Recently I’ve been indulging my geek side (well, my more geeky side I suppose, since I don’t really have a non-geek side) and getting back into some modeling work, specifically some conversions to Games Workshop’s Lord of the Rings range.
(warning, severe geekery ahead – in case you hadn’t figured that out already 🙂
For various reasons too legally tedious to mention Games Workshop can’t produce figures of characters from the Silmarillion, so if you want models from the first age of Middle Earth you’ve got to knock them up yourself from the existing range. I realised last week – while looking at all the models I’ve got sitting around from the Battle Games in Middle Earth magazine series that I’ve been buying – that with a few simple modifications Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth would make a very nice Tuor of Gondolin. So I got to work with my Dremel, ground off all his swan imagery, swapped his sword for an axe from a Khazad Royal Guard and bingo! Instant Tuor!
This naturally got me thinking about other Gondolin themed conversions, and I quickly realised that I couldn’t really have Tuor without his father-in-law Turgon. A glance through my models convinced me that a very nice Turgon could be thrown together by chopping the head off Isildur, and sticking on a suitable Elf head. A search through the photos in the various rule books in my posession suggested that the mounted Elrohir would be a good choice. So off I went to the Games Workshop online store and put through an order for a brand new Isildur and Elrohir (I do actually intent to get my Isildur model painted up at some point, so chopping him to pieces wasn’t an option).
Side Note: OK, at this point some people may be thinking that Isildur isn’t suitable for an Elf conversion because he’s not armed with an Elven sword. Well I’m afraid I’m going to trump you with my obsessive knowledge of Tolkienana. Turgon’s sword was Glamdring – the very same sword used by Gandalf centuries later. And Glamdring – as depicted in the movies at least – ain’t no pseudo-samurai Elven sword. So there! *grin* Strictly speaking, I suppose, for a really accurate Turgon conversion you should clip Glamdring off a Gandalf model, but the only Gandalf model with Glamdring fully drawn is the Bridge of Khazad-dûm version which can’t be got for love nor money these days, so I’m going to pretend Isildur’s sword Narsil is Glamdring. Back to the narrative…
So, as I said, I sent my order off through the online store.
I get into work today (I used my work email address because I don’t like companies having my home one – paranoid? moi?) to discover an email from one Frank Taylor, Hobby Service Team Leader at Games Workshop’s Australian section, explaining that the Isildur model isn’t available any more and shouldn’t actually be on the website. The order had been sent – minus Isildur – and if I wanted to order another figure instead of Isildur they’d ship it free of charge.
I had another look at the site, and discovered that a blister pack of Isildur mounted and on foot was also listed. I emailed Frank back, asking if it was still available. He emailed back immediately confirming that they had some left. So, over the course of a few extremely prompt and informative emails I got him to put through an order for the blister pack instead, which he dispatched free of postage (after canceling the charge for the non-available Isildur model).
So, the moral of the story… Games Workshop Australia online store website maintenance – fairly crap. Games Workshop Australia online store customer service – beyond reproach 🙂