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Messages - libertee

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Announcements and News / Re: Christmas/New Year painting competition
« on: November 17, 2011, 09:53:42 PM »
Can i enter as i paint like a 12 year old  :lmao:
dont be silly or i shall send you to bed as you are obviously very tired right now.....

Announcements and News / Re: The Best of British and the Hasslefree Hustle
« on: November 17, 2011, 08:43:45 PM »
A fantastic idea and one that i am sure will be appreciated by everyone you choose to feature.  I love the title 'Hasslefree Hustle' and i am sure i can add some more pretty funky things into the prize mix!

Announcements and News / Re: The Best of British and the Hasslefree Hustle
« on: November 17, 2011, 08:35:31 PM »
Oooh, how did i miss this post!

Thanks Scott, am going to go and take a look.  Its a great idea, thanks for thinking of us

Sally :)

Announcements and News / Christmas/New Year painting competition
« on: November 17, 2011, 08:31:28 PM »
We were trying to figure out what to do with some masters of previous Christmas figures and someone on FB suggested a competition.  This then led rise to exactly what kind of competition which led to this one......

This year we are going to have a bit of fun and run a painting competition for the kids, not the adults.

It runs from now until the 2nd January 2012 when the photos have to be online in a dedicated thread that i am going to create over Christmas.  I will create the 'Before' thread tonight so as soon as they have decided what they want to paint take a quick shot/scan and get it online so we can see.  Its not that we dont trust you all not to cheat but....well we know how competitive some adults can be!!

The results will be announced on HF's 8th Anniversary which is 7th January 2012.  We chose these dates as we felt that it would give the kids a chance to have bit of quality 'mummy/daddy/aunty/uncle/grandma/grandpa' time over the school/christmas holidays where they can get a chance to watch you paint and you can teach them some skills.  It isnt about teaching them highly competitive NMM techniques and making them choose traditional colours for things, it is about them and you having a bit of fun together with a prize at the end.  If they want their Mesaan Grunt to be pink with yellow polka dots whilst sitting on a green Hamlet then that is how it should be!  Over the last 15 months we have come to realise how important our kids are to us and how 'real life' has a way of stopping us doing things with them, its nice to see kids have some fun....keeps us remembering exactly what we are living for.

The prizes are yet to be figured out but i have so much 'stuff' unearthed from the changeover and stock take that i can put together a nice parcel for them.

There are 3 age groups

1: Under 8's
2: 8-12 yrs
3: 12-16 yrs.

They can paint anything from the HF range that they want in whatever colour choices they want, they can base it however they want. They get to keep it, all we want are the pics posted so we can chose a winner from each group.  Pictures uploaded need to a maximum of 72dpi and a maximum pixel size of 600 pixels wide and 600 pixels tall.  If you dont have anywhere to host them then email them to adminAThasslefreeminiaturesDOTcoDOTuk and i will host them for you.

The thread will close for new pictures on the 2nd January 2012 and we will then set up a poll where you all get one vote to vote for your favourite.  The winners will therefore be decided by the FOD and not us which we think makes it a bit more fair.  As our kids will no doubt want to have a go we will arrange for their pics to be uploaded by someone else so they dont get any preferential treatment.

Now is the time to dig around in your metal mountain and see what you can find for them to paint.  If you havent got anything then dont worry, tell us when you place your next order and we will throw something in for free for them, just tell us in the comments box whether it is a boy or a girl and their age and we will sort the rest.

Remember this is about having fun with the kids, not about competing with each other to score points and make your childs entry super-dooper technical and perfect.  Its about having a bit of fun!

Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: things that really p** you off
« on: November 17, 2011, 07:55:23 PM »
sorry to hear about your grandma.  i am surprised to hear about your hospital experiences though as i was under the impression that German health care is very good compared to the standards over here.


Like I said, I'm glad to see the progress, just thought I'd offer up some potential suggestions. I'm glad to see you've already played devil's advocate with yourselves over the sign-in issue, and at least come at it from a reasoned point of view. Many of the places that have sign ins don't have anything else like wish lists, or whatever, so the value add to the customer is exactly zero. It is the frequency of sites like that that cause me to question the motives of the proprietors. Some people are clearly just instlalling whatever boilerplate e-commerce site they are sold without thinking it over. Glad to know you guys are picking over it all. :)

Best of luck on the new phase of HF-Online!  8)

Thanks Blackfly.  I have got the webmaster working on some other issues right now .. applying discount codes and addressing the text in email issues plus also re-coding some areas to deal with the password/email thing but i will speak to him about the alternate option for those who want a 'guest account' and see if we can bash a way around the issue without it destroying the current procedures too much.  It only got pushed to one side because of the financial side, it was still on my 'things to investigate/address' list.

