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Perusing the Drum and Flag website this morning I cannot help but note the many sets which are 'forthcoming' which look very good: https://www.drumandflag.co.uk/collections/future-releases
Quite apart from seven Strelets WoSS sets (the remaining Maison du Roi cavalry, French dragoons and two artillery sets) there promises to be several very interesting Redbox sets for the Jacobite '45 rebellion/mid 18th century era, some excellent Linear-A ancients, and a number of intriguing Alliance fantasy sets.
We may not be living in the 'golden age' of the hobby, but with the efforts of the likes of Strelets, Redbox and Alliance, and Linear-A feeding our insatiable appetites for new sets, it feels kind of 'gilt-edged' at least.
I feel an expensive Spring/early Summer 2021 coming on.:yum: We will be guided accordingly.
I'm not a collector of WoSS so I'm building up my warchest of cash to buy some of these other sets. I see that Mars are also prepping a German Paras with mortar set, and a German Paras with LG-43 set no less, albeit in 1/32 scale, but these will eventually be reproduced in 1/72 scale later. Both look great, and photos (a joy to behold - extremely well painted) also. And note that Waterloo 1815 will reproduce the Custer set in 1/72 scale later. Indeed, we will be guided accordingly.
I have in the past thirty years bought multiples of most sets from all makers. I am still tempted by the new eras being made now e.g WSS, FFL, the fine sets by Linear A, some of the Speira output etc. Alas, I feel that in recent years the prices have become too much, mainly because of postage to the UK but also because of the basic prices. It's not that I can't afford them, but it's become too hard to justify to my wife how much I need more small soldiers, especially at current prices. I therefore need to confine my purchases to the most very essential - possibly one set each of the forthcoming Jacobite sets to supplement the old sets.
Am I alone in feeling that prices have spiralled in recent years?
I think you have a point, Michael.
Here's a simple calculation: In 2008 or thereabouts I bought quite a lot of my HaT ancients sets from an excellent model shop in Hereford, UK (which I believe is still there) for £4.25 per box. I still have the boxes of some of these with the price labels. How much would these cost me now? Well, according to Hannants they would be around £6.40 a box, which in my view is still pretty good value for 40+ foot figures or 12 mounted.
Based on this website calculator https://www.inflationtool.com/british-pound/2008-to-present-value however, even these modestly-priced boxes have crept up in price. The calculator here indicates that £1.00 GBP in 2008 is now worth GBP £1.29. If prices of plastic figures were only in line with inflation then a box of, say, HaT Macedonian cavalry would now be £5.50.
I understand that raw materials, shipping etc have gone up, and that manufacturers and retailers need at least to break even. That is fine. But overall, plastic figures are relatively more expensive now than they were 15 years ago...but still much cheaper than metals!
Thinking twice before buying is important though: I have so many figures which now take up so much space that I have to check whether I really need to buy new, additional ones. The Strelets WoSS range is the exception, but may be my last 'big, new project' since I have so many unpainted figures still to do...including, in fact, some of the Ancients sets that I bought back in 2008.
Id say price does indeed play its part and even in the time i have been doing the hobby i have noticed sets going up. Much like everything else really 😕.
As a modeller rather than a collector or wargamer, price is also a major reason why I personally have to concentrate on one era, thus choosing the one I have the most knowledge and interest in.
I have today had my Linear-A Waterloo "British Disaster" box come. The figures themselves are 1st class. The price however for 4 figures is somewhat steep for plastics, specialised poses or not.
You can get a pack of 4 metal infantryman from both Newline or SHQ miniatures (old Kennington stuff), for less than £5.
Thing is, its not just the outlay on figures, its the paint etc too that adds up.
We are still in a golden age,for sure. Price, my view has always been we get good value for money, I tend to buy lots of sets from one source and pay one post or in the case of my last order £60 post free. I will try to buy like that in future if in the mean time I can learn patience ;-) . Price per set, to low in my opinion because it limits development, risk taking, and poor return and creates dormant manufacturers that the hobby is proliferated with. Hat probably shoulder some blame for that as when they were prolific most sets were retailing for about £4.50, given the factory, shipping company, wholesaler/distributor take a profit as well as Hat and a big chunk by the retailer you can imagine the small return per set. Zvezda at the same time retailing sets for about £10/12 (they have come down in price since then) but few would argue about the superior quality, but they struggled to sell volume, partly because of price, both are now all but dormant. Our host took the middle ground and has improved quality but above all listened to the buying public, long may that continue.
An interesting insight into the pricing strategies of two of the key players in the hobby over the last 15 years or so, and why it didn't quite work out. Thanks Alan.
It's always worth looking at things from the view of the manufacturer/retailer and asking 'what do they need to charge to make it worth them staying in the business?'.
Yes I went to Hannants to buy some Minoans and baulked at the £14.99 price tag.
An interesting discussion you started Mark.
Right on cue, linear-A's 030 Tarentine Horsemen was released on Friday and I have just noticed another 'Napoleonic surprise' set added to the coming list. Goody goody!
Gosh Micheal, multiples of nearly every set you must have quite the collection. Do you have a number that you are prepared to publicise?!
It's such a simple and enduring 'joy' isn't it? Admiring and anticipating what is coming through the pipeline and enjoying existing figures—getting some paint on them (for those of us who like to), and/or put them to some 'use' be it wargame, diorama, display cabinet/boxes, mass parade or whatever.
It is true that the prices have shot up recently but if you are after some older sets cheaply then I recommend e models they have a great selection of Strelets & hat sets.
Not all sets are discounted but some sets are under £4 quite a few of are Napoleonic sets as well.
That's a good tip Steve. Shopping around or buying in bulk (to save postage...and if you can justify this to your partner, should you need to!!) can save money, and after all you do not need to have masses of figures to enjoy the hobby.
Compared with some pastimes this is still a relatively cheap and relatively safe way to enjoy your 'me' time:smile:
Thanks for the heads up about e-models having some sets discounted.
Probably put an order in sometime in coming week.
"Right on cue, linear-A's 030 Tarentine Horsemen was released on Friday and I have just noticed another 'Napoleonic surprise' set added to the coming list. Goody goody!"
Oooh there is indeed another Nap suprise set listed. Look forward to it!!! Landwehr Cavalry too!!
Was very impressed with the sculpting in the British disaster set. That pose of the infantryman holding another might find itself adapted into a KGL soldier holding poor Colonel Ompteda in his last moments.