This is a long piece, but if you are a Baccus customer, or a potential Baccus customer, please take the time to read it.
That nasty Covid thingybob has managed to insert its effects into every part of our lives, including, much to the horror of many, the innocent pastime of playing with toy soldiers. For the Baccus team it has had pretty dramatic consequences. Having spent a good deal of time and money last year reshaping the workshop for maximum efficiency and use of space, it is now well-nigh impossible to have it fully staffed and maintain sensible safety precautions for all concerned. As a result, where we should have three casting machines spinning merrily producing 6mm figures for the masses, we now have just one. Where we should be sending out sacks of mail every week, we are now making the trip to the post office every fortnight. Where we should have had a lot of shiny new releases, our mould maker has been sidelined and is spending a lot of time at home.
All of which is by way of introduction to an update of where we are now, and a request, but more of that below. As many of you may know, we opened our shopping cart for four days in April and we are now closed until we have managed to chew through the pile of orders that was generated. Lots of you, and I do mean, ‘Lots’, have been in touch ever since asking for updates, news of when we are reopening, and even pleading to let them sneak a special order through the lockdown. We completely understand anyone doing this and have tried to reply promptly to each and every query. The problem is that the number of emailed queries is escalating to the point that I am having to take anywhere between one and two hours a day responding to them. Given that I am also trying to cast these orders this is now having a really serious effect on how much time I get to actually do productive work.
Which finally brings me to the point of this ramble. I am going to list the FAQs around our current situation with regards to orders, alongside the best information that I can provide in terms of an answer. I hope that this will satisfy a large percentage of queries before they need to be made.
When will my order be cast and on its way?
This is not always as easy for us to predict as you might think. Let’s give you a method of how you can do a rough assessment this for yourself. Very broadly, for each day that we had to cart open, we received enough orders to keep us working for at least two weeks. At the time of writing (26th May) we have just cast the last of the orders received on day two (24th April). Therefore orders placed in 25th April will start shipping later this week, with the bulk being sent out in two weeks’ time. A bit of maths and a handy calendar should give you a rough idea of when the order that you have placed can be expected to be cast.
I will try and refine this a little; we started casting order #14200 this morning. Any order numbers prior to this will definitely be on their way later this week and we should be able to get up to around 14240 or so, but please don’t hold me to this. I will post a weekly update on this status.
Will I be notified when my order is sent?
You will receive an automated email when your order has been processed and ready to send out.
My order hasn’t arrived yet – can you let me have a tracking number?
We do not used a tracked service for standard orders, so we cannot provide a tracking number or chase it up.
My order was sent two/three/four weeks ago, and it hasn’t arrived yet. Is this normal?
No, this sort of delay is not at all normal, but we aren’t living in normal times. Postal services around the globe have been badly affected by Covid19, facing the double pressures of staff absences and massive unseasonal demand on their services. A lot of packages are actually getting through in a reasonable time, but some are badly delayed. It really is a matter of being patient. In the past week, I have cast up two replacement orders at the insistence of customers, only to be told in both cases that the original had turned up in the meantime. Luckily this was before the packages were sent out. However the time taken to cast these replacements pushed all the waiting orders back.
Should any order really be lost in the transit process it will be replaced. That is what we do. It is just that we need to rethink what the time threshold for ‘lost’ is nowadays.
I have an order waiting to be cast. Can I add to it?
This is happening a lot at the moment. As ever, perfectly understandable, and for the most part it is for finishing touches, such as flags, bases etc. If we don’t have to cast it, then this really isn’t an issue. However, some customers have asked to effectively double or treble their existing order. The problem is that by doing so, you are effectively ‘pushing in’ the queue and stepping all the orders behind you further back. Up until now we’ve been allowing it for the odd pack or two, but from now on in, sorry but we really can’t continue do this.
Can I place an order for things that don’t have to be cast?
Yes you can. Rules, flags, basics, basing materials, scenic etc. can be ordered by email. Please get in touch if that is all you require.
When can I place an order again?
The BIG question…My best guess would be that we’ll need another three weeks or so to clear things down to a point that is comfortable. I will post on the Baccus News page, and on Facebook and Twitter a couple of days in advance so as to let as many know that day in advance.
Please don’t get the impression that we don’t like talking to or hearing from customers. To be honest that is one of the delights of this business. It’s just that at a period when we are facing massive pressures on time and resources it just makes sense to broadcast some basic information rather than provide multiple personal responses.
It's that time of year again! Get those diaries out and get the weekend booked off for the Joy of Six 2020.
