Saturday, January 21, 2012

Reinforcements from Mabuhay Miniature Painting Service

Late last November I placed a relatively large order for 28mm Napoleonic figures from Mabuhay Miniature Painting Service (MMPS).  MMPS is located in the Philipenes and is run by a gentlemen by the name of Fons.  Stop right there, I don't think he looks like Henry Winkler and goes around saying "Heyyyyy...".  Anyway, this was a fairly large order: 200 British Infantry, 3 British Guns crews, and 24 French Dragoons - all 28mm plastics (Perry for the infantry and Calvary and Victrix for the Artillery).  The entire ordering process was very easy and Fons was very reasonable in pricing in some special requests I had.  He was also very clear on delivery timeframes and set the expectation of a late February delivery which was acceptable to me.  I placed the order and then received several update emails showing the progress of my commission which allowed me to both confirm the details and get some comfort that I would receive the figures.  I was very pleased to be informed that the order was ready and posted on January 6th.  It arrived in Maryland intact on January 20th.  Hmmm, lets see MMPS sets realistic timeframes for delivery (and in this case exceeded them) and provided updates along the way - two big positive marks there!

Like a small child on Christmas morning, I eagerly opened the the shipping box and found inside four boxes like the one pictured in the first photo.  I also found a short note instructing me to open with a vacuum cleaner nearby.  Why would that be?  It seems the MMPS packing material of choice is miniature styrofoam balls that range in size from a 28mm cannon ball to a 28mm beach ball.  I soon realized the having a vacuum cleaner ready was very sage advice.

As I shifted through the first box and started to take out figures I noticed that in addition to getting some great miniatures,  MMPS had arranged a refresher course for me in the properties of static electricity - how very thoughtful!  I set up a little process where I'd remove a figure from the left, shake it over a trash can in the center / pick out any clinging balls and then place the figure on a tray to the right.  While I tried to be careful, I had stop and vacuum up balls at least four times.  One note wherever you unpack do so in a spot that is not subject to air movement.  Sneezing while near an open box with the styrofoam balls is also not recommended - trust me on that.

Unpacking the four boxes of my 240 fig order took about an hour and a half, which wasn't that bad.  Now here's the amazing part - there was no damage, not even a bent bayonet or flag pole.  Those styrofoam balls may be a bit annoying, but they sure do work.  Another big positive check mark for MMPS.

I hear some of you out there moaning, yeah, yeah, yeah this packing report is boring, lets get to the heart of the matter - how are the figures??  The figures are superb and way better than I could manage on my own.  The picture to the left is of the two French Dragoon units (12 figures each).  I really like the guys in the back with the pink facings - very French.

Here's a close up of the 2nd French Dragoon unit.  The painting quality is as good or better than the pictures on the MMPS site.  Truth in advertising, yet another big positive check mark for MMPS

Here are the 200 British infantry figures, in 5, 40 figure line battalions.  Please note I put these groups together very quickly and some on the fig are with the wrong uint.  Still, they look sharp and will hopefully prove to be worthy opponents to my US and French armies.

A close up of one of the infantry units.  The painting quality is superb - the drummers came out fantastic.

Last picture is of the three artillery batteries.  Fons said in an email he swapped out some Perry heads for the Victrix ones to improve the look - I agree these crews look fabulous.

As for pricing, it's the standard rate advertised on the MMPS site plus a very nominal charge for my basing style which wasn't the normal MMPS method.

So what's the bottom line on MMPS.  To put it directly, they exceeded every expectation I had:

- honest / realistic delivery expectations  CHECK
- flexibility / reasonable pricing for special requests CHECK
- periodic project updates CHECK
- careful and effective packaging CHECK
- superb painting quality CHECK
- great pricing CHECK

All-in-all, I am a very happy customer and will be ordering more figures from MMPS in the near future.  I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a quality painting service.  Well done Fons!!!!


RazorOne223 said...

wow they look nice! I just can't bring myself to allow someone else to paint my stuff well that and the cost. It's is very good that this is good for you. Also thanks for the Hail Caesar tips you straightened out a few fuzzy area's. I am still not fond of the points system at all...btw. Hope all is well.



John de Terre Neuve said...

Very nice, Miles. I have to admit that I am not one to get someone else to do my painting.........but I am tempted, those figures look very nice.

Ian said...

Very nice and I hope they pick up some more trade from your review


John said...

Beautiful! And thank you for posting such a detailed report. I've been considering using a painting service for the first time to take care of some painting duties I don't feel like tackling, but wasn't really sure what to expect. Thanks!


jmilesr said...

Sometimes when I'm pressed for time, I'll get figures painted - British uniforms always kind of scared me so I elected to get the Brits done for me.


Paul of the Man Cave said...

Very nice indeed! I must admit that I have outsourced far more painting in the last year, so I can use the limited time I do have to play.

Monty said...

Very interesting report, Miles and the quality of the service looks top notch, too...