In a recent vendor rant post, I already alluded to my thoughts on the following two companies, but here is a short but more detailed description of my thoughts and experiences. Next review will be on Angel Barracks who I recently aquired a lot of goodies from.
ALBAN MINIATURES: When I decided to get into 28mm Napoleonic skirmishing I did some serious homework on available minis. I found lots of great stuff but I kept going back to the Alban page to drool over their sculpts. I guess what got me was the proportions. They simply look like real people. So I started pestering Paul at Alban and found him to be very good about answering emails and very helpful with all my dumb questions. In short, you can expect some great customer support from Paul. The next step was to get the order off to Reinforcements by Post who I decided was going to paint these fine miniatures. Paul shipped my order very rapidly and without mishap. Since I did not receive them in their unpainted form I cannot recount that experience but I can tell you the castings are of a very high quality and the parts are robust enough to withstand damage. Neil at Reinforcements by Post had also told me that Alban casting were of great quality. Finally, one day my package came in the mail after painting and I was able to view these little buggers first hand. I am completely pleased with my Alban miniatures and recommend them to anybody. Alban is a relatively new company and so they do not have as large a product line as some companies, but they are actively adding to it and in my opinion well worth waiting for. Simply a fantastic vendor to do business with!
REINFORCEMENTS BY POST: I have never used a painting service up until now so RBP was my first go at it. Before picking them out I did exhaustive research and combed through the forums to see what previous customers had to say about various painting services. RBP had virtually flawless posts about their service and quality. While they were not the only ones with a good track record, they were my best choice in my price bracket. So with my first choice made up, I contacted Neil at RBP and queried him with my routine dumb questions. There were plenty as I have never done this before. Even with the time zone issues Neil was superb with his customer service. At this point my mind was made up, I was going to try him out. A potential vendors initial response (or lack of) is very important to me when deciding who I will be buying from.
So I emailed Paul at Alban and asked him to send off my minis to RBP. Once Neil received my minis it was well under two weeks before he finished them. He sent me pictures for approval and I was pleased with the quality of the minis as well as the photos. At this point I noticed a very minor hiccup on pants colors but it was really not that important to me. I mentioned it to him just so he would know about it and told him not to worry about it but he insisted on fixing them. A day or two later they were on the way. Soon enough the package arrived and I was very pleased with my miniatures as well as the experience of doing business with Neil and RBP. This is another superb vendor and I will definitely be using them again.
Now for some piccies!