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Quality Issues

 
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notredame89
Ensign


Joined: 22 May 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:24 pm    Post subject: Quality Issues Reply with quote

Okay, so I hope this post doesn't offend anyone, as my intenion is to present my comments in the most professional and respectful manner possible.

I just picked up my first set of FC miniatures this past week, Border Box #1, to be specific. I have to say, I'm a bit disappointed. On the ADB website, the miniatures are touted as follows: "The pewter starships require minor assembly, no more than a few patient moments with some epoxy glue or super glue. You can leave them unpainted; or you can paint them in official colors. "

Well.... mine had more than a little excess flash on each ship, a good number of parts signifcantly bent or warped, and its clear gluing the parts together is going to take more than "a few patient moments" due to the various parts not fitting together entirely properly. After spending roughly $4 per ship, I would have thought I'd be receiving a much more finished product, practically ready for painting after some quick gluing.

Possible arguments in the defense of this product:

1. The quality level delivered is the industry standard. You should have known miniatures come like this.

2. If ready-to-glue-and-paint quality mini's were delivered, you couldn't afford them.

Well, maybe so... but I do feel I was misled by the marketing. If these ships were sold in clear plastic blister packs, I think I'd have had a much better idea of what I was considering purchase of.

Perhaps mini's provided with games by other companies such as Fantasy Flight Games, Days of Wonder, and even Wizards of the Coast have raised my expectations to too high a level for the scale of production available to ADB. In any event, this is definitely not what I was hoping to purchase.

In any event, I'm going to invest the time in cleaning up and repairing these figures, then ship them to Sri Lanka for painting by www.miniaturelovers.com. I'm sure they'll turn out fine eventually, but not without a significant investment of addition time and effort. At this cost, I just can't see the miniatures providing this much additional enjoyment to the gaming experience.

Anyway, thank you for listening. I definitely intent this criticism to be constructive, and it is offered with the best intentions of helping ADB improve its products in the future.

PS: Has ADB considered plastic miniatures rather than pewter? The figures just released for Fantasy Flight Games' Wings of War (roughly $15 per airplane, retail) are quite outstanding.
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TJolley
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 284

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea the figures are old-school by todays standards.

They aren't the pre-painted figs you get today, but those are wicked-expensive to produce and ADB isn't that big and can't afford it.

But what I don't understand is why you are bothering to clean the flash off and assemble them when the link you provided states "All painting charges include cleaning, assembling & matt-varnishing.
To and From freight charges have to be born by the customer."

So..ship them as-is, maybe put the parts for each ship in a separate baggie with maybe a pic downloaded from the site to let them know what it is supposed to look like when assembled?

I don't really understand as you have no intention of finishing them yourself. Now if you were going to do the work yourself..that might be a bit different, but not when you are going to ship them 12,000 miles away to be be assembled and painted for you.
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TJolley
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 284

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yea! Thanks for the link though! I have more money than time, so may consider using them for some of my stuff.
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2922
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry to hear that the minis didn't float your boat as much as they do mine.

I'll agree that there is some work involved in getting a top-notch finished mini out of them, but I think that's going to be true for most metal minis. ADB's minis are cast by the same outfit (Reaper, IIRC) that does most of everybody else's - I always assumed that they were on-par.

I don't think the marketing is unfair. If you just want the minis assembled and ready to either paint or play a game with, you really can get it done in a couple of minutes.

It sounds to me like you have a very exacting and detailed sense of how you want your minis to look. I do as well and invest considerable time filing, puttying, sanding, etc. - but that's because I want mine to look *really* good (or at least as good as I can make them).

I've played with lots of people who just "glopped them together" and never paint them, others who barely trimmed them before they primed them (and never painted them), and others who put on some basic detail painting after some basic trimming and filing.

I've actually only played space games (FedCom, Full Thrust, etc.) with a couple of people who had what I would call really "nice" minis. Most of the other guys' minis were "good enough" for them and they were happy with that. I didn't much care as my ships blew up regardless of how nicely painted his minis were (I'm a lame tactician).

Showpiece minis (like the stuff Mike Raper and others do) are something I aspire to, but I have no problem with folks who slap a "primer-Cadillac" onto the map either.
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jpat
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 19 Jan 2007
Posts: 203
Location: Iowa City, IA

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say the ad copy is less misleading than a bit optimistic, or at least it assumes some prior experience with minis. Neither my wife nor I had any prior experience with this sort of work, and we were a bit freaked out by it (OK, maybe I was Razz ), but I think we--and I really mean she--did a good job.

I actually think the mounting is the most unexpectedly difficult part. We both knew there'd be painting, but the mounting is something we still haven't quite finished even for the first three Squadron Boxes.
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2922
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surprising. Everybody ends up doing things a little bit different.

The first thing I do is get the stand glued together, so I can mount the main part of the mini to it for final assembly and on into primer.

I hit the stands with a brush-coat of black once all the painting on the mini is done and then shoot the whole thing with dullcoat sealant.
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4463
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NotreDame89: I too would like to say that I'm sorry you had a bad experience. I don't work for ADB - but have purchased several hundreds of minatures from them in the past.

As with all companies, the quality does vary. Most of the minis I have received have been relatively clean and free of flash. Occasionally - maybe two or three miniatures out of the 1000+ I've purchased - I'll get a particularly rough one. These have always gone into the "to be converted" pile. I have known several other though that when they have had a problem with a miniature - they have called ADB directly. Steve Cole has always done right by them, even to the extent of completely replacing the miniatures with new ones.

With a bit of effort; however, the minis do turn out quite nicely. Follow the web links in the signature line for samples.
_________________


Scoutdad's minis photos here!
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