Sunday, May 29, 2011

Maelstrom Games - Please fix your customer service.


An unusual post this, and not one that I write lightly.

Many of you will know Maelstrom Games. A fine company that was recommended to me, from whom I have purchased several items, and whom I have recommended to others on account of their good prices and the excellent service they provide. (Although sadly, thanks to a new misguided policy from Games Workshop I am unable to buy any GW models from them from now on.)

Longtime readers of this blog may remember that I am a fan of Maelstrom's Bane Lords/ Bane Legions range. In a post dated December 19th, 2010, I took a look over some of the amazing new models that Maelstrom Games was putting out in their Bane Beasts range, including the incredibly cool Scar-Scath, Fiend of Vermin. I was very positive both about how good the range looked and the painting. Subsequently I was thrilled to receive comments on that blog from Ben Komets, who painted some of the models in the range, and also Rob Lane from Maelstrom Games.

In February, I placed my order online for Scar-Skath and duly received the model.

 For some months since, I have been in touch with customer service at Maelstrom Games as I am unhappy with the item I received. Why? Well, after receiving the model, I noticed that it didn't contain a base.

"Didn't contain a base? Surely a trivial thing?" you may say.

Well, not really. To my mind I paid for an item that included something, and that something wasn't there. The entry for this model on the website contains the following text:

this contains
1x Scar-scath, Fiend of Vermin 1x Head
1x 50x50mm base"

I decided to contact Maelstrom customer service and request the base. Since then I have been in touch with Maelstrom and there have been some 9 emails back and forth on this.
Here's the history.
  • February 13th 2011. I place an order for Scar-Scath with Maelstrom. As usual, excellent online service, a decent discount (Free postage!) and immediate email confirmation.
  • Feb. 15th 2011. Order despatched. Good job Maelstrom - nice and fast!
  • Feb. 28th 2011. Scar-Scath arrives, and is unboxed! (Sense my happiness here.) Due to work I didn't have to time to start on the model. I notice a few days later that there is no base.
  • March 4th. 2011. I write a polite email to Maelstrom, see below. (ME=Squeek, MS= Maelstrom. Note that I have not included the rep's name as this is a public post, but it was included in all correspondence.
ME: (Mar. 4th 2011)
Dear Maelstom Games,

Hi there.

I received the Scar- Scath model and I am very excited, it looks great. However, although the website says that this model contains a 50mm base no base was in the box upon arrival. Could I ask you to send the base to the address in my order confirmation email below please?

Thank you in advance.

Best regards,
MS:  (Mar. 5th)
Hi, Sorry the website is a little pre-emptive, the bases aren't available yet, sorry about that.
ME: (Mar. 5)
Dear ...,

Thanks for your reply. I appreciate you getting back to me, but I can't tell from your answer when the bases will be available or whether you will send one to me when they come out.

Could you let me know please?

Thank you and best regards,


MS: (Mar. 10)
If you want we can indeed send it on when they come in.

ME: (Mar. 11)
Dear ...,

Thank you very much for your reply - I appreciate it.

I would definitely like you to send it on please. Do you have any idea whether we are talking days? weeks? etc. until the come into stock?

Thank you again for your reply.

Best regards,


NO reply from MS at this point. A month later I therefore send a reminder email:

ME: (April 14th)
Dear ...,

I hope you are well.

Is there any update on when the base that was missing from the Scar Skath model that I purchased will be in stock or when you would be able to send it to me? It has been over a month since the model arrived.

Thank you very much and best regards,

MS: (April 19th)

We have just started getting them cast by the resin guys, one should be on it's way asap.


ME: (April 20th)
Dear ...,
Thanks for the info and the update.

Best Regards,

Having not received anything since that date and after waiting one month, I sent this.

ME. (May 22nd)
Dear Maelstrom Games,

Hi there.

I am still waiting to receive the base for the Scar Scath model that was missing from the box that I was sent in February. One month ago I was told that the base that accompanies Scar-Scath "...should be on it's way asap", but it still hasn't arrived. Since receiving the model in February I have asked several times about this item. (see emails above.)

I am a big fan of your site and your models, but I feel as though I am being given the run around. While it may not seem to be a particularly important issue (the model itself isn't damaged or other parts missing etc.) the model, for which I paid in full, should be shipped as advertised, including a base.

Please confirm the status of this item and when I can receive it.

Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.

Best regards,

Sadly, I have received no answer to that email either.

So, I find myself writing this post on my blog. What do I want? Just the missing piece, sent to me.

Let me be clear about a few things.
a.) Mistakes happen all the time. We are human. No problems. The fact that the item as ordered was missing something isn't a big deal...the problem is the subsequent lack of contact and a failure to follow-up/ provide resolution.
b.) I believe I have at all times been polite and been in touch with Maelstrom to seek resolution. A lack of response is not only unprofessional, it is rude.
c.) I paid for something that didn't get sent to me. Why should I go to the additional hassle of finding an alternative base or making me own?

Let me finish by saying again that I don't want any problems for the customer service rep at Maelstrom, I just want the missing piece. There are thousands of satisfied Maelstrom customers out there and I have been one of them. I wish to continue to use Maelstrom (even if I can't buy GW from them) The fact that I am writing this blog post shows that I care about Maelstrom's business.

Scar-Scath sits unpainted on my shelf.

Damn shame about that.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hell Pit Abomination...finished!


"So, whose in charge today then?"

The last few days here in Japan have been part of the "Golden Week" holiday period, so I had some time to work on the model from start to finish. To be honest, I found doing those big areas of flesh really difficult, and they still don't look right. I put a lot of time into layering the different colours, but they still look kind of flat. More so in the picture than in reality, but still...

I could have done with this guy (thing?) in my last battle, where some serious hand-to-hand combat power would have come in useful.

 Here's the pics!

The "engine" of destruction.
The business end.
the other side. A bit difficult to make out but lots of arms and spikey bits.
Detail of stitches.
Bitey bits. You can see the patina on the bronze chestplate here

Detail of pillar.
Warpstone spikes.
Warpstone and warpstone spikes

As usual, from looking at the photos above I can immediately see more stuff to do...
a.) Add some glow on the skin around the warpstone chunks.
b.) Add a "sore flesh" effect around the tattoos/ scars.
c.) Put some gloss varnish on the dripping blood/ gore from the mouth/ arms.
d.) Add some more varied colours to the veins such as blue/ purple. (At the moment they are layered but don't really stand out enough. Certainly not in these photos anyway.)
e.) Drybrush one more lighter shade onto the "Skull". It looks a bit perfect at the moment...

I hope to write up a step-by-step guide at some point, but I still have to do the Plague Furnace/ Screaming Bell write up so it could be a while.

In the meantime all C&C welcome. Thanks for looking!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Squeek's Plague Furnace - finished!

3 words:

All C&C welcome...
The Furnace.
Pestilich Seep the Plague Priest rides the furnace into battle

Plague Monk crew - hard at work!

Plague furnace brazier. (Not entirely happy with the fumes yet...)
Detail of bronze fittings. (Blue patina done with Ice Blue wash)
Detail of rusty bolts. (Done using Solar Macharius Orange wash)

The pushing unit.
Detail of front blades with rust.
This little fella points the way to the enemy!
Brazier/ wrecking ball.
Detail of the custom fixture I added so the Plague Furnace and Bell can both be used.

Thanks for looking!
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