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A Multitude of Things

Falling Behind

I’ve had a tough time keeping up for the last couple of months. Not just with the store, but with my main job too. I’m really sorry to those of you who have waitied too long for your orders. I think I’m catching up with things, but it’s been easy to say that in the past only for me to find I’m actually not. I’m working on it.

I won’t spend any real time musing here as to why I’ve allowed this to happen. In short, depression and poor executive function are not ideal partners!

My main failing with the store, other than many orders being slow to go out, has been keeping up with customer emails. My MCM inbox has become more and more cluttered over time and customer emails weren’t getting the priority they require – some have been completely missed until way too late.

My attempt to address this is a much-overdue move to a ticket-based support system. This is very much a trial but, with tickets being tied to orders, I hope it will lead to much quicker resolutions. It’s still just me, with MCMGraham handling casting and much of the order packing one day per week, so please bear that in mind.

New Releases

We’ve got a couple more products for the store. These are mostly commissions which had been waiting for stock levels to get high enough to go public, and I then forgot existed until today!

Salute

Preparation for Salute in November has begun, and traders have already been asked to apply for spaces at the April show. I’m not sure how great it will be to have two Salutes within 6 months of one another, but I intend to be there for both. We’re taking a different approach this time around, with a walk-in space and products all bagged-up in a fashion approximating a professional operation. We hope this means that there will be less of a traffic jam at the stand and more opportunity to browse.

Boys from the Dwarf

One of the projects I’ve been working on for a while has been producing a set of Red Dwarf miniatures. I’ve been involved from the start in terms of planning, but my main responsibility has been prodcution, with Andrew of Recluse Studio doing a great job on the sculpting. Here’s a little info he wrote about the project:

The choices were primarily made up of moments that fans would hopefully get. As diehard fans ourselves, it was very important to make a connection to other fans by choosing non vanilla, non generic poses. Real moments from the show that hopefully say we laughed at the same bits, too. In it’s various forms, Red Dwarf has helped us through difficult times… even if it’s just because we’re not 3 million years from home with only Rimmer for company. 

The Rimmer Shapiro felt like taking the recognisable salute pose but tying it to “Future Echoes”. I just wanted to capture the super smug moment before he looks in the mirror.

With Kryten, his role is usually in service or with a prop. I originally sculpted the psi scanner and his triangular bag from Quarantine but it still felt too generic. I remembered hearing that the audience laughter went on for so long during …that scene in “Polymorph” that they had to cut part of it out. Kryten’s ‘Oh, no!’ face and the changeling underpants seemed like the perfect pose.

When it came to Lister I had originally wanted to make a sculpt on his gibbon style trike but it just became a nightmare to work out manufacturing. We settled on Jim and Bexley because they actually feature in the “Better than Life” book and it was sort of getting three characters for one. Mostly though, it was like showing Lister’s character with some depth rather than just having a lager or a curry.

Sticking with the books, I loved that Cat had spent 28 hours preparing a cufflinked spacesuit for the totally-alive-and-not-dead crew of the Nova 5. Truthfully, I really, REALLY wanted to make the original cone helmet from the book but thought that might be a little too niche. From the episode “Kryten”.

As the rest of the crew had been chosen from the earlier series’, it only felt right to go with the Norman Lovett’s Holly. Also, we didn’t want to have to manufacture a whole wall on the mini base so his being smeared with jam and half buried in a Rhyll sandpit fit perfectly. From the “Better than Life” episode.

We hope that they’ll be popular enough to do more in the future with different versions of the cast and other characters but, if not, we got to do at least a set and share it with other fans. That’s what the whole thing has been about so we’re over the moon to be finally here and shipping them out! 

MCM Graham and I have produced a limited quantity of numbered sets for the Dimension Jump 2021 Red Dwarf convention, including some nifty base toppers. We look forward to making sets available after the show, and hopefully producing different sets in the future, so keep an eye out for more information.

Thanks, Ben.

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Yo, I Heard You Like Spikes

I’ve had my first vaccine shot, I’m back in the office & workshop, and I’m nearly caught up on back orders! On top of that, here’s a new release! Holy spiky spikes, Batman! It is about time.

The theme, as you may have deduced, is spikes. Bigger spikes, rounder spikes, ornate spikes, veteran spikes. Spikes.
I’ve stopped short of putting spikes on your spikes, but I’m open to such a commission should anyone feel they aren’t getting sufficient spiky action. I’m not here to kink-shame you.
There will also be arc versions of the conical spikes to follow, so keep an eye out for those.

Of course, these have all been made available in squad pack form.

Less spiky, but still pointy, we have two lengths of ninjato with matching saya. Whilst this sword is almost certainly a fabrication of the 1970s, it still looks pretty cool in the hands of your super soldier of choice.

Closing out this wave of releases, we have the return of the ghillie hellmask heads, and our second set of waterslide decals. If you’d like to see any existing pauldron design on a sheet, contact us and we’ll arrange it. Customs will be coming, but my workload is a little too high right now to offer that service as standard.

Thanks for checking these out. Stay safe and enjoy life getting back to normal!

Ben.

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Continued Craziness

As I mentioned in my previous post, things have been crazy. Well, things have continued to be crazy. I am barely keeping up with orders as they come in. Whilst people often respond that this is a nice problem to have, I’m in danger of getting a reputation of being glacially slow to deliver, and my freelance work is suffering. It is only with the help of a friend that I am getting order fulfilled, and I’m looking into making that an official arrangement. This takes a little time, so please bear with me. Growth is painful and I appreciate your patience!

A Bushido release was promised, and is still coming, but I managed to get a few new squad packs products added to the store, as these are really just a packaging variation. I hope they prove useful for people.

For any fans of the wheels I’ve produced, you’ll be happy to know I’ve bought the new SM buggy and will be working on some wheels for it. This will take some time, and the Bushido release will happen first.

Ben.

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Grav Release

Well, it has been a crazy couple of weeks! The katana-style swords and outrider wheels sets have been in huge demand, making it very difficult for me to fulfil orders in a timely fashion – even those without wheels. I’m mostly caught up now, but those items may still be subject to delays, as I haven’t yet managed to build up a good stock of all options.

Anyway, a new release! 100% grav pads! If there are any other existing designs you would like in grav format, please use the contact form to let me know. There is no setup fee for updating an existing design to grav format.

I’ll have more Bushido releases coming in a week or so. Only a month later than I hoped!

Ben.

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Ride Out!

The existing bike wheels range has been modified to produce kits which, with a little careful cutting, will fit GW’s Indomitus Outrider bikes.

These are also, of course, available in a squad pack.

Released on the store a few weeks back, a range of Japanese-inspired swords…

…plus some saya, or scabbards, which can be assembled sheathed or drawn.

GW, Games Workshop, Space Marine, 40K, Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000, Outrider, Indomitus are either ® or ™, and/or © Games Workshop Limited