INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING INFO
I have been receiving messages from customers in the UK and mainland Europe that orders are finally getting past Customs and being delivered. If any tracking shows a package sitting in Chicago, it is in the Customs house waiting to be processed by a customs official. There is little to nothing I can do about that situation. Please be aware that the world is still not running like it used to yet and your patience is appreciated.
I have been having some issues in getting resin supplies in a timely manner. Many of the base chemicals come from Europe - Germany in particular and they are having the same problems as I am in shipping out to Europe and elsewhere that materials are being held at Customs. Unfortunately it is not cost effective to switch to another company ( then I would need to purchase their support materials like mold release, etc) nor are other manufacturers having much better luck in getting their supplies as well.
Medieval and Robot Townies orders are still back up and I am making new molds for worn out figures and walls for the buildings.I am hoping next week I can get many of the needed molds back up and running.
So I am plodding a long trying to get as many orders out as possible per week.
INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING INFO
I have had several customers outside of the US Have issues that the orders have been last seen in Chicago postal station. The packages have just been sitting there for days or weeks.
From what i have found out from a friend who works for US Customs in their IT dept via anecdotal stories, many packages are waiting to be shipped out of US Customs houses. Many workers have called off sick without repercussions. So there are less workers to process goods.
The second comment was that many packages are shipped Airmail via passenger planes in the holds so airlines can make more money flying from one destination to another versus specific planes only shipping mail.
When I asked my local postal clerk for any further info all I get from hi is "that's not my job dealing with customs..."
So the best I can say is to check the tracking and sit tight like everyone else and wait. Even Amazon wasn't shipping non essential goods until mid to late April. I can't do much more than to pass on this info.
I am pretty much up to date with orders that are pewter miniature or decal related. I am still trying to catch up with resin orders at this time and trying to get them out as quick as possible. Please note if I am answering questions, I am not casting anyone's orders! So I try to publicly post updates here and on social media.
April 30th marks the 13th year anniversary. What a start to the 13th year! Covid-19 shelter at home, social distancing, a flooded workshop, etc.
Product is still shipping out. I am still running things solo.
So, what does that mean to the customers?
- All pewter, laser cut terrain and decals are shipping out in a timely fashion.
- Being able to respond to emails and Facebook messages may take awhile longer than normal. I try to get back within a day, but especially on the weekends I won't get back right away. Also please note if I am writing and responding to questions, that means I am not cast or packaging or shipping out the orders!
- Why? Due to the flood mentioned above, I am trying to use the weekend to clean the shop up. Cleaning and reorganization - I am and still cleaning up messes (a lot of tubs have little pin holes to allow the container to breath. A good idea but not the best idea for my needs.) I have been having to clean out the tubs and wash down castings by hand and set out to dry. I had to rearrange a triage area to do this before any of the deep cleaning could start. I tried out using some silicone tub caulk to seal up the air holes and tested with putting water in the tub after the material cured and that seems to have solved the problem.
- I have taken a little bit of me time to work on some new projects for Armorcast. I designed a few new decals and I have been trying out streaming content such as painting Lance & Laser minis. My goal is to have a Twitch stream and show how to paint different materials and painting style techniques. Since Covid-19 hit a lot of shows that I would have gone to this year have either been canceled or moved to another date. I feel that running my own Twitch stream will remedy me not being able to run any painting demos. This also helps keep my head on straight being able to paint. I definitely lost my mojo after I got the Stomach flu on March 9th and only last week i tried the stream on Facebook
- I am very backed up with these items:
- Medieval Buildings
- Any resin Robot Townie figure
- Ruined corner brick walls
I did have an issue eating up time with one of the machines I use for decals, namely my metallics. That seems to be fixed now and moving forward again.
I also have been helping out and keeping an eye on my folks. I have been helping out my folks this week with taking them to doctors appointments and running errands for them. My Dad has had a skin cancer scare and had a biopsy right before the stay home and shelter announcement was made. I took him in yesterday to have it removed. My mom doesn't drive and since it was on his hand I did not feel it was a good idea for him to be driving right away.
So I hope people do not feel that I am slacking off or but I, like most everyone else, have a lot of tasks I am juggling at one time.
If someone needs something fast, please contact me first to see what I can do.
I WANT TO THANK EVERYONE FOR THEIR CONTINUED PATRONAGE, UNDERSTANDING AND SUPPORT!
Getting back up and running again. I had to do some maintenance on the hot water heater - the pilot light got wet from that much water, so that is back up and running. The computer I use for shipping labels and emailing customer made it without getting wet and is running fine. Casting pewter was not affected nor was making decals so those are good to go! The humidity is finally dipping down now. Hopefully will be back resin casting on Monday or Tuesday.
Early yesterday morning Cleveland, Ohio was hit with a torrential rain storm. Unfortunately the workshop was affected by the storm with over seven inches of water flooding the space. The water quickly drained away after the rain stopped. The ground water that came in overpowered my two sump pumps.
Everything that is under the purple line was what passed over my neighborhood, over an inch of rain in 45 minutes.
What does this mean?
I have to clean up and dry out the workshop. The humidity is too high to effectively cast yet. The resin reacts poorly to humidity and causes a lot of micro bubbling.
I am still able to make pewter parts and miniatures as well as decals. Those areas where not affected.
I expect to get back to shipping orders by the end of the week but resin casting may take a little longer to get back to depending on how well I can dry the workshop out. I have fans and dehumidifiers running to dry things out.
I have posted video during the flood and a picture of the weather radar from right after the storm. I had about an hour of very heavy rains grind over my city.
I would like to thank all of my customers for their patience and support!
As of March 23 at Midnight all Ohioans are asked to stay home (shut-in) in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
What does that mean for Armorcast and Ginfritter's Gnomish Workshop? Luckily my workshop is adjacent to my house so I am not really going anywhere but into another room or building on my property. What it does mean is that I will not be able to have any additional help in production. This may delay turnaround time for manufacturing and shipping times. Ironically my one helper was leaving anyway to go back to school - good luck Mike. As I posted earlier in the Armorcast Facebook Group I had some sort of stomach bug right when things began to heat up with the virus. So I lost about two weeks worth of casting during my recovery.
How will this affect shipping? I have implemented and started using the USPS package pick up service. So there is a one day delay from the time I print up the labels for shipping and the next day the postal worker will pick up the packages and take them to the office - thus keeping to the social distancing plan thus noted by WHO. My first batch of packages will be shipped out this way starting tomorrow.
I am well stocked in materials for casting both pewter and resin with more ordered earlier today due in by the end of the week.
I will be contacting my customers personally to advise them on the situation as well. This is a general notice for the near future. So I will be keeping busy working on orders, cleaning up the workshop and getting more work done on the website. Customers who do not create an account may not receive the emails - some of you (Guest Accounts)do not put real email addresses on guest accounts - YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!
Yesterday afternoon I came down with some sort of Stomach Flu and I am down and out until this clears up. I do not have any cough, and my over the internet doctor visit felt that this is just the flu since there is no cough, sore throat.
Steve aka Gin Fritter