Friday, 7 June 2013

In the wilderness far too long..

There's a running joke within the office about how there's always a parcel/package arriving for me. However, people have recently started commenting about the opposite.. no parcels, no packages, no nothing.

I've been on a model buying hiatus of late, the last models I actually bought were from Salute - Something the wife has been quite glad of - this is mainly due to the time i'm putting into Red Wyvern Games (website, blog)

That is until now! 
Arrving into the office  this morning was a small brown cardboard box, which I instantly knew to be my 15mm high elves from, well, I have bought from before, but never bought the high elves, so i thought I'd give a quick review of them.

I have been a long standing 'elf' player, with Games Workshops High Elves and Dark Elves forming my largest and greatest armies (both around 5k points) but as i've moved down in the scales and away from GW, i've not really carried on this love of all things elven. I'm on a bit of a 15mm fantasy frenzy at the moment though and when I saw these guys knew i'd have to recreate my 28mm army in 15mm scale.

I bought two packs of the Elf Spearmen from the HOT 15mm range (see this link) they're £4 for 16 miniatures (25p ea)  in four different poses - which form a very nice squad with spears primed. 

Image from the website

I'll break down my review into 3 aspects, followed by a summary

  • Detail on the model
  • Quality of casting
  • P&P/Company review

So here we go!
[I appologise for the photo quality, im in some horrible dark back room office]

Detail on the model

The models are in fact, really well detailed. The smaller you start getting with scale, the harder it gets to achieve really good looking chainmail. The mail on these guys however, is really well done - very fine small holes that don't look like they'll fill up with paint the moment you add your brush and not so big that they look like someones taken a drill to them.

there's lots of additional detail as well, the helmets have some embeleshments on the front of them, that stands off of the helmet quite nicely and the finer details such as the face and hands have come out well - you can distinguish the facial features and count each of the fingers. 

Other details such as belt buckles and sword handles only help emphasise the detail on these minis.

Hopefully, you can see some of the detail I was refering to.

Quality of the Casting
This one is a bit of a mixed bag, the fact that all of the minis came out with the details I mentioned above being present is really, very good and a testiment to the quality of the molds. 

The level of flash on the minis however is quite astounding, some look like they've been 'flattened' with the flash coming out of all sides. whilst I don't think this will have a major impact of the model, though it might fill in some of the chainmail, it's more the amount of it, and clearing it out of those gaps between legs and in the nooks and crannies around hands/weapons can be a right pain in the arse. 

The above pictures will give you some idea of the amount of flash on some of these model (not all I must say) but some. It's a shame given the quality of the model itself.

Post, Package and

The models arrived, seperated into bags and in a brown, slimline box. Unlike Magister Militum who will add 'padding' in the form of those 'S' shaped foam bits, these were left to slip and slide, though there's no apparent damage - the spears, for example, were in excellent shape - so i'm not too fussed by this, though packaging wouldn't hurt.

Now, as I said earlier, i've bought from many times over the years and I do so because I feel confident in the quality/level of detial on the minis i'm buying, they've got a massive range plus they're prices are excellent, I'll certainly be buying more of the high elves! But there's just one thing that irks me.. their postage system. 

It's £3.50 flat rate, worldwide shipping and that includes the UK. This is an excellent method of getting worldwide customers, lord knows i've paid stupid amounts for shipping from the states for example. In the UK however, this is very high price for shipping of such small, light minis. 

I certainly feel as if i'm being overcharged to subsidise this flat rate system and have been put off buying from them in the past for one off items as i'd be paying almost as much in shipping as I am for the minis. My friends and I usually group our orders together when buying from them.

I paid £3.50 P&P and the stamp on the box says that it cost £1.10 to post, even if you include the price of the box and bags (which I would assume are bulk bought) this surely cannot push the price past £2.00! which means they're making £1.50 off me in postage. I certainly believe they'd get more order from me if they charged me appropriately. 

Anyway, enough of my moaning, here's some shots of a few of the models lined up as they will be. 


I've bought from them in the past and I know I'll be buying more in the future. A couple of tweeks to their business model and a bit more attention to the flash and you're making the finishing touches to an excellent company.
  • Level of Detail - excellent: 9.10
  • Casting Quality - mixed bag, great that the detail is there, but too much flash - It's the detail that counts though: 8.10
  • P&P and Company - Great company, excellent ranges just a shame about the postage system: 6.10