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/

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

Fighting 15s shop: live stock levels

Parts of the Fighting 15s online shop are inaccessible at present because I am switching the whole of my stock to live stock levels. This simply means that if an item is shown in stock, then customers can buy it up to the stock limit.

This has been largely irrelevant up until now because so many of the items I sell are cast to order, and because I can get key items quickly if necessary from Australia. However, as Fighting 15s heads towards the end of its status as agent for AB Figures and Eureka Miniatures, it’s important that all items from those manufacturers are set to live stock levels. That way, come E-day on 4 September, Fighting 15s can simply run down stock and I can provide an inventory for the new agent if they decide to take on the stock. There’s no guarantee of this, hence plan B is to continue listing items on the site until they sell out: live stock levels will automatically ensure that a code is delisted and hidden when it runs out.

Obviously, this is a huge amount of work, because I have to count the existing stock. Therefore, all items have been set to a stock level of zero until I have been able to count the stock for that code: one they have a stock level of more than zero they will reappear in the shop. So, although the shop looks empty in places, it will fill up again over the next week or so. I am focusing on getting all the AB codes live first. The Imperial French, Imperial Guard, Peninsula British and the 20mm WWII lines are already done. Eureka’s 10mm Fantasy and 18mm Seven Years War lines are also running on live stock levels.

I’m doing this now rather than nearer E-day because orders have dropped to a manageable level. My apologies if the short downtime for some items affects buying plans, but at least when codes are set to live stock levels customers can buy knowing that what they’ve ordered should be in stock – subject to my counting errors.

Gladiator Miniatures, Martian Empires, and Fighting 15s figures and flags are unaffected by the change because earlier this year I set them to high stock levels. They are therefore still available to buy. I may have to cast figures or get flags from my designer, but this usually involves a delay of one week at most. Shadowforge Miniatures and Laughing Monk are also set to live stock levels, but these ranges are clearance items.

Ian
Fighting 15s and Gladiator Miniatures

Countdown to E Day

Or should that be E-less day? But certainly not AB-day, which belongs in a bathroom. Yes, the bad jokes don’t stop.

With slightly more than two months to go before Fighting 15s stops being Eureka Miniatures’ agent, and therefore also AB Figures’ agent, what is going to happen?

Eureka Miniatures has now chosen its new agent. That agent takes up the reins from 5 September and may take orders from customers for AB Figures and Eureka Miniatures from that date, but no earlier. Up until that date Fighting 15s is still the agent and is the point of contact for orders for AB Figures and Eureka Miniatures in the UK and EU. For forthcoming new releases, such as Eureka’s 15mm Sumerians, the new agent is obviously the best point of contact now. All questions about stuff you’ve seen on the Eureka US site but which aren’t officially released yet or even available on the Fighting 15s site or on Eureka Miniatures’ site in Oz may also be directed at the new agent.

In accordance with Fighting 15s’ letter of notice to Eureka, Fighting 15s will continue to cast licensed figures and supply Eureka and AB Figures from stock for orders placed up to and including 3 September 2019. For new orders from 4 September, Fighting 15s will supply items from existing stock only. At some point we will temporarily close the AB and Eureka sections of the website for maintenance to introduce live stock levels – that way, when they are re-opened it will only be possible to order what is actually in stock. In practice, Fighting 15s will hide the AB and Eureka sections of the site sometime after hours on 3 September, and gradually reveal those categories for which stock still exists, along with live stock levels so that is not possible to order more of a code than remains in stock. The Gladiator Miniatures and Martian Empires sections of the site are ready for live stock levels to be enacted and therefore will not be switched off.

Licensed casting at Fighting 15s will cease on 4 September except to complete orders placed up until and including 3 September. The new agent does not have casting facilities at present, so all their stock is likely to come from Australia to begin with.

The new agent may decide to buy our remaining stock or if not, as outlined in our letter of notice, Fighting 15s will continue to dispose of any remaining stock. The new agent has already blocked me on Facebook, so the prospect of handing over remaining stock is in doubt.

Fighting 15s flags (Flags for AB) will remain with Fighting 15s and is unaffected by the change in agency. I will try to remove any Flags for AB branding as soon as possible.

Colonel Bill’s, Fighting 15s UK shows agent, will be unable to place new orders for stocks of AB Napoleonics and Eureka SYW from Fighting 15s as from 4 September. Because Colonel Bill’s has paid for and therefore owns its existing stocks of these figures, remaining figures will continue to be available through Colonel Bill’s while stocks last. Stuart at Colonel Bill’s will be taking on some of our Gladiator Miniatures lines of figures. Eureka’s new agent will be taking AB Figures and Eureka Miniatures to shows at some point in the future.

