Hi everyone, Ryan here!
Here's a quick update for Brutal Cities plans for the rest of the year. Scroll down for the fun parts!
I took a break in January which was great after a busy end of year. I had a chance to work on a terrain idea I've had for a while. Please check out this Youtube video about it below, or you can read about this Post-apocalyptic terrain.
I have been developing this modular and chaotic terrain concept further, in a way that makes these kits much more flexible and dynamic for you. I wanted to have this released by now, but as usual, I get more ideas and so the scope expands!
If you are at Adepticon, the Horus Heresy players have been sponsored and I've given them a prototype! So check it out if you're there! Brutal Cities is stoked to sponsor the Infinity ITS events there too, as well as some Warhammer 40,000 events.
Wearing all the hats!
*I pull away the mask to smile*
It turns out, when you take a break and run a business (mostly) yourself, no-one else does the work - so it feels like I've only just caught up with admin and orders last week!
You are probably not aware, but I currently operate the sole laser and order fulfilment from a mere 20m2 workshop! This will be changing very soon I hope - I'm inspecting a workshop tomorrow. Since launching at the end of April, 2020 I've learnt a lot about all aspects of running a business. Efficiency has been improved massively, which has been absolutely necessary as each year there has been more interest in Brutal Cities terrain - so way more orders. And I hope happy gamers and hobbyists! (I think the reviews reflect this - please do review the terrain on Facebook or on the website, by the way)
My brother has been great help with the marketing, website and emails. You might have noticed some great improvements and layout changes. The whole e-commerce world has changed immensely. And the material world too - there have been MDF shortages, massive rainfall events last year, and other things like Brexit which has absolutely effected operations - navigating the whole thing, tax etc has been really horrible, when I have limited resources and time. For the hobby world, It seems to have sadly caused both Antenocities Workshop and 4ground to go under, both great UK terrain businesses.
I have had to redesign cut sheets for a number of kits due to supplier mistakes, last year, and this year. But I'd rather do that than throw perfectly otherwise good material away! I'm writing this to give you a bit of a view into running a terrain or hobby related business with physical fulfilment. When I started years ago now, I certainly thought there would be more time to actually design. Design is the easy part!
There is a backlog of new designs that are nearly complete. The 15mm modern terrain range has been sitting at about 90% complete for WAY too long, so I'm really sorry if you've been waiting for that! I really, really want to finish that ASAP.
I have been learning to make youtube videos, other CAD software, adding content to the Brutal Cities Tiktok more and most importantly, trying to design more terrain!
To help sponsor more events, I have realised I need a better way of getting needed information from events. A web form is imminent I think! There is much to be improved on in this business, and I'm getting there but it can be hard to think in a noisy workshop, juggling many things simultaneously.
Logistics and future price increase
For 2022, the median fulfilment time was 4.7 days. I made the decision to go to the post office, or get pick up once a week on average. This is to help reduce expenses and overall, get everyone's orders out quicker. Since 2020, the cost of everything has dramatically risen as you know. MDF has doubled in cost, shipping has gone through the roof - if your order qualifies for free shipping internationally, that is really a great deal, trust me!
But our prices have not risen substantially for any of the older kits. This may have to change soon unfortunately. But don't worry - when it does, it won't be a massive price increase, like the main cause of inflation...corporate profiteering cough cough!
I want to make kits affordable for people, which is why we haven't had to increase prices yet - some bundles have had a slight reduction of savings, such as the Eternity Labs table bundle. But it's still free shipping!
Does Brutal Cities have distributors?
This is mentioned in the FAQ for a reason - No. Unfortunately, we do not have distributors overseas - yet. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter if you want to be notified when that changes.
BUT If you are in the UK, Australia has signed a free trade deal. Apparently they are waiting on the UK government to finish their end of that and get it done, so you may want to hold out for that. It is allegedly coming soon. When the deal is done, then no customs charges for orders over 135 pounds - or for anything less, we won't have to pay the tax, which will allow more flexibility with giving you cheaper shipping rates.
