fighting 15s

It’s time to mention the C-word…

The last day that Fighting 15s will post orders before Christmas is 20 December 2017*. Family commitments and airport runs mean that although we will be around from 21 December, not much will happen in the workshop. We will be working at times during the holiday period to avoid having a massive backlog at the end of the festive season. Normality returns from Wednesday 3 January 2018.

It is already too late to guarantee that items will be available in time for Christmas in the UK. Our main suppliers are based abroad and it is not possible to obtain anything that isn’t on one of our scheduled shipments. Our main suppliers also tend to shut completely for two weeks over the festive season. This impacts on shipments, and experience tells us that shipments from them will not resume until mid-February 2018 at the earliest.

Items that we cast or make here in the UK ideally need to be ordered before 13 December for UK delivery before Christmas.

As of 30 November, Fighting 15s cannot guarantee that orders from customers outside the UK will be fulfilled in time for Christmas. Standard airmail is slow enough at the best of times.

*And yes, I appreciate that the Royal Mail’s recommended last posting date in the UK is 21 December, but I have family to pick up from an airport at a daft time of the day.

Fighting 15s: last call for orders for Claymore

Fighting 15s is at Claymore in Edinburgh on Saturday 5 August, helping out Stuart Armstrong on Colonel Bill’s stand. Although Ian will be Stuart’s till monkey for the day, advance orders are possible.

As Colonel Bill’s carries our own medievals, Bartek’s playing cards, and Eureka’s Seven Years War ranges, Fighting 15s cannot take advance orders for those (which should be placed through Colonel Bill’s), but can take advance orders for other Eureka ranges,  plus, of course, AB Figures’ 15mm Napoleonic and 20mm WWII ranges.

A selection of ready-made 15mm Napoleonic unit packs from AB Figures will be available on the stand. Colonel Bill’s will continue to carry these packs at other UK shows, starting with Britcon.

Time is running out for advance orders. Fighting 15s will shut from 2 to 9 August for holiday and to travel to and from Scotland, and therefore the last date for advance orders is Tuesday 1 August. Please note that orders that require extensive casting are now not likely to be ready in time – Ian has been casting for four days solid in preparation for the show as it is.

The Fighting 15s online shop will, as usual, be open while Ian is away, but orders will not be processed until his return. Please do not expect his wife or daughter to answer questions about toy soldiers while he is away.

Advance orders for Fighting 15s should be placed via email or, if you feel you absolutely must talk to a slightly deaf man, phone. Contact details are on the website. All advance orders must be paid for in advance by card or PayPal – Ian cannot take payments on the day.

Link (Claymore): https://seswc.co.uk/2017/02/09/claymore-2017/

Fighting 15s, Colonel Bill’s and the future of wargames shows

From August, it will be all change on how Fighting 15s deals with wargames shows in the UK as we expand our relationship with Colonel Bill’s.

Since Salute in April this year, Ian of Fighting 15s has been helping out on the Colonel Bill’s stand, which means that 15mm AB Figures have been available to buy at selected shows. Our agreement with Eureka/AB, however, has meant that AB Figures can only be on the Colonel Bill’s stand while Ian is physically present, with the result that the figures have not been available at other shows.

This situation will change in August. As a result of discussions with Tony Barton and Nic Robson, Colonel Bill’s will be able to carry 15mm AB Figures in prepackaged units to shows even if Fighting 15s is not helping out, meaning that AB’s fine 15mm Napoleonics will be available to buy at the 40 or so shows a year that Colonel Bill’s attends. Britcon in Manchester will be the first show to work this way.

All the 15mm AB Figures sold this way will be licensed castings made by Ian at Fighting 15s, cast in lead-free pewter. Units will be sold in packs comprising 24 foot or 12 mounted figures. AB Figures, however, will not be available by mail order through Colonel Bill’s; Fighting 15s remains the EU mail order outlet.

Ian, however, will still be attending shows and working on the Colonel Bill’s stand, according to Fighting 15s’ shows schedule. Ian is able to take advance orders for those shows only. The remaining shows that we plan to attend with Colonel Bill’s in 2017 include Claymore, Colours, Derby Worlds, SELWG, Crisis and Warfare.

Fighting 15s’ ability to provide figures for Colonel Bill’s to take to shows relies on them being licensed castings made in the UK. Therefore items cast in Australia, including the whole of the 20mm WWII range of AB Figures, will not be available at shows except to advance order through Fighting 15s.

Colonel Bill’s remains Fighting 15s’ sole authorised outlet at shows for our own 15mm medievals, Eureka’s 18mm Seven Years War range, and Bartek’s pin-up playing cards, all of which can be ordered in advance for shows through Colonel Bill’s.

Saunders spin casting machines

Saunders Mark V spin casting machine

I’ve starting running a series on my personal blog on the Saunders bob-weight spin casting machines I use at Fighting 15s. I’ve never been able to find out much about the machines, made by the now defunct N Saunders Metal Products Ltd. This is my personal experience of using them to get the best results, and the articles have been prompted by the acquisition of a second machine that needs repairing and refurbishing. Other users’ mileage may well vary.

Part 1, introducing the machine, is at: http://wp.me/p9K3f-5Q

Part 2, dealing with a personal mod to get casting pressure right, is at: http://wp.me/p9K3f-a2

Part 3 looks at repairs and refurbishment. It’s a work in progress and is at http://wp.me/p9K3f-d4

Part 4 will cover casting tips.