Help support TMP


""Name and shame" - the Quartermaster" Topic


52 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.


Back to The Industry Message Board

Back to the Consumer Affairs Message Board

Back to the American Wargaming Message Board


5,753 hits since 11 Jan 2009
©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Pages: 1 2 

Laros6006 Inactive Member11 Jan 2009 9:46 a.m. PST

Hi all!
This is an action that I don't like to take, but I see it as a last chance to get some response. It probably won't work but may at least warn others.

Here is my version of the story. Kai Weaver of the Quartermaster/Falcon figures UK may have an other.

In 2005 we made a deal that for USD 140 he would add two new figures to his line for the Swedish-Russo war of 1788-90. When the new figures was ready for production I would get a refund of figures from his line worth 50% (USD 70) of my investment.

We made a similar deal in 2003-2004 and I have no complain on that one.

Apparently he had a bad year, a fire at home and a lot of other problems that delayed the whole thing, but in an e-mail dated 15 april 2006 I was told that one of the figures had been sculped and was ready for production. He appologized for the delay and asked me to send a list of figures that I wanted as refund. I sent the list the same day but since then I have recived no figures and no reply to any of my e-mails.

After numerous of e-mails I gave up.

This summer (2008) his web-page came up again and people starting to report that he had been selling his stuff on shows. On the 10th of august I sent him an e-mail where I reminded him of our deal. He replied and appologized, etc, etc and he offered me to send the figures I wanted as refund at once. In an e-mail sent on the 22nd of august he state that the new figures was never made but he would se to it at once. This is the last message I have from him.

I don't think I have been rude in any of my e-mails and I have given him several weeks to respond to one e-mail before I have sent him an other.

I'm sure there is a reason for why he hasn't produced the figures, sent the refund or why he do not reply to e-mails.

I have given up all hopes for the figures and my USD 140, but hopefully I can save someone else from ending up in the same situation.

My best regards to you all.

Grizwald Inactive Member11 Jan 2009 10:11 a.m. PST

"In 2005 we made a deal that for USD 140 he would add two new figures to his line for the Swedish-Russo war of 1788-90. When the new figures was ready for production I would get a refund of figures from his line worth 50% (USD 70) of my investment."

I don't understand this. You gave him $140 USD to do what? Add 2 new figures to an existing line of miniatures. How do you know he wouldn't have done it anyway?

He would then "reimburse" you with $70 USD worth of figures – figures that you could have bought from him in the first place.

So in effect, you were going to buy $70 USD worth of figures and also pay him $70 USD to do something he might have done anyway?

Like I said, I don't get it.

The Black Tower Inactive Member11 Jan 2009 10:47 a.m. PST

He has lots of Russo – Swedish Wars 1780s and 1790s figures on his site.

Can you identify the code for the one he sculpted for you?
I mean is it on sale?

To be honest I find that an very low price to sculpt even 1 figure and you expected 2 made and a refund!

Don't you think that some deals are just too good to be true?

Bob in Edmonton11 Jan 2009 11:02 a.m. PST

Thanks for the heads up; I hope to hear the other side as well.

Personal logo Cyrus the Great Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2009 11:15 a.m. PST

I don't understand this. You gave him $140 USD USD to do what? Add 2 new figures to an existing line of miniatures. How do you know he wouldn't have done it anyway?


Well, so far you do understand. Whether Kai would've produced the figures himself at some future date is unknown and has no relevancy. Laros6006 wanted either poses or "types" i.e. grenadiers etc. not currently offered by Kai and offered $140 USD USD to have them made.


He would then "reimburse" you with $70 USD USD worth of figures – figures that you could have bought from him in the first place.


Yes, it is not uncommon to reimburse a person who fronts the sculpting fees a deal of "X" amount of miniatures at an agreed upon price. In return, the manufacturer can add those figures to his catalog. Laros6006, in effect, commissioned these 2 figures and is surrendering production rights in exchange for an agreed amount of figures at a set price. Once again, these figures were not offered in Kai's current catalog so Laros6006 could not have purchased them. Any future intent by Kai to produce the miniatures required by Laros6006 is unknown and once again, not relevant.


So in effect, you were going to buy $70 USD USD worth of figures and also pay him $70 USD USD to do something he might have done anyway?


No, in effect, Laros6006 commissioned Kai to produce miniatures he wanted. Laros6006 could've then taken the "greens" anywhere he wanted to be produced. They were HIS "greens". He surrendered all production rights and any royalties he could've earned by their sales in exchange for a set amount of miniatures at an agreed upon price. Kai got to add the miniatures to his catalog and earn all futures sales generated by Laros6006's commissioned figures.


