Pirated 18mm Eureka SYW figures on eBay

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A Hong Kong based eBay user is selling painted, pirated versions of Eureka’s 18mm Seven Years War range. Fighting 15s has been following this user’s activities for some time, and at last has obtained examples of the figures and been able to compare them directly with genuine Eureka figures. Examples of pirated and genuine work appear in the pictures accompanying this news item.

Ebay user imfadcom (painting service CHYT) has been selling painted pirated version of Eureka’s SYW range since at least 2011. Fighting 15s became aware of this after attending Central London Wargames Club, where examples were fielded by one of the players in a large game. Thanks to that player we now have copies of the eBay emails relating to those items, identifying and confirming imfadcom as the seller, and have been able to make a more detailed comparison of the figures and take photographs.

As the photographs show, the pirated figures are substantially thinner than genuine Eureka figures, owing to compression in the mould. The bayonets and legs are particularly thin and prone to damage.

Unfortunately, imfadcom is not the only seller of pirated painted figures operating out of Hong Kong. Others sell counterfeit 15mm Napoleonic AB Figures.

There are tell-tale clues to identifying sellers of such figures on eBay:

1. The figure are much thinner than genuine figures owing to mould compression from a second generation mould. They’ll be the same height, but in one dimension look thinner than a supermodel. Bayonets may be cast incomplete (although as we occasionally send out the odd incomplete bayonet by mistake, that’s a hint not a clincher 🙂 ).

2. Neither Eureka Miniatures nor Fighting 15s supplies Eureka figures to Hong Kong and China in the quantities that are offered for sale on eBay. An eBay seller that is offering multiples of identical painted units may well be cutting genuine figure-makers out of the supply chain. Eureka Miniatures and Fighting 15s are well aware of which painting services they supply in bulk.

3. The seller may not identify the manufacturer of the figures that are being sold. In Fighting 15s’ correspondence with imfadcom via eBay messages, we asked whether the figures were compatible with Eureka (answer: no), and then asked which make they were, to which no answer was received. None of imfadcom’s pirated Eureka miniatures are identified as Eureka Miniatures, but are given codes, such as EuAu007 for Austrians and EuRu015 for SYW Russians, which looks like shorthand for Eureka Austrian and Eureka Russian. It is difficult to conceive that a painting service that regularly lists new eBay items would not know of the source or be reluctant to identify such figures if they were genuine.

4. The prices of the painted units can be remarkably low. A unit of 24 unpainted Eureka SYW infantry from Fighting 15s costs £12.00, yet is available painted on eBay from imfadcom typically from £19.99. The CLWC player who provided examples of the pirated figures actually managed to pick up a painted gun and crew from imfadcom for 99 pence (UK price unpainted £4.00), and a painted 24-man infantry unit for  £9.99. Prices for newly painted figures that are too good to be true are a key indicator of pirated figures. Please don’t regard this as an advert to go and buy cheap pirated figures.

Eureka Miniatures and Fighting 15s are small, full-time businesses run by people who are, frankly, nuts about the products they sell and are prepared to live on a modest income to continue selling them. Pirated figures in the quantities that are appearing on eBay are extremely hurtful to our continued existence. Please do not buy them. If in pursuit of a bargain on eBay, think before you bid or buy.

Notes: The pirated figures pictured in this item were obtained from eBay seller imfadcom, as evidenced by confirmation emails from eBay for the transactions. The genuine Eureka Miniatures in these pictures are from the collection of Fighting 15s’ owner Ian Marsh, depicting Austrian infantry regiment Puebla and Grenzer regiment Warasdiner Creuzer, to the best of his failing painting abilities. The flag on the genuine figures is an advance sample from Fighting 15s’ forthcoming SYW Austrian infantry flags designed specially for Eureka’s figures.

Fighting 15s has an aggressive, mallet-based approach to dealing with counterfeit figures. Be warned…

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2 comments so far

  1. misternizz on

    Reblogged this on Third Point of Singularity and commented:
    The miniatures hobby is already a niche business, full of small businessmen that feel the effects of piracy in no uncertain terms. It be hooves all of us lead-pushing geeks to get the word out about pirates. Cheers to Fighting15s in the U.K. For spotting this.

    [follows: reblog post from Oozlum Games blog]

    • oozlumgames on

      Thanks for broadening the reach of this item


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