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Monday, 8 January 2018

Pendraken Plans for 2018!

With the New Year out of the way and everyone back to work at Pendraken HQ, it's time to run through what we've got planned for the coming 12 months!

Blitzkrieg Commander III

Sadly we start this year's plans with the same item as our 2017 thread.  I know that we've missed all of the estimated timescales on getting the rules fixed and back into production, and I can only apologise for that.  But BKC-III will be getting sorted out very soon.  We're working with some people with a view to having it ready for Salute again, but I'm not going to make any promises at this point as it's more important to get it right at this stage.  The whole situation has been very draining and has impacted on everything else at Pendraken HQ, so as well as wanting to get everyone the rules they've bought, we also want to get ourselves back on track with releases and other things.

Price Increase

We'll mention this here ahead of a proper announcement, but there will be a small price increase coming on Feb 1st.  It's been 2 years since our last one and there's been a variety of increases in our costs over that time.  The metal prices are showing no signs of coming back down due to the raw materials being priced in $'s and the exchange rates not recovering in the foreseeable.  We're also taking on two new staff members (one before Xmas and one tomorrow!) to help ease the bottlenecks in the casting process and get your orders out to you quicker.  By the end of this year, I'd like us to have an average order turnaround of under 7 days (It's currently between 10-14 days for those interested).

As a rough guide, the price increase is 6% and will look like this:

Regular 30 foot / 15 cav packs = £4.95 --> £5.25
WWII foot = £1.65 --> £1.75
WWII tanks / guns = £2.80 --> £2.95

The increase will mainly affect our figures, other items like resin, flags, third party products will be unaffected.  There might be 5p here and there on bases and paints, but we'll confirm that when we do the full announcement.  The pricing on custom orders will remain the same at 20p per foot / 40p per mounted.

So get your orders in before Feb 1st!

Sculpting

One of the consequences of the BKC-III issues was that our release schedule was severely slowed and we didn't get a lot of the products released that we wanted to.  As a result we've got quite a backlog here at Pendraken HQ which we need to get moulded and released so that we can start getting some sales on them!  To help with this, we'll be stopping almost all sculpting/design work for around 3-6 months through the first half of this year.  This will allow us a bit of leeway so that we can get everything moulded and released without more sculpts filling their place!

The sculpting halt won't really have any noticeable effect to our customers, we'll still have a series of shiny goodies to release, there just won't be any new sculpts being previewed for a while.  Once we've got on top of the backlog the sculptors will be jumping back to work!

We'll also take this time to do some organising of the master moulds here at Pendraken HQ, cataloguing them properly and seeing if there's any hidden goodies we've missed over the years.

New Ranges

2018 will see a few new ranges coming online, including the already previewed Korean War, 1860 Italian's and Aztecs.  The WWI extension will be ready in February as well.  From there we'll be getting the remaining Indian Mutiny sculpts done and then that range can be moulded up for release in the summer.  Anything else that's already been previewed will also be released around summertime.

With those done, we can start to look ahead to new ranges in the latter half of the year:

- Napoleonic Dutch-Belgians will be the next addition to the Naps ranges.  We've already done some conversion work to give us Hanoverians and KGL, so this will add some nice options to the Allied forces.

- After that, we'll be doing a revamp of the Crimean War ranges, replacing all of the old sculpts and adding some types to expand as well.  We'll be looking for some customer feedback on what you'd like to see in this range, so if you're interested in this war, keep an eye out for that.

- Techno's next job will be replacing the Dacians in our Ancient range.  These are the last of the Early Imperial period ranges to get the revamp treatment and with these done we can start looking at the Classical ranges and some new Greeks/Persians in 2019.

- The vehicle guys are working on two separate areas, with Mart continuing his chronological march through the 60's and 70's for our Modern Vehicles range, while Steve stays with WWII and revamps our Sdkfz's.

Finally, at some point we'll be getting the TB Line ranges into production, starting with the Teutonics, Russians and Islamics.  These all need new moulds (around 80 in total for all the TB ranges) so it's going to be a slow and staggered process.  We won't be making any changes to the figures themselves, aside from possibly thinning the spears/lances.

Misc

The Pendraken Painting Competition will be back this year but with all of the work we've got over the coming months we've decided to schedule it for July instead of the usual February.  We'll have the usual pile of prizes on offer so keep an eye out for more info on this over the coming months.

We'll be ploughing ahead with more website photos this year, with all of the late 19th C. ranges heading off to Kev very soon, along with more WWII items to JAD Designs and more of the Moderns going to Matt J.  We'll be working at Pendraken HQ as well to get more blackwashed pictures of the other ranges.

I think that's about it, let me know if there's any queries and I'll do my best to answer them!

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