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Vanguard Miniatures the future

 Post subject: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:06 am 
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Well it's been a year since I started funding new 6mm models for the DiD range and i've come to the conclusion that perhaps i'm wasting the designers time and my money in doing so.

Whilst sales are reasonable for infantry sets the majority of the new vehicles i've had produced have been very slow sellers which means either no one likes them or most people here at least are in the forumware club so don't need proxies anyway.

Several of onslaughts newer releases has also been poor in sales for example the neo ninja has sold two packs, the talos sindicate sold half a dozen and sisters pods in some cases non at all. This means a lot of dead stock between the two ranges.

What does this mean for vanguard well lets say the 6mm market is getting more fractured by the day especially for epic stockists such as myself with forumware and shapeways not helping at all which means i'm going to have to either stop producing 6mm because of lack of interest from the community or diversify my model ranges and branch into other more lucrative scales which i'm now doing.

Vanguard wil be selling more of the new 15mm range and expanding on that front as sales have been very good with some items selling out in days and we have 28mm figures coming out to.

I will continue to stock onslaughts 6mm and now Don's 10mm fantasy and 15mm sci fi also i'll still continue to create new 6mm infantry sets for the DiD range but vehicle models will be seriously curtailed due to poor sales in general. As a legite retailer I just cannot produce replica's of GW or FW models which means I can't compete with those who can so I need to move on. Use me or loose me as they say.

Many thanks to those here who have supported me over these 18 months your custom has been truly appreciated. I've really enjoyed bringing new models to the epic community even if those models have not been generally well received. I suspect once Adeptus Titanicus hits the streets epic will die a death anyway as everyone jumps ship to 8mm so how much longer can 6mm epic last anyway.

Maybe i'm wrong and 6mm epic will continue as ever which I sincerly hope it does but can I afford to keep creating models for such a small customer base i'm not sure I can.

There are very few DiD models in any of the epic hobby threads here which I think says it all really.

Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:51 am 
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Hi Jon,

Sorry to hear this but not surprised with the demise of other 6mm manufacturers and the diversifying of yourself and Onslaught. Its a shame as I have recently only got back into this scale mainly due to your designs. Its only to my own financial constraint's that I have not bought more miniatures (I have such great plans :D ).

Exposure and awareness maybe the key as you said not many DID miniatures showing up in images of games etc. This is true with just a casual search on google won't pull up many. There are specific 6mm shows in the UK which may benefit from having attendance at, not necessarily by you but could be from your fan base (I would if I can get my arse in gear).

I wouldn't be too concerned about AT as your miniatures would fit in nicely with 8mm anyway.

Anyway as previously said diversification is the key especially in 15mm and hopefully you can support your true love scale in the future. I will do my best to purchase as much as I can. :sos

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:59 am 
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Sorry to hear, but not too surprised. Pity that people did not jump on the proxy wagon in greater numbers. Or is it that there are just not enough people in the first place? I am sure there will be plenty more discussions to come about specific choices etc. but it does seem to be an ongoing trend. Seems the games I hear about nowadays generally comprise of a less demanding, lazier number of minis. Heck, I've seen epic armies with the bare minimum in terms of minis (2-3 minis per base).

Exposure is certainly important, but judging from the fear of "unsupported" games among many threads here, it seems a large portion of the player base is very fickle, moving wherever other players might move at any given time. Me, I have decided to keep my stuff so that I can always play so called friendly games with friends, regardless. I suspect this goes for a large portion of the current player base. I have enjoyed the availability of 6mm offerings, and I have bought more than I will likely need. Like many (I suspect) the few holes I have left have yet to get proxies made up. But if they ever get done, I am surely going to buy them too!

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:35 pm 
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I'm sad to hear this John, I have always made sure to to push your range to new players, but it does seem that so many newcomers are wedded to GW style miniatures and refuse to consider proxies, no matter how good....

From my own perspective I already have most of the models I need for most of your compatible ranges, and unfortunately the size discrepancy means that they don't sit as well alongside GW models or I'd happily include some in my existing armies... (I adore your rhino variant proxies but can't justify replacing and repainting all my existing rhino models at this stage, when I have dozens more projects lined up...)

I do hope things pick up for you and you can continue your vision for Vanguard miniatures :)

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:01 pm 
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Bad news indeed.

Likewise, I always point new players towards your site (and there isn't much competition anymore!) and IJW and i will be promoting your range as prizes at the Exeter tournament. Unfortunately, the whole epic player base does seem to be on the wain, at least in the UK with tournament attendance falling and participation on taccoms noticeably down on a few years ago.

I have said before the scale issue does make things difficult to integrate, so only really viable for whole new armies. I also think the decision to go after the HH market is a niche within a niche within a niche. I'm only aware of one group in the uk (of about 3 players) which play HH and they use forumware. The main focus here seems to be epicUK which has limited use for much of the new models you have released lately.

Only you have access to the data, but i suspect part of the reason for the success of your novan line is that it is relatively (perhaps now excessively) complete. This goes back to the comment on scale - i imagine limited people are tempted by (for example) the eloi, because where else are they going to find compatible figures for the gaps in the range? I imagine the skinners are quite successful? Its a shame the next best complete proxy range you have (cybershadows) have slightly uncompetitive army list in EpicUK.

My advice is fill gaps in the near complete ranges. People have been on to Dom to complete the OTC range for literally years. All it needs is fliers. My advice is do some yourself. Likewise stygians. Talos (once the rest of the range is stocked) will dovetail into the artillery you have recently released - they only need some tractors. Use the EUK site to see past lists and which units are popular.

On the plus side, AT might boost interest in the scale. Plus it will be interesting if there is a flight from 8th ed 40k as GW look to be about to drop a bomb in that universe now (inc radically new rules and new scaled marines) as they did to WHFB.


