The incredible Eureka Meltdown sale

Fighting 15s is clearing its remaining stocks of Eureka Miniatures and AB Figures and is pleased to announce that the incredible Eureka Meltdown sale is now on!

We have vastly less stock than a year ago when we gave notice that in September 2019 we would cease being Eureka’s and AB’s agent, but none the less we still have plenty to dispose of, even though customers have been taking advantage of some amazing prices over the past six months. Although the selection of codes may not be the best, it’s hard to argue about the value. We have very little left in the way of stock of AB Figures.

The meltdown sale is, as it suggests, terminal. If prices were to fall any further we might just as well melt down the remaining stock and turn it into something else. By mid-summer 2020 we will review the stock situation with this option in mind.

Fighting 15s is currently able to continue trading during the coronavirus epidemic, even with the UK in lockdown. We operate entirely by mail order and work from home. We are using Royal Mail’s click and drop service to buy postage online, and orders are posted when we make essential trips to buy food. There may, accordingly, be slight delays in the dispatch of orders. While the postal service is still working, we will continue to post out orders.

Delivery restrictions during the pandemic

Updated: 9 April 2020.

Fighting 15s is currently unable to ship to a number of countries, because the mail service is disrupted by the pandemic. We keep referring to Royal Mail’s International Incidents Update to get the most current information.

In essence, our service is currently restricted to the UK, the EU, Norway, Switzerland, the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. It is not possible to send mail to many non-EU European countries, because according to Royal Mail no transport links exist. This situation changes daily.

In addition, many countries are not taking signatures for tracked parcels. Fighting 15s has therefore suspended the tracked option for most countries and will be sending out all parcels using standard airmail. Doing so allows us to avoid using a post office by printing out postage labels online.

Coronavirus procedures at Fighting 15s

Updated: 24 March 2020

Fighting 15s is working normally, casting and packing orders. The loss of our casting room roof is suddenly the least of our worries, though with luck we will still be able to get that fixed in April.

Our ability to continue sending out orders depends on the postal service. We are still able to post out orders, and are using Royal Mail’s click and drop service. This allows us to post most orders at a post box, avoiding the need to queue at a post office. Customers, however, will no longer get tracking numbers, but most orders will be able to be delivered through a letterbox without requiring a signature.

The location at which we post orders is currently deserted by the time we turn up, so there is no risk of coming into contact with people. We combine our trip to the posting box with a trip to buy food, so orders may not go out every day.

Larger parcels that cannot be posted in this manner will be delayed until we make a trip to the main post office. Or we will instead arrange delivery by courier.

International orders may be affected by reduced air freight capacity or the closure of borders. Orders to Italy are already going by road, not air.

Good sales of our remaining stocks of AB and Eureka figures in the six months after the ending of our agency should allow us to weather a closure period if that becomes necessary, unless toilet paper goes up to £100 a pop. We have plenty of casting metal and mould blanks, and will be working on improving our online shop and remaking old moulds in the event that closure is enforced by Government restrictions on movement.

In the event of us becoming zombies, we will come for your brains. If The Winchester is still open, go for a pint and wait for it all to blow over.

Stay well, stay safe.

Ian
Fighting 15s and Gladiator Miniatures

 

Storm Ciara puts Fighting 15s out of action

Fighting 15s’ casting room is out of action, because Storm Ciara has taken the felt off the roof. We will be moving moulds and casting machines over the next day or so to get that side of the operation back in action.

Our packing and stock room is also out of action, because the roofing felt severed the power supply when it flew off. We are therefore unlikely to get orders out to customers in the next few days. Accordingly, the online shop is temporarily closed to new orders. We do not expect to start sending out orders again until Thursday at the earliest; orders that require casting will not go out until next week at the earliest.

A builder will be coming today to properly assess the damage and hopefully to waterproof the casting room roof again until a permanent replacement can be installed. There’s a limit to what can be done because the wind has yet to die down sufficiently to allow much work to be done outside.

