2021 has been at times long, weird, interesting, busy, rough, stressful and exciting, so as the last few hours of the year approach I thought it might be worth having a look at what we did and didn't manage to tick off our 'Plans for 2021' list!
Generally the whole year has been very up and down, with the highs of moving to bigger premises and the continued lows of Covid and its impact on all of us. The return of the shows was really nice (although a shock to the system after so long!) and it was great to meet up with people again. I'd not realised how much I'd missed seeing folks on the road.
Frustratingly Covid has managed to impact virtually everything that we wanted to do but there has been some progress in some areas. The plans for this year can be found here (https://www.pendrakenforum.co.uk/index.php/topic,20415.0.html) and we'll run through how we've done on each:
The new website launch went really well and the feedback we've received has all been positive. There were a few niggles with product photos but generally everything went to plan. The new site is much easier to use and has more features available to us going forward.
Currently the only downside is the lack of any IOSS options for our EU customers to use, so we're waiting for them to add that feature and then we can make EU ordering a bit easier/cheaper again.
This project is still ongoing but we are making progress again now. You'll all be aware that our sculptor Tony was looking after his father and wasn't able to put much time into sculpting, which had obviously put the project behind schedule considerably. Sadly Tony's father passed away in October after a long 18-month battle with cancer. Tony has taken care of the funeral and initial probate paperwork and is now back at his own home.
Looking forward, Tony has started work on the Spanish sculpts and we should have the first batch of those up to us at the end of January. The Portuguese are all complete and one of our casting guys has been in over the Christmas break to get them cast up. They'll be finished off early next week and anyone waiting on Portuguese will have their next packages on the way.
I'll get some pics of the Spanish sculpts posted up as soon as we get them.
This one is mainly a big tick for the year, we got a load of new Monsters released as well as some revamps of older sculpts. We've got another couple of releases coming next week and then that'll be it for a few months at least. The next Fantasy plans are the Amazons, Ratmen and Fomorians, but I'm not sure where exactly to squeeze those in just yet.
This one is a half-tick as all of the sculpting work has been done and they're sitting at Pendraken HQ ready for moulding. I'll get some pics taken to post up next week and then we'll get them into master moulds asap.
Unfortunately the TB Line releases all got sidelined due to the move and I've not been able to do anything on these. They were all neatly stored in my back office but then Storm Arwen ripped the roof off and they're now somewhere in a massive pile of boxes. Once the roof is fixed I'll need to go through everything and re-organise it.
No news here but we are plodding on with this. The vehicles are all digital designs so we've got those here ready to go and I'll be sitting down with our guys to plan them out once we get back to work. Techno is working on Cold War stuff at the moment but once that's done we can start getting the infantry sculpted and then work out some kind of release timeframes. At the moment I don't want to give myself too many deadlines so I'll update once we know where we are.
As with some of the plans above, the move and Covid has scuppered most of these. We do have a series of smaller releases to come in the next couple of weeks, so there'll be some useful stuff coming to fill some gaps.
Cold War Commander 2
Again, Covid and the move have continued to impact on projects like this. The move and then the work to the building in particular has taken up so much of our time this year that I've not been able to sit down and put solid hours into CWC2. The trouble with rules is that you can't dip in/out of them when you get a spare couple of hours, like you can with figure prep, design work or product photo's. I find that rules need a full day ideally so that you can get yourself into them properly and not make mistakes.
The good news here is that the author has finished his tweaks so I just need to pop those into the main document and then I can send it out to all of the proofreader/playtesters in the next fortnight.
One minor setback is that our planned launch at Salute is off the cards due to Salute being cancelled, so we'll need to see what to do there. We'd really wanted that big launch but with the shows still hit and miss we might have to just do it online. If the shop/games room is ready in time, we could potentially launch them at our own place, but I'll need to think about that.
Korean War Supplement
I've shelved this for now as some of the work is being done by a friend of ours and Covid has had an impact as well as some health issues. I'll pick this up again in the summer.
