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Messages - libertee

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i am supposed to be going to bed for an early night, what i am doing is trawling online bookshops for secondhand Enid Blyton books for Megan!

Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: Do you remember ...
« on: May 04, 2011, 01:46:07 PM »
This is going to lead to Texan bars and Pacers again!

it wont but that has made me drool!"

some people are so caught up in themselves they have no regard for how their behaviour would affect someone else, my ex was exactly the same. 

they think distance (time or physical) gives them the right to say what they want simply because "they want to say it so why shouldnt they".  Unfortunately this seems to be a characteristic most places nowdays, in the Uk the culture seems to be "i want to do it and i will" or " if you dont like it then it is your problem not mine", people generally take the proverbial. ..reminds me of a saying my grandad used to say "give them an inch and they will take a mile".

ignore her letter and if she sends any more then just return them un-opened, i took legal advice about this back in October last year.  bullies hate to be ignored but what they want most is a reaction from you.  if you dont open the letter and send it back un-opened then you are denying her the reaction that she wants and ultimately you are back in control of your feelings.

 i was brought up to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" so as i set myself these kinds of standards it always shocks me how selfish other people can be when tampering with other peoples lives and feelings.

remind yourself that you are better off without her if that is what she is like deep down and be thankful you didnt see that side of her whilst you were together.

then go to your lead mountain and paint some toy soldiers!

Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Do you remember ...
« on: May 01, 2011, 12:35:32 AM »
Bovril flavour crisps and pink 'pink panther' strawberry flavoured candy.

i used to love Bovril crips, the Marmite ones that Walkers do nowadays arent as good.

Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: Things that make you happy
« on: April 28, 2011, 09:16:11 PM »
a note from my 7yr old put into my hands whilst i am crying me telling me that she thinks i am the most wonderful mum in the world.

people taking the p**s.  give someone an inch and they run with a f*****g mile and then moan cos they got caught.

people chasing an order placed on thursday morning (day before bank holiday) and then asking why it isnt in France yet on BH monday...hey forget about the fact that it is easter weekend and the whole country has stopped

when you help someone out and they dont even have the manners to say "thank you"

being taken for granted, assuming that it will be okay to do 'x, y , z' simply because i usually turn a blind eye and give a bit of leeway .. well guess what, no more leeway

Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: Things that make you happy
« on: April 04, 2011, 11:24:35 AM »
I'll be home from Kenya by the end of the week :)

 :woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo:

The kids will be pleased, are you suntanned?

I wasn't sure either ???? I can't tell if the hair is an excellent paint job or its been added on Grant I thought he was bald tbh

the one we stock is bald, however the version in the Mantic pack has hair

Image obviously compressed  bit for web.  i have another one as well but my pc crashed and i didnt save it whilst i went so lost about 2 hours work..... :(

Anyone need a fantastic Graphic Designer?

can you pay your rent and food bills in metal?

Information / Re: Costings
« on: March 25, 2011, 01:28:29 PM »
Guys, i keep buying from you at whatever the price. The figures are stunning and I love the customer service :)

aww shucks

thanks guys, you know we wouldnt be fleecing you!

Information / Costings
« on: March 23, 2011, 10:25:02 AM »
I know Andy has remarked how the cost of metal has gone up and how he needs to alter his pricings so i thought i would look into ours as it has been a long time since i actually costed metal figures.

Two main differences though, Andy does all of his casting in-house and we do ours through contractors. Roughly they balance themselves out but ours will always come in slightly higher simply because we get charged for the actual labour of the casting on top of the materials whereas Andy uses Craig.

Our caster currently charges us £25 plus Vat per hour ...which with the current VAT rate works out to £30 per hour.  The metal is on top of that.

I took 6 bills, 3 from 6 years ago and 3 from recently.

We use two casters for metal, Griffin Moulds and Anthony Epworth.  As we hadnt used Griffin 6 years ago i only priced based on Ep's bills.  Griffin bills are slightly higher due to how they price their work, but this isnt a complaint as you get what you pay for.

Metal costs (excluding VAT):

August 2004 = £4.05 kg
August 2010 = £13.63 per kg
February 2011= £16.96 per kg
March 2011= £18.85 per kg.