This is a once in a lifetime break in service caused by atrocious weather with hurricane force winds. Fighting 15s and Gladiator Miniatures aims to be up and running again as soon as possible.

Please be assured that Janet and I are both OK. The house still has heat and power because the felt remained intact over the boiler room and mains fuse box. It could be a whole lot worse.

Au revoir to the EU

The UK officially leaves the EU on 31 January 2020, but will the world end on 1 February? No. There is no change in the trading relationship between the UK and the EU until the end of the transition period, currently set at 31 December 2020.

During the transition period, VAT will continue to be charged at UK rates on orders from EU customers and mercifully there will be no faffing about with customs documentation until near the end of this period. Again, Fighting 15s expects to have to close for a few days around the end of the year to make the necessary tax adjustments in the shop. But it’ll be the Christmas holidays anyway, not some stupid date near the end of the tax year during peak sales season.

Looking ahead, at some point Fighting 15s envisages that all value declarations for tax on exports will be managed electronically by the sender, as it is for items sent by courier to places such as the USA. This may put an end to the excessive handling fee charged by various countries’ postal services which, as Fighting 15s has argued before, is the most damaging aspect to trade with the EU post-Brexit from the point of view of a small business because this charge will put customers off from ordering. No one wants to pay VAT plus a 10 euro handling fee on just 16 euros worth of figures. Fighting 15s will, therefore, investigate other delivery options for EU customers once the picture of what is happening becomes clearer.

Fighting 15s may, in the due course of time, consider engaging an EU agent.

Ian
Fighting 15s and Gladiator Miniatures

Clearance sale: AB Figures and Eureka Miniatures

Fighting 15s’ clearance sale of figures from AB Figures and Eureka Miniatures has begun: some prices in the online shop are now at levels that haven’t been seen for about 10 years.

All the codes listed are genuine imported stock made by Eureka Miniatures in Australia, and therefore quantities are limited to what is to hand: Fighting 15s cannot obtain any more of these items. If a code isn’t showing, we do not have it in stock. Stock levels are live, although to find how many are available of a code you have to add them to the cart until the system says there aren’t any more. It’s a quirk of the shopping cart that we cannot change.

We have rationalised the listing for AB Figures to just the quick codes, because a number of categories for some nations were empty. Therefore you’ll find all the remaining Imperial French, for example, on one page of the shop, not divided up into Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Generals. Items should still be searchable by code.

Link: https://www.fighting15sshop.co.uk/

Christmas hours for Fighting 15s and Gladiator Miniatures

Last year, Fighting 15s shut completely for two weeks over Christmas and the new year. Although it turned out to be a lovely break from everything toy soldiers, the reality of the return to work was a nightmarish backlog of orders that took months and months to beat into submission.

So, this year, Fighting 15s and Gladiator Miniatures will remain largely open over Christmas. We’ll be shut on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, and will be off to see family one random day during the holiday season, but otherwise, we’ll be at work processing orders, casting figures, making moulds, updating the website and in general keeping on top of everything. Orders may be a bit slow going out, but they will go out. The online shop, of course, remains open every day.

We will also be at work planning new releases from Gladiator Miniatures over the coming year. Stay tuned!

Last posting date for Christmas has gone: we cannot now get your order to you in time for the big day. Many thanks to everyone for their custom over the past year.

It only remains to say Merry Christmas, God Jul, Joyeux Noël, Frohe Weihnachten, Feliz Navidad, Buon Natale, Feliz Natal, Wesołych Świąt, Счастливого рождества! and Vrolijk Kerstfeest to our customers in the UK and beyond.

E Day arrives

I thought it would never happen, but Fighting 15s is no longer the EU agent for Eureka Miniatures and AB Figures. My agency ends today (4 September, or “E Day”) and Fighting 15s embarks on a new journey as a manufacturer in its own right.

