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Andrea Miniatures New Releases

Discussion in 'Figure News' started by Cesar Alvarez, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. busso_boy New Member

    i ordered 10 of these guys before this thread appeared, i've been worried ever since that i have bought 10 dud's that i couldn't sell for fear of losing my reputation of only selling quality stuff, they have arrived today and i am busting a gut (pardon the pun) to get home and unpack and inspect for myself. i must admit i have had no problems with Andrea in the past my only grip is i dont like the packaging compared to what Seil used to offer
  2. rej Well-Known Member

    My thoughts and prayers are with you Ian.........hoping against hope that MINE was the WORST of the LOT........wish you luck mate..........

    Ray ;)
  3. busso_boy New Member

    opened one up last night and it was a bit of a worry, however one of my customers came around home last night to look them over and he was happy with it enough to buy one. if you can get past that shocking seam line and the rather poor chainmail in places the face is awesome. i'll still be attempting to paint one when i have cleared some of the backlog
  4. Anders Heintz Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting the pics!

    I actually thought it would be worse then it is, not saying it is good by any stretch of the imagination!

    What I dont understand is why they have cast the bust in a 2 piece mold, I could have cast the very same piece, with little to no seam lines anywhere paint goes, in a one piece mold with no problems. Two piece molds takes much more work to make and produces a much inferior quality cast then a one piece.

    What it looks like is that the clay used in the two piece mold got stuck in the detail of the chain mail and was not cleaned out before pouring the rubber, as the 'holes' in the mail are filled in. Not very good!

    Lets hope Andrea does something about this as the bust is georgeous, especially after watching the master, what a superb sculpt!
  5. Major_Goose Well-Known Member

    Well minutes ago , i received mine.

    aside of the rest what kills me is that the chain mail on the whole area of the two shoulders ,,,hmmm is not existing..is not casted almost at all. The resin is totally flat .

    It has clearly to be resculpted . It's too tiring for me to deal for making up with Andrea (as i had done before and never had a response ), but this is probably my end of story with this company . Enough is enough ....
  6. rej Well-Known Member

    Anders, maybe i was too melodramatic in my "review from the trenches" of this piece, so forgive me for giving you an anti climax before the pics buddy :D

    Kostas, what can i say? I really feel for you my friend as your piece seems worse then mine (can't imagine how, but anyway)!!!! Well if you will be making Girona, why don't you bring it along with you and we'll form a posse and go to the Andrea stand? I really hope that they (Andrea) will CALL BACK all busts SOLD so far and REPLACE them with a BETTER cast, like Einion so wisely remarked!!

    As I said before, and this is why I was/am MOSTLY HURT, is because I've always considered Andrea to be amongst the forerunners of our hobby, and even if the fit of some parts on their kits leaves you a bit "short", otherwise I've always found their sculpting and their casting of the HIGHEST LEVEL & for anyone's information, I had purchased "BLINDLY" before, namely Julius Caeser 90mm, Conquistador 90mm, Hospitaller Knight 90mm, MY CURRENT PAINT JOB the Imperial Guard Grenadier 90mm (which was sculpted by a lady E.Riquelme), two of the 54mm Musketeers...........

    Until then........

    Ray ;)
  7. marc New Member

    Just because something has been in production for a while does not mean an excuse for a drop in quality!
    If the manufacturer is using worn moulds for production , shame on them!
    When a mould shows signs of wear it should be replaced.
    The manufacturer should have perfect submasters to produce new moulds from.

    As for the casting in question here, bleh!
    All that would be needed is a few tweaks on the pattern and that piece could be cast with no split lines.
    But I guess it does depends on the casting technique ,whether centrifugal or vacuum.
    both have pros and cons.

    Shame its looks great in the promo pic.

  8. Einion Well-Known Member

    Off-topic but...

    I accept it as a reality. One adage we had in my old model club was, from some makers (David Grieve being an example) to 'buy early or not at all'.

    That's a nice idea in principle, but there are few current historicals manufacturers that stick to it, certainly none that produce white-metal castings IME - including Soldiers, Pegaso/Romeo, Elite, Andrea, Masterclass, White Models, Latorre, Games Workshop, Rackham, Enigma; and even the much-vaunted Poste Mil were guilty of it bigtime in their day.

    I'm realistic that smaller companies producing stuff in limited numbers simply can't or won't justify the expense of remaking moulds when they wear (esp. for white metal). This is within limits of course - an older kit might not be as sharp-edged as when new, the surface not as smooth - something this bad is just beyond the pale, even if it were in production for 10 years!

  9. marc New Member

    I am shocked:eek:
    So all these manufacturers will keep a tool going until it just turns out crap?
    I realise tooling costs money, but so do lost customers!