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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:11 pm 
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Shame as your vehicles are excellent, but it mirrors my experiences as well in terms of sales and what not. I can see the 15's and 28's being very popular. Maybe just release the 6mm stuff you have a deep personal interest in, or stuff people directly sponsor and pay for the development of.

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:30 pm 
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Hi!

Unfortunate, but not unexpected.

The advent of 3d design and the wider availability of sculptors for private commissions, its hard to appeal with more generic IP friendly designs.

I agree with your assessment of the DiD nature of the hobby. I myself have transitioned to this whole cloth.

Its very easy to get exactly what you'd like instead of a close approximation.

Its the way things are going for 6mm. As all change there is an upside as well as downsides.

Its sad that 6mm sci-fi needs to be set aside, but you must adapt to the current business scene and diversify into other scales and model lines.

Best of luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:32 pm 
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I'm sorry to hear that the sales are low, but I can't say that it's totally expected. What you are saying is in line with the Battlegroup Helios sales, though in our case, it's not that much of an issue since it's a side project for Zac and I.

IMO you've started moving into some of the lesser used factions for Epic and I don't think that there's a whole lot of appeal outside of that narrow audience. Infantry is easy to mask or make look "right" at 6mm so I can see the appeal regardless of origin there. Vehicles on the other hand have to be pretty exactly on target. Not necessarily duplicates of GW products, but at least able to stand on their own merits and still fit with existing armies. I don't see a lot of that in your line.

For myself, a lot of this comes down to many designs being for armies I'm not collecting or won't be for a very long time, disliking many of the vehicle designs for armies I do have, not having many needs for those armies, and having a very limited budget for hobby purchases this year. Basically means that while I do find some things interesting or want to eventually purchase something, I just can't.

A good example for me is the Novan Shielder AA guns. These are perfect for my needs for my Knight army, but I can't justify the $36-40 purchase and I still have a lot more models to paint for the army anyway. Effectively that means I'm not buying.

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:52 pm 
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Sorry to hear that; I've been very happy with my Novan regulars and Skinnerz armies, and will certainly continue to shop for Onslaught stuff as it becomes available.


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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:09 pm 
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Hmm, it almost sounds as if VGM is fully quitting, but I doubt that's the case. The emphasis will just change. So less vehicles, more infantry kits. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:27 pm 
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It's a real shame. I think if there was more diversity in established rulesets it might be easier to sell 6mm miniatures. Epic really dominates the arena, and if people are playing a 40k universe they often want 40k miniatures rather than close approximations. I'm as guilty as the next guy. I haven't got into other rulesets, and the only 40k race I'll reliably take proxies for is Orks because it's easy to justify different designs.

Also I think most of your target market have probably been around a while (due to stagnation in the scene), and many have lead mountains already. They say you die when you paint the last miniature in your pile... Well that makes me pretty much immortal!!

I do hope you push on and succeed in some way, even if it means jumping scales. It's clear you are passionate about making this work. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:36 pm 
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Gotta say, I love your stuff and have used it for pretty much all the armies I've built this year (excepting a few things I've won or that you don't stock). Hope things pick up as have nowt but love for Vanguard!

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:40 pm 
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So... are you saying you're going to continue to carry and stock the existing designs and just not produce any more, or are you going to discountinue a bunch of stuff?

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:12 pm 
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Guys many thanks for all the replies it's the most communication on any of my stuff I think i've had in a long time. Your views/opinions are most enlightening I must say. I have been concentrating on the heresy period in particular because I perceived that to be the latest shiny thing people seemed to be getting into well at least when I started them anyway there was a lot of heresy activity here about's with army lists being very active but I guess that's tailed off somewhat.

I realise that a lot of my vehicles are slightly larger that the norm this can't really be helped if I wish to maintain size differental between the various vehicles. Ben created the trojan APC here and the general concensus at the time was bigger was more realistic so that's what we got and i've been stuck with that ever since I can't have a landraider proxy that's the same size as my rhino proxy. One of the reason's there are quad lascannon sponsons in the mauler kit is because the mauler scales well for use as a spartan next to regular landraider models which made the kit viable as a proxy for both sizes of models.

Anyway on to the way forward. My plan now is to continue to stock onslaught 6mm and the new scales stuff to he's producing. Other 6mm ranges will still be imported with more microworld items stocked as I can afford it. As for the DiD range i'm cutting back on vehicle models so there will be a slower trickle from now on once those models currently being printed and or cast are in store. I have other vehicles under development and these will appear as the whim takes me or as funds allow.

The main thing i'm going to concentrate on for now is more 6mm infantry sets these are by far my best sellers and I do have a long list of sets I wish to do. So i'm not chucking the towel in on 6mm DiD just refocusing on the stuff that brings sales in namely troops.

15mm and 28mm from troublemaker will be a permanant new line that helps bring in extra revenue and a more diverse customer base that may well be tempted to have a go at the 6mm sometime. And getting the DiD universe and faction names out there in whatever scale can't be bad.

I do have a secret project i've been building up over the last 4 or 5 months that I hope to launch soon this was a personal project that once revealed to a few friends kind of snowballed and became a whole new product range. This little side line will not effect current 6mm plans and if it bombs well it's no big deal it was something I wanted to do for myself and would have happened anyway.

Many thanks for all the replies regards John

PS. If you want me to bring out needed proxies then please say what you are after and give me some pictures to work with, if I don't know what you guys are after I can't see about making them.

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:19 pm 
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I have been hovering off a £100 purchase of Skinnerz for months. I apologise but I never got around to getting my group into Epic - perhaps when I move up north later this year I can really justify that and get others into it!

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