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Scaryscarymushroom
11-05-2013, 17:15
First off, I'm NOT trying to suggest that GW is dishonest or sneaky.

I was just thinking about the last thing that motivated me to buy a product from GW (over a year ago). It was the idea that what I wanted was about to become harder to get. I bought it because I was afraid of missing my chance to buy it at a reasonable price. Whether or not it was GW's intention, the annual price hike generated a sale from me in May 2012.*

The whole concept of "Limited edition" as a marketing tool revolves around scaring people into thinking that they will miss their chance if they don't BUY IT NOW. We saw Dreadfleet fail despite its presentation as a limited item, presumably because no one actually thought it was worth the sticker price, limited or not.

Recently, we saw specialist games. For SGs, the scare motivated a huge number of sales despite there not really being a "limited edition" label on them. GW no doubt got a lot more business last week than they were expecting, and I believe many people were purchasing because they were afraid that the models would become prohibitively rare or expensive (eBay) after they were NLA from Games Workshop.

In the wake of the chaos, one can make an observation. Several items are NLA in the UK, but still available in the US or other markets. The US now has a Battlefleet Gothic product range that is double the size of the range offered to UK and Europe. This means one of two things: either (1) GW had less stock per customer in UK/Europe, or (2) the stock was relatively balanced and demand is lower in other parts of the world than in UK/Europe.

Because this is Specialist Games, regional demand forecast is sort of aside the point. They botched that years ago, and market conditions have changed since then.

Option 1 strikes me as highly unlikely, because they are a UK based company and I think they know (or plan on) having a large amount of business done in the UK. I'm inclined to believe option 2.

We see that people can be interested in a product without actually committing to buy. They see it on the market and think "that will be there later, when I want to use it." But then the fear that the thing they like will become unattainable is what actually motivates a sale in these cases. Conversely, where there is no interest, there is no sale. (See Dreadfleet.)

So interest in a product is necessary for a sale, but not sufficient for a sale. However, interest+fear is sufficient for a sale. (See Specialist Games.)

The simple fact that SGs haven't sold as well in the US leads to the conclusion that there is simply less interest in them here. People know that they'll be gone forever, and yet many of the products are still available.

Question 1: why is there less interest?
Question 2: how long before they get pulled and destroyed like dreadfleet?
Question 3: if question 2 is a practical concern, how long before they pull and destroy LotR and Sisters of Battle?
Question 4: if question 3 is a practical concern, does anyone think my SoB collection will ever be worth more money? Maybe even what I paid for it?

*This is not a pricing thread.

defunct
11-05-2013, 17:59
I have gotten the impression over time that there is much more competition in the US for GW, more players invested in those other games already. So maybe that's why there's less interest over there.

Why was the SG thread locked? So unbelievably stupid. It was the most interesting topic on this forum.

Scaryscarymushroom
11-05-2013, 18:12
I have gotten the impression over time that there is much more competition in the US for GW, more players invested in those other games already. So maybe that's why there's less interest over there.

Why was the SG thread locked? So unbelievably stupid. It was the most interesting topic on this forum.

I believe because it devolved into people making personal attacks toward one another.

At any rate I'm nervous about the future of GW. Not just the company but the community too. It's becoming clear that GW won't be missed by a large number of american gamers once they're gone. If GW doesn't make enough money to justify their presence in America, their games will die here before/with them. Not after. I used to think it wouldn't be a big deal if they went belly-up because I have the models and I have the rules. But without GW having a strong relationship with their player base, I would have trouble drumming up enough interest to find an opponent.

Perhaps it's silly of me because I'd usually rather play a competitor's game than 40k anyway. But it's a bit like saying goodbye to my childhood.

ihavetoomuchminis
11-05-2013, 19:36
At any rate I'm nervous about the future of GW. Not just the company but the community too.

Same here. I live in Spain, and i've been seeing how many members of my gaming community are losing interest. I had a good gaming network around me, many people to play some games from different "groups"....and now not anymore. They have been moving away from GW, and now i'm struggling to play games. The modelling and painting is what has my interest now...but only because i can't find people playing around me.

It's certainly worrying.

I know it's not directly related to the OP, but i thought it was important to mention.

Scaryscarymushroom
11-05-2013, 20:02
I know it's not directly related to the OP, but i thought it was important to mention.