Like I said, I don't get it.


You see this more often with some of the smaller manufacturers, but you are seldom aware that one of your favorite ranges offered by said manufacturer may have been commissioned by an outsider.

Laros6006 Inactive Member11 Jan 2009 11:19 a.m. PST

Black Tower:
None of the figures I commisioned is up on the page and the same goes for those I commisioned in 2003-04. I know that the figures from 2003-04 have been in production as I have several of them in my collection.

I don't know what's the common price for a job like this but it worked fine in 2003-04 and as stated, Kai agreed to do the job.

Bob: Belive me I would also like to hear the other side!

Personal logo nazrat Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2009 11:20 a.m. PST

More info on this whole thing can be found here-- TMP link

It's an interesting case. Good luck with this, Laros!

Grizwald Inactive Member11 Jan 2009 11:36 a.m. PST

"Yes, it is not uncommon to reimburse a person who fronts the sculpting fees a deal of "X" amount of miniatures at an agreed upon price."

That's the bit I don't understand. $140 USD to pay for the sculpting of two figures (less the cost of the reimbursed figures)? That sounds awfully cheap to me.

"Laros6006 could've then taken the "greens" anywhere he wanted to be produced."

Except that Laros didn't say anything about receiving the greens in his OP. All he seems to have expected from the deal is $70 USD worth of figures. And if Laros simply wanted to commission the production of two greens, why didn't he just go straight to the sculptor, or was Kai sculpting them in-house?

Is that right Laros, or have I missed something?

The Black Tower Inactive Member11 Jan 2009 11:50 a.m. PST

$10 USD per mm seems to be the going rate for greens the last time I looked at the topic on TMP.

That was just sculpting – not mouldmaking or casting.

BTW When I Googled his website this came up

Falcon Figures UK British designed and a American made

But the address on another page is Hamptton Va 23666

(This is the same address as the claimed US distributor

http://www.thequartermaster.com

(A dead website?)
given in the TMP link below)
THe price is in $
I cannot see any indication of a UK address that would be required by UK law if the business was UK based

Fishy!

Here is the TMP link for Falcon
TMP link
It gives a UK phone number

So the question is who was the deal with, the US based Falcon or the UK designer?
If it was in the UK & you are in the UK then a Small Claims court may get your money back – I don't know if the US has such a thing.

Laros6006 Inactive Member11 Jan 2009 12:17 p.m. PST

Nazrat – Thanks

Cyrus and Mike – You are both right. What I expected was a wider range of figures and a box in the mail with lead worth USD 70, nothing else.

BT – If I remember this correctly, many years ago Kai bought the right of the brand Falcon Figures UK. Where his designer is… I don't know.

Grizwald Inactive Member11 Jan 2009 12:28 p.m. PST

"$10.00 USD per mm seems to be the going rate for greens the last time I looked at the topic on TMP."

So $140 USD would get you … 14mm. I assume thses were 25/28s?

The Black Tower Inactive Member11 Jan 2009 12:40 p.m. PST

Mike, they seem to be 15mm Laros6006 will correct me if this is wrong.

So the deal was for less than 1/4 the cost I would expect it to have been.

Personal logo Cyrus the Great Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2009 12:49 p.m. PST

That's the bit I don't understand. $140 USD USD to pay for the sculpting of two figures (less the cost of the reimbursed figures)? That sounds awfully cheap to me.


It seems cheap to me too. My first thought was that it would be modifications to existing dollies, but Kai may have had a deal with the sculptor.


Laros6006 could've then taken the "greens" anywhere he wanted to be produced."


Merely pointing out that Laros6006 would've been within his rights to do so.

Except that Laros didn't say anything about receiving the greens in his OP.

I agree Mike, but like I mentioned above.


All he seems to have expected from the deal is $70 USD USD worth of figures. And if Laros simply wanted to commission the production of two greens, why didn't he just go straight to the sculptor, or was Kai sculpting them in-house?


I know some manufacturers are loath to reveal their sculptors for fear of someone hiring them away. Today, a lot of them are happy to reveal the sculptor of a range as they realize the sculptors have a following which is good for sales. Who Knows? If Kai was doing the sculpting he is free to set his asking price. I hope we may see a response from Kai.

I have no dog in this fight, but I tried to make people aware of how some deals allow miniatures to be produced in this industry. I also tried to clarify Laros6006's position as I understood it.

