Welcome to my wargaming blog,
I'm Dave and live in Morpeth, Northumberland in the UK.
This may or may not be a regular thing, we'll just have to see how it goes.

I am a painter/collector of figures first and a wargamer second. My thrill in this great hobby of ours is to place that final well researched & painted unit into the cabinet. The actual gaming with the figures is an important but secondary experience, we all like to win, but it isn't the be all and end all of it, being with good friends and having fun is.
Hope you will enjoy reading this blog as much as I will writing in it.
Just to remind the visitor to scroll down the various pages and click on 'older posts' to see more.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Manufacturers - how not to sell your figures.

Popped onto Neal's blog this morning Here , one of his ongoing passions at the moment is Sharp Practice, 1812 America in 15mm. He is building up a nice collection and we have already had some great games, happy days!
Neal, like most of use is always on the lookout for 'the' range of figures which suits his taste and the period and now believes he has found them in Stonewall figures This is them . Now if you click on the link then you will see what seems to be a comprehensive list of figures which, I'm sure will grow and as Neal says when he got a sample it was great, no flash, just what he wanted.
But there's no bloody photographs! For gods sake what does it take to photograph the figures you are trying to sell and put those pictures on the page of your site so that people who are deciding to part with their cash can see what they are getting for their money. Hey it ain't rocket science, it's your product, it's your living. This company (and many others) have invested thought, time and effort to research and produce these things, why not show them to the customers.

That's the first thing, secondly:
I want a 28mm Napoleonic Prussian gun battery. Easy, loads of manufacturers out there, who does the best figures for this range. For me it's Calpe, lovely stuff, seen them, never bought from them. You can see where this is going folks. Well not exactly, went on their site, originally looking for landwehr home page, Prussian, infantry - no landwehr, ok. Eventually had to Email a mate and he gave me a link, don't know yet how to get to them from the home page but you'd think they would either be under Prussian infantry or have a category of their own.
Next the artillery, Each gun is separate, each figure is separate caissons horses et al. No PayPal. Fuck, all my spare war gaming money is in PayPal can't be arsed to wait to change it over. If I want to order I have to type in the figures I want and Email them to the guy, lots of work. No no no, won't do it.

Perry's - you have to paint them. Seems obvious but you really have to paint them. They are very nice figures but there's no dry brushing these lads the cuts aren't deep enough so it is more work. That said you go one their site, Napoleonic, Prussian, scroll down to four types of artillery with gun crew as part - click once on each one, go to checkout it gives you the option of PayPal, one click on that job done. Seven clicks of the mouse and for £50 the items are on the way to your house.
Which option do you think I took! Calpe just lost money.

These companies must get with the times or no matter how good their product they will not last. Call me a lazy bugger but I and many like me will go for the easy option every time, and I want to see pretty pictures of what I'm paying for.


  1. Ouch - see the response on my blog.

  2. You're not alone as this is a great bugbear of mine too. There is no excuse for a lack of product photos as these are so easy to take and put on a website these days and it's crazy not to find the time to do this as sales would definitely increase as a result. Like you I won't buy from a website that has no pictures!

  3. Hear Him! This how it should be done http://totalsystemscenic.com

    1. Bitchin!!
      Agree, good site and there are many others, Pendraken being one of the best for getting pictures of their products up as soon as released the lads that run the business do a great job.

  4. I suspect no one commenting here is running their own business - it is not that easy chaps. In the case of Stonewall they are trying to play catch up with a previously completed range whilst (probably):
    Taking orders
    Buying in supplies
    Keeping the books straight for the tax man and possibly VAT man (although they are the same man these days)
    Paying suppliers.
    Posting out orders
    Being the major caster - probably sorting out customs crap for larger sellers abroad.
    General business admin.

    Well employ someone else!

    Not as easy as that.

    Am I making enough to pay them?
    If I get a loan to pay them, will sales increase so I can pay it back?
    If I can't pay it back my home could be at risk.
    At what point might I be able to take someone else on? - Can I even predict that given that wargamers are such fickle bastards?

    Running a one man band isn't easy

    If it were me I would be making damn sure that there is an effective way of getting the money in - SHOPPING CART.
    Make people aware of the range and use existing stock photos - where they exist!!
    Hope that generates interest and get more photos up when I can.

    I don't expect everyone to agree but Dave knows my credentials :)

    1. I do get it Neal I, ran the family farm for six years self employed when Dad was ill. For everyone else Neal does talk a great deal of sense. I'm not getting at Stonewall in particular and not at all those guys and girls out there on there own doing the best they can in these particularly difficult times. But, it is your shop window, it is THE place where your customers see what your selling. Don't go to shows, save your time by not going there and get your web site up to date, easy to use and attractive to customers, publicise what you do on forums, that's where you will get your products known and make money. If you don't change with the times you will be left behind. Good luck to the guy I really hope he makes it happen.

    2. Actually my wife and I do run our own small ecommerce website. If you want to sell on the internet then you have to put up pictures of your products. It's not a valid excuse to say you have to do so many other things that you don't have time as putting up the photos WILL increase sales. Even if just 10 or so photos were added per week (maybe an hours work) then eventually everything would have a photo. I can think of one or two wargame sites where not a single photo has been added for years!

    3. Well I do as you all well know. Never been one to hide my light under a bushel- For those who have been out in Ulan Bator for the last 25 years I run Old Glory UK AND I agree with 3rd95th here but equally I know Jacko at Stonewall very well and this is not his only income stream but yes he does have to do all the things on the list and a few more besides. I'm told that captian were not/are not the most efficient chaps in the world to work with but have no direct evidence of that myself. As for stock photos- well yes they do have to actually exist - I have he same problem with some of our older 25mm ranges. Can't take pics of everything myself as there are not enough hours in the year so we prioritise- hence all the new 15mm pics going up but a dearth in certain 25mm areas. Mind you the War of 1812 in 15mm is fully illustrated.and I do keep stock

    4. Neil talking sense! He's clearly been away from the club far too long.

  5. Of course I have complete ranges of War of 1812 in 28mm and 15mm- all the 15mm under the BlueMoon label - and all illustrated 17 packs of Americans and7 packs of specifrically war of 1812 British Canadians=- plus a bundle of British Napoleonics for the regulars and Fencibles
    Keep it all up North Dude

    1. Cleaver sod!
      I've seen your 1812 stuff Andy, very nice.

    2. Dave- I can do clever ..... not sure about the other never tried.