Caster rates (excluding VAT):
August 2004 = £16.00 per hour
March 2011 = £25.00 per hour

Shipping rates (excluding VAT):
August 2004 = £8
March 2011 = £16

You can see how the prices rise but what does it actually mean.?  What i have done is taken the total cost for each bill and divided it by the amount of kg of metal we actually get to get an actual cost per metal weight that it costs us to buy in stock.

1::  In August 2004, the price per kg was £4.05 (excluding VAT) but once shipping, labour, vat had been added on and divide by the number of kg's we got an actual price per kg of £15.52

2::  In March 2011, the price per kg is currently £18.85 (exc VAT), but once shipping, labout, vat had been added on and divided by the number of kg's we got an actual price per kg of £41.54

Hasslefree prices have for the part not risen since 2004/2005, even though the actual cost of production just to get the figures in has tripled.  Throw on top of this the packaging costs which have doubled, utilities which have tripled, and the fact we have to pay staff wages which involve extra costs such as NI, Paid Annual Leave etc, insurance costs, rent, petrol...and it goes on.  The more i went through old bills the more stressed and scared i got.

Gradually as we have added new ranges we have slowly increased prices in line with our extra costs but never in line with actual costs.  this means that over the last couple of years with the other issues we have had affecting production our bottom line has dropped considerably to the point where on paper we arent viable.  So prices have to go up and some of them may seem steep but if you think they havent moved for 6 years then i hope you can see why they are as they are.  Some of the ranges i have been updating over the last few days but the rest i am doing gradually over the next week.

i know in a recession that is the last thing we should be doing and i know a lot of manufacturers who would just do it 'on the sly' and not even notify people what is going on but you all know that i dont work that way.

we have no choice and i hope you all understand.

Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: things that really p** you off
« on: January 14, 2011, 11:45:52 AM »
Good news the Police rang and CPS are not pursuing the case and I have nothing to answer for and bail is now closed out....this has been 7 weeks of absolute fear and hell but now I can start to move forward :D

Thats good news, i am very happy for you.  that was probably one of the longest 7 weeks of your life and i completely empathise with you

« on: January 10, 2011, 08:40:05 PM »

If you really want to see scary i shall show you the books for the last year!!

No thanks.....its something I hope never to be in a position to see.

go on....u know u wanna really!! ...everyone likes having a good cry occassionally!

« on: January 10, 2011, 08:31:41 PM »
Blimey, I new resin was expensive but ... Bloody Hell!  :blink: :crazy:

As much as I really want a couple of clear Tomokos, I don't want them if you're not going screw yourself over because it isn't worth it.

dont worry we wont...we will just have to rethink the pricing and cast one mould at a time!

If you really want to see scary i shall show you the books for the last year!!

Cue monday morning 'completely knackered' rant, best to switch off now

Life, life pi**es me off.  Running around working your butt off to do the best for your family and those around you and other taking the P**s.

Wanting to sleep but having to get up because others are relying on you

the Govt and its regulations/taxes that strangle small companies.

'Jobsworths' who know they are wrong but wont admit it because they dont have to.

Selfish lazy people

People who know they are in the wrong but fail to apologise

People moaning how badly off they are just because they havent got 'the latest, must have in a particular colour so i can show off to my mates' gadget .... when others struggle to pay bills ... did you know poverty isnt just about whether you can provide food, it is also measured here in the UK on what the average person if the average person has 3 tv's in their house then a family with only 1 tv can be classed as in poverty!  Thats just daft.  Also each change of government moves this boundary to fit into god knows whatever they are going to preach i spose.  Children actually grow up believing that not having the latest toy/label of clothing means they are deprived!

People that dont accept reponsibility for their actions ... they pay lip service to a task and then whinge and moan when getting caught out not doing what they were supposed to be doing or what they said they were going to do ... then you feel bad because you have made them feel bad for not doing something!

« on: January 09, 2011, 09:33:09 PM »
This topic is also posted in 'Eye Candy' ( but i thought it could do with going
here as well as an example of production costs of a Limited Run figure.  I know sometimes when we announce the prices for something that you
**gasp** or think "sheesh they must be making some serious cash on that one" would be a very natural reaction.

