AB Figures’ latest releases in its 15mm Napoleonics range have arrived at Fighting 15s. The releases include the following additions to the French Imperial Guard:
AB-IG79 Mameluke of the guard
AB-IG80 Mameluke officer (one-piece casting)
AB-IG81 Mameluke trumpeter
AB-IG82 Mameluke standard bearer
AB-IG83 Chasseur a cheval of the guard, later uniform
AB-IG84 Chasseur a cheval officer, later uniform
AB-IG85 Chasseur a cheval trumpeter, later uniform
AB-IG86 Chasseur a cheval eagle bearer, later uniform
Tony Barton has also sculpted a new French line lancer officer (IFC09A), now available as an option in the lancer command pack (IFC09-10). For the Peninsula British he has added flank company skirmishing (AB-B11A).
The latest 20mm World War II releases from AB Figures have arrived at Fighting 15s. The releases are:
AB-INB36 Infantry in jerkins – HQ section
AB-INB37 Infantry in jerkins – heavy weapons
AB-INB70 Western Desert British infantry advancing
AB-INB71 Western Desert British infantry prone
AB-INB72 Western Desert British 3in mortar
AB-INB73 Western Desert British company HQ
AB-INB74 Western Desert British Vickers HMG teams
AB-SPA06 US drivers
All are available to buy now in the Fighting 15s shop.
The 28mm Granbretan Wolf Order figures from Eureka Miniatures for its Hawkmoon line are now listed in the Fighting 15s shop. These are a very late addition to the shop because the box containing them has been in the workshop for months. This is entirely my fault because the box’s arrival coincided with the death of my mother, and so it has just sat on a shelf as a painful reminder of events since January. It has been the one thing with which until now I have been unable to cope.
The result is a somewhat half-arsed addition to the shop, as now I have unpacked and sorted the box, I discover that I have clearly forgotten to order the Karmarg flame lance troops, who came out at the same time, and the Karmarg cavalry. These codes are now listed in the shop, but it is not possible to order them as yet: the add to cart button has been removed, and they are described as not in stock. I will remedy this as soon as I can. For now, if you want to order these figures, please do so by email.
Fighting 15s is taking over the 15mm and 18mm ranges from Black Hat Miniatures, and ownership officially transfers this weekend at Colours.
All the 15mm ranges will be sold as Gladiator Miniatures – as they were before Black Hat produced them. The 18mm Martian Empires range will be sold under the Martian Empires name in the Fighting 15s shop.
All the codes have been uploaded to the Fighting 15s shop and will go live within the next week. I have been working hard to make descriptions consistent, and remove quirks of spelling. There will still be errors that I will kick myself over each time they become apparent…
Until the moulds and stock arrive, the pictures will be the same as used by Gladiator and Black Hat – some of these go back to 2002 and the era of modems and tiny image files, and are not satisfactory for today’s website. Some codes were never photographed. I will be updating and adding photos as soon as possible, but there are more than 800 codes to ink, photograph and edit, so please bear with me.
I have all the masters and production masters, and I should take delivery of the moulds within the next week.
Looking ahead, I aim to use Fighting 15s’ shows rep, Stuart Armstrong at Colonel Bill’s, to offer army packs of the Gladiator Miniatures ranges at UK wargames shows, but this will take some months to organise. Stuart already takes some AB, Eureka and Fighting 15s figures to shows.
Mark Severin at Scale Creep Miniatures will continue to carry the figures in the USA so there should be no disruption in service to US customers.
In future, all Gladiator Miniatures will be cast in lead-free pewter. This affects the costs of figures, originally priced for a much cheaper lead-tin mix, and because adding VAT will also affect the price to customers in the EU I have taken the opportunity to reorganise the contents of many of the packs to reduce the impact on final price of tax.
Standard packs of Gladiator Miniatures 15mm infantry and cavalry therefore now contain 8 infantry or 4 cavalry to fit in with the rest of Fighting 15s’ ranges – and most of the rest of the wargaming hobby. A standard pack is now £3.40 inc tax. Chariot packs and elephant packs are £3.60 inc VAT. Command packs typically contain 5 foot or 3 mounted, and cost £2.55 inc VAT – the number in a command pack varies from range to range and descriptions of command as being “1 set” will be changed as soon as possible. Standard Martian Empires packs will be £3.60 inc VAT and continue to include 8 infantry or 4 cavalry.
Note that Mike at Black Hat Miniatures will continue to produce and distribute Coat d’arms paints, as well as focus on his 54mm toy soldier business, Imperial Miniatures. Fighting 15s will continue to represent AB Figures and Eureka Miniatures in the EU.