Cincinnatus Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2009 12:53 p.m. PST

Again, don't forget Laros is giving up the rights to the green. That would seem to have some tangible value that is being ignored.

For all we know, they might have added the figures without Laros sending him up front money so maybe Laros is the one being ripped off?

But in the end, whether it was a bargain or not for Laros, the other party had done the same deal before and accepted this agreement a second time.

Personal logo Cyrus the Great Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2009 2:01 p.m. PST

Again, don't forget Laros is giving up the rights to the green. That would seem to have some tangible value that is being ignored.


This could easily be the reason why Kai set the price he did. As I pointed out, Laros6006 is giving up production rights and royalties plus paying an agreed upon amount to have "greens" produced.

This is based on the facts Laros6006 has given us. It would be in Kai's best interest to reply and clarify the situation. Although, he is under no obligation to do so.

Laros6006 Inactive Member11 Jan 2009 2:05 p.m. PST

Black Tower is correct about the scale, it is 15 mm.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2009 3:50 p.m. PST

I think what may be confusing is the concept of a "work for hire" agreement. If an artwork is commissioned, then the rights for that work go to the person paying the commission, not the artist. (For example, the classic country song "Crazy" performed by Patsi Cline was actually written by the then unknown Willy Nelson as a work-for-hire piece for Cline's label. Nelson was paid about $80 USD for the song, and has never received a penny more for it. The label commissioned the song and therefore hold all rights to it and receive all payments involved in its sale, etc., aside from whatever royalties go to Pasti Cline's estate for recordings of her performance. Willy, though the songwriter, gets zip.)

In this case, had the sculpts been a straight-up commission, the rights and the greens would belong to Laros, simply for writing the check. However, Laros made an agreement whereby the rights remained with the manufacturer and in exchange for these rights Laros was to receive both a discounted commission price AND a supply of miniatures as described above. Hence the cheapness of the deal; Laros was agreeing to forfeit the potential future profits from the sale of his commissioned figures (to which he would have legally held the rights) in exchange for a low commission price and goods in kind. The manufacturer received a savings on the initial expense of having the figures sculpted AND the rights to all potential profits. Assuming the figures would have long-term sales value (i.e., would be purchased by other collectors), this is a reasonable deal for the manufacturer to make. The question, of course, is whether the figures' sales would reach $140+ over time… but that's not Laros's concern. It also isn't his concern whether the person with whom he made the deal is the sculptor or not— as I understand it, the final rights go to the ultimate commissioning party and are his to sell, whether a third party is involved or not.

One wonders whether in this instance the manufacturer did indeed pass the commission on to another sculptor, but failed to pay for that commission. If so, that would be a potentially thorny legal situation. But that's just speculation on my part.

Closing caveat: I am addressing this situation as a writer with a basic understanding of copyright law. I am not an attorney, and I could be wrong, so no one should base any contract decision based on what I have stated!

Terrement Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2009 4:37 p.m. PST

Haven't dealt with him recently, but several years ago I had a number of miniature purchases from him through the mail as well as discussions about miniatures and always found him to be a decent guy who took care of me as a customer.

FWIW, Newport News is just across the Chesapeake Bay from where I live, so I called directory assistance for Kai. Just got off the phone with him and without going into all of the details, I told him of the thread here and he promised to look in to it. He claims that he's always been reachable by phone.

I have no dog in the hunt and do not know the truth of the matter from either of the folks involved. Hopefully Kai and Laros6006 can get in touch and sort this out to their mutual satisfaction.

Regards,

JJ

RudyNelson Inactive Member11 Jan 2009 5:55 p.m. PST

I saw Kai at Fall In in November. I did not check the stock fill on Lars range just my Koreans which I sponsored to have sculpted much like Lars. I traded for so more Korean stock. However sales were so poor that i did not have any cash left over to buy more.

Laros6006 Inactive Member11 Jan 2009 10:37 p.m. PST

If I remember correctly, the older web-page stated that the phone number was ta an answering machine. As I live over sea (Sweden) I have allways found e-mail a more conveniant way to keep in touch with people in the US compared with telephone (different time zones, costs etc).

JJ – I too had a high thought of Kai's care for the customer, at least until two years ago when something happend to him. Thanks a lot for making that call to Kai. I hope he is ok and that we can sort things out.

/Lars

CooperSteveatWork Inactive Member12 Jan 2009 7:25 a.m. PST

Kai carried on the design service provided by the original FALCON owner, I should explain

CooperSteveatWork Inactive Member12 Jan 2009 10:12 a.m. PST

That's to say the arrangement being described does sound routine for FALCON.

aecurtis Fezian Inactive Member12 Jan 2009 11:02 a.m. PST

I take it that's the arrangement as Lars understood it, not as it seems to have been executed?

