"Forward!"

“Forward!”

[caption id="attachment_295" align="alignleft" width="294"]France Light Troop figurine collection by Big Battalions French Light Infantry

Polish Allies

Polish Allies

Post 1812

Post 1812

The big brothers!!

The big brothers!!The Red Lancers The Red Lancers

Hussars!

Hussars!

I have been wargaming for over 40 years. Initially I painted my own figures. Sadly, like many I progressed with my career and found I had no time to paint. I was never really any good at it anyway. I started to have my figures painted in the UK, but found the costs often too high and the results variable. Many painters, working by themselves, proved to be unreliable. The only painter who was truly reliable, and reasonably priced, was David Marshall. His work was first class. Sadly, for me, David quit his full time job and set up TM Terrain making some of the finest terrain and model buildings around. Check out his website. As a result I had to look elsewhere.

I looked abroad for new painting companies, but often when dealing with countries like Sri Lanka and China I found results variable. Communications with these companies was poor and unreliable. English is not their first language. I also discovered to my horror that many Chinese companies were brazenly pirating AB figures produced by Eureka Miniatures, as well as pirating other companies work, and offering these figures for sale as genuine figures. I wanted something better.

I first visited Thailand in 1996. I visited many other countries, but I kept returning to Thailand. I had decided Thailand was a country I could live in, a country to which I could retire. I had developed close ties with the country (no pun intended). In 2003 I was lucky enough, when visiting Chiang Mai, to meet a local tour guide who spoke very good English and who was happy to act as my guide during my visit. His name was Khun Poramet Pramunwong. During our time together in Chiang Mai I discussed with him setting up a model soldier painting business. Initially the idea was to paint ready painted units. He was enthusiastic about the idea as he knew he could source local painters and set up the business. Having discussed the idea we decided to launch Big Battalions. Poramet’s role was to set up and run the business in Thailand. My job was to deal with customers in the UK, Europe, and America. Poramet quickly organised a work force of talented painters. I got on making contacts and selling the product in the UK. We quickly found people also wanted commission painting.

I knew what wargamers wanted; they wanted the highest standard of painting possible, for a reasonable price. This simple business model has remained our aim. Big Battalions has proved to be a success with wargamers and collectors. Our promise to provide a service that is of the highest quality, at a competitive price, with no hidden costs for extras, is still one we maintain. We are actually one of the few companies that offers free basing as part of the painting price.

The initial aim of providing ready painted armies was very popular. Our range of bespoke ready painted Napoleonic 28mm units, using Front Rank figures, greatly expanded. This later expanded to include 15mm AB Napoleonics, sourced exclusively from Nic Robson at Eureka. We now offer, through our agents, a wide range of 28mm and 15mm Napoleonic, and Ancient, ready painted units. To meet the demands of our customers we will continue to expand these ranges. There will be painted units offered direct to the customer, in the future, so please watch the For Sale page. You will also see us appearing on E-Bay so again watch out.

Poramet recruits highly skilled artists locally in Chiang Mai (where I now live), some of whom are graduates from local fine art colleges. Poramet has overseen their training and taught them a vast array of techniques for painting figurines based on the teachings and techniques of Kevin Dallimore. Poramet’s command of English and his ability to speak the local Lanna language (as opposed to Thai) puts him in a unique position within this type of business. The artists understand one of their own and produce the highest quality of painting that meets the demands of our customers. We will also continue to invest in our people to improve the quality and service we offer.

Poramet insisted on an ethically and morally sound environment for our artists. Our premises are fully and comfortably furnished, and fan cooled (Thais do not like air-conditioning, they find it too cold!!). This meets the painters’demands and requirements. Their salaries reflect their skills and are higher than average earnings for the region. There is an active and vigilant Labour department who monitor working conditions and respond promptly to complaints made by employees. No one under the age of 18 years is employed in any capacity.

We will not exploit our painters simply to increase profit. The Labour laws are regularly enforced against Thai and foreign employers alike and companies operating unlawful working practices are prosecuted. Our low rate of staff turnover is a testament to the way the painters feel about working for us. If you would like any further information about our working conditions and environment feel free to ask or contact the Royal Thai Embassy in your home country. If you see any dishonest or misleading material on the internet claiming we exploit our staff I would be grateful if you could draw this to my attention as a few of our competitors have tried to poison the minds of our customers with dishonest stories of exploitation.

I am now permanently based in Chiang Mai. I deal with the website, with agents, and with direct customer orders. Poramet works directly with the painters and runs the business on a day to day basis. We have slowly recruited a number of agents in different countries. In the United Kingdom Gary Edwards of Red Eagle Miniatures, and his wife Hayley, are carrying ready painted units and dealing with orders for the United Kingdom and Europe. In America Jacob and Shari Kovel (Silver Eagle Wargame Supplies) carry a stock of painted figures and accept orders. We shall be recruiting an agent in Australia soon, and will continue to expand our agents worldwide.

You will find our service flexible and responsive to all your painting needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us. As the Thais say, Chock Dee, and many happy hours wargaming!!

Carabiniers skirmishing

Carabiniers skirmishing

"Vive L'Empereur!!"

“Vive L’Empereur!!”France Artillery collection was painted by us here at Big Battalions. If you would like your war gaming figures painted and brought to life please visit www.bigbattalions.co.uk Guard Horse Artillery

Painted war game figures by Big Battalions

The band strikes up a stirring tune.

Moving up to the attack!

Moving up to the attack!

Line Horse Artillery

Line Horse Artillery

Line Infantry

Line Infantry