Friday, 1 November 2019

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Savage Mini-Crate" November 2019

"King Conan - The Savage Minicrate VIP Mini"
This month's themed attempt to try and reduce my embarrassing backlog of metal, plastic and resin models will focus upon my efforts to paint the first of my figures to arrive from “Privateer Press” as part of their “Savage MiniCrate: Heroes and Villains of Robert E. Howard” range. As a massive fan of the Thirties Texas-born American author, and a wargamer who has yet to experience the “service that delivers exclusive, limited-edition miniatures directly to players”, this line of fantastic-looking sculpts seemed a great, if rather expensive, opportunity to enjoy two aspects of our great hobby simultaneously.

Disconcertingly though, the road to receiving Solomon Kane, King Conan and Dark Agnes has been far from smooth, with my purchases being significantly delayed by over a month due to “Privateer Press” wrestling with "some technical issues with the software we use to manage subscriptions while also being in the middle of a massive company move”. To make matters worse, when my late models did finally arrive they came wrapped in an envelope as opposed to being boxed in a mini-crate, as apparently the promised packaging doesn’t fit though European letterboxes. Hardly the V.I.P. experience I paid for… 
"Privateer Press" WIPs - Solomon Kane and Dark Agnes
To be fair “Privateer Press” have apologised “for any delays or inconveniences” I’ve experienced, and provided “a unique, one-time code for $10 off any purchase from the Privateer Press Online Store… until the end of 2020”. But the manufacturer’s “online store is currently experiencing delays” due to its aforementioned factory move and its minimum shipping cost for items to get across the Pond is $14.25. As a result this entire situation has arguably proved even more frustrating than my most recent dealings with “Black Tree Design”, and I certainly don’t plan on funding any extension to my initial six-month mini-crate programme plan.

Fortunately, both the multi-part sculpts and their corresponding collector’s cards are excellent, with the figures containing plenty of character, as well as some deeply gouged contact surfaces for my super-glue to latch onto during assembly. However, as a final disappointment, Kane and Agnes were accompanied by two 30mm circular lipped bases which meant that neither fancifully-posed figure actually stood flat upon their stands, but rather frustratingly had a foot perched on top of the lip. I’m not a fan of this look, so subsequently re-based the pair onto 40mm bases instead.
October 2019 - "Black Tree Design" continues to prove very popular despite its significant postal delays
Painting wise, the past four weeks have proved to be my most productive October ever, and as a consequence I have already attained my annual goal of achieving 1,000 points of painted models (approximately 200 x 28mm figures) with two months to spare. Part of this productivity was understandably due to the completion of five (more) Borg drones by “Modiphius Entertainment” for “Zomtober” 2019, whilst yet another dalliance with “Black Tree Design” and their “Doctor Who” range didn’t hurt my overall output either.

Nonetheless, the biggest contributor to my 'bumper crop' was another glut of repurposed plastic miniatures by "Wizkids". Exclusively focusing upon super-villains and evil monsters this time around, these pre-painted "Heroclix" have dominated my hobby-time for as long as I can remember, and will doubtless feature strongly during November now I have acquired some substantial reinforcements from the recently released "Marvel" The Uncanny X-Men set...  

10 comments:

  1. They are very nice looking minis, but it is such a shame you had so much trouble with your order. That is not a good advert for Privateer Press.

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    1. My biggest gripe, considering I paid almost £100 for my seven-mini subscription, Bryan, including the 'free' King Conan, is that I felt I was also paying for the mini-crate experience, so to be denied that simply because the box doesn't fit through my letterbox (apparently) is infuriating.

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  2. ooh that Conan on the throne figure looks great.

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    1. I've certainly not got any complaints about the sculpting Phil :-)

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  3. I bet that took the shine off the whole experience? That said, I love that Soloman Kane miniature.

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    1. Indeed it did, Michael. The miniatures are simply stunning though, so there is that of course :-)

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  4. I sometimes wonder why it seems gamers put up with so many failed promises, your recent experiences don;t do much for customer service and satisfaction. (A $10 voucher - whoop-dee-doo)

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    1. I'm definitely losing my good will towards certain companies, Joe, and starting to stick with just the good ones. Not a fan of "Privateer Press" to be sure.

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  5. It sounds like they should have thought about the effect of the move before making promises, it's why I put up a notice on my store saying we were closed for orders. We had a few delays after the said date, but are now back to our normal speed. I think companies need to think of the logistics a bit more not just about the money.

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    1. Absolutely, Dave. I certainly have come away from the experience unimpressed and wouldn't recommend their mini-crates - especially in the UK. Interestingly, they asked for feedback on the process and a week later I have still yet to hear back from my politely-worded complaints.

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