Miniatures News

Hat news 2020

Posted by Fire at Will on 14 Jun 2020, 07:06

Just had an email from Models2U with

New HaT Figures approaching!

After a little while without new releases, HaT are coming back! They're bringing us 8 brand new sets, plus three "sampler" sets formed of those previous 8. Their focus this time is on the Napoleonic and American Civil Wars:

HAT8307 - British Light Dragoons - Scale 1:72 - £6.99 (RRP)
HAT8308 - British Heavy Dragoons - Scale 1:72 - £6.99 (RRP)
HAT8319 - American Civil War Marching Set 1 - Scale 1:72 - £6.99 (RRP)...
HAT8320 - American Civil War Command - Scale 1:72 - £6.99 (RRP)
HAT8326 - Austrian Infantry (Marching) - Scale 1:72 - £6.99 (RRP)
HAT8327 - Austrian Infantry (Action) - Scale 1:72 - £6.99 (RRP)
HAT8328 - Austrian Infantry (Command) - Scale 1:72 - £6.99 (RRP)
HAT8332 - American Civil War Marching Set 2 - Scale 1:72 - £6.99 (RRP)
HAT8333 - American Civil War (Sampler) - Scale 1:72 - £6.40 (RRP)
HAT8338 - Austrian Infantry (Sampler) - Scale 1:72 - £6.40 (RRP)
HAT8340 - British Light/Heavy Dragoons (Sampler) - Scale 1:72 - £6.99 (RRP)
Fire at Will  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by MABO on 14 Jun 2020, 07:37

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Posted by Minuteman on 14 Jun 2020, 20:37

C M Dodson wrote:HAT have been a godsend for my projects; in the past allowing large affordable armies.

However, their business model even pre Covid was a mystery to me.

The sizing inconsistencies for their own range we’re an incredible own goal, ( Pygmy 1815 French binned).

I would love to use their ACW range, assuming they are correctly sized, ( how many variations of System International’s 20 mm can you manage) but the ranks are currently being filled by their competitor.

I even e mailed them about trying to showcase some of their new product, but.... no answer.

Incredible.

I live in hope but the clock is ticking away.

Best wishes,

Chris

I would love the ACW sets for my project but



I entirely agree. HaT are a mystery and seem to have no interest at all in informing the people who pay for their products - their customers - about what is going on , Pacific Coast way (or wherever they are hiding).

HaT have produced some very fine sets and some really awful ones. On balance though, they deserve praise for the many good to excellent sets that they have produced over the years.

However, the crowding-funding 'adventure' has been an unmitigated disaster, and I feel sorry for those who put up money in the hope of great figures delivered on time.

And even now it is not clear when HaT will deliver. And they certainly won't be telling us, either.
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Posted by zulu`s 1000`s of em on 14 Jun 2020, 22:02

Hat used to be the best communicators , and I mean in a league of they`re own. But times have changed , ownership of the company, the market, the customers....yes us we are older,more discerning, and no longer buy everything new that comes out, shops have all but gone, most sales are on line, once the forum was king (Hat) now we have facebook and goodness knows what else. What ever Hat do is wrong, not quick enough, wrong type of plastic, wrong colour plastic, wrong box , wrong size,too big ,too small etc etc etc, so I think the moaning has just ground the guy down. We are all human and have human feelings. I am just very pleased they and the small band of other manufacturers are still making new sets.
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Posted by Ochoin on 14 Jun 2020, 22:17

zulu`s 1000`s of em wrote:Hat used to be the best communicators , and I mean in a league of they`re own. But times have changed , ownership of the company, the market, the customers....yes us we are older,more discerning, and no longer buy everything new that comes out, shops have all but gone, most sales are on line, once the forum was king (Hat) now we have facebook and goodness knows what else. What ever Hat do is wrong, not quick enough, wrong type of plastic, wrong colour plastic, wrong box , wrong size,too big ,too small etc etc etc, so I think the moaning has just ground the guy down. We are all human and have human feelings. I am just very pleased they and the small band of other manufacturers are still making new sets.


I wish I'd written this post.

It's perceptive and very fair. Well done, you.

donald
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Ochoin  Scotland
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 15 Jun 2020, 08:05

Alan Sugar once stated that ‘ customer complaints are free market research’ ( if justified).

The latest Hat masters look in a league of their own but the management of expectations is solely the responsibility of the company.

I am hoping that the release is imminent as I have use for their ACW range assuming they are as good as they look.

Fingers crossed.

