A few years ago, a custom sculpt resin Ultramarine captain appeared on ebay, along with a couple of other sculpts (a scout and a cadian, if I remember correctly). I thought they looked pretty good—though the head of the captain was a little off, scale-wise.
Still, I figured they’d make a nice, unique piece of terrain for my games, and wanted to buy one. However, there were a few problems in the way. The first was that it just seemed sketchy. First of all, it’s buying models made with GW IP, so that was clearly an infraction and, despite the fact that the auctions listed as if they were US based, people had said the packages were coming from Singapore. Lastly, the price was higher than I wanted to pay (though I can’t rightfully recall what that price was—I’m guessing about $40 per model).
Still, I watched the auctions come up and down for a while, and monitored feedback. Many people complained in the feedback that shipping was slow and/or overpriced, and others complained that the models were broken and/or of poor quality. Of course, some people gushed positive feedback about how great they were. When I finally broke down and bit the bullet to buy one, the ebay seller stopped listing them, and was very bad about replying to questions, so they slipped quietly into oblivion.
That is, until I got a wild hair one day. I decided that I wanted to track it down, but didn’t have much to go on. I had the old picture from ebay and hoped that a Google image search would be enough, but sadly, that came up empty. After changing up search terms for a while, I did manage to find a picture of the model, and from there, I came up with the name Donnell Belleza. At that point, it was just a matter of searching for likely candidates on social networking sites that seemed to be artists/sculptors, which is when I came across his facebook profile.
For the record, though he has his profile photo as this specific model now, it wasn’t that way when I was searching for him, so I was actually quite proud of myself that I’d managed to track him down. Anyway, I asked him if he still made them, and he indicated that he did (along with a host of other new versions), and said that he’d send me one and I could pay him after I received it. Well, after a month or two, nothing had come, so I called him on it (at this point, I can see why former ebay people would’ve called him slow or flakey).
He apologized and directed me a new startup venture that’s selling his models called Steam Punk My Hero (a name that sounds like a non-English speaker designed it). Low and behold, the site sprung up, and started selling the sculpts on the very next day. Not wanting to wait a few more years to order, I bought immediately.
Sadly, there was no confirmation email, no contact what-so-ever that indicated that my order had been placed (or shipped). So, after three weeks, I contacted him (and the site’s owner) to find out what the status was. They assured me that the pieces had been shipped, so I just had to wait.
Well, this weekend, they arrived, and I’m pleasantly surprised. Granted, the models aren’t perfect, and they have an almost 2nd edition cartoony-style (which isn’t altogether out of place in my forces), but I think they’re going to make great statues for my games.
Obviously, I opted to buy his berserker model and the captain. From a sculpt standpoint, the only beef I have with the captain is his head, and the weird points on his toes. The points I could file down, but I have a feeling that I won’t.
To give you an idea of scale, I’ve taken a few pictures of each of them next to a standard marine, as well as to the statue from the Honoured Imperium boxed set. They’re about perfectly to scale with the latter, and obviously far larger than the former. Still, I think they’ll look pretty fantastic on the battlefield, and hope that there are rules to include them in with the upcoming Stronghold Assault book.
Anywho, that’s about all I have to say about them for now. I figured I’d refrain from doing a detailed review of them, as that’s not really my expertise, but if anyone has questions, I’d be happy to answer them.