Archive for the ‘Fighting 15s’ Category
Regular customers of Fighting 15s will no doubt have noticed that the last few months of new releases from Oddzial Osmy have not been added to the website. Fear not, we have them on order, but we will not have a new delivery from the company until May.
Unfortunately, buying patterns, availability of stock from the manufacturer, and the selling network in the UK have all changed over the past year, and in order to keep supplying Oddzial Osmy’s figures Fighting 15s has had to change how it buys them in. Fighting 15s is now importing the figures in fewer but bigger orders to take advantage of price breaks, which means that in future we will be receiving several months of new releases at once. Doing so allows us to keep the price at the current level, and therefore competitive.
As a number of our customers save up orders to obtain several months of new releases at once, this may well put us in step with customers’ buying patterns anyway.
Thanks for your understanding.
Contrary to all expectations on my part, Fighting 15s will be at Salute 2017 on 22 April. I will be helping out Colonel Bill’s on stand TD21, and you’re welcome to pop along for a chat and to take a look at the ranges that Colonel Bill’s takes to UK shows on my behalf.
Please contact Stuart at Colonel Bill’s to order Bartek’s playing cards, Eureka’s 18mm SYW and Fighting 15s’ 15mm medievals in advance.
Fighting 15s will not have its own stock at Salute, however, Stuart has kindly allowed me to take advance orders for ranges other than those stocked by Colonel Bill’s: please place an order with Fighting 15s by email or by phone. Payment for all show orders with Fighting 15s must be in advance by card or PayPal as I cannot take card or cash payments on the day. This is to avoid any issue with cash or other payments going through the wrong till.
There is no option in the online shop to collect at Salute. To place an advance order in the Fighting 15s shop, please choose the telephone payment option when checking out and phone to give payment details and to say that the order is for collection at Salute.
Back in about 2010, Mystic Spirals sculpted some 28mm science fiction catgirls with a space pirate theme for Fighting 15s. Unfortunately, that project was put on a shelf, even though samples had been painted and the mould made. Spring cleaning for the online shop this month led to the discovery of the pictures for the range on an old hard disc and the unearthing of the mould. Despite the age of the sculpts, the range has now been uploaded to the shop.
Mystic Spirals designed the kits as Fighting 15s requested so that they are elegant 28mm figures, not chunky, and accordingly they are fiddlier than usual to assemble and experience of putting together white metal kits is therefore an advantage. Swords have been designed to be exaggerated, but are intended to be painted as “force blades”. The figures were intended for a personal HOTT project.
The Furred Dimension range includes:
Figures are priced at £3.00 each including VAT.
Fighting 15s has begun the spring-cleaning process brought about by the redesign of the online shop by overhauling the Seven Years’ War section of 18mm Eureka Miniatures.
The redesign has revealed a number of small pictures and design or editing inconsistencies within the shop, which has been hosted by EKM since 2005. The main issue is that although computer screen resolutions were typically 640 x 480 pixels or 800 x 600 pixels back then, on which, say, a 150 x 300 pixel picture looked massive, on today’s screen resolutions the pictures look tiny. Also, because elements of ranges are sometimes added years apart, human error can lead to inconsistencies as to how these are presented.
With the help of Fighting 15s’ picture editor, parts of the site are slowly being overhauled. We won’t be announcing every reworked section, but Eureka’s Seven Years War range is one of our top-selling ranges and so this received special attention over the weekend to bring it into 2017. Almost all of the pictures have been re-edited, most items have been reworked to eliminate drop-down options where possible and to make the contents of command packs in particular much clearer, and all the unit packs now have unique pictures. Descriptions have been tightened up, though undoubtedly there are still bits of wooliness with which we may just have to live.
Eureka’s 18mm Seven Years War range is cast here in the UK under licence. All new UK castings are all in lead-free pewter (our stocks cast in high tin alloy are being run down). Fighting 15s also supplies the range to Colonel Bill’s, which takes it on the UK shows circuit, and to Atlantica Juegos in Madrid – Atlantica Juegos covers all Spanish sales of the range.
UK prices for castings remain at £4.00 per pack of 8 infantry or 4 cavalry, working out at 50p each for foot and £1.00 each for mounted (all prices include VAT). It therefore remains less expensive than imported ranges from Eureka.
Fighting 15s now has in stock the 2nd Nassau-Usingen regiment codes from AB Figures and the figures are available to buy in the online shop.
These codes are expected to be popular. Unfortunately, if Fighting 15s goes out of stock, it may take eight or so weeks to obtain new stock from AB/Eureka in Australia.
Fighting 15s regrets that it does not yet have pictures of the grenadiers for this regiment.
AB has switched to identifying its figures as 18mm since the separation of its site from the Eureka Miniatures site, but Fighting 15s continues to label them as 15mm because “large 15mm” is normal for sculpts nowadays and because it would take a major restructuring of the shop to enact the change.
Fighting 15s is closed from 22 December to 28 December inclusive, although the online shop will remain open during that period. The last day that orders can be posted is 21 December 2016, which is the last posting date for UK 1st class mail. Fighting 15s will process as many orders as possible for dispatch by that date; any orders not processed before then will be posted from 29 December onwards.