Seems a logical way for a manufacturer to reduce the financial risk of new releases, if an enthusiast is willing to contribute towards the cost in exchange for a lesser value in figures.

In discussing commissioning a new figure range with several other TMP sponsors, similar concepts were floated, although all required a greater contribution.

Allen

Top Gun Ace Inactive Member12 Jan 2009 11:42 a.m. PST

$70 USD retail worth of figures supplied, after they are sculpted, will cost the manufacturer very little in metal, which is probably why the deal was attractive to both parties.

His cost is in the time to have them sculpted, or to pay someone to do that, plus making the mold, and the spin time.

I imagine the cost for the metal would be pennies on the dollar, to produce them.

Laros6006 Inactive Member14 Jan 2009 10:43 a.m. PST

For those who are interested I can tell that it's been five days now since I informed Kai that I was going to make this post. So far I have heard nothing from him or anyone that speaks for him.

/Lars

Personal logo Cyrus the Great Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2009 10:29 p.m. PST

Thanks for the update Laros6006. I've bookmarked this thread because I was curious as to how it would turn out. I've held back from making some other comments because I didn't want to stir up the pot about a situation that didn't involve me personally.

Personal logo GeoffQRF Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Jan 2009 11:05 p.m. PST

If an artwork is commissioned, then the rights for that work go to the person paying the commission, not the artist

Not in the UK – "a person who commissions a third party to create a copyright work will not own the copyright in it unless it has been validly assigned to them."
link

Personal logo nazrat Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2009 8:59 a.m. PST

Nor in the US! If somebody wants to OWN a commercial piece of art I have done then it entails an extra price, and a signed paper of my relinquishing the rights. Any other payment is for usage and nothing else.

I Jim I Inactive Member15 Jan 2009 9:34 p.m. PST

"If a work is created by an independent contractor (that is, someone who is not an employee under the general common law of agency), then the work is a specially ordered or commissioned work, and part 2 of the statutory definition applies. Such a work can be a work made for hire only if both of the following conditions are met: (1) it comes within one of the nine categories of works listed in part 2 of the definition and (2) there is a written agreement between the parties specifying that the work is a work made for hire."

link

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2009 11:14 a.m. PST

"He has lots of Russo – Swedish Wars 1780s and 1790s figures on his site."

Black Tower,
what is the address of this site?

Thanks

Laros6006 Inactive Member16 Jan 2009 11:32 p.m. PST

It's link

Click on "Pre and early napoleonic war"

By the way… if anyone is interested in this particular episode, check out my website.
hem.bredband.net/b111807
In the ENGLISH section you will find all the uniforms and colour for the 1788 (and napoleonic) Swedish army and a lot of maps and info on battles.

/Lars

Laros6006 Inactive Member23 Jan 2009 10:52 a.m. PST

Just for your info, another week without any reactions from Kai.

I would really like to know whay…

/Lars

Personal logo Cyrus the Great Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2009 3:34 p.m. PST

Laros6006,


I'm not surprised, but I'm sorry to hear this.

Laros6006 Inactive Member20 Feb 2009 11:09 p.m. PST

Two weeks since my latest e-mail to Kai.
Just to make sure that there were no problems with any SPAM-filters, I used my work e-mail system. In the e-mail I also gave him four optional e-mail adresses to reply to in order to avoid any problems with SPAM-filters on my end.

No reply so far.

If there is any one who know him or bump into him at shows etc, please inform him about this topic.

My best to you all/ Lars R, Sweden

Blasted Brains Inactive Member24 Feb 2009 4:36 p.m. PST

Lars,

There is a group of gamers in the southern states that used to be part of Kai's gaming world. I was contacted them about an order placed and that's what it took to get the order.

And, Kai, if you are listening or if someone who knows you is listening and can show you this, we really like the figures you have to offer but we need better service and, if you are not in a position to provide the service, please find someone to handle the range who can.

Best of luck, Lars, wish I could remember the name of the group – maybe Jackson Gamers?

G.

Laros6006 Inactive Member07 Apr 2009 9:44 p.m. PST

Things might be moving here!

Over the past weeks I have seen that the FalconfiguresUK/ Quartermaster has been listed as vendor at some shows in the US. On the 1 april I visited their website and noted that they had posted some pictures of their minis, so I sent them yet another e-mail just to remind them of the deal we had made. I was not really expecting anything but on the 6th of april I recived two(!) e-mails!

