Guess who's back with another product review? No, not Hank, whoever that is. It's me! And this go-around we've got Chapterhouse Studios in the mix. I've known about this site for quite a while and have purchased from them a very long while ago. Recently, however, they've had a slew of new products joining their line up which had me enticed to open my wallet. So what is Chapterhouse all about? Will they survive my slew of witty commentary or are they incapable of bearing such a horrible onslaught of horrible puns and comma abuse? Find out after the break.
Continuing in my usual format let's begin with the website itself. While there's nothing that stands out as a major flaw in their webstore, there are certainly a couple of little fixes and polishes they could apply to make their webstore a lot more user friendly and aesthetically appealing. I'll repeat for those about to bust out their very own witty commentary on how picky I am; these are minor fixes and I am a tad OCD.
(click for larger view)
First off, colored in red we have the store's categories. The first three categories all include items that would typically fit on Space Marines, which confused me why they were split into three separate categories when Eldar, IG and Nids are not. Also, the lack of bullets next to each entry make their sidebar look like one giant paragraph and does a number on the eyes when combined with the neon green on top of white. And when clicking on a category to release subcategories, well...
Colored in blue is a small eyesore of pictures of categories clipping the body frame of the home page. While this is something easily fixed via HTML editing, I have to ask why there are two major spaces dedicated to categories pushing down updates and new products from the top. It's a redundancy that itches the OCD in me. Again, all of the things mentioned are minor nitpicks, but I think sellers would be surprised by the increase in views and sales with a more pristine and easy-to-navigate webstore.
Moving on, let's talk shipping. Shipping is very reasonably priced and took a mere 4 business days to get to me, and on a holiday weekend no less! The items were moderately protected via bubble-wrap, though I do like to see a little more protection for such delicate items...there's a joke there somewhere.
The items I ordered consisted of a Servo-Harness Kit, Jump Packs, Wheeled-Chimera Kit and some Gun Halberds. The pricing on all of these products are incredibly reasonable, and that goes for most of the items I've seen on their webstore. After seeing these items online, shortly questioning how they haven't gotten sued and then click the purchase button it was time to see what's what. The first thing that caught my eye were some blank discount cards. As I mentioned before, I've purchased from CHS a long while ago and I remember receiving several blank discount cards that time as well, but assumed it was a fluke previously. Now I feel like I'm either misunderstanding how these things work or Obi Wan just pulled some Force move on me.
Aside from the Loyalty Points Fiasco 2.0, let's look at the products themselves. The Chimera kit came in its own bubble-wrap and everything else was wrapped in the other:
The Jump Packs turns out looking just as snazzy as they looked on the webstore, though they will require a lot of intricate cleanup as flash is in some really annoying places along with the flaps for each Jump Pack encased in a tomb of flash:
You may be asking what the below image is. Well, it's the Gun Halberds with enough flash to make five additional Gun Halberds at no extra cost!
Next up is the Servo-Harness with a random backpack tossed in with it. This item still has a fare amount of flash, but nothing compared to the items above:
And finally, the Chimera Kit. This will probably take up the least amount of cleaning aside from the guard. The sides and wheels are also conveniently labeled with either an "L" or "R" so you know which side it will go on (even though I don't understand why the wheels need to have labels):
Shipping speed and pricing
A few webstore nitpicks
With Chapterhouse Studios I didn't have the pleasure of working with Customer Service at all, so I've got nothing in the department. However, everything else about Chapterhouse is above average. Their selection has a real focus on making GW products more unique so your models can stand out from the crowd. It's no wonder Chapterhouse is pretty popular, even with a product line on the smaller side of things. They seem to have a direction with their product line and they stick to it. I certainly plan on purchasing from them again.
~Lantz aka Sinaura