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Monday, 16 January 2017

Plans for 2017 by Pendraken Miniatures

 Plans for 2017 by Pendraken Miniatures

I'd originally planned to have this up at the start of the month, but unfortunately I've been down with a virus for the past 4 weeks and as a result I'm way behind on everything at this end.  I'm getting back to normal now, so with 263 new products last year (taking us up to 1000 new releases in the past 5 years) it's time to look at what we've got planned for the coming 12 months!

Blitzkrieg Commander III

First up is the one everyone is asking about, the impending arrival of Blitzkrieg Commander III.  With the illness issues progress was slow on this one, so in the end we went to the unit and brought the work computer home with us, so that I could work on it in my pyjamas!  The good news is that this worked quite well and I was able to finish the task of combining the original text with the rewritten version.  With this new combined text complete, I'm now doing a second run through the rules to check for any errors, as well as doing basic formatting and layout along the way.  I'm about 50% complete on this and making pretty good progress, so I should be able to get the remaining 50% sorted out this coming week.

Once that's done, I'll add in the scenarios and army lists (much easier to transfer into the new rules) and then it'll be going out to the playtesters.  We'll only have a small window for checking the rules over, maybe 2-3 weeks, so that I can fix any issues that arise and get everything finalised by the end of February.  If all of that goes to plan, we can get them sent off to the printers in early March, receive the printed rules back to us before the end of that month, and then make the grand release in early April!

I'm mentioned elsewhere that the delays on this project have been just as frustrating to me as everyone out there waiting on them.  It's not been an easy task but the end is in sight!

Once BKCIII is out there, we'll start work on CWCII, which should be sometime in the summer.

25th Birthday!

As many of you will already be aware, 2017 is our 25th year and we've got a few things planned.

- First up will be the new website, which should be online within the next month.  Again, this has been delayed a little but it's a big job putting 4000+ products into a new custom site and making sure everything works as it should.  Once we're close to finished, we'll contact a few people to check it over for us, before launching it with a bit of a sale maybe...

- Secondly, we've got our actual 25th birthday party, which will consist of two parts.  The first day is an interesting one and something I hope folks will enjoy... it'll certainly be a fun day out at the very least.  It'll only be for a select number of guests and we'll be holding a prize draw through the website for tickets.  The second day will be a small Pendraken 10mm show, similar to our 20th Birthday Bash.  We're thinking about holding this in the Midlands somewhere, but this hasn't been set in stone yet.  A lot of it will depend on the day one event, and whether we can make it a single weekend rather than two standalone days.  More details will follow shortly on all of this.

- And finally, we'll be having a Birthday sale on the website over our birthday weekend, as well as having a special figure which will go into any orders placed over that same period.

New Ranges

There are a few areas we'll be focussing on over 2017:

- The Korean War will be our main job for the year and Phil's already started work on the sculpts.  This comprehensive range will cover all of the nations for the conflict, and should give folks some solid proxy options for other armies through the 50's/60's and beyond.  If you missed the original range list, you can find it here: http://www.pendrakenforum.co.uk/index.php/topic,15019.0.html

- Our other main range will be a complete revamp of the 1859/1866 Italians, replacing the two current ranges with a better set of figures which will be suitable for most of the Italian Wars of Independence.  The full sculpting list for this one can be found here: http://www.pendrakenforum.co.uk/index.php/topic,15351.0.html  Once this range has been done, we'll be looking at the Indian Mutiny plus some more Naps nations.

- Whilst those are being done, Mart and Steve will be continuing to plough ahead with more new vehicles as well.

Aside from the above, we've got a load of ranges/figures already here to be released, including the Nap Brunswickers, Samurai Apes and Eldritch Vampires for Warband, more Nap French cavalry and there's also a range of Aztecs knocking about somewhere...  Plus the remaining M tanks like the M60, M26, M41 and M47.

Misc

It's not as much fun, but we do need to to rein in some of our bills a little.  The metal prices shot up quite significantly through 2016, and as we saw with the website issues, it's very easy for little things to have a big effect and things can get very tight for a period.  Our sculpting costs through the 15/16 tax year were well over £20,000 which is a huge amount of money to invest over a short space of time.  I think I mentioned elsewhere that we weren't able to pay ourselves at all through August last year and that's not something we want to see repeated.  We obviously want to keep sculpting and putting out new products, but this is a business and we need to be keep an eye on things.

We did have plans to bring in another caster to take on some of the workload at Pendraken HQ, but we've had to shelve that until the finances look a little healthier.  I'm hoping the metal will start to level out and come back down a little in the coming months.

That's it for now I think, no doubt I've forgotten something in there so let me know any queries and I'll do my best to answer them!

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