Sorry if i came across a bit 'terse' earlier, i am having problems typing right now and probably didnt elaborate as much as i could do in areas.

We do welcome this kind of criticism and have actively invited it over the years as we have also laid open our plans and costs.  It is part of the 'HF Growth' process!

Also, I just noticed that on the armorcast page at least, a lot of the rows aren't aligned right.

i see this.

what browser are you using, it may be a browser specific issue.

Can you do me a screenshot please


1) The thumbnails. They're really not good. :( Almost all categories I checked all seem to be degraded to the same level of quality, showing a rough outline of a figure with major compression artifacting, rendering the details pretty hard to make out.

The images from the old website were formatted in 100x100 pixels.  Due to the fact that we moved over nearly 800 codes we were unable to redo all of the thumbnails.  I have been working on replacing them all by going back into the original image files and re-doing them but my ME has slowed this down considerably as my pc time is limited.  If you check the newer codes you will find they are all 138x138.

We delayed the new website for 4 months whilst we ironed out coding issues and i upgraded a lot of the images/descriptions/layouts etc but it got to the point if we didnt launch it soon we would go bankrupt.  So we have some images that are being redone, currently i am redoing about 100 each week including new catalogue images as well.

2) Login? Register? Really? 

If you're already integrated with payments directly through paypal, why do I need to create an account at your site? I know my paypal password. I use it all the time. Thats the convenience of paypal, I only need one set of credentials, and I can don't even have to lift my arse off my seat to get my wallet and my credit card number out. It is accepted most places I shop now, and that ubiquity is part of what makes it worth using. The only thing that logging into a retailers site ever gets you is one of two things: 1) Spam. 2) Order tracking.   I know you guys aren't going to spam me, but you know what, I don't care about order tracking. I may be the exception because I've been ordering from you guys for years and have never had a problem, much less even a slow delivery, so I don't /need/ order tracking

sorry you feel this way.  It was something we were considering doing where you can go straight to checkout as i personally hate sites where you have to log in however we weighed up various options and went with the one that the majority chose.

1:  Currently if there is a problem with payment it may take us a few days to find it, Paypal arent known for their excellent communication skills either to customers or traders who have to pay their exorbitant fees.  If a payment fails then the customer may not know and we may not know, i then get an angry email from someone asking where their order is etc and i have to track it all down manually.  On the new site i can see from one control panel screen the progress of each order.

2: We lose a lot of orders to the postal services, about 10% actually which is an awful lot of profit so for us order tracking is something we wanted and to cover ourselves with Royal Mail when things go missing

3:  Auto-confirmation emails, we didnt have them and i get at least 10 emails each day that i need to follow up manually from customers wanting to know when their orders have shipped.  We cant afford staff to do this at the end of each day so (as usual) it comes down to me. The new system has this on which makes my life easier plus reassures you guys that it has gone out or if there are any issues.

4:  To go through to checkout you have to fill in your address details on our site. It was the same on the old site even if you wanted to pay with Paypal.  So now if you have an account you dont have to fill in those details each time and better than that you get to store different shipping addresses in your account.  This means i dont have to spend time sending emails to customers whose address details on the website dont match the ones that Paypal have put on the confirmation form and time at checkout overall.
The old site payment options were clunky and gave us no facility to upgrade or improve our checkout procedure.  The new site does.

5:  Longevity.  We dont spam and have never spammed customer accounts however I get a lot of enquiries asking for newsletters of some kind every month/2 months with new releases etc on.  By having customer accounts in one place we can facilitate that and the custoemr gets to choose if they want it or not.

6:  'Wishlists'.  We were asked to implement those.  We are doing so but to do so means we need customer accounts.

I could keep going on about how many things we have planned linked to the accounts but i hope youg et the bigger picture from what i have already posted.

I hope this doesn't sound snarky, I'm just trying to be honest. ...
So... I hope those two points help. If they seem a bit long winded, believe that it is meant out of constructive motives. I hate it when someone says 'your shopping cart sux' or 'your images are crappy', so I'm trying to give you some back ground and context for my points of critique.
On the other hand. Yeeehaw! The site does look a lot better and modern, so hats of to you for making the effort to update it.
I'll keep looking around and try to offer more helpful commentary if I notice anything. ;)

There are so many upsides to having accounts set up for both us and customers, as far as a successful E-Commerce site goes it has to be the way forwards.

