Sunday, May 22, 2011

[Lantz's Corner] Ramshackle Games Boring Machine and Iron Grumbler Review

I'd like to go ahead and get my normal nonsense out of the way before I start this review, so I'll just spew my witty quips out now so we can be all review-y for the rest of this post. Ahem... Is that a Boring Machine or are you just happy to see me? The last time I saw an Iron Grumbler it was in my girlfriend's sock drawer. And last, but not least; I'm no stranger to having to pay for a ramshackling. Okay, I feel a lot better now, we can move on. For this review I'll be running over Ramshackle Games' Boring Machine and Iron Grumbler models. This clearly isn't your Nanna's product review, though that's partially due to the fact that she won't play against fan-made codices. Stupid Nanna...

It's no secret I am including Termites as a transport option for the next version of the AdMech FanDex. And like most of the models I seek out for specific units in the fandex I found this webstore long ago and kept it in my ever-growing list of indie-webstores. The day finally came where I could justify spending the money on this webstore. Ramshackle vehicles are not cheap. Still cheaper than GW, but that's not saying much these days.
Shipping time was a bit high-average even for an out-of-country company. It took 20 days for my package to get to me. Each model was wrapped in cumbersome amounts of bubble wrap; and rightfully so, this box was quite heavy. Shipping cost was a bit extreme at the time of purchase (almost $30 for the US,) but I understood why once I felt the weight of the package.

After unwrapping the three Termites Boring Machines I was a tad more surprised. These things come in one piece. One. So if you're wanting to commit murder and you have the choice between a steak knife and one of these things, you may debate which is the better tool.
MWC Does Not Condone The Use Of Miniature Wargaming Models For Real Life Violence.
Or, Ya' Know, Murder In General.

I had a major issue with these models. Major. There is some major mold lines around the base that need to be cleaned up. Seriously, it looks like this thing is coming out of a dirt pile!.. Those impervious to my sarcasm: I'm kidding.

Next up was the Iron Grumbler. Again, this thing could be used as a tool of destruction other than make-believe battles on a felt-top table. This thing comes in multiple pieces for details and four main pieces for the "body" of the tank.

While I saw no mold issues with the Boring Machines, there were several problems with the Iron Grumbler. First, one of the exhaust pipes was damaged during shipping.

Secondly, there are several air bubbles within the tank treads:

Fortunately (and this may be on purpose) the sides that will be on the outside of the finished product have no air bubbles and look great:

The other problem I have is the cleanup this thing will take. The treads are pretty gross, and while once in a blue moon people look at their tank's ground treads, I'm just OCD enough to thoroughly clean these up and get rid of the filler in between the wheels and treads.

As for the other pieces, these turned out great. Very Ork-ee in the steel-placement. The detail on all of the models is superb. If these larger models are any indication of what their smaller models are like I'll be pleased with future purchases:

Ramshackle's webstore is very clean and easy to navigate through. Their product line is massive. I spent way too much time looking through each and every item in their store, and while these are the only items I purchased this time around I want a lot more from them.

Something else worth mentioning is Ramshackle's customer service rocks. Compared to some of the other experiences I've had in the last couple of months with webstores, Ramshackle wins out. I had emailed them on an inquiry for my order via email and was responded to in 3 hours. Even for a slow day, I've never had that kind of response time. It's good to know that smaller operations in comparison to bigwigs like GW have customers service that's on-par or better than their larger competition.

Large store selection
Great detail on models
Solid molds capable of murder
Customer service

Semi-high costs (shipping)
Air bubbles on 1 out of 4 of my models
Lots of cleanup on 1 out of 4 of my models

Despite the cons listed above, I still say Ramshackle is worth its weight as a indie miniatures webstore. Their selection is gigantic and consists of some very unique models you won't find anywhere else. The molds I bought were basically solid hunks of resin, but with that you can feel safe that your model is not easily breakable. The details on the models are very nice and shipping, while pretty expensive even for the weight of this box, isn't a terribly long wait. I'll be buying from them in the future.

~Lantz aka Sinaura


  1. Nice review - Curtis at Ramshackle Games does a great job, and I've ordered from him at least a half dozen times. I have to disagree with your comment about the models being high cost though - the Termites, even at today's exchange rate come out to a mere $15 US, which I think is incredibly reasonable (especially compared to what a Drop Pod costs these days), and the Iron Grumbler is even cheaper than that. Overseas shipping on those models is going to be expensive due to their weight of course, but I've ordered a number of character miniatures and the excellent motorcycles he makes and the shipping wasn't too bad on those lighter packages. In any case, good review, and I personally give Ramshackle Games two thumbs and one servo-arm up!

  2. I think these pieces there with some gw bits would make an excelent admech army seed. the termite solution to me will be a more home made conversion though.

    I would love to see some more admech work on the blog. I may have to go back to my workshop for a few weekends at this rate.

  3. @Mordian
    You're totally right on the model price, I was using the wrong currency converter for the price change from USD. I've corrected my cons list.

    I totally agree on your two thumbs up, I'm a big fan of Ramshackle after my experience.

    I really dig the termites as well, perfect for my AdMech.

    If you're wanting to see more AdMech conversions you can check out Mordian's blog above your comment or mine We're both avid AdMechers.