    Though I can imagine a scenario where order values V retooling costs create a, 'ok just one more spin' situation.
  10. Guy A Fixture

    Its always been a "rule of the thumb" to buy a figure as it first comes out to get a better casting. Thats why so many of us who have been the hobby for decades have accumulated a large gray army. If I like a figure I see when it first comes out I usually pick one up then.
  11. RFL Active Member


    Sir, that is an incorrect statement regarding Grieve`s vintage work.

    I have been knocking about the Hobby for over 25 years, painting commission work for U.S. collectors in the early years and having lots of kits pass through my hands. I have never seen a poor quality Grieve casting.

    In my considered opinion as well as many other U.S. painters and authors ( including the late Philip O. Stearns, editor of Campaigns Magazine and several books ) , D.F. Grieve figures, wether bought " early or late" from the 65mm to his 110 mm Red Box kits were, and still are, the "Gold Standard" in casting and quality control.

    Each 65mm Brown Box mounted and 110mm Red Box foot figure was hand cleaned , seam lines filed down and then polished by David. That is why they still bring high prices in the aftermarket and on EBay. FYI, they were also produced in very low numbers, hence no chance for mold damage.

    My old friend Chuck Robinson, of the "Red Lancers", has seen almost everything produced in the past 30 years, and has handled and carefully eyeballed multiples of most, if not all Grieve Castings when selecting them for painting for collectors considers David *The Best* for casting quality and QC. ( see his website under Grieve)

    Debra Raymond still produces superb quality resin kits of his still in demand work, and Danilo Cartacci selected his 110mm 28th. Foot figure as the main painting example for his book.

    Your similar comments about Vintage Ray Lamb castings, whose molds are still in production, and Pegaso also have no basis in fact and are damaging to their business and the hobby in general.
  12. Guy A Fixture

    I don't hold Grieve or Ray Lamb as "Casting gods" and have had Grieve castings I have had to sand and file down seam lines. The last Poste Militaire mounted kit that Ray Lamb produced was sent to me by Bob Knee after telling me the casting was terrible. I bought it for $75 dollars and Bob was right. Massive seam lines on the horse as well as metal rot. I placed the figure on the shelf and it was later bought by fellow Oklahomian Steve Moore who said he would try to repair it. Even Ray Lamb and Grieve had their bad days and figures slipped through their own QC. The difference being that you could contact them.....they would respond.....and the matter was taken care of. No time for the bad casting news to get around. Its the purpose of this thread to point out the cases of Andrea, who have a terrible rep for responding and taking care of a problem. Even now, they still do not respond.

    Someone once made a comment about Young's 90mm Roman here on planetfigure. Young read the post and offered a replacement right here on the forum and noted about the problem on his web-site. This is how a "Good" manufactured takes care of a problem.

    Yes, even Pagaso has had their problems and I bought their 54mm Russian Warrior and had to send it back because of the casting.

    I've been in this hobby longer than Chuck and I hate to bust your bubble but all the manufacturer's have had their problems. We don't hear about the ones who quickly take care of it, do we?

    To say you have never seen a poor quality Grieve casting can quite honestly be true. They are rare.....but still there. You have been lucky I guess.
  13. RFL Active Member

    Not About "Casting Gods"


    It goes without saying that the occasional bad casting will get through even the best QC, as practiced IMO by Grieve & Lamb.

    My point in responding to Einion`s post was the lumping of people of integrity like Grieve and Ray Lamb, and some others, with manufactures who either have no QC or will deliberately and knowlingly sell poor to dreadful work, as it seems the subject of this thread is doing.

    I think you, with your insightful and very honest reviews, along with good photographs do all of us a great service, and I thank you for going to the time and expense in buying those kits for review.

    As an aside, I knew, liked and respected Bob back in the mid-late 1980`s and am very surprised that Ray would knowingley send him a rotten casting, and that Bob wouldn`t send it right back to him knowing he would get back a perfect example with a bonus thrown in since Bob was a great supporter of Lambs work, and Ray liked and respected him. Bob usually had a fine painted example at most shows, which helped to sell a lot of Lambs work.

    I guess your example just proves that there is an exception to every rule !

    Thanks for clearing things up.

  14. I think we are going overboard, we all know every company had problems and there were and will still happen. But personally I was unreluctant for buying this bust before seeing a review or a sample because I was bitten before by the same company and took more then a month to take a decent replacment of a defuct metal cast of the main body of a figure. First I cannot imagine how this sample passed quality control and second after complaining with frustration for 5 times I got a box after more then a month ... I think the issue is better quality control, everyone can do mistakes but I trust a company that when these things happen they solve them without hussle to the client!

    Hope that from these issues better results will come out and trust for the future! Customers are always right should be the motto is in business!