HF needs to become more profitable in order to survive and the new website is the way it is going to happen by reducing administration time, overstocking and cashflow.  Our web presence  needed upgrading and research showed us this was the way to achieve it.  We know it isnt going to please everybody and, as always, customer comments will be taken on board as the build progresses. 

We have invested a lot of time and money into what is essentially the first stage of the site. There are somethings we would have liked to have had on board for launch but we need to generate sales to pay for them, however over the last 14 months HF has either been closed or running at half-speed for at least 8 months of that time due to family issues and mine and Kevs health.  We dont have any spare money and keeping the old website going at a loss was killling us so we went ahead and went live.

Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: things that really p** you off
« on: November 16, 2011, 07:55:26 PM »
that's twice in 2 days on this thread Sally, go and post something that makes you happy to restore some balance  :D

just cleared out the 'throw all the c**p from my pockets' drawer next to my bed and found 14.40 in change!  Is that happy enough?

Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: things that really p** you off
« on: November 16, 2011, 03:55:54 PM »
what pisses me off?  people moaning they are in trouble with their bosses for using Facebook on their mobiles at work when it is classed as a disciplinary offence.

If someone is paying you to work then they arent paying you to sneakily use your mobile to go onto Facebook  or  text your partner and moan about your boss!  If you have already been in trouble for taking advantage of someones good nature and then they catch you again then tough s**t, deal with the consequences or change your job!

Rant over!  Feel better now!

General Ranting / Re: Has Anyone Else had Trouble with Access Lately?
« on: November 16, 2011, 10:57:22 AM »
Quote from: fear_the_squirrels
Pretty much what I said on the other thread.  Looks like he is just hitting the forum at home at really bad times.  That error message is due to a connection to the DB being lost due to too many connections on it.  No fix from this side really, its a hosting resource thing.


Announcements and News / Website Registration
« on: November 15, 2011, 08:55:31 PM »
Currently we send your login details to you when you register.

We hadnt thought that it would be a problem as no financial details are stored on the website, everything is processed through a secure payment gateway linked to the payment processing facility, SagePay.

However some customers have said they feel this poses a security risk as sending a password in an email isnt safe.

From a business point of view, my customers welfare is my priority and if even a small percentage are wary then I can ask the webmaster to change the process.

My personal view is that i dont mind (for me), i am careful to use unique passwords on sites i log into and dont use the same password across all sites that i frequent.  I never store card details on even secured websites or any kind of payment information at all and wont use sites that do store it as a default option.  Therefore if someone hacked into my personal email account to get my password to log into my customer account on a website that i am registered with all they would have access to for their labours is my home address.

So can i have some feedback please guys

Thanks in advance


Had planned to start it on the 26th/27th but i asked the webguy to implement some
new features for me specifically for the bonus time and they are being tested on the
test server today and tomorrow so to be on the safe side i held it back until monday.
Fingers crossed it may still be up tomorrow afternoon

From Royal Mail: Last posting dates for Christmas Deliveries:

UK : Tuesday 20th December
USA/CANADA: Friday 9th December
Europe: Monday 12th December

Indeed! Although I couldn't read the text as it was white or something light on a black background

Got my order dispatched email, only one problem black writing on a dark blue background not a good idea had to increase to 150% so i could read it  :?

thanks for letting me know, i will contact the tech guys

Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: things that really p** you off
« on: November 14, 2011, 02:05:03 PM »
people taking the piss generally with good natured people.  Just because someone doesnt want to comment on things that pi** them off doesnt mean the aforesaid behaviour doesnt annoy them.

I assume phase 3 is Profit!

Does phase 2 involve cake?  :angel:

No, Phase 2 does not involve cake!  It does however involve lots of extra facilities for me within the admin section that will reduce time spent doing boring stuff and mroe tiem spent hunting out nice new shiny things for you guys to ogle over plus pimp Kev a bit more!