As you can tell from the natty logo above, this year's show will be held on Sunday July 5th. Once again we'll be in our usual venue at Sheffield Hallam University in the centre of Sheffield. Doors will open at 10.00 at which point you will be let in to sample the pleasures of the most vibrant and attractive show on the UK circuit.
We'll post more details about games and traders as the months progress, but we've already got an exciting lineup in place.
If you want to stage a game, please download the booking form HERE. Places at this year's show will be in demand, so don't delay.
If you want to attend as a trader and have 6mm related products, then download the booking form HERE.
As always, we will also be taking the opportunity to open the doors to the Baccus HQ on the Saturday prior to the show in the form of our annual Baccus Open Day. If you want to have a look behind the scenes of how your little men are made, or just want to see how we've changed things since our expansion, this is your chance. There are two sessions on the day, both limited in numbers, so booking ahead is essential to ensure your place. If you want to come along and make a full 6mm weekend get in touch by phone on 0114 2724491 or email us at [email protected] It is first come, first served, so don't hang about...
That's all for the moment, but you'll be hearing a lot about the Joy of Six over the coming months!
With just two weeks to go to the Big Show, the staff here are Baccus Megacorps Industries are slaving away to get some new goodies on the shelf for your delight and delectation. The first subject to occupy our attentions will be next set of releases for WW2 in the shape of British Airborne forces.
(All photos courtesy of the painter, the talented Roland Grimes)
The aim is to have not only the individual code packs for the various and sundry vehicles
but also we'll be bundling these together into large formation packs so you'll be able to assemble a complete Airborne Brigade.
We're also working as hard as we can to get the new Wars of Sun King ready for the show.
All of this means that we are going to be very busy over the next few days. We are still accepting orders for collection at the show and past experience tells us that we can sell out of some things very quickly indeed, so it’s worth getting those requests in to us ahead of the show. You can do so by using the Baccus site shopping cart or by email or phone.
Speaking of the Joy of Six, this year's show is shaping up to be cracker. We've got big games, little games, land games, sea games, games to watch, games to play and definitely, most definitely, games to look and go Oooooooooohhhhhh! There are more trade stands than ever, and Dr Mike has promised to put his transport problems behind him and stage his marvellous travelling painting clinic. We have attendees from all over the world coming to this year's show, so come and join them and see what it's all about!
On a final note, we have three places up for grabs on the Baccus Workshop tour starting at 10.00 on July 6th. If you want to grab one or more of these, get in touch as soon as possible. When they are gone, they are gone!
I am well chuffed to be able to announce the release of our first substantial tranche of WW2 vehicles.
Yes, we’ve released the odd artillery piece and even a Sherman, but due to, ‘circumstances beyond our control’, the project as a whole had to be put on the back burner for most of last year. We are now catching up rapidly.
We’ve thought long and hard about our release schedule and what we are going to produce. Yes, it is tanks that catch the eye for WW2, and believe me, we have BIG plans for armour coming up, but it is infantry that have to take and hold ground, and it’s the chaps on foot or manning the artillery that form the real backbone of any army.
As a result, we are going to make sure that it’s the infantry that get some attention in this first batch.
You get trucks,
those sundry wheeled vehicles that enable the army to function,
a big 17pdr ATG with which to bag a Tiger,
and some AA should the Luftwaffe make an appearance.
The great thing about this approach is that it also enables us to put together some really useful higher formation packs at a discounted price. We’ve adopted a fairly high level of command as the basis for these packs which work well for divisional level games such as Spearhead et al. However, they will break down nicely for those of you who prefer a more tactical approach.
The sharp-eyed amongst you will have noticed that there are some large numbers on the codes for these new releases, and some very big gaps between them. Take that as a good indication of our statement of intent. It would be easy to cherry-pick the obvious good sellers, do those and leave huge holes in the range – Baccus is in this for the long haul and our aim is to produce the finest models with a truly comprehensive coverage.
We believe that the combination of superbly detailed vehicles and equipment combined with our trademark high quality infantry and artillery, all designed to a consistent scale and available at a great price, will prove to be not only an attractive option, but ultimately one that will prove irresistible to lots of you out there.
Just to show what you can do when you get quality models and figures that are in scale with each other, we also have available one of our trademark HQ sets – in this case we find Monty outlining his plans somewhere on North West Europe, while enjoying a nice cup of tea…
You can find all details of the range to date HERE
We’ve loads more British stuff to come in short order, and for the curious, we will be aiming to get the first group of German models out for this year’s Joy of Six.