New Army Builder Software
The planned launch of this got completely scuppered by Covid with some of the developers having to return to previous jobs due to the pandemic, so we had to take a bit of time and find some new people to work with Chris on this. Thankfully we found someone in the summer and this is now moving forward steadily with Chris and Stewart having weekly Zoom meetings to keep things on track. The front end is taking shape and we should be ready to start inputting all of the list data in January. We'll probably need some testers for this once it goes live so give me a shout if you'd like to take part in that.
There's not been much progress here but some good news is that we've had all of the Dungeon pieces resculpted digitally, so those will be getting put into new moulds. We'll be making sure that they match in with the previous ones sizewise, so they'll work together fine on the table. We've also got some extra bits (traps and things) to add to the ranges.
I'm going to remould all of the Monsters and Furniture this year so that they're better castings and easier to cast as well. Once that's done we can relaunch the whole lot with new modules, new moulds and new rules!
We've got another tick! The Forum was migrated over to its new home and the software upgrade went through fine. We've made some tweaks based on your feedback and hopefully everything is working OK for folks now. The big plus is that registration is open again, so please recommend us to your friends and we'll continue to grow our friendly little corner of the internet!
Painting Competition 2021!
The Painting Competition returned and was a great success! There was some outstanding work on show again and everyone seemed to enjoy taking part. The competition will be running once again throughout February so get your brushes ready!
We've made some solid progress in this area as well with photos added to 346 codes through 2021, leaving 425 left to be done. We've got all of the WWI British, Italians and Russians painted and photo'd, plus the Russian Civil War range, so that's 97 new photos to come in the next week or so. We've also had the Nap Prussians done by Kev Rouse, so we'll be able to add to painted pics of those as well.
After that we've got the WWI French, Austro-Hungarian and Middle East codes off with other painters, and I'll be blackwashing the Revolutionary period French and Austrians later in January. My aim is to have everything on the website photo'd by the end of this year, finally finishing a job that I've been working on for 12 years now...!
We ticked over with some new MDF products from our RedVectors side, with multiscale fences, Belgian Gates and Afghan buildings released. We've got a lot of stuff planned and ready to go here so we'll get started on those as soon as we're back at work.
The big tick for the whole year though has to be our new premises. This is something we'd planned for years and brings so much long-term security as well as allowing us the space to expand every aspect of our business. These last 9 months have been mainly spent getting the space configured to our needs but we're finally getting to the end of that road and we should have the shop open in January and then the games room sorted in March/April time.
With the bulk of the work now done we can start to focus on working through the backlog of releases and get as much of it into production as we can. While 2021 was probably our quietest year for releases since 2009 (only 60 this year) I think 2022 will be our busiest year ever...!
That's a pretty positive review overall ;)
The team at Pendraken have achieved a huge amount again this year and are even better positioned for the future =D> =D> =D>
You mentioned this a couple of times, does this mean that Pendraken is starting to use 3D printed masters for some items
Looks likev a good year despitethe external factors....
An interesting read and given all that Covid has thrown at us, not a bad one at all. Here's hoping for a better 2022 on all fronts!
Only looking forward to the ...
- Napoleonic Spanish
- Napoleonic Portuguese
- Cold War
Reaction from my wallet:
Sounds good to me Leon, especially given the obstacles Pendraken has faced.
Delighted to hear the Fomorians are on the radar. I don't need many (sorry) but they would finally let me complete my Albion army as originally conceived.
Here's to a better New Year. Onwards and upwards!
QuoteHere's hoping for a better 2022 on all fronts!
Amen to that! Happy new year everyone.
Happy New Yeat everyone
Been a while since my last visit due to unforseen circumstances but hopefully back in the 10mm groove again with some 10mm Fantastic Battles
Excellent! Onwards and upwards.
Quote from: paulr on 31 December 2021, 06:37:45 PMYou mentioned this a couple of times, does this mean that Pendraken is starting to use 3D printed masters for some items.
We will be yep, we've got a couple of 3D printers now so we'll be using those for some items going forward. It'll mainly be vehicles and terrain though, I think figures still look better when done traditionally.
Firstly, nice to see you back, Fenton.
Secondly, Leon, I look forward to seeing what those 3D printers produce.