I intend the transition to go as smoothly as possible given that it’s a massive change. I look forward to your custom for AB Figures and Eureka Miniatures up to 3 September, and for Gladiator Miniatures, Martian Empires and Fighting 15s flags and figures afterwards.

Ian
Fighting 15s and Gladiator Miniatures

Last arrivals from AB Figures and Eureka Miniatures

Fighting 15s has received the last of its new arrivals from AB Figures and Eureka Miniatures. These are orders that Fighting 15s committed to before advising Eureka that on 4 September it would stop being the agent for these two manufacturers.

The new releases include AB’s 20mm WWII Germans in greatcoats and camouflage jackets, the British Western Desert universal carrier crew, and its 15mm Brunswick staff officers for 1815. Restocks of some of the 15mm Napoleonic staff sets have come in, including Russians, Austrians and French, and the website has been updated accordingly.

From Eureka, the new releases are the 28mm Renaissance civilians – the “Romeo and Juliet” figures. These figures are available only in sets of each code. In addition, a few restocks have arrived in the 28mm Civilians line, including more sets of the jazz band.

All the new releases are listed in the New Arrivals section of the shop.

Fighting 15s is not back-ordering items from Eureka and AB: stocks are being run down and only items that are in stock are being supplied. Any orders placed now at Eureka would not arrive until September, that is, after our agency ends.

Note that although Fighting 15s will stop being the agent for Eureka and AB, any stock remaining after 4 September will continue to be sold through the shop and removed from the site only when out of stock.

Nic at Eureka is still in the process of evaluating applicants who want to be the next agent. Fighting 15s has no more details than that.

Fighting 15s, Eureka Miniatures and AB Figures

Fighting 15s’s visit to Salute each year is also the time I get an opportunity to talk to Nic Robson of Eureka Miniatures and Tony Barton of AB Figures about the future. This year there was a bit of a shock in store, because I gave Nic five months’ notice that Fighting 15s will stop selling Eureka Miniatures and therefore, by association, AB Figures in the UK.

Fighting 15s will, therefore, cease to be Eureka’s agent from 4 September 2019. The plan is that Fighting 15s will continue to cast licensed figures and supply Eureka and AB Figures from stock for orders placed up to 3 September 2019. From 4 September, Fighting 15s will supply orders from existing stock only. During the notice period Fighting 15s will not back-order items.

My aim is quite simply to take semi-retirement. The unsociable hours that have resulted from the pre-Brexit rush for orders have simply prompted me to take the decision a year earlier than I intended. I want to concentrate on my own ranges, on revitalising the Gladiator Miniatures and Martian Empires lines acquired from Black Hat Miniatures, and on my much-neglected hobby and garden. The Flags for AB range will be rebranded Fighting 15s flags and continue to be available through Fighting 15s. And Fighting 15s’ shows representative Colonel Bill’s will add Gladiator Miniatures ranges to its offering at UK shows. I will no doubt be able to find time to modernise the website and take the required new pictures for Gladiator Miniatures.

In answer to the obvious question: I would have to stop being Eureka’s agent at some time in the future, and this is simply a good time to do so. Nic, Tony and I remain good friends. I have hugely enjoyed representing their ranges over the past 15 years for Eureka and 13 years for AB.

Nic and Tony will be discussing what will happen about Eureka and AB in the UK, and what they intend will be revealed in due course. Please don’t unduly pester them for information: an announcement will happen when they have made a decision.

Ian
Fighting 15s

Price increases on AB and Eureka Miniatures

Fighting 15s regrets that delivery costs, energy costs and raw metal costs mean that prices have risen with immediate effect on figures from AB Figures and Eureka Miniatures of Australia. Shipping costs in particular are accounting for a bigger proportion of costs than previously and are the main reason for the rises. Metal and electricity are relatively tiny contributors to the cost of figures, but we still need the cash flow from sales to pay the bills.

We have slightly better royalty rates on Eureka’s 18mm SYW range, compared with AB Figures, and are still reviewing the impact of costs on this range. Currently, the range is not significantly affected by the above increases but because Fighting 15s also supplies this range to retailers, we may have to change prices to maintain margins.

Some codes in our Gladiator Miniatures range – mainly elephants, chariots, wagons and equipment – have recently been adjusted in price accurately to reflect metal costs, and we will be reviewing prices shortly for this line and our Fighting 15s ranges. Although we now buy metal in greater volumes to get a better price, the new price is still more than previous prices for smaller volumes.

28mm Eureka Miniatures: Granbretan Wolf Order

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.

Ian, Fighting 15s

Link: https://www.fighting15sshop.co.uk/hawkmoon-1111-c.asp

Fighting 15s at Salute 2018

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.

Ian
Fighting 15s