Next Brutal Cities terrain releases:
Currently, I think this is the order of things:
Release number 1 - Cheaper Modular Capsule housing
Same design, thinner MDF. = Cheaper. The material is more expensive, but quicker to cut and lighter so shipping will be cheaper. This is exciting. A customer actually emailed and prompted this - he wants a big bunch of it, and was after a discount if he ordered a lot. It prompted me to get a move on and redesign them for thinner materials. Nearly done, just need to test! It means that it will be a bit easier to make awesome cyberpunk capsule towers and fill more tables easily! Check out the modular capsule housing - and click the second picture. Which leads me to this -
View wargaming terrain in Augmented Reality!
This is worthy of a whole new blog post. This is very cool! Any products with AR 3d models will have the second picture as a clickable image that will load, allowing you to view the terrain on your own tabletop! You can view all the available 3d models here - 3D Augumented Reality - 28mm Wargaming Terrain Scale Helper
@brutalcities THIS IS SO FUN! View this warhammer 40k terrain on your phone! #infinitythegame #wargamingterrain #warhammer40k #paintingwarhammer ♬ SynthWave Blade Runner - 21bff51528b0485e8f0fed49572d930a.png
We will have a competition soon - I need to work out the details but the most creative entries placing the AR terrain in creative/ funny/ architecturally interesting locations will win something! If you are reading this, you get a slight headstart with ideas!
Now back to future releases -
Release number 2 - Post-apocalyptic terrain.
As mentioned before, this has been improved and will be awesome and flexible - particularly for warhammer 40k and similar games. I'm making some MDF bases and redesigning how the elements connect to foam terrain. I can't wait to see what you creative people do with these kits!
Release number 3 - Budget versions of the Trapper Biotech tournament terrain!
We had a recent Terrain giveaway, which Ryan Lister, from NZ won!
Ryan won all this - perfect sci-fi terrain for all sorts of games. But I think a budget version, without so many cut-outs (which were necessary to show the fadelight material!) and without the fadelight plastic would be suitable for many hobbyists. Same design otherwise. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!
2023 Annual Smash Bash Miniature Competiton!
We are happy again to announce that Brutal Cities is a sponsor of the fantastic creative miniature competition - Smash Bash
What is Smash Bash: A Brackish Birth? Why, it’s a free to enter, themed, mini competition that celebrates the creative, gruesome, pathetic, and evocative side of our hobby. Categories, competition, trophies (like legit fucking trophies) and prizes abound. Grim, evocative, and moody works encouraged to apply.
Diorama by @therealbrokenfingers
We sponsored it and gave some great prizes out last year - you can see the entries I voted for from last years competition here -
Smashbash Miniature Conversion Competition 2022 Entries and winners!
I wish I had time to enter, one day! May do a little interview with @totallynotpanicking soon!
Personal hobby / Future Article
If you have been struggling to find time for painting or hobby, try this: have some paints and minis in easy reach if you are able to. You only need to paint for a few minutes a day and you'll get your projects done much faster than otherwise. Since my paints, paintracks and minis have been in the living room, my partner and I have been painting LOADS more than ever!
I recently had a great time at a painting workshop by my friend, Tom Boele - a great mini painter and Infinity player. A bunch of local Sydney players joined for a few hours on a Saturday and did great work. Tom has written up a comphensive how to speed paint article, that he has graciously let me share with you on the Tabletop Terrain Tips, Techniques & Tutorials blog - look forward to sharing that next week! But I think Tom's methods and results are really easy and a step above the typical speed painting methods. You can check out his great miniature painting here - https://www.instagram.com/twb_paints/
Inspired by his workshop and the accessibility of my new paint set up, I've painted some fantasy models. WIP pictures of these Vampire Counts black knights, and a Dark Souls boss, painted last week. Quite refreshing from the sci-fi stuff I've painted for the last few years. The backdrop is the Adamant Ruined Masonry Walls, with Battlements added.
Undead guard the ruined city...this fella better be a good fighter!
Again, Thanks everyone who has been interested in Brutal Cities so far. It's always humbling and motivating seeing great pics and getting feedback from our customers. We are coming up to three years of making great MDF terrain - bringing you unique terrain that have all your mates pining to fight you!
Take care everyone, thanks for reading and enjoy the hobby!