Friday, 2 October 2009

I have decided to put BEF on ice. Sales of figures haven't made enough to sustain the costs involved, and the interest is minimal in the products. Combined costs of sculpting, casting, website and research are greater than the sales receipts, therefore it is not a viable business proposition at the moment.


  1. Not good=(

    Is it a full stop for now or just no new stuff for the near future?

  2. Well I didn't see that coming.... :-( All the best Crouchie, and I hope it's a hiatus rather than an ending.


  3. Nooooooooo, think about this carefully. I hope it is just a pregnant pause and not the end mate. Good luck.

  4. I'd better clarify this before reports of my untimely demise start spreading. BEF isn't selling well. BEF has to sell to grow, and the nature of the beast is that people wish to see more and more. I do that myself. However, I cannot justify putting the housekeeping into litte lead men. The problems of making ends meet needs to be addressed. I probably should have taken more time off after selling Chieftain, and just got back into my hobby. Trading seems to kill the enjoyment of the hobby, as the retail side takes up more and more of the time, and the gaming side vanishes. I find myself with all the figures and vehicles I could ever need, but no time to game with them. I am not selling BEF. I am not throwing anything in the skip. I am taking a break, and then I will see how best to approach it and see if I can get something back up and running next year.
    BEF is on ice, which means on hold. No new releases after the imminent batch, and no planned restocks. As a one man band I am up against it time wise, because I have a family and full time shift job. I need to get the stuff that goes on in the background running smoothly.
    If it transpires that early war in 28mm, or just the BEF range in particular is not what people want to buy or game, then it will obviously end, as there is no point in putting good money after bad. It is my hobby, and I should enjoy it, not let it get me down.

  5. Ian,

    As you know WWII gaming is very popular here, but most people are heavily committed to Late War.
    Not because they all want to game with King Tigers and Centurions, but mainly because of the availability of models.

    An often heard comment is that gamers would like to start early war gaming but: ' There aren't any models'
    By which they probably mean, that there aren't ENOUGH models in their view to suit them.
    So for you as a manufacturer, it's a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    Also consider this. WWII 28mm gaming is mostly an infantry thing with just a few vehicles in support. has to be, as even with gaming tables as big as 5 meters by 1.80, having more than half a dozen big vehicles on it, is a bit much.

    As a result there will be few people buying say an entire battalion of Cruiser tanks, because they will never be able to play with more than 3 or 4 at the same time.

    Last thing, and it's probably the worst.
    Too often gamers have been stung by what can only be termed as incomplete ranges.
    One starts a period with a lot of enthusiasm only to be left dangling in 'mid-army construction' because suddenly no more models appear.
    Few realize this is because the manufacturer needs a constant flow of revenue to keep the ever increasing demand of models coming, so they give up on the range, grumbling about being stung again.

    Next time they will just wait until at least the bulk of the models they need is available, again not realizing this won't happen if they don't start buying immediately.

    I don't have a solution mind you, otherwise you would be the first to hear it from me.
    But I do know that most gamers are very trusting with and loyal to 'their' manufacturers. Sometimes it is enough to give them a release schedule. If they know that enough models will be eventually released to complete their projected armies they often start buying.

    For what it is worth , I feel that BEF Miniatures still has a lot of potential. The figures and models are first class and that's something very important these days.

    Really hopes everything works out for the best Ian, especially for someone like you who has become a lot more than just another manufacturer of shiny new toys.


  6. I'd be one of those few mad people who'd be fielding companies of Cruiser tanks! :-)

    Got to agree with Willie, BEF has loads of potential. What's that line from 'Field of Dreams?' something like "Build it and they will come!"

    I hope you get everything sorted shortly and we see the return of BEF.


  7. I'd love to get my hands on some of your Vickers-tanks for an instance, and I mainly game WWII-28mm according to the twisted version "SoTR". The Vickers is a cool little tankette and would be nice to have pressed into active service from some long forgotten storage facility during Gotterdamnerung!

    However, you seem to be run out of those. :(

  8. I have to completely echo Willie's comments here, particularly as one who has been 'stung' in the past. I've been watching the BEF range with great interest, but have held off ordering as I've wanted to see what would become available before commiting myself, to what is after all an expensive proposition.

    My only suggestion as a prospective customer would be to concentrate on one particular army at a time, rather than attempt them all piecemeal. As one person to another though, if it's not what you want to do for fun, it might be better to walk away.

  9. The second paragraph was meant for Ian by the way... :-S