It’s hard to believe that 15 years ago I emailed Nic Robson of Eureka Miniatures when I saw his new 18mm British Napoleonics on a forum, and asked whether he had a UK agent. When he replied that he didn’t, I asked if he wanted one. The result was that in fairly short order boxes of 18mm British Napoleonics and 28mm Seven Years War bears appeared under my desk and I began the work of introducing Eureka Miniatures to the UK and Europe. It seems hard to believe anyone could get so lucky today, now that internet use is so commonplace.

I’d like to thank Nic for putting up with me. I’m quite difficult to deal with when I know what I want, and I can say what I want pretty bluntly, for which I blame 20 years of journalism and being paid to be right about everything. It has been a blast dealing with him, Tony Barton of AB Figures, and the various members of Eureka’s staff in my time: Tony Ramsden, Jack Garley and John Chadderton.

I’ve said that I’m basically taking semi-retirement to focus more on the house and garden. But rest assured, I have plenty to do: Gladiator Miniatures (the former Black Hat 15mm) needs reorganising to be fit for the next 10 years, with new moulds, new horses for some ranges, and better photographs of what are some quite marvellous figures (and new versions of the less marvellous ones). Martian Empires needs completing. Those Oddzial Osmy 15mm Napoleonics I’ve owned for years may eventually appear now that I have time to rework and remould them. Plus I aim to start expanding the 40mm offerings for the former Flashing Blade and D’Arlo ranges. As to the question, where to start? rest assured, the answer is new photographs for Gladiator Miniatures!

Oh, and I may find time to take a paintbrush to some figures for the first time in years.

Ian
Fighting 15s and Gladiator Miniatures

Fighting 15s: now running on live stock levels

Work on changing the Fighting 15s shop to live stock levels is almost complete: just the 28mm Wars of the French Revolution range from Eureka Miniatures and the 15mm Ancients from AB remain to be done. That means that the most popular ranges are available to buy again and that in theory it should only be possible to order what is either in stock or can be cast to order. The shop does tend to randomly hide categories, so please contact Fighting 15s if you feel a range is missing or unavailable.

Of course, live stock levels depend on the accuracy of the counting, breakages, and on mispacks by suppliers, but hopefully they will provide confidence to customers that any code once ordered will be in stock.

The shift to live stock levels means that Fighting 15s will be ready for the change in agency for Eureka Miniatures and AB Figures on 4 September. On that day, the shop will shut for maintenance, and reopen later (probably on 5 September) with only our own ranges and the actual remaining stock from Eureka and AB available to buy. The ranges will only be removed completely if the new agent for Eureka and AB opts to buy Fighting 15s’ stock outright, otherwise Fighting 15s will simply run down stocks naturally.

We repeat that any order placed by or on 3 September 2019 for AB or Eureka Miniatures that are cast under licence by Fighting 15s in the UK will be honoured, and licensed casting will continue after 4 September only to complete those orders.

Fighting 15s stops being Eureka’s and AB’s agent on 4 September 2019; the new agent takes up the reins on 5 September 2019. Because the changeover is only just more than six weeks away, Fighting 15s is not ordering into stock new releases from Eureka Miniatures or AB Figures.

Changing to live stock levels is one of those ghastly, massive efforts I was hoping not to have to do once Fighting 15s was just Gladiator Miniatures and my own figures, because it is not an appropriate system for a manufacturer that casts to order because everything is either in stock or can be made. However, to be fit to be able to have holiday in August, the shop was either going to have to close to orders for a week or I would have to disappoint customers by being unable to supply items that had become out of stock because someone else had ordered it first. Hence the upheaval now, making the most of the fact that I have caught up on orders and had the time to start the work.

I am particularly glad it’s almost over. And that I won’t have more upkeep on the live stock system caused by new stock arriving, and increasing the workload considerably.

Ian
Fighting 15s and Gladiator Miniatures