[DFHM Editor’s Note: I order from Minifigs USA fairly frequently and the customer service is always superior. Clearly, what ever caused the situation below has long been cleared up.]
Since early November 2000 we have attempted to purchase samples from Minifigs USA. They had read the following review and we planned to take a look at their SYW line, among others, and samples of their 3rd generation products were requested. Several e-mails were sent explaining what we wanted and providing our payment information. Six weeks went by without response.
Mike followed up and had a friendly, 45 minute, long distance chat with Tom Dye. He was told our figures would ship the same day. That was December 21.
To date, we have received neither figures nor any form of follow-up. Based on these events, we are removing the link to Minifigs USA as we do not know whether this is indicative of their typical customer service (Mike was assured it was not.). The following review should be read with this in mind. Dal, 20 January 2001
Please note I don't like using the term "Marlburian" to describe the period. After all, the English deserted their allies during war. Churchill was a great commander, but so was Eugene of Savoy. For clarity however, this is what the manufacturer is calling it..
I received the order and here's the promised update:
There were no major surprises -- the samples were representative of the production figs. I appreciate how spoiled I am in receiving AB's from Eureka Miniatures. There was a decent amount of flash and lines on the Minifigs. I'd say clean-up is comparable to OG's in this respect. The figures are sent in a large padded mailer that doesn't offer much protection. Anticipate your standard poles and halberds will look snake-like on arrival, but the metal is very pliable, so there's little wastage, aside from time.
Let's take a look at the pictures:
1. Here is a sample of a painted Imperialist grenadier advancing.
2. It's followed by a very nice period cannon (6 pdr.?) and an Austrian musketeer firing.. Unlike AB's, the gun's axles fit!
3, 4. Next we have two unpainted kuirassiers wearing lobster-back helmets. The cavalry are the weakest link in this line of miniatures. This is NOT good news as the cavalry comprised typically a third of a field force vs. the 12-15% common during the Napoleonic Wars. If OG's horses look like rats, these look like a cross between an hyena's body and a deer's head. The latter is very small and the overall effect is poor.
As mentioned in my initial comments, note how low the rider sits in the saddle. The black primed figure as been adjusted with milliput to raise it to an acceptable level. I believe these horses are used for the Napoleonic period and the furniture is identical to that of a French carabiner or grenadier a cheval c. 1800-1815. At first, I was going to modify the valise with milliput, but decided against it as being too much work for too little return.
5. This is an Austrian celebrating Chinese New Year. Like I said, you'll be doing some cleaning!
With the exception of the cannon, there wasn't much to cheer about. The reaction is lukewarm. I believe they're better than Old Glory's, but lack the latter's sense of animation. You are not going to be able to paint stellar figures. As said in other reviews, sculpting dictates your painting style and results.
Bottom-line: I find the historical period fascinating and more challenging than the Napoleonic. I'm happy the line's available. Until we find another Tony Barton to do the WSS and SYW, recognizing the limitations and enjoying the history is the game plan.