Thursday, 7 January 2016
Pendraken Miniatures, News & Plans For 2016
First off, I hope everyone has had a good Christmas and New Year with loads of 10mm goodies filling your stocking on Xmas morning!
Last year was a very productive one for us with 230 new additions to the catalogue, along with the release of our first set of rules, Warband, which have sold over 400 copies so far. We set about revamping all of our Fantasy ranges to go with the new rules and have completed 8 of the 12 listed armies so far. The remaining 4 should be finished off over the coming 3-6 months.
We also purchased the BKC family of rulesets from Pete Jones, which was a great acquisition to our business and something we're really looking forward to getting back into circulation. The first set to be reprinted will be BKC, which is currently being worked on by Steve Hardy.
Looking forward, we'll get the bad news out of the way first...
It's never something we want to do, but unfortunately there will be a price increase coming on February 1st. As with every price increase we've done over the last decade, it's never a decision we take lightly and there's always a purpose for it. The last time we had a price increase it was for:
More staff: We hired a new person who has been with us for the last 18 months and has really alleviated the workload on packaging orders and checking in stock deliveries.
More equipment: We bought ourselves another mould press during last year, which has doubled our mould output (and bumped up the releases!).
More design: We increased our design budget by more than double, spending over £12,000 on sculpting alone last year. Whilst we might not be able to maintain that level long-term, we'll certainly be keeping the designers busy.
Painted website pics: This one hasn't progressed as quickly as we'd hoped but we have made some headway. We added painted images for all of the Vietnam codes, plus some of the Renaissance and Warband ranges.
So, why do we need to put the prices up this time?
1. Wages - The one thing we've never really put prices up for is ourselves. Every price increase over the last decade has covered more staff, more equipment, more design, moving to our unit, going VAT-registered, etc. These were all business costs and didn't add to the pot left to pay ourselves each month. With Dave now part-time at his day job, and looking to retire from that in the next 18 months, we need to ensure that Pendraken can start paying full-time wages, something it's never managed to do before.
2. Equipment - One of the items on our previous list was electric melting pots for our casting machines, but when the BKC purchase came up we had to use the money we'd set aside to take advantage of that opportunity. We'll be using some of the increase to get the new pots sorted out and also get a 4th casting machine up and running.
3. Other things the increase will help with is maintaining the increased design schedule, allowing us to continue expanding all of our ranges and also covering any necessary additions for the BKC reprint. We'll also continue making progress on the painted pictures for our website, with the ACW's already painted and just needing photo'ing, and all of the Naps ranges being sent to a painter this week. The Ancient Spanish are also in the works, plus the new Romans and Gauls will be getting done.
So, the planned price change will be roughly a 10% increase:
Standard packs - £4.50 >>>> £4.95
WWII infantry - £1.50 >>>> £1.65
Tanks/vehicles - £2.60 >>>> £2.80
New Warband - £4.50 >>>> £4.95
Fantasy/Sci-Fi - £1.95 >>>> £2.10
(Other packs/army packs will increase along similar lines.)
Most of the resin codes will remain the same, as will the third-party products we stock. The bases and paints will have minor changes, 5p or 10p here and there.
I've done a comparison with the other 10mm companies on the market (quite a few of them now!) and I think we're still very competitively priced. There are cheaper figures out there, and likewise more expensive ones, but we hope that the customer service we provide, the expansive ranges in our catalogue, plus one of the busiest release schedules in the industry, all combine to still give great value for money.
And now the good news!
There's a lot of stuff planned for this year, including:
New Roman and Gallic ranges: These are 90% moulded now, but there were some delays while some extra pieces were sculpted. Those have arrived here and just need to work their way through the moulding process. We should have that all done before the end of the month and we'll try and get them released in time for the York show in early Feb.
Napoleonic Prussians: These are in the master mould queue and should be moulded before the end of the month. We'll then get started on prepping them for the production moulds. We've got a busy March with the shows, but they should be ready for release sometime before Salute.
WWII French and Polish: These are at the same stage as the Nap Prussians above but will be ahead of them in the production mould queue. Estimated time at the moment would be mid-late Feb hopefully. The only potential delay on these would be the artillery pieces for the Polish, but we can always release the rest of the range first and they can follow on.
Warband Lizardmen: These are one of the quicker jobs on the schedule, everything is sculpted and with us here, so they should be ready around the same time as the Romans/Gauls, before the York show.
Remaining Warband ranges: Techno is currently working on the new Humans, which was the biggest / most time-consuming of the new ranges. Once those are all done, it'll be a much quicker process on the Dark Elves, Samurai Apes and Eldritch Vampires. We'll then start working on a few new Monsters as well.
Napoleonic Brunswickers: The master list for the sculptor is just about done and we'll be sending that over to him later this week. There's probably two months worth of sculpting involved, so we'll be able to start master moulding for those sometime after Salute I'd think, for a release in early summer.
Moderns: Mart is still plugging away on the vehicle side of things, and then once Techno has finished with the Warband ranges he'll be moving over to some modern infantry. We've not started planning any sculpting lists just yet, but we'll be looking to the Forum members for some input when we get to that point.
Scenic/Resin items: John at Ironclad has been doing excellent work on getting our resin buildings tidied up and back into production, and we'll also be working with him on some new items over the coming year, including new walls and hedges, some bridges and a few new buildings. We'll have preview pics of these on the Forum once we've received them.
Blitzkrieg Commander rules: As mentioned above, the rules are away with Steve Hardy at the moment being worked on. We're a little behind on our initial estimates as the pre-Christmas period was so busy for us here, but we're still looking at having them ready for release before Salute. The slight unknown is how long the formatting will take on these once we've got them here, depending on how busy we are with other things, and we'll also be looking about for some suitable images to put into the new book. Rest assured though that once the finished text arrives from Steve these will become our Number 1 priority!
Anything we've previewed but I've not mentioned above will be slotted in where possible, but that lot covers most of it I think! If there are any questions on anything above, please let us know and we'll do our best to answer them!
And a big thank you to everyone as well, we really appreciate your continued custom and support.
Labels: Pendraken Miniatures