Chris
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Posted by zulu`s 1000`s of em on 15 Jun 2020, 10:14

Chris, to a point that`s right, but having spent a lifetime in retail management I can tell you hand on heart that if it is all negative day after day year after year it grinds you down and saps your will , I ran businesses that were phenomenally successful , but the only customers who wanted to talk to me wanted to moan, often they were justified moans, but I too am human and after a while it`s just noise and you feel less inclined to engage , after all you are doing your best, and all you hear is moans. So balance is good , so next time we complain how about throwing in all the positives too, I had the test sprues of the ACW sets, they are on the Hat site, they are very very good, I was really impressed with the detail on the faces, and let Mr Hat know, unknown to me they had put some extra effort in to them, and my comment was truly appreciated, the work paid off. People who feel appreciated do a better job than those that don`t , fact. So show some appreciation to those that feed our hobby, be it Hat, Strelets or Orion etc etc , or they could give up like Revell, odermars , ACTA, Esci, Airfix etc etc .
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Posted by Ochoin on 15 Jun 2020, 11:04

I am an infinitely patient person (don't worry: this virtue is counter-balanced by many failings) but I understand how frustration can drive people to make hasty remarks.

On the HaT forum, in a post someone suggested that HaT "owes me" for my support. They produced many sets (which as Minuteman suggests could be of variable quality....Russian Nap artillery???) I wanted but I gave them money for them. So, are we equal? Yes....or maybe I owe them a bit for the pleasure their figures have given me.

At any rate, I again applaud 'Zulu's' remarks.

donald
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Posted by C M Dodson on 15 Jun 2020, 11:49

Hello Mr Zulu.

As a former manager in a customer facing business myself I appreciate one hundred per cent your observation about ‘moans’, unjustifiable complaints etc .

As the saying goes, ‘ The customer is always right, but frequently mistaken’!

Whilst expressing my frustration I think I have balanced that in my comments about gratitude and product quality many times over the years.

I hope to be able to display the Hat products to their best in my next re fight and as stated am keeping my fingers crossed that they are on the way, despite the additional pressures created by Covid.

Best wishes,

Chris
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Posted by Minuteman on 15 Jun 2020, 15:32

Those of us who have been, or still are. in almost any business with customers know that, generally, keeping these people informed enables customer confidence. Lack of communication, even secrecy, whether this is intended or unintended, tends to reduce customer confidence quite a lot. Persistent lack of communication leads to alarm bells starting to ring amongst stakeholders of all shapes and sizes.

In the case of HaT, I am now hopeful of a couple of things:

Firstly of course, that HaT may get back on track and produce sets of fine, detailed, well-sculpted and well produced figures, to the right scale. That is what they are in business to do after all....although granted that 'Mr HaT' may have a myriad of other business interests as well. This, I believe, is not asking too much; just a few well-turned-out sets a year and regular re-releases of back-catalogue items.

Secondly, I do hope that, once the new HaT sets (including the British Peninsular dragoons, now at least two years late!) make it to retailers, the people at HaT will ponder on the way that they communicate with customers. I hope that they will open up a bit and be honest with us. We are buying their product, and we are reasonable people; so if HaT tell us that production problems means that XYZ set will not be produced until the end of the year then fine; at least we know. We can then buy an alternative (if there is one) or save our money for the end of the year.

That's good business, surely.
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Posted by zulu`s 1000`s of em on 15 Jun 2020, 16:27

That all sounds great except, and there are thousands of examples,no exaggeration , when Hat have communicated some see that as an invitation to have a go, and the current and old Hat forums are full of examples. If you take another business model ,Orion, they tell us what is up and coming just before it hits the market, and don`t tell us what is in the pipe line. That is nearer the business model for everyone in the hobby, probably except hat who have told us way off, and provide a forum .I am a long time customer and share the frustrations , what I choose not to do is moan all the time,if bring the end product was easy and profitable, Esci, ACTA , Odermars etc etc would still be doing it, and new players would be coming in to a profitable market, the fact that they are not tells it`s own story.
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Posted by MABO on 15 Jun 2020, 17:02

Minuteman wrote:Those of us who have been, or still are. in almost any business with customers know that, generally, keeping these people informed enables customer confidence. Lack of communication, even secrecy, whether this is intended or unintended, tends to reduce customer confidence quite a lot. Persistent lack of communication leads to alarm bells starting to ring amongst stakeholders of all shapes and sizes.

In the case of HaT, I am now hopeful of a couple of things:

Firstly of course, that HaT may get back on track and produce sets of fine, detailed, well-sculpted and well produced figures, to the right scale. That is what they are in business to do after all....although granted that 'Mr HaT' may have a myriad of other business interests as well. This, I believe, is not asking too much; just a few well-turned-out sets a year and regular re-releases of back-catalogue items.

Secondly, I do hope that, once the new HaT sets (including the British Peninsular dragoons, now at least two years late!) make it to retailers, the people at HaT will ponder on the way that they communicate with customers. I hope that they will open up a bit and be honest with us. We are buying their product, and we are reasonable people; so if HaT tell us that production problems means that XYZ set will not be produced until the end of the year then fine; at least we know. We can then buy an alternative (if there is one) or save our money for the end of the year.

That's good business, surely.


