Monday, July 25, 2011

Review: Chapterhouse Studios Eagle Thunder Hammer, Celtic Wolf Shield, and Combi Weapon

That's a long title... 

I have known about Chapterhouse Studios for awhile now.  I have seen their ads on various forums and noted their bits appearing on models.  It was no surprise then when I showed up to my FLGS to play a friend in a 40k tourney prep game and noticed that they guy next to me had quite a few Chapterhouse bits on his Salamander army.  He introduced himself as Nick, one of the owners of Chapterhouse.  We talked a bit and I was pretty impressed by him. He was laid back, had a wonderfully painted army, and was generally an all around cool guy.

Being as it's summer, I decided I wanted to see what trouble I could get in using some of Chapterhouse's bits to convert up a model or two.  I knew what I wanted, so I went straight to the weapons section for 28mm.  I purchased an eagle thunder hammer, a celtic wolf storm shield, and a combi weapon magnetized kit.  The order went in on Monday and on Friday I received a bubble lined envelope.
This is funny to me because their physical location is an afternoon's walk from where I live, but I got it 4 days later!  Seriously though, four day turn around for order confirmation, fulfillment, and shipment is great.  I was impressed with how quickly everything worked out. 
Here is a group shot of everything I received.  The hammer on the left, the shield and handle in the middle and the combi-bolter with four weapons (flamer, melta, plasma, and grenade launcher) and 5 magnets. 
I took a closer picture of the hammer and shield as they were the only pieces that showed any real amount of flash.  As you can see the hammer has a bit hanging off the top while the shield had a little on the rim.  Both were easily removed with a few applications of my hobby knife.  There are also few visible mold lines from what I can see which is great because I hate mold lines and spending time trying to get rid of them.
This rather blurry shot shows a close up of the bolter and combi weapons.  The magnets are at the very bottom.  These pieces dry fit perfectly and none of these pieces had any flash.  I was greatly impressed by this.  I did have to drill out the bolter bit some to get the magnet to sit in it well.  Apparently, the mold they use is wearing out and so the hole in the bolter isn't quite a filled out as the ones on the combi weapons.  However, there is a clear message on their order page that warns of this and I heard Nick mention it in an interview on the 11th Company Podcast last week.  So they are trying to let you know up front how their products work.  I really like this amount of honesty and up front communication.  Good job guys.

In this last picture you see how well the bolter and combi weapons fit together once the magnets are in.  Let me tell you, this is a sweet piece and the under-slung drum clip makes this bolter looks wicked.  I am totally impressed by the quality of the bits.  

Let's boil it down then.  There are quite a few positives with this experience from Chapterhouse and it would seem very few negatives.  I will try to balance it out, though, in the name of being objective.

-Friendly, approachable staff- I have spoken and emailed directly with Nick on several occasions now.  He is also up front about communicating about his products.
-Great price-  For custom made bits, these are really cheap!  Compared to some of the prices you get for stock GW pieces on bits stores, Chapterhouse offers quality metal bits for low prices.
-Little to no flash and mold lines.  I love not having to spend 15-20 minutes removing defects in products.
-Good detail.  All of the pieces I ordered have a good bit of detail to them. 
-Quick shipping and order turn around.

-The website-  I have seen this mentioned in other reviews of Chapterhouse and while I didn't have many problems, I can see how the menus make it hard to just peruse the site.  However, in his 11th Company interview, Nick did say that the site is getting revamped.
-Flash- While it wasn't an issue, I am trying to be picky here.  Optimally, it would be stellar to have no flash whatsoever.
-Packaging- My order didn't go very far and didn't contain many pieces, but I wonder if their might need to be more protection for pieces to insure they get to the customer in one pieces.  I would be anxious to see how larger pieces are mailed. 

Bottomline: Check out Chapterhouse Studios!  You won't be disappointed by the quality of their products and the price you get them for.  The staff is knowledgeable, friendly, and hard working.  They ship to you quickly.  I highly recommend their products and from what I hear, their line will be dramatically expanding in the coming months, so continue to check out their site. 

Now, what am I going to do with a celtic wolf shield and eagle thunder hammer?  Stay tuned to find out.

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The Inner Geek said...

Nice review.

I knew ChapterHouse was in TX, I didn't realize they were about five minutes from where I work though. Now they feel local(er).

Dave said...

Yeah. I live and work just around the corner.

UK said...

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