Wargaming the Exploration and Colonisation of Tropical Africa by European powers from 1850 until 1918.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Coming soon...The Masai

I've managed to resist these, somehow, for a decade (yes the Foundry Darkest Africa range is that old and more) but the recent 20% off Bank Holiday deal saw me give in at last. I plan to use them as opponents to my Arabs and Baluchis, early Colonial DOAG Germans and in WW1 skirmishes.

Foundry are a funny old company. I'm not one of those people who habitually knock them as I like (most of) their figures and find their mail order service exceptionally good. It's almost instant gratification with Foundry. You put your order in one day and quite often they arrive the next. I don't even have a problem with price as I'm very lucky and don't really have to budget. However, some of the things they have done baffle me. In order to prevent price rises a few years ago they took most of their packs from eight to six figures a pack. This meant that some figures effectively disappeared or turned up in odds and ends packs. Secondly, and much more annoyingly, they stopped including weapons in some packs. I recently bought some of their (excellent) gladiators but the retiarii didn't have tridents included! I was lucky in that I found some on eBay, but how annoying! I have had a similar problem with the Masai. the Masai had quite distinctive looking spears which Foundry included in their packs. No longer! The usual note that you have to provide your own wire spears is apparent. So when my packs arrived; no spears. But blow me down you still buy the individual cast spears as seperate packs on their website (they work out at 24p each). This really is a bit much. If you are making the spears and the figures need them you really should include them. My annoyance was tempered somewhat by the fact that all the supposedly six figure packs had seven figures in them. Even so...

As usual I have started one figure to see how it goes and once my Sudan game is over I shall be working on Masai and Zulus at the same time for a bit.


Giles said...

Foundry have always been a law unto themselves. I remember when Foundry first decided to make shields and spears separately available, about 20 years ago. I was a teenager and wrote a very stroppy letter to Bryan Ansell about how I was giving him all my (very limited) pocket money and he wouldn't even include spears with the figures! I didn't get a reply, of course...

Contrast Foundry with a company like Perry Miniatures, where you get everything and more - in a First Crusade command pack I've just finished painting there are two figures that don't need shields but you get 6 shields, one for each figure, anyway!


Fraxinus said...

Foundry Franco Prussians by the Perry's were my first metal figs apart from the odd Hinchcliff etc as a 10 yr old.... a similar story ...except still like 'good' plastics especialy WW2, I really liked Foundry figures excellent Sculpts....but it's the way they run the business which gets me = to or worse than games workshop! fantastic ranges but you always feel ripped off after dealing with them...havn't bought foundry since the Perry's left! They have a great back catalogue marketed in the right way they would be doing 10X better.

As for budget I should have one, my bank balance says I need one...( I should ask for a % bonus on Gov/lottery/trust funding raised any jobs going LH!)so a concerted effort this winter to actually paint and make some of the beguiling, damn stuff company's like the Perry's, Victrix, Wargames Factory, GW minis, Brigade Models, Revell/Airfix etc keep producing instead of buying more!! who needs a pension anyway!!!

Robert said...

Ah, Foundry. Generally I've never let such prosaic things as budgets get in the way of essentials such as drinking good Tuscan wines or adding wargames figures to my collection.

No faulting their mail order service, but I detest being treated like a dupe.

My last order of Napoleonic Russians had far too many miscast drums and the like which required considerable work with epoxy putty to make them serviceable on the tabletop (I should thank Foundry, I suppose, for giving me some useful experience in sculpting which has paid some hobby dividends).

My biggest beef, though is that ordering from East Asia entails 1) using a different "web-store" with higher prices than are charged for those in the UK, and 2) obscenely high postage rates added on top, not to mention no allowances made for the fact that I'm not eligible to pay VAT.

Other companies, like Front Rank, treat me fair and square and charge for what the actual postage costs- no more no less. I know where my business goes.

It's too bad, as I like some of their newer figures (indeed I still drool over their 1806 Prussians).