Sunday, August 1, 2010

Miss Painting Group - Review

Some wargamers paint all of their figures, some purchase all of their figures already painted and some fall in between. I'm the latter. Even though recently I've been painting a lot more figures than I usually do, I've also been purchasing a lot of painted figures as well. The reason I've been purchasing more figures lately is because I feel there are a few vendors out there right now that are providing a good value for the money. For Napoleonics I've been very happy with GAJO and their grade 7 figures. For ancients I've purchased several quality units from Dragon Painting Service (DPS).

For those who purchase painted figures, Ebay is usually a frequent starting point. Recently I've been noticing a new vendor on ebay named 'Miss Painting Service' (MPS). At first I thought this might be another pseudonym for DPS, but upon further investigation I discovered that it was indeed a new vendor offering painted ancients miniatures. The good thing about this is  MPS is offering new ranges that fill in a lot of the gaps in the DPS range. Encouraged by this and seeing a unit I very much needed, I decided to give MPS a try and purchased the Xystophoroi unit pictured above. I don't usually post photos of purchased figures, but since MPS is a new option for other wargamers I thought there would be value in me posting a review of their service. Playing on their name I'm going to list some 'Hits' and 'Misses':

  • Painting quality is very high: Two-tone shading on tunic sleeves and capes. Dry-brushing on helmet feathers and beards. 
  • Weapons have shaped spear heads and made of steel/brass not lead
  • Fast shipping: I got confirmation of shipping the day after I placed my order and received my figures in under 2 weeks. 
  • Competitive pricing. I think figures of this painting quality are a good value at the price they're offered at. MPS offers figures at a price point that is very similar to DPS and GAJO.
  • Packaging could have been better. Although each stand was encased in a soft foam cell, the figures were larger than the foam area. I had 3 riders loose off their horses when my package arrived. All were un-damaged other than being knocked loose.
  • Horse equipment wasn't painted separately, but left the main horse color and highlighted by a wash. This might be a nit-pick as the end result actually looks good.
  • Basing isn't as good as DPS. My bases were textured with sand and decorated with static grass, but the base color of the sand was black. The only place with black dirt I know of is one beach in Hawaii. A quick dry-brush of brown or tan would have fixed this. Unfortunately after the fact the only remedy I had was to over-paint the whole base and static grass the whole stand. This wasn't that much of a hardship honestly as I do the same for DPS stands so that they match the rest of my army. Others who like the DPS basing might not like the MPS black base color as much.
  • My figures had some CA 'hazing' on the horses and weapons. It was obvious to me that these figures were assembled on a humid day. There was a very bad white  haze over the horses and weapons where they were glued on. Had I not known the easy fix for this I would have been severely disappointed. The easy fix was to simply brush on a light wash of clear acrylic medium. Sine it was just the horses I used my lightest figure wash I normally use for my painted figures, but a non-pigmented wash would also solve the problem.  Although this was a simple fix, I feel this problem with MPS is still a major concern. A professional painting company should know better, or should at least catch such problems and fix them before the figures go out the door.
My end conclusion is that I'm going to buy more figures from MPS. I will definitely keep an eye out on the CA hazing issue and also hope that they improve their basing process. Even considering these two issues I'm very happy with my purchase.  Below is a very close-up photo of the figures - click to enlarge.


1 comment:

Giles said...

AJ - I think those look very good. The colour scheme will certainly stand out on the table.

Best wishes