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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Express Miniatures: A painting Service review

ABOVE:"HUZZAH"! Prussian Hussars to be sure, 2nd Silesian.
BELOW: The same Hussars, but from a different angle.
Hi Everyone
Recently I heard a new painting service was operating here in Australia, so always keen to support the local 'Wargaming' community I thought I should send some miniatures off to the new venture to be painted.
I came to know of EXPRESS MINIATURES via The Miniature Page (TMP). I sent Kurt a email and soon had five 12 figure Squadrons of Prussian 18mm AB Miniatures Prussian Cavalry on their way to him. I also sent of twenty BOLT ACTION 28mm World War Two Germans and twenty BOLT ACTION 28mm World War Two  US ARMY GIs to be assembled and painted. I also requested that they all be based and flocked so that essentially they were 'Ready to play' as soon as they arrived.
BELOW: Two Squadrons of Prussian Landwehr Cavalry, 1st Kurmark and 1st East Prussian
As a rule I rate Painting Services on four criteria. These being Painting (this includes assembly, basing and flocking if requested), Value For Money, Customer Service and Packaging.
So how did Express Miniature Fair?
PAINTING: The miniatures were well painted. Neat with subtle highlights and shading. I like my troops to have that 'On campaign' look about them, and Kurt asked me if I wanted my lads looking as if they were just off the parade ground or had been doing some hard marching.
I didn't need to provide uniform references, (which is very convenient). I was particularly please with the basing and flocking however I do like my base edges (I mean the very sides) to be clean and free from any marks. Some of the bases had brown marls on them, detracting from the otherwise 'neat' black edges.
Assembly of the 28mm plastic Bolt Action Germans and Americans was good. I won't say excellent as their were subtle issues to do with positioning of weapons and or hands that I as a professional soldier picked up on as 'odd'. I'm being highly critical it's fair to say.

ABOVE: Prussian Landwehr at ease. 1st Squadron, East Prussia

VALUE FOR MONEY: I would rate Kurt's painting somewhere between 'Collector' and 'Showcase' quality. For example he charges $6.00 for a mounted figure, ($6.50 for Hussars). Given the savings on not having to send the miniatures overseas the charges are pretty darn reasonable. All in all I'd suggest that Express Miniatures are reasonable to good value for money. Convenience is a big factor here as I live in Australia and posting miniatures overseas for painting can be expensive and stressful, (Will they arrive ok? Will they return ok?).

CUSTOMER SERVICE: Quite simply this was excellent. I was always kept informed in regards to progress, and provided photos to comment on. For example I was sent a photo of the BOLT ACTION GIs and I wasn't really happy with the colour of their trouser, (too dark). This was quickly addressed and a new photo was sent within 24 hours for my comment.
Kurt even returned the miniatures to me personally.
Consequently I cant comment on PACKAGING as like I said, they were hand delivered.

BELOW: 1st Squadron, Pomerania.
You can see more photos and get some commentary on how these miniatures were painted and based right from the horses mouth so to speak HERE 

BELOW: The BOLT ACTION 28mm Plastic Germans.

BELOW: The BOLT ACTION 28mm Plastic American GIs

In summary I would recommend EXPRESS MINIATURES to anyone who wants their miniatures painted to a high standard for a reasonable price.
Cheers
Trailape Out! 

1 comment:

paulalba said...

Going by the AB Prussians, they look exellent and I wish he lived close by!