However we dont make a lot of money on these runs.  We do them because we want to push the boundaries on what is in the marketplace,
we do it to hold our beliefs and philosophies true about what can be achieved if we think 'outside the box', we do it because that is what
HF does....something different to everyone else.  Some of you who may be new to HF would think "well whats the point if you arent making any money".
The point is that if you don't do these things then the hobby will stagnate, it wont grow and progress.  Kev will get bored just thinking of how
to make something to be cast in metal instead of getting excited about a new type of resin or a new production process.  
If we do something new maybe we will inspire others to try thing new as well and life will get a bit more fun!

So next time you see a fantastic new figure from any manufacturer, remember some of the costs involved as shown here and hopefully this information
will help you understand their pricing structure.  Obviously some of the costs will vary according to each manufacturer and the standard of the casting
they use or even if they do it in-house ... these are prices from the top end casters who take pride in their work and who do justice to the sculpts Kev produces.
If you want something that looks and feels cheaper and is a nightmare to put together with millions of airbubbles to fill then i am sure Mark can point you
in the direction of some of the dodgier resin casters in the industry!

BTW, in case you hadnt noticed.....making toy soldiers isnt a licence to print money even if you are married to the sculptor and are busy
breeding your own team of packers!


Kev has changed the gun to make it more in keeping with his inspiration.  This gun will later be available on a weapon sprue
but i wouldnt hold your breath as to exactly when as there is a loooong list ahead of it in the casting queue!

There have been a number of discussions about getting this figure cast in clear resin.  
We have looked into this in detail….we like to keep you all happy and want you to know that we do take your suggestions seriously.  
The idea is to cast in a clear resin so that the painter can make her 'invisible', 'partially visible', 'visible' and anywhere inbetween.  
This is a one piece casting, no assembly required!

There are limitations to this kind of resin casting though.  

1:  The first is that the clear resin itself is very damaging to the silicon mould so whereas a standard HF blue resin casting
of this kind of size/level of detailing we could maybe get 45 - 50 castings before the mould starts showing signs of wear/damage
nd the quality drops...a clear resin piece we are looking realistically at 35 - 40 castings per mould.
2:  The resin itself is a variable entity.  It is a specialist material that can have slight variances in transparency from batch
to batch, this means we may get 15 crystal clear castings and then 10 or so not so clear, then another 10 or so slightly less clear
from each mould.  

What the two variances above mean for us and for you is that we cant guarantee how many of each transparency we will get per
mould until we physically get the castings in our hands.

Our plan is to use 3 moulds for the limited run.  We will use 1 mould until it is unusable and then grade the total castings from this
mould and sell them in 2 price brackets depending on the clarity.  As the stock from this first mould is nearly sold out we will commission
the second mould, and so on until all 3 moulds are finished.  That will then be the end of the run in clear resin.  
This means we will have for sale over a period of time between 90 and 120 castings.


Now for the nitty gritty.

It has been a long time since i have shared any costings with you all so this is as good an example as any to let you know how the
cost of raw materials has affected costings/profits over the last few years.  I have broken down for you the costs we incur getting a
figure of this kind of specification from starting point to in your grubby little hands to admire and cherish!  I have colour-coded the two
quantity variables to (hopefully) make it easier to follow.

Grey Matter Figures have quoted us the following.  Just to clarify, we have no issues with their costs.  You basically get what you pay
for and their casting is top notch...clean, virtually zero mould lines, lovely to handle....they do Kevs work justice.  
We don't often get a chance to use Fenris for figures but i should imagine his charges would be similar as his quality is on par with Grey Matter.

Each Mould is going to cost £50 plus vat with VAT at 20% this means each mould will cost £60.
If we break this down to the amount of castings per mould we get a cost of between £1.71 per figure (with 35 in mould) and £1.50 per figure (with 40 in each mould).  

They estimate £5 plus VAT per casting ...that works out £6 per figure cast.

TOTAL COST per figure to get cast = £7.50 - £7.71

This will work out per figure for blistering/insert card to approximately 40p per figure.

As this figure will need to be packed in a box with a depth of greater than 25mm, it will add an extra £1.50 to the packaging
costs of sending a normal figure through a PIP box.

This brings a total cost of producing the figure to the point of sale to between £9.40 and £9.61


Web sales costs/commissions for processing the payments average at between 8 - 10% depending on the provider.  
We usually estimate 10% to make it easier.
Now KJ suggests a selling price of £20 per figure which would mean our selling costs amount to £2 per figure.
The taxman will take 20% of the selling price which amounts to £4.00

So to total it up.

