February was a good month for me for Kickstarters. I received 3 shipments, completing my Frontline Gaming/Tablewar Megamat, Tablewar Mini Case and finally, my Chapterhouse Studios Defense line sets. Both Tablewar and Frontline Gaming were spot on, or darn close on shipment timelines.
If you want to see some of the other designs you can checkout the already funded CHS kickstarter here.
Timing and Communications (2 stars out of 5):
However, I knew almost from the go that Chapterhouse had over promised. The stated delivery timeline was August 2013 (one month after funding). Fast forward to February 2014 and I finally received my products. I’ll start by saying that the communication from CHS was initially very poor, and almost rude to customers. It did proceed to get better, but was never good. Based upon my experience with this kickstarter, I would not be inclined to back a CHS kickstarter again, but instead would wait for their product to go on general sale. It would have taken 1 simple change to make this experience positive, regular, better communication about status. I told Nick this many times, but it never seemed to sink in. On to the product. I am satisfied with the product, but still have some mixed feelings.
Price (3 stars out of 5):
Let me start with the price ~$58. For the price, you might expect a premium product when the GW Aegis Defense Line comes in at $29.75. We’re talking twice the price, but you’re getting a boutique product customized to your army. The price, for me, was an acceptable trade-off, but set high expectations.
Size (4 stars out of 5):
I received both a Space Bug and Dark Elf set (which will be reviewed shortly). Neither is the same size as an Aegis. The Space Bug (counts as “Tyranid”) is longer than the Aegis, especially the short section, but it’s height is pretty close. For casual games neither of these differences should make a difference; however, for competitive games you “might” get a complaint on the length of the Space Bug walls.
Really, my only serious complaint on the size of these sets is the Space Bug guns and communications models. The Space Bug concept was brilliant, but the under-sized execution left a bit to be desired. I will likely use the Space Bug emplacement base and add my own Tyranid bits to it to make a final product that is more reflective of the size I’d expect (to match the Aegis).
Quality (4 stars out of 5):
The grey resin used is very solid and dense, yet still light. I expect it is very brittle on small thin bits. I tend to prefer this sort of resin over the fluffy and airy Finecast that GW has been using. This is more akin to the resin that ForgeWorld uses, although not the same. The casts are pretty good, with mold line issues only on the smaller items. The translucent resin could have been better. Finally, since these are casts of 3D printed models, you can see some of the model rendering where the lines are as smooth as you would expect from a sculpted model (pixelation). If I sound like I’m being picky, I am – remember the hefty price tag (at $30 I’d have no complaints).
Design (4 stars out of 5):
I rather like the design on both kits, with the Space Bug kit being my favorite of the two. If the sizing of things had been better (as mentioned above) this would get 5 stars.
Overall (4 stars out of 5):
If you like the aesthetics and buy direct from CHS then I would rate these higher than my experience with the kickstarter. If price is a concern, then the rating doesn’t matter much to you. Overall, even though my kickstarter experience wasn’t awesome, the product is, and so I would recommend the product if it meets your needs.