  15. Johan Well-Known Member

    castings : an objective view

    Well this is an interesting thread, what I learn from it is that obviously everybody has had less positive experiences with figurine castings : I'm summing up some of the things/problems I have experienced over all the years :
    - castings that had a nasty mould seam, where the mould wasn't closed in the right place, so that you get "shifted" seams/mould lines of up to 2mm ... very hard to correct that with filler
    - castings that didn't cast well ("short-shots")
    - castings that did show rough burr where the mould was beginning to tear, usually in places where it's darn hard to remove
    - castings that had fragile bits broken off, you're lucky if the missing bit is still in the package
    - castings where the manufacturor used bad material or didn't handle the material properly : resin with too many air bubbles, metal that rots (can go very quickly, that), "cold points" in the metal so that it snaps with a "pinngg !!" when the least pressure is applied - I had a 120mm sabre scabbard like that :), and so on.

    Now what is the reality : well I do believe that the average manufacturor - who wants to sell a quality product - does a quality check on his product, and will not try to sell any bad stuff deliberately.
    QC means that the person who checks every casting for flaws makes a judgement wether the piece can be sold or not, and that person has, when necessary, to strike the right balance between quality and quantity to make a profit. A mould is expensive, and has to be as long as possible in production to make a profit - figure manufacturors have to make a living too we have to understand that.
    In my own experience, the people who have the harshest quality control happen to be also the ones who will quickly send a replacement if you let them know you're not happy with the quality of one of the castings. That is a fact.
    On the other hand, there is one "high profile state-of-the-art pride of the hobby" manufacturor whom I have e-mailed several times if they please would send a replacement for a "short shot" metal casting, where a hilt/knuckle guard piece on a sabre is badly cast and like "molten", and I'm still waiting - yeah, you know who you are !!!

    At the end of the line, it will always happen that you have a deficient or broken casting; but I personally feel that there's a solution : manufacturors should offer something like an "after sales service" to the customer - that should be part of the "deal" they make with the customer really - and they should respect that at all times. Manufacturors with an online shopping facility should have that replacement parts/after sales facility built in to their website for starters.
  16. Einion Well-Known Member

    Oh, just his?

    I'll respond more fully later, in a new thread where it belongs.

  17. tonydawe A Fixture

    Hi guys,

    I've been following this thread with much interest.;)

    Unlike many of you, I have a very positive story in relation to Andrea's customer service.:eek: When I bought my 90mm French Imperial Grenadier Guard, it arrived minus rifle and bayonet.:mad: :mad: :mad: As you can appreciate, I was gutted and fired off an email the next day quoting the order number in the box.

    A week later (everywhere is a week from Perth) I received three new rifles and bayonets in a little plastic bag, along with a note apologising for the error.:eek: :eek: :eek:

    The rifle and bayonet should have been in the box when it was packed and left the factory. This is inexcusable and calls into question their QC practices. :(

    However, once I notified Andrea of the problem, they sorted it out very satisfactorily. :cool: I'm no apologist for poor customer service, but I feel that my story needed to be added to this thread to ensure it was balanced.

    For the record, I wanted to buy the new Andrea Templar bust when I first saw the box art pics - who wouldn't;) . After seeing the pics posted here on pF, and hearing so many complaints, I certainly wouldn't buy one until I was sure that Andrea had recalled all the unsold copies of this bust and re-released a fresh, perfect casting.:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    If it doesn't happen, I'll spend my bucks on the new Classicae 120mm Maori figure. (Ian, that's your cue to put in an order mate!!;) ;) ;) )

    It's up to Andrea to respond and fix this problem, or face the consequences of falling sales and a reputation for ignoring your customers wishes.:confused: :confused:

    This thread should also serve as a cautionary warning to all the other manufacturers in the figure modelling industry to ignore your customers at your peril.


  18. Uruk-Hai PlanetFigure Supporter

    And they dont lower the prices as the moulding ages. You should get whats on the boxart, no less.

  19. busso_boy New Member


    Consider it done mate,

    Also as a footnote i've now sold 3 of these busts, people have looked at it and seen the seem line in question and shrugged and said its the face they wanted to paint anyway.......i guess i'm lucky and have some laid back customers
  20. Jeff Active Member

    Well as some one starting up a new figure company I have read this thread with interest. Just for the record the mold rubber that I use is about $30.00 a set for 9" rounds. That is not very much money in raw materials it does take time to make a mold about 3 to 4 hours time. But I will spend the time and the money when needed. I stated out as a figure painter I know what a pain it is to get a figure that has problems.

    I am doing all the casting my self and I am trying to be very picky as far as quality. One of our figures has a very thin hat brim and I am leaving a small piece of flash on that part to be trimmed by the customer. I can nip off most of it but if I were to take the time to clean up this really thin part on every casting I would never get the figures out to you guys. When I notice any kind of shelf type ridge on a figure it goes back in the pot and gets remelted. A light seam is OK but if it looks like it would require to much sanding it goes back in the pot.

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