Dude, HLJ is AGONIZINGLY slow with shipping! And they don't hold your order when part is back-ordered, I've been hit with up to 3 different shipping fees and received 3 different boxes for some supplies that could fit in a padded mailer! Then there is the yen/USD exchange rate fee they hit you with (pennies, but still). Literally, I order once every 3 months and only order in stock items.
Now, they DO have great stuff; there are no complaints at all there. As a matter of fact, I just got my small size flexible pipe order last week (that I ordered in JULY). I find their prices are fair, they just have a terrible shipping system!
That's been my experience EVERYTIME I order from them. I don't want to come off negative about HLJ, but I'm not exaggerating! Check this out:
Box 1= 1 pkg. of cylinders.
Box 2= 2 pkg. of bell thrusters
Box 3= 1 pkg. of flexible pipe
I also rechecked my bank statements and confirmed each product was billed separately. Furthermore, each shipping charge was billed separate of the product. To top that off, the 2 charges for each product (product + shipping) was hit with a separate charge for the exchange rate! So, in total each box I received was billed on my statement 4 times! A grand total of 12 charges appear on my bank statement for the 4 items in the pic!
To recap, I placed the order for these items at the same time
but got 3 different deliveries, month(s) later. Again this has happened every time
I have ordered from them.
I made a point of ordering several items at one time, via standard shipping, with the intention of not
incurring unneeded shipping expenses. Each box ranged in at about $8.50 a piece, so I paid over $25 for shipping service way below par of what I'm used to, even for asian deliveries! Might as well have bought the upgraded shipping, and saved some grief. I just at the time couldn't justify $20-30 expedited shipping for $10 worth of parts!
Again, I don't want to sound like I'm ranting, you guys know that's not me. Also I must emphasize that their products are
fantastic, useful, and in some cases very exclusive to them it seems! This is just for informational purposes, I want everyone to know the possible pitfalls with HLJ.
I would hate to see someone miss a commission deadline because they need a 6mm ball joint and the mailman hasn't shown up in a month! Oh yeah, just so your aware, regarding the tutorial, this is a quick and slick way to make articulated hands, but the flexible pipe does not allow for tight, closed fist positions. The sockets don't have the symmetrical relief slots typical ball joints do, so you won't get 90 degree off axis swivel. You can certainly still get very dynamic poses, and with mechs and bots, the hands and body language play just as impotarnt of a role in expressing emotion as the (often emotionless) face does! So have at it Radicons!