The natural Christmas holiday break is four days long this year (a weekend plus two bank holidays), and Fighting 15s is therefore closed for only a few days longer than usual. The closure period is longer than usual this year so Ian can make airport transfers for visiting members of the family.
Items that are out of stock or obtained to special order cannot now be obtained from our suppliers in Poland and Australia until well into the new year.
Items that require casting cannot be supplied at the last minute. Fighting 15s has a large casting list for existing orders and is now at the point where it may not be possible to cast all figures required for an order and have that order ready for dispatch in time for Christmas.
Fighting 15s will then be closed from 31 December 2016 to 2 January 2017 inclusive for the standard new year break.
The Fighting 15s shop was periodically unavailable on 31 October because of a number of DDOS attacks on our ecommerce provider. No doubt someone decided Halloween was a good day to egg someone’s house on the internet. The attacks would have affected all of the shops hosted by our ecommerce provider, and denied access to those sites.
A denial of service attack is not a security hack. It’s just like having thousands of gatecrashers turn up for a party and denying access to genuine guests by blocking the doorway.
As Fighting 15s’ Facebook followers will be aware, I have been playing with a redesign of the Fighting 15s website to bring it kicking and screaming out of the early 2000s and into the 20-teens. That redesign is now live.
There is no maintenance mode for the site, so this change was enacted live on Saturday afternoon. I had warned in advanced on Facebook that some odd pictures might appear, but those should now all be gone. Not that anyone would pay heed to the fact that I’d adapted a fashion website, nor that pictures of people in underwear would be unusual on some wargames websites…
I emphasise that the navigation of the website has not changed – it just looks different. It still works the same way, using a hierarchical system to categorise figures. I am still working on streamlining this, as evidenced by the new AB Figures Quick Codes section, which will eventually roll out to other product ranges. I still need to add images to most of the navigational aspects of the new site, which should help customers find their way around by providing more visual clues.
New features that I had been trying out on the old website, such as the ability to sort products by various criteria, as well as a login system to check on order progress, are obviously still available on the new site. The new site provided the motivation to add these in the first place.
Products now have even more information available about them. The short product listing now contains details of pack contents to stop customers asking what every code contains – this simply shows that customers treated the website as a code list without going that extra step to click on a product to see the full description. The new product description pages are clearer and the ability to email product details to friends or print them off is now available.
This is, however, stage one. I am evaluating other ecommerce providers that offer better search options for a shop, with the ability to filter products. However, any change will not happen for a long time.
Fighting 15s is at Carronade in Falkirk on Saturday 7 May. Carronade is Fighting 15s’ only show as a trader in 2016, and Ian uses the trip to Scotland to take a short holiday to visit castles, museums, steam railways and whisky distilleries, to enjoy Scotland in the springtime, and to keep in touch with his customers in Scotland.
As a result, Fighting 15s does not intend to take stocks of figures to Carronade. He will definitely carry Coat d’arms paints and Fighting 15s’ 15mm flags for the Napoleonic and the Seven Years wars at the show. Advance orders for figures are therefore essential. If, at the last moment, Ian feels stocks of 20mm AB WWII and Eureka 28mm moderns are up to surviving the show, he will take them. The pin-up playing cards by Bartek are available at the show through Colonel Bill’s, Fighting 15s’ representative at UK shows for the cards.
Update: Ian has packed the 20mm AB WWII range for the show.
Ian will have packed the car by the evening of Wednesday 4 May, is travelling from 5 May, and any advance orders should therefore be with him by noon on Wednesday.
Fighting 15s also has planned a trip to see AB sculptor Tony Barton to find out what’s coming next from AB Figures.
Fighting 15s itself will be closed from 5 May to 12 May. Orders placed in the online shop will be dealt with on Ian’s return as his two elderly cats and his wife, Janet, will not be able to cope with orders while he is away. Do not expect miracles of wargamerly understanding from the cats or, in particular, Janet.
Anyone who cares to skip across to my personal blog (The Strange Worlds of Orun hi Kharsan) will find my personal thoughts on Brexit and its effect on small UK wargames businesses such as Fighting 15s.
In an area of debate where politicians of both sides appear to be able to get away with audacious lies about the effects of remaining in the EU or leaving, I have tried to keep simply to the economic facts regarding how VAT and tax collection works across borders where a tax frontier exists. Facts that anyone can check online using official tariff and import guides, rather than relying on a statement by a politician.
I am, of course, pro-Europe and the EU for two main reasons: first, because Fighting 15s trades extensively within the EU to the extent that 45% of Fighting 15s’ business comes from Europe (it’s about 50% from the UK and 5% from outside the EU). Second, my daughter is technically an immigrant in Sweden, and has the ability to live and work there, and pursue her sporting dreams (she ice skates at a very high level for Sweden’s Team Surprise www.teamsurprise.se) because as an EU citizen she has the right to do so.
Yet I remain proudly British, proud to be a British business actively trading with Europe and making contacts and friends across the continent, and as a result I feel that I and Fighting 15s have a strong British identity within Europe and the EU.
My own view is that Brexit would be economic suicide for the small UK wargames business that trades with Europe, based on the simple effects of VAT and import tax collection outlined at orun.wordpress.com. You may well disagree. 😀