1:  Point of sale costs between £9.40 and £9.61
2:  Add on payment costs takes us to between £11.40 and £11.61 per figure
3:  Add on VAT and this takes us to between £15.40 and £15.61 per figure.

So with a RRP of £20 per figure we get profit of between £4.60 and £4.39 per figure.

However this isnt net profit, this is gross profit.  We havent yet had to pay Kev for his work.  He averages for a freelance
piece between £250 and £350 for something this size.  So lets take the middle ground and say we pay him £300 for it.
£300 divided by 120 castings gives a payment to Kev of £2.50 per casting.

Add this onto the above and you get a total production cost per figure of between £17.90 and £18.11, giving us net profits of between £2.10 and £1.89 per casting.

If we sell all 120 castings at £20 each then we make a profit of between £252 and £226.80 for the whole run.
That is assuming there are no breakages during transit and that all of the parcels arrive where they are supposed to be.
If it is a month like November/December during the snow or the Icelandic volcano earlier in the year where we have re-shipped 25% of parcels at our expense
that were missing or delayed then for each order of this figure that we have to reship we look at losing the figure cost (of between £17.90 and £18.11)
plus shipping charges of between £3.00 (UK recorded ) to £6.00 (EU) to £7.00 (Non-EU).  
If we have to reship even 10% of figures (12 figures) then we are in trouble.

For example to illustrate this point if we reship 12 figures ( 4 from each postal groups) we lose between
£17.90 x 12 plus £64 (postal charges ) = £278.80 and £217.32 + £64 = £281.32.  This means we make no profit at all and instead incur a loss of between £54.52 and £26.80.

If we think positively and assume that we will get no breakages and will not have to re-ship any castings then the profit from
this run then goes into the general pot to pay Marks wages, Rent and utilities for the workshop (heating, phone , internet, tea/coffee etc),
Rent for the storage unit, general running expenses like paper/toner/consumables, upgrading equipment, insurances, packaging, petrol ...
everything bascially we pay out from sweets to sending out free figures as prizes for competitions.


Does this open anyones eyes or are these kind of figures you expected to see?
Bear in mind that the initial outlay for this figure is higher than usual because of the resin type, however the other expenses are the same.

Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: things that really p** you off
« on: January 07, 2011, 09:43:21 PM »
  Your solicitor is right.  Don't say anything.  Even totally innocent things can be taken out of context or whatever. 

seriously this is the best thing you can do, believe me.

I am sorry Karl, that sounds really awful.  It is really frustrating when you are accused of things you havent done but you arent believed even with physical evidence and witnesses to back your story.  My thoughts are with you.

Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: Things that make you happy
« on: January 07, 2011, 10:43:54 AM »
My better half having been free of ME symptoms for 4 months after 7 years of being ill :thumbup:

thats excellent Pete, i am pleased for her.  tell her to take it easy though

Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: things that really p** you off
« on: January 06, 2011, 09:35:12 PM »
ARRRRRH Information overload  :explodinghead: . Thanks Sally in one link you have given what looks like more info than the so called care manager has done in the last 5 months.

knew all my studying beofre i met Kj was for some purpose

Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: things that really p** you off
« on: January 06, 2011, 09:34:32 PM »
Been to the doctors and the news isnt good sometime this year I will be going in for surgery on my kidney 8:::

but the plus side is that you have 2 kidneys.. also the meds they give you post-op are amazing!

Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: Things that make you happy
« on: January 06, 2011, 01:58:23 PM »
a little blonde 3 year old who refuses to take off his Spiderman suit even to go to Nursery or out in public and then waves out of the car window to people as we drive by!

Information / Re: Resin Masters
« on: January 04, 2011, 11:18:14 PM »
It's a bit like cashflow I think.  It's about smoothing out the releases so that people get used to a few things on a regular schedule rather than a lot of things on an irregular schedule.

Knowing there's a couple of things (which is usually affordable) in each monthly pay packet, vs. a bunch of stuff which gets expensive every 2 or 3 pay packets might make sales and cash flow more even as well.


General Ranting / Re: Heresy Dragon: How will you paint yours ?
« on: January 04, 2011, 11:13:11 PM »
i havent got one and if i did i know i would never get time to paint it but i would go for the ice dragon with white/blue cos most people will go for classic red/yellow/orange

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