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Brexit and Postage Price Changes

Since my last update, quite a lot has happened, but not a lot has changed, if that makes any sense. Both my workshop location and, later, my home were placed into Tier 4. I have had no access to premises since the 18th of December, so have been unable to fulfil orders. Honestly, this has all started to get a bit old so I decided, for the first time since starting the business, to take a proper Christmas break. It’s been great, despite the limitations, as I’ve been able to spend lots of time with my wife & son.

Coming into 2021, and thanks to our lethargic and indecisive government, the COVID situation in the UK is worsening daily. I don’t expect to be out of Tier 4 any time soon. I don’t know what this will mean for premises access, so I have to ask that you bear with me. Once I know, I will post another update. I have some new products waiting, but I will hold them until I can be sure that I can ship them out!

OK. Brexit. Another shambles perpetrated by this government and their predecessors. I have made the changes to the store which seem necessary. I may have made errors, as the deal signed with the EU has barely had time for the ink to dry. Those of you in the EU may now find yourselves paying VAT when your orders pass through customs, as those in the rest of the world already do.

Royal Mail, who I use for most orders, have updated their prices for 2021. I haven’t updated my own charges for a long time, and I have identified where I need to raise them to meet the new prices and the cost of packaging etc. I have kept these increases to a minimum. I have also indentified a few places where I can make reductions – this is mostly due to the average weight of orders in certain situations being lower than I had accounted for previously. It is possible that I will lose a little money on shipping in some situations, but this solution seems to me to be the fairest one overall.

In addition, I have added a cheaper shipping tier for letters which will be used when orders only contain decal sheets. Free shipping thresholds for the UK and Europe remain at £35 and £50, respectively. These orders will be sent out in cardboard-backed envelopes.

Here’s a summary of the changes:

UKRoyal Mail 1st Class (Letter)[£1.60]£1.00-£0.60
Royal Mail 1st Class (Large Letter)£1.60£1.80+£0.20
Royal Mail 1st Class (Bulky)£3.80£4.00+£0.20
Royal Mail 1st Class (V. Bulky)£6.00£5.00-£1.00
Special Delivery£7.50£7.50
Special Delivery (Bulky & V. Bulky)£10.00£10.00
EuropeStandard (Letter)[£3.00]£1.80-£1.20
Standard (L. Large Letter)£3.00£3.80+£0.80
Standard (Bulky)£6.00£7.00+£1.00
Tracked (Bulky & V. Bulky)£12.00£12.00
World Zone 1Standard (Letter)[£4.00]£2.80-£1.20
Standard (L. Large Letter)£4.00£4.80+£0.80
Standard (Bulky)£10.00£9.00-£1.00
Standard (V. Bulky)£15.00£12.50-£2.50
Tracked (Bulky & V. Bulky)£15.00£17.50+£2.50
World Zone 2Standard (Letter)[£4.00]£2.80-£1.20
Standard (L. Large Letter)£4.00£4.80+£0.80
Standard (Bulky)£11.00£11.00
Standard (V. Bulky)£15.00£15.00
Tracked (Bulky & V. Bulky)£16.00£18.00+£2.00
World Zone 3Standard (Letter)[£4.00]£2.80-£1.20
Standard (L. Large Letter)£4.00£4.80+£0.80
Standard (Bulky)£10.00£11.00+£1.00
Standard (V. Bulky)£15.00£17.50+£2.50
Tracked (Bulky & V. Bulky)£17.50£17.50

Happy new year. Let’s hope 2021, despite all we know is yet to come, is a better year than 2020!

Thanks, Ben.

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An Update

With the end of the second UK lockdown, I now have access to my normal premises. This is good news, as I can cast the items which ran out during the last month and I have access to my laser cutter again. Unfortunately, the landlord has indicated that the premises will close from 18/12/2020 to 04/01/2021 and has provided no details as to any plans should my area enter Tier 3 restrictions following the Christmas relaxations. As such, I can’t commit to moving my printers and stock back there until next year.

This means I am working out of three locations:

  • Home office: sculpting & FDM print-on-demand scenery etc.
  • Main premises: mouldmaking, casting, and laser-cutting.
  • Interim premises: Order packing, & resin printing.

As you may imagine, this is far from efficient. So, whilst we’re out of lockdown, I have to ask for your continued patience, especially as we are well into the festive shipping period.

All affected customers have been very understanding, and I really appreciate that.

The elephant in the industry is, of course, the unknown Brexit situation. There’s only so much a business can do to prepare when details are unknown, but I will be doing all I can to minimise disruption and increased cost to MCM customers.

Thanks to you all, enjoy your Christmas, and stay safe.


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Lockdown 2: Revenge of the ???

Those of you in the UK will be very aware that the UK government have announced the implementation of another lockdown in England. For those of you who don’t know, this lockdown will last a month and has fewer restrictions than the first one. I was hopeful that my workshop premises would remain open but, following a meeting yesterday, the landlord has decided to close for the duration.

This puts me in an awkward position once more. I can do some sculpting work from home, but all the workshop activities – moulding, casting, order packing, laser cutting, decal printing, resin printing – either have to stop or I have to bring what I can home. Last time, I brought all the stock home, but no casting equipment. I also bought another resin printer to compensate for the lack of manufacturing equipment. This time is likely to work in a similar fashion, with the added difficulty of colder weather preventing use of the garage for resin printing.

The store will remain open, but expect delays in fulfilment.

I don’t generally keep track of stock levels for the items I cast – it requires an amount of work which isn’t rewarded, as I can normally simply cast anything which is out of stock. Bringing stock home means I can fulfil orders providing I have them items in-stock. If I don’t, I should be able to print them on-demand, but this is where delays will build up.

As before, print-on-demand items (3D Alien Worlds scenery, Bushido zones and accessories, movement trays) will continue to be fulfilled as normal.

Laser-cutting is almost always done on-demand, so will have to halt until I regain access to the workshop.

I really appreciate your patience during this, the weirdest of years.

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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.


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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!