The most common question I am currently asked by email is whether items marked out of stock in the Fighting 15s shop will be coming back into stock. This is in spite of the subject being covered in the FAQs, and to which the short answer is yes.
Here’s a longer explanation.
Rather than let back-orders build up for codes that go out of stock but that are on order at a supplier, we switched this year to marking such items as out of stock rather than keeping them available to buy. This reduced the post-Christmas back orders to a manageable dozen, rather than the usual 50+ that can result from the long lead times in obtaining new stock, and eliminated long waiting times for follow-on items for most customers. There were and are exceptions, as, for example, we have this week posted follow-on items for orders placed in February.
Fighting 15s re-orders new stock pretty much every week, including items that either we can see are going out of stock or that have gone out of stock, based on typical demand (i.e. we prioritize the most popular items). We are still waiting on stock ordered a number of months ago, and have a long chain of orders waiting for processing by suppliers, so even though we predicted an item would go out of stock and re-ordered in good time, our replacements have not yet arrived. And yes, yes it can seem that an item is out of stock for a long time as a result.
Note that we get 25 to 30kg shipped from a supplier such at Eureka/AB in Australia in one go, and the time taken to build up a consignment to that weight is one of the main determining factors that affects when we get new stock. It is also why we cannot say exactly when an item will come back into stock – we won’t know until about five days before it arrives.
Sometimes we can get in new stock and it sells out within hours of it coming back into stock, increasing the time that it is apparently out of stock – blink and you miss it, so to say. We can’t predict this happening.
Sometimes items go out of stock quickly because they feature in wargames news, magazine articles or a forum post. This is a position that is difficult to recover from quickly with long lead times for replacements, and so an item may actually go out of stock for several months. The week we suddenly sold out of turtle tanks was a surprise indeed.
Very rarely an item goes out of stock because the mould is shot. If we make the mould then we can remedy this quickly, but replacements for licensed moulds have to be fitted into the suppliers’ schedule. AB horse code H05 was recently subject to this, for example, but we now have a replacement and so the code is back in stock.
So, rest assured: an item that is marked out of stock will usually be reordered. A few items that rarely sell are not immediately re-ordered, but in general if it’s a code in a top-selling range such as 28mm modern, 20mm WWII or 15mm Napoleonics, it will be on re-order before anyone even asks.
Fighting 15s woke up this morning to a message from a customer welcoming us to the growing group of exiles from The Miniatures Page, also known as TMP.
Indeed, our account on TMP (theminiaturespage.com) has been locked and therefore Fighting 15s is no longer able to engage, as Fighting 15s, with this US-based wargaming news page and forum.
What Fighting 15s had done was get involved with a discussion on TMP about the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which came into effect on Friday and which affect any business, website or organisation worldwide that collects or uses personal information about EU citizens. TMP Editor Bill Armintrout had posted in response to a question about where was TMP’s privacy notice that the poster should “Check the site FAQ”.
“TMP may promise in the FAQs not to sell on information about membership, however, it engages in direct marketing to its users through email campaigns to encourage them to take up supporting membership. Because TMP engages in direct marketing to EU citizens or residents, it therefore will fall foul of the GDPR. It would take precisely one disgruntled TMP user to make an issue of this, so you better hope you don’t have any lurking on a ‘Foreign Union UK’ forum.”
This post has, as far as we can work out, since been deleted by the editorial team.
Perhaps our oblique reference to UK forum frothersunite.com (FU-UK), known for a long-running and scatological campaign of ridicule against Bill Armintrout and TMP, rather than pointing out the legal truth of a matter with the intention of helping is what resulted in a locked account, but we shall never know. But it is clear to us that Bill and TMP can’t handle the truth.
There are, of course, more modern-looking, active sources of wargames news and discussion than The Miniatures Page that don’t shut for maintenance for two hours every morning just when you want to read them in the UK. We recommend that you try some of the following:
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.
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 seven years for tax/accountancy purposes, and therefore we can delete only what is historic information – currently information obtained before 6 April 2009, the start of the 2009-2010 accountancy year.
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.
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…
AB Figures’ latest releases in 20mm are for the German Afrika Korps, adding infantry and more artillery crews to the existing sets. Please note that all Afrika Korps sets have been re-coded and start AB-ING7 – the Fighting 15s site has been updated to reflect this change.
Future releases will include an infantry command set and engineers. These are not yet available in the UK.