Thursday, June 30, 2011

[Lantz's Corner] Antenociti's Workshop's Werewolf Grav Bike and Coilgun Sniper Review

Is it just me or are these titles getting longer? Anywho, I'm back after quite the hiatus of family reunions, getting incredibly ill (not related) and getting distracted by shiny things to bring you another slew of product reviews from all of those indie shops you love so much yet also haven't heard of. I'm not sure how that's possible, but just roll with me on this one. This week we have a webstore that, well, I'm not even sure how I found it. In fact, I'm not entirely sure anyone else in the 40k community has heard of them as I haven't seen anyone post about them in my two or so years of blogging. The webstore's name is Antenociti's Workshop and it thoroughly stumps me how this company is such a no name. Why? Let's discover the answers to these questions and more!

Since I'm starting to get a pattern put together on this trek of reviews let's start out with customer service. When I first checked out this webstore one of the items I was eye-balling wasn't in stock at the time. After contacting customer service on this they promptly (I'm talking within an hour) responded not only with an apology on being out of stock (which wasn't necessary in my opinion. Stuff happens, big girls don't cry, take it in stride, something about milk and so on,) they also gave me a solid time-frame as to when more would be cast for sale and stuck to that time-frame. Needless to say customer service is superb.

Next up is the webstore. Something I have to admit right off the bat is their website is a bit sluggish with load times. I've been lurking around their page for a couple of months now and this hasn't changed during that time. Aside from that slight hickup; ladies and gentlemen, webstore do not get any better than this. Things are categorized in a way that makes sense and is easy to get through.
Every model has a plethora of pictures that include stand-alone and within-scenery along with scale notations. And every picture (if your browser isn't from 1993) has an auto-zoom when placing your mouse over it. This webstore has great product, and they're not scared to show off every minor detail you may want to see. I repeat, this is what all webstores should be shooting for; it's on the verge of perfection.

Enough with me drooling about their webstore, what of their shipping? These guys are outside of the US, so I provide a little give on shipping times which was spot on average. What did I have shipped you ask? This go-around I purchased some Werewolf Grav Bikes and a T-PEA Coilgun Sniper. Pricing on both of these as well as overseas shipping were about what I was expecting. What I assume is a nice thing is with every purchase you get what are called "loyalty points" with the webstore (there I go again about that beautiful webstore.) The thing is, I have no clue what these points do or how to use them. I searched through their FAQ and apparently those questions aren't that frequent as I got nadda. I'm sure they do something spiffy along the lines of discounts, but until I know what they are they're essentially broccoli on a plate of lobster; I don't understand why someone put it there and I could care less whether it exists or not.

So how was my shipping experience? Gun to my head, fantastic. Why would someone put a gun to my head for such a happy answer? You got me, there's a bunch of sick people out there, man. Anywho, when I first saw the package my impression was, "Great, another company trying to save on shipping costs by using cheapo, easy to crush envelopes. I'll need to stock up on some glue tomorrow. Also, I'm getting some Chinese tonight." That last part had nothing to do with the product, it was just a part of my thought. It's also worth noting a warning sticker was put on the envelope to ward off those rambunctious postal workers:
"Damn. Guess I need to find another package to stab."

To my delight, the chances of these models getting pummeled was pretty slim:
Each model was encased in a dome-like packaging (one of the strongest structures unlike the cubes GW and other stores use) along with safety foam inside for extra protection. This is the same idea that Black Cat Bases uses, but with a dome-like structure it's far more durable. Funny how two of the least known companies I've reviewed spend the extra time and money to make sure their items make it safely to the consumer. Highfive for the indie guys!

After breaking open the Grav Bike's package I took a look at its contents. Be sure to click on these pictures to see the immense detail on them. These models are simply amazing which baffles me further as to why this store doesn't have a larger part of the market, at least in the US. What we have is the bike, a base (that's right, they also give you a flashy-looking base, though I can't really use it for 40k,) an off-the-bike-suggestively-posed rider and some extra tidbits for flair you may or may not want to use:

Looking at the bike closer there is very little flash/cleanup needed. Though it wasn't without its flaws.

Taking a closer look there are two massive air bubbles on the side air-intakes. The other bikes didn't have this problem, or really any airbubbles to speak of. Howerver, this one is pretty majorly flawed and will take some work to get to looking neato again. Also, this bike's cast looks a bit lopsided towards the back-end. Once again, the other bikes didn't have this issue or any issues to speak of, but this problem child of the bunch is going to make for a cranky reviewer.

Looking at our Coilgun Sniper, this dude will require no cleanup, literally none. The mold lines are already gone, there's no flash and no air bubbles.

After a quick assembly he looks pretty damn snazzy to me and crouches at about the same height of a crouched Spare Marine and comes with the same base-scale for comparison:

Customer service in politeness and response time
Shipping times spot on
Shipping safety
Model detail
Webstore (I had to list it twice, it's that good.)

One model had mold lines, alignment issues and air bubbles

I think the pros and cons list above speaks for itself. For every issue I have with Antenociti's Workshop, there are five other things that push that issue into nothingness. Out of several models only one had any major flaws, which of course isn't a good thing, but if we're looking at averages here I think some other companies have a lot to learn about product inspection. *cough* Finecast *cough* Overall, one of the best purchases I've made. And this is where we part for now, I'm off to dream about that beautiful webstore layout and what loyalty points are made of.

~Lantz aka Sinaura


  1. Nice grav bike! Regarding the low profile of the company, I'd imagine it's in their best interest for their profile to stay that way. Whilst that bike is awesome, I can also clearly see that it's a casting of a model built almost exclusively out of gundam parts; the nose is the upper torso from a GNW Gundam Throne, most of the midsection is a leg from an MBF Gundam Astray, and I'm not sure what it's from but the chunky bit at the back is the upper torso of a gundam too. Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic kitbash (and has certainly set the creative idea cogs turning in my mind), but it's definitely not an original sculpt, and hence questionable in it's legality. I dunno if Bandai protect their IP as jealously as GW do, but still, a low profile is a good thing for this company.

  2. Holy crapsicles I hadn't even noticed. I'm a huge Gundam fanatic and I hadn't even noticed. One of the flair-parts is the crest Gundams have and that occurred to me early on, but I thought nothing of it. Nice catch!