To return to the Fighting 15s shop, please go to: http://www.fighting15sshop.co.uk
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.
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…
Two new sets of Russians have joined AB Figures’ range of 20mm WWII miniatures: a Katyusha crew (RTS04) and a 120mm mortar set (INS32). These are now both in stock at Fighting 15s.
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.
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 will be on the Colonel Bill’s stand (TD19) at Salute, Excel London, on 14 April 2018.
Please note that the closing date for advance orders for the show is 1 April. I am unavailable in the week or so running up to Salute and have to cut-off advance orders early this year.
Advance orders may be made by phone, email (please don’t send attachments) or by sending a message via the Fighting 15s Facebook page. Fighting 15s can no longer offer a collect at Salute option in the shopping cart because of a change in how the shop’s delivery system works. Payment must be in advance by card or PayPal: at Salute, Ian will be in Colonel Bill’s livery and operating Colonel Bill’s till. Fighting 15s cannot, therefore, take cash payments on the day.
Colonel Bill’s is Fighting 15s’ official stockist of Eureka 18mm SYW figures and Fighting 15s’ medievals. In addition to our lines that Colonel Bill’s usually carries, there will be a selection of Napoleonic unit packs of 15mm AB Figures at the show. Packs on the stand are based on our best-sellers, and by its nature the selection will therefore be limited. Orders for 20mm WWII AB Figures must be made in advance.
Advance orders for collection at Salute may also be made for our clearance lines of Oddzial Osmy, Shadowforge and Laughing Monk figures. These ranges, however, will be removed from the Fighting 15s shop on 1 April.
Eureka Miniatures has its own, separate stand at Salute. Please do not confuse the two when placing advance orders.
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.
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 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.
The clearance sale of Coat d’arms paints will end on 21 February 2018. This is earlier than the date for ending the clearance sales for Oddzial Osmy, Laughing Monk and Shadowforge Miniatures. I have a buyer for my existing stock of paints, hence the change of date for the end of the sale.
Coat d’arms paints are currently priced at £1.60 inc VAT per standard pot and £4.00 inc VAT per large pot, a saving of 20% on our regular price. There is, therefore, less than a month left to take advantage of these prices. The paints will be withdrawn from the shop on 21 February.
A reminder that Fighting 15s is just shedding a few lines to focus primarily on AB Figures and Eureka Miniatures. Dropping some lines means we can create storage space for new releases from AB and Eureka.
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 ranges will be removed from our shop.
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 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.