In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

First Order!

jmminiatureslogo3I've been spending my free hours pouring over an extremely long Excel spreadsheet from a supplier full of all kinds of shiney toys. My first pass through of filling holes in ranges we stock, adding new stuff I think could sell and might be interesting came to a staggering GBPounds4000!!!
Yikes. Add in the conversion and that's way more than we have in the bank.
So I kept trimming away. Out go the Wargames Factory Samurai. Cut the rule books. Trim quantities by half.
Got it down to around GBP1400. Still too much especially when remembering we have to still pay for duties and shipping.
But my partner came up with a spiffy idea to get the order down to GBP750 and I've now sent off an order to stock up on some Perry plastics, PSC 15mm kits, a few Victrix Austrians and a few other bits that intrigue me (I'll blog about those later).

Retailing without a big corporate entity behind you to cover the bills and having to pay up front for stock is rather different from ordering for the grocery store. I have to be more careful with That looks fun and it might sell. I've got to be a lot more sure that I have a potential customer for things.

But the other danger is that if you don't have it then you lose the sale and the customer will go get it elsewhere before you can restock.

And we don't even have a webstore yet. Those are apparently harder to set up than I imagined, but a tech savvy friend is working on it. We do have a Facebook page though. Feel free to 'Like' it and see the announcement on our first sale!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

In which Rabbitman jumps off a tall tower...

This past weekend I was on an extremely successful outing with the Cadets (an "FTX" in Canadian milspeak- 'Field Training Exercise'). Our senior Captain always brings her camera along and shared some pictures with me so I thought I'd blog about it.
New tents
New tents

The facility we were at (Peacekeeper park) has lots of amenities; a selection of good tenting sites, some cabins, a decent meal hall and kitchen, an obstacle course, access to a lake, lots of woods, space to set up an air rifle range and best of all an abseil tower!

High tower
High tower
So this year we did a biathlon with the cadets running around the obstacle course and then shooting sets of five rounds on the range, orienteering through the woods and abseiling. Other years we've done canoeing but the paperwork and logistics for getting canoes,paddles, flotation vests, instructors, safety procedures etc to take some cadets canoeing seem to be even more difficult than arranging to throw them off of a 60 foot tower.

Cadet abseiling
Cadet abseiling
Air rifle range
Orienteering past a beaver lodge

Since it was the Mother's Day weekend we only had 30 cadets on the ground which was a nice manageable group so we had small teams rotating through each activity. Instead of getting only one chance to go down the tower some cadets went down 5 or 6 times, and they got the chance to do some extra target practice after the 'official' biathlon activity was done.

My friend and I got up early on Saturday to lay out the orienteering route. I'm glad to say that a couple of Junior Officers with compasses did NOT result in disaster. Although watching one of the teams come in from the wrong side of a marker (they had missed the marker they were heading for and went to a different one) and then go off on the wrong bearing was amusing. But they discovered their error, started over, made up their time and their team ended up with a perfect score.

One of my third year cadets, in charge of a team of younger cadets, was still pretty fuzzy on how to follow compass bearings, but I gave her a few minutes of extra tutoring and off she went to also get a perfect score and best overall time making her team the winners.

Getting over his fear
Overcoming his fear
This young fellow (picture above) faces a lot of challenges in his life and he was quite scared to go over the side, but the abseil instructor coached him through it and he was one of the cadets who went down 5 times. Another youngster lost her nerve right at the edge and apologized later, but the abseil instructor pointed out to her that she at least tried and got further than just staying on the ground. Things like that really make the lack of sleep, sun burn and constipation worth it.

Ready to go!
Does this harness make me look fat?
Since the line up at the tower was pretty short, I also took the opportunity to give it a go. I haven't abseiled in about 30 years. My last time as a cadet it was cold and wet and the edge was pretty slick, causing some anxiety, so I wanted to reassure myself I could still do it.
Me going over the edge
Over the side
Rabbitman goes for a hop
Trying a bound

All in all a pretty good weekend and a splendid tonic for the frustrations of the work week, as demonstrated by the grin on a fellow officer:
Making it look easy

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Launch Pains

Starting the new venture is proving to be somewhat complex.
Unpacking and sorting the stock and then setting up the shelves was, it appears, the easy part.
Trying to set up a web store, facilitate ordering and taking people's money is proving far more complex than envisioned.
Apparently web stores are time consuming to build...

And I'd rather not do all my business with people knocking on the door. That will limit my customer base considerably.

Part of the complexity is that I am taking over an existing structure and getting together with my predecessor at WGG to get things like the bank card and access to the bank accounts has taken time to coordinate schedules. But I can now take cheques and paypal payments! (Still have to figure out credit card payments however, but small steps...)
However, an old friend from High School has designed us a spiffy logo.


The ampersand may have to disappear since ampersands and domain names don't go together and "" would look silly.