Actually this is sort of what I wanted to talk about, I just hadn't really articulated it until after I posted.

Loss of interest >> no sales >> product destroyed >> GW failing >> loss of interest >> community dies >> increasing difficulty for finding an interested opponent, despite having everything needed for a game (perhaps due to fear purchases).

Of Course they don't need to fail, but if the way they keep themselves alive is by cutting their product lines (like with SGs), then they might as well fail. The effect is the same for anyone who plays the cut games (or hypothetically cut armies).

Spider-pope
11-05-2013, 20:13
Actually this is sort of what I wanted to talk about, I just hadn't really articulated it until after I posted.

Loss of interest >> no sales >> product destroyed >> GW failing >> loss of interest.

Of Course they don't need to fail, but if the way they keep themselves alive is by cutting their product lines (like with SGs), then they might as well fail. The effect is the same for anyone who plays the cut games (or hypothetically cut armies).

Specialist Games weren't selling. I'm as gutted as anyone that the Inquisitor range is going, and i'd been hoping to get a Necromunda campaign going. But even i, someone with an interest, hadn't bought anything from the SG range for about two years prior to the news of imminent OOP.
Sitting on stock that isn't moving just isn't a good idea in retail. It's partially how Woolies went under, too much stock sat in warehouses. I understand your argument but i don't see it in this instance. Now if an army disappears completely from one of the three core games then i think you're onto something.

shelfunit.
11-05-2013, 20:20
Now if an army disappears completely from one of the three core games then i think you're onto something.

Squats? Dogs of War? Depending on if the people you play against let you, Chaos Dwarfs? It's happened several times already, how many will it take?

Scaryscarymushroom
11-05-2013, 20:54
I understand your argument but i don't see it in this instance. Now if an army disappears completely from one of the three core games then i think you're onto something.

Including LotR? I know more Battlefleet Gothic players than LotR or Hobbit players.

buddy_revell
11-05-2013, 21:19
personally, i think its a shame that a company who used to produce some absolutely awesome games (note; plural) is now reducing its lines to only three games. yeah, specialist games werent and arent shifting, but i think thats primarily down to GW NOT selling them. if theyd have promoted them in-store, i think we'd be in a very different situation right now

ihavetoomuchminis
11-05-2013, 21:49
personally, i think its a shame that a company who used to produce some absolutely awesome games (note; plural) is now reducing its lines to only three games. yeah, specialist games werent and arent shifting, but i think thats primarily down to GW NOT selling them. if theyd have promoted them in-store, i think we'd be in a very different situation right now

Agreed. It's like the eternal "marines sell more" discussion. If something is promoted....sells more. Is something is non-promoted, it sells less. That's why marketing and advertising exist.

buddy_revell
11-05-2013, 22:00
yup. i remember space hulk, necromunda and BFG being on the shelves and promoted. those systems thrived when i was younger. now theyre tucked away and failing. odd that....

Abaraxas
11-05-2013, 23:33
Well after about 4 years of not buying anything from GW, I started making fear purchases due to Finecast.

So last year I got Bugman, Burlock, the stone troll sculpts I didn't have (before they made them into a kit like the river trolls)...hearing whats happened with SG and collectors I was going to try and get the Escher boosters but theyre probably gone now.

New Cult King
11-05-2013, 23:34
I know I dropped a chunk of cash on 2 BFG fleets last week in the seemingly vain hope of finding someone to play with.

I only did this because I thought the line was going OOP.

MarcoSkoll
12-05-2013, 01:41
But even I, someone with an interest, hadn't bought anything from the SG range for about two years prior to the news of imminent OOP.
It's about the same for me, seeing as that was about when I decided that yet another price rise was too much and I wasn't buying any longer.

But, if I am fully truthful, I hadn't exactly been buying a colossal amount prior to that. I didn't exactly take to the idea of buying random packs of Necromunda models when eBay showed me exactly what I was paying for, and the absence of all the Inquisitor conversion packs and many of the old models had meant just biting the bullet and sculpting most of my 54mm models didn't actually cost me much more work.
Had the ranges been a little better handled than that (even if no new support was given), I suspect many purse strings probably would have been a fair bit looser.

(Funnily enough though, despite a lack of spending in my part, I probably coaxed a decent number of sales out of the people I played with).