In the first Kai (or Kelly) stated "I am having trouble finding a sculptor because the guy that used to do it retired. Can you please send your list again so I can ship it this week? "

39 minutes later another e-mail from the same address arrived, signed by some one named "Charles" promising to send the fig's within a week.

I have sent the list and also stated " If you have problems of finding a new sculpturer, we could call the whole thing of. Instead I'm willing to take figures worth the remaining 70 USD."

So far no reply but hopefully we soon can leave this mess behind and move on…. I'll keep you informed.

/Lars R

The Gray Ghost09 Apr 2009 4:12 p.m. PST

Laros6006 I was in the same boat as You a few years ago but to the tune of 600US eventually I wrote it off.
But anytime His name comes up I always post My story.
Hope everything turns out for You.
GG

Personal logo Cyrus the Great Supporting Member of TMP13 Apr 2009 10:04 a.m. PST

Lars,

I'll keep my fingers crossed that this all works out well for you. I can only echo the sentiments expressed by Blasted Brains. There is too long a history of this on TMP.

cturnitsa Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member13 Apr 2009 11:33 a.m. PST

Lars – I am local (near Hampton, VA), and know Kai. He does not answer Emails (not sure about his web access situation). His web page (see link above) does have a phone number however. Try calling him. He is usually pretty reasonable, but has had some business problems lately. If you talk to him, I'm sure you can work this out, to some level of satisfaction. I have seen him at three conventions in the past six months, and at none of them did he do a lot of business (but I heard that from other dealers at the same conventions).

Chuck

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2009 9:33 a.m. PST

In my experience, he is a very difficult guy to contact/deal with via phone or email (and this has been going on for years. I've talked to him at cons and he seems to be decent guy. I probably would not try to buy anything further from him unless it was a face to face transaction. I am sure he would move a lot more figs if he had better customer service.

Laros6006 Inactive Member25 May 2009 10:24 a.m. PST

It's time to put an end to this thread.

The figures I had commisioned was never produced but over the past weeks me and Kai have sorted out our problem and we have reached an agreement that we both accept.

I'm under the impression that Kai is now back in business and from what I have seen his service are back to normal again.

Thanks for all the support I have recived here on TMP.

I will make no more postings on this topic.

/Lars

Personal logo Cyrus the Great Supporting Member of TMP09 Jun 2009 9:38 a.m. PST

Lars,
I'm glad you were able to work out something to your satisfaction. Pity it took so long!

Bryan Stroup Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2009 10:23 a.m. PST

Hey, All!

Just to let you know that Kai had let his domain name expire and then dropped off the face of the earth (I was hosting his site at the time). He's a really good guy and I hope he is well. Maybe he'll get in touch with me about all of his data so he can get things started again either with me or another service. Sadly, his domain got sniped and is being held for a small ransom <sigh>.

If anyone talks to him, please have him PM me. I tried his last e-mail I had at MSN and it bounced.

the Gorb Inactive Member14 Jul 2009 4:13 a.m. PST

@Bryan – That must be thequartermaster.com site.

He also has the falconfigures.com site which is still up and lists both a phone number and yahoo email address.

Regards, the Gorb

Bryan Stroup Supporting Member of TMP14 Jul 2009 10:24 a.m. PST

Thank you for the info. Kai is a good guy. I was worried about him and wanted to be sure everything was ok. Maybe I can give him back all of his old web code and images to save him some hassle with his new site. We'll see.

Many thanks!

mindenbrush Inactive Member13 Jun 2010 11:09 a.m. PST

I'm a bit late finding this but if this is the Falcon Figures that was previously owned by Barry Hill in the UK then if anyone has Barry's current address I would like it as he owes me £1,000.00 GBP that I loaned him to help the business and start a range of 15mm Normans.

CooperSteveOnTheLaptop15 Jun 2010 8:19 a.m. PST

Barry lives in the Phillipines, last I heard. If you can get hold of Kai he should have the address.

Good luck getting hold of Kai though. I've not had contact with either guy in years

RudyNelson Inactive Member19 Jun 2010 3:36 p.m. PST

I am under the impression that Kai might be at Historicon this year. he is on the Historicon vendor list.

Blue Devil 8822 Jun 2010 6:43 p.m. PST

Kai will be at Historicon and Guns of August.

Personal logo GeoffQRF Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Jun 2010 3:43 a.m. PST

if this is the Falcon Figures that was previously owned by Barry Hill in the UK

This the same chap?:
auction
"From the ex-owners of Falcon…"

Pages: 1 2