Talking of new shiny things...just finished uploading the Armorcast Muzzle Flashes, Laser Beam flashes and Plasma Blasts into the webshop

Thought you'd have it covered missus, nice job by the way  :D (I think I told you it was the nuts a couple of months ago  :notworthy:)


I think the shop front page itself is great but I don't see a clear route from the front page to this:

if they hover over 'browse' it shows the entire range

I reckon a new visitor would click a shop link and see the entire range instead of the latest and greatest.

the latest releases are on the scrolling thing

I also think a gallery function would be a nice addition, sometimes I like to see the painted stuff on there...clearly it's a massive task considering the size of the range....

already planned, we had to leave a lot of stuff off of the original build due to cost.

Are you doing a 'launch' I don't mean a party at the O2 but just a news flash to the various news sites with a new site offer/painting contest/special discount voucher for sales over x amount to generate traffic?

yes, we just wanted to make sure it was all running smoothly before we ramped up the interest!

thank you!

Just added another batch, my dining room table looks like an explosion in a resin factory with bases/terrain/assorted 'stuff' being bagged, tagged and catalogued to go online.

i had forgotten i had half the stuff that i had.  Found a bit bag of assorted muzzle/laser flashes from Armorcast that we stopped selling 2 years ago!

Kevs just feeding me coffee at regular intervals!

Congrats Sal, the new store is an improvement (especially the instant check out) - and looks awesome.

But a few minor "hiccups", of course ;)

And for no-Uk residents who'll have to pay the UK VAT (EU customer) it's probably even more confusing - as I have no idea how much the UK VAT is. No chance of showing the % or stat the total price incl. VAT when browsing through the catalogue?

yes,it is possible.  standard UK vat is now 20% btw!

You may not create a link to this website from another website or document without Hasslefree Miniatures prior written consent.
and that seems odd? you want me to remove links to your website from my blog?

Seems extremely odd. First, there is a big difference in not having people "using you images, logos etc." without your permission (as they are your intellect probities), but you can do absolutely nothing about people posting/writing a direct url to your site - whether you like it or not. And please don't forget all the free PR you get on this account? Can't tell how many times I come cross posts (forums, blogs etc.) guiding people to your way. And being a small business I really can't see how you can live without.

But of course, its your call - but I can see the HF legal department being kept busy  :D

Its actually the legal advisor who told us to put it in.  You are right we cant stop everything and of course we dont want to however if it is in the site details then that gives us some kind of control as to where we can have links if we want to

The new site looks very nice. One minor point though. Couldn't all the different Grymn categories go into one parent category?

One of the most common complaints with the old site was the many levels that had developed over the years, hiding older categories and figures and generally making people 'hunt' around. 
One of the challenges we had was to make the shop more easily accessible with everything visible in minimum clicks which took alot of pondering as not only do we have over 800 shop codes but they are so diverse that it was hard to organise them without 'burying ' them.
We did this by relocating the categories onto the top of the shop with a hover over/pull down menu that would clearly show what was where and for those who were new to the site they could select to show the thumbnails for all of the categories.  It now takes 2 clicks to get to the Grymn Close Combat range from the front page without having to scroll down a page as opposed to accessing the shop from the front page and then selecting categories by scrolling down vertically and then if you arent sure what you want then accessing each category individually.

Rushes to website for cool stuff

Edit: errr where on your web site Sally? Doofus here can't see!

the first batch has gone up in Accessories>Resin Terrain

got some cool sci-fi stuff to get up next, am just going to sit with the box and sort through it now, bagging and coding it.  found a couple of armorcast cars with girders across them that i forgot i had, hold on will go find the pics

Announcements and News / Clearing out old stocks, new stuff and bonus buys
« on: November 11, 2011, 09:57:55 PM »
Over the next few weeks we will be blitzing old and discontinued stock from the office onto the new website.  As the new website has a stock counter we dont have to worry any more about back orders and selling something we dont have as if we dont have it then it wont let you buy it and it is will also visibly vanish from the shop catalogue

Items include the Armorcast resin scenery, chain, lead foil, copper and metal meshes, basing materials, metal sheet .. in fact anything we have lying around that we have bought and taken to shows or had on the website but that we have now stopped selling for various reasons including import taxes and freight charges making pricing unviable.

We will also be able to use the new feature to get trial packs of new products in to see if they sell or not and if so what things customers buy with them.  This way we hope to be able to find new products that will add to and complement our existing ranges without tieing up too much cash

I have put the first batch up tonight and hopefully some more over the weekend.  Where we have end of ranges that are incomplete packs i will combine a number of items into a bumper bargain pack, perfect as stocking fillers for loved ones who are miniature nuts or just to 'hoard for the next big project'....

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