I wasn't really scared into an OOP rush though. I moved up a couple of small eBay purchases before all the prices cranked up, but I didn't have anything I had to have enough to give GW money for it.
GW has already inadvertently pushed me into becoming an expert converter and scratch-builder, so if in three months I really need model X for Inquisitor (be it 28mm or 54mm) or something else, I'm hardly stymied.

Voss
12-05-2013, 04:58
yup. i remember space hulk, necromunda and BFG being on the shelves and promoted. those systems thrived when i was younger. now theyre tucked away and failing. odd that....

It is, really. But only because you're skipping the many, many years when they were failing and promoted, and were tucked away because they continued to see sales drop. This didn't happen 'now.' It is the closing chapter on a long slide down the mountain.

Omniassiah
12-05-2013, 06:00
Specialist Games weren't selling. I'm as gutted as anyone that the Inquisitor range is going, and i'd been hoping to get a Necromunda campaign going. But even i, someone with an interest, hadn't bought anything from the SG range for about two years prior to the news of imminent OOP.
Sitting on stock that isn't moving just isn't a good idea in retail. It's partially how Woolies went under, too much stock sat in warehouses. I understand your argument but i don't see it in this instance. Now if an army disappears completely from one of the three core games then i think you're onto something.

Part of the issue with most of the specialists games was that if you had any skill or creativity you could make your SG forces cheaper from regular boxes. There was a local BB tournament today and I thing only 3 out of 24 teams were GW official teams. Most were either kit-bashed fantasy regiment boxes or third-party miniatures. BFG went strong in our area right up until support from GW died, after that it would get the occasional bubble up to the surface and then die again as maybe one ship had been released since last year if that and nothing WD had been published in 4 years. E:A never really took off because the initial release didn't cover enough armies and the first expansion only added really 1 more race (yes, I understand that there was 3 official variant forces out there but that doesn't help a Tau, Necron, 'Nid, Dark Eldar, Chaos, Deamon player).

It is, really. But only because you're skipping the many, many years when they were failing and promoted, and were tucked away because they continued to see sales drop. This didn't happen 'now.' It is the closing chapter on a long slide down the mountain.

As for promoting and failing I only saw that with the games like BB, Mordheim, Necromunda where you could often build a force from GW models that weren't the models for that game and do it cheaper (note the games took off but just people bought a 22.50 box set over a 50 dollar team). BFG sold extremely well when it was supported and started to trickle off once the promoting and new releases stopped. E:A as I said above in my area never took off because 3/4s of the players didn't have an army at the start and that only changed to 5/8th of the players after the first supplement. Clearly with companies like Spartan Games/Hawk Games out there Man'o'war, BFG, and E:A could have been quite successful in their own right. The smarter move for GW would have been to re-release rules for Mordheim, BB, and Necromunda specifically recommending core game box sets for miniatures for the games. Allowing them to still continue with "Supporting" them with little or no extra manufacturing cost on there behalf.

Autumn Leaves
12-05-2013, 06:03
The Specialist Games suffered from the same aspect as games like Man o War and Space Hulk.
Once you had them there wasn't a lot more that you needed.
BFG for example had cheap start up costs with a box set, then players might augment the plastic cruisers with metal models to expand the chaos and Imperial options that came in the box set.
After that they might buy one or two other fleets but the volume of miniatures sales was never ever going to compete with those possible in the 2 core games, and volume sales are what create profits that allow you to grow 'and' pay dividends.
Blood bowl was on the same lines. Box set and then relatively small outlays for the extra teams you liked.
Mordheim and Necromunda were good games and yet they were never going to see players shell out the big chunks of cash required by the 2 core games.
Warmaster and epic required the biggest fiscal outlay but their scale meant they were always going to be fringe.
Inquisitor was very niche and also the cheapest of the games to get started with so that was never going to make much money for the company.
The SG's did allow Forge world to make money out of offering 'extra' options for all the games but over time with the complete lack of support or promotion for the SG's they were always sentenced to a limited life span.
Panic buying at their death was always going to be likelihood but it's nowhere near the kind of mad frenetic dash that it might have been several years ago.
None of the SG's were designed to have the ongoing 'flexibility' of the 2 core games.
As much as anything they were a clever outlet for the older gamers who wanted to branch out and GW wanted to keep them in the 'brand'.
In terms of financial advantage the SG's offered little to GW's bottom line. There was no way they were going to stand up to the mega income generated by LotR in the early noughties and they have been entirely marginalised ever since.
What the SG's still did own was an element of loyalty to the brand among older gamers.
That loyalty has over time slowly eroded as GW made a choice not to support the SG's, and it will continue to see itself manifest in other smaller companies and thats good for the gaming community.

lanrak
12-05-2013, 08:58
The current situation is simply down to GW plc NOT having a marketing department.IMO.

