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.
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!
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.