I would like to underline this statement!!
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Posted by zulu`s 1000`s of em on 15 Jun 2020, 18:36

Just thought I would randomly through this in, PSR list 57 manufacturers, I think ten of those have released something new in the last year, meaning 47 have not, most of those 47 have not produced anything new in the last five or ten years, many even longer... Where is the moaning about them ? Hat are slower than they used to be, we are all buying less than we used to, but at least they are still producing new good sets and in business. If you think they are bad at communication ,try getting an answer from Italeri, I must have emailed them fifty times over the last twenty years, not once had even an acknowledgement much less a reply.
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Posted by marc zijp on 15 Jun 2020, 18:51

Hat produced and communicated more. In the past.
Things are different now with them, that’s for sure.
So don’t count on much then everything is an extra.

But that I said some posts (days) ago.
I can agree with all given arguments to a certain degree.


Meanwhile I’m waiting for strelets and their new releases. I really think they’re slowing down with their output. :sst:
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Posted by CPN on 15 Jun 2020, 20:58

Hello,
I personally believe that the main issue was because they went to crowdfunding, promising things eventually they couldn't perform. If you remember there was even a line on their main page speaking about establishing a second production line for some faster projects ... which disappeared rapidly after the first crowdfunding experience.
All of their attempts faced the same issue about time of development and handling of information at least towards those who "invested".
I also remember the frustration of these dragoons when they were released and discovered they were not the right scale. Although some us recieved test shot, painted them but never say a word on the wrong scale, interesting isn't it?
Hat was the only of these manufacturers to go to that road of direct funding and with that comes real added responsibilities especially in communication... which was poor.
I put some money but were ready to wait as long as I'd be informed. Last November I asked a simple question: do you think they will be released before or after Christmas? Guess the answer.
So yes it is frustrating but only because we speak direct money involvement. Otherwise I wouldn't have bothered especially with Strelets going mad at production and really good at communicating.
Now I will hopefully recieved my 10 boxes by mail, hopefully at the same time as hannants received them but I know already that my boxes are more expensive than if I'd have bought them without crowdfunding.
Lessons learned: no more crowdfunding.
For the rest this is only plastic toy soldiers.

Cheers
CPN
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Posted by MABO on 15 Jun 2020, 22:10

CPN wrote:Hello,
I personally believe that the main issue was because they went to crowdfunding, promising things eventually they couldn't perform. If you remember there was even a line on their main page speaking about establishing a second production line for some faster projects ... which disappeared rapidly after the first crowdfunding experience.
All of their attempts faced the same issue about time of development and handling of information at least towards those who "invested".
I also remember the frustration of these dragoons when they were released and discovered they were not the right scale. Although some us recieved test shot, painted them but never say a word on the wrong scale, interesting isn't it?
Hat was the only of these manufacturers to go to that road of direct funding and with that comes real added responsibilities especially in communication... which was poor.
I put some money but were ready to wait as long as I'd be informed. Last November I asked a simple question: do you think they will be released before or after Christmas? Guess the answer.
So yes it is frustrating but only because we speak direct money involvement. Otherwise I wouldn't have bothered especially with Strelets going mad at production and really good at communicating.
Now I will hopefully recieved my 10 boxes by mail, hopefully at the same time as hannants received them but I know already that my boxes are more expensive than if I'd have bought them without crowdfunding.
Lessons learned: no more crowdfunding.
For the rest this is only plastic toy soldiers.

Cheers
CPN



Applause!

And in the meantime, zulu`s 1000`s of em, we know already that you would do and say everything to fight for HäT, it is ok, but also no real solution or cult of conversation for what it's worth. :neutral:
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Posted by zulu`s 1000`s of em on 15 Jun 2020, 23:00

Well no actually the whole crowdfunding thing could and should have been done better, and on this I cannot defend the process and disappointment, after the unmarried Zulu`s of which I was one of the highest spend crowdfunders decided not to get involved with crowdfunded projects again. But I also choose not to hold it against Hat , for all the above reasons, like wanting them to survive,and keep producing, and it helped Hat get back to making figures again, new ones, and they may not have done otherwise, so the cloud had a silver lining.
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Posted by Bessiere on 15 Jun 2020, 23:10

Thank you HaT! Your new Austrian sets will have a place on my table. Thanks also for all the sets of Napoleonics you have issued over the years. Cheers,
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Posted by marc zijp on 16 Jun 2020, 07:07

As the topic starter I think that the discussion about Hat themselves at this place can now be ended. Not much to be added here and if people still do have the wish to talk and discuss Hat better do that on another place I suggest.
When new products from Hat are going to be released we will use this topic to discuss them here.
Have a nice day you all dear gentlemen and happy moddeling!
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Posted by Marc the plasticsfan on 17 Jun 2020, 09:10

Make good, properly sized figures and I will buy them.

What some people may not realise is that Mr H has a private blog, and people discuss these, and the moans. So some of the above posters are in far more direct communication with Mr H than the wider public, hence their defence of him, which can step over into fan boy territory I feel.

Which is fine, but I now judge solely on what is produced. Strelets have really upped their game of late and they are getting my money. When HaT release products I will judge and purchase (or not) accordingly
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