Some things really bug me, and being dishonest and untruthful is one of them.
Before I leap into the issues I have with a certain manufacturer, let me first state what a great hobby miniature wargaming is, and how blessed I am dealing with business people, small business people, doing the best they can with a niche hobby, trying to stay ahead of a fickle market; so many of them are polite, prompt, respectful, helpful, and just really nice people. I truly appreciate that. I’ve bought mail order, phone in orders to Great Britain, and made internet orders with dozens of companies across the U.S., in the U.K., and Australia. I’ve never had any serious problems or complaints with any of them. Some are faster than others, but all of them answered e-mails, kept track of and got out orders, and were completely honest about delays, back orders, and in one case even explained a mold was missing and they couldn’t make one of my items.
But The Assault Group is simply contemptible. I placed an order on August 15th. This was after John Kennedy, my friend and owner of the Panzer Depot, and former distributor for The Assault Group in America explained they could be challenging to work with. They had the range of Aztecs and Tlaxcallans I was really interested in, the dollar was significantly up against the pound, so I placed an order for $85.00 worth of Aztec enemies. I didn’t receive an order receipt from TAG with my PayPal payment, so when I hadn’t heard anything on August 21st, six days later, I inquired just to be sure they’d received my order-#4650. I almost immediately received a response explaining:
Your order received on 15/08/2016 was posted today.
Thank you for your custom!
The Assault Group
I waited patiently as Labor Day came and went and school started. Finally, last Friday, September 17th, I sent out an inquiry to TAG to both e-mail addresses I had. Nothing. They didn’t respond when I threatened a complaint through PayPal.
Today, September 22nd, the order arrived. It’s been nearly six weeks since my order. That’s not good. But what really pissed me off is the order wasn’t mailed on August 21st, it was September 9th, three weeks later.
Look, all figure manufactures operate on small margins with small staffs, if any at all. They get behind, they may work “real jobs,” and I am perfectly understanding if someone gets behind. All I ask is the truth, not some cock and bull story about “the figures are in the mail.” The only vote I have is with my dollars, and I will not spend them with The Assault Group again. And you, dear reader, should know in case you decide to play lead roulette with a small miniatures manufacturer in Nottingham.
What’s on my painting table
The autumn winds are blowing on my Quetzacoatl Rampant project. I have 24 Aztecs left to paint with 12-24 Aztecs left to buy. I have 19 Spanish left to paint, and 40 Tlaxcallan allies. They paint up relatively quickly, so I hope to have the lot done by Thanksgiving. I’m even starting to look around at what to focus on next. There is Dragon Rampant stuff to work on, hydroplanes to paint, AWI units that need building. I am never at a loss for things to paint. A quick look at my table shows some Spanish caballeros and a really big orc leader.
Music to paint to
I’ve made no secret about my love of the Beatles and I’ve pretty much put together my mini collection of 28 LP’s that cover all their Parlophone (U.K.), Capitol (U.S.) and Apple releases. But one album that caught my eye was The Complete Rooftop Concert. You may have heard the Beatles did a concert on the roof of the Abbey Road studio in January 1969. It was the Beatles last live public performance and included keyboardist Billy Preston, whom the Beatles met as a 16 year old performing in Little Richard’s touring band in 1962.
As I was poking through Discogs listings looking for live Beatles music, I ran across The Complete Rooftop Concert. I was immediately intrigued. It was an unofficial, unauthorized, i.e,. bootleg, recording offered by the Spanish label, Gato Gordo. I had to order it from Spain, and combined with shipping from Europe was about $35.00.
As records go, it isn’t much of one. It is largely a set of studio outtakes and run throughs of songs that would appear on the Let it Be album. There are three versions of “Get Back,” two of “Don’t Let Me Down,” two more of “I’ve Got a Feeling,” and one each of “Dig a Pony,” and their cover of “The One After 909.” Added on is a couple of takes of “Hey Jude.”
I’m not gonna lie, if you like bootlegs, this is the album for you. The sound is uneven, the takes are raw, there are even some microscopic blank spaces in the recordings. So it sounds authentic. But the “Complete” label is a misnomer. There are at least three or four songs from the 42 minute performance that are missing. Even so, it is hard to mistake this recording as anything but an important artifact from the Fab Four’s career, as the curtain began to come down on one of the most important artists in rock and roll history. Think of this as the caramel drizzle on a fine dessert, unnecessary, but a highly desirable finish to something very tasty.