This is not the blog post I expected to be writing but it will be a real pleasure to do so in any event. My last post made mention of the 1/2400th scale models that I had acquired from Mr Fox - these being the former Micro-Matrix range currently being produced by Stonewall Figures. You may recall that I mentioned that some of the models were pretty rough on the casting front. After having had a good look at the models I came to the conclusion that the moulds must have been a little 'tired' and so the detail was starting to go. Coupled with the fact that the models of way back then had a much higher lead content you had a recipe for soft edges and missing extremities - such as tripod mast fighting tops etc.
Curiosity got the better of me and so I called Stonewall to discuss the models - Mr Fox had mentioned that the new owner had plans to increase the range over time with some new models being added.
Mark, the new owner, called me back almost immediately after I had tried ringing him (he had heard the phone but could not get to it time) and we had a long and very informative chat about the range and his plans for the same. He wants to add some more models - he is looking at the pre-dreadnought era - and is scouting around for a new designer. He told me that when he took over the moulds he also acquired a lot of the existing stock which he took around the shows and basically sold until it was exhausted. He said that he was aware that some of the models were not great and so took the decision to remake the moulds where possible and also to change his casting technique to make use of newer metals. This has had the effect of ensuring that the existing moulds have a far better definition - the models are not super detailed to begin with but with better metal are more defined in respect of the detail they do have. Thus far the Royal Navy have been reworked and a chunk of the High Seas Fleet as well.
As part of this conversation I mentioned the collection that had come into my possession and he came up with a truly staggering offer. He is happy to replace the worst of the models I have with newer versions free of charge. That's right - FREE OF CHARGE. Bear in mind we are talking in the region of some 25 capital ships you can begin to appreciate the generosity of the offer!
I was going to order a chunk of kit from him anyway - principally destroyers - so as it stands I am returning my older and somewhat careworn castings to him in exchange for some brand spanking new ones and some other bits and bobs. Bearing in mind that some of these models could easily be five or more years older this is a truly generous offer and I am both suitably delighted and grateful. I wonder just how many other manufacturers would extend the same offer?
I shall be taking some pictures of the newer versions once these have arrived and these pictureswill feature on the Stonewall website in due course.
In closing I must extend a truly huge thank you to Mark at Stonewall for this offer and opportunity and I shall look forward to exploring the WW2 range in due course.
On top of this I also took delivery today of three sets of Heroscape blue tiles to go with the three sets I already have. This means I will be able to set up a 13 x 9 hexed area for use with smaller naval models - in this case 1/2400th ACW and Napoleonic and 1/1200th ancient and renaissance galleys.
Not a bad Friday then!