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Sites to Avoid

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by Dave Ward, Feb 18, 2020.

  1. Dave Ward New Member

    I've been buying models for 40+ years, but figures are a totally unknown area - I've read the 'How to spot knock offs', but are there any websites that I should avoid? I wouldn't wish for anybody to libel a retailer, but any pointers would be helpful. I'm not at all familiar with the market, and I want to avoid buying any clones!
    1969 likes this.
  2. housecarl A Fixture

    The dilemma is Dave, if we post ''sites to avoid'' then inadvertently they're getting free advertising.;)
  3. 1969 A Fixture

    Hi Dave,
    There are a couple of main figure retailer in the U.K which guarantees that you will get a genuine product direct from the manufacturer, I have added a link bellow. There may be others that I am not aware of that others can suggest.
    Also a lot of manufacturers list their products direct on this site in the News Forum, they will normally add a link to their website or distributors so you can go direct.
    There are numerous sellers on e-bay selling figures and some are counterfeit, if in doubt go to one of the genuine retailers and compare price, if it is a lot cheaper chances are it is knock-off.

    S.K. Miniatures
    El Greco Miniatures

    Nap and Dave Ward like this.
  4. Babelfish A Fixture

    blaster, Blind Pew, theBaron and 2 others like this.
  5. Dave Ward New Member

    Thanks for the input, guys - I bought my Wellington bust from Mitches Military Models ( and a Russian Pilot - Hero of the Soviet Union bust ), so it looks like I started on the right foot!
    peedee, 1969 and Babelfish like this.
  6. Tecumsea PlanetFigure Supporter

    Rob Lane at Elan Miniature
    Hawk Miniatures.
    Historex of Dover
    CGS Miniatures

    In addition to those already noted the above are also all UK based Dave and with SK and El Greco stock pretty much most of what is available from Europe and the new Russian Companies. As Nap has already said watch out for new releases on this forum...............and stay clear of Ebay unless you know the origin of the seller. SK, Mitches, Bonapartes, all sell on Ebay to my knowledge, maybe some of the others do as well.

    blaster, Blind Pew, Nap and 1 other person like this.
  7. Nap A Fixture


    Hi Dave

    Welcome to PF

    Can't really go wrong there , reasonable prices and good casting

    Agree with all the comments and companies named , there are overseas company's as well that are spot on ...RP Models , Castle Miniatures , Pegaso, Tartar Miniatures , Alexandros Miniatures and others

    Look forward to seeing your painting

    Do ask anything ...someone will know and advise

    Happy benchtime

    blaster and theBaron like this.
  8. theBaron A Fixture

    Yes, better to take positive action instead of negative action. That is, instead of listing sellers to avoid (the negative), we list those with whom you can do reliable business, above-board.

    If you must have a red flag to look for, I'd offer that any seller I see, anywhere online, who is based in Red China or Hong Kong, is immediately suspect in my mind. Same goes for any sellers in SE Asia. Same goes for sellers from Russia, too. And before the Russians here go on the defensive, I'll say, I'm sorry, but this is an observation based on what I have seen on sites like eBay and other online marketplaces-enough copies of other makers' work to make it noticeable. I'm sorry that the unscrupulous sellers bring their countrymen into disrepute, but it is what it is.

    blaster, Nap and Dave Ward like this.
  9. Henkm Active Member

    Unfortunately this applies to unscrupulous buyers and their countrymen as well, judging by the number of online shops that close access based on location.

    If I may offer a red flag that is not based on location: the price. From my observation all legal sales of the same figure are very close in price, within a dollar or so, depending on currency exchange. Illegal sellers offer for significantly lower prices (30-50% less, I'd say).
  10. blaster Active Member

  11. theBaron A Fixture

    That's not a sure-fire method to identify a pirate, though. I've noticed some of the Red Chinese pirate sellers on eBay have been asking prices comparable to the retail price of the real item. I think they think this will fool those who do use the price as a means to identify a fake.

    Babelfish and blaster like this.
  12. theBaron A Fixture

    For those of you who aren't familiar, that's Hans-Günther Scholtz's Berliner Zinnfiguren, an excellent vendor. His father, Werner, produced his own catalog of flat figures, and founded the shop in 1934. They have a broad catalog of kits, from flats to fully-round figures, from ancients to sci-fi, scale model kits, supplies, an excellent shop of new and antique books, and they have excellent service. I cannot recommend Scholtz highly enough!

    blaster likes this.
  13. blaster Active Member

    That is quite correct. If you go to AliExpress, there are many resin pirated figures which look tempting because they use the original manufacturer's pictures as advertising. The prices are also similar to original pricing and will fool the novice.
  14. Dave Ward New Member

    Yes, I've seen figures on AliExpress which have watermarked pictures 'Young Miniature' - which puts up a red flag, in that AliExpess is Chinese, and Young Miniatures are Korean. I suppose the major difficulty is identifying a knock-off from a private seller ( like on ebay ). I've hesitated from buying things for that reason...................
  15. Babelfish A Fixture

    Dave, anything you see with the five yellow dots at top right and bottom left of the picture is a definitely Chinese knock-off. Like this:

    yellow dots.jpg

    These are very common on ebay.

    - Steve
  16. DEL A Fixture

    It's not too difficult. Stick to ordering from well established companies, plenty have been listed and others regularly debut their new works. Buying from the membership is also a safe bet.
    With ebay there's always a risk but you can usually get a feel for fakes. Lots of members here flag up their ebay offerings on here first.
    If in doubt do as Dave and simply ask on here.
    Finally no-one needs to beat themselves up if they believe they're buying an original and end up with a recast.......all part of the learning curve
    theBaron, blaster and Babelfish like this.

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