Currently GW plc is simply driven by short term sales, and they simply want to control everything with draconian lock-down methods.
And this is because they threw away the control they had from the SG and Board games.

These additional games kept people in the GW brand, and the diversity and quality of the game play prevented competition in these areas.
As mentioned before a MARKETING department doing proper market research would have identified this.And prevented GW plc throwing away the best POSITIVE control over its customer base.
As far as GW plc is concerned do not attribute any action to malice , when incompetence is more likely the actual cause.

Gorbad Ironclaw
12-05-2013, 09:37
Currently GW plc is simply driven by short term sales, and they simply want to control everything with draconian lock-down methods.
And this is because they threw away the control they had from the SG and Board games.

These additional games kept people in the GW brand, and the diversity and quality of the game play prevented competition in these areas.


What control? GW was never alone in this space, there have been competing miniatures games of various different sizes throughout it's life, they have just been the biggest and they still are. And just writing every other miniatures game off as an imitation of something GW used to do is IMO selling them way short. A lot of these games are good games in their own right, and their success have a lot more to do with other factors than GW SG. Different production and manufacturing methods, an ever increasing gaming population and gaming essentially going mainstream (granted, video games mostly, but it applies to all aspect of gaming) and the internet, both as an avenue of marketing and promotion and plain letting people know about your game/product and it's social aspect where wider communities of gamers come together and making it easier than ever to find somewhere to actually play whatever it is you want.

And lets not let nostalgia pretend that all the SG games were brilliant master-pieces of gaming that would triumphantly vanquish any competitor. Games like Mordheim and Necromunda had issues, quite a lot of them actually. I'm not playing Malifaux because I can't play Mordheim or Infinity because I can't play Necromunda. I got all the rules I need for those and miniatures too (or they are not hard to get), I'm playing those other games because they offer something else than GW games do and frankly because I think they are fundamentally better games than the GW offering. Even with SG going at full steam I still wouldn't be playing those games. Skirmish games in particular is really hard to keep a dominance over because the buy-in is rather low. Even if I do want to play GW skirmish games any new skirmish game that looks interesting I can afford to try out. 40k and WFB have inertia and the big buy-in needed to play army level games in their favour. The same just doesn't apply to the smaller games. If I for less than the cost of an army book/codex can buy a starter box and have enough to start playing a new game it's a lot harder to keep people just limited to your thing. Especially when with the internet your stores are not the only place they are exposed to games.

Successful competitors were bound to arise at some point. The neglect (or prudent business decision, dependent on your point of view) of SG did not cause this.

Nymie_the_Pooh
12-05-2013, 14:49
From 1997 on I have only seen Specialist Games outside of Inquisitor in a store three times. One of those was Mordheim being carried by a model railroad store. The owner had no clue what anything was so was ordering sort of shotgun style from across the various GW ranges. It actually worked out rather well for him. The other two instances were both cases of a singular copy of Blood Bowl. The first copy was 2001 and I snagged it up. That second copy was just last year, and was actually on the hold shelf where somebody special ordered it.

I still like some of the models from Specialist Games, but aside from preference there are so many options for substitutes there is little reason to buy any of the 28mm figures for their games. For Warhammer Quest my friends and I were buying battalions of models from the WHFB line. The whole reason I even transferred over to wargaming is because we got to going over everything and had multiple armies in the 4000+ range (sixth was about to come out when we got to checking).

These days we have a local Mordheim group. I don't think anybody uses any of the official Mordheim models. I know I don't with my current Orc warband, and I even own some Mordheim models I have bought over the years. I've offered to loan them out, but nobody is worried about using those models when the regular fantasy models they already own work just fine. Even if somebody is new we tend to direct them to buy a set like the Empire Free Company or Skaven Night Runners from the WHFB line as it covers pretty much everything you need for those two warbands outside of Hired Swords. Necromunda is trickier, but I use Orks for Goliaths and Eldar for Escher even though I have some Escher models. My primary reason for doing this is to help encourage me to paint the larger forces. Hiring a new Ganger is another model that gets painted for my army. If one loses a leg then I model one up to have the missing leg and paint it then throw the old model in with my army so another model gets painted. This is without even looking into other manufacturers. I have more than enough Inquisitor models to play that, but while I find the concept interesting I think it's flawed in it's execution. It requires impartiality from all involved which makes it a game I don't want to play with anybody new.

I'll be honest, I let the news kick me in the buttock to get moving and order some of the models I've been thinking about buying already. That includes some of the metal found in the main lines. I'm not about to quit the hobby or stop shopping with GW over this news. Business is business. It makes me a bit sad, but it's their decision to make and I'm frankly surprised they didn't make the choice to do this before now as it has been a good decade since they have supported the games beyond the occasional recasting of some models.

Rogue
16-05-2013, 23:35
The only reason why I buy GW products from GW is because I am still into 40K. I don't buy any models from the Fantasy range at all now a days, since I really am not into any of the sculpts that are made. Add on the fact that I really am not interested in using finecast, there is less and less interest for me. Honestly there may be one or two Battalions that I may be interested in, but my interest had dropped. With that in mind, I will never get rid of my old metal models unless I absolutely have to. My 4th edition dwarves, my vampire counts from the different blood lines, etc. Those guys will be staying with me for the foreseeable future. As far as panic buying, I may get a battle force or two of Eldar before the prices rise because of new models, but I would hardly call that panic buying.

theshoveller
16-05-2013, 23:50
yup. i remember space hulk, necromunda and BFG being on the shelves and promoted. those systems thrived when i was younger. now theyre tucked away and failing. odd that....
Conversely, I remember seeing Space Hulk in a remaindered books chain (The Works) in the late 90s for a laughably low price. I don't think the second edition was terribly successful.

Shadey
17-05-2013, 01:19
Could part of the reason for SG not being as popular in the States be market penetration? I don't think the market really grew over there until after SG boxes stopped being promoted. Certainly it existed prior but if the market was still small enough at the time marketing stopped, maybe it never reached critical mass.

decker_cky
17-05-2013, 02:03
LOTR shouldn't be compared to the other lines - LOTR is a huge coup for GW because they occupy the field. So long as GW maintains the license, other companies cannot get the foothold that the license would allow for. Specialist games certainly are niches that will get filled by other games, but they're nothing compared to preventing others from making a game based on the LOTR license.

Lothlanathorian
17-05-2013, 02:42
Except there are other games out their based on the LotR license.

Morathi's Darkest Sin
17-05-2013, 08:40
Quite simply in my mind its the fact the models had been starting to look old, the incentive to buy them was not as great. Had new kits, any new stuff come out with some actual quality, not just 'hey trainee sculptor no 5 go add a couple figs to that range in Specialist Games' with predictable results, I have to assume their would have been more interest. Add on the fact it was advertised nowhere and its plain to see why it was dying, demand could have been there, but GW wouldn't take the risk.

Now jump to this past couple of weeks and remove the possibility of getting figures ever again and folks have in my mind made the choice, now or never, and gone in both feet first to grab what they can, old figs or not. From my own example I've just dumped around 450 on GW mail order for Blood Bowl stuff and about 200 more via eBay. Would I have done that a month ago before the news hit, nope, not a chance in hell, Blood Bowl was a game I loved but their was no incentive to pick it up, it was a 'maybe next year' kind of thing, hoping for more new sculpts. That all changed with the news it was going away for good.

budman
17-05-2013, 09:13
Question 1: why is there less interest?
Question 2: how long before they get pulled and destroyed like dreadfleet?
Question 3: if question 2 is a practical concern, how long before they pull and destroy LotR and Sisters of Battle?
Question 4: if question 3 is a practical concern, does anyone think my SoB collection will ever be worth more money? Maybe even what I paid for it?



a1 look at necromunda and epic back in the day issue after issue of WD and it had more stuff for it, rules and battle reports ect it had backing and visabilty
Now what did "dead"fleet get one puff issue and done move on the staffers did not want to play it in store
a2 over the next 6 months
a3 end of this year for sisters and for Lort two months after the last movie hits
a4 for a short wile then they will be like squats out on bay for a bit of cash but with few buyers

Krucifus
17-05-2013, 09:21
I fondly remember White Dwarves having more content on the specialist games than the core games, that was part of how they managed to fit so much original content into each issue. This had the handy double of boosting interest in the SGs and boosting sales in white dwarf.

Replicant253
17-05-2013, 12:30
Quite simply in my mind its the fact the models had been starting to look old, the incentive to buy them was not as great. Had new kits, any new stuff come out with some actual quality, not just 'hey trainee sculptor no 5 go add a couple figs to that range in Specialist Games' with predictable results, I have to assume their would have been more interest. Add on the fact it was advertised nowhere and its plain to see why it was dying, demand could have been there, but GW wouldn't take the risk.

Now jump to this past couple of weeks and remove the possibility of getting figures ever again and folks have in my mind made the choice, now or never, and gone in both feet first to grab what they can, old figs or not. From my own example I've just dumped around 450 on GW mail order for Blood Bowl stuff and about 200 more via eBay. Would I have done that a month ago before the news hit, nope, not a chance in hell, Blood Bowl was a game I loved but their was no incentive to pick it up, it was a 'maybe next year' kind of thing, hoping for more new sculpts. That all changed with the news it was going away for good.

Very much this. The specialist games, and especially Epic, occupy a special place in my pantheon of great games but it is not a game that my group plays on a regular basis. One game out of the blue every few years seems to be the going rate. Therefore my 5000 pointish Eldar army was more than adequate for the frequency of our games. However on news that the line was dying spurred me into action and i just dropped over 200 on a new Epic IG army. I would likely have spent more but i was caught slightly unaware and the stock on a number of lines went quite rapidly. Four weeks ago that wasn't even remotely on my gaming radar of purhases but the knowledge that the range will never be available again, unless through the fickle and grosly inflated market of e-bay, was a powerful motivator. I imagine GWs bank balance will look rather healthy for May.

duffybear1988
17-05-2013, 14:59
The inquisitor line are nearly all fantastic models even now. Most of the Necromunda and Mordheim figures are the same.

Epic should have remained mostly plastic and it would have sold much better. When they broke the sprues up and went with metal casts they ruined it for me.

GW just failed to support specialist games - a double page spread in a White Dwarf once or twice is never going to get people interested.

Also they never seem to enter any of the specialist games models into hall of fame in WD... coincidence?

DeathGlam
17-05-2013, 15:02
It has made me buy an extra Necromunda gang and two extra BB teams, as i still love those two games plus Mordheim, none of the others ever really appealed to me.

cornonthecob
17-05-2013, 18:06
150 of Bloodbowl turned up for me today. I considered epic as well but I only have so much cash.

Grimstonefire
17-05-2013, 20:47
I bought a Long Drongs unit and the Goblin Hewer, which I was always thinking about getting but never got around to. So knowing my luck they will hang around in the store for years now!

I'm not sure about whether to stock up on Burlock Damminson and Queen Helga or not. I don't really need them, but perhaps better to have them and not need them?

anthrax1990
19-05-2013, 14:32
Quite simply in my mind its the fact the models had been starting to look old, the incentive to buy them was not as great. Had new kits, any new stuff come out with some actual quality, not just 'hey trainee sculptor no 5 go add a couple figs to that range in Specialist Games' with predictable results, I have to assume their would have been more interest. Add on the fact it was advertised nowhere and its plain to see why it was dying, demand could have been there, but GW wouldn't take the risk.

Now jump to this past couple of weeks and remove the possibility of getting figures ever again and folks have in my mind made the choice, now or never, and gone in both feet first to grab what they can, old figs or not. From my own example I've just dumped around 450 on GW mail order for Blood Bowl stuff and about 200 more via eBay. Would I have done that a month ago before the news hit, nope, not a chance in hell, Blood Bowl was a game I loved but their was no incentive to pick it up, it was a 'maybe next year' kind of thing, hoping for more new sculpts. That all changed with the news it was going away for good.

This is exactly what i've done, my bank account is hurting but i'm actually really glad i finally got around to buying a load of stuff that had been on my 'someday' list.

I must admit that i did have a slight bout of buyers remorse when i saw what my 500 actually got me, but have really enjoyed painting them up over the weekend.