I received a package today from Bac Ninh Miniatures; a small, minimal-investor company from Madrid, Spain. This business model is becoming more and more common in today's miniatures gaming scene. Like many typical miniatures companies, these companies are the born out a love for gaming. The big difference between one of these smaller companies, and say perhaps Perry Miniatures, is that they often make available genres or armies that would otherwise never see the light of day. It is not that there are no common interests in the gaming community, but rather that miniature gaming is by no means a grand money making scheme. Margins are tight, and capital can be scarce in such small business entrepreneurship.
Bac Ninh currently offers only one product code: BW-01: Officers & NCOs (4). The code is anticipated to be the beginning to a larger line of figures for the Boshin War of 1868-1869. A follow-on set of four figures is already underway by Paul Hicks who is the sculptor for this venture. Paul is a talented fellow who can be credited for a good deal of great miniatures as offered by a large number of companies spanning numerous eras and armies.
Jose, provided professional and courteous communication, making the transaction quite painless. The figures were dispatched in a speedy manner, packaged in the pictured plastic bag as well as the pictured padded envelope. I am currently serving in Korea which means that the envelope travelled a considerable distance, passing through many postal transfer points before making it to me. Considering all of the postal handling dangers, the figures suffered only a few minor bends. The swords were slightly bent as was the NCO's rifle. These bends were very minor, and easily fixed as can be evidenced in the photos.
The figures are cleanly molded with only very slight mould lines. The lines appear on the inside of the figures legs, and on some of the figures sleeves. These will clean up with great ease by using the standard technique of a backwards drag from a No. 11 hobby knife blade. The castings are fully filled with no imperfections, or short fills. The metal used is of medium density which made the straightening of postal damage easy and safe to perform. The excellence of detail can be evidenced by Bac Ninh's own photographs of painted samples. I will only reinforce your observations by saying that they look just awesome in person.
Bac Ninh was a pleasure to transact with, and their figures are a welcome addition to my collections. I have a soft spot in my heart for small companies such as theirs, and have enjoyed doing business with all of those that I have. Let's hope that the follow-on figures can continue to be offered on a regular, periodic basis. Remember, capital can sometimes be hard to come by for smaller companies, and the purchase of a sample pack could quite possibly make the difference between the demise, or the growth, of another great gaming era!