Monday, 14 March 2011

The Eagle has... crashed!

Chicanery makes me glum!
I am feeling more than a little guilty about the lack of posts in the last seven days.  By way of an apology, please let me explain.

This time last week I was awaiting the delivery of a few more sample figures to add to my popular "Product Reviews" section.  These included offerings from Wargames Foundry, Eagle Figures and Parkfield Miniatures.  Amazingly, all three manufacturers sent me miscast figures.   Both Parkfield and Foundry admitted their error and promptly put things right (or promised to do so).  Sadly, Eagle Figures was a different kettle of fish.

I spent a great deal of my free time (and blunted my enthusiasm) trying to cajole Eagle's proprietor into answering my communications and fulfilling my statutory rights!   "What did he do?"  I hear you cry!  "He treated me like a schmuck!" is the answer!  In short:

  • When I enquired (after two weeks) I received some vague assurances about pending delivery in 3 days.
  • After waiting an additional week I wrote again and received a rather curt and confrontational email.
  • Package arrived after a Month (UK-UK)
  • When delivered, the castings were of very low quality.
  • Subsequently, my complaints about the figures were ignored.
  • I had to open a Paypal dispute to recoup my funds!

All in all a truly crummy record and I doubt I will ever deal with Stewart Black again.  For the record, I must state that his catalogue includes some unusual and attractive items (especially the "Napoleonic" Spanish in bicorne which were going to form the bulk of my later army!)  However the execution (on my samples) was terrible.  Missing hands, miscast bayonets, large sink-holes in delicate areas, heavy flash and so on.  It is a real shame when people expect a customer to accept such treatment and product.  When running a small business (indeed, any business) you are foolish if you think such antics will not earn you a poor reputation.

Anyway, it's a new week and the Fortress project is nearly completed.  Thus I have taken a deep breath and I am moving onward and upward.

Scores out of 10 - thoroughly personal ratings explained:

Sculpting - Quality of detail and accuracy
Casting - Mismoulds and flashing
Variety - How comprehensive is the range
Service - Was the seller easy to reach, polite and helpful
Delivery - How long did they take to get to me
Value - Are they a good deal overall

Delivery time based upon my experience - UK to UK delivery.

Sculpting:                  7.5/10 
Casting:                    2/10 Mould slippage & miscasts etc
Variety of Subject:    9/10 Comprehensive range of interesting subjects
Customer Service:    2/10
Delivery Time:          3/10 Over 1 MONTH(!) UK-UK
Value:                      1/10 So many miscasts*

*Unfortunate as the subjects are very interesting and the sculpting looks pretty good too.  Eagle needs to polish up the comms, remake the worn-out moulds, get some quality control in place and above all treat the operation as a business - albeit a part-time one.


  1. I am the other half of Eagle Figures. I can accept that there may have been some issues with the order that you made. Raising it as a Paypal dispute may have been a bit premature though - I was discussing with Stewart the way forward. However, we had already discussed updating a number of our moulds, including SYW figures, which is ongoing. We are a very part-time enterprise and so it may be that there are some delays in responding to e-mails and issues. We are working on it.

    Alan Mercer
    Eagle Figures

  2. Thanks for the response Alan.

    I can appreciate that the business is a sideline and that real-life intrudes - but the discourteous way Stewart has behaved didn't really do Eagle any favours.

    Regarding the response time, opening a business email box doesn't take too long in the evening and as my order was numbered "78" I doubt we are talking about a great volume of correspondence.

    I am a picky customer but even I am prepared to extend goodwill if shown a degree of customer-service. Sadly I feel this was not in evidence during the period in question.

    The dispute was opened as I hoped it would attract a response when my emails had been ignored. Thanks for the refund.

    Finally, knowingly mailing sub-standard product is really bad for business and deeply insulting to your customers. Yes moulds wear out but if you know they are defective and do not have time to remake them - then for God's sake just place the affected products on a N/A list!

    As far as I am concerned the matter is closed and I am moving on.

  3. Have you still retained the figures having obtained a refund for your goods?

  4. I think you know the answer to that Mr Black - damn I meant "Nemesis". The figures are here for you, oh I mean Eagle, to collect.

    Or upon receipt of an advance credit for return shipping (I am afraid I do not trust Eagle to refund monies already paid) I will readily send them back to you, er I mean Stewart Black, - they are nasty and I have no use for them!

    Sorry for the errors I must be having a senior moment. There is obviously no way Nemesis and Stewart Black could be one and the same as the response time was less than 48 hours.

  5. Wow! I thought it was a simple question and no I am not called Black. Nor do I run Eagle Miniatures or any other figure company for that matter. I was just curious actually. Mainly due to the fact you were again unhappy with goods and this time seem to have the money as well as the items sent. Result!!!

    Eagle I have never dealt with having marked them down as "cheap and cheerful" at a mere 80p each. Functional perhaps but not something I would enjoy painting. You get what you pay for etc.

    Ok I am sure you are not being dishonest and have genuine concerns over the product and your hard earned money.

    It was more a case of wondering how Paypal's rules can be used to obtain goods without payment. Obviously not by your goodself. Please let us know if Eagle do intend to pay for return shipping or whether they put it down to experience. I doubt they intend to drive over to collect them with petrol prices as they are. 8-)

    I have enjoyed following your Blog although I find your misfortune with regard to miscasts most puzzling. Every order seems dogged by bad luck. I generally tend to have good service and excellent products whereas you seem to be sent dross. Is it all manufacturers? I see good marks for Old Glory. I may look at them again in the future, It's many years since I dismissed them as poor quality whether the heads faced the wrong way or not. They may be worth another look for hard to find items.

    Looking forward to seeing your troops appear in colour sir!!!!


  6. My reportage is impartial and honest - I speak as I find. If people provide bum figures and/or service I will let others know.

    Reviews are not worth a jot if they are tailored to please those reviewed.

    I see no more reason to accept dross from a wargames supplier than from any other vendor - the price paid is immaterial, the goods should be as advertised.

    If there are any newsworthy developments I will keep my readership posted