Price rises at Fighting 15s

Prices on wargames miniatures at Fighting 15s have risen by about 11% in most cases with immediate effect. Range affected include Gladiator Miniatures, Martian Empires, and Fighting 15s figures. Flags and paints are unaffected.
Believe it or not, I hate doing this. But you may all be aware from various forums that the Reddit idiots are now playing the metals markets, having taken their pop at “the man” and hedge funds earlier by playing the stock markets. This has a knock-on effect on the little guy, because pewter has gone up in price by 40% since I last bought some.
Metal accounts for a small proportion of the total price of a figure – it’s a point I keep on making – but that sort of increase makes a substantial difference to larger pieces in particular, and more so when the figures are also sold via agents in the USA and Australia. This isn’t a rise that can be ridden out until the markets stabilise.
I have two choices: use a cheaper, denser metal with lead in it, or charge more for continuing to use lead-free pewter. One will result in delivery costs rising; the other will result in figure costs rising. Using pewter reduces my legal exposure in litigious markets, and I prefer working with it from a safety point of view. I’ve thought about it a lot, and will be sticking with lead-free pewter and increasing prices. Even so, they’re not terrible: packs of Gladiator Miniatures, for example, are still competitively priced.
Well, actually, I have a third option, which is to change pack contents and make a lot of work for myself and for my US agent, Scale Creep Miniatures, and Australian agent Olympian Games. That isn’t going to happen.
The prices of most Gladiator Miniatures figures increase from £3.40 (inc VAT) for a standard pack of eight infantry/four mounted to £3.80 (inc VAT), and command packs from £2.55 to £2.85 (inc VAT). The new ADLG and Mega army and booster packs, however, will remain at their current prices, remaining competitive with 15mm plastics. I only sell these packs direct and do not have an agent’s margin to consider.
Martian Empires infantry packs increase in price from £3.60 to £4 inc VAT, and the cavalry from £3.60 to £5 (inc VAT). Giant Tribal Martians are particularly affected by the hike in metal prices, and so all their cavalry is now £5.75 per figure. All the larger pieces in this range have had substantial increases – much more than 11%, because they are more affected by metal prices – and I will be investigating resin casting as an option for some of them as a matter of priority to bring the prices back down again.
For all larger pieces, not just in Martian Empires, I have been through them all, reweighing the pewter castings to check the prices are correct. I triple-checked the Giant Tribal Martian artillery with hexosaur and limber, but none the less it has become an expensive piece to produce in metal. The hexosaur itself is the main candidate for potential resin casting. I have already made some trial moulds for resin casting, but need to reassemble the spare casting machine to test them. I don’t want a spectacular failure like Games Workshop’s FineCast.
Most Fighting 15s 15mm and 18mm figures increase from £3.40 to £3.80 inc VAT per standard pack. In the 18mm Napoleon in Egypt range, the size of the camels for the Dromedary Corps packs means these packs are now £9.50 for four figures – but they are the equivalent in weight to some manufacturers’ 28mm cavalry figures. Our 40mm foot figures are now £3.80 (inc VAT) and mounted £9.50 (inc VAT).