Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Review: Game Model Miniatures
A while back, I had heard references to a company that made 15mm WWII armor models on the cheap. After quite a bit of searching, I finally found the site:
A fellow named Craig runs the site. Based in Ohio, he advertises to cater to educators or event organizers that need a large amount of models for not a lot of cash.
His site looks like he wrote the HTML himself, but things are clear and well organized. It is easily viewed from my IPhone. He has no online shopping cart, but instructions for placing an order are very clear: he has an up-to-date price list and provides his email address, so you simply write out what models and their quantities and he will send you a Paypal invoice shortly thereafter.
I filled out a modest order of 8 Panzer IV H tanks, 6 M3 Halftracks, 4 Jeeps, and 4 M10 SP TDs. He was very quick to reply, informing me that I could pick three additional models for free! This was a great deal, since the vehicles each cost 4 dollars each already, which was very inexpensive as it was. So I added 3 Panzer III N models. Shipping for up to 40 models is a flat 5 dollars (within the USA). This is also a great deal, since he ships via priority mail!
Since he casts to-order, it took him a bit under a week to complete my order, and he sent me an email when he sent it out. A few (business) days later, the package arrived. I was impressed by the packing: he had cut individual sections for each tank into a low-density foam (like a mattress topper). All the turrets had been put into a single plastic bag that had it's own spot in the foam, and only a single barrel to a Panzer IV had broken. The other barrels were serviceable using the resin-bending hot water trick.
Models are pre-assembled and usually pre-painted (admittedly though, the paint job didn't seem too appealing by the photos on the site, so I requested that he not pre-paint the models.) when attempting to paint them myself, I discovered it is absolutely essential to prime the models first, as the resin they are cast in has a tendency to repel water (and water-based paints) on flat surfaces. I wasn't thrilled about that, since spray-priming in the house in the middle of winter is usually a no-go with the missus. Luckily, she wasn't there when I set about doing just that... You married fellas know what I mean when I say it's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission... Right?
So anyway, back to the models:
They are not very detailed, but they are mostly accurate and in-scale. The resin could be better, as the surface is sometimes pocked with minute air bubbles. In comparison with Battlefront Miniatures, they don't look nearly as good. But for 1/3rd the price, you get models perfectly acceptable for gaming pieces. They won't win any awards, but they are quite functional, exactly as advertised.
Customer Service: 5 out of 5
Quality / Price: 3.75 out of 5 (+.25 for the free models)
Shipping Cost / Speed: 5 out of 5
TOTAL AVERAGE: 4.38 out of 5
Next, I will try to get ahold of some Old Glory models, as they